SLAVE LAKE, AB and EDMONTON, July 8, 2014 /CNW/ - ATB Financial has contacted 19,159 customers across the province who qualify for a no-regular-monthly fee chequing account after a customer made the case we hadn't done a good enough job doing just that.
"Bruce Beamer, you've served not only yourself, but other seniors and near-seniors around the province," says Rob Bennett, ATB's Executive Vice-President, Retail Financial Services.
Here's the story:
Beamer, an ATB customer since 1994, learned during a recent visit to his branch in Slave Lake that he qualified for ATB's Freedom Account. At first, he was pleased. However, that turned to anger and frustration when he found out he had become eligible on his 59th birthday. Beamer is 66.
"Seven years late," says Beamer, a retired college instructor.
"I was cranky. Really cranky."
ATB immediately switched Beamer to the Freedom Account and reimbursed all his monthly fees dating back to his 59th birthday. But Beamer wanted more. He wanted to know if other customers were left out of the loop. ATB discovered he was right. While 120,000 customers are enjoying the benefits of the Freedom Account, another 19,000 had not yet signed up, revealing a flaw in ATB's process to contact eligible customers.
To make it right, ATB is contacting all eligible customers 59 and better who don't already have the Freedom Account, changing over those who feel the account is right for them, and reimbursing all regular monthly account fees paid back to the date customers became eligible—as far back as 2007 when the account was introduced.
It's a move that could cost ATB up to $6 million.
"We think it's the right thing to do," says Bennett.
"We could say that it's up to the customer to get in touch with us, but that just doesn't feel right and frankly, that's just not the way we're going to do business at ATB Financial."
ATB is also improving how we inform customers when they hit 59.
"It's nice to be listened to," says Beamer.
"Like anybody else, I want to have some meaning in my life, especially in my retirement. ATB has helped make that happen. I went from being skeptical to being cynical to being a believer again."
For more on Beamer's story, watch this video.
For more details on ATB's Freedom Account, visit atb.com.
SOURCE: ATB Financial
For further information: or interview requests, please contact: Barry Strader, Corporate Reporter, ATB Financial, (780) 886-4398 (cell); (780) 495-1343 (office), email: [email protected]