Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jesus in the Bank today

What a fun experience I had this morning in the bank [sarcasm].
It's approaching April and tax time. Ugh. So I wanted to get some money into an IRA account. I'm self-employed so I don't get those 401 plans, etc. All I get is what I put aside now. But the good news is that if I put aside a chunk of change now in an IRA account, I don't have to pay any taxes on the income. So... off to the bank I go this morning.
I had already talked to a woman (what to call a bank person who isn't actually a teller?) about 2 weeks ago about my IRA choices. There are a ton of choices... Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Mutual Fund IRA's, etc... This gets a little mind numbing here so bear with me.
1) Once a year I want to deposit money in my IRA
2) At the end of 30 years +- when I retire, I don't want 30+- IRA accounts.
3) The woman at the bank, told me I should get an "add on" IRA, that way, when my previous IRA matures, I can simply roll it over into the new "add-on" IRA. PERFECT!
Thus begins today's encounter...
I walk in and look all over for Susan (the nice woman who helped me before). No Luck. Susan must be out today. So I get helped by Monika, a nice pudgy woman who has a thick German or Polish accent. (Why do people in Customer Service all have accents?)
I had already talked to Susan, so I knew what I wanted. I told her to sign me up for an Add-on IRA. A bunch of books, papers, and computers start whizing around me now. I need to give her my drivers licence so she can make a copy of it (why? I don't know, but I wasn't in the mood to fight). We go through a bunch of small questions, name, address, how much, etc... Gets to the point where I have to sign on the dotted line... Um... I ask her "I never told you how long I wanted my IRA term for" - Her response... "Jesus Christ!"
I was too shocked really to have any sort of reaction, then I simply said "That's not good, when the bank person says "Jesus Christ". Man, you'd think I told her I was from a distant galaxy because she was totally flustered now. Finally, she speaks to the other woman across the room "What or where is the point when I put in the term" She says "An Add on IRA has a fixed term of 5 years - AND only 1% Interest... WHAT? That's not what Susan told me a week ago! I don't want 1% Interest, I can't believe they could even say that with a straight face. So finally after a bit of impasse, I say "Is it too late to cancel this?" Monika was not happy.
Well, I'll cut out the details other to say, Monika apparently just came from her previous job of working at McDonalds. She couldn't get the computer to work, had to ask 2 different people for help, and finally, couldn't get the forms to print on the computer. I eventually signed a paper she printed on the wrong side of the page.
I was torn to ask for someone else to help me. It wasn't like Monika wasn't trying, she just was having a heck of a time. At one point, the other woman (I assume one of Monika's supervisor) asked me if I had made out ok... I shrugged and said "I hope so".
After all was said and done, I got an 8 month IRA at 5% Interest. At least I hope I did.
___
So here's a few side comments...
Banker's used to be high society pillars of society. They were the rich upper class who "managed" the town's money. What happened to those days? You walk into any local branch now and depending on the area, you may not even deal with a real live person. Or the person you do deal with is either under 21 years old, or doesn't know how to work the computer.
I'm also torn about weather or not I should write a letter to Commerce Bank about this woman's behavior of saying "Jesus Christ". Is this Bank woman that ignorant that she doesn't know that taking the Lord's name in vain is both one of the commandments and offensive to others?
Should I be worried that the other nice woman Susan is working the banks front desks and is mis-informed about IRA's?
I now have zero confidence in Commerce Bank. What's the interest rate of Zero?

1 comment:

valejandras said...

hey there-

i know i'm a bit late on the response, but here goes.... i believe that you should at least go in and explain that you were a bit offended with the language that was used. if the young lady who helped you is not familiar with appropriate language it may be good to have someone "school" her on it.

and yes i would tell someone that you were misinformed about the IRS issue. the way to go about it is to say just that- "i was misinformed about the IRAs" then add- "i can't remember the individual's name that assisted me, but i think that perhaps a refresher to your staff may clear up some confusion". that way the young lady who misinformed you won't be directly disciplined, but will know the real answers to give next time. if the bank manager is really interested in having correct and accurate information given- then that would be a great thing to do.

later gator!

~v