“Bank Thieves!”

posted November 18th, 2012 by John B.

Today just confirmed for me that the traditional “big banks” are all thieves.  Yes, thieves.  A big company I do business with sent me a check for $127.00.  I needed the cash for a donation and decided to take this specific check into the bank that it was drawn on, and cash it.  I have never liked the the stiff atmosphere of any bank and this one was no exception.  Standing in line, bored, I notice that there were strategically placed cameras everywhere.  A sad fact about our society and financial status of our country.  When I got to the teller she was pleasant enough.  I personally prefer the online mobile banking of todays technologically advanced banks, but this was for a good cause and I needed the cash that hour.

I show the teller my check and tell her I’d like to cash it.  She asks me if I happen to have an account with them.  I said, “No, and I am happy with my current bank.”  Trying to dissuade any sales pitch conversation from her about how her bank is the best place for me to bank with.  She tells me that if I open up an account today that I will get a free stuffed horse.  She asks me for the standard two forms of photo ID for the check cashing.  I’m wondering why she is hesitating to cash my check.  She then politely says that the check has to be confirmed.  ”OK,” I say.  She takes my check and two forms of photo ID over to a desk in another part of the bank.

After an awkward minute or two standing at the teller window, without a teller, she comes back and says I will have to see a manager at the desk.  I proceed to the desk and the manager doesn’t even greet me or even look up at me.  At this point I really feel like a number.  I tell her I’m just trying to cash my check.  She makes slight eye contact with me as she is typing into her computer.  So, I ask her if there was any problem with the check.  She says that she has to confirm the funds in the account, so I have a seat to wait for her.  She never offered me a seat.  I know that the company that wrote the check has been in business longer then Oregon has been a State.  Now I’m thinking this is taking longer than it should.  She slides my check and IDs towards me across her desk and says I have to sign the back with my address and phone number.  Thinking this is strange to myself, because I usually only sign the back.  I do it anyway and hand her the check back, so I can cash my check.  Hoping that this transaction is almost over.  Strange…, because she already had two forms of my photo ID right in front of her.  I feel like a criminal now in a bank swaeting it out to cash a check.  She writes confirmed on the front and then tells me that I can now stand in line again to cash my check.  She slides the check back across her desk, but never attempts to hand them to me.

Feeling like a suspect of sorts I get back in line and put my IDs away.  I have been in the bank for 15 minutes now.  I finally get a new teller that had heard my whole conversation with the first original teller.  I hand her the now account confirmed check and say, “I’d like to cash this check.”  She asks me for two forms of ID again.  This is very annoying, since I am in full Air Force ABU’s with my name tapes on the outside of my uniform.  I hand her my IDs and she takes a bit to type me into the computer again.  She stops and tells me she now needs my right thumb print on the front of the check.  After some more computer work, she tells me that the bank now charges $7.50  to cash a check.  So, I tell her the check is from her bank (Wells Fargo) and that the check is drawn as a promissory note to pay me that full amount.  The funds have been confirmed and that there is no apparent reason to charge me to cash a check for money that is guaranteed by her bank.  There is a long pause, because she is not smart enough to just cash my check and not ROB me of 16% of my money.  With that long pause I ask her what the charge is for and how they come about $7.50 charge for cashing a check.  She has no explaination.  I thanked her for her bank wasting my time and left with my check.

Do not bank with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, or any other Bank Thieves!  Find a strong local credit union.  They are everywhere, so do your homework.  I personally recommend USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Pentagon Federal Credit Union.  These three banks have the integrity to let you cash your check without stealing your money.  Wells Fargo tried to steal my money, but only succeeded in stealing 15+ minutes of my time.

I took my signed Wells Fargo check, logged onto my USAA account with my iPhone 5, took a clear picture of the front of the check, a clear picture of the back of the check, and deposited the check into my account within one minutes.

I’m Captain John Budiao, and I’m a recovering “Bank Thief” victim. Attention Wells Fargo – “It takes seconds to loose a customer (900 seconds in my case), and a life time to keep them.”  I hope the US Government never bails you out.  Banking can be done better, faster, cheaper, and can make the customers feel in charge of their money and not the bank.


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