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Idiotic Banking

Idiotic Banking

Old Sep 28th 2007, 5:56 pm
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Default Idiotic Banking

Well, we have had this discussion before, but a couple of recent incidents made me realize why I hate US banks so much, and why I have moved my account twice in 3 years….

Direct Transfers – That’ll be with a check then….
I have a friend who I pay a monthly fee to for the use of his airplane. He can be a little tardy paying in the check I write him, which can play havoc with our finances. So one day I said, "hey give me your bank details and I'll arrange for a direct deposit/bank transfer". No problem, everything setup and so on. A couple of days after the transfer was supposed to have happened, I realized the money still hadn't gone out.
Turns out his bank wasn't setup for direct deposits, so my bank had generated a check, which was mailed to him. Duhh, how backward can you get? Bottom line is that we still do not know how to set this up so it can happen automatically. And the final insult, by bank had the cheek to charge me $5 for the check. I got straight onto them to get that sorted.

Never, ever, get a CITIBank Platinum card....
I got one as part of an American Airlines promotion (I just wanted the miles). I told them to stick their card after they charged me a fee of $1.44 in interest and $3.15 in late fees after they cocked up a refund, for which they had the cheek to charge me interest on whilst they sorted it out. I closed the account there and then when I discovered this and made what I thought was a final payment to cover the $60 that I owed them....
The payment never went out of our account, and when I called them they said that they returned the check, as the account was now closed! Duhh, how the hell am I supposed to payoff the amount if the account is closed? And the final insult? They charged me $39 for returning my check and $6 in interest on the amount that I didn't pay. I spent 45 minutes on the 'phone with an Indian drone and I still expect that next month there will be something left that will generate another charge.

I now understand why the average American pays $317 PER YEAR in late fees, charges and other money making exercises the banks seem to be so good at concocting.

- Tim

Last edited by TimFountain; Sep 28th 2007 at 6:03 pm.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Oi Tim, which banks have you used? I am thinking of switching from BofA to either WaMu or Wachovia but BofA is so damned convenient and it'd mean changing all direct deposit slips/direct debits.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
Oi Tim, which banks have you used? I am thinking of switching from BofA to either WaMu or Wachovia but BofA is so damned convenient and it'd mean changing all direct deposit slips/direct debits.
I bank with BoA and have a string of CCs from various providers - never had any issues.......... On the odd occasion when charges were levied they were refunded when I asked nicely - even though it was I who had been negligent/forgetful.

Am I just lucky?
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Well I started with Bank Of America, which IMHO were useless, and liked to charge for everything, and then I went to Chase, and they're not called Chase for nothing. Now with Wells Fargo, who are average, haven't done anything to piss me off yet....


- Tim
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I bank with BoA and have a string of CCs from various providers - never had any issues.......... On the odd occasion when charges were levied they were refunded when I asked nicely - even though it was I who had been negligent/forgetful.
No issues here but their interest rate on interest checking is atrocious. We are slowly amassing a couple of pennies to rub together so I'm having a look-round.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
Well I started with Bank Of America, which IMHO were useless, and liked to charge for everything, and then I went to Chase, and they're not called Chase for nothing. Now with Wells Fargo, who are average, haven't done anything to piss me off yet....


- Tim
I think it's not so much the identity of the bank, but the people at your local branch who matter.

I'm sure BoA can be [email protected] for many - but I have a good relationship with - and the direct line of - an Extremely Helpful VP......... and this has made all the difference.

IMO the best way of finding a bank that suits is to hang around in the local branches for a while and observe how they treat their customers - particularly the guys and gals that man the service desks.

My local WaMu branch seems to be staffed entirely by college kids who know diddly-squat and care even less, whereas at BoA you are seen by permanent staff who clearly left college 20+ years ago...
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
No issues here but their interest rate on interest checking is atrocious. We are slowly amassing a couple of pennies to rub together so I'm having a look-round.
I hear you, and this was one of the reasons we opened a WaMu account, with a view of eventually switching all our business. We very quickly abandoned this plan - the lack of service and incompetence we encountered at our local WaMu branch is not worth the extra cents of interest.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

