Friday, August 11, 2006

Bank Shot

You never know what you had until you've lost it....

Never were truer words said. But in this case, I'm not mourning the death or loss of a romantic relationship, or family, or even a beloved pet. I am in mourning over the death of my long-term relationship with Citibank.

Oh, sure, I called it Shitty-Bank more than once (I wasn't the only one), but to continue with this appalling use of trite phrases, you always hurt (or malign) the one you love.

I've been a Citibank customer for about 50% of my life. I had my acct number in Manhattan engraved upon my memory. Even 5 years after having to regretfully close that account to open one in Citibank's Upstate NY region, I still know that 8-digit number by heart. Maybe I'll use it as a PIN someday.

I admit, I took Citibank for granted. Didn't every bank allow you to make transactions at the bank with your ATM card? Paper deposit slips? What were those? Just use the ATM card, dip it into the slip at the counter and your account and personal information popped for the teller.

No more those happy days. Citibank has abandoned Western NY and handed over its branches lock, stock and barrel to M&T Bank.

It's like stepping back 20 years in terms of technology and service. M&T is clunky where Citibank was race-car sleek. M&T requires paper deposit slips for those occasions when you want to deposit with a teller rather than the ATM.

Paper?

No ATM card-driven transaction?

It's like going from broadband back to dial-up. It's like going from my iPod playlists back to mixing cassette tapes. It's godawful!

Did I mention Citibank's very nice feature of automatically crediting $1000 of any deposit to my account immediately, as cash. I'm sure it was based on some complicated formula involving my account record and client profile, but the funds were available immediately. And it had been $2000 when I was still in Manhattan.

M&T? $0. Takes 3 days to clear. Minimally.

Depressing as the transition has been, I might have grumbled and stayed with M&T were it not for two things:

1) a $.50 charge for using the M&T ATM.

Let me get this straight? I use the ATM, avoid waiting in line to use a human teller, and you charge me more? You cut headcount and I pay extra for your automation?

2) a $1.75 EFT charge for a Paypal transaction.

This was the piece de resistance, aka what actually drove me to esl.org and bankofamerica.com to investigate opening a checking and savings account elsewhere. I use Paypal to purchase things on eBay and other website that take Paypal. Sometimes the payment is large, sometimes, it's less than $5. The $1.75 electronic funds transaction fee was on a payment of $6.75 for a book. The fee was almost as much as the shipping!

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I won't take any more of M&T, and I'm mulling over a lawsuit against Citibank for unlawful abandonment. I think I might be entitled to some compensation for mental anguish.

Anyone know a good bank?

2 Comments:

Blogger Amanda said...

Holy cow, why don't you quit IT and become a writer? Thanks for playing tag with me! fun fun fun.....I'm slightly addicted to blogging! Hope all is well with you!! Keep in touch!

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESL. They do *rock*.

9:06 PM  

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