Unexpected bank fees are frustrating consumers
Vince Vitrano, Stephanie Graham
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
The bank fees just continue to add up: A flat $25/month fee so your bank won't charge you each time you use an out-of-network ATM machine. Another charge is a $5 fee to replace a missing debit card, $20 if you want it rushed. Here's one more: A charge to use a human teller!
Bank customer Dave Alexander says, "I just said, 'Is it April Fool's, or what's going on?' They said, 'No, that's, you know, recent bank policy.'"
Dave isn't the only one fed up with fees! The growing number of bank fees is a major complaint among most consumers.
Claes Bell is with bankrate.com. He adds, "There's all different kinds of little fees and every bank is a little bit different. Some of these fees are being put forward by big national banks, some of them are small banks and credit unions."
Some of the new fees we found banks charging:
-For $1/month, you can go straight to the front of the phone line, skipping other callers on hold.
-It could cost you another $1 if you want one of those ATM mini statement print out's.
Shocked? Well, perhaps you shouldn't be. Banks say they disclose all their fees. They're in those documents you get when you open an account, and in those disclosures that show up in the mail. Be aware: If whatever the bank mails you regarding your checking account gets sent back, you could pay a $6 fee for that, too.
"Banks are really struggling to find ways to make money off their checking deposits so they're experimenting with new things," Bell explains.
Banks lost billions when Congress capped the amount they could charge businesses for 'debit card swipe fees'. Nessa Feddis with The American Bankers Association, or ABA, says they still need to cover costs for things like each checking account. "Some consultants estimate its between $250-300 dollars a year, and those costs have to be recovered. And the costs aren't just for providing statements and processing transactions. It's also for preventing fraud, protecting privacy."
The ABA points out 59% of consumers pay no banks fees at all. It adds, those who do are usually paying for convenience--just like paying to board a plane first, or paying to use a hotel room mini bar.
Feddis says it's a new marketing strategy. "Baby boomers apparently like an all in one fee, whereas Gen Y, Gen X, like to build their own. They want the basics, and then they'll pay extra for what they want."
Experts say if you don't like the fees at your bank--shop around and find a new place to put your money. but caution here, we found some banks hit you with a $25 fee if you close an account within 6 months of opening it!
Dave didn't pay the teller fee, and has a message for banks: "Enough is enough. I just won't be nickeled and dimed to death."