Remember back in February when I told you to Never Pay the Bank? Probably not. Well, I still mean every word of it. I have had plenty of trials and tribulations with banks in my lifetime, as I imagine you have as well. If you are one of the few people in this country that have had nothing but positive experiences with the bank, enjoy it. I’m sure you are one of the few.
It is not unusual for us to get angry at the bank. Because of how much we use our accounts, there are any number of issues that can arise and irritate us to the point of walking out. This is a common occurrence in banks all over the world. Here is how it usually goes down:
1) Customer finds out about an account issue.
This may be fraud, overdraft fee(s), a poor customer service experience, a change in policy, or any number of a litany of circumstances.
2) Customer gets angry and either closes his/her account right then, or speaks to customer service to try to resolve the issue.
If someone is mad enough, they will just close their account. If they have some patience, they will try to find out exactly what happened and try to resolve it through channels within the bank.
3) The conclusion:
Here’s where patience and problem resolution skills payoff. Many times, the person who closed their accounts outright is directed to a teller to get the cash that is left in the account (if any). This would be fine, but it’s not over. Many banks will hand you an account closure agreement (or something comparable). This piece of paper is usually thrown out shortly after the customer leaves the bank.
What you may not know:
That piece of paper had important information on it. It most likely stated that if there were any pending transactions (credits or debits) that were pre-authorized on the account, they will still be honored. If you have a direct deposit set up, your check will still come to the account unless it is changes with your human resources department at work. Any transactions that have not yet come out of the account (like bill-pay, un-posted transactions, or checks that have not been negotiated) will also be paid. If there is a zero balance in the account and these transactions occur, customers may face some hefty overdraft/non-sufficient fees. Banks are money-grubbing institutions. They will often ignore these facts when closing accounts…especially if you are angry. The employee will just want you out of his/her face if you are giving attitude.
If you are unsure about what will happen with the transactions that have not yet settled, do not be afraid to ask. It can save you a ton in unnecessary fees. If you think closing your account is best for you, make sure that it will not cost you more than it probably has already.
Photo: Todd Ehlers