Anyone notice all the construction going on at just about every Washington Mutual? They are supposed to be making them better, but instead they are srewing them all up. OK, the way it used to work at most of them was you walked in freely, there was some guard dude who would nod at you and you could either walk up to wait in line then then talk to a teller who was behind a few inches of bullet proof glass, or if you were in a rush you could just throw your deposit envelope into the express deposit box and then take off. Well, I guess they thought that was too “impersonal” or some crap so they are getting rid of all that and replacing the windows with individual islands where you can just go talk to someone in person. It sounds good, but there’s a HUGE flaw that is playing out most obviously at the Vermont branch between Hollywood and Sunset. Because the tellers are just out in the open now you have to walk through a crazy double door weapon scanner thing when you walk in, and there’s no room for a line inside, so a guard stands outside and lets people in one at a time. Which takes for ever. The line the other day took over 30 minutes. Here’s the great, super well thought out part. The express deposit box? It’s inside. So if you just want to make a quick deposit, you have to wait in the same line outside with everyone for the entire time before you can get to the “express” box. Not very express at all. Well, at least there’s the ATMs right? Sort of. That’s great if you are making a withdraw, but if you want to make a deposit, you need a deposit envelope. Guess where those are. With the ATMs? Nope. Inside. Get in line sucker.
So what do people talk about while waiting in line? How much it sucks, and how there’s none of this chaos at other banks. I’ve heard several people talking about how they were waiting in line to close their accounts because it’s a nightmare to do business there now. On that note I opened a new account at Union Bank of California the other day and the experience was much, much better.