Good customer service doesn’t happen when everything goes perfectly. Actually, good customer service happens when things DON’T go perfectly. Any company can make you happy when things are going perfectly, but when things get a little complicated, a company’s commitment to excellent customer service will show up!
I recently experienced excellent customer service with SmartyPig. SmartyPig is a new savings concept that will outshine any competition if my recent experience with them is any indication. First, though….what is SmartyPig?
SmartyPig is a fantastic new company that specializes in helping you save for specific goals. It’s an online piggy bank set up similar to a sinking fund. It’s founders were looking for a way to specifically save for a vacation but were unable to find any banks or companies that offered ways to do this. They had recently set up 529 college savings plans but were unable to find anything that would help them save for a vacation, a car, a down payment on a home, or even a new bike.
What the founders did was ingenious in its concept and design. Not only do they allow you to start an online, high yield savings account with a specific goal in mind, but they allow you the option of making it public and, if you have friends or relatives that want to help you reach your savings goal, they can make deposits to help you. It is a disciplined and social savings plan. How great is THAT?!
It gets even better! Once you reach your savings goal, you can withdraw your money by check (fees may apply), a MasterCard debit card, or a “best in class” retailer’s gift card. Some retailers even give you an additional boost of up to 5%.
The account is FDIC insured and currently pays 4.3% (APY and subject to change). If you have any other questions, you might check out their frequently asked questions page.
Several years ago, my wife and I started saving for a family trip to Disney World. We saved every last little penny and also got some help along the way from some family members. We kept the money in our savings account earning only 0.5%. If we had been able to set up an account with SmartyPig back then, we would have earned much more interest and our families and friends could’ve helped us by depositing money directly into our SmartyPig account. How many times have you been asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” only to really have nothing to say and just make something up? Now, you can say, “Hey, thanks, just make a deposit to my SmartyPig account! We’re saving to remodel the kitchen!”
What is great about a young, customer focused company like SmartyPig, is that they are very attentive to the needs and concerns of their customers. I originally tried to set up an account but was unable because I failed my ID quiz. The company is required by Federal Law to make sure you are who you say you are. To that end, they do a soft credit inquiry to get enough information that would allow them to ask you some questions to verify your identity. I answered the questions correctly, but the quiz said I failed. After I spoke with SmartyPig’s top notch customer service, they suggested I wait a few days and try again. Three days later, I pulled up my credit report on one screen and tried to set up the account on another. I still failed.
I spoke with SmartyPig again and they began looking further into the matter, finding the problem in less than 24 hours. I had placed a “hold” on my credit after my identity was stolen in 2004. THAT was keeping me from setting up the account (funny how it still keeps coming up). After some talks, they were able to get my account set up. Throughout the entire process, they were professional and courteous, helpful and genuine. I am very pleased to be able to wholeheartedly recommend this company.
Their fee structure has been reworked after getting some feedback from the blogosphere and, quite frankly, THAT shows me how attentive to the needs and concerns of their customers they really are. Bravo!
I am not a representative of this company and I wasn’t paid for this endorsement. If there is any error on this site with regards to their policies, it is unintentional and should not be construed to be representative of their policies. Please be sure and read the terms and conditions. Also be sure and read Pinyo’s excellent overview of SmartyPig at Moolanomy.