How to get things done So here's my idea for this thread. I'm sure a hell of a lot of us are working at places where it can be difficult for the customer to get what they want done. In the spirit of helping the community, offer up some insight into how your industry works, some general advice for how to deal with that industry, and some advice for what to do if you have a problem. I'll start. I work at a bank. 1)Banks are very heavily regulated. As a result, they are required to very specifically lay out their policies and do not have a lot of flex room to make exceptions to those policies. Sometimes, especially when it comes to lending, the bank must justify every single exception to the regulatory agencies or face a fine. Sometimes, those policies are in place for the protection of the customer or the bank, ID and check cashing policies for example. While those policies may not make very much sense to you (sometimes they don't make sense to anyone), the person at the branch has little or no wiggle room to go around them. Keep that in mind. 2)The bank will never, ever, ever balance your account for you (not for free at least). If you get your balance (whether it's online, at the ATM over the phone, or from a teller/rep), DO NOT ASSUME THAT THIS BALANCE IS ACCURATE. The nature of the way that transactions post to your account is that sometimes, certain things are not included in the balance you are getting. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE KEEPING YOUR OWN BALANCE AT ALL TIMES. Everyone makes mistakes. The average household will overdraw their account 2-4 times per year and overdraft fees are very expensive, $30-$60 per transaction. As a bank employee, if I have someone come in who has every transaction recorded in their checkbook with a running balance, I am much more likely to refund their overdraft fees VS someone who comes in and says, "well, I got my balance at the ATM and it said I had this much. Why would the bank give me a wrong balance?". 3)Make sure you have something in writing detailing what your fees are going to be. If there is a discrepancy between what the rep is telling you and what you see in writing, ask him to double check that OR get him to put it in writing for you. If you get charged for something you shouldn't have, and don't have it in writing, it will be your word against his if you come in later and want that fee reversed. (even when you explain all the fees of an account to a customer, they generally do not understand all of them, it's just too much information at once to really absorb) 4)If you have a problem, and you're not able to get satisfaction from the first person you deal with, ask to speak to their manager. Managers have much more authority to fix problems than the low-man-on-the-totem-pole. They won't ALWAYS be able to refund your fee or clear your check faster, but sometimes they can. If there is a legitimate bank error (a transaction posted twice, a deposit disappeared, etc; NOT the bank wouldn't refund your overdraft fees when you overdrew your account), keep elevating your problem until you get resolution. If you get high enough, that person will make sure your problem is solved, extemely quickly. 5)When you do have a problem, write down everything about every attempt you make to get it solved. If you call customer service, write down the date and time you called, the person you spoke to and some type of identifier (operator number, persons last name, employee #, etc). Sometimes those people are lazy, sometimes they're overwhelmed with work, sometimes they're incompetent. If your problem is not solved and you need to deal with someone else, it helps to be able to refer back to exact details rather than "Well, I dealt with someone over the phone a couple of weeks ago who told me this....". This point and the last one are infinitely more important in fraud cases. If you have fraud on your account NEVER EVER EVER let up until you get your money back. There is a time limit to how long you can dispute a transaction. If it is not solved in that time frame, you will never get the money back. Find out what that time frame is when you put in your dispute and make sure that it is solved to your satisfaction by that time. 6)Just a little bit of whining on my part and some defense of the people in the branches. No one cares what they do at the other bank or the other branch. If you go to the branch down the street and they never charge you for a money order, good for them. The person you're dealing with has to run THEIR branch. If there is an exception made to policy, the person in front of you is going to have to justify it. For certain policies, their job will be on the line if they make that exception. Would you put YOUR job on the line for someone you never met before? If what they do at the other place is so important to you, then go there. 7)Get to know the people at your bank. I make TONS of exceptions for my regular customers. If I've seen you every Friday for two years, I'm not worried about clearing your check a little early cause I know you'll be back here next week. If I've never seen you before, why am I going to put my job on the line for you? Also, the human element comes into play here. You tend to work a little bit harder for the people you know than for the masses of anonymous schmoes.