Honk your horn if this surprises you even a little bit:
When Richard X. Bove encountered this string of bad experiences at his Wells Fargo branch in suburban Tampa, he didn’t sit quietly and fume like other Americans who have grown frustrated with their banks. He began by moving his business to a bank down the street — then he used his platform as one of the nation’s most outspoken bank analysts to tell his story to thousands of clients.
But instead of trashing the bank and its stock, Mr. Bove in his Tuesday note shared his latest epiphany: catering to customers may actually distract from the pursuit of making money in the new world of finance. What really matters, he now believes, is pushing products and managing risk.
“Spending time solving problems with people is not selling products,” said Mr. Bove. “It’s wasting time.” —NYTimes
That’s right. If you have a problem with your bank — a situation that would position you solidly within the 99%. Make that the 100% — that confirms for the bank that they’re doing a good job. Your grief and gnashed teeth are their profits and gain.
A moment’s reflection should tell you that the banking industry isn’t alone in deploying this strategy. The pain in the ass insurance agent isn’t being negligent or incompetent when she doesn’t call you back after promising to do so. She never intended to. She’s instructed not to. Talking to you loses the money. Go away.
I find this announcement rather liberating. I see now that the collection of over-dressed, pasty-faced, semi-literate bank factotums — factotii? — with whom I’ve battled over the years meant it neither personally nor impersonally. They had their marching orders to follow, and there was sound business practice behind them.
The phone company. FPL (Florida Plunder and Loot). The lying lickspittles processing your car payments. The other-side-of-the-worlders hearing your telephone/internet/tech concerns. The health insurance Nazis ignoring your life-and-death pleas while your tumors swell and skin splits bleeding! They all know that the longer they talk to you, the worse it is for business. The nicer they are, the more money they lose. The more money they lose, the less secure their jobs. Got it? Sure hope you like hold button music.
They’re not rude, they’re shrewd!!
So all this time I’ve been right on target. I go into these calls in full battle regalia, expecting and receiving the worst, and eager to out-shout, over-swear, and abuse their miserable rude asses until they turn me over to the next level, often in tears. If they want to cash in on my misery, they’ll need to join me in the hell they inflict. They started it. I’m game.
So what’s government’s excuse? There’s no profit motive. This must be the Republican inspiration for “running government like a business.” God bless the private enterprise gurus.