Saturday, July 22, 2006

Notary Publics

Did you know that some banks have a free notary public service? A few months ago, on a tip from a friend, I went to the Chase Bank branch a block away from my loft. They notarized my document for free.

This week, I went back to the same Chase Bank branch to get another document notarized. The manager stopped to ask me if I was a Chase customer. I told him no, I don't have a Chase bank account. He then told me that the notary services were for Chase customers only and suggested I go to my bank.

Fair enough. My Bank of America branch is just three blocks away, so I went there. They did the notarizing, and I bumped into a friend who is a teller there.

I wonder whether Chase's policy of only performing notary services for customers is wise. I would never have bothered to set foot in their lobby had I not heard about the notary service. Familiarizing myself with their branch made it more likely that I would eventually become a Chase customer. But being turned away has left me with a bad taste in mouth.


Mike Lunt said...

I like the marketing angle, but this seems like a stretch. I think only a small bit of research would suggest that (a) people don't choose banks based on free notary service, and (b) people don't choose banks based on visits to a branch.

p.s. It's too bad that people are required to get a blogger account to make comments. This surely decreases feedback to the blog.

Roger L. Cauvin said...

It's an interesting question: "On what basis do I choose my bank?" How you or I answer this question may differ from how other people answer it.

While I doubt notary public service per se factors into just about anyone's decision, perhaps familiarity, comfort level, and perception of convenience do.

Sorry about the requirement to get a blogger account. Comment spam has become a significant problem for blogs; anonymous comments unfortunately would aggravate the problem.

Unknown said...

True...But how often does the average customer need a notary service? perhaps once, maybe twice a year. I doubt the few number of visits would bring about a change in banking services.

Roger L. Cauvin said...

On the other hand, how often do customers actually visit their banks these days? An on-site visit represents a commitment from which many banks could benefit.