and Dimed by
few weeks ago, I wrote about all of the extra charges being proposed for airline
travel. I heard over the weekend that another airline was proposing to charge
for any carry on bag that could not fit under your seat. Another airline was thinking
about having pay toilets. Neither of these is a good idea in my opinion. Soon
it’ll become cheaper to just buy new clothes wherever you are traveling. Maybe
rent some, there’s an idea whose time might be coming. You heard it first here.
Of course none of this should surprise me, look at the cost of going to
a movie these days. The ticket to get in is nothing compared to what you’ll be
required to pay for a box of popcorn and a soft drink. Can you even get a small
bag of popcorn anymore? Bottled water is over three bucks a bottle. Is this crazy
or what? Bottled water costs more than beer or gasoline. At least you can drink
So, this morning I have to go to my bank to get an account opened
for a business I want to start. As I sit here in the lobby I notice that the banks
are jumping into the fee charging business just like the airlines. They seem to
have a new fee for just about everything. I suppose we’re all used to be charged
for the use of their ATM. We’ve been paying for ‘bank’ service charges for years.
Insufficient fund charges are now over thirty dollars. I always thought those
were stupid. If my check bounced due to not having any money in my account, how
does it make any sense to hit me up for more? I never have been able to figure
this one out. There are more signs in the lobby describing the amount of fees
being charged than there are signs telling me why I should leave my money in this
building, with people I don’t know.
Anyway, let’s assume you have some
funds in your account, you pay a service fee for them to keep your money, a fee
each time you use the ATM to withdraw some money and a fee if you want to check
your balance to see how much money you have left. All the time they’re holding
your money. What’s wrong with this picture?
If the banks continue at the
same rate as the airlines, then I don’t think we can be surprised to see charges
headed our way in the future. Let’s take a look at what might be coming to us
Charges for a monthly statement on paper. Citing the expense of printing
and postage, they’ll probably charge more to send you an actual statement and
copy of the checks you’ve written over the past month. Solution? Don’t write any
Waiting in line. How long has it been since you walked into a
bank? Probably a long time. Since I use an ATM, the only time I venture inside
is when I need something weird like a cashier’s check or something to be notarized.
Obviously cashiers checks and notary services have all had fees attached for many
years…..so no new money coming from those..but wait…how about a ‘standing in line’
fee? Could work, one dollar. Express line…two dollars.
Banks usually have
a security guard who often opens the door for you, so I suppose they could charge
you an additional fee each time the guard opens the door and makes certain you
make it safely to your car. Could call it something like ‘security transit fee’….another
couple of bucks.
My bank used to give away stuff if you opened an account.
Things like a toaster but they don’t do that anymore. They charge for coffee and
cookies. I suppose charging for water will be next. So far the bathroom is still
free, but I hear the pay toilets are coming.
Well, enough about this, I’ve
got to get out of here and drive home for lunch. What’s this; I got a parking
ticket from the bank for being in the bank over thirty minutes. It says ten dollars
will be deducted from my account. I’m losing my patience with these people and
start to drive out but a security guard at the booth won’t let me exit until I
pay him five dollars for parking.
And they say we’re making progress in
© Peary Perry
From North America -
April 21, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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