This post is an example of many things. First of all it is an example of the old principal that if you give good service, people may not talk, but if you tick off a customer, they'll tell everyone they know. Second, it is a reminder that small local businesses need some way to convince you to use them over the big boys, and service is often that reason. Third, it is an example of using sympathy-gaining headlines that, I'll admit, don't tell the whole story (but if they are picked up by search engines and more folks read this post, so much the better).
What happened? Well, as my regular readers know, my son graduated from high school a few weeks ago. As is customary, family and close friends send him gifts, in the form of checks. As he does not have a checking account, I had him endorse the checks to me. I wrote out a deposit slip so he (the kid I'm trying to make an adult of) could walk three blocks to the bank and deposit the check into my account. In return, I wrote a check, drawn on my account at that bank (an account that has plenty of money in it) to him which he then cashed. They stole six dollars of his money via the check cashing fee. I wonder if they would have charged six dollars a check if I had just sent him over there to cash the checks?
Yes, the headline makes is sound like his autism had something to do with why they charged that fee, and it doesn't--they charge anyone for that service, but I really think there is something wrong with a bank charging to cash a check drawn on that bank. They knew my check was good; they weren't risking anything. I called, I wrote, I complained. I asked that the charge be reversed. Chase Bank, that behemoth that needed taxpayer bailout money because of bad investments, chose to charge an unreasonable fee to the son of a customer. This customer is voting with her feet and taking her business to Metairie Bank, a local bank that has told me they would not have charged him anything for that transaction. It is also the bank that gives my Girl Scout troop a free checking account (a very low balance account which is probably more of a bother to them than anything).
If you get a glossy brochure in the mail urging you to open an account at Chase Bank, my advice is to recycle it.