Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Biggest scam on the planet

Have you ever thought about how bad your bank rips you off?

First you give them all your money, which they turn into more money that you never see. Then they demand that you pay them service fees and maintenance fees and a hundred other fees. They charge you for the "convenience" of using certain ATMs, even though ATMs and the internet have saved them billions of dollars by eliminating labor, possibly putting you out of a job at the same time. And when they finally take all the money from your account, through these bogus fees and charges, they have the balls to send you a statement that says you owe them.

Your bank isn't providing any services for you. No, it's the exact opposite. You are providing services for your bank by allowing them to invest your money. In effect, you pay them to take advantage of you!

I do it, too.

Well, I did it until today.

* * * * *

I received a statement from National City Bank about a week ago. It was the first statement I'd received from them since I don't know when. The statement said I owe National City Bank $10.16--up from $3.16 a month earlier--due to maintenance fees on an account I haven't touched since November. (I admit it; I have a very high-maintenance bank account.)

Last time I took money from an ATM (in November), I received a receipt that told me I had a balance of about $18 in my account. Having received nothing from the bank between then and now, I was a little pissed off to learn that my $18 had somehow become -$10.16, or ($10.16) for all you accountants out there.

So I went to the bank today to take care of it. All I wanted was for them to turn the ($10.16) into $0 and close the account. I had no intentions of demanding a return of the $18 their employer stole from me. Just close the account and let me walk away, motherfuckers. And no, I didn't call them motherfuckers, nor was I the slightest bit rude to any bank employees. In fact, I informed the teller that I was pretty upset about the piece of paper I'd brought with me, and I told him right away, "If I end up getting defensive about this, I want you to know that my anger is not directed at you. I know you had nothing to do with this." But that doesn't matter anyway because, like I said, I was civil about it.

The teller was not able to solve my problem. He said he could reduce the balance to ($3.16), but he apparently did not have the authority to erase the entire negative balance. Additionally, he said the office manager was already gone for the day. The thing is, I wasn't going to allow National City Bank to steal even one more cent from me, so I asked him if he could give me an e-mail address for the office manager. After he mentioned something about the customer service department, I told him I don't want to talk to customer service people who are going to give me the runaround for two hours on the phone; I want to contact someone who can actually do something, so he gave me the office manager's card. Magically, though, the absent office manager's Wonder Twin powers instantly allowed her to take the shape of some other woman who'd been in the little cubicle right behind me since before I entered the bank.

The teller informed me I could speak to her.

(Just to be clear, I have no problem with how the teller interacted with me. He tried to do what he could, and he fed me the bullshit his superiors commanded him to feed me, but we all know he is essentially a powerless drone standing behind a counter with a computer. Like myself, he was civil.)

* * * * *

I walked over to the cubicle and began speaking with...

Andrea L. White
Office Manager
National City Bank (Georgesville Square)
1699 Holt Road
Columbus, Ohio 43228

After I told her my objective--to erase the account balance and close the account--she started looking at her computer. Treating me like some kind of complete idiot (because, as everyone knows, all guys with long hair are stupid), she said all she could do is remove the most recent $7 maintenance fee because the previous fee did not occur within the last 45 days.


As I grew more persistent (yet completely civil), she grew angry because I wouldn't accept her fucking bullshit explanation. Then she made it personal. She insulted me. I can't remember what she said, but she became verbally abusive toward me. I said, "Look, I already told you I have no personal animosity toward you, but you just made it personal." Then, angrily, she told me to get out. She said she'd do what I wanted her to do; just get out.

As I walked out I said "Thank you" to her. Not even in a sarcastic tone. No, I said it because she did the right thing and I appreciated it, even though she had to be a fucking twat about it.

* * * * *

The customer is always right. There are some instances where that's not necessarily true, but this wasn't one of them. Not even close.

Fuck you National City Bank. And fuck you Andrea L. White, you stupid cunt. If you just would have done the right thing in the first place, you may have saved the business of a good customer who's gonna have a fuckload of money someday (that he'll probably have to keep in a bank). But you had to stand behind the criminals who employ you, over three dollars and sixteen cents that you would never have seen anyway. You had to lie to a customer, just to try to rip him off SOME MORE. Fuck you!

I'm not pissed off about this just because it happened to me. I'm pissed off because it happens to just about everyone. And you know why it happens to just about everyone? Because collectively, as Americans, we're too stupid to know when we're being ripped off, and because we're too chickenshit to do anything about it.

I'll probably put my money in a bank again someday, but it won't be National City Bank, and I won't allow any other bank to take a fucking cent from me, for any reason.