(originally posted February 27th, 2005)

It seems that everyone has some kind of story about banks and their negative practices. It seems that most of them aren’t really sure which face it is they want to put forward. I can tell you that I personally have never been mistreated in any bank that I’ve gone into. People are usually friendly, tripping over each other to make your banking experience wonderful; I’m easily overcome when offered cookies.

Contrast that to some of the letters we receive when it comes to our accounts, or our credit cards. In an online networking group I participate in earlier today, one of the participants was telling us about this experience she had when she received a letter saying a certain fee was rising, a fee that she didn’t even know she was paying. She tried to call customer service to talk to someone, and in 2 1/2 hours she was sent all over the country, trying to find someone to talk to. After her story, a few other people shared their stories, and none of them were positive.

I have a few stories myself, a couple regarding what I call credit card swapping (where one bank takes over accounts for another, then throws out the agreement you had with the previous bank and jacks up your interest rate), and another regarding an issue I had over my mortgage last year, after I refinanced for a lower rate. Has anyone else ever noticed that when you finish paying off a card, that’s when they want to talk to you about renegotiating your rate? Weasels!

I will say this; I’ve never ever tried to obtain a credit card from the same bank I have my checking or savings accounts with. I like to have some kind of relationship with the people who take my checks and give me my money, especially because I often forget to take my account number with me. I’d hate to get mad at the whole institution and want to move my money elsewhere just because the other sides of their business aren’t as courteous and forthright as the people they employ as tellers.