Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Do People Still Do Business With Banks?

Vox Day blogged about a story I've seen pieces of in other outlets, about a man in the UK who tried to take HIS money out of HSBC and was declined for the full amount. They wanted a reason why he needed to take out so much of his own money, and apparently weren't satisfied with his reasoning.

I've pretty much always dealt with credit unions for my banking. For a brief stint in New Jersey, I had accounts with Commerce Bank, now part of about three different mergers into a large soulless megabank. I can't keep track of which one it is now. I only went to Commerce Bank because I'd just moved there, needed a place to put my paycheck, and my credit union hadn't moved into south Jersey yet. Also that was back in the dark days of writing checks, and nobody would take a check from my credit union because it wasn't local at the time.


I have my own HSBC story that was enough to convince me to NEVER do business with them again.

HSBC bought the servicing on one of my mortgages several years ago. That was back when my ex-wife was handling the bills, and against my wishes used up the "grace periods". That is, the mortgage is due the 1st, but they'll normally leave you alone as long as you pay by the 15th. Payments would routinely go late, and HSBC would call me at work demanding I pay the mortgage right then and there. I don't know what HSBC pays its phone operators, but I normally don't keep enough money around to pay two mortgage payments in a single month. I had to hang up on them and call the ex to find out what was going on. "Oh, you used the grace period again. I thought I told you not to do that. Well, I'm getting calls that the payment is late. PAY IT ON THE 1ST EVERY MONTH!" Then one time we ended up with a $30 late fee because our web bill pay service got the check there a day early, but it was dated for the next day, so HSBC returned it and called me demanding an immediate payment. That blog post is almost 7 years old and my opinion has not changed.

I'm currently having an issue with another mortgage company. I can't give any details until it's resolved, but it's along the lines of something I used to say: "The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, but they're both yanking on the same dick." Seriously, two different divisions that probably by design don't talk to each other.

Needless to say: DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH THESE FREAKING BANKS. It's not worth the pain. I sat around a conference room on Friday listening to several people complain about issues with Bank of 'MURCA. I have a car loan through them. That's it. I will not do any banking with them at all (that is, actually open an account and deposit money). And I only went with the car loan because it was a good rate and beat out both USAA and my credit union.

Find a credit union or even a small, local or regional bank. And if it gets bought by a large, soulless megabank, pull your money out and put it in a credit union. The difference is, credit unions are member owned. You put in $5, you own a share. You get to vote on who runs it. When was the last time Bank of 'murca ever asked your opinion about its officers?

I've been with my credit union for 20 years now, and I've had very, very few problems. When I joined, I had to jump through hoops to get in. Now they'll let anybody in. Contact me if you'd like a referral. I think I get $25 for it. That'll help me pay off my divorce debt, and my taxes now that I have to file single again. I wonder if I can get into a contract marriage like guys in the military do just to get the married tax filing again? (No, I'm not seriously considering that).
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