Monday, May 18, 2009

The Demise of a Tagline.

Bank of America is a prime of example of taking a tagline, which is meant to help grow your business and turn it into a PR nightmare, A.K.A. a lie and my conversation below proves it.

Wikipedia defines a tagline as a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand or product (like a film), or to reinforce the audience's memory of a product. Some taglines are successful enough to warrant inclusion in popular culture, often becoming snowclones.

If you go to Bank of America's website, they say:

"Get more from Online Banking ...Save time managing your finances, so you can spend more time living your life."

I tried to get my year end statement for tax purposes, but they do not offer that service. They offer a summary at a charge of $9.95, but do not offer one full year end statement. Here is my online conversation with one of their reps. I wonder why Bank of America doesn't include this conversation in their marketing collateral? Possibly because it contradicts getting "More" or being "Easy".

If a company were to choose a tagline of "Open All Day Everyday", what would you think if that same company was closed 7 days a week? You'd think they were liars. Which is why I think Bank of America is comprised of liars AND people that decide on the advertising/marketing campaigns that don't truly understand the offerings of the company. This often provides a major pitfall for some companies.

Verbatim Conversation:

Welcome to Bank of America . My name is Patricia. How may I help you with your Bank of America credit card today?

Patricia: Thank you for choosing Card Services. How may I provide you with Exceptional Service?

you: I am just trying to find my year end 2008 statement for tax purposes of all my transactions. Is this available online?

Patricia: Thank you for being a valued Bank of America customer. I would be happy to assist you with your account, Jayme.

Patricia: The summary is not available online. Would you like me to see about mailing it for you?

you: yes please.

Patricia: Great! For security purposes may I have the last four of your social security number?

you: [I obviously deleted this line from this post]

Patricia: Thank you.

Patricia: I can send a Year End Summary for $9.95. The delivery time frame is two to three weeks. The alternative is to print monthly statements online for free.

you: wow, you guys don't do free year end statements like my other credit card?

you: OR have the option online to do so?

Patricia: Our accounts do not offer a free Year End Summary. The alternative is to print monthly statements online for free.

you: I really don't mean to be difficult but I find that somewhat disappointing considering my other cards offer that service

Patricia: I can definitely understand that. I truly apologize for the inconvenience, Jayme.

you: on top of the fact that I save Bank of America money each month by never making a late payment OR requesting paper bills.

you: That saves Bank of America the cost of printing that paper and stamps, but yet you want me to pay the first time I need something sent to me in paper? Have I ever received a discount for paying things online versus paper bills? I've done this as long as I've been a customer of Bank of America, I'm sure you can imagine that saves you quite a bit of money.

Patricia: Are you still with me? Please respond so I can leave this chat window open to answer any Credit Card questions you may have.

you: yes I do

Patricia: Okay, great! You can print your monthly statements online for free instead of paying the $9.95 for the summary.

you: please note that I will be cancelling my account due to this ludicrous option of having to pay for MY statements

Patricia: The statements are free online, Jayme.

Patricia: You are asking for a summary which is different from monthly statements. The fee is for preparation and delivery costs.

Patricia: I will note your comment on file.

you: I don't want a summary

you: I want one file with my entire report of what I paid for what

Patricia: That is a summary.

you: I do not want or have time to go and print 12 different statements for every month when I need the entire year

Patricia: I can definitely understand that.

you: It's not a summary if it's 12 statements tied into one file.

Patricia: I truly apologize for the inconvenience.

Patricia: Yes, it is a summary, if it is summing a number of statements.

Patricia: Do you have any further questions regarding your credit card account?

you: A summary is defined as –noun 1. a comprehensive and usually brief abstract, recapitulation, or compendium of previously stated facts or statements.

you: I do not want a summary, have you listened to what I asked for?

Patricia: The Year End Summary will not provide the transactions listed singly, it will summarize them in their category types.

you: I don't want them singly, hence the reason I asked for a year end statement, not a year end summary. Please read the very first entry of my portion of this conversation.

you: You mean a company as large as Bank of America does not have the capability for what I want?

Patricia: Okay, we do not offer them any other way than singly or the Summary.

you: so online when it says "make banking online easier", that is not a true statement?

Patricia: Yes, it is

you: How can one manage their account when a company your size is not even capable of producing such a document?

Patricia: Jayme, what you are referring to is our Year End Summary, I apologize for any confusion.

Patricia: Would you like to order the Year End Summary?

you: Other banks do, perhaps they should have that statement of "Get more from online banking" because I can't even get a simple document that numerous other banks offer. And I am not referring to a Year End Summary, I am referring to one document with every transaction for the entire year. I am referring to the exact same thing I received from Chase and Wachovia merely a few weeks ago.

Patricia: I truly apologize for the inconvenience.

you: Thank you for your time and confirming that Bank of America is poorly run with Poor Options or lack thereof. Please cancel my card/account effective immediately and let your supervisor know that I am going to a bank that truly gives me more for online banking, such as options.

So my question is this...why invest an exorbitant amount of money into advertising when you can't follow through with it?



Dana said...

This made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

sue said...

there are not many credit cards or financial services who provide this service for free. these companies are NOT non-profit, they can not be in the business of giving away free products and services and still be able to compete with other institutions. imagine how many people call in this requests, how much time and money is lost of servicing each person. there is free software that allows you to upload your info right from BofA's online banking so that you can have your year end summary. giving the customer representative a hard time with your requests and demands seem a little silly when you do have other options.

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