I think they see customers as disposable rather than try to develop a long term relationship. They know full well that they will loose people but they figure with some clever advertising they can get enough back to make up the loss, and so on. For instance, one of the many reasons I'm probably switching banks, is they did an iPod nano giveaway. Great I thought, I'll be able to get a nano, not brilliant but still with it if it's free. Not so. It was only open for new customers who deposited $200 into their account and made 2 transactions for a combined total $200 or more over a 6 week period. They just looked at me blankly when I asked if the business of somebody with $200, just over the price of a nano, was worth more than a family who pay in tens of thousands of dollars a year and have done for over 4 years and said it was for new customers only.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
Direct Transfers – That’ll be with a check then….
I have a friend who I pay a monthly fee to for the use of his airplane. He can be a little tardy paying in the check I write him, which can play havoc with our finances. So one day I said, "hey give me your bank details and I'll arrange for a direct deposit/bank transfer". No problem, everything setup and so on. A couple of days after the transfer was supposed to have happened, I realized the money still hadn't gone out.
Turns out his bank wasn't setup for direct deposits, so my bank had generated a check, which was mailed to him. Duhh, how backward can you get? Bottom line is that we still do not know how to set this up so it can happen automatically. And the final insult, by bank had the cheek to charge me $5 for the check. I got straight onto them to get that sorted.
- Tim
One thing my bank will do in these circumstances is mail a check to the person's bank as opposed to the person himself. Still archaic, but at least you can probably assume that the check will get cashed pronto. What they actually suggested I do is a wire transfer - at $30 a transfer
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
Never, ever, get a CITIBank Platinum card....
I got one as part of an American Airlines promotion (I just wanted the miles). I told them to stick their card after they charged me a fee of $1.44 in interest and $3.15 in late fees after they cocked up a refund, for which they had the cheek to charge me interest on whilst they sorted it out. I closed the account there and then when I discovered this and made what I thought was a final payment to cover the $60 that I owed them....
The payment never went out of our account, and when I called them they said that they returned the check, as the account was now closed! Duhh, how the hell am I supposed to payoff the amount if the account is closed? And the final insult? They charged me $39 for returning my check and $6 in interest on the amount that I didn't pay. I spent 45 minutes on the 'phone with an Indian drone and I still expect that next month there will be something left that will generate another charge.
You closed an account over 2 quids worth of fees ??
FFS man catch a grip.
Recently I made a trip back to the UK. I paid off the amount I owed on the card in full when I got back, but before the bill was cut. When the bill arrived I ignored it only to discover later that I'd been hit with a $30 late payment fee because I didn't pay the fees the added at the end of the cycle for foreign transactions.
I called up to complain and got 10,000 free airmiles (though no fee refund) - great value imo.
Light-ish use of this card over 2 years has now got me enough miles for a free flight home - by far one of the best loyalty programs out there.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

I'm with Citibank's Private Banking services. I have a direct phone number of a bank specialist who deals with all of my accounts. I even has his mobile. He's done wonders for me like wipe away all fees for wire transfers (which is a big deal since I wire money weekly) to getting holds lifted by calling the paying party directly and their bank to be sure the funds would clear.

If you can get a private account, go for it.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I think it's not so much the identity of the bank, but the people at your local branch who matter.

I'm sure BoA can be [email protected] for many - but I have a good relationship with - and the direct line of - an Extremely Helpful VP......... and this has made all the difference..
agree, I get on pretty well with BoA


Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I
, whereas at BoA you are seen by permanent staff who clearly left college 20+ years ago...
although sometimes the older staff can be a bit slow to looking at doing things in slightly different ways...

I like

BoA for day to day banking
Credit union like patelco for car loans
Emigrant or HSBC for internet savings
Local or regional bank for commerical financing

shame you can't get a one-stop shop
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Am I just lucky?
very.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post

My local WaMu branch seems to be staffed entirely by college kids who know diddly-squat and care even less, whereas at BoA you are seen by permanent staff who clearly left college 20+ years ago...
at some stage they have to get tested, which consists of an 8 hr pre-test followed by an 8 hr test....well around here anyway...

saying all that, our local branch, TDN, that's been knocked off twice in a year last year as they don't have much in the way of any security.
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Old Sep 28th 2007, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Idiotic Banking

The only problem I have had with BoA is when it changed it's credit cards to Worldpoints. The full credit card balance is automatically paid every month from my BoA checking account. For the first 5 months after the change the automatic payments were late and I was charged $39.00 late fee and interest. Every month I called BoA and explained it was totally their fault. Most of the customers service reps were extremely apologetic and the charges were taken off my account. However, one very young sounding rep I spoke to was a complete arse who told me it was my fault and I didn't understand how automatic payments and internet banking work. I politely told him the US banking system was years behind the UK system and that I have years of experience with direct debit and internet banking. Half an hour after the call started he apologised and the charges were taken off my account.
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