Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

How not to host a blog or personal site

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I was doing some research on some old forums/newsgroups, and I found a link to this site, which was supposed to have some good Delphi examples. I followed the link, and not only did none of the links work, but it was loaded with Google ad spam.
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National City Bank and truth in advertising

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Nationaly City BankNational City Bank, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio has been running a lot of radio ads that attempt to portray National City accounts as having fewer (or no) fees, especially hidden fees.

I signed up for a business line of credit last year, and recently paid it off.  I kept the line of credit open, thinking I might need the cash again.  When I signed up, there had been no mention of annual fees.

I paid off the balance two months ago.  A couple days ago, I signed onto my account and saw that the balance was now at $50.  Apparently, I had been charged $50 against my credit line for an annual fee.

I telephoned National City to talk about the fee.  I won’t bore you with the trouble I had finding the person to talk to regarding my account and the trouble they had identifying the type of account.

I finally got on the line with Mr. Bill Kareem, the man that could help me with my account.  I asked him to refund the fee because I wasn’t told that there was a fee, and to close the account if he were going to continue charging a fee.

Mr. Bill Kareem argued that I agreed to the fee when I signed for the account and there was nothing he could do about the fee.  He offered to close the account, but he couldn’t reverse the fee.  I had him close the account.

So, a fee that is buried in the paperwork, and which I am not told about when I open an account, is a hidden fee.  The hidden fee is just the thing that National City is advertising that they don’t have.  Here we are, among National City’s massive marketing campaign to convince you that they have fewer fees, and it’s just simply not true, at least not in my experience.

I also pay a $3 monthly fee for my cash reserve credit line for when my wife bounces a check, and a $3 monthly maintenance fee on my savings account.

I began strategizing how I was going to move all of my banking over to my checking account at a competing bank.  Then, I reread the statement from Nationaly City.  The statement said that the annual fee was for August 2008 to July 2009.  Well, here it is, still July 2008.  Since I’ve closed the account, they can’t charge me an annual fee for next year.

I called back and spoke with Deanna.  I stated that I closed the account today, opened the account in August, it’s still July, and I’d like a refund for the annual fee.  Deanna immediately issued me a refund for the fee.

Now, if only Mr. Bill Kareem had done the same thing, I might not even be writing this blog entry.

You cannot believe advertisements, period.  They can tell you to your face that they have lower fees while you sign away your money on the dotted line.  Read the fine print.

Also, if one person tells you no, call again and speak to someone else.

Interestingly, National City reported a $1.76 billion loss for the second quarter of 2008, with non-interest revenue (derived from fees) falling to $431 million from $764 million last year.  So, perhaps National City is doing something about lowering fees.  Perhaps they’re having to face stiffer competition during this recession, where people are simply refusing to pay lower fees, and customers are willing to move elsewhere to lower their fees.  It’s exactly the trend that National City is trying to capitalize on with their advertising.  People are tired of paying the fees.

Anyway, a bank that is losing money is less likely to issue refunds out of fairness and courtesy.