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Does my bank think I'm an idiot?

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
So I recently noticed that my bank began charging me Foreign ATM fees. I have many ATMs within walking distance of my home that don't charge a fee and always use them - none of them are owned by my bank but my bank never charged me in the past. So, when I noticed the charges to my account I called. The response I received was "Ma'am, we have to charge those due to new banking regulations." So I responded, "Really? The goverment MAKES you charge ATM fees?" The clerk was caught off guard that his scripted response didn't do the trick and someone will be calling me back. Grrr!

Just because the government is regulating how much you can charge vendors for accepting your credit card and overdraft fees, doesn't mean that I will accept your exhorbitant charges. I really hope that this is just a phase - seems like banks are test-driving these fees to see how many people will complain. I heard some banks are charging $5 per ATM withdrawal!
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Yuck! Originally it was supposed to be cheaper to use an ATM rather than a teller. I always go to my own bank's ATM because they have always charged for withdrawals from other ones around here.
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,301
Fees have sky rocketed in recent years! I have a UK bank account and when I withdraw money from the US when I'm over there, I used to be charged $2 each time. The exchange also isn't exact so they get plenty of money! Last time I was in the US it was between $5-10 depending on which bank I used. That's high when they are already pocketing an exchange rate that it to their advantage.

I really do think banks think we're idiots. And are probably also aware that some of us have limited options on what we can do.

Has anyone called you back yet?
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
Pupp - could it be a new procedure just within the bank? Is it a bank that has changed hands at all? Just curious. I agree you shouldn't be charged large fees.
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,267
Bad, but worse still, from an article i saw yesterday banks are now selling our buying histories. Nothing we do as private citizens seems private anymore, all this information about our private activities is someonelse's data mine, sold to any bidder for any purpose. More socking still is how little people care.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
dragonfly411|1310050971|2963760 said:
Pupp - could it be a new procedure just within the bank? Is it a bank that has changed hands at all? Just curious. I agree you shouldn't be charged large fees.
Dragonfly, I use Citizens and, as far I know, they haven't changed hands. I can't find anything on their site that says I'll be charged fees for ATMs. This happened to me once before and I complained. They reversed the charges but that was because the type of account I had charged no fees. It sounds like their policy changed but I can't find any information if it did. If it's true that most banks are charging now then I'll probably move to a bank close-by. I have four within walking distance of my house.
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,343
puppmom|1310050434|2963751 said:
So I responded, "Really? The goverment MAKES you charge ATM fees?" The clerk was caught off guard that his scripted response didn't do the trick and someone will be calling me back. Grrr!
:appl: Good for you, puppmom, you're so quick-witted!


--

As for ATM fees and how ATMs are supposed to reduce rather than increase bank costs, I personally decided a few years back to do as much banking as possible in branch, with live people. I admittedly visit only once or twice a month thanks to online banking, but the way I see it if we all still go inside:

-- corporate data will reflect the benefits of keeping branches open instead of closing them down because they get used;
-- more people will have jobs because for each local branch which closes, between 20-50 people will become unemployed; and
-- if more premiere customers like myself use live people, corporate data will indicate the need to keep the branches open for the customers they actually court, which in turn benefits the community, in both jobs and open branches.

I appreciate that corporations need to keep an eye on the bottom line. I also see that there needs to be a balance of interests, because *I* like to live in a thriving community. With the greater economy being what it is today, if small acts on my part (like visiting branches instead of ATMs) keep jobs in my area, I'm doing it!
 

Octavia

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,660
If you want to switch, I recommend checking out moveyourmoneyproject.org -- it has resources for finding a sound local bank or credit union. Obviously, you'd still want to check the policies of any bank you're considering (at the very least, get a copy of the full fee schedule), but I found the site really helpful when I decided to close my accounts at one of the big banks with (IMO) very consumer-unfriendly practices and go to a community bank instead.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
puppmom|1310053609|2963796 said:
dragonfly411|1310050971|2963760 said:
Pupp - could it be a new procedure just within the bank? Is it a bank that has changed hands at all? Just curious. I agree you shouldn't be charged large fees.
Dragonfly, I use Citizens and, as far I know, they haven't changed hands. I can't find anything on their site that says I'll be charged fees for ATMs. This happened to me once before and I complained. They reversed the charges but that was because the type of account I had charged no fees. It sounds like their policy changed but I can't find any information if it did. If it's true that most banks are charging now then I'll probably move to a bank close-by. I have four within walking distance of my house.

