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Be a good customer
This is more of a long-term solution, but Consumer Action's Sherry says there's evidence that banks tend to be more willing to work with good customers.
"They do keep customer profiles," Sherry says. "If you've bounced many checks this year, they might not be as willing to work with you."
Sherry says she has asked banks if they treat preferential customers differently in customer service queues and has gotten mixed responses.
Some banks offer special programs that reward valued clients with better customer service, Sherry says.
For instance, Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program gives a customer access to dedicated customer service specialists. Customers qualify for the program by maintaining an average 3-month balance of $20,000 or more with Bank of America or Merrill Edge/Merrill Lynch and by having a Bank of America personal checking account.