By the time you read these lines, I’ll be gone.
Now that that song is effectively stuck in your head, allow me to continue. Bank of America, I’m breaking up with you. It’s not me. It’s you. Sure we had some good times. Lots of good times. Remember all those good times? You were my first bank when I opened my very first savings account in 1996. I thought I was big stuff then, all official with my bank book and everything. In 15 years, you were the only bank I used. Well, that’s not completely true. But I had to open up that local Comerica account so I could pay my bills while I was in college. They wouldn’t take an out-of-state check! You know this!
Things were going really well. I never had to worry about finding a BofA ATM because there was always one nearby. And I loved how you started the “Keep the Change” savings program because then it made it so much easier to balance my checkbook since I could just round up the numbers for all my debit card purchases, and there was a lot since I became too lazy to go to the ATM whenever I needed cash. Easy peasy. Oh, and did I mention the 8% interest rate I had on my credit card? You were, in a word: awesome.
But then, then you started to change. First, you raised the interest rate on my credit card. It was a slight increase, but one where you didn’t really give me much say in. Basically, I had to accept it or cancel my card. That was harsh, and I wasn’t pleased. Especially after you admitted I wasn’t the kind of customer you like because I paid my balance off every month and you didn’t make very much money off of me if any. You even said I shouldn’t worry about the increase because it’s really only a couple dollars worth of interest in the off chance that I do keep a balance.
But the principle! There was no real reason to increase my rate simply because other people were defaulting on their payments. I tried to fight it but eventually just accepted it. It took some time but we finally worked out our differences and moved on. And then, then you started charging my account without notifying me. For three months you charged an account fee without every once notifying me that I was no longer meeting the basic requirements of my free account and would be charged. It wasn’t until I noticed my checkbook wasn’t matching what my balance said online that I found out what was happening. I wasn’t able to recoup the fees but was able to switch my account type to hopefully avoid future fees. That was annoying.
And yet, I stayed. I was otherwise happy with you and the perks of being your customer. You made everything so simple.
Then this happened. Imagine my surprise and horror when I heard you would be charging me $5 a month to use my debit card. $5 a month? To spend my money? My own money?! That was outrageous. It was stupid. It was the last straw.
Bank of America, this is it. There’s not talking yourself out of this situation (trust me, one of your bankers already tried). I’m tired of being nickeled and dimed like this and having to take it. I know you think $5 a month is a nominal fee and I should just make sure to carry cash instead of reaching for the debit card, but why should I pay for the convenience of spending my money the way I want? Methinks I shouldn’t.
And you know what? I don’t have to accept this. You might not hear me complaining on Twitter or even on this blog, but I know how to reach you in a convincing way: I closed my accounts and joined a Credit Union. Not only can I now go to a branch to do my banking without incurring a fee (something I wasn’t able to do with my other account, though admittedly I can count on one hand the number of times I actually went to the bank in person), but I also have access to a whole network of Credit Union ATMs without any surcharges, and I get to use my debit card for free as well. Oh, and did I mention that I’m now earning interest on my checking account? Because I am. Isn’t that all kinds of awesome?
So thank you, Bank of America, for finally getting me to realize that I do have a say in how and with whom I choose to bank with. I don’t need to jump through a bunch of hoops and oh how wonderful this realization feels.
It was a great 15 years but every good thing must come to an end eventually right? Hope the $60 was worth losing another customer.
Smell you later forever,