By Tony Hicks
Sunday, April 20th, 2008 at 12:37 pm in Uncategorized.
Tomorrow will be a great day, as I’m going in for financial surgery. I’m amputating my bank, and I can’t wait.
(WARNING: Following is a personal rant containing very little humor or social significance. Thus, bad grammar and spelling may be an issue. Because it’s the work of an angry man lacking restraint or the money to eat anywhere other than Taco Bell. Which, if you think about the institutional yumminess of a chicken fiesta burrito, isn’t so bad after all. Nevertheless …)
I wrote a column last week about my beloved (not really) bank of 23 years, questioning their tactics. Maybe I’ve come to believe that this corporate giant really doesn’t have my best interests at heart. I didn’t actually name them, but the implication was clear.
I’ve since been hit with four non-sufficient fund fees, at $35 a pop, the timing of which was questionable at best.
Now I’m not saying that the Bank of Amerigo (notice how I carefully didn’t actually name them) is out to get me, nor would it honestly care what one customer – a silly little newspaper columnist – would think about them. But that’s exactly the point. They don’t care about what any of their regular-guy-with-a-food-stain-on-his-shirt customers think; at least if the phone conversation I had a few minutes ago with a robot named “William” is a good indicator. I ended up calling him a couple other names by the end of our conversation, but for now we’ll call him “William.” After he pointed out to me why he believed my transactions went awry, I mentioned to him that the Bank (of Amerigo) explained to me a completely different method of timing deposits and checks last year.
Back and forth we went until I made the idiotic attempt at appealing to William’s humanity. I explained not only did the timing of the transactions seem weird (you know, when they flip a coin to see whether your deposit or your checks go through first), but that it’s not the best of financial times for any of us right now, and perhaps I could get a bit of compassion, since I’d basically kept this bank afloat for the past two decades with fees garnered by my stupid mistakes.
Near silence. All I could hear was the starch further stiffening William’s collar.
Then I told William that if he didn’t at least throw me a small bone, or stop sounding like a recording, I would end my association with his greedy … er, I mean… fine law-abiding employer, as of tomorrow morning. William responded by saying the following, and I’m not making this up.
“Great. Thank you for calling Bank of (Amerigo) and I hope you have a great day.”
I can hope, but in no way assume, that William stayed on the phone for most of the next 15 seconds to hear most of my screaming profanities.
Maybe, as usual, I really did make the dumb mistake. I probably only have myself to blame. But the programmed cheeriness with which Bank of (Amerigo) met the revelation I was closing my account was a clear indicator that, in lousy financial times, large banks mostly just care about how they can stick the guy with no leverage. Yeah, I know: What am I thinking, expecting a major financial institution to care about anyone’s troubles during tough times, when we live a in captalistic and opportunistic society?
But then stop teling us you care, you rotten pond scum. May your children be born smelling of bad cheese.
Oh, and my girlfriend is quitting you too, And, unlike me, she actually has big-earning potential.
Tomorrow, what’s left of my money goes into my credit union, where I know the people behind the desk (who have real faces and don’t talk like perky, stepford robots). I was scared to go with the little guy, but being as I am a little guy, it now seems to make sense.
Though costing me $140, this whole fiasco was probably a good thing. I was still hesitant to leave my big shiney corporate bank that plays soothing music through its commercials while assuring us that they care. It’s like debating whether to leave your signicant other, only to find them fraternizing with your toothless, unshowered neighbor. The decision pretty much makes itself at that point.
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