Friday, May 25, 2018

My Bank Is As Helpful...

     ...As a bag of wet mice.  My bank won't answer any question online, not the simplest of "is there a tax penalty when one transfers funds from a type X acount to  type Z account?"

     Nope, they want to have a meeting, or at least a phone call.  Their phone tree is of such complexity that you cannot reach anyone by name, and by-department is iffy at best.  The people with desks do have direct numbers -- but if that number is off-hook, the system often sends you to the entry point of the phone tree.  But say you're lucky; say you do get to leave voicemail for the subassistant vice-undermanager in charge of pipsqueak accounts: does he call back?  Oh, no, hell no he does not.  His assistant or maybe someone from the steno pool calls back, to "set a meeting."

     If I had free time to go have a meeting at the bank, I would have simply gone to the bank, and sat there in the bank's pretty glass-walled waiting room in my art-bedecked T-shirt and hoodie, Carhartt dungarees and hiking shoes like a sow hog in a church pew, until they had shown me to an office and an Important Fellow in an Important Suit just get my horrible declasse self out of their nice, clean bank.

     I have been lucky enough -- once -- to get a requested call back from someone at the bank who wasn't pushing me to refinance my house.  I had a straightforward question about IRAs.  She promptly try to upsell me on a CD!

     All banks suck.  Smalltime customers like me really are just a waste of their time, but they're kind of obliged to deal with us almost as though we were an important client, and to attempt to wring as much value from the interaction as they can.  My bank seems to be sucking especially badly these days and perhaps, after thirty years (and at least three different names on the bank), it's time for me to move on.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I can recommend the National Bank of Indianapolis. Been dealing with them for nearly 20 years. The only problem is I don’t think they have a branch near the Cottage, although there is one near the North Campus.

Admittedly my experience with them is all not-for-profit banking. We’d move our personal banking there, but they don’t have branches in SW Florida.

Anonymous said...

I moved all of my accounts from (not-to-be-named) Bank to a local credit union after they kept doing the same kinds of things. The end came when I wanted to have a certified check made out to my mortgage company (paying it off) which cleaned out most of my savings accounts (the long- and short-term). They demanded to know what the money was to be used for; I told them it was none of their damned business, and if they didn't cut the check right then and there that I'd be calling the police to report theft by fraud. I actually had to dial 9-1-1 before they caved; I still don't know why they did that. They charged me for the privilege of having the check cut, too.

I moved my accounts (savings and checking) to a local credit union within a few days, and closed my accounts with (N-T-B-N) bank as fast as I could. I've had very good luck with the credit union; they've been very responsive and the branch that I usually go to has clerks who actually seem happy to see their customers. Maybe it's because they're not federal. They used to be, and then they decided they could do better by being in this state only, and are just a locally-based CU.

Maybe there's a work-related credit union you can check out, or just get a referral from someone. It's always a pain to switch banks, but it was worth it for me just to get away from a mega-bank-corp.

Rick T said...

+1 for a credit union, and you probably qualify for membership in 3 or more.

Lots of my area (Socal) credit unions have gone from pure group-based membership to group/geographic/referral models.

danno said...

+2 on the CU.

No account fees (55+ or Direct Deposit). The fees they do have are low Fees and frequently waived - Like the check writing fee Anon mentions.

ATMs are networked worldwide (plus)4.

Oh and I was having trouble with *something* at the bank. I emailed the president and ended up with my personal Vice President to solve issues. And she always answered the phone!


Paul said...

Well I work in one of the mega banks. Course the department I am in is a sliver of the overall operation and I am sure the bean counters are scheming how to slice us from the operating budget, but that is normal in any large organization.

As to the question, if you don't might such a public forum.

The Old Man said...

Credit unions are the way to go, IMNSHO. Banks started cheesing me off in 1971 when a local-bank-who-got-eaten-by-a-not-so-local-bank wouldn't let me open an account with the checks from our wedding - because I had spent the previous two years in a quaint country called South Vietnam as a buck sergeant for the Army and had no credit history locally....
Better service, better terms, better attitude - hell, I'd been a member for two years before I ever set foot in the place. All of setting up the accounts and banking had been done by phone or mail without them setting eyes on me, much less demanding a "meeting".
And if you don't like their attitude, you can run for the board of directors...

pigpen51 said...

I had an even worse problem with the U.S. social security administration. I am on disability for several conditions. I had my recheck, to make sure I still qualified, and I had some questions about the form I had to fill out. I called the phone number given, and left a message two days in a row, with my name and phone number, requesting a call back. I never got a return call. So I held onto the form, and didn't send it in. A month or so later, I got a letter from SSA, saying that I was approved to continue receiving benefits.
A month later, I got my call back from the woman, and she was not actually a government worker, but a private contractor, trying to get money from representing me and my case with the SSA. I had to spend 2 or 3 minutes before I finally got her to admit that she was not with the feds. She kept saying that she was with the National whatever. As if I am so stupid that I simply would assume that meant the federal government. I outright asked her if she was with the federal government, and she stuck to the script, and never gave me a straight answer, and so I eventually hung up on her. But I was by that time pretty angry.
And I also use give a positive thumbs up to the local credit union. That is our primary bank, but we also have two national banks we use for other banking needs. One is just a basic holding savings account, for emergencies, and the other is so we can keep our 21 year old daughter's money separate from ours, even though my wife has to manage it for her, as she is disabled.

Antibubba said...

Another recommendation for credit unions. I had Wells Fargo for almost a decade, and they charged me for everything. My credit union checking account is free, I don't get charged for a low balance, and they respond immediately when I have a problem, which isn't very often.