Saturday, April 02, 2005

really, i'm alive

Just in case you all doubted me, I'm back for real. But no, this blog isn't going to get any more interesting. But just to satisfy your hunger for content, I can talk about how Ohio Savings Bank finally pushed me over the edge.

I've been with Ohio Savings Bank since I got I started working at Progressive. In other words I've been with them forever. My first checking account, actually. I wouldn't have remembered this, but the CSR greeted me by thanking me for being with them since 1999. That was nice, but I'd really prefer to not have to call. Heck, that would save me time, and save them the cost of having a CSR handling my call.

Anyway, you're wondering why I had to call in the first place. Just as background, this is the most recent happening in a series of events that have been planting doubts in my mind about this company. Let's start from the beginning...

From 1999 till 2002 I had absolutely no problems with the bank. Sure, it was a low maintenance relationship, but I think we were both happier that way. When I moved from Pittsburgh back to Cleveland I was able to change my address online. It was a breeze. I was happy.

In 2003, they "upgraded" their online banking system. Personally, I liked their old one a lot better. It looked better, it was designed better, and it was more responsive. Then again, I wasn't about to be too picky. I'm sure they did it for a reason. Exactly what reason it was still escapes me, but I do know that it wasn't installed so that people could change addresses easily. So yes, when I moved again in 2003, I had to call into their call center to have my address changed. Sure, it was a bit more of a hassle, but still OK. After all, any new system takes some time to get the kinks worked out.

And they did work out some of the kinks. In 2004 the system was more responsive, which was good. But they still didn't fix the change of address thing. Plus, they started having these random adjustments to my balance. Strange, but as long as I didn't lose any money, I let them do whatever. The one time I did get a random charge they took it off, which was nice of them. Maybe they miss talking to me. Who knows...

Going back to the address thing, when I moved in 2004, I tried calling again to change my address. No go. Apparently I couldn't do it over the phone anymore. Good thing I live one block from the branch. Since banking hours suck, it took me a few weeks to get over there. When I got there, I was a little surprised at the address change process. The teller printed out some random statement and just asked me to write my address "somewhere" on it and it would be taken care of. Seemed a bit odd, but I figured she wouldn't bother asking me to do it if that wasn't the real process. Yes, it seemed a bit odd at the time...

Just like how it seemed odd that my statements kept going to my old address. So I made it over a second time. This time the teller gave me a change of address form to fill out. Jackpot. Done. Funny though... my statements *still* kept getting sent to my old address. At this point I decided to give up. The statements are useless anyway. I can check my stuff online.

Then the recent event: A random $10 service fee. I have free checking. No fees, no minimum balance. One time this happened before because I used my ATM card as a check card and I had to pay some activation fee. Not this time. So I called in. Naturally, I wanted an explanation. I even tried to be nice.

This is what they told me: The $10 charge was because a recent deposit didn't clear. In laymans terms, someone wrote me a bad check. I was a little skeptical since the check was from Greg and last time I checked he wasn't a deadbeat (yet). On top of that, I remember that he asked me when I was depositing the check so that he could make sure he had enough money. The other thing that made me wonder is why I still had the money deposited in my account. I'm not positive how these things work, but I always figured if someone gave you a bad check, you didn't get any money. Otherwise, I'd write myself huge bad checks and pay the $10 penalty and get a ton of free money. I told the CSR that I had the money and it was never taken back. He was surprised.

So what's the resolution? None to date. Someone is supposed to call me back Monday to let me know what the heck is going on. Regardless of what happens, I'm going to switch banks. Too much drama for me. Besides, all I use this bank for is depositing checks so that I can EFT the money to my *real* bank account (at the First Internet Bank of Indiana... they let me use whatever ATM I want and I get interest too. Check em out.). Considering this, I really don't need a replacement bank. But hey, I don't always act rationally.

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