Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

AGAIN WITH THE FINE PRINT

The year was 2000 and I left banking after 32 years.  A lot has probably changed since then but I imagine the fine print has probably only gotten finer.  Opening an account at a bank yields a lot of paperwork and buried in the fine print is a disclosure that states "The rules and regulations on this account are subject to change by the financial institution at any time with 30 days prior notification provided to the customer in writing."  


That notification can be delivered to you in any manner.  The favorite is in a line notice across your bank statement.  The reason that is the favorite is because the majority of people (I kid you not) do not even open their bank statements.  Yes Bank of America and all the other banks will find more subtle ways to increase their fee income after abandoning the $5 debit card fees, and a lot of us will not even notice the changes.

There is even more in the fine print that you should start reading. A lot applies to what is the customer's responsibility.  It is amazing stuff.  Have you ever read all the disclosures the bank provides?  Did you shop for you bank based on pricing and policies or convenience?

19 comments:

  1. I have been with a credit union going on 10 years and I could not be happier. I am so glad that I do not bank at a regular bank any more. I may not have the convenience of a drive thru or later hours but I'm not paying for them either.

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  2. I belong to a credit union formerly associated with only telephone company employees, but now open to everyone. I'm still happy with them, but have noticed some fee things here and there that they didn't use to have.

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  3. Tis true.....it is getting a little tiring living life on the defense.

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  4. I haven't actually set foot in my bank in years.I don't like to go in there because I don't want to be involved in a "Dog Day Afternoon" hostage situation in case of a hold up.

    So, that is how I selected which bank I would use. I chose the one with the most branches so I had a host of ATM'S to use for cash and I checked into the "Bank By Mail"
    situation.

    The one I chose gives pre addressed and stamped envelopes for mail- in deposits. When they send you the receipt for your deposit they also enclose a new envelope to use the next time.

    They have a terrific computer set up where you can check balances , transfer funds between accounts,and do most of your banking on line.

    So, why would I go in there and take a chance o running into Al Pacino?

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  5. I leave all my banking issues to my partner. I can't handle figures. Well I mean numbers anyway. ;)

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  6. I chose the bank for convience. We chose to also use the credit union that was started by my husband's last employer. All of our eggs are not in one basket.. ;-)

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  7. We are in the process of refinancing due to the low interest rates. Our lender was almost shocked that I would take the time to read all the forms before signing them. I learned a long time ago - fine print can really get you.
    Ralph

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  8. We have to be savvy consumers, shop around, write our congressmen; the fed has been told it is not their role to help the consumer all that much. If you don't even open your statement, well, get over it consumers!

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  9. I worked for a bank our first year of marriage before I began teachin' and sure shootin' I read both my statements and the fine print.

    Knowin' well that they can change their policies on a whim.

    God bless and have yourself a splendid day sweetie!!! :o)

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  10. I have never read them - oops! sandie

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  11. I read everything, but you have to dig to find things sometimes. (Fine print: by the way, you're f'd!) I picked my bank way back when via recommendations from friends and because they didn't charge anyone to use their ATMs. All of that changed and they got bought out by a bigger bank, and now I'm looking for a credit union.

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  12. Bonnie -- I know a lot of people really value their credit union associations. Ron had been with a CU in San Diego and everyone was very friendly plus they offered great rates and services but I would guess that has all changed by now.

    Lynn -- Yes, since they made it possible for practically anyone to belong to a CU, a lot of the nice perks have gone away.

    Changes in the wind -- When it comes to our finances we have to be defensive or we can end up in the hole from fees before we know it.

    Nancy -- Having actualy experienced a "Dog Day Afternoon" I can assure you it's best to use their drive-thru. I am absolutely in shock that you have a bank that still pays the postage on bank-by-mail. Ours will provide envelopes but certainly not the postage. It also rare that we need to actually go inside a bank.

    LL Cool Joe -- You should be involved with the figures...the numerical ones. Ron is the same. He knows the bottom line but if anything happened to me, he wouldn't know a thing about the day-to-day.

    ancient one -- It is important not to have all your eggs in one basket...unless you just gathered them from the hen house and are walking very carefully back to the house.

    Ralph -- Definitely read the fine print on loan documents. It is a shame the number of people who are discouraged from reading by the nonchalant phrase, "It's all pretty normal".

    Tabor --Even if people opened their statements, you would be surprised at the number who do not have a clue how to balance a checkbook. I used to hold a How-To class on that subject and you would not believe the number of people who simply round off every item they enter in their register, if they bother to write them down at all. Also people who use ATM's often assume the balance that shows is correct regardless of outstanding checks.

    Nezzy -- Did you encounter people who growled at you when you told them you worked for a bank?

    Chatty Crone -- Well you know they say "Ignorance is bliss". You're probably better off not knowing.

    Riot Kitty -- The funniest thing about ATM's is how they were supposed to reduce manpower and lower the costs of banking. LOL

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  13. Our credit union still has the friendliest tellers and the best customer service. They also have great rates and alot of free perks, like courtesy pay up to $500 if you overdraw. I just love them.

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  14. Bank is a long forgotten friend, who I'm reminded of only if i'm urged to. Yes, I do have an account, but I can go without it too. Bank credit is not my department, only debit. I use debit card which they issue for free here. And as about disclosures, I read them word by word. I try to learn a lot of bank dealings, but always try not to get involved. Religion forbid. Hm !

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  15. Bonnie -- Wow...I never heard of a bank or CU that did not charge for overdrafts! And those friendly tellers can each make a difference in keeping or losing customers in a single mishandled or discourteous transaction yet they are among the lowest paid in the bank. Plus they are in the most dangerous place in the event of a robbery. Once I suggested free counseling for our tellers who had been targets in a recent robbery and the downtown office refused saying it would call attention to the danger these tellers face.

    MonaLisa -- Adding fees for debit card usage in the U.S. has caused a lot of turmoil. My grandson has a student account that only allows debit card usage and doesn't have any service charge which is great for a kid in college. But I'm guessing they have changed that recently. We do not use debit cards at all because they are much more difficult to get a refund for use on a lost or stolen card.

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  16. ahhhh. welp. in 2000 i graduated high school. but then proceeded to work at a bank as well.

    til i got laid off like everyone else. but yea, i certainly don't miss explaining all the new fees to customers.

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  17. I've switched banks more times than they've been taken over by other banks... of course I've stayed local. I've persoanlly sworn off several large ones due to the sneaky fee practices. Was surprized a few times.

    Changed Mostly due to the fee schedules changing. I still have a free checking acct, but they'll charge me if I go to the window more than a few tomes per month, so I only do the banks atm n call the atomated balance, thing occassionally.

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  18. Highway robbery only it doesn't happen on the highway.

    BTW I sent you an email I got today about Bank of America's "sincere" apology. I thought you might get a chuckle out of it.

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  19. I'm like many others still rolling along with the good old credit union...they're not charging me for drive thrus or atms or late hours and guess what I don't need drive thrus or atms or late hours....hold on I do need the drive thrus but not he atm and late hours!!! LOL

    I honestly think Bank of America ONLY exists for our comic relief...aren't they the bank that charges you if you need to come and talk to a teller!! LMAO!

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