Banks have been notoriously challenging when it comes to getting basic information. But today’s consumer demands the ability to comparison shop and use the web to get answers quickly.
So, The Boston Globe asked me to put six banks to the test. How easy would it be to find out the answers to three seemingly simple questions: What does it take to get a free checking account, what is the interest rate (or lack thereof) on a savings account and what is the starting interest rate for a home equity line of credit.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t all that tough to get the answers.
All six banks had the information readily available on their websites. But dealing with them on the phone separate the bank performance.
Gigantic Bank of America was the clunkiest. It took me 15 minutes to get the answers. Why? Transfers on the phone to get me to just the right person for each answer.
The quickest: Sovereign Bank had one person who quickly cut to the chase. It took 3 minutes. The regional bank Middlesex Savings had a similar quick response, but the customer service rep acknowledged that it was lucky that I happened to get one of the few people there who is allowed to answer loan questions.
Of course, in the grand scheme, 15 minutes wasn’t all that bad. But it’s all relative.
To read more on this, check out today’s Boston Globe.