So, here are two pieces from my dark circle journal. We’ve slowed the project down a little, to allow real life to play through, so I have time to take a breath, and do a little more work in my book, instead of hurrying it out the door. I’m thinking I’ll be ready to mail it next week sometime, after I do one more set of pages. I’m sort of on a roll.
As you can probably tell, I’ve been at war with Bank of America lately. Also Chase, but since I inherited the account I have there two years ago, I don’t feel as emotionally invested. BofA has been my bank for 20 or so years, and until I decided to move to a credit union, I really didn’t have anything bad to say about them. Once I decided to make the move, and they caught on, they’ve gone out of their way to be as unhelpful and obtuse as possible. Today, I’m annoyed because they’re charging me a $50 fee for each account I’m moving. Why am I paying $50, when I had to do all the leg work rounding up forms, getting them into the right hands, following up with phone calls, and generally being stressed out and annoyed? Because it’s their policy. That’s their answer.
In contrast, as I was working with the manager of my new credit union, I mentioned that I’d really love not to pay a monthly fee for online banking, but I couldn’t meet the direct deposit requirement because I’m self-employed. As I was offering to keep a minimum balance, she clicked a few things in her computer, and said she’d take care of it. Then she printed out a sheet—the receipt for a refund for all the online banking fees I’d been charged since I opened my accounts January 3rd. One two sentence conversation, and the fees were waived, permanently.
That, my friends, is why I opted to move to a credit union. Because even though BofA was never really a thorn in my side prior to my attempts to move my accounts, I knew they were doing business in a way that was bad for many others. Bad loans, bad banking fees, bad policies in general. BofA is a for-profit bank, and they answer to their share holders. My credit union is a not for profit institution, and its customers are all share holders. That means they can’t institute unfair or destructive policies, because they answer to the account holders. That’s my banking lesson for today.
Meanwhile, since Bank of America has been so horrible, I vented in my little journal. I haven’t really done much politically-oriented work in the past, but this project seems to have brought out the worst in me. I have another set of pages on the drawing board, about another company I loathe even more than BofA. Stay tuned…