I ran to my bank the other day just to do a quick and simple deposit into my chequing account. The teller watched as I counted out the money and then entered my pin number into the card processor. She peered into her computer screen for a few minutes then announced, “ OMG, you paid $26 in chequing bank fees last mo. That’s way more than it should be. That’s a no-no”! Actually, “that’s a no-no” came into the conversation at least three times.
I couldn’t agree more. I thought she was going to tell me there had been some kind of bank mistake and that she was now going to correct it. Instead, she went into a spiel about how they have quite a number of options to help me save a lot of money using packaged monthly fees for bank transactions. I suggested in return, how about just not charging them. Right – not an option.
“Well, we can’t do that, but let me show you what we can do”. I’d served myself through online or at-store purchases 26 times over my 10 per month limit at a charge of $1 ea. “So, based on the number of transactions you do per month, we can move you from your current $4/mo fees for only 10 transactions to $14.95/mo for unlimited transactions so that you can use your own money”. (I just added those last 7 words).
An even better idea came up. I share a mortgage with my ex-husband and as such I could have my chequing account for free altogether if I made it joint with my ex-husband. I pointed out that part about the (ex) factor. She thought for a moment, and then said, “Hmmm, so you’re really sure you couldn’t do a joint account, eh? It would just save you so much money”. I reassured her that I was sure.
I really admire this new marketing slant my bank has begun using over the last 2 years or so. They are now really just corporate caregivers to all. They couldn’t be more concerned about my wellbeing and it’s got nothing to do with their charity efforts either. They cannot be more willing to help me out in every which way, except for when it comes to charging me breath-taking fees for my accounts and credit card. You wouldn’t believe the process I went through last year just to get a lowered interest rate on my credit card which is still over 10%. But still, they are doing everything else they can to help.
I’m sorry, am I sounding overly bitter? It just makes me think of a wolf chiropractor leaning over a sheep soothingly saying, “Now, just relax as I prepare to crack your neck”.
Along with myriad flyers, I receive an average of 5-10,000 calls per month from my bank offering a brand new way to help me save money, manage that money, insure it – and my body, and did I know I could receive free financial and investing advice? They always ask me to make an appointment and bring in all my financial details. I always say, but you guys have all my accounts. If you don’t already have that information then, ahem, who does? Well, we’re just the call centre, we don’t have access to that info. Oh. How do you know what kind of accounts I have and where I need help then?
Look, I do like the idea that any company would be willing to have a serious look at how they could help me out with whatever their service serves. But when their reported profits are consistently announced in the McBillions largely because of people like me and my measly chequing account, I feel somewhat McScrooged.
Why would I need extra help from the very people who are squeezing every last drop of blood out of this stone in the first place? For the love of ‘Really?!’ just drop your rates already, and then you could save all those costs associated with offering me help to keep a few dollars of the billions you make – on my buck. And while you’re at it, would it really break the bank (ha ha) to add a percentage or two to the interest rates on a real savings account? Is there really a problem with being genuinely fair and kind even in the banking business?
So, back to the teller discussion, my simple deposit was almost over. The transaction was finalized. The end result: by changing my monthly fee to the $14.95 option, I will not only get 6 months free, I got the $26 charges reversed. So, they can live with not charging? Even if it’s for only 6 months, really more like 7 ½ months free if you count that charge reversal, that means over the course of this year, I am going to end up paying only $5.60 /mo to spend my money regardless of how many times I do it.
For this year, I’ll take that deal. I will have to review at the end of 6 months though, so please know that I can expect a call then. Don’t forget, after that, it will go up from that $5.60 average to $14.95/mo for the same service.
Thanks for caring.