Monday, December 28, 2009
Bank of Some States of America
Generally, I'm pretty happy with my bank, Bank of America. They are fairly understanding when I occasionally overdraw my account and I can usually get them to remove those pesky $35 overdraft fees. Every time I call, they thank me for being an account holder since 1999. Basically, Bank of America and I go way back.
Living in Boston spoiled me, however, in terms of ease of banking access. Bank of America branches are EVERYWHERE. Paying ATM fees became a thing of the past when I moved to Boston last year, much to my delight. There is nothing that incenses me more than paying money to access my money.
But here in Colorado, I find myself in a quandary. Colorado has 161 Bank of America ATMs, but no banking centers. And none of the ATMs allow check deposit. And that is what I urgently need to do: deposit a check.
Why urgently? Well, those of you who know me know that I have a somewhat precarious financial existence. I have many jobs (4 to be exact) but cash flow is always a problem. Waiting tables is unpredictable (some people tip like bastards); my graduate assistantship pays me in full for an entire semester at the beginning of the semester (which is nice but hard to parse out over time); another job is freelance and sporadic; etc. So I'm constantly working and earning, but often checking my mailbox frantically for checks and living on cereal and pickles when times get tough.
The current situation is dire in that if I can't find a way to deposit the check I have in my possession, automatic payments that come out of my account at the end of the month will make me overdrawn. And I'll be accruing those $35 fees in no time. Which maybe I can get taken off, but maybe not.
I can't believe there are no Bank of America locations in Colorado. They have 161 ATMs, but they are all located in random gas stations and can't accept deposits. Useless. Apparently, Minnesota, Kentucky, Utah, Indiana, Ohio, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota are similarly plighted. And you're really in trouble if you're thinking of traveling to North Dakota, Vermont, Mississippi, or West Virginia; they have no B of A anything, no ATMS or branches.
Which leads me to conclude that the name is kind of a misnomer. Bank of America? More like Bank of 35 States of America. Hmpf.
Also, semi-related: check out this video from 2006 wherein Bank of America, after another merger, rewrote the lyrics to U2's world peace anthem "One" to be about....credit cards. Shameless.