Banking In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have had bank accounts with First Union, SunTrust, Wachovia, Bank of America, Zions, Washington Federal, and Wells Fargo. Over the twenty seven years of having bank accounts, I have had a few small problems with banks. A 35 year old teller with Bank of America put my deposit into someone else’s account, I saw it on my deposit receipt as I was walking away, I turned right around and she realized what she did, and she fixed it. I was not mad at her at all, because she had always been so helpful and cordial.

When I opened an account at Zions Bank, I explained very clearly that I wanted all mail related to my account to go to my P.O. Box, not to my house, that I hated to even give them my home address. I explained that my house was in a rural area, and that my mailbox was down at the paved road with six other mail boxes. Zions Bank assured me that they would not send anything to my home address, then Zions Bank began mailing things to my home address.

I have had a few other small problems with banks. I have talked to friends and acquaintances about banking problems, and I have read about major problems other people have had with banks. A friend of mine with a CDL drove for a trucking company in Dickinson for two weeks, received a check for $1,400, deposited it, and got $200 cash back. The trucking company check bounced, and the bank wanted the $200 back from my friend, which he did not have. This is some of what I want to talk about, banking in Dickinson.

Whenever I would go to the Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson, every customer at each teller, always appeared to be having problems. It was not a matter of going to the teller that didn’t have problems, it was a matter of getting the teller who only had problems for about four minutes, rather than ten minutes. When I was in line at Wells Fargo in Dickinson, it was like being at a border crossing. It was worse than being at the Department of Motor Vehicles, because the DMV has laws that you can count on, whereas at Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson, there was no telling what was going to happen.

More than once, as I was waiting in line at Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson, wondering what in the world could be taking so long to complete these people’s transactions, a man of about 45 years would say to a teller, “I have done business with banks in many different states, including Wells Fargo. I don’t know what it is about this bank, but I always have problems at this bank. Now, I have another bank that I can take this check to, but you have got something wrong here.”   I was thinking the exact same thing. About three times I called Wells Fargo Bank and explained what was happening to everyone at this bank in Dickinson, and I was told, “Do not hesitate to call if you have something go wrong at this bank, when Wells Fargo Bank receives enough complaints about this bank, then something will be done about it.”

To my amazement, Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson suddenly got about four really good, sharp, quick thinking tellers that had no problems. I believed that Wells Fargo might have hand picked some of the best tellers from elsewhere and offered them more money to come to Dickinson, this was about mid 2014. Things went much better at Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson for about a year. Then, one really good teller moved away, one really good teller got promoted to a desk, one really good teller went to manage a Western store, leaving about two good tellers. I love the two good tellers, but I kept getting “the young witch” and “the slug”. With the young witch, I presented a Wells Fargo check from the state of Idaho payable to me, for a small amount, which she could not cash after about five minutes of trying, so I took it from her, and tore it up and gave it back to her, since she put a hex on this check. With the slug, I can hand her both a check and a completed deposit slip, and she will say, “Are you wanting to cash this check?”

I can’t handle Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson. I begin to have anxiety and apprehension as I drive to Wells Fargo Bank, with the intention of depositing a two week pay check. I just expect to have problems, and I need to get that money into my checking account. I have sometimes turned my truck around thinking, “I can’t deal with this shit today, I am just going to go cash this at Dakota Community Bank.”.

At the Dakota Community Bank by WalMart, I have had way way less trouble than Wells Fargo Bank, and I don’t even have an account at Dakota Community Bank! Recently, my room mate was out of town, a check came in the mail for him, he told me to take it to Dakota Community Bank and just hand it to them, they would deposit it, and get a receipt from them. They did it, no problem! At Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson where I have an account, I can’t even get them to cash a Wells Fargo check from the state of Idaho, payable to me!

I contacted Dakota Community Bank in Dickinson by telephone, and explained to the person why I wanted to open a checking account, I was having so many problems with Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson. I explained that I absolutely did not want to have any banking mail sent to my home in Idaho, because I’m not there. After everything was agreed upon, and I told her when I would be there, she said she was leaving, someone else would help me. I was very very angry, I said, “Listen, I just got done explaining several things to you so that you know and understand. I didn’t want to come to the bank without first explaining what I wanted. I wasn’t just trying to waste my time.”  She said, “We have someone who has been here two months who can help you open your account.” I said, “No, no, no, that is exactly what I don’t want.”  I said that I was so angry right now, I don’t even think I can come in there today to open an account, let me speak to the manager. I explained to the manager, “I have accounts at several different banks right now, but the only one in Dickinson is Wells Fargo. I have never had problems with banks like I have had with Wells Fargo in Dickinson. I wanted to open a checking account with your bank, I called ahead to explain what I wanted, and what I didn’t want. Everything was understood, then the person I explained this to, says she won’t be here. Someone who has been here two months can help me. If I wanted to have problems with inexperienced people, I wouldn’t need to open an account at your bank, I could just keep going to Wells Fargo.” Maybe they should have said, “Aahh, that’s O.K., please don’t come here.” That’s what I would have said. They just agreed to have me set up my account with a different person.

When I went to Dakota Community Bank and began filling out a form, there were check boxes on the form for personal checking, business checking, personal savings, certificate of deposit, safe deposit box, and ATM/debit card. I said, “On this ATM/debit card check box, is this separate from the checking account?” She said, “What do you mean?” I thought she was being stupid, like at Wells Fargo, and I was beginning to get angry. I said, “Well, I have opened checking accounts at different banks, and with a checking account, you get checks, and you get an ATM/debit card.” She said, “Well, if you get denied for a checking account, you will also get denied for an ATM/debit card.” I said, ”Denied for a checking account? What are you talking about, denied for a checking account?”

The Dakota Community Bank woman said that they were going to do a credit check before they would allow me to have a checking account. I said that I have very good credit. She said, well, we are going to check. The credit check was being run as I was filling out a form. I asked if this was a free checking account, or were there fees? She said that it was free as long as I didn’t have a negative balance. I said, “Negative balance? Are you kidding me?” I was thinking, “Negative balance, what the fuck are you talking about? That’s in default. What the fuck are you talking about?” This bank woman started talking about the other checking accounts that I could choose from that would allow me to run up to a negative $1,000 balance, which I thought was fucking crazy. I said, “No, no, I have never been overdrawn in my life.” When my credit check report got printed out, my credit score was 772, which is very very good. It is not even higher because I only have two credit cards, that’s my only points deduction. I said to the woman, I have never ever had a bank run a credit check before they would allow me to open an account, they had only ever wanted an initial deposit, and my personal information. I said, “Maybe you have so few problems in comparison to Wells Fargo Bank in Dickinson, because you require a credit check.” She said, “If people have a history of owing banks money, why would we want to let them open an account with us?”

As we were finishing up the opening of this checking account, I felt like I was getting the White Trash treatment. They were in no way believing that I would have a good credit report. I wasn’t from Dickinson, therefore I must be White Trash. However, I was thinking, that the most White Trash thing a person could do would be to have a negative checking account balance, which people here in North Dakota think is the commonly accepted thing to do. No, it’s not, it’s called being in default.

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