Many banks have started charging customers a fee, some up to $5 if you use their human teller. Some banks will allow you a 1 time per month person to person contact. This was a simple business decision made on the part of management to encourage customers to utilize electronic banking services such as ATM’s and banking by phone. This move prompted quite an annoyance to many bank customers. The national media feasted on the event and created animosity between the reminiscent, way-things-used-to-be-folk, and the net-surfing, need it in a hurry, “can’t you do that any faster” customers.

Banks say they have learned that automation, computerization and electronic banking, though intimidating to many, is not only cost effective but more efficient and fool-proof than ordinary human tellers.

“Since many of us refuse to deposit our paycheck, withdraw money or make a loan payment through the ATM, banks are forced to raise fees because it costs a lot of money to continue paying a human workforce for tasks that could be executed electronically”. Says Mark Webb, CFO of First National Bank.

This has created 18 Billion dollar problem that consumers failed to recognize. Online, Automated, Phone, Electronic whatever you want to call it banking misleads and even encourages customers from checking their paper statements and reconciling their accounts every month. I would go as far as saying the “can’t you do that any faster” customer do not even open their monthly paper statement.

This leaves the banks the perfect opportunity for unethical and unfair business practices. I’m sure at this point you are asking how. As you can know if you are following my research on bank fees, I’m about to tell you.

By failing to open your paper statement, you miss the opportunity to rummage through your home looking for your grandmothers reading glass (magnifying glass for you youngsters) and reading those thin, slick little inserts laced with changes bank in your bank’s procedures. Such as Fee increases. By pushing electronic banking down your throat they also encourage you to just “check your balance” everyday and go from there. I have actually called a bank over fee issues and my inability to keep up with the lightening speed they deduct them from your bank account, and had a teller say to me “don’t you check your balance online every morning.”

I’m sticking with “the way things used to be” approach as long as I can.

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