A few years ago the banks were begging us to use debit cards because handling checks cost them money and debit transactions were handled entirely by computer. They had promotions and give-aways to get people to use debit cards.

Now, even though they report billions in profits, they are charging us for doing what they begged us to do. The banks are instituting monthly charges for using debit cards.

Why are our elected officials not presenting legislation to prevent this?

We can only do two things.

1) Vote out the officials who fail to make any effort to stop the rip off.

2) Start writing checks again. See how the banks like that.

William Maslen, Mesa

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(11) comments

A_Rose_By_Any_Other_Name

"It's always interesting to see how people talk about wanting the government out of their lives... until they want the government to solve another problem with more laws or legislation. " Good gravy no! The only thing more government can do is is take away more of your freedoms and money. If people only knew what power they have in their hands... Well most of them are retarded so...The smart people already have all the money...Not really much you can do so either become one of them or continue to pay them from both nostrils.

Arizona Willie

Wrote a check for groceries today at Fry's. The checker didn't say anything but she pursed her lips and the expression on her face led me to think she has been seeing quite a few checks.

Perhaps the idea is spreading a little :)

Just write a check for groceries and if enough people do that they will get a message pretty strongly. Wouldn't even hurt to tell the teller you are using a check in protest of debit card fees.

VofReason

Why don't we all only fill up our gas when we are only just about out. Oh wait, that was the last "fix" for a problem. No need to wonder, plot, cajole or anything else. Withdrawl your money and move it to a Credit Union or bank that doesn't have these charges. It will be a pain as most people have auto pays, direct deposit etc etc, but worth it. It's called show them with your money and it speaks loud and clear.

sockratties

It's always interesting to see how people talk about wanting the government out of their lives... until they want the government to solve another problem with more laws or legislation.

B of A, Wells Fargo and Chase want to increase fees because they don't like the limits recent legislation put on so many of their credit card charges.

Banks do understand money. If they make a decision that enhances their bottom line, even at the displeasure or loss of some customers, that's what they're going to do.

Institutions typically grow bigger, with the larger consuming the smaller. This happened with banks, beginning in the 60s as smaller banks were purchased by larger banks, financed by the housing boom. Then they become so huge they began to dictate policies to their customers. A new crop of smaller banks developed in the 80s and 90s to accommodate unhappy customers. Now those banks have been absorbed due to the financial bust of '08, as a result of the bail out financing the purchase of assets.

If we are patient we will probably see another wave of small full service banks catering to unhappy customers looking for alternatives to the huge banks that now dominate the scene. The cycle will start all over again. What we don't want to see is more government, legislation or more lawyers involved. Banking, like any other business is ruled by supply and demand. They need customers, so our business is our vote.

Arizona Willie

Credit unions may not charge for debit cards --- NOW --- but if the banks get away with this, how long do you think it will take before they follow along?

If the banks were not profitable it would be one thing. But the are making record profits and sitting on a double ton of money and are instituting this fee from pure GREED.

I'm at a loss to understand why people aren't up in arms and contacting their Senators etc.

Why isn't the media all over this and leading the charge?
They have people's attention.

They just seem to take the attitude ' ho hum the banks are shafting the little people again ... what a surprise '

sockratties

I agree with Cerulean. I have my accounts at a credit union which provides services including notary, free checks and ATMs without charging extra fees. Their membership requires that you open a $25 saving account.

When the banks started charging for actually talking to a teller in an effort to force use of the ATM, I had had enough. Now I do all my banking online, except for such things as grocery shopping when I usually use a no fee debit card. Banks also get a per use charge from merchants which is passed on by an increase in prices.

Soon the norm will be scanning with your smart phone at the point of sale. This is already in limited use as it is being developed. The debit card charge may be a preemptive strike by the banks to push this technology and to get you used to paying for the application.

Don't be surprised to find a per check charge by the bank if too many people start writing them. Many smaller merchants won't take personal checks, including most restaurants. In a California restaurant called Shakey's I saw an amusing sign: “Shakey's made a deal with the bank, Shakey's won't cash checks and the bank won't make pizza.”

Having a credit card you pay off each month to avoid fees may be a better alternative if your bank hits you with the monthly debit card fee. At restaurants I often use a credit card that gives me at least 1% back on all charges, with 2% and 3% on restaurants and gas.It adds up.

Arizona Willie

Dale, you almost always get things backwards.

The Banks are Hood Robbin.

They are robbing the hood people and giving it to the rich ( themselves ).

They reported huge profits and then announce they will charge you for doing what they asked you to do.

Write a check and tell the bank to go to heck.

Dale Whiting

So Robin Hood now works for the banks!

Arizona Willie

If, for the next 3 months, everyone would just write a check at the grocery store, the banks would get the message LOUD AND CLEAR.

The customers who didn't participate in the movement would hate it waiting in line while people wrote checks. They would complain.

The store would hate it because it takes more handling and employee hours to deal with the checks.

The banks would be stunned because they have laid off most of their check processing people and they would be looking at having to hire people again to deal with the flood of checks coming in. They would get the message pretty quick.

I suspect if we could get a good " write a check " movement going somehow --- it wouldn't even take a month before the banks would holler " whoa .. we give up ".

Cerulean

William, I agree.

I suggest moving your money to a Credit Union.

The Credit Union I use offers free checking, free checks, free card service and a low initial savings investment.

A_Rose_By_Any_Other_Name

I have over 1500 dollar checks automatically deposited to my checking account every week and over 20 grand in savings accounts plus various other investments. My bank wouldn't dare charge me for any service I might need like free personal printed checks and all the other amenities banks can provide. However, most people aren't in my position and the banksters can and will take advantage of them if possible. Debit cards are convenient, and I'd hate to have to go back to writing checks again, but one must do what one must do to save money these days. The free market will work if people demand that they be served the way they want. Most people will just go ahead and pay through the nose because they don't know the tremendous power they possess as a group. Divide and conquer has always been a good strategy.

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