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An interesting error

December 12, 2007

Today started off bad then got worse. Nothing life threatening. It seems that the monthly member statement we send out was missing the last 3 days of entries and balances. Of course the service charges which are debited the last day of the month don’t show on the statement. So we had the challenge of deciding what to do. This is what we agreed upon.

1. A letter needs to go out to every member stating that there has been an error and that we will fix the missing entries by making next month’s statement inclusive of the 3 days missed in November.

2. The letter would be mailed out with the address on the envelope done with a label.

3. The letter would also state that members can come into the branch at any time for a corrected statement.

Will these steps be enough? Have we missed anything? Given that most members have Internet banking what is the real impact of an error like this? We have changed so many ways we have done business that the printed statement becomes a bi-product of a past age for some and for others still a necessity. There will be some members who will not notice the error because they never open the mailed statement.
We live in the best of times as well as living in the worst of times it seems. Maybe we live with too many variables and choices and the ability to decide what we want is so clouded by the variety offered.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2007 10:52 am

    Gene,
    It is an interesting question and error.
    The service charges are the items missing, correct? Oops.
    There are those people who still balance to a statement. I’m not one of them, but I do know (live with) people who do. I might be prepared to waive some of those charges if members call and are upset about the error.
    Or…..what if you were to do a kind of Happy Holidays “skip a fee” month. Turn it into a major positive. Our statements didn’t print your serice charges so we took it as a sign. Thank you for being a loyal member – Happy Holidays!!

  2. December 14, 2007 11:46 am

    Oftentimes, I find the best solution is honest one.

    Some people may miss the error, yes, but banking is intimate – in my mind, anyways. Money is THE asset, and people are trusting you with it.

    Being forthwith with your mistakes proves that you’re trustworthy, and you’re doing everything in your power to protect their interests.

    Of course, there’s always people who will look at this and frown upon you. “Oh, they made a mistake. They must be bad.”

    Everyone makes mistakes. It’s who steps up, admits to it, and fixes it fastest that matters most in the end.

    Have you ever seen the crazy iPhone bill?

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=UdULhkh6yeA

    AT&T saw the video, and instead of being defensive, they apologized and used it as an opportunity to say to their customers, “Hey, we’re listening. Let’s fix this together.”

    You’ll do well.

    P.S. It was a pleasure meeting you briefly last night.

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