A Lesson In Customer Service

ChaseI just had to sit down and write about this.  I had experienced the worst treatment I have ever received as a customer, and of all places it happened at a company that I honestly feel provides some of the best customer service in their industry.  This event is so unbelievable, that I still cannot get over it.  So, this being said, I may as well use this incident as an example so hopefully someone could learn something from it.

I needed two documents notarized.  I went to the Chase Bank located on the corner of University and Oakland Park in Sunrise, FL.  I was actually in a very good mood, so I was extra nice.  In typical Chase fashion, the employees were very professional, nice, and even went out of their way to apologize for the wait (which was about five minutes), and that is hardly a wait, so I was still really nice.

My turn came, and I sat down with my documents.  I’m going to summarize the conversation here…

Jose, the banker says, “I can’t notarize this document, it needs witnesses”.

So I get my lawyer on the phone, and she says, “it doesn’t need witnesses, they just need to notarize your signature”.

So Jose starts to get cocky and says, “It’s the banks policy, we cannot provide witnesses”.  So I reply, “the document does not need witnesses, I just need it notarized”.

At this point, the couple in the cubicle next to me stand up and say, “I cannot help but overhear your conversation, I’m a lawyer.  The document does not need witnesses, but if you’d like, my wife and I would gladly witness the document for you”.

I was thrilled, and thanked him…  Then Jose, in a really cocky voice says, “I’m sorry sir, we cannot allow that”.  The entire time, my lawyer is on the phone, and she’s saying “What is wrong with this guy, you could go outside and get a homeless man to act as a witness”.

So at this point I’ve now lost my temper.  The adrenaline hit my blood stream, and I practically scream at the top of my lungs,…  “Why are you wasting my time.  I smashed my phone on his desk and said, I will take the nice gentleman and his wife that are kind enough to witness this document outside, give them a big hug and we’ll walk in together, would that work for you”.

Jose didn’t think it was funny and said “It’s against Chase’s policy”.

So I BLEW UP and said, “if you’re going to waste my time, just give me my documents back”.  Jose replies, “I’m sorry sir, you already signed it, I cannot give it back to you”.

Needless to say, I ripped them from his hand, tore them up and threw the pieces right in his face and said, “Fine, you can keep it”.

After wasting a good half hour of my time, I left furious.  So a few hours later, after I had reprinted all the documents, I took two witnesses with me, and went to the Chase branch on University near Commercial, in Sunrise as well.  I told my “witnesses” to remain seated in the lobby just in case I need them (knowing that i DIDN’T need them), and I went to see a nice lady who gladly took my documents and notarized them.  No witnesses needed.  I told her my story about the other Chase branch, and being very professional just commented, “I don’t know why he would have done that to you, you are right, this document does not need witnesses.  It is our policy that Chase cannot provide witnesses because it is your responsibility to provide witnesses when they are necessary, but even if you wanted to have a random person witness your signature, you can do so…  I’m sorry you were put through that”.

So the moral of this story is…  Not about how notarization is supposed to work, but…

  • When a customer becomes irate, NEVER say “It is our policy”.  An irate customer never wants to hear these words.  What they would like is an explanation of why this is against your policy, much like the banker did for me at the Chase bank that was able to satisfy me.
  • If a customer becomes irate, and you are not able to calm the customer down – seek backup.  Call for a manager.

I am one of the most calm people you will ever meet, but don’t push my over my limits.  How this man handled the situation was simply unacceptable, and I have to honestly say that I have never been anything but impressed by the service I’ve received from Chase in the past.  They are well staffed, professional, and you rarely ever wait to see a banker.

On a side note, I was completely unprofessional, and I called to apologize to the branch manager for my “display”.  I did not apologize for getting upset, but I apologized for how I conducted my behavior.  I will never go to this Chase branch again, and Jose needs training.