Look Inside Umpqua Bank

It’s been awhile since I talked about banks. A couple of weeks ago, I took some pics of the inside lobby of the Umpqua branch I usually bank at. They’re up on Capitol Hill, on Broadway by All Pilgrims Church.

First, they have three wireless stations. I couldn’t take a picture, because all three were in use, and I didn’t want to invade people’s privacy. But you can just come in, sit down, and use the wireless at my bank. I don’t think you have to have an account there to do it either.

And when you stop by the bank, you can have some coffee or tea.

Have a cup!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, just a few feet down from the coffee bar is the golden “bat phone”. I don’t know what they really call it. It’s gold color, and you can reach anyone in a department by picking up the receiver and pressing a single button. And I do mean anyone. Seriously. Pressing 8 will connect you to the bank president.

I haven’t tried it yet. Behold the bat phone for yourself:

Call Us!

 

 

Really, Call Us!

So that’s a quick look inside my new bank. Coffee, wireless, and their very own bat phone.:-) Remember, they also give me chocolate every time I deposit money. What’s not to like?

I know I left Well’s Fargo for moral reasons, but the coolness factor at my bank is also worth it. If you haven’t moved to a new bank yet, I highly recommend Umpqua. If you are worried about not having unlimited access to ATMs, ask yourself: how often you get cash at ATMs? If you’re like me, you get more of your cash back at registers during daily activities.

Seriously. It’s time to realize that money is much more accessible than it used to be. ATMs are not the key to cash anymore: your pin number is. Our money moves faster than we do, and no one should charge us to hold onto it. These are things it’s taken me years to learn, and there’s so much more I don’t understand.

Do yourself a favor. Experiment with your mobility. Open a secondary, online only bank account. Switch to a credit union or local bank. Try something to shake up the idea that “bricks and machines” are vital to financial existence. It’s scary, but worth it.

Satori Trans Surgery Worldwide

I had no idea Satori World Medical existed, and just happened to stumble onto their site today. I almost thought it was a scam, but then I looked at their partner organizations. Laura’s Playground, Spectrum Health, and the Southern Comfort Conference are just a few of the groups that apparently can vouch for them. That relaxed me a bit.

It seems they are connected to a global network of providers, and the part that really caught my attention was that they say they can save you 30-50% of the total price compared to U.S. prices. And it looks like they make all of the arrangements, including flight, hotel, and at home post surgery followup. Huh.

Here’s the link if you want to know more:

http://www.satoriworldmedical.com/transgender/index.htm

 

4G Speed: What’s Your Data Cap?

I don’t know much about 4G as a concept or cell speed, so I’ve been looking into it, because that’s what I do here at Your Info Linc. I found an interesting paper, plus a handy resource for folks. The paper/web page is called “4G plus Data Caps=Magic Beans”. One of the main points of the article is this:

“The 4G offered by major wireless carriers (with the notable exception of Sprint) is a waste of money because it comes with strict data caps. These data caps actively discourage the types of activities that 4G enables. Activities that are made possible by 4G, such as watching movies or uploading video to the internet, are made impossible by the data caps. As a result most users will avoid taking advantage of these new services out of fear of incurring large overage fees. That makes capped 4G little more than a bait and switch, like being sold a handful of magic beans. ”

Huh. Fascinating. The rest of the article, which includes the PDF version in the middle of the page, can be read here: http://www.publicknowledge.org/4g-data-caps-magic-beans

They also include a handy site called “What Is My Cap?” This lets people figure out how much in overage charges they would incur using their data plans exactly they way they want to, based on their carrier. Visit it here: http://whatismycap.org/

 

My Review: Virgin Mobile Service Is Excellent!

Hey everyone:

So I’ve been with Virgin Mobile for around 6 months now. I jumped ship for fear that T-Mobile was going to get eaten by the Death Star. And there was no way I was going to be an AT&T customer ever again.

Man, I should have jumped AGES ago. I love being with Virgin Mobile!

I’m sure some of you remember this ad:

I have to tell you, it is a cool party. Here’s what’s gone on so far:

1) I’ve had my battery replaced for free (including shipping both ways) when I had a phone problem. No haggling, no assumption that I did something wrong to my phone first.

2) As long as it’s not too close to my pay by date, I can shift my plan up or down whenever I feel like it.

3) I can email or call them directly, but I also have the option of help in person at Best Buy.

The biggest issue I know people have is paying for the fee to dump their plan and the price of the new phone right off the bat. I was lucky in that I had gotten a lump sum disability check, so I was able to pay all that upfront without too much hurt.

All I can say is even if you have to save up for a few months, it’s worth it in the long run. I pay $35/month right now, plus tax which brings the total up to $38.33. For that I get unlimited data, web, and text plus 300 minutes a month. $49 will get me 1200 minutes, and $62-65ish will bring unlimited everything. I’ll never go back to a contract phone again.

Mrs. Linc is jealous…she stayed on T Mobile and pays between $90-100/month for 700 minutes and unlimited everything else. If we could afford it right now, she would jump ship too.

And did I mention I can get calls and texts in a couple of places I couldn’t before? Yep…

 

Starting May 4th: Wells Fargo fee waivers now even harder to get

I got a message in my inbox from Wells Fargo the other day. Starting May 4th, transferring money back and forth between linked accounts will no longer be an easy way to waive their $10 monthly fee. Now you have to either have more money, or juggle things around like this:
“You can waive the current $10 monthly service fee when you have three additional linked accounts or services (such as a Wells Fargo debit card, savings account, online banking or direct deposit) and one of the following:

  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, OR
  • Maintain a qualifying monthly direct deposit of $500 or more1, OR
  • Maintain a monthly automatic loan payment from this Package checking account to a Wells Fargo home equity/personal loan or line of credit, or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage® loan”         (Source: my Wells Fargo message inbox)

I’m not staying. As soon as my May “Qualifying Direct Deposit” (SSDI) drops in, I’ll be closing my Wells account for good. Of course, there’s another big reason to get out that I just found out about last week.

Wells Fargo is the second largest stockholder in a private prison company called GEO Group. Now, full disclosure, I worked for six months at a private juvenile prison in Missouri. Even though they pretended to care about the kids and rehabilitating, it was still an awful place. And the private adult prisons are worse.

So next week I better go back up to BECU again and see if they’ll let me open an account. Because it’s not just about the fees. I could waive those with my direct deposit. I cannot let my money support private prisons, especially since I know better.

If you want to read the full fee message, it’s below the fold. I’ve included for an FYI, and because I know there are other folks like me who skim stuff and throw it out. This one’s important. Thanks to the customer service folks who put it back for me.:-)

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I Found the Romance Novel Graveyard!!

If you’re anything like me, and like to hunt through used book stores when you’re bored, then I’m sure you’ve seen the piles and piles of romance novels. They multiply like Gremlins, and lean over everything.

I’ve often wondered where they go once the store owners get tired of how much space they’re losing to these books no one seems to want anymore. And lo, I stumbled upon the answer tonight: Ebay.

Yes, Ebay, being the cultural goldmine that it is, is the final resting place for those lonely little books. If you search their book section under “lots”, you’ll find them pictured in large groups. Like older pets at a shelter, they sit waiting and hoping for a good home. See for yourself: http://bit.ly/pi8wZQ .

That’s all. Nothing earth shattering or deep tonight. Just the answer to a question I’ve mulled over from time to time.