In Ottawa we were having a bit of a brew ha ha (maybe even a hullabaloo) about OCTranspo (the bus system) and their latest set of optimizations to their routes (back in 2011). Mayor Jim Watson (who I hear looks a lot like me) has said he really has only received about 100 complaints, which seems remarkably low (given everybody I know who takes the bus has complained about it to me). I think the Mayor may have poked the bear on this one, and he may receive a few more complaints thanks to his comments.
I have noticed that no Bank CEO has stood up and made proactive statements like:
- I only have about 10,000 complaints about our bank’s service charges
- Our credit card‘s interest rate policy is never complained about by our customers
- I feel my bonus package for the coming year does not compensate me sufficiently given the good work I am doing for our customers
Yes, I am being very facetious about this, but making the general statement,”… because I have not heard much complaining the system must be just fine…” is really a red flag in front of a bull. The banks public relations gurus carefully train their public faces to not talk about things like bank fees directly, because they know that folks hate them, and pretty much nothing a CEO says can put the fees into a better light (aside from saying, we are abolishing our fee structure, in favor of a no-fee structure).
The hear no evil concept doesn’t work well for a lot of things (financially):
- I haven’t received a credit card bill lately, so it must mean I don’t owe any money. I really think that is a dangerous game to play.
- My wife and I don’t talk about money issues, which must mean she is happy with how things are working. Really?
- I’m saving a lot of money by not replacing my roof and it doesn’t seem to be causing my house any problems.
Just because you don’t hear about trouble, doesn’t mean it’s not happening, maybe it’s just being very, very quiet.