Saturday, March 7, 2015

An Open Letter to PNC

Dear PNC Bank,

I think we might need to break up. Today is the day I am finally coming to my senses and realizing that you are no longer interested in really serving me, a long-time customer.

Today I entered one of your small branches to make a coin deposit. This coin deposit has become something of a ritual for me. Approximately once per year I enter your branch with around $100 worth of coins that I have accumulated and expect to be able to make a quick deposit that will both lighten my physical load and slightly swell my account. Today, however, this ritual was put to a swift halt.

Upon telling the young lady behind your counter that I had a bag of coins to deposit, she informed me that they no longer have a coin counter in the branch and cannot perform same-day coin deposits. Seeing as you are a financial institution who deals with legal tender, I am pretty sure my jaw dropped right down to the floor. Did I miss something? Are coins no longer a form of legal currency? Or perhaps the problem is that you now find my coins to be nothing more than a trifling annoyance, an insignificant blip amongst your sea of “C-notes”.

To be fair, I was offered the option of leaving the coins and a pre-printed deposit slip from the back of my checkbook (of which I am currently out), with the teller who would then ship my coins off to, what sounded like, a central coin sorting location. I was assured that after the counting process took place, that a deposit would be made into my account for the amount of coins.  I would hope, of course, that nothing would come of my coins from the time they left my hands and made it to this facility, but how can I verify anything once they leave my hands (or the branch into which I brought the coins)? I am expected to blindly trust that nearly $100 in cash (change) will go through all of these motions unblemished when you are unable to give me any documentation on the spot of the amount I am handing over to you? Sorry….just no…not happening.

I was a bank teller once so, to a degree, I get it. Coins, even with a machine counter, take a bit longer for each transaction, they are heavy, and sometimes you need to cull through them slightly to remove a stow-away paper-clip or two that have hidden themselves amongst the nickels. However, these small services, in essence make a big impact on how customers perceive you. For example: My thought after the “no more coins” debacle this morning was “If I can’t trust PNC to graciously take care of the small things, why should I allow them to profit off of the big things?”

This no coin deposit revelation came in a very timely manner for me. I am currently vetting financial institutions for a new vehicle loan. This will be the largest loan that I will have ever needed. You, as one of my current financial institutions (who doesn’t have a little side-action in the banking world these days?) is was on my list of institutions with whom I have spoken and that have relatively decent rates to offer. However, I have now determined that your arrogant can’t-be-bothered-with-coins stance makes you unworthy of my hard earned cash. I will not allow you, who sees the little things as too trivial for your time, to profit in the form of interest on my loan. I have other options with smaller, friendlier institutions, all of which still see little things (like my coins) as still being worth their time.

I can honestly say that this break-up has been looming on the horizon for some time. The ridiculous paper statement fees, the outrageously high minimum balances, and the monthly check writing maxims are just a couple of the other infractions of which you have been guilty in recent years… It is time to walk away from you and your too-big-to-fail, audacious practices and find a healthier, more holistic banking relationship.

I wish I could say, “I’ll miss you,” but I’m sure I won’t.


Your very-soon-to-be “ex” customer