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We have all heard about how difficult the banking situation is on folks holding a mortgage who may be at risk of foreclosure. Recently I happened to catch a segment of ABC News’ Nightline. The focus was on the incredible hardships many Americans are facing, trying to avoid foreclosures.

It then turned to a direction I didn’t expect: an experiment of sorts; investigating how the banks are working to help their customers avoid these lousy foreclosure outcomes. A California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, rolled up her sleeves and began calling some banks on the behalf her constituents after their claims of being unable to get anyone from these institutions to help them out. She was repeatedly placed on hold for incredibly long stretches, transferred to dead-end extensions, disconnected, directed to talk to an employee who is in the PR group but with no phone number, and even directed to a bank’s website to apply for re-financing.

In ons segment a spokesperson from Bank of America said, “On average our hold time is 1-2 minutes.” Then the TV show illustrated Congresswoman Waters being placed on hold, spending ten minutes in a queue, transferred to nowhere, and the like for two hours. Later this spokesperson was shown the footage and his dead-pan commentary was “the process she just went through is absolutely not the way I would want this to go.”

It would be fair to say this company looked like the biggest knuckleheads on the face of the planet and either through arrogance, apathy, or ignorance they believe that their capability is state-of-the-art. Congresswoman Waters summed it up at the end, “I got aggravated with the inconvenience of the so-called system that they have, the lack of responsiveness, and the inability to get anything done.” It looked and sounded like a total process failure to me and begs some big questions such as: are these banks, by their continued incompetence, deepening our recession? Who else can’t get out of their own way to make things better?
The more I watched the more irritated I became, and it didn’t even affect me personally. Why? Because, in short, these scenarios are absolutely avoidable (not to mention that the banks want to spend millions updating executive offices and paying bonuses).

A Process Failure Pure and Simple


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