"What happened now?"
"Filing US returns and just discovered those bastards at Chase have suddenly started charging me a $12 monthly service fee for nothing"
"I am going to call them now"
"Yeah, its the middle of the day for them"
"That doesn't mean anything. I might be on hold for ever"
"No, you won't. You are calling Chase, not Barclays"
So I call. In about 20 seconds I am speaking to a human being. I ask her about the fee. She explains that this is something new that they will charge me if I don't do a direct deposit of $500 a month or maintain a daily minimum balance of $1500.
"See, I don't live in the country and there is no way I am going to keep track of my minimum balance all the time. And I am not going to lose money by transferring a large amount from here"
"I understand ma'am but then we will have to charge you the fee"
"Hang on, I actually have a savings account with you"
"Yes, I can see that - it has around $2000 in it"
"Which earns me nothing and I don't ever use it. So this is what you do - close my savings account, transfer the money to my checking and then viola, you don't charge me this new service fee"
"Yes, I can help you with that"
"It will take a minute for me to close this. I just have to read you a couple of close of business statements and your account will be closed and the money transferred over"
MUTE. "Did you hear that? It will take her a whole minute to do what I just asked her to do" UNMUTE.
"That would be great, thanks"
20 seconds later I was done.
"I love America"
"Though they are bastards"
"Yes but they are nice to you"
"Now this is what you do. Call Barclays. Lets see how long this takes with them"
"First, their call centres won't be open at this time. Two, even if they were open by the time I get through to a human being, it will be abour 42 minutes. Then they will take about 15 minutes to validate I am who I say I am if I remember all the numbers I am supposed to remember. If not, they will ask me to go to a branch. Regardless, if this idiot on the line gets a little suspicious, he will lock my account out. If they actually manage to validate me, then I am sure that they won't let me close the account over the phone and will ask me to go to a branch. If I do go to a branch, they will demand 3 forms of identification in triplicate. Then they would want a letter from my employer. Or my landlord. Or both. At some point in this process, I will probably kill myself. Are you sure you want me to contine?"
"I don't see why not"