Saturday, December 09, 2017

What Do YOU Do?

Raising a question of privacy on a seeming trivial thing at my local bank

The story, best as I can retell it:

I had a check that I needed to cash so headed off to my local bank to cash it. The bank was bought out (is that the right term?) by another bank a short while ago. I’ve had account with both banks for a long time.

The teller took my check, and then said that she needed to ask me a few questions to update their system. She may have asked my phone number. I don’t recall.

She asked my address. About my address. I answered with my Post Office box, saying it was the same as always.

She asked me my place of employment. I asked why that was needed. She said to make sure that there was no funny stuff going on with direct deposit.

She asked what my occupation there was.

She said that she had to do this for everyone, and does her best to be polite about it.

She gave me my funds and I left.

Getting home, I felt I should speak to someone about the bank’s policy. I called the toll free number on my statement rather than the local number, as I wanted to reach the headquarter branch. When the person answered I asked for customer service or the bank manager. I gave more detail and she told me that I had not reached a bank branch, but a call center. It disappoints me that the bank uses a call center during business hours. She asked me which branch I wanted and connected me.

The person listened to my concerns and then asked if she could put me on hold to connect to the branch I was at. After a few minutes, the same teller who waited on me spoke to me on the phone. In the conversation most of the same was just repeated. She did also state that the reason that they ask for my occupation, was to be able to tell if everything is all right with the debit card use. Her example was a truck driver would use the debt card much more than an office worker, as they are on the road a lot.

My take on all this:

My address: I receive monthly statements from them. I think that should be enough for them, but I don’t see harm in occasionally double checking the accuracy just in case. Though one would think if I’m a responsible person, I would contact them if I stopped receiving statements after a while.

My Place of Employment: No I don’t feel that I should have to give this out. If I chose direct deposit from my employer then they receive paperwork with the detail for their records so they already have what they need. I could work and not use direct deposit, and I feel it is none of their business where I work, unless I have a loan from the bank, which I do not. If I wanted to give work contact info for urgent banking issues (such as an odd withdrawal on my account that they want to question), then that should be my choice.

My Occupation: No. Only if I have a loan with them, again, I do not. The reason I was given for the request is not adequate to me. I could be a trucker who rarely uses the debit card, or an office person who chooses to use the card frequently. My occupation is a required input on their screen. The teller said that if I opened a new account, the bank would ask the same question. I feel that this is unneeded. The biggest use I can see it serving if some company buys out my personal information, it is now more valuable as ads can be sent my way reflection my line of work. I wrong on all this?

It seems like my phone call rather than discussing if bank policy is proper, was just turned into an attempt to justify their policy to me, and no attempt to consider changes is allowed.


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