by Melissa Hincha-Ownby
I don’t think that anyone at Bank of America realized just how much of an uproar its planned $5 a month debit fee would cause. Other banks had already announced such fees, but the fees were smaller and were only introduced in select markets. Bank of America’s fee is larger and will affect millions of customers across the nation. Let’s just say that the people are peeved, and one consumer, Kristen Christian, decided to do something about it.
Christian launched the now viral Bank Transfer Day movement. On Nov. 5, Christian and her thousands of followers have vowed to close their accounts at big banks and transfer their money to credit unions — banking institutions owned by their customers and known to provide more personalized customer service.
As would be expected, Bank Transfer Day has its very own Facebook page filled with information about the day and what you can do to help spread the message. The page already has more than 31,000 Likes — not bad for a movement started just a few weeks ago.
So why did Christian decide to do more than simply close her own account? She explains on Facebook:
“I started this because I felt like many of you do. I was tired — tired of the fee increases, tired of not being able to access my money when I need to, tired of them using what little money I have to oppress my brothers and sisters. So I stood up. I’ve been shocked at how many people have stood up alongside me. With each person who RSVPs to this event, my heart swells. Me closing my account all on my lonesome wouldn’t have made a difference to these fat cats. But each of YOU standing up with me … they can’t drown out the noise we’ll make.”
I switched from a big bank to a credit union years ago because the customer service was wretched and I was tired of being treated like an account number, so I can’t participate in Bank Transfer Day. But I support those who do.
How about you? If you have an account at a mega bank, are you planning to take your business elsewhere on Nov. 5?
Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a green business blogger for MNN.com, Mother Nature Network, where this story first appeared. For more information on Bank Transfer Day, email email@example.com or visit http://banktransferday.org/. To find a credit union in the U.S., go to http://www.findacreditunion.com/.