Do you hate getting stung with bank fees and charges as much as I do? It seems criminal to me some of the fees that banks employ to steal your money. Unfortunately there is a chronic lack of competition in the banking sector (at least in Australia) and this is the price that we end up paying.
Recently one of the banks that I have an account with migrated my bank account to a new type of account without much warning, and for some reason it was unable to make external bank transfers. I only discovered this when I tried to move some funds to my main bank account and was prompted to use a transaction account to continue.
I decided that I would ring the bank and see what the story was, as surely they didn’t migrate my account to a new account which couldn’t make external transfers. After speaking to the lady on the phone for a few minutes I discovered that this is exactly what they had done. I could transfer money in, but I was unable to get it out again without signing up for a new transaction account. I said fine then, I will require a new transaction account. As the woman read through the terms and conditions she noted that there was going to be a $4 account keeping fee each month to keep the account open. As soon as I heard her say that there was going to be a fee, I pulled her up and asked about getting an account without a fee as my previous account had no fees and I certainly didn’t want to spend $48 a year just to have this random little account alive.
The lady told me that we should just continue and she would remove the fee once I had signed up for the account. I said sure, no problems, so long as I don’t have to pay the fee and that I can transfer my money externally. So we went through the process of opening the transaction account and the lady asked me if there was anything else she could help me with – I said – “have you removed the fee from my account?” to which she replied – “oh sorry, i’ll do that now”. After a couple of minutes of trying to remove the fee, she tells me that she is unable to do so and that I will need to go into a branch to get the fee removed…
I wasn’t very happy about this, but thought that it isn’t too much effort to head into the bank the next time I was out and about. Anyway, on Monday last week I headed down to the local branch and asked the lady at the desk to remove the fee on the account. She said that I would need to be a student or pensioner to get the exemption…
I remained fairly calm and said that I would like to close my account if she wouldn’t remove the fee. Then she asked me if I was a student, to which I replied – “No, i’m not a student”. She said “Yes you are a student, if you want to have no fee”. I told her that I wasn’t going to lie about something just to get a fee exemption and that I would rather close my account. She ended up poking around in the system and changing my status so that I would not have to pay a fee until 2017. I said that will do until I can find a new account without fees.
At least I got my fees removed, but what a joke of a bank. Needless to say I will most likely be moving shortly.
Have you had any bad bank experiences or succeeded in having fees removed?