The Saga Continues….
This next bank hop was my first time banking at a small community bank, and I was NOT happy.
The people at the new bank were nice, but nosy. The technology was there, mostly, but it was ugly – the logo, the interface, the speed, everything. I had to sign up to view my accounts on the mobile app in the first place, it wasn’t automatic, and I had to sign up again on a separate form to make mobile deposits, but they wouldn’t let me make deposits into my savings from the app. (Stupid, right?)
I had NO access to my savings from the ATM even though the paperwork they gave me said I would. I also couldn’t make deposits via the ATM because it wasn’t set up, though again, it should have been. And the most aggravating thing of all: account to account transfers were cut off at 6 p.m. Are you freaking kidding me?!
I could go on and on, trust me. I didn’t like a LOT of things about this bank. But it was fee-less, and the interest rates on the accounts were a lot higher than bigger banks (who may have more money). So, I thought, “Why not try it?!” If I didn’t like it, I could leave!
Turns out, I can’t be bought with higher interest rates. (You have to pay taxes on that money anyway.) It eventually became not worth it. In 10 months, I had two check cards reissued to me due to fraud. Yes, I know it happens, but I had THREE different cards in TEN MONTHS. That’s ridiculous. So….about 11 months and one week after opening my accounts, I shut them all down, and skipped over to a big regional bank in my area, Suntrust, that I had banked with back in middle school before a move forced my teenager funds into what would later become Regions: The Crappy Bank.
I don’t like change. It’s aggravating, so I knew there would be a transitioning period with adjusting to the way everything looked and worked. Right away, I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t change my pin via the ATM. I could only call in and change it. And that’s assuming the system was up and running, and it was often down. And I mean OFTEN. So, I quickly gave up on that and just used the one they gave me.
The app is pretty, so I was happy about that. The check cards though…hated them. They have three, and the only one I liked was the only one I couldn’t get without keeping 25 grand in the bank. (insert hysterical laughter here) They all come with different daily purchasing limits – that’s the difference in case you were wondering why they’re anal about it.
I ended up with two trying to find a color I could stand, and I tried to get over it, I really did, but I truly hated them. Both of them. (You can laugh, but I can’t help it. The design just hurt my brain.)
One thing that was a vast improvement over the previous tiny bank was that everything was ready to go out of the bag. Mobile banking, mobile deposit, ATM deposits. Everything. So the transition was a lot smoother.
The jokes started up immediately, of course, with my sister placing bets that I would be mad at them within four months.
If I had bet on myself, I would have lost. So would my sister. Two months later, I was looking at other banks. Yes, I have commitment issues, but this isn’t why I wanted to leave!
Until quite recently, I used to obsessively check my account balances. I don’t know if it’s because I was broke for such a long time or if I just liked checking in that much. Part of the reason I checked was to make sure everything was okay, it’s rather the equivalent of counting and recounting bars of gold. Only instead of thousands, like Scrooge McDuck, I had like seven. Anyway, most of the time when I went to
count my bars of gold check my balances, the site would be down. In and out all day. It became very annoying, very fast, and it was aggravating the hell out of my brain.
Add this to the ugly check cards and my worry that they would discontinue my account since the account I ended up opening with them is not so easy to find online (it is literally hidden away in a corner!), and I wasn’t feeling all that great about banking here. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have opened accounts with them if I hadn’t found that one account and hoped they would let me have the check card I wanted anyway if I asked for it. (And they did order it, I just didn’t get it.)
Clearly, it’s not hard for me to find something to jump ship over. And yes, I am fully aware of how crazy that sounds…I think.
With this next change, I decided to make my decision on vanity reasons alone. All the other times I picked based on location or how many ATMs were close to me (even though I rarely go to the ATM) or because I wanted a fee-less account or higher interest. None of those things are who I am. I like feature-rich tech and pretty things, plain and simple. So, I literally ran around the internet to previous banks with check cards that I like that I had turned down for various reasons and picked the one that had the most features that I wanted and the most things on my new bank wish list.
After making some calls, I ended up at US Bank, a bank of unknown size that’s rather scattered in different places according to the territory map. Transitions are rough, but this was quite literally the slowest and worst transition I’ve ever had. Not only is it the longest I’ve had to wait for a check card, but I’ve never had a bank actually hold my deposits for as long as they say they’re going to hold them. Usually, it’s only the initial deposit and just a couple of days, so that was something I’ve never had to deal with before. Hey, those extra days make a difference when you’re not used to them! o_O The initial transition period lasted four weeks, and new irritating things pop up all the time, but I at least had enough sense to think ahead and open my accounts up early in the month to avoid any problems and disruptions in my schedule.
Anyway, barring any sudden changes in structure, I don’t perceive myself jumping ship over something extra stupid. All the most important points are checked, it’s rather easy to avoid fees, and everything works like it’s supposed to – so far anyway.
Of course, I can’t guarantee I will still be banking here in a year – it hasn’t been just too long, but I specifically picked them because I thought it was somewhere I could stay, so we’ll see. Because seven different banks in four years? Seriously? I’m exhausted.
The rest of this discussion will continue next week, when I talk about the pros and cons of banking with the different sized banks, as seen through the eyes of a slightly crazed person. 🙂