BankI closed out my safe deposit box today and moved it to a different bank.

But let me tell you the interesting story behind this.

I’ve kept our box at this bank for 29 years now.  Even when we moved out all our other accounts from the bank, it was just too annoying to think about moving the box.  So every December, I’ve dutifully paid the bill for renting it for the next year.  They didn’t increase the fee, so it was just easier to let it sit.

This year, the bank popped me with a 51% increase in the fee.  Yikes!  That’s even way over the increase in our health insurance premiums, and we all know how out of control THOSE costs are.

Since I’ve met a lot of great banking people through my connections at the Chamber, I decided that this might just give me the excuse to take my business elsewhere.  I started asking around, and sure enough, found a local banker who’s bending over backwards to give me a great deal.  It’ll even be much cheaper than what I was paying before.

So I walked into the bank to close it out.  As I’ve come to expect there were a couple of “attack customer service reps” who jumped up to welcome me.  When asked what I needed today, I answered, “I need to close out my safe deposit box.”

The first word out of the guy’s mouth?  “Awesome!”

To be honest, I didn’t particularly warm to the idea that the bank would think it awesome that they’re losing a loyal customer.  But hey, he’s chirpy and wants to deliver friendly service.  But I’m annoyed, and starting to take notes about what I might put in my next blog post.

I noticed that in his cubicle, there’s three certificates for outstanding customer service, and a bunch of lapel pins which have words with lots of exclamation points.  Clearly the bank is doing its best to keep its employees cheerful and pumped up.

Its customers?  Not so much.

Not once did he ask me why I was leaving today.  He never offered to do anything which would keep me as a customer.

Now, if you’re the owner of this company or even the manager of the branch, are you happy to see a 29-year customer leave forever?  Are you satisfied with not even having a clue why the customer is leaving?

And here’s the kicker:  The last piece of paper I was given was for me to initial that I received good service today.  All the text was pre-printed, it was just for me to say “sure, that was great.”

Would you have put your initials on that sheet?