Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blood-sucking Banks from the Swamp of Discontent!

For fear of assassination said bank shall remain nameless. Other names have
also been changed to protect the innocent.

I bank, and have banked, with a few different banks.

My day-to-day bank recently released a new 'super' product where bank fees
are heavily reduced. You get unlimited transactions for $5 per month and
that fee is even waived if you have a certain quantity of money on the

I already had a similar product from them but the bank fee was $10 per month
with 25 free transactions. The fee was also waived if you had a certain
quantity of money on the account. That amount was however twice the amount
of the 'super' product.

I rang the bank to ask what the difference between the two products was -
that is, besides the numbers. Why would they even continue the old product
if the other product does exactly the same thing but is 'better' for the
consumer? Blank stares, as you would expect, all round.

So... changed the product. But wait, there's more!

They, of course, neglected to tell me that to change the account you incur
another bank fee - $10!

I read once that the strategy of most banks is to 'force' people online by
making branch-banking impossibly expensive. Some banks charge VERY excessive
fees for anything that involves a face. Ultimately the goal is make the
branches uneconomical due to this natural 'migration', they can then justify
the cut of staff numbers to just the fat cats and even close branches.

Then ... again! ... wait, there's more! They would then start charging for
any online banking! As an example, my 'friendly' bank would normally charge
$2.50 for a teller-assisted withdrawl... but they now also charge $1.50 for
an internet transfer! That's just software! No people involved ... just
Carlos the Computer!

Basic business ... first make it impossible for your customers to have any
other option then milk them for all it's worth!

The banks in Australia are the most profitable companies in Australia ....
you have to wonder why.

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