The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Big Bank Abandons $40 Cup of Coffee – and Many Customers, too

On March 15th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by

There’s a giant bank in this country that announced last week that they are not going to charge their overdraft fee of $35 per debit transaction that goes below zero.  You are not to interpret that move as a gift from this behemoth bank – to the contrary.  This could play out as a worse scenario than exists today if you happen to be one of those good people who need to go below zero on occasion – you know, when the money runs out before the month does.  Stuff happens and sometimes you need to cover your tracks.

Bear with me a second.  Due to the sophisticated technology that exists in the world according to Google, I will not be able to use the name of the bank in this blog.  If I give their name a mention, once this blog posts, somebody at this largest bank in America will get a notification that I’m talking about them and the next thing you know, I’ll be tipping them off as to how they are making a colossal mistake.  SHHH!  Their mistake is our good fortune.

Suffice to say this biggest of banking bullies (whose colors are red, white and blue and whose company initials rhyme with “Sea of Clay”) has forgotten about 14% of their customer base (by their own account).  Yep, they just flat out abandoned them.  OUCH!

Here’s the deal.  A bunch of people (I guess that would be 86%) who don’t use overdraft protection don’t care.  But the 14% who have been kicked to the curb because good ol’ “Sea of Clay” has chosen not to allow their debit card transactions to post if they accidentally go below zero are “hosed.”  Ahh, but they won’t be charged $35 per item!

The party favors are out, confetti is flying, and kazoos are blaring inside consumer protection agencies across the country.  There is joy in Mudville.  The biggest bank in America will no longer hurt the consumer by charging them $35.  The popular poster child for overdraft protection, the $40 cup of coffee, is dead.  Please join the sing-a-long…“ding-dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch…”

No more $40 cups of coffee – halleluiah!  Well, how about the emergency tank of gas to get to work or to pick up the kids?  What about the prescription that needs to be filled?  What about that gas or electric bill?  What if there is an emergency of another sort?  Baby diapers?  School supplies? Car insurance sneaks up on you sometimes…oh yeah, speaking of cars…how ‘bout the emergency mechanical breakdown that leaves you stuck on the side of the road?  Just call a cab…and pay for it with what?

To the 14% of folks who may occasionally find themselves in need of a little “help me up,” get over here to St. Louis Community Credit Union.  We’ll let you go below zero, and here’s a big plus, we’ll only charge you $15 per item.  We’d prefer you never use this service, but we’re not so high and mighty that we will take the service away from you.  If you’re willing to opt-in for overdraft protection for your debit card, because you may need it here and there, well here we are.  You’re an adult – we’ll treat you like one.  You decide.  You got it…don’t lose it…opt in!

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