UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: A quick call to customer service resulted in the following: a bank employee has to manually “push a button” to  make the direct deposits actually go into the accounts. Which doesn’t happen till 8:30 a.m. or so, when a person gets there. I’ll have to change my habit of waking up on payday and being able to get all the bills paid before work, but okay, only a minor inconvenience. (I’m still nervous Bobby’ll go to use the debit card on this trip and it won’t work, and still waiting for the online fix, but at least one problem is seemingly solved.)

UPDATE: 2:37 p.m.: Debit cards now working. Hooray!

Look, Chase is awful. Besides all your typical Wall Street bad behavior, they support Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal, and did away with WaMu’s free checking and user-friendly online banking. The overdraft fees are evil. But the bank’s Arcata and Eureka locations are as convenient as it gets, and the folks who work there have always been nice.

That said, when the Bank Transfer Day idea gained momentum, I decided to make the switch. I don’t have enough money that leaving Chase delivers much of a blow, but maybe on a local level, I could do a little good. So I went over to Coast Central’s Arcata branch and stood in line with another dozen Transfer participants. The place buzzed with a shared sense of doing something positive. We were taking action! So, that part was great.

What I knew was going to be a pain and has been, is changing over my direct deposit, student loan, car insurance, SallieMae transfer and other automatic payments. I couldn’t close the Chase account right away because I needed time to make all those changes. Well, it’s a good thing I left it open, because since moving to CCCU, I can’t get my debit card to work and haven’t been able to access the online banking. Essentially, I’ve had $50 sitting in a savings account at Coast Central while continuing to use my Chase account for all practical purposes. One more piece of unused plastic taking up space in my wallet.

But I finally worked out the direct deposit with my employer and even received confirmation that things were in place from Coast Central. Nearly three months later, I was poised to utilize my credit union checking account.

However, I was still unable to access the online banking, so I drove over to the Eureka branch to sort out the problem. Unfortunately, the very polite teller couldn’t help me resolve things in a timely fashion — like, now — so I had to fill out a form to change the PIN, which would be submitted to some other department, after which I’d hear back, probably at least a couple days.

So that sucks. Because like most working parent types, I do 99 percent of my banking online.

What’s worse is, I drove into town this morning to use the ATM (after having to reactivate my debit card so it would work), my balance is still at $0 instead of reflecting the direct deposit I expected. (It’s payday!) This is a real problem since my husband and son are leaving for UCSF Medical Center for a diabetes check up in an hour and need money for gas and food. Luckily we have some rent money set aside to “borrow” from, but jeez, the amount of stress added and time lost — and I still have to resolve the problems!

I don’t exactly regret leaving Chase — oh, wait, I haven’t actually left them yet. In fact, I couldn’t change my Sallie Mae transfer until mid-February, so if I don’t get the money from my direct deposit in the CCCU, then I can’t make a deposit at Chase to cover this one last payment, which means I’ll be overdrawn at Chase and incur that horrible $34 charge.

Wow, my head hurts. I did send CCCU an email this morning and am about to call customer service (which didn’t open till 8:30 p.m.).

Hoping for a speedy resolve.

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