Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shopping for a New Bank

When my old bank Wachovia was bought out by the mega giant I will only identify by mentioning that it rhymes with Hell's Cargo, I was not thrilled. I had no problems with Wachovia. They took my money, let me have it back when I wanted it, and let me look at the numbers online. That's pretty much all I ask. Banking should be a convenience, not a hassle. Make it convenient and I will let you fondle my money when I'm not using it. Become a nuisance and it is time for you to go away.

I previously reported finding about $60 worth of fraudulent charges in my account, conveniently during the transitional period between Wachovia and Hell's Cargo when the numbers weren't readily available. I reported the issue, spent a lot of time online, filling out and mailing forms, and (grrr) on the phone, and was told the following incongruous facts: 1) despite the statements all saying the charges were against my old card that would not be paid by Hell's Cargo, they claimed the charges were both against the old and new cards and as such I needed to get a third card to stop this from recurring. 2) despite the charges all being for different amounts and within a two week period, they insist whoever set them up did it as a scheduled recurring payment. And their latest stroke of genius, 3) they claim their investigation revealed the charges to be valid, no explanation of how, and have closed the matter. I think it's time for them to go away.

Any suggestions? I'm looking for low maintenance above all else. I don't do anything fancy, but I do like to pay bills online. In fact, online is key. If I can set things up from my apartment and never have to visit or call them for any reason, they're the ones for me.

9 comments:

noceleryplease said...

Check out your local credit unions. Most of them have ways of getting around the requirements to be a member of some special group (I know that at mine, although I am a person who originally met the requirement, you can now join some kind of free "I'm a fan of credit unions" club and be eligible to join.

Credit unions... no fees... easy banking.

Or... Chase holds my mortgage and one of my credit cards. Their online site is nice and easy to use for those products...

Tracy Lynn said...

I have been with Key Bank for over a decade. They are super easy to deal with, have all the online stuff, and on the rare occasion that I have had an issue, they have been efficient, polite and given me what I wanted.

Jay said...

I use Bank of America. I wouldn't really recommend them, but their online bill pay is super damn user friendly. So, they have that going for them. I was going to switch to a locally owned bank, but then I saw that bank's name show up on a watch list of banks that might fail, so I didn't make any changes.

I agree with credit unions though. They are usually pretty decent.

Captain Dumbass said...

I could suggest some Canadian banks, but that probably wouldn't help.

Ricardo said...

Well most banks these days allow you to do bills online. You may want to consider a credit union. Problem with them is they have few ATMs which means you'll be knocked silly with out of network ATM fees.

Grant said...

noceleryplease - I'll keep Chase in mind. I kind of liked their site for their credit card.

Tracy Lynn - KEY BANK IS THE DEVIL! When I first got moved to the department in which I work, I had to support their users who were attempting online training. They're a real bunch of morons and pricks when they're your customer.

Jay - I've dealt with BoA, and they can be a bit unscrupulous. When I got in financial trouble they said they were going to drastically jack up my interest rates if I kept using their card. I canceled but they pretended not to notice. They didn't raise the rates, though - I think they were hoping I'd miss the fine print and use it after the deadline they set which gave them automatic authority to raise the interest.

Captain Dumbass - you mean Bank of America hasn't invaded yet?

Ricardo - one thing I learned from Hells Cargo is that they won't do free accounts in the future, so I'm wondering if that's going to be a new norm. Chase still has free ones, though, so as long as they don't get bought out I might go with them.

unmitigated me said...

Banks suck. I've used a credit union for the last 25 years. They have online bill pay, too. The only bank I'd be willing to even consider is Bank of America, though I'm sure they've screwed someone somewhere, the lady there was very nice to my 19-year-old son and helped him set up the account that would be most advantageous for him.

Avitable said...

For online banking convenience and quick response with fraud, use Bank of America. They're huge, but I've been pretty happy with them for the last 10 years.

April said...

I love BoA. Seriously, I've not had a single problem with them since I switched. I don't have a credit card through them, strictly checking and savings accounts. I had someone try to charge money to my account and they caught that shit immediately.

Joe uses a Credit Union but the issue with them is that they don't have many branches and they're not close to us. Otherwise he likes them a lot.