If they say their policy changed, then ask for it to be typed out or in writing.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
VapidLapid|1310052316|2963782 said:
Bad, but worse still, from an article i saw yesterday banks are now selling our buying histories. Nothing we do as private citizens seems private anymore, all this information about our private activities is someonelse's data mine, sold to any bidder for any purpose. More socking still is how little people care.

This makes me want to not have a bank account.
 

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,101
I never have used an ATM machine...why spend my money to get My money out of the bank!I don't get why people are willing to pay 2 bucks to get 20 bucks out of the bank?Guess convenience costs.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
5,384
A few times my hubs had to take $20 out for parking (we don't carry cash) ... he was charged $3 from the non-bank ATM and then $3 from our bank. $6 to take out $20?????? WTH.
 

zipzapgirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
369
I would say that this is a direct result of the recent banking regulations passed last year that were meant to be consumer-friendly. Legislators thought that by limiting the amounts of fees banks can charge for certain undesirable behaviours (like using another bank's ATM) or bad behaviours (like bouncing a check), it would be better for consumers.
When you restrict the free markets, you may end up
(a) leveling the playing field
or (b) raising all possible fees.

Seems like the legislation did both. For instance, since credit car companies are now so limited in who they can cancel accounts for and when they can raise the interest rates for non-payment, they are all much less willing to extend credit to less credit-worthy customers. What was meant to protect those very consumers resulted in many of them not being able to *get* a credit card, although they would be protected from exorbitant fees, if they ever got one.

I suspect that your bank is raising all discretionary fees to make up for not being able to charge the higher fees it used to be able to charge to 'bad' customers. I think your threats to move banks may work to get fees reversed in the short-term, but I'd definitely change my behaviours with regards to outside bank ATMs or switch my bank in the mid- to long-term, since those fees will likely become only more pervasive.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
It is not due to government legistlation but maybe is in reaction to it. Banks/cc's are trying to find ways to generate income SOMEHOW, anyway they can. This means fees too - they should however have sent you notification in the mail prior to any change in fee structure. Of course a bank may charge whatever it likes once they've informed you and it is down to the customer to take their business elsewhere if they feel the need. I believe BofA is a big offender on this too (exhorbitant fees). I had a small balance at Countrywide (like maybe $1) which got bought out by BofA. Now I am sure I closed the account but did not keep confirmation so sure enough, months later I get a note from a collection agency saying I had an overdraft at BofA (I had no BofA account). Turns out they took over Countrywide which failed to properly close my account - and they (BofA) then charged me a "minimum balance" fee (wasn't enough in the account) and THEN socked me with overdraft fees and THEN sent it to the collection agency without ever trying to contact me? I was livid. They reversed all charges in the end.

I however only use my own bank's ATM's, I refuse to pay fees!
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
fleur-de-lis|1310055613|2963821 said:
puppmom|1310050434|2963751 said:
So I responded, "Really? The goverment MAKES you charge ATM fees?" The clerk was caught off guard that his scripted response didn't do the trick and someone will be calling me back. Grrr!
:appl: Good for you, puppmom, you're so quick-witted!


--

As for ATM fees and how ATMs are supposed to reduce rather than increase bank costs, I personally decided a few years back to do as much banking as possible in branch, with live people. I admittedly visit only once or twice a month thanks to online banking, but the way I see it if we all still go inside:

-- corporate data will reflect the benefits of keeping branches open instead of closing them down because they get used;
-- more people will have jobs because for each local branch which closes, between 20-50 people will become unemployed; and
-- if more premiere customers like myself use live people, corporate data will indicate the need to keep the branches open for the customers they actually court, which in turn benefits the community, in both jobs and open branches.

I appreciate that corporations need to keep an eye on the bottom line. I also see that there needs to be a balance of interests, because *I* like to live in a thriving community. With the greater economy being what it is today, if small acts on my part (like visiting branches instead of ATMs) keep jobs in my area, I'm doing it!
Solid idea, but some banks (Bank of America is one of them) are now charging fees to see a teller. INSANE. I'm grandfathered in because I had accounts before they added even more ridiculous fees, but I find that absolutely absurd. Banks make money off of my money already, and many of them are posting record profits after being bailed out by the government.

I'm planning to switch either to USAA or a local credit union as soon as possible, and I hope to never deal with another big bank again!
 
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