Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Where Government is Tiny, Everything is Privatized, and the Free Market rules

“Hello, this is the Little Big National Neighborhood Bank that really cares about you! How can I help you?”

“Well, first of all, you could ‘care about me’ by not making me wait through 30 minutes of canned music to talk to a real person.”

“Sorry, sir, but we’re very busy here taking care of all our happy customers!”

“Yeah? Well, I’m not one of them.”

“What can I do to make you one?”

“Last night I took out $60 bucks from one of your ATM’s and I noticed I was charged $1.50 for the withdrawal.”

“That’s right, sir, that’s our standard ATM transaction fee.”

“But fifteen years ago when you converted to the ATM machines, you said it would cut costs for the bank and the savings and convenience would be passed on to the customer. Back then, all transactions at any ATM were free!”

“That’s right, sir. Aren’t the ATM’s so much more convenient than coming into the bank to withdraw cash?”

“But wait a minute here — about eight years ago you said you were going to start charging an ATM transaction fee of a dollar, but only at other banks’ machines; your ATM’s would stay free.”

“Yes, sir what’s the problem with that?”

“Aside from the fact that the fee to use an ATM from any other bank has steadily risen so it’s up to $3.00 a pop, now I’m getting charged $1.50 a transaction from your own ATM’s that used to be free!”

“Yes, sir, well, our fees have to keep up with inflation.”

“But I just read that your bank made a record profit last year! Why not take a little less profit and show how much you ‘care’ about your customers by keeping the ATM transactions free?! I’ve been putting my money in your bank for twenty years!”

“I’m sorry you feel that way, sir. We want to keep you as our customer, but if you’re so dissatisfied with our service, perhaps you can find another bank that does not charge this ATM fee. After all, it’s a free market and that guarantees competitive prices!”

“I’ve already called around to every bank in the area they’re ALL charging $1.50 to use their ATM’s. What do you guys do, get into a room and decide how much you’re going to shear us sheep?”

“That’s uncalled-for, sir! That kind of collusion would be against the law!”

“Yeah, well, then why can’t I find even one bank who has lower fees? You’re all charging about the same amount, although one place offered me coupons for a couple of free Happy Meals if I moved my money to them, and another one offered me a CD of the greatest hits of William Shatner.”

“Hmmm, just checking your records here, sir, I find that your minimum balance has dropped below the point where we can continue to provide you with the Super-Saver E-Z-Rider Economy Checking Plan. That means your per-check fee will rise to 50 cents a check and your basic monthly service fee will increase to $40.09.”

“What!? But I just deposited checks two days ago to bring it up above the minimum balance!”

“Oh, yes, well, one of those checks bounced, so you are still below the minimum, and you now owe us an additional $45.00 for the bounced check. It’ll all be in your next statement.”

“This is highway robbery! Listen, after twenty years, you people have been ”

“Thank you, sir, and have a nice day!” (Click.)


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