May 5, 2000
7:44 AM   Subscribe

Personal Rant: Nationsbank (now Bank Of America) sucks. More inside.
posted by baylink (31 comments total)
I just wasted 30 minutes this morning at a Nationsbank branch cashing a check someone wrote me. $50, payday is this afternoon, and I needed the gas.

Why did it take 30 minutes? Because Nationsbank 'Appreciates Its Customers'. Just not the people to whom its customers write checks. If you're not a customer and you need to cash a check, you need to have 2 forms of ID, instead of just a drivers license (like customers), and what's even better, you get to stand in a different line, from which people are called to the counter about 1 time in 4. I call it the ghetto. Loudly. Maybe I'll piss someone off badly enough to try to evict me.

Now, there are two things no one's explained to me yet:

1) If I'm gonna forge a DL to cash a check, do you *really* think I'm gonna fail to forge *the rest of the wallet*?

2) Is this actually legal? More importantly, do they really think it's gonna improve their customer relations when 6000 small businesses start hearing "the bank's harassing me when I try to cash my paycheck"? Maybe paychecks are exempt. That would be even better; *that* *would be* discrimination.

At least no one looks at me funny these days, when I say I don't deal with banks, because they tend to treat my personal financial business as a revenue stream, like people used to...

If you bank at BoA, think about it...
posted by baylink at 7:55 AM on May 5, 2000

Was this really necessary?
posted by corpse at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2000

So if you weren't a customer of the bank, why go there? Just go to your own bank, no hastle and the you get the quick money. Better yet, go to an ATM and deposit the money. Even faster.
posted by vitaflo at 8:29 AM on May 5, 2000

As noted at the bottom of the posting, *I don't deal with the commercial banking industry*. That used to mark one as a pariah, though nowadays more people understand just how skanky is the behavior of most commercial banks...
posted by baylink at 8:31 AM on May 5, 2000

Well, isn't that the story with every commercial bank? Whatever happened to "I'm a people... (insert choir)"

They know these corporations aren't going to take their corporate accounts why NOT screw with their employees?

(Doing a bad impression of Joe Pesci) "They $%$# YOUuuuu at the payroll-only line...!!!"
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 8:43 AM on May 5, 2000

I have to agree with corpse ... why does your personal rant belong on MetaFilter, instead of, perhaps, your own personal webpage?
posted by fil! at 8:59 AM on May 5, 2000

As with corpse's comment, my reply is in email, where the questions also belong; no doubt if Matt feels he needs help in moderation, he'll tell us.
posted by baylink at 9:02 AM on May 5, 2000

Well... I thought it was a valid topic, Baylink. Commercial banks have been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember. If mathowie has a objection with this thread, then it's an entirely different matter...
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:07 AM on May 5, 2000

I love my credit union. Higher interest, free online banking & bill paying, helpful people at the end of the 1-800 number. In fact, I've never ever been to the bank itself, never needed to.

If you don't like banks, learn to live without them, or try. This can mean not only eschewing the banks yourself, but adjusting your cash flow so you're not beholden to them in times of need, or learning to barter for your gasoline. To me, it's like saying "The Gap's got sucky colors!" ...well, go someplace else.
posted by jessamyn at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2000

I called your credit union, Jess. They won't accept me. They say I live to far away.

(:-), for the humor impaired)
posted by baylink at 10:03 AM on May 5, 2000

Baylink, where's the link? If nothing else, it seems that it's pretty clear postings here have links in them, such that they engender discussion about other web-based-things. (If it's not clear, I too agree with copse -- it seems that this belongs on your own site, not here.)

And to preempt your response -- that my complaint belongs in email -- you can't have your cake and eat it too (meaning that you can't say that your posting belongs, just 'cuz, but then say that other people should be using email to say what they're thinking, just 'cuz.) Also, nobody's outright moderating you, baylink, we're just archiving our concerns that this kind of post isn't exactly in the spirit of MF, so that matt can read the concerns and make his own decisions.
posted by delfuego at 10:08 AM on May 5, 2000

I'll have to agee...personal rants should go on personal sites.

Can you imagine if everyone posted their daily grievances here?

"Today the soda machine jipped me....soda machines are the tool of the devil"

"Guess what...the mailman brought me nothing but bills today! God how I hate that."

see my point.
posted by dangerman at 10:25 AM on May 5, 2000

Whether this all belongs on Baylink's personal website or not, I'll not comment on. I will however, agree with him. I haven't used a commercial bank in over two years, and I will fight tooth and nail not to go back to that system.

