Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oxymoron: Small town banks and technology

About 6 months ago, I wrote a piece for Rants From Mommyland about living in a small town.

For the most part, I like it here, Sure, it may be small, but really, the only thing I miss about a bigger city is the shopping, and with the internet now, that's pretty much gone by the wayside.

There is one thing that gnaws at me though, and I'm afraid it won't get any better. My bank.

I belong to the Bank of Cheese-Between-Our-Ears. They have our checking account and mortgage, and I'm slowly being wooed away by ING Direct - internet banking.

Let me tell you something about Bank of CBOE, they are about as helpful as they are technologically advanced. They built a multi-million dollar new bank 5 years ago, but they can't seem to figure out how to get that whole fad of internet banking under control.

Here's an example: Last year we went to Iowa to see his family. He took a day off work to make it a long weekend...the day was a Friday and also his pay day. His then-secretary was nice enough to deposit the check in our account for us (direct deposit, what?) at the beginning of the day, maybe about 9:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m., we left his parents house to go see some sights. We pulled off the road to fill the gas tank at 10:30.

Debit card didn't work.

Now, I had dealings with the bank about this for many years prior. Their system isn't automatic, so once in the morning and once in the afternoon, some guy pushes a button to update the debit card system. I was told it was about 10 a.m.

What we're all hoping our local bank UPGRADES to.

I called the bank, since the secretary put in the deposit at 9:30, it should work, right?

Nope. The not-so-helpful lady told me that, that day, the update had been done at 9:25. The next one would be about 2 p.m., but she didn't know for sure.

So, we sat at the lovely gas station until we could get gas.

I have complained many times to them about this, and all they tell me is "that's the way it is" and "I think we're pretty good technologically-speaking."

I'm sorry, is that a piece of Swiss in your ear?

The current staff at my bank.

Yesterday, I checked my balance at 10 a.m. We were fine. When I got home and checked at 4:50, I saw my check to CostCo had gone through, leaving me a little tighter than I had anticipated. So, I went to the ATM, pulled out enough from my internet banking account to cover my check (because it takes 2 days to transfer to the bank), deposited it and went home.

I checked the online banking last night; it was all good.

This afternoon, I checked again, and saw they kicked out my check.

The lady on the other end of the phone, who clearly hadn't had adult relations since the Reagan administration, told me that every morning, they went through the checks from the day before and it was up to the "ladies" to determine which ones stayed and which ones did not. Then, the ladies put the information on the computer.

Oh, and it could take awhile for it to be updated online.

So, even though I took care of the problem yesterday, checked at 10 a.m. this morning and still saw it was all good, because Betty Rubble and Wilma hadn't had the triceratops bite through the special banking stone and give it to the next guy down the line until this afternoon, I was in trouble as of 1 p.m.

I asked when this bank would join the 21st Century, or at very least would have their computers match what mine said about my account.

I was told this was as good as it gets.

Whatever you say Betty. I'm closing my account and going to ING Direct. I hope you and your bank's slide rule are very happy together.

1 comment:

  1. I definately think you need to switch banks. Even in our town of less than 5000 people we get better service than that.