Who does, honestly?
Up until a few years ago I had a bank account with a fairly large bank. I was routinely stung for fees each month, and despite my complaints I entirely failed to close my account and move elsewhere. I had, in fact, gone so far as to review my statements and verify that in some instances I was paying $30 a month in assorted fees.
Truthfully I am not sure how much longer I would have put up with that, but fate intervened two years ago and forced me to act. You see late one night some techno-savvy minor criminal walked up to a bank machine, inserted a cloned copy of my bank card and deposited an empty envelope with $2,000 in invisible money and then withdrew $600 in cash.
While I was not immediately aware of the act itself, the consequences became readily evident. My bank card ceased to work, and the 24hour call center could give me NO explanation (except to contact my branch, thanks guys – note to Major-Mega Bank, just put a recording on that phone line and save yourself the expense of hiring drones to repeat a phrase). Checking my balance online showed a deposit and the subsequent withdrawls (interesting because I had a $100 withdrawl limit on my card, and yet the bad guys were able to take out $500 and then $100).
I contact my bank who told me my account would be locked until I provided a sworn affidavit attesting to the fact that I had nothing to do with the fraud and that I had not given my card and/or PIN to some other person (this affidavit to be sworn at my own expense and inconvenience). I got that done right quick, but it turns out they had misrepresented the speed with which they would conduct their own investigation. My account would have to remain frozen for a few more weeks.
Now, in this world of “pre-authorized payments” and ‘direct deposit” having a frozen bank account causes all sorts of problems, and I strove to explain this to the banking representative using progressively smaller words as I entirely failed to make any sort of impression on her.
I had another bank account. My credit union account that hadn’t been used since it was opened. I fixed that right quick, moving my payments and payroll from the old account to new with a few phone calls. The credit union staff were extremely helpful, human even. There are NO service fees (or at least I haven’t paid any) and they appear to have a “no-drone” policy when it comes to staff (they deny this, but I’m sure it’s posted somewhere in the back).
I’ve stopped using my bank card for purchases, despite Interacs assertions it isn’t just like cash (unless you’ve even found that spending some cash could result in a stranger reaching into your wallet and taking more cash without your knowledge). I have two other accounts, both virtual, in which I divert a small amount of savings automatically (and for which I pay no fees either).
Do you deal with Mega-Uber-Bank or a smaller Credit Union (or is the mattress stuffed to overflowing)?