I have a lot in common with a certain celebrity:
You see, like Katie I've been walking around for the last couple of weeks carrying the heavy weight of a secret on my shoulders. But I just can't take it anymore! I must let it out: after more than eleven years of togetherness, I am leaving Wells Fargo.
Normal people change banks all the time and think nothing of it. Not me. When I commit to a bank, it's forever. But for the last, oh, seven or so years, I have really been unhappy with my bank. I feel like I'm being held hostage by all these impeding fees. If I don't have a certain amount in savings, for example, my bank will start charging me ten dollars a month to have a savings account. If I don't have bill pay, direct deposit, a savings account, and an automatic savings plan, I get charged just for having a checking account. You see how unreasonable that is? How could I stay in a relationship like that for so long?
I suppose it was routine, convenience, fear of being with someone else (or alone) that kept me tied to Wells Fargo for so long. Perhaps it was an old fashioned sense of loyalty, as well. They aren't so bad, if I follow their rules. If I just stay in line, I won't get hurt. But then something would happen, I'd let my guard down, and SLAP-- I'd get a ten dollar fee. I'd talk to friends who have great banking relationships, and the contrast between their happiness and my misery couldn't have been more stark. "Why do you put up with it?" they would ask, incredulously. "It's just so hard to sever those ties," I would answer lamely.
So for the last little while I have been making clandestine changes behind my bank's back: switching my automatic bills to my new bank, my better bank that makes me happier and fulfills me as a human being. I changed my direct deposit, too, and waited for the world to end. Nothing happened. So I continued. My mortgage is now taken from my new bank. I've made debit card purchases with my new card. I've ordered new checks, added Mike to the account, even memorized my new account number (which was one of the biggest mental hurdles keeping me from leaving Wells Fargo). I've kept all of this hidden from my bank, but soon it will be time to let the cat out of the bag and sever ties forever.
I think I will call Wells Fargo during their busiest time of day, tell them matter-of-factly that it's over, and then hang up quickly so it's a clean break. I just hope they will handle it with maturity and dignity and not try to wrangle me into staying with empty promises that I know they won't keep. Come back and we'll waive half of your checking account fees! Come back for free bill pay! I've heard it too many times, my friend, and I'm not falling for it again. Worse than the empty promises will be the inevitable fees they will charge me for closing my account. But I'm willing to pay to get away once and for all. It's time to take control of my life again.
Wish me luck?