Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's not me, it's you. You you you.

I had to break up with my bank today.

It's been a long time coming. It's not even my real bank, my steady tried-and-true all-the-time bank. This is my cabana-boy of banks.

When we moved I didn't have the heart to quit my old bank; I figured we could make the long distance thing work. There's the internet, and we could always visit. Maybe get some crab rangoons or Trader Joe's while we were in the neighborhood. Share some laughs.

But over time it became clear that there were certain needs that a far-away bank just couldn't fulfill. Days when I just needed someone close by to give me some cash or cash a check. What I'm saying is, I was just in it for the sweet sweet cash.

And so one day when I tried to use my debit card and found out it had expired, and found out that NY identity theft laws require me to fly to Missouri to request my new one, I decided enough was enough. I went to the National Chain Bank in our village and set up a no-frills checking account with a debit card.

It started small. I just used it for cash every now and then. Then I started swiping more often: grocery stores, Starbucks, Target. Before long I set up my direct deposit to put 5% of my check in the account. It turned into a thing.

But National Chain Bank never cared about me the way Little Missouri Bank did. Little Missouri Bank offered me free overdraft protection, easy online banking, full same-day credit for deposits, the works. They even called us if something went awry with a check so we could come fix it rather than charging us. There was trust and mutual respect. National Chain Bank held deposits for a week before making money available, offered no overdraft, and online banking was more hassle than help. National Chain Bank, it seems, didn't want to get close.

A few weeks ago I dropped a $1200 check from the university into the account--a reimbursement check that I didn't want to mail to Little Missouri Bank. The next day I bought some groceries, hit Target, and picked up a pizza. The day after that a few more errands. Online banking looked fine; all clear.

A week later I got a notice in the mail that the $1200 didn't actually clear for use for several days so I had been carrying a negative balance and blah blah blah huge fees that are almost enough to fly to Missouri and get my new card blah blah I'm so done with you, National Chain Bank.

Today I went in and broke up. Honestly, I was bluffing a little. I was hoping they'd waive the stupid fees and offer me overdraft coverage when my overdraft was directly related to their ridiculously slow check clearing; but no. I guess my 5%-of-the-paycheck account was not worth their time. The account manager (who served as notary on most of our adoption papers) filled out my form, shredded my card, and walked me to the teller who cashed out my account.

The teller asked the reason for closure.

"Too many fees."

"Oh, ok. Your balance is XX.XX"

That seemed lower than I remembered. I glanced at the screen: $2 in fees for closing my account. Oh, it's so over, National Chain Bank.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha! Loved this one. And I agree. Too bad you can't charge the banks a fee...