>Being Screwed by Big Business Again (a Banking Issue)

>Well, I had a productive day today… which is good, because we’ve been spending a lot of time in The Hamptons with friends & going to the beach, and not much time at home.

We did some grocery shopping at both the grocery store AND Costco, some banking (two different banks), I called and made up doctor appointments, I bought new car insurance (switching providers for the first time in 5 years), organized my closet, folded and put away laundry, and now we’re doing more laundry! To do tomorrow: clean out the car, launder the beach towels, clean out the fridge.
So here’s my frustrating banking issue of the day. I’ve had an account at C1tibank for 11 years. My very first bank account that I ever opened (without my parents) was in 1997 when I went to college… but then in 1998 or 1999 I changed banks (when I moved to Water Street, which is in the Financial District of NYC) and I opened an account at the main Wall Street branch of C1tibank, and I’ve had that same account ever since. They’ve been hassle free, good online/phone banking, decent customer service, and i’ve had free checking since then – either because I was a student, or because I had direct deposit, etc. I always told Missy that I was “attached” to that bank account and I’d never close it.
Well, I noticed a few weeks ago that they had been charging me $9 a month in service charges for the past few months, so I went in today to ask why. Apparently, they changed all the types of checking accounts, and to qualify for free checking, you have to have either a monthly average balance of $100,000 (ridiculous), have a monthly average balance of $1,500 (sadly I don’t), owe at least $250K on a mortgage (doesn’t apply to me), work for one of the specific companies that takes part in their specific direct deposit plans (my direct deposit doesn’t count), or be a student. Since i am none of those, they changed my account to a basic account which carries a $3 fee if you’re under 8 debits, or a $9 fee if you have more than 8 debits (and online bill payments count as debits.) And I said, but I didn’t sign up for THAT account, and it seems ridiculous that after 11 years, you’d suddenly switch my account without telling me. And they said “but we did tell you, in tiny fine print on a statement, which you probably didn’t read.” Nice, right. So there’s nothing I can do about it.
So… do I close this account I’ve had for many years which I’ve been happy with (and memorized my account numbers) because of $9 a month… which is really the principle of the matter? Or do I suck it up and pay it?
BTW – I changed my blog layout design… do you like it?
And… don’t forget to click on some ads while you’re here… my advertisers like it and so do i!
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Posted on June 14, 2010, in car stuff, errands, finances, hamptons, laundry. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. >well, is it worth $9 a month for the time it would take for you to deal with switching banks? that's the question you need to answer. plus, all banks pull that kind of bullshit, so you're probably not going to escape that. i say, do some quick research to find out if you'd even qualify for a free checking account from a different bank – you might not, and that would answer the question for you!cute new layout, and i'm gonna go click around right now… 😀

  2. >I would change but then again Im cheap! and poor haha. I like the layout!

  3. >I think there are lots of banks that still do free checking- mine is one (US Bank) and I have had them for quite a while.

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