WASHINGTON (12/13/10)--When credit unions came out on top last week in a new customer satisfaction survey, the news made the rounds in the social media, with 20-somethings using blogs and Facebook to weigh in on what they like about credit unions. "Credit unions and small banks tops in service," was the headline for a Bankrate.com blog, which noted Thursday that "if you bank at a small bank or credit union, you're probably a happier and more loyal customer, at least according to a study published this month by Prime Performance." In addition to highlighting comments made by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney in News Now (Dec. 8) about the survey, the blog writer, Claes Bell, noted: "The thing that seemed counterintuitive to me about these numbers wasn't that credit unions and small banks have happier customers; it was how high the numbers were all around." "For all the horror stories I hear about banks in the media and from friends," Bell continued, "it seems remarkable that so many people are pleased as punch with the service they're getting from their financial institutions. I mean, I know a lot of people like credit unions, but an 87% satisfaction rate for customer service? A 77% rate for service in the industry at large?" Bell noted that banking is a competitive service, where it's "easy enough to pick up your checking account and move, so there's not much reason to stick around it you're truly dissatisfied." In Time.com (Dec. 9), a blog entitled, "Credit Unions and Small Banks Cream Big Banks in Customer Satisfaction Survey," Brad Tuttle wrote that "88%--88%!--of credit union and small bank customers say they're satisfied…and only 1% of credit union customers report being dissatisfied." He noted that CUNA "seized the opportunity to pat itself on the back and basically say "No s*** Sherlock! Of course we have better service and more satisfied customers. What did you expect to find out?'" Actually, Tuttle admitted, he was paraphrasing Cheney's comments. For the record, Cheney actually said that CUNA "is not surprised at the finding, because this confirms what study after study have found. It's fine to be included with 'small banks' in a survey such as this. However, it's also important to note the very real and fundamental difference between banks and credit unions, regardless of size: Credit unions' not-for-profit, cooperative structure. Ultimately, that's what separates all credit unions from the rest, and drives their passion to provide the best service to their members, rather than amass profits." Credit unions are also showing up on Facebook in a good light among 20-somethings. One CUNA staffer said a Facebook friend of a relative said he was sick of being yanked around by a certain mega-bank and asked for suggestions about a bank he could switch to. Seven of the 12 posts told him to go to a credit union and one explained about shared branching.