Commentary: Bigger Isn't Better For Fleet's Customers

It's Friday afternoon in early June, and scowling customers are waiting in line at a BankBoston Corp. branch in Brookline, Mass, which is being taken over by FleetBoston Financial Corp., the nation's eighth-largest bank. Eric DeWitt, 25, has had enough. He's closing his account. Fleet "was going to start charging me fees for every action I wanted to take," he says. At another branch in downtown Boston, Mike Kiddy, 29, was getting an automatic teller machine receipt with numbers that "seemed like arbitrary amounts," he says. The customer service line was 10 people deep. "Aren't there laws against this?" Kiddy fumes.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.