Yesterday was not the greatest day ever. I decided to pay off my car. After an hour of dealing with their automated phone service, I finally got through to a human being who easy to deal with and happy to take my money. The problem: there was a pretty good chance that my card had a charge limit lower than the total of the car. No biggie, I've had to work in the world of collections for the past 8 year years, this is nothing new. All I should have to do is call the bank, explain the situation and they will increase my limit for the day. After all, this charge restriction is to keep people from robbing me blind, right? Apparently not.
I talk to some representative from my bank from the 800 number I found for my LOCAL bank online. Whatever. I tell him the situation: I just made a huge payment towards my car note and I have about $400 left to go, I just need them to increase the limit for the day so I can pay it off.
First, this guy asks me if I can tell him the last transaction I made, which I just did had he been listening. So I told him again, with the same amount of specific detail that only the person who owns the account and made the payment could (I was reading it directly from the online statement). If he really wanted to verify that I wasn't trying to rob myself, he could have easily checked my previous transactions and took note of the 2 years of car payments I already made. He didn't. Instead, he puts me on hold for 10 minutes.
I'm instructed that for every other transaction I will need to call in and get permission to make said payment. Yes, thats right. In order to use MY money, I have to ask my bank permission to access it. On top of that, they seem to be stopping ALL transactions to my account. This morning my Netflix subscription required me to put in my credit card info because my bank is blocking that transaction as well. Strangely, the groceries I bought last night went through, but the payment to fiver.com did not. This is probably due to some payments being ran like a same-as-cash charge, instead of just a debit card charge...don't ask, it makes no sense.
Here's my thing and what I feel needs to change. I understand this restriction on my account is put there to protect my assets...assumably. When I call, give them all my credentials AND state the last transactions on my account, then that restriction better be lifted. Banks hold our money for the sake of keeping it safe. It's insured against theft and we receive a minuscule percentage for letting the bank hold on to it. In exchange the bank gets to invest it and make a vault of wealth off of our hard earned money. As such, a bank always has more money than any of us do. So there is zero reason I should have to ask permission to spend my own fraking money! I am not a child and I'm not asking mommy for money to buy candy. I pay my bills, I rarely ever dip in to my savings to cover something and I sure as hell don't need permission to spend my own damn money. It's like I'm being penalized for paying off my car.
I'm curious if rich people have to do this with their banks as well. If I had millions and decided to buy a $250,000 car, would the bank block all my transactions for the day until I call and ask for permission? Somehow I doubt it.