Recently, Wells Fargo notified me of changes to my account. I’d have to pay a $5 monthly fee on my checking account if the balance dipped below $300.
I think I would’ve avoided the fee if I signed up for an automatic savings or direct deposit plan. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly. It’s not important. What is important, however, is that I refuse to pay for checking. I believe checking accounts ought to be free. Those are just my beliefs.
I’ve been through this before. Chase sent a similar notice over a year ago to say they’d charge me a $12 fee for one reason or another. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the particulars of the letter. The details are irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that I responded to Chase in the same way I responded to Wells Fargo—by closing my account.
The cancellation process was quite simple:
- Call Wells Fargo.
- Give representative my account number.
- When asked, tell the rep why I’m closing my account. Answer: I don’t need no stinkin’ checking account that ain’t free.
- Confirm mailing address so that I can receive a check for the measly $340 remaining in my account.
Now, I know some people think it’s unreasonable to expect free checking. After all, banks are for-profit entities.
I don’t have a problem with banks making money. Likewise, I don’t have a problem with me saving money.
Between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm every weekday, that $5 I’ll eventually pay to Wells Fargo can buy me two empanadas from one of my favorite restaurants.
For now, Charles Schwab and ING Direct will fulfill my day-to-day banking needs. Since they don’t nickel and dime their customers, I don’t have any complaints with either company.
I urge you to pay attention to changes that happen on your accounts. When you receive a notice from your bank regarding updates to terms and conditions, read it. There’s no telling what ridiculous fees lurk in the fine print.
If you don’t like the changes, see if you can negotiate a new agreement that you’re comfortable with OR fire your bank.
Feel free to gripe about exorbitant fees on Facebook, Twitter, and your blog. Sign a petition on Change.org, if you will. But remember, the best thing you can do to influence change is to speak with your wallet by taking your business elsewhere.
When was the last time you ended a banking relationship? Why?