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Friday, October 3, 2008

Unfavorite Things: Wacky Banking

I called my Wamu credit card to discover that it "is now backed by JP Morgan Chase."

I just opened a letter from Citibank about my Upromise card to discover that if I want to stay with Citibank (I don't), that the program will be taken over by Wells Fargo. (Not thrilled with that either.)

I basically stopped using both my Wachovia and Wamu accounts.

Wachovia because I really didn't appreciate the appointment only approach to banking when they opened branches in California.
Wacho: We usually do everything by appointment.
Savvy: Really? I'm surprised.
Wacho: We're doing things in a new way now.
Savvy: Oh.
Wacho: We want to make sure we have time to see you when things get busy.
Savvy: Umm...there doesn't appear to be anybody here...So, I can't open an account?
Wacho: Well, yes, but in the future we'd appreciate it if you would set an appointment.
Savvy: I see...How long before I get that $125 bonus?

In case you weren't aware, setting appointments is a sales tactic. the sales person tricks you into believing that their time is scarce and valuable. This isn't always the case, but it was in this case. You didn't know that banks SELL? Of course they do! The more loans they have out, the more interest they charge and the more money they make.

Wachovia had already blown it with me twice even without the sales approach. When I moved to NYC, they sent my new checks to my old address in South Carolina. I wasn't able to pay rent on time. They also didn't properly link my debit card to my new account and tried to apply overdraft charges. How do you spell A-N-G-R-Y? L-I-V-I-D? As an apology, the bank manager sent me an engraved pen. (I wanted a teddy bear.) I took that pen and drew a big XXXX over Wachovia--that is until they offered $125 to open a new account when they merged with First Union. But now that they've been gobbled up by Wells Fargo at an opportune moment, maybe it will all be OK.

Bank of America never thrilled me because as soon as online options and ATMs became available, services started disappearing.
Savvy: I'd like to cash a check.
Teller: Well, yes, you can, but you can also use an ATM for that.
Savvy: Oh, I see.
Teller: It's for your convenience, so you don't have to wait in line.
Savvy: The line is no trouble.
Teller: May I suggest that you sign up for direct deposit?
Savvy: You may, but my employer doesn't do that.
Teller: Oh.
Savvy: So, can I cash my check?
Teller: Why, yes, of course...

BofA also tried to get me to pay for a check someone cashed against my account because it was made out to me and cashed against my account. It wasn't my signature. I left that bank.

And Wamu...dear sweet Wamu that I left because they charge for EVERYTHING (killing my woo hoo) has the great fortune of being the little bank by my house--
that when it became BofA closed the little bank and kept the larger branch that became a real estate office
Wamu then reopened the little branch.
that had been closed by BofA
that used to be Home Savings
that used to be Coast Federal
that used to be Coast Savings (Financial, Inc.)
that used to be Security Pacific National Bank
that has been heisted at least once per naming
this is the dog
that worried the cat
that ate the rat
that ate the malt
that lay in the house that Jack built...

At least Security Pacific National Bank fell the old fashioned way, a $10.2 million bank heist, among other things. However that bank heist was accomplished through the internet that Al Gore invented.

I think I need to stop now because banking isn't the only thing that's gone wacky. My brain has started to melt from all this thinking.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article. And funny.