Renewal for my safe deposit box is up again this month with Union Bank. The bank decided to add a fee of $15 to our annual $85 safe deposit box fee because we do not have a checking account with that bank. I have all my bank accounts with a wonderful credit union, called Schools First. Credit unions are simply the best while banks, in my opinion, subscribe to the greed principal, and the $15 added fee, allegedly, was right up there in that category. My credit union does not offer safe deposit boxes so I started to look around for alternatives. We have our mortgage with Chase so I found a local Chase bank that offered safe deposit boxes. I went in to inquire, if having our home loan with Chase, qualified us for a good safe deposit rental rate. The bank layout inside is somewhat unusual. There are no counter tellers in a straight row behind bullet proof plastic. The room is large and circular. In the center are large podium desks where the tellers stand. You wait in line for your turn to talk with a person working at one of the podium desks. It is a bit disorienting at first. I am not sure why these desk islands concept is being used. The account services people sit at traditional desks around this large circular room, against the outside walls and were all busy. One of the tellers, I met with, could not tell me the answer to my question and told me to wait for account services person in a nice waiting area with padded chairs that looked like they came from iKea. An oriental women came in about ten minutes after me and asked me if the area I was sitting was for new accounts. I said yes. I was getting so bored I turned to my BlackBerry e-mail. One of the account services persons, a young women, came over and proceeded to ignore me and took the oriental lady to her desk. She never asked who was first. I was astonished at two mistakes being made, one by the bank employee and the oriental lady. I waited another five minutes for any person to become free but my daughter called asking me to pick her up at school. I said I would pick her up. On my way out, I mentioned to the teller, that had told me to wait, what had happened. She looked most embarrassed.
This is just one more reason I do not like to deal with banks. At my wonderful credit union, you register at a desk residing at the center of the bank. The people there even can take care of questions and make copies of documents for you. They make sure you are called in order if you have to wait for an account services person.
Sort of odd, don’t you think, that small credit unions have a more professional operation than some very large banks.