Viva my own pocket!
posted by lizardboy at 10:30 AM on May 5, 2000

I didn't put a link in, Del, precisely because it would have been gratuitous to the topic at hand, and I wouldn't have been able to defend it on any other terms.

I *will* however, ask this: does not conversation on the topic of whether it was proper belong in Metatalk?
posted by baylink at 10:36 AM on May 5, 2000

OOOh..... good answer, good answer.... (clap, clap clap)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:47 AM on May 5, 2000

So, now it belongs in MetaTalk, not email? I'm confused...

Seriously, I'm not sure if this general species of beast belongs in MetaTalk -- the MetaTalk About page is giving a 404, as is the Archive link, so I can't see what the rules of the road there are.

But I can justify these particular responses being here -- they're contextual replies to your post, and only makes sense if taken in that context. (Although I'll give you that a more general "baylink seems to want to bend all the rules here, with greenspun links, onMouseOver manipulation to try to disguise his redirected links, and personal grievances that have nothing to do with the web or the spirit of MF" post should be in MetaTalk...)
posted by delfuego at 10:52 AM on May 5, 2000

I'm gonna get it later for saturating this post...I know it! And i deserve it.... but I do want to address one thing:

Vitaflo's: "So if you weren't a customer of the bank, why go there? "

Well, it's not that simple. If you work in a corporation, in the middle of, say, NYC. You get your paycheck, and you're expected to spend your entire lunch hour standing in line at your company's bank branch.

*Are you gonna make it home to YOUR bank before 3PM? Doubtful.
*Are you gonna wait until friday when your bank is open till 7, and then wait for it to clear on Tuesday? Not me!
* Will that Chase Manhattan or Chemical Bank let you open a personal account? Don't make me laugh!

We're stuck, we're screwed... and if you're "Mr. Responsible" like me, you wake up on payday morning with just a subway token to your name....

This *would* be a cool topic on {fray} though. (no link. you all know where it is...)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:10 AM on May 5, 2000

No, Eric, if I'd known where it was, I probably wouldn't have posted it *here*.

And Del? If I hear the "mouseover == subterfuge" allegation *one* *more* *time*, I'm gonna sic Mafiaboy and Spyder on your website.

I did it to make the "I can't see where I'm going" crowd happy, and for no other reason.
posted by baylink at 11:14 AM on May 5, 2000

It's everyone else's site as much as it is mine, and since there are so many members, the place would turn into RantFilter and be a bear to read if we all voiced our beefs.

I agree with some others that personal rants belong on personal sites, especially if the topic has nothing to do with the web.

MetaTalk was supposed to be for talking about bugs, feature requests, metafilter conduct, etc. I'm going to redesign it so it is topic driven instead of date driven (so there will be a bug thread, a features thread, a nettiquite thread, etc...)

On the other hand, a web-related rant could probably be at home here, because others could share similar experiences (not that no one else has suffered at the hands of BofA, but this is a website after all, web things take precedence here).

But whatever the group as a whole collectively feels is right is something you should think about following Baylink.
posted by mathowie at 11:18 AM on May 5, 2000

I forgot to add: I don't want to be the vengeful god in all these matters - my rules aren't the final rules. I control the code yes, but I don't want every decision falling into my lap to judge for all.

Many of the recent problems have happened after a member did something outside the norm.

The "unwritten" rules are the way that most people use the site. Most people post links to other sites on the web and most people discuss them. Most of them aren't long, and most of them don't contain scripting or abnormal html. Most of them aren't personal attacks on each other.

When things outside the those norms get posted, things happen, tempers flare, egos get hurt, and most of the members probably don't like it.

Great, I just reduced every metafilter member to a herd of sheep. I guess I mean it's good to follow the rules most of the time, the stuff outside the norm is fun sometimes and definitely adds spice, but at the same time you risk pissing people off.
posted by mathowie at 11:25 AM on May 5, 2000

Yep, I do.

Anyone with interest is invited to note that you were warned. I *didn't* post a long screed on the home page; I labeled it clearly; and I didn't add a link "just so no one could bitch that there wasn't a link there".

At least I put some effort into breaking as few rules as possible.

I'd be a lot happier, though, if people would just come out and say "this isn't what *I* want to see on Meta", instead of trying to project their tastes or expectations onto the entire community.

Yes, it was a rant. Yes, it was personal. Did it belong here. Ok; probably not. I give in to temptation occasionally, too; *I* don't get 5000 hits a day.

