PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- When it comes to banking it seems everything is automated these days. We pay our bills online, and can even open accounts without speaking to another human being. So is customer service a thing of the past? 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan takes a look at bank customer service beyond the ATM.
Every time you turn around it seems that another bank is raising its fees. Which leads to the question, does that mean better service?
"Every now and then you need to talk to somebody who can give you some advice, maybe it's to set up that online account, maybe it's because you need to do a wire transfer and you don't know how to do it from this particular bank," says Delaware Valley Consumers' Checkbook President Robert Krughoff.
In the latest edition of Checkbook magazine, Krughoff says when it involves banking, bigger isn't always better. He says, "The largest banking chains in the area don't rate very high in terms of customer service. It's small independent chains that may have only three, five or ten branches or something like that, that actually rate the best."
Consumers' Checkbook readers gave South Jersey's GCF bank and Hatboro Federal Savings perfect scores of 100 percent for overall service. While Abington Bank, First National Bank and Trust of Newtown, Fulton Bank, Harleysville Savings Bank, Phoenixville Federal Bank and Trust, QNB Bank and Freedom Credit Union were those banks with the highest customer service ratings.
According to Krughoff, "There are big differences in the quality of services you get and how knowledgeable those staff people are, how pleasant they are, how good their advice is, etc."
None of our area's largest banks came even close for customer service. For example TD Bank was rated superior for overall service by 65% of surveyed customers compared to only 52% for Wells Fargo and 45% for Bank of America.
If you don't mind banking at a virtual bank with no actual branches in our area, USAA Federal Savings is open to the military, veterans and their families. It too received a perfect score for customer service.
For more information about Delaware Valley Consumers' Checkbook visit: http://www.checkbook.org/interactive/bank/other/d/article.cfm
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3
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