I Found A Bank That Will Take Me!!

Edit: I thought Umpqua only had two branches. That is beyond not true. My new bank has WAY more than two branches. They’re all over Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Northern California. Check it out for yourself: http://www.umpquabank.com/locator/new/ Ok, carry on with the post. 🙂

I am now a member at Umpqua Bank, “the greatest bank in the world”. And I have to say, they’re pretty cool. Here’s how it happened:

The regular readers here know I’ve been on a quest since September of 2011 to find a new place to move my banking. At first it was about our “too big to fail” banks and their attitudes around customer service, fee rollouts, etc. I decided to move out of Wells Fargo. It was a difficult choice in a way, because my family banked at Wells for years when I was a kid, and they have branches everywhere I have people.

But I have been learning that where you have your money matters ethically, even if you don’t have much.

I started by looking to join a credit union. Boy did that backfire on me. None of the credit unions wanted me. Once because my credit score wasn’t high enough (looking at you Salal, with your minimum 600 score requirement). Another time Chexsystems blocked me out.

So, after feeling like the school nerd trying in vain to get a date with the prom queen, I sucked it up again and started looking at local banks.

Continue reading

Credit Unions: For Perfect People Only?

Well, I did it again. I went over to BECU this morning and tried to open an account. *sigh* I thought that since I had paid off the Chexsystems issue about four months ago, things would be okay. Nope. Chexsystems STILL had the US Bank thing listed as unpaid. Which means no BECU account for me.

The lady I talked to (different one from the first time) said that even if I came in with a letter from US Bank saying it had been paid off, they aren’t allowed to override their computers and open an account. And apparently, Chexsystems can leave that on my report for up to FIVE YEARS.

You know, I feel a bit like a high school outcast trying to get a date with the prom queen. This just isn’t going to happen. The credit union crowd sits at the popular table in the school cafeteria, and I’m never going to be allowed to put my books on that table, much less eat there.

Hmm..I did notice one thing though when I visited the Chexsystems website just now. In their FAQs, they provide this handy piece of information:

My account was paid. Why wasn’t the report removed?  A reporting member is under no obligation to remove an accurate report of account mishandling due to payment of monies owed. However, the member is obligated to update the report with a paid in full or settled in full date when applicable.

Apparently I need to talk with the folks at US Bank. They haven’t done their part in reporting that I cleared this up.

But to continue on…I can’t let this stop me from moving my money. It’s no longer about the fees Wells Fargo is trying to bring back. It’s about their money they’ve invested in private prisons. I can’t abide it. Those prisons are a form of slavery targeting people of color that’s even more insidious than our publicly funded systems, because there’s much less oversight. I don’t have a lot of money in my account, but it’s the principle of the thing.

So, I need to find something else. Since credit unions are for the popular kids, I’ll check into local banks I guess. I’d hate to go back into the alternative financial sector (a fancy word for payday loans, check cashing places, etc), but I will if it’s the only way to stop supporting this investment.

As always, I’ll report back and let you know. 🙂

Resistance Art: Anti AT&T Merger Ads

Ok, so after awhile news coverage of a merger can drag on. Which is why I let it fall off the blog. But then, thanks to the links I get from my Pulse News app, I found out that Save The Internet has a new outreach going on to help voice resistance to the merger.

I looked the site over, and they have some really excellent talking points, most of which are put together in easy to understand PDF’s. The site looks great. The commercials are awesome. Here’s one for your viewing pleasure:



If you want to check the site out, you can start at the page with all of the videos and vote for your favorite.

We’re Flooding the FCC!

I just swung by the FCC’s Express filing website to put my 3 cents in about the merger from hell. And what did I see? That far and away this situation is blowing up their site.

In the matter of AT&T…has collected 3,386 comments so far.

The next closest case comes in at 389 comments. Yep, 389.

Go on over and check it out yourself. And don’t forget to leave your opinion. But remember to make it something intelligent, not just “AT&T suckz!”. 🙂


AT& T-Mobile News Round-up

Well hi there everyone. My inbox is LOADED with news about the merger none of us want to happen. Rather than write some long-winded post about it, I’ll just give you the direct news lincs and you can read it all first hand. Here you go!

The Justice Department is expanding and extending it’s review, and they want data from the competition! http://bloom.bg/lJwzmW

The FCC wants OUR opinion on the merger. http://www.mobiledia.com/news/88791.html 

And they have an easy to use website just for this purpose: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/hotdocket/list

No matter what, T-Mobile ads still make fun of the DeathStar: http://bit.ly/mzuuY0

The FCC has set a pleading schedule for starting their review: http://bit.ly/lkTGgj

Um, ok. This post tries to make it out that being bought by AT&T would have the positive effect of making T-Mobile by default more union friendly. Except that they wouldn’t be T-Mobile anymore for one, and even the author admits that the union got into AT&T because management was neutral. There’s a difference between neutral and friendly. http://bit.ly/lNfu4j

Apparently now Citigroup has gotten in on the deal. They’re now part of Deutsche Telekom’s financial advisory team. THAT increases my confidence!! http://on.wsj.com/lYscfY

Now AT&T’s deal with Qualcomm is getting extra reg attention too! http://bit.ly/ixjDtu

AT&T is still saying that being a massive overlord in wireless service is GOOD for the customer! Really, it is! http://lat.ms/mLIi98

No Peeking!: FCC rules no one can see the unreleased papers related to the merger. Trade secrets might be compromised. Maybe we’d learn just how much AT&T got paid for letting the government listen in on their customers? http://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting

San Antonio Texas tells us how this merger would effect them locally, including how higher phone bills would impact the Latino community. http://sacurrent.com/columns/story.asp?id=72323

AT&T’s Tech Chief says really, this is GREAT for competition! Really! http://bit.ly/f3b6iP (Why is it only AT&T people talking publically??)

OUCH! WT?? Hoffa Jr Backs Merger: http://bit.ly/jcBcMF Says something like it will be great to get hundreds of T-Mobile employees into the union. Um, yeah, the ones who didn’t lose their job from the merger in the first place. Why do both of the pro-union articles miss this fine point?

That’s all I’ve got for now, y’all. Enjoy the reading.

You Can Follow j35t3r

Don’t just take my word for it. Especially because sometimes I mess up my facts. Get to know the genius for yourself!

Follow j35t3r on Twitter: http://twitter.com/th3j35t3r

Check out j35t3r’s blog: http://th3j35t3r.wordpress.com/

And here’s part two of the Xerxes video:

J35T3R and Xerxes In Action

Here is a YouTube video of J35T3R’s Xerxes system in action. According to the interview I linked to in the last post, Xerxes is so finely tuned that only the site J35T3R wants to flatline is targeted. No intermediary sites are damaged.

Even with my limited computer knowledge, this is impressive and seems to have limitless potential.