But please, people; could we skip the strawmen and ad hominems?

I'll go pick my turd up off the living room carpet, now.
posted by baylink at 11:41 AM on May 5, 2000

this is funny. ha ha.

err. i thought we were logging the web.

but on topic, ill just say, if you are _so_ against commercial banks. DONT GO TO ONE.

i never walk in a bank. direct deposit. and if i have a check to deposit, ill do it through the atm. dont like atms? you can do it at most liquor stores along with the countless check cashing places.
posted by sikk at 11:55 AM on May 5, 2000

I give up.

Sikk, what part of "I don't have an account at any bank, anywhere" *was* *not* *clear* *to* *you*?
posted by baylink at 12:42 PM on May 5, 2000

this isn't what *I* want to see on Meta
posted by ericost at 12:47 PM on May 5, 2000

I don't disagree, Eric.

What does one *do* with provocative posts like that?
posted by baylink at 1:16 PM on May 5, 2000

This isn't what I want to see on Meta either.

I go to Hissyfit when I want to read people's gripes and complaints.

And Bay, there IS a place to vent about your random annoyances...

Not to mention Epinions.
posted by wiremommy at 1:31 PM on May 5, 2000

There's also Consumerama, a portal for "people with a beef and a website." Lots of pointers to disgruntled patrons over there.
posted by bradlands at 1:47 PM on May 5, 2000

I will wholeheartedly agree, Nationsbank/Bank Of America sucks. They suck, they always have sucked, they always will suck.

They sucked when they were North Carolina National Bank. They sucked when they became North Carolina National Bank National Bank. They sucked when they shortened it to just Nationsbank. And they sucked when they merged with Bank Of America, which sucked pretty badly itself.

Every time I've had anything to do with NCNB in any of its forms it's been clear that they suck.

The old joke about NCNB: Nobody Cares, Nobody Bothers. It was true 20 years ago, and it's still true now.

If you aren't prepared to open an account with a couple of million bucks they treat you like you're bothering them. Most banks will informally give customers with big accounts some kind of preferential treatment. With NCNB/Nationsbank/BOA it is written policy.

I've had an account with Pinellas County Teachers' Credit Union for 18 years now. IMHO credit unions are The Way To Go for personal accounts.

The reason is simple. Commercial banks exist for one and only one reason: to make money for their investors. They borrow your money with which to do this, and pay you a pittance for it. They usually get this pittance back by charging you all sorts of fees. Credit unions on the other hand also exist for only one reason: to help their members manage their money. The only money they have to make is to pay for their administration, and the only investors they have are the members themselves. The difference is organic to the institution and it shows in _everything_ they do.

This is why when the rules were opened up to allow anyone who wanted to do so to open an account at a credit union consumers flocked to them. So many people flocked to the credit unions that they scared the absolute shit out of the banking industry, which then sued to try and have the credit unions' membership closed again. Fortunately they weren't successful.

I encourage anyone who is tired of dealing with banks to go open an account at a credit union.

Pardon me if this post is inelegant, I'm still getting the hang of this weblog stuff.
posted by wingborn at 1:55 PM on May 5, 2000

Came through loud & clear wingborn...

What's making me laugh is all the "I don't want to see this stuff here"....and then they POST an entire *commentary* on it??!!??

Well, I tip my hat to Mr. Mathowie for being cool, and allowing a little sponaneity here every once in a while. At least he sees that MetaFilter has the ability to evolve into something more if you don't restrict it and let it go with the flow....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 2:24 PM on May 5, 2000

Thanks, Mommy! Thanks, Brad!
posted by baylink at 3:29 PM on May 5, 2000

Yeah, the banking industry sucks, and in a time of low interest rates they're inventing new fees every other day or so. And while some communities have tried to apply the brakes, the Supreme Court recently said that states have limited regulatory power (because of Congressional intent to standardize banking laws, a federal pre-emption rule applies). Congress passed a law last November that federally requires ATM fee disclosure, but that law's preface reads
"To enhance competition in the financial services industry by providing a prudential framework for the affiliation of banks, securities firms, insurance companies, and other financial service providers..."
In other words, Congress is more concerned right now with expediting mergers and conflation of financial services. This particular law explicitly repealed Glass-Steagal, once considered "the foundation of the modern banking system".

So, the banks are being deregulated, the states are rendered toothless, and Congress is more concerned with promoting "efficiency".

Hold onto your wallets.
posted by dhartung at 7:46 PM on May 5, 2000

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