The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Bank headache number 47
Banks should come with headache pills. Open an account; get a free month’s supply of Panadol or Bayer aspirin. They should also provide this info in their disclaimers:

When you owe the bank money, we will penalise you if we don’t get it retroactive one month from the date we realise we want your money. If the bank owes you money, however, we reserve the right to credit your account after the birth of our firstborn male child, two days after Easter, or after we’ve received a message from our subconscious while we are sleeping.

Two weeks ago, I went into a branch office of my bank and said that I wanted to pay off my credit card and close my account. I owed a grand total of 62 cents on my card, which was easily paid to the teller. I got my receipt, thanked her, and went on my way, thinking that I would check my credit card account online to make sure it was closed.

The next day, the account was still showing in my online banking, but I thought - oh, they must need a couple of days to take it off the system. No worries.

Well, I've gone about my business and a week later, logged into my online banking only to find out that my card has been RENEWED for another year and I've been charged a $24 fee for renewal!

One annoyed phone call to the customer service centre later, I think it's all cleared up. Today I logged into my Internet banking and my account is STILL there showing the charge. This is a bank that charges $8 for just about any service other than depositing a cheque. It cost me over $100 to send a $60 bank cheque to the USA once - $26 of that was fees. I don't make deposits to my USA bank account any more, because they will charge me $33 to go online and do it myself, electronically.

Anyway - back I go to dial customer service. I try not to sound annoyed as I make feeble attempts at being constructive, all the while, gritting my teeth to prevent myself from spitting into the handset. This time, they said it really IS closed and I will get paperwork to that effect.

This is a recurring nightmare. I’ll believe it when I see it.

I need a martini. And a Panadol.
posted by Melanie O. at 11:10 AM -
  • At 12:34 AM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    This is how I close a credit card: I pay the amount due in full when I get my bill, then wait a month to get a bill showing zero balance. Then I WRITE to the account , instructing them to close the account...and cut up the credit card...send a piece of the cut up card and notation that the card is distroyed. The letter is sent registered. I request a confirmation letter from them that yes, they closed the account. I keep this letter in my PERMANMENT FILE forever. By the way, I never deal with a bank charging those high fees. Go to a local MUTUAL bank, not the big ones...or to a credit union. Both mutuals and credit unions are owned by the depositors...makes a big difference. Luv U

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Update: I got an official letter finally stating that the account is CLOSED! Yippee! I am going to hold onto that letter until it turns brown and the edges crumble away.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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