Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When the messaging doesn't agree with the actions - Independent Federal Credit Union of Anderson, Indiana

[1 NOV - PLEASE SEE KYLE LACY'S COMMENT. "I did get a call from the Member Service manager of the bank to let me know she will be taking care of the problem."]

I "bank" at a credit union, and many other people do too. Credit unions will often promote their advantages over banks. For example, here is how the Independent Federal Credit Union in Anderson, Indiana describes the difference:

There has been a lot of discussion in the press recently about credit unions, as a result of the recent lawsuits that banks filed, and lost, against the credit union movement. Many people, however, do not understand what a credit union really is, and how it differs from a bank. A credit union is different than a bank in that it is:

Credit Unions

* Not for profit
* Owned by its members
* Volunteer Board of Directors
* Supervised by Volunteer Supervisory Committee


* For Profit
* Owned by stockholders
* Compensated Board of Directors
* Compensated Audit Committees

The site then emphasizes, in bold text, how important a credit union's members are:

A Credit Union is "by the members, and for the members".

Now this is a heartwarming message, and it's good to know that credit unions treat you like a human being, unlike those cold, impersonal banks.

Unfortunately, if you search for IFCU in FriendFeed or Google (the Google search is actually for the words IFCU Anderson Indiana), this isn't the message that you'll get about IFCU. Why not? Because of one customer's bad experience, which was then noted and shared by others.

Here's a portion of Kyle Lacy's post:

I was driving to Anderson today to make a deposit at IFCU. I was around the first Anderson exit (the bank is located on the second exit). I realized that it was 3 mins until the bank was going to close (4:57). Now, let me repeat. I was one exit away.

I proceeded to call the bank and ask if they could stick around for 5 mins past 5 because I had been driving from Indianapolis and I was running a little late. The woman on the phone heistated and then said she had to talk to the teller. I was then told, “Sir, they wont stick around. Sorry.”

They wont stick around? Excuse me?

I got to the bank at 5:03 and the entire place was closed…

Now one can make the argument that Lacy's post was unfair, that IFCU shouldn't be tarnished in the way, and that it was his fault that he was late to the credit union.

However, does such an argument fit with the message?

A Credit Union is "by the members, and for the members".

Lacy also pointed out:

I have been a member of this bank for 15 years. 15 YEARS! They couldn’t bother to stay around an extra 3 mins?

And, in case we've forgotten, Lacy reminds us that banks and credit unions should be striving to get our business right around now:

Last time I checked Mr. Bank you were being chastised left and right on the media. Maybe you shouldn’t allow me to pull my money and send it to CHASE!

Oh, and incidentally, indicates that there is a branch in Yorktown, less than 10 miles from Anderson.

And they're open until 6:00 pm.

View Larger Map

Incidentally, I checked Yelp, but couldn't find any reviews of the IFCU branches in the city. But I did find this:

"Competition among financial institutions is fierce right now," said Norm Getts, chief executive officer of Independent Federal Credit Union.

Um, yes...

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