health & happiness wellness

A Letter to My Bank

April 27, 2011

Dear Nice Assistant Manager Who Helped Me to Open My Account:

When I opened my checking account with [name of huge, nationwide bank], you said to contact you with any concerns or question. I am writing to let you know that I have begun the search for a new banking institution with whom to do business.

Yesterday, I received an insufficient-funds fee that I feel is unfair. This morning when I saw the overdraft fee, I called my local branch, spoke with a teller, and then was transferred to someone higher up the banking chain, who informed me that the insufficient-funds fee was not the bank’s fault but my fault and therefore would not be refunded because that is the bank’s policy. Although I transferred money into my account yesterday as soon as I saw that it could potentially become overdrawn (while my balance was still positive and before you applied an insufficient funds fee), I was told that it was too late because I was charged for transactions that happened on Saturday but had not yet appeared in my online banking. The someone-higher-up-the-banking-chain person informed me that I should have known that the check I deposited on Saturday didn’t really count toward my balance because it was a check. Also, I should have been checking the paper register that I received when I opened my account because how could the bank possibly know what was going to come out of my account? Are you not the ones who authorized the automatic payments that come out of my account every month?

Frankly, I feel that the business designs of the major banks in this country are confusing, tricky, and focused to make or take as much money as possible from their customers, especially customers with small balances like me. I find it to be reprehensible. I am seeking an opportunity to bank with a credit union or other such institution, where I will be treated with reason and compassion, not given a standard response as dictated from the corporate offices.

I do not believe that my request for a refund is unreasonable. This is the first insufficient-funds fee that I have received from [name of huge, nationwide bank] and may very well be my last as I look to change banks. I appreciate the personal kindness that you showed me, which is why I am writing directly to you. I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.


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