Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My rant of the day: banks

I've been doing a lot of dealing with multiple banks lately & have made some odd discoveries. Well, at least they seem odd to me.....perhaps someone else will read this & think nothing of it..........but I'm getting quite irritated with it all.

I guess I haven't really banked with A LOT of banks in the past. My very first accounts were with Cal Fed, which I believe later became something else, but I can't remember what they became & I can't remember if it happened while I was still banking with them or if I had already left when it happened. After Cal Fed I moved to Wells Fargo. That bank really made a lot of mistakes & irritated me a lot & I ended up moving to WaMu until I married & we consolidated all of our account into joint accounts at a local credit union. In addition to my personal accounts back when I was a manager of a fast food place I paid bills & did various banking stuff & dealt a lot with Foothill Independent Bank for that--it may not have been my own personal account, but it might as well have been for as much as I did & was at the bank for it.

So overall, that's really not A LOT of banks that I've dealt with. But recently we've had a lot of weird financial goings-on around here. I have been moving money around from bank to bank--some of it our own personal accounts & some of it other people's accounts. My list of recent banks includes: our credit union, wells fargo, bank of america, union bank of CA, wamu, citizen's business bank, & citibank.

Overall most of the dealings have been fine. They all seem to have their own odd & somewhat irritating policies, but most are not a major problem. HOWEVER, today I went to citibank with a check made out to ME. This check was from a citibank account. I had ID to prove it was really me & they were willing to tell me that the funds were in the account, so the check was good, BUT they absolutely positively would not do anything with this check because I do not bank at Citibank. This is absolutely outrageous in my opinion. I was told I had to take the check to my own bank. The problem is that this was a bit of an urgent matter & if I took that check to my own bank they would put a 14 day hold on the funds. I needed 99% of the check in a cashier's check payable to another party. I spoke with a manager, etc, all to no avail. I walked out & called hubby to see what his thoughts were (he was at the auction for work). His first suggestion was to ask for a manager, which I already had. He then called up citibank himself to complain & find a way around it--no such luck, they absolutely would not budge on their policy of me not being a citibank customer.

So hubby & I put our brains together & came up with a plan: I went to another citibank branch (cuz I couldn't bare to show my face in that one again after I made such a fuss) & I opened a savings account with the check & I then pulled the cashier's check out of that account. Voila! No hold on the funds & I didn't even have to pay for a cashier's check!!

Tomorrow I will go close out that account & put the remainder into another account at one of our current banks. We are currently banking at 2 banks (3 if you include this bogus temporary account) now.

Another recent issue has been with hubby trying to cash his paychecks. He went to the bank where the check is drawn & they also will not cash his check because he is not a customer. Totally ridiculous & outrageous if you ask me!!!

Anywho, as for irritations with banks...........generally speaking, across the board including all banks, checks are really a major hassle. Our credit union never puts holds on payroll checks no matter the amount, so I guess we're just spoiled & don't realize what's going on at other banks until now. I'm really surprised that there isn't a faster way to clear checks & have funds available. It forces me to constantly be pulling cash & moving cash around rather than checks, which would be much simpler. Part of me understands that there's always the risk of checks bouncing, but part of me thinks it's also a plot--to make checks so inconvenient that no one will want to use them anymore. It reminds me of a commercial I've seen on TV (not recently though, not even sure if it's still being run) for some bank or ATM card or somethin' like that--where it has happy music playing & everyone in line at a cash register is all happy paying with their ATM cards & then someone pulls out cash or maybe a check (I can't remember right now) & the music stops & all the smiles on everyone's faces goes away. There is definitely a big push towards being a cashless society. And I would imagine the govt (or whoever it is that is monitoring money stuff) would much prefer that cuz wire transfers, etc make tracing the money & where it came from so much easier (or so I would think).

Anyways, that's my rant..........maybe it's just me, maybe someone else will read this & see absolutely nothing wrong with all the check hassles & the various stupid policies at various banks.

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