Interesting. I called it “My” Bank. Why did I do that? Merely because its the institution I’ve used for several years?
I remember why I chose this bank to begin with. I’d just moved to a new community to take a job with a company which required direct deposit of all payroll checks.
I chose this bank because it was directly across the street from my office.
Not because they offered free checking (they didn’t), or for the vast number of their ATMs (which they didn’t have in this community). I didn’t even choose them because they were “big enough to handle my needs but small enough to care.” The bank in question was owned by one of the biggest bank holding companies in the U.S., and since then they’ve been acquired by an even bigger company.
(Side question: “My” bank changed owners two years ago. Are they still mine? Probably. I haven’t noticed any significant changes other than the signage.)
Nope. All of the reasons banks put in their ads about why I should choose them meant nothing to me. I chose by location, and accepted everything which came with the package: the hours of operation, the fees, the interest rates… all of it. After I went into business for myself as a marketing consultant I opened a business account with the same bank.
Flash forward with me.
A couple of weeks ago, I, an otherwise satisfied customer, closed out a brokerage account and deposited the funds into “My” bank account. I hadn’t brought a deposit ticket with me, so I had to ask the teller for a blank deposit slip and to look up my checking account number.
I was told there would be a minimum ten day hold on this check, so that it could clear the issuing bank. Knowing this to be standard policy for many banks around the country, I merely nodded, took my deposit receipt, and left for my office.
On the eleventh day I called to ask about my deposit. I was told the hold on my check was for ten “business days.” Oh. Business days. OK. Because of the weekends, another four calendar days, I guess.
On the fifth day following, also known as the eleventh business day – called by most people the seventeenth day after – I checked my balance online and found the check had still not been credited to my account. I started looking for the bank’s phone number. It took far more effort than it should have to locate the national 800 number for the bank holding company.
I spoke to Rita in customer service. “Rita,” I asked, “what’s the point of requiring me to punch my account number into the phone, if you’re just going to ask me to repeat it when you come on the line?” Rita had no answer, other than their system couldn’t transfer the number with the call.