Washington Mutual should be ashamed

rain's picture
This morning I went into a Washington Mutual for a simple transaction.  This particular one had just been souped up with the new "design" that they are starting to put it.  I hadn't seen it before.

This simple transaction - changing a large bill into small ones - was possibly one of the most confusing banking experiences I'd ever had. The bank has "re-vamped" its interior design into a flower pattern, with kiosks sitting out in middle of the room in what appears to someone fortunate enough to figure out how to get into line to be random placement.

Once I figured out the line, I stood there looking every which way trying to see where I was going to go to do my transaction. Fortunately, the tellers call across the room.

I gave the woman my bills, and she gave me a slip of paper rather than the smaller bills. I ask her where my bills were, and she tells me I have to go to a "change station." What's that? I ask. She points into the random bunch of kiosks.

Okay.... ? Where? What?

No one answers my questions - they look at me like I'm stupid. "Duh, the change station, idiot."

Finally I figure out where the change station is, and go get my change.

BUT... the ENTIRE TIME I was there, feeling confused, frustrated and annoyed, I was also getting VERY angry. Why? Because the entire time I was thinking about my mom.

My mom is legally blind. She can see color fairly well, but not much else. She sees in two-dimensions, not three, and to her the world looks a little like a super blurry Monet painting.

So, what happens to someone like her in this blurry world of crazy flower-pattered kiosks in which people just point into the jumble?

"Someone like her" is not just the occasional legally blind individual - it is also an elderly person with less than perfect vision, or the person who wears glasses but for some reason hasn't got them available at this moment in time.

For that matter, what happens to someone in a wheel chair? If you get mis-turned, it would be a frustrating experience to turn around again in search of where you are supposed to be!

This is an extremely irresponsible design. Washington Mutual should be horribly ashamed. I'm ashamed that all of my accounts are with this bank - and considering changing this fact in spite of WaMu's impressive online interface.