I have probably mentioned here that my browser home page is commondreams.org and has been for a while now. They have lots of breaking news and also "views" written by various authors.
I was very recently skimming the list of recent views and happened across this article detailing banks that have been helping finance the infamous DAPL and their contact info. The idea is to contact them, explain why DAPL is a horrible idea and see if they can be persuaded to pressure the developers into dropping this project. Kudos to author Emily
Fuller for compiling this info.
Since it's not very feasible for me to get to ND to help protest (and seeing what the water protectors are going through (I'm not sure I'm that brave), here was something I actually could DO. I picked out three banks and made the phone calls earlier today. My experience follows!
The first bank I contacted was Wells Fargo. When I called, the first thing the lady receptionist asked of me was to give my first and last names. I told her she didn't need my names. I told her why I was calling - that I thought there were more worthy projects they could help finance; also that I was horrified by how the protesters have been treated. It may have gotten off to a rocky start but she did listen patiently. She said they couldn't talk about client relations but she would document my concerns and pass them on. I told her that was just fine and thanked her. So I think I can be at least somewhat satisfied at that result.
The second bank I had chosen was Citibank. This lady I spoke with was also quite patient and I went over pretty much the same basic concerns. She asked if I wanted a call back from someone. Well, with me that can be a mess, so I told her I wouldn't mind getting a response by e-mail. Again, she wanted both names, but I only gave my one e-mail address. Thanked her for her time (she was quite pleasant) and felt at least semi-good about this contact as well. I haven't received a response yet, but will update if (and that's a big if with these companies) I get one.
Now before I go into my experience with bank # 3, are you noticing how they wanted a name, and both names at that? I'll grant there may be times when they may need that info, but NOT right away and not if someone is only calling (or e-mailing) to express concerns or give feedback. I really get wary of them wanting personal info when it's really not necessary.
Now, my experience with the last bank is really a kicker. That one was TD Securities. The receptionist (and said he he was the "switchboard worker") was not helpful at all. This gentleman said he could NOT help unless I could tell him the first/last name of the TD person I wished to contact. I asked if he could even connect me with a department - say, PR. He said he had no information to do that, just a list of names to go by (and I hadn't written down the name of the CEO, just the phone number!). I told him this wasn't very helpful as probably there are folks who might call but might not know a specific name. So put this contact down as unsuccessful.
Well, that's the scorecard for today. I'm deciding if I want to note that TD CEO's name and try again tomorrow - or even make another contact or two. Who knows? But even doing this little bit of solidarity action today against this DAPL was at least trying something!
I did actually decide to try again to leave some message at TD Securities. What a frustrating experience that was. The only name given in the above article was that of the CEO so I noted that and called again. I first got a female operator and we went back and forth about the spelling of his name... she finally connected me - to someone I thoiught might work in his offfice, but no. After speaking to this fellow for a moment, he said I needed to speak to this other division and transferred me. What I got was some automated system about investments and when I TRIED to get a human, they wanted me to create a voice print. Well, none of that! I immediately hung up and called back, getting a male operator this time. Asked to go back to the fellow I spoke with and he absolutely would not connect me. Said he needed BOTH names or maybe a name with a title... and I only had what he said was the fellow's last name (for that was all the fellow had given me). Well, I told him the gal connected me to this random person! He finally asked did I want to try the CEO's name again; so ok. I did get to a voice mail (thoiugh at this point I'm not even suew to whom it belonged. Left a message and just shook my head. You can't make this up! You really seem to need a lot of luck to even leave any feedback for many companies these days.
It's now Thurs., but at the risk of making this post too long, I just have to include the latest update as Wed., I called two more banks.
I called SunTrust at the number given for their Chief Communications Officer. I got her voice mail right away and left a message. The fifth bank I called was ING - their U. S. office. I asked for the PR dep't and the gal wasn't sure about that but asked why I was calling. I told her the DAPL and she said she would take down my concerns and indeed pass them on to the appropriate person. She did seem sincere about really doing such which made me wonder if she was somewhat sympathetic. So I'll count that one again in the at least semi-successful column. So I guess overall, leaving the feedback went - about as well as one might expect these days.
And PLEASE keep the protesters/water protectors in your prayers. The situation out there is very upsetting. Here's a link to a recent report .
And if you have found this post (or any other here) to be of value, please comment and/or share. Thanks!