Bank complaint shops

Anyone done the bank complaint shops (I assume I can discuss the scenarios since I am not mentioning the client or company)? They seem ridiculous to me, especially the one where you complain that they don't have an in-branch computer (when you already have a smartphone in your pocket). Other shops have you complaining about an unauthorized opening of an account, which of course you knowingly opened.

Wondering if the goal is simply to connect you to corporate and not attempt to resolve your concern, and they're just checking that is being done.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2021 11:50PM by MisterBill.

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The goal is to find out how the bank employee handles your complaint.

I have done quite a few of these shops. The complaints are not as ridiculous as you may think. The trick is to figure out how to come across as believable. There is a reason why these shops (especially the ones done over the phone) pay relatively well.
Before I accept one of the shops for the same client that requires that I open a (second) checking or savings account, I already have a backstory in mind so it will be easier for me to do a credible complaint shop after I close that account.
I think they need to come up with different scenarios. I actually have a couple accounts and have valid personal reasons to call and complain. Unfortunately, my reasons don't include whether they have a computer in the lobby. Also, I won't do them for the same reason I don't do haz mat shops. With canned scenarios, I assume that everyone knows I am a mystery shopper. My entire shopper opportunity list is literally dominated with these shops.
I don't know how many real life complaints the bank client got from the computer scenario but the unauthorized account opening scenario cost the bank over $100 million in fines and refunds. The issue was big and serious enough that it resulted in these shops. I suspect that is why the shops use "canned" scenarios.
I've done all versions of these. They are pretty easy. Although one time I went to the bank to complain about an account opened in error and it turns out that the banker that helped me was the husband of the associate at the other bank 25 miles away who opened the account for me. Slightly awkward but there'd been enough time in between that it was easy enough to act my way through it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2021 05:53PM by foodluvr.
I do their phone complaint shops every rotation. It's the only one I will do.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I did one and the time I did a second, they actually had in my file that I'd already complained about it. No more of these for me.
The only ones I'll do for this brand are the teller shops. Love them, but the others...no way. I just can't see myself pulling it off. Oh, and I've done a few debit card ones too. They're okay, but can't do them too often.

*****************************************************************************
The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2021 02:22PM by MsJudi.
I won't do these. I'd find it too hard to pull it off. Even the phone ones. I like the debit card ones, though!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@BirdyC wrote:

I won't do these. I'd find it too hard to pull it off. Even the phone ones. I like the debit card ones, though!
Yeah, I was thinking of doing one of the debit card shops. I just recently opened the account but could tell them I cut up the wrong one when I got it smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2021 01:33AM by MisterBill.
@amberng wrote:

complaint? do you mean compliant ?
Well, it's to see if they are being compliant in how they handle complaints.

But my spelling was correct.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2021 04:25AM by MisterBill.
That's funny!
I had a similar experience at the blue bank.
In person "new customer" scenario.
Interaction went pretty normal, until on the way out, my banker of 5 years, who's branch closed down and was transferred to this bank, recognized me and said, "Oh hey, how are you doing?!"
I have been tempted to take a new account shop to become a customer and then do the complaint shops. There are many more of those for customers than non customers that they seem to pay better bonuses but I was wondering how awful the complaint would be. Computer in the lobby would be really easy for me.But they opened (my own account?) without my knowledge sounds wacky. Are there other scenarios and did anyone else other than pambam57 find they could pull up your previous complaints when you came in. If i can only do a few shops I would not bother to open an acct witih them.
One of the very large ("too big to fail"winking smiley national banks did exactly that - they opened accounts without the permission of the customers. The bankers were incentivized to open accounts. They have been under Federal sanction for this and other things for years now. The scenario is really realistic and I think that it is part of their compliance actions - to see if they are escalating these complaints correctly. This is the bank the shops are being done for.

I just searched and found this quotation from a reputable source online: "... the bank fired thousands of employees and hired a third-party investigative team which determined that there may have been as many as 3.5 million unauthorized accounts, 1.4 million more than originally reported." I suggest that the wackiness was on the part of the former bank executives who dreamt up this scheme.

If the current people do their job correctly, the complaint is escalated to a special team. When the escalation team calls (a day or so later by your request), you tell them that it was part of a mystery shop. I have done a few. You can literally hear their relief that it wasn't real. They wipe the records clean.
@sandyf wrote:

