Friday, June 03, 2005

T.I.P.S. 101** A Carol Award

A Carol Award!
By Gil C. Schmidt

Let’s hand out a Carol Award to First Bank of Puerto Rico!

On two occasions, Christmas and late May, my wife had to solve issues with her MasterCard. Repeated calls to the card issuer in Maryland were filled with lengthy silences or the kind of music that has been shown to drive laboratory rats to the depths of insanity, also known as “politics.”

With time totally of the essence, my wife went to Banco Popular, the bank that has all of our accounts and was summarily told—both times—that because Banco Popular was not the card issuer, it could not help her with her needs, but would you like to request another credit card?


Finally, with a time crunch that could open walnuts, my wife went to First Bank to ask what her options were. Without any questions—not even if she had an account with First Bank—bank officials stepped in and handled every aspect she needed taken care of. This included phone calls to MasterCard and other referred sources as well as (in one case) issuing a cash withdrawal despite lacking a PIN (it had never been used so neither of us remembered it.)

To top it off, neither bank official asked my wife to open an account or even try to give her brochure for accounts or credit cards. Now some salespeople may frown at this, but think of what that means: by not bringing the matter up, they emphasized service, not “sales.” And by doing that, not once but twice, they have gained two enthusiastic recommenders.

Our bank accounts are now in First Bank. And if I had a donkey, I could tell Banco Popular to kiss my ass.


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