Debit-card fees, one of the many new attempts your bank wants to implement in order to replace the revenue soon to be lost via recent restrictions on credit cards, debit cards, and overdraft fees, have been drawing heat across the country as of late.
But all is not bleak at the ATM, as a handful of institutions like JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo have publicly denounced the new charges they were only now in the stages of testing in selected states. For the moment, the only holdout seems to be Bank Of America.
After having just come dead last in a customer-satisfaction survey, Bank Of America is refusing to waive fees that many of its competitors have decided weren't worth the public backlash. Although select customers with direct deposit will be spared, those without that service will still be unwillingly filling B Of A's coffers with the $5 monthly fee. With a class-action lawsuit concerning overage fees already pending, the institution has already begun to lose thousands of customers to slightly less evil banks. Even President Obama has scorned the company for its complete lack of concern for anything but profits.
While it might be nice to think that movements like Occupy Wall Street sent a firm message to these institutions, those fees aren't going to go away — they'll likely just get shuffled around. What good is legislating against specific fees and charges when new ones will just take their place? It turns the problem into a shell game — "Keep your eyes on the $5 fee, ladies and gentleman. Where did it go? Take your guess!" The only way we can stop a company like B Of A is to remove ourselves from the equation — or as Senator Rich Durbin put it: “Vote with your feet. Get the heck out of that bank.”
UPDATE — Bank of America has just announced it will be doing away with their debit-card fee. Spokespersons from the B of A mentioned that this was in response from their customers, referring to the current exodus of accounts only as a "changing competitive marketplace."