And the cats are miffed about how it’s eaten into their blogging time. But it felt GREAT.
A few months ago, when Bank of America announced that outrageous $5 debit card fee, SunTrust notified me that my free checking would begin costing $14-17 a month, PLUS $5 for the debit card.
On September 1, I marched into a SunTrust branch and unloaded both verbal barrels on the desk jockey. She narrowly salvaged my business by switching me to “Solid Choice” checking with no fees, and free check-printing — in exchange for a $5,000 minimum balance.
A few weeks later, I ordered my free checks, which consisted of 4 pads, an assemble-it-yourself box, and a skimpy register that will last about 2 weeks in this age of so many checkless transactions.
Balancing my checkbook yesterday, I discovered a $16 charge for those “free” checks.
I called customer service, and got, “We discontinued free checks November 10.” However, NOWHERE on my statements or Solid Choice paperwork did it say that.
SunTrust’s attitude was, “It’s YOUR responsibility to know what we don’t tell you. Go pound sand.”
Next, I returned to the branch, where the branch manager refunded my $16 after I dumped a ton of disgust on her. Then, in a breathtaking stroke of obtuseness, she offered to upgrade me to an even BETTER account — requiring a $10,000 minimum!
Driving home, I passed 5 small banks. I checked all their Web sites and picked 15-branch Village Bank. Checking requires a $500 balance or a $6 fee. I’ll collect 0.25% in interest (which increases on a sliding scale to .40%, based on balance), compared to SunTrust’s princely, flat 0.04%.
Hey, we’re talking only pennies, but it’s the principle.
The mentality of SunTrust and its ilk, “Bend over so we can stick it to you again,” is what fuels Occupy Wall Street.
Being homegrown, Village Bank can’t afford to constantly be drilling new (loop)holes for screwing people if it wants to stay in business. It should be a refreshing change.
(BTW, SunTrust turned chicken with BofA and dropped the $5 debit card fee, like it was doing us a big favor. Too little, too late.)