Blog 2

Company: CIBC Bank

Service Type: Visa Credit Card

Date: March 2016

Concepts covered from textbook:

  • Types of Complainers (Ch.7) p. 188
  • Service Recovery Strategies: Fixing the Customer (Ch. 7) p. 189-197
  • One time fixes (Ch.9) p. 264
  • Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Profits (Ch.11)p.318
  • The Effect of Employee Behaviours on Service Quality Dimensions (Ch. 11) p. 319


While checking my Visa statement online I noticed a $20 charge for “going over my $500 limit” . Long story short, after doing some investigating it turned out iTunes purchases do not appear on Visa statements over the weekend. So when you make any purchases on Saturday or Sunday, you can not tell how much money you have left on your credit card until the following Monday or Tuesday. Well, I made a few purchases over the weekend thinking I still have money left which caused my account to go into overdraft and I was billed $20.

When I phoned CIBC credit card customer service to explain my situation, the representative would not listen to me, in fact he said: “it is your fault, you should have known better”. Feeling shocked and angry I informed the representative that I will not be doing business with a bank that treats their clients so poorly and asked him to cancel my credit card. Again, I was met with casual and unprofessional “that’s fine I will cancel it for you, goodbye”.

A few days later I received an email with a customer satisfaction survey, which I gladly filled out with lowest scores possible. This must have gotten someone’s attention because I received a phone call from client care department asking why I gave them such low scores on the survey. I explained my situation in detail, client care representative was very professional and sorry for the way I was treated. The situation was still unresolved and I expected it to end after that call. A few days later, to my surprise, I received yet another phone call, this time from client care manager. She allowed me to explain my situation and outlined ways she can make it better. She removed the $20 charge, she promised the credit card customer service representative would be reprimanded, she offered to instantly restore my visa, and she made a $100 deposit into my account as a gift.

After my first encounter with the customer service representative, my satisfaction rating was 1 out of 7. After having the opportunity to express my feelings and disappointment to a higher up it went up to 5 out of 7. Having said that, the whole experience made me  not want to trust CIBC bank and I will not conduct any more business with them.

My Expectations:

When I called Visa credit card customer service I expected them to listen to my complaint, explain how my credit card works when purchases are made over the weekend, and consider refunding the $20 charge. Prior to this encounter, I was a CIBC client for over 10 years, now I happily bank with ScotiaBank.

Relating back to the textbook:

Types of Complainers
When dealing with bad customer service there are four types of complainers: Passives, Voicers, Irates, and Activists. In this particular case, I would consider myself an Irate complainer. I have expressed my disappointment to many friends and family members.I refused to give CIBC a second chance, and now I’m blogging about my bad experience and sharing it with the rest of the world. I find when it comes to customer service, if I pay a business for a service I expect them to deliver or I will go elsewhere where my expectations can be met.

Service Recovery Strategies: Fixing the Customer
First time around CIBC has not met “fixing the customer strategies”. The communication was unfriendly and unprofessional. The representative was not providing me with any explanation as to why I was charged a $20 fee and how I could have avoided that. I was not treated fairly, as I felt I was not being heard. Although there has been a long-term relationship between me and my bank that trust was broken.

One time fixes
CIBC being a large financial institution follows certain rules and policies they have to follow. When I phoned, hoping to get the $20 charge voided, I was hoping to receive a one-time fix, an exception to my unique situation. If the customer service representative did not have the authority to do that, he should have explained why or passed me onto to another representative. One time fixes can be tricky as customers might expect one time fixes to occur every time there is a problem.

Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Profits
When the client care manager called me about my bad experience, she knew I was a loyal customer who had been banking with CIBC for over 10 years. The $20 fee which caused me to switch banks was a sign there was a problem with the way they handle customers. If a CEO was to look at this, from his point of view this would not look good “$20 fee caused a long time customer to leave the bank, which will result in lost revenue over time”. The client care manager did an excellent job “fixing” the issue at hand. Truth be told I was satisfied with the outcomes she provided.

The Effect of Employee Behaviours on Service Quality Dimensions
The five dimensions outlined in the book were: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. Unfortunately, CIBC had failed to deliver on so many levels which completely ruined the service quality delivered by the “frontline employee”. In the end, I’m glad CIBC followed up on my complaint. Analyzing this complaint a few months later, the highlights that came to mind were: the big disappointment from the frontline employee and then a higher up employee making it all better with her promises and rewards.



Zeithaml, V. A., Bitner, M. J., & Gremler, D. D. (2013). Services Marketing: integrating Customer Focus Across the Firm. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Customer Service. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2016, from


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