I have been tempted to take a new account shop to become a customer and then do the complaint shops. There are many more of those for customers than non-customers that they seem to pay better bonuses but I was wondering how awful the complaint would be. A computer in the lobby would be really easy for me.But they opened (my own account?) without my knowledge sounds wacky. Are there other scenarios and did anyone else other than pambam57 find they could pull up your previous complaints when you came in? If I can only do a few shops I would not bother to open an acct witih them.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I didn't realize that once the complaint was escalated, you revealed you're a shopper. That makes a big difference to me! The branch of that back that I opened my new account at is closing at the end of this month. It would be fairly easy for me to take one of these shops and say that somebody opened account without my consent. The other branch I had an account at (now closed), I was in there all the time, so it felt really weird to think about doing one of those shops back then. I never go to this other branch, though.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Yes I know all about what happened years ago but I do not have a current acct so if I opened one it would be a new account and also my only acct so I was worried about going to a branch and telling them someone opened my only acct without my permission, I guess I could act stupid and misread the acct numbers but I was just wanted to know how that scenario plays out. Are there only the two scenarios? The computer one is a natural for me as I hate using cell phones for anything when I can have a nice large laptop screen in front of me. But saying my one and only acct opened a month ago is a fraud if that is what you have to do does not sound like a natural complaint for me. And if in fact they look up my account and see I made the same complaint at a different branch that would be even more uncomfortable. There are multiples of branches nearby so I could do a bunch of them and not run out of new branches for me. I just do not want to make what to me is a "stupid" complaint. I do not feel stupid asking for a bigger screen than my phone or not wanting to use my limited data plan,.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2021 06:44PM by sandyf.
You are given a script that you have to stick to for the shops. You are not "outed as a shopper." One banker told me the more complaints they get about an issue, the higher the chance a change will be made. The fee for the shops has gone from $45 to $30.

A shopper can open an account with $25 and close it 64 days later with no penalty. The fees for these shops range from $70-85.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

A shopper can open an account with $25 and close it 64 days later with no penalty. The fees for these shops range from $70-85.
The minimum needed to keep the account free has been reduced to $500 from $1500, so I just put that in after opening it with $25. Interest rates are pretty low so not a huge problem to leave $500 there.

I got $85 for opening the account this time but the last few times I got $95-100. They've stopped going past $85 recently.
$500 is the minimum needed to keep the account open and not be charged maintenance fees. You can open the account with $25 and you have 64 days to fund it with the $500.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I have an account with the bank you all are discussing. A few months ago I received a check for a settlement that I had no idea about. I checked with the bank and was told it was legit. They claimed I had opened some sort of add-on to my a/c for a service I never had and to my knowledge, never paid for. The refund was for several hundred dollars, so it was nice, but I'm thinking it was part of their scamminess. Once they assured me the check was good (it was drawn on their bank of course) and I was entitled to it, I deposited it pronto. I still can't bring myself to do these complaint shops since I use the account regularly.

*****************************************************************************
The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
I have three savings/checking accounts with said bank, and use their associated debit cards (labeled “A”“B” and “C” with Sharpie) when performing my gas station shops that require a rotation of cards. Then I close one monthly and open a new one for pay. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a nice steady $250/month, to open one, close one, and complain a couple of times.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2021 03:48PM by ColoKate63.
I do not do this monthly because the bankers can see my entire banking history with the bank in their systems. During several shops over the years, some bankers commented on accounts I had previously opened or closed. I suspect some of them figured out I was a shopper but were smart enough not to blow my cover. Since I did not KNOW they knew I was a shopper, I could justify doing more shops. However, I self-impose longer rotations because I want to provide useful intelligence to the bank client.

@ColoKate63 wrote:

I have three savings/checking accounts with said bank, and use their associated debit cards (labeled “A”“B” and “C” with Sharpie) when performing my gas station shops that require a rotation of cards. Then I close one monthly and open a new one for pay. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a nice steady $250/month, to open one, close one, and complain a couple of times.
@MsJudi wrote:

I have an account with the bank you all are discussing. A few months ago I received a check for a settlement that I had no idea about. I checked with the bank and was told it was legit. They claimed I had opened some sort of add-on to my a/c for a service I never had and to my knowledge, never paid for.
But that is what is strange about the "I didn't open that account" shop. They were just opening one account for a customer with nothing there. They would open additional accounts. So calling as someone with a single account that you just opened and claiming not to have opened it makes no sense, at least to me. But I suspect that the branch employees are not supposed to even try to figure it out, they are supposed to immediately send you to someone in corporate to investigate as soon as they hear "unauthorized account opened".
@MisterBill wrote:

@MsJudi wrote:

I have an account with the bank you all are discussing. A few months ago I received a check for a settlement that I had no idea about. I checked with the bank and was told it was legit. They claimed I had opened some sort of add-on to my a/c for a service I never had and to my knowledge, never paid for.
But that is what is strange about the "I didn't open that account" shop. They weren't just opening one account for a customer with nothing there. They would open additional accounts. So calling as someone with a single account that you just opened and claiming not to have opened it makes no sense, at least to me. But I suspect that the branch employees are not supposed to even try to figure it out, they are supposed to immediately send you to someone in corporate to investigate as soon as they hear "unauthorized account opened".
In my case I did that I don't think I opened this account scenario and the banker pulled copies of the paperwork that I had signed at another branch and made sure that it was my signature. Not a big deal as I had opened the account a while back.

I've done a whole bunch of these complaint shops in various forms and never had a problem. I find them to be very easy and quite lucrative.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Yes, they are positively going begging in my area. I just can't make myself do one.

Me neither. I hate to have to complain for a real legit reason, but I really can’t bring myself to go in and my complaint be a complete lie.

I AM
I did a complaint shop today on the phone, the computer scenario. The banker verified my identity, including my address. She asked if the East Coast address was my current one. The branch was on the West Coast. As a solution to my complaint, she offered to print out my statements. I switch accounts every few months and have no activity outside of my opening deposit.

That had to have mystery shopper written all over it.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
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