As I opened my internet browser, a news item caught my eye on the home page. Turns out MY bank is going to now start charging me fees for using my debit card. Apparently, financial institutions are suffering fallout from financial reform and need to pick up some extra money from us to make their numbers.
Well, that’s officially it…this person has had enough.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect something for nothing. I’m willing to pay for extra services if I have to, although I don’t think I’m really given a choice here other than changing to another bank who will follow the same path eventually.
But I’m confused. What does my bank want me to do? They’ve already begun assessing fees if I go INSIDE the bank, because apparently that’s considered top-notch, individualized service that I must pay a premium for. So, I did what I was supposed to and quit going inside the bank. I also quit using the drive-thru service. They used to charge only when I used other banks’ ATM’s. So I stopped doing that too. I pay bills on-line. Hell, I even went paperless to help them out. We won’t tell them that I really just didn’t want to receive a 42-page bank statement every month showing my $1-2 debit purchases for cokes and crackers. No, I was being green!
But now they don’t seem to want me to use my debit card either. Checks cost money. Credit cards gouge you with high interest rates and fees up the a$$. How else am I supposed to consume as a good consumer should without getting into a position where the bank charges cause me to go into overdraft mode?
What’s left, Generic Bank of USA? What ELSE are you going to charge me for? Let me just help you out here by offering some suggestions, because it makes me feel slightly better to be pro-active and have some control in this matter.
- You can assess monthly fees for the junk promotional mail you send everyday that promises how much I can save if I transfer all my balances to your account once I agree to a 4% transfer charge and a permanent 28.99% interest after six months. What a deal! Just charge that postage to my account. Paper’s expensive too, so don’t forget that. And by the way, I love that you use all that color in your junk mail…add a few more colors and pass those costs on to me as well. Because we don’t really care about going green, right?
- On-line banking is high-dollar stuff. You’ve got an entire IT staff to pay for here and I know that business all too well. You can go hog wild when I forget my password or try to sign on from another computer. That’s pushing it from a customer service perspective. Some contractor reaping the rewards for being on call during my crisis deserves a top-dollar rate.
- Mobile banking must be killing you too. The mere fact that having such information at my fingertips may actually save me a late charge here and there on a really crazy month. You’ve got to make up for that somehow. You can probably cut a deal with my wireless service to get a piece of that action.
- Phone calls scream revenue. I’m sure that switchboard and those 5 re-directs it takes to get an actual person on a phone is costly. Charge me $10 to make a $20 payment by phone (wait, you may already do that). And if I get really lucky and get to talk to someone who resides in my country and speaks my language, you should profit from my good fortune. And charging me by the minute for a 20-minute phone call that could have been resolved in 5 is a no-brainer.
- You can add a 50 cent transaction fee for each lollipop you distribute to kids in the car in the drive-thru lane. It doesn’t matter whether they want them or not. Force it on them. The sooner they learn the laws of banking, the better.
- I turned around in one of your branch parking lots the other day to switch directions. You could have had me for a couple of bucks if you’d had a paid parking attendant out there. Again, your loss.
- Charge me for withdrawals, for check cashing, for direct deposits. Don’t stop there…charge me just for driving PAST your freaking branch. I’m sure I’m blocking your branch manager’s view when I do so and I should be penalized.
OK, I’m done. I’ve maybe even gone too far. And if for some crazy reason, this stupid blog about nothing goes viral, maybe this will backfire when the CEO catches wind. It’s time to move on and accept the fact that I’m blogging a losing battle here. Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember that funny post I was going to do.
But for now, I’m changing my default home page so that I don’t have to look at bad news first that kills my mood.