The other day, I visited my bank to close out my accounts. The bank that supposedly would have free checking until you die or until the 405 (a well-known freeway in Los Angeles that's forever under construction) stopped having construction decided to start charging $10 a month for an account under some unrealistic amount of daily balance. Granted, the bank has since changed hands, but I was irritated when I first heard about it. At the time, I asked a bank representative about this, he said, "Oh, you have this type of an account with us, too, so you won't get charged."
Imagine my "surprise" when I discovered that, lo and behold, he was wrong. By the time I realized this, the bank had already taken $100 total out of all our accounts. Needless to say, I was, um, irate. I called the 800 number and chewed some ass, but it did me little good. On the other end, I could practically hear the guy rolling his eyes at me.
After I had my say, I asked him what would make an account fee free. The list was long, but if you've ever listened to one of those pharmaceutical commercials about their drugs and side effects, you know that you'll only escape getting one of those side effects if you're dead. Well, yeah, pretty much that. I'd have better luck being eligible for it if I'm dead.
Well, you know what? Fine. I'll just take my money elsewhere.
So, last Friday, I march in with my checkbooks ready to close all but my business accounts and my main account as I wait for the outstanding checks to clear. (They may lose those, too, as soon as I have the time to change all of that information at all of our distributors.) I go in around 1 pm. My daughter gets out of school at 3:15 pm. This should be plenty of time to do it, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The teller doesn't realize what I want to do, even though I state in plain English, that I want to not just withdraw all of the money, but I want to close the accounts. When she does, I now have to see a banker. Um, why? It should be fairly easy to close the accounts, but whatever.
Of course, there's a line for the banker, but luckily, I have my iPhone, or I may have been homicidal after waiting about 15 minutes to see someone.
The banker, Jose, was very nice. He didn't even ask me why, which was fine by me. I didn't care to expound anyway. I just wanted out of there so I could deposit the money somewhere else. In a bank that actually wanted my business.
Another half hour went by (perhaps it was more). I was still sitting in the bank talking to Jose. He couldn't figure out why my personal and business accounts weren't linked, because, you know, with a business account, I got a free personal account.
Really? Why didn't the dude on the phone mention that earlier? Because he's an asshole? Because the bank is run by a bunch of greedy SOBs? Because... yeah, I can think of a variety of reason, none of them flattering.
I finally got these accounts closed, but in order to get my money, I had to go back to the teller. (rolling eyes--what a production!) I'd been in the bank over an hour now. While waiting for the teller to give me the cash, Jose walked up with some refinance information in case we wanted to bring our mortgage to them. (HAHAHAHAHAHHA Seriously?) I took the opportunity to ask him:
"So, since the accounts were linked and that was the bank's error AND I was supposed to have a free personal checking account with my business account, it would be nice if you refunded me for those fees on my main account."
"Of course, Ms. Baun."
At this point, it was 2:30 pm. I had a half hour to move my money to another bank before I had to pick up my daughter. I just managed to do it, but what a hassle! We should be able to show our IDs and close out all of our accounts without spending two friggin' hours in a bank!
At 3:10 pm, I arrived home. I was irritated, but glad to have it done.
Whatever happened to banks that care?