How to Lose a Customer
There are certain moments where you come across a situation which is so ridiculous that you can't actually believe it happened. This is one of those moments.
Several years ago I opened an account with the University of Illinois Employee Credit Union. I always had money in the account, I was never overdrawn, and normally only used the account for trips, or the occasional purchase. Sometimes I went months without using the account. In a normal world this is no big deal.
Over the last few months something changed. Out of the blue I started to receive a number of bank charges including a "Dormant Account Fee." So I reached out to the Credit Union to see what was going on. This is where things get weird:
I was informed that my account had been disabled and placed in dormant status because I hadn't used the account for over six months. That's right, because I hadn't used my account in more than six months, and left money in that account, they turned it off... without telling me. Then when I deposited more money into the account, they charged me a fee to move my account back into an active state. Crazy right? But it doesn't end there.
During the time that my account was dormant, they also deactivated the debit card attached to the account because the account was in dormant status... again, without notifying me that they were going to do this. No big deal right? Nope. So at the Credit Union, if you have a checking account which doesn't have an active debt card attached to it, it gets reclassified as a basic checking account, and basic checking accounts have a monthly fee attached to them.
So what does that mean? Back to when I made that deposit; not only did I get penalized for adding more money to an account that I had left money in without touching for a length of time; but I had triggered the bank to start charging me a monthly fee for leaving money in my account... which I had no idea had been disabled, and downgraded because it doesn't have an active debt card attached to it, because the Credit Union turned it off.
So, in recap: the Credit Union disabled my account, deactivated my debit card attached to the account, and changed the account to a different type of account where I would have to pay a monthly charge if I leave money in the account, which I had no way to access, because they had disabled my debit card... because I made the mistake of leaving money in my account without touching it... all without telling me any of this was going on until I complained about the fees.
After they explained all of these wonderful things they had done with my account and money, I closed my accounts at the Credit Union.