So, this isn't a change we made today...or even this year. It's a change we made last year when Washington Mutual merged with Chase.
Local banking. It's something we considered and talked about off and on for a couple of years before we finally got pissed off enough to just do it.
We had one too many phone calls that directed us to someplace in Bangladesh, to speak with a representative who not only was not familiar with English but was also not familiar with the whole "question and answer process"...you know, I, as the customer ask a question, and they, as the representative, answer it. Apparently it is a difficult concept...especially if the question requires saying any words that are not part of a script.
We ended up having two debit cards either not sent at all or sent to the wrong place. Another two were sent 2 weeks later because they weren't aware they had already sent them. By the time we had 4, we weren't sure which ones were valid and had to start all over.
So, we jumped ship and moved local. And back then, it wasn't because we were hoping to support local business...it was more so we could actually go down to our local branch and wring the neck of the particular individual who screwed up our transaction or request.
However, pleasantly and fortunately, we have not had any problems since we started banking in town. In fact, it's been great.
The reason I thought of this today was because NPR had a story this morning: More Americans Considering Community Banks. I wasn't moved to write about this topic because I agreed with it, either. It was more that I wanted to flick the loser in the nose who is quoted in the story as saying something to the effect of, "When people find out how much work is involved in switching from a big bank to a local one, they will choose to spend that hour with their kids instead."
The jackass makes it sound like those of us who put an hour or two in now, to invest in our futures and the future of our community...those of us who want to support something good and dependable...those of us who think it's worth the time...are somehow inferior parents because we choose to spend an hour away from our children to ensure that those same children will have the opportunity to later understand a value that is important to us.
Once again, I'd like to reiterate: Jackass.
That is all.
Other than that...bank local. If you are with one of the 4 giants...get out as fast as you can before they make you bend over any farther.