By Patricia L Johnson
There is a very nice young man that lives in my neighborhood and does various things for us that neither my husband nor I are able to do, mow the grass, pull weeds, shovel snow off the sidewalks, move items, carry cases of water and/or soda, and fill the water softener with salt; just anything and everything that requires any sort of lifting.
This young man has been taking care of these things for us for the past several years and we normally pay him cash. A couple months ago I decided I couldn’t really tell what I was spending money on when I continually use cash; therefore I needed to use my checkbook and/or ATM card for purchases/services rendered.
I began writing this young man checks for his services and through online banking noticed the checks weren’t being cashed so I thought maybe he was saving enough money to either open a checking account and/or pay his school tuition. A few more weeks went by and the checks still weren’t cashed so I asked his mother about it.
Apparently, the young man had taken the checks to the bank to open a checking account, but the bank would not open an account due to the fact he wasn’t 18 yet and you have to be 18 to sign a contract. Apparently he then attempted to open an account with a person over 18 as co-signer, but the individual had a parking ticket which apparently had to be paid before they could co-sign. Since when does the bank have access to driver’s records when opening an account?
When the young man’s mother explained the situation to me I sent an e-mail to our bank and the response I received completely and totally blew my mind.
They explained the legalities of being under age 18, etc., but then went on to explain that if you attempted to cash a check on that particular bank and did not have an account there was a fee involved. If the check was drawn on our bank and under $50 there was no fee, but if the check was drawn on our bank and the amount was over $50 there was a $10.00 non-customer fee to cash the checks.
How can they possibly charge a minimum of 20 percent to cash a check drawn on their own bank if it’s over $50.00? It’s not their money, it’s my money and once I wrote a check to this young man, it should have been HIS money. For sure 20 percent of it didn’t belong to the bank because they didn’t come over here in the sweltering heat to mow the grass, or move the deck furniture or do anything else.
The last time I ordered blank checks from my bank they charged me an exorbitant fee so I went out and purchased, what is probably a lifetime supply of blank checks, from my local wholesale club; therefore I’m hesitant to change banks, but I’m less than satisfied with this one.
Just out of curiosity I called our local currency exchange and asked them how much it would cost to cash a check, drawn on a local bank, for $100.00. Their response was $2.25. There’s a whole lot of difference between 20 percent and 2.2 percent.
Maybe I’m out of touch with reality because it has been a long time since I’ve worked outside the home, but it seems to me the easier the bank makes it for a person to do business, the more business they are going to obtain in the long run. Why would anyone want to open an account at this bank if they go in there to cash a check for $51 and have to pay $10 to cash it?
Making it more difficult for someone to succeed in life is absolutely not going to benefit anyone in the long run.
© 2014 Patricia L Johnson