Yesterday I checked my online banking to go over things and noticed a $20 “inactive account” charge on the account I just switched (from business to savings) in January. This ticked me off, as I’d met with someone, shifted the account around and made a deposit, all in the last few months. I phoned customer service and explained why I thought this was completely inappropriate. She agreed (although she explained that switching accounts doesn’t necessarily mean it’s considered ‘active’) and immediately credited my account. I was happy.
I don’t know how many times I’ve noticed something like this. It’s usually for less, but I’ve called several times and usually had charges reversed. What I notice is, between my two banks, the one I’ve been with the longest will usually make an excuse or tell me why they’re in the right, while my second bank will either credit me or politely explain what the charge is for.
ie. With my old bank, I keep $X in my chequing account to avoid being charged a monthly fee (saving more than I’d earn in interest if I kept in in savings). One afternoon I transferred $4 too much into a different account at the same bank, realized, and quickly returned it. They dinged me for the month even though I dipped only a few dollars for less than 5 minutes. The guy was quite condescending on the phone and while I technically made the error, it was quite small and I corrected it right away & felt it would have been good customer service to forgive it.
It wasn’t as though I bounced a cheque, although I DID do that once because they had phoned me asking if I wanted to increase my overdraft. I said yes, but they neglected to do it. A year later I used the non existent overdraft and bounced a cheque to our landlord which was very embarrassing and as an extra kick to the hoo-haw they charged me $50. They did apologize and credited me that time, but it took a lot of work and left me feeling humiliated. This bank has also tried to pressure me into doing things like locking in my previous GIC, making me feel the way I do when I’m accosted by pushy commission earning sales clerks.
The other bank has gone out of their way to make me happy, credit my account, point out better savings strategies, give me excellent financial advice, and be respectful to me. I have the majority of our savings and investments at my “trusty old bank”, and I’m seriously thinking I may change that if the scale continues to tip in this way.
Anyhow, my point is, it’s worth checking now & then to make sure you haven’t been charged unfairly, calling when you think you have, and having a bank that treats you fairly. I think particularly with the economy being what it is, banks should kiss your sweet patoot for allowing them the privilege of playing with your hard earned cash (instead of trying to find as many ways as possible to slough off a few extra layers for themselves wherever they can).