engarian (engarian) wrote,

Customer Appreciation - NOT! A Banking Rant

So, yesterday's blog centered on customer service and the practice of getting a bonus for shopping with selected vendors. So many of you remembered your parents and others collecting the stamps (of various types) and turning them in for merchandise. But that's not the world we seem to live in today and I'm rather disgusted by the trend we have lately.

When I opened my first bank account as a child, we had passbooks that were kept by hand and got gifts from the bank for opening up an account or putting a certain amount of a deposit into it. We were rewarded for saving our money and for choosing X bank over Y. It's not that way any more, though, and this is one thing that hasn't changed for the better.

Yes, our accounts are better maintained because they are all computerized. Of course that can lead, and has led, to accounts being hacked and errors in deposits/withdrawals that can sometimes take months to fix. We can check our balances on-line 24/7, access funds at Automated Teller Machines (did you remember that was the definition of ATM?) throughout the world, and set up automated bill pay if you have trust that you will have the money to actually pay them when the computer will try.

But instead of offering incentives or even still giving free checking accounts, they are charging. The minute your money goes into a bank it is worth less than it was when you held it in your hand. It's rather like a car that loses half its value the minute it is driven off the dealer's lot. There is something wrong when I have to pay a bank to take care of my money.

I fully admit that interest rates are pathetic and that interest was one of the major ways that banks earned money. Additionally, the banks made really poor decisions regarding mortgages and business loans, not requiring the financial foundation for those loans that they had required when I bought my home in the late 1980's. Their lax controls and poor decision-making along with a static financial market led to their inability to make money at the rate they wanted. So to fight losing funds, they started charging for some services, finally extending those charges throughout the system including monthly charges on checking accounts. I admit it, but does that make it right? No!

My local credit union is building a larger building near my home. I'm seriously considering pulling my personal checking account away from my bank and its ridiculous fees and moving my money to them instead. The credit union doesn't charge a monthly fee for checking accounts. Maybe that will be my toaster for opening up a new account...no fees chipping away at my very hard-earned funds. What do you think about your bank? Are you happy with their service and fees? Let me know.
Tags: bank, money, rant

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