As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

It Helps to Call

This article was written by in Saving. 3 comments.

I noticed today that the bank where I hold my checking and one savings account, Wachovia, charged me a service fee of $15. Regular readers may remember that the discount brokerage department of the same corporation charged me a yearly fee last November, but this time the situation was different. According to their rules, I shouldn’t be charged a monthly low balance fee since I also hold (but don’t use) a credit card with them.

I called to find out if there was something I missed. At first the customer service representative, Mark, told me I did not meet the criteria to avoid the monthly fee. I maintained that I had the latest criteria on the computer screen in front of me, displaying the company’s web site, and I did in fact meet the criteria.

He disappeared to check with someone and he discovered that he was reading an old version of the rules. Mark gladly credited the $15 back into the account and “linked” my account to the new rules so I wouldn’t be charged again.

Thanks, Mark! I wonder how many people throughout the world lose money they don’t even know about because they are getting charged service fees when they should not be.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published February 14, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Luke Landes

If they let it go, they’d continue to be charged $15 every month. It’s not like it would be just a one time thing. So it’s not that it’s whether it’s worth the hassle of $15, it’s whether it’s worth the hassle of $180 a year.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

And more than just because they don’t notice, but a lot of people probably wouldn’t have called because they would have figured it wasn’t worth the hassle for $15. Of course, it is, but a lot of people would have just let it go and lost the $15.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

Oh, I thought it was just a $15 per year charge. Nevermind, then. :)