Should You Accept a Bank With Poor Customer Service for a Much Better Rate on Your Savings?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of poor customer service, you know all too well how frustrating it can be. But while it’s one thing for a store clerk to give you some attitude or for the receptionist at your doctor’s office to be unpleasant when you call with a cancellation, it’s another thing to experience consistently poor customer service from your bank.

In fact, bad customer service is generally considered a good reason to leave your bank. But what if your bank happens to offer a great rate on your savings? If so, that may be reason enough to stay — with some adjustments.

When the bank is simply a place to park your cash

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to keep your money at a bank with poor customer service. But if your bank really offers the best rate in town on savings accounts and CDs, then you may want to consider staying put and simply moving your checking account to another institution.

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The reason? Your checking account is something you might transact in regularly. Not only might your paychecks land there, but you might pay bills out of your checking account every week and take withdrawals from your checking account when you need money for social outings and one-off purchases.

As such, it’s not a great idea to have money in a checking account at a bank whose customer service leaves much to be desired. Imagine having to wait on hold for 30 minutes every single time a question arises. That’s just not a good situation.

However, if your bank — or another one — has poor customer service but a really attractive interest rate on a savings account or CD, then it could pay to just park your cash there for a while. If that’s money you don’t intend to touch on a regular basis, then you may not have to interact with your bank so much. And as such, poor customer service may not be as much of an issue for you.

Don’t hesitate to escalate

There are different reasons why you might experience poor customer service at a bank. In some cases, it could boil down to technological issues. In other cases, it could be a matter of poor training or getting stuck talking to the one employee who happens to be having a bad day.

If you have a single bad customer service experience at your bank, don’t assume that will be the norm. But if you have a series of poor experiences, that’s something you should escalate so your voice is heard. And you have options there.

First, consider writing a letter to your bank’s customer service department. It might go a lot further than simply telling a single customer service representative that you aren’t happy.

Another option? Reach out to your bank via a social media message and explain your frustrations. You may be surprised at how quickly you get a response.

If you feel like your bank has broken the rules or done something egregious, you can also lodge a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But in that case, make sure the incidents in question are well-documented. You can also contact your state’s attorney general if you think your bank has overstepped legally.

All told, bad customer service is something you generally shouldn’t put up with. You may decide to make a limited-time exception if your bank’s interest rates are terrific. But in that case, make sure to do your checking elsewhere to minimize your aggravation.

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