Setting Up a New Online Banking Account Can Be Difficult
I like to pay my credit card bills online as much as possible. Recently our Costco Credit Cards with American Express were discontinued and we were issued Visa cards from Citibank to replace them. That meant we had to set up a new online banking account to pay the bills for that credit card account.
Hubby had a bill due today. I thought I had set up my husband’s account to pay the bill, but it turns out I had only set up my own. When I tried to set up my husband’s, I filled in the required information. I double-checked it. Yet I kept getting an error message that I had made a mistake. So I called customer service to find out what was wrong.
Waiting for Tech Support
After calling the bank, I got the usual voice menu and selected technical support. It seemed the best option. Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more, since “All of our customer representatives are busy helping other customers.” Fortunately I was on speaker phone, so at least I could check email and share on Triberr while I was holding.
Even though I could use two hands, I still couldn’t start anything that takes concentration because the rep could pick up at any moment and I had to be ready. Half an hour later customer service answered. I explained the problem and she asked me for all the information. The bank, a bank we’ve banked with for over 40 years through its various changes in ownership, had my husband’s birth date wrong, as well as some other information. Of course, they wouldn’t talk to me, since it was my husband’s account, so I had to put him on.
The support technician talked to my husband and said that their information for him did not match the real information my husband gave them. To correct it, he would have to talk to someone in another department. They put him on hold. I walked in twenty minutes later and he was still on hold. He was sure no one would ever answer. I told him to be patient, since I’d had to wait that long. Ten minutes later he was still waiting and was about to give up. I told him to hang in there. I took over while he took a bathroom break, and, of course, that’s when they answered. I told the rep she would have to wait a minute.
Once she came on the phone and talked to him, they got the information straightened out and Hubby gave the phone back to me. The rep stayed on the line until I had set up everything but the three security questions that I needed to discuss with Hubby. She said I could probably handle that myself, so she signed off. I set up the questions. I was sure I was properly registered by then.
Signing In for the First Time
I decided to test the account by signing in. The first thing they asked me to do before I could get into my account was to set up the security questions, which, of course, I had just done. Evidently they didn’t register because I had to do it all again and I couldn’t do it the same way. My patience was about at an end. When I finished they said my account was finally set up. I got to see my statement and transactions. Mission accomplished.
Pros and Cons of Online Banking
Once an account is set up, online banking can be convenient and allow one to manage money transfers and pay bills easily. As you have seen, it’s not always easy to set those accounts up. If something goes wrong, it can take a long time to get resolved. And, of course, security is also a big issue. Passwords aren’t enough anymore. You need security questions, nicknames, pin codes, etc. Otherwise someone might be able to hack your account.
When I have banking problems, I like to go to my local branch and talk to a real person, the way I used to. I like to deposit money in person. The bank I was dealing with tonight got rid of all its local branches, so we are forced to bank online. I am hoping we will soon be free to close that bank account. We only kept it this long because our tenants in other counties paid their rents in person at their local branches. Now those branches and many of the tenants are gone. I would like to move our account to a bank that still has local branches. I don’t mind paying credit card bills on line now that the account is set up, but I like a bank I can walk into when necessary.
Some Banks are Easier to Deal with Than Others
My Local Branch of Chase Bank. It has good service. © B. Radisavljevic
We currently have accounts at three banks. Two have branches I can walk to if necessary. I have no problem with online banking at either of those accounts, either. I’ve never had to wait more than five minutes to talk to someone on the phone who can help me. So I will put in a good word for Chase Bank and Heritage Oaks Banks, a local bank. I wish I could say Citibank was as easy to deal with.
Some banks serve their customers the ways that are convenient for their customers. Others seem more concerned about making things convenient for themselves. If a bank cannot afford adequate phone support to serve customers within fifteen minutes, I wonder how long people who have a choice will keep banking with them.
What is Your Experience with Online Banking?
Are you happy with you bank’s service? Is there a way you wish your bank would improve its service? What do you like best about your bank?
Photo credit for featured image: Pixabay photographer PublicDomainPictures