I’m back from “Orlando”, but more on that later.
I have decided that I must switch banks. Why? Because the folks at PNC Bank are unethical bloodsuckers.
This story starts out with me making a error. I fully acknowledge that my idiocy starts the ball rolling here, but it ends with PNC being a company I no longer want to use for banking. When paying my bills at the end of the month, I forgot to stick a – sign on one of the payments I made when entering it into my spreadsheet. This led to me thinking that I had about $300 more in my checking account than I actually did.
After I pay my bills, I generally transfer all but a little bit of spending money out of the checking account and into the savings account. I mainly did this to keep my money safe, as this way if someone got my debit card or account info or something, there’d just be a small amount of loss to deal with. I suppose it’s also to get that killer interest in my savings account.. that whole 1% per year PNC ‘generously’ gives me. But as it turns out transferring the money doesn’t do anything to make it safer.
PNC has this brilliant “overdraft protection” policy. And by “overdraft protection” policy, I mean “and excuse to be fuckers and steal your money” policy. When ever something goes over your account balance they thoughtfully transfer money from your savings account into your checking account to cover it, and only take $10 of your money for their trouble. I suppose this might make sense for checks. But it makes no sense when it comes to check card purchases and of all things ATM withdrawals. Rather than decline your purchase with the check card, they just happily let it go through, and charge you $10 bucks. No warning in any way. Rather than tell you that there’s no money in your account when using ONE OF THEIR OWN ATMs, the machine just happily whirs away, giving you the requested cash, while taking out $10 bucks on the back end with out letting you know. It’s their OWN ATM for fuck’s sake… I can’t imagine going to a teller and trying to withdraw money and NOT have them tell you that you’re overdrawn, but this is some how OK if you’re using an ATM??
So when I logged into my account today, I noticed about 4 or 5 of these fees and got really angry. I used PNC ATMs 3 times during this period, and not once did they let me know I was overdrawn. I used my card multiple times, and they just happily approved the transactions without batting an eye.
I called their customer ‘service’ line and tried to reason with them, spoke with a call center manager, and told them I’d happily pay one overdraft fee, as this did start with my error, but that their failure to notify me of this and allow me to continue to withdraw money through their own ATM would cost them my business unless they refunded the other fees. They flatly refused. The woman even went so far as telling me that I was lying because there’s no way their ATM didn’t tell me about the overdraft. I asked why I would have kept using it, without taking 4 seconds to make an online transfer from savings, if it had warned me. So, to them my business is less valuable than the 30 – 40 dollars they stole from me though their outdated and non-optional overdraft “protection” “service”.
Up until now I had always like PNC Bank, too. What I realize now is that I didn’t like them because of anything they were really doing to keep me happy. It’s just that they were mostly inoffensive and had a good online banking system with a good user interface. It’s not that they were particularly great in anyway. They just didn’t bother me. Now, though, I’m bothered.
The plan is to take my business elsewhere. I’m thinking that one of them new-fangled internet banks might be the way to go. They are still FDIC ensured, many have good ATM arrangements so that you don’t get screwed with lots of fees, and most of them offer at LEAST 3% interest on savings.. and some up to 5%, compared to the 1% I’m getting at PNC, or the .8% I’d get at National City.
So any ideas? Does anyone have experience with some of these online banks?