It’s easy to get emotional when a bank makes a mistake and money is at stake, but experts interviewed by U.S. News & World Report personal finance reporter Daniel Bortz say you’re more likely to get your way if you take a measured approach to addressing the issue.
- Choose the right method of communication. Banks may work quicker to resolve a problem brought up on Twitter than in a phone call because it’s out in public.
- Stay calm and persist. Keep your voice down, be polite and hold your emotions in check.
- Ask to speak to someone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor or someone who has more decision-making power. If you hit a dead end, ask to speak to the “retention department.”
- Put your documents in order. Maintain written notes on all conversations with bank reps in addition to any related receipts and statements.
- Remain open-minded. Perhaps you were mistaken, so listen to what the bank tells you and consider whether you might be wrong.
- Be appreciative of the assistance you receive. If the bank shows you leniency or goes out of its way to help you, be sure to thank them and express your gratitude.
- Consider an attorney your last resort. You need to have a serious claim with a lot of money at stake to make it worth your while to hire an attorney.
- Vote with your feet. If you aren’t happy with the way your bank handled your complaint, you can always take your business elsewhere.
— Adapted from “How to Handle a Dispute with Your Bank,” Daniel Bortz, U.S. News & World Report.