Home > education > For $12.17 you can have the best school in the country.

For $12.17 you can have the best school in the country.

TD Bank is the best bank in the country. Here’s why, including how I think we can use the information to build better religious schools.

About a year ago, while I was in the process of refinancing my home, I had a small line of credit from TD Bank; it, too, was secured against my home. I only needed the line of credit for a month or two until the paperwork was completed on the refinance, and I only used about $3,000 of the line.

After the first month I got a bill for $12.17 in interest, which I promptly paid online from my Citibank checking account. Unfortunately, Citibank didn’t process the transfer (I still don’t know why), but also didn’t tell me until the day I was about to leave the country, which was also the day the payment was due.

Knowing I would be paying off the loan in a month or two anyway, I had already (foolishly) thrown away the mortgage statement, so I didn’t know who to call about the loan. I didn’t even know my mortgage number. I started to panic. I had visions of a destroyed credit rating, foreclosure proceedings, and who knows what. Certainly I would be unable to refinance the house with a loan in default.

The only phone number I had was the TD Bank branch where I signed the papers.

So I called them. Could they accept payment by credit card? No. Could they take a check over the phone? No, not from Citibank. How about an electronic transfer of some sort? No, only between accounts at TD Bank. I explained the whole story and pleaded for help.

The woman at the other end of the phone gave me a solution. She would pay the $12.17 from her own account. Then, when I returned from traveling, I could stop by the branch and pay her back. Now, I didn’t have a TD Bank account. I was going to be paying off their loan. I lived 30 minutes away by car. And the women had never met me. But she gave me $12.17.

And the result is that I’m writing a blog entry about how good TD Bank is, and, when I can, I’m going to move my accounts there.

Here’s my question: how does your religious school measure up to TD Bank?

After all, wouldn’t it be truly awful if a bank gave an anonymous customer better service than schools give parents, teachers, and children in what is supposed to be a holy community?

More specifically:

1. Do you require dues to be paid in full before children can attend school, or do you let children attend and hope that parents will want to pay for a job well done? What about bar/bat mitzvah?

2. When parents say that their schedule doesn’t permit them to bring their child to a particular class/event/service, do you try to accommodate them or do you chastise them for not caring enough about Judaism?

3. When children say they don’t feel well, are you more likely to believe them or to assume that they’re trying to trick you?

4. Is it the school’s policy to pay teachers as much as possible, or to get away with paying them as little as possible?

5. Is your school an example of the best possible customer service?

Categories: education
  1. October 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    You know, sometimes “the right thing” and “the smart thing” are the same thing. How many more members (and therefore dollars) would we have if we had the attitude that you describe not only about Religious School, but also about High Holiday Services. I keep thinking that charging for tickets (as opposed to giving them out and asking for donations) is a perfect example of “Penny-wise and pound-foolish”.

  1. July 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

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