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The Anti-Key Bank Web Site

Reasons why I built this web site (or, the anti - Key bank creed)

Welcome to the first and only official "Key Bank Sucks" web site. I think its only fair to share my story, and I invite and encourage others to do the same.

When I moved to my present home in Central New York in August of 2002 I ended up having to switch my bank because of the driving distance involved. I decided to try two banks. One worked out. That was Pathfinder. The other one, of course, was Key. As it turns out, that was one hell of a stupid choice on my part.

Over the last year I estimate I have been hit with over three hundred dollars in STUPID FEES (give or take -- I managed to fight my way out of a lot of them.)

What would make me madder than hell would be to check my bank balance, know I had money to pay for something, spend it, and then turn around and discover that Key had taken most of the money that was left before the payment I had just made had cleared!! This left me with two choices: Either make an emergency trip to the bank to make an emergency deposit before the payment hit the bank, or end up paying a twenty nine dollar fee and be overdrawn. This latter choice was less than satisfactory to me. Case in point: (Email to my friends)

The fun continues. I am tearing out my hair (something I am losing in vast quantities due to my hypothyroidism), having logged into my Key Bank account and seeing ANOTHER FEE (this one because I enrolled in their STUPID ASS FREQUENT FLYER MILES PROGRAM) and ANOTHER NEGATIVE BALANCE!! I promptly deposited twenty bux. Then I wrote ---

To whom it may concern:I hope your not planning on charging me any overdraft fees for YOUR overdrawing my account with your exorbitant service charges. I just want to inform you that if indeed you are planning on doing so I WILL cancel my account and take my business elsewhere. I am trying to save up money for a very important purpose and do not appreciate the fact that every time I make a deposit, its gone. Just like that. Thank you for your attention to this matter -- I will only continue to deposit in my account if I know its going to be there when I need it most.Constance Goodnow

Dear Constance Goodnow:

Thank you for contacting Key. Please allow us to explain our overdraft fees.

A $28.00 base charge will be assessed to each item that overdraws your account. In addition to a base overdraft item service charge, if your Account is overdrawn for insufficient funds, your Account will be charged an Excess Overdraft/Returned Item (NSF) Service Charge according to the tiered transaction limits described below.

1-3 overdraft items per year: $0 excess 4-9 overdraft items per year: $1.75 each 10 or more overdraft items per year: $4.50 each

(Editor's note: RAPE! RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!!! HELP, POLICE!!! HELP!!!!!!)

The base overdraft service charge is not assessed to bank related charges that overdraw your account. (Editor's note: That's a relief. You only pointed a gun in my general direction, whew! Thought you were going to hurt me!) Accounts overdrawn for 5 consecutive business days will be charged $27.50, up to a maximum of 3 times. You can avoid these fees with our overdraft protection program. We offer a product called Cash Reserve Credit that can assist you with avoiding overdraft service charges. On approval of credit, we will attach a line of credit to your checking account. Funds will automatically be transferred to ensure that all items are paid and so that you are not charged service charges. You can apply for overdraft protection at by following these steps: (useless steps deleted)

There is a $25.00 annual fee for this line of credit, which amounts to approximately $2.08 per month, to cover the account maintenance.

(Editor's note: So in order to avoid paying fees, I have to pay more fees. Kind of defeats the purpose. I'd rather chew broken glass than undergo the painful logic scrambling in order to understand the mentality of a Key Bank employee.)


So I wrote back: So am I to understand that because the item that overdrew my account was a bank fee and not an outside merchant that I will not be penalized?

Please understand my point of view -- I use a bank to put my money in in the belief that its going to be there when I need it. When I see there will be an overdraw I usually make every effort to make a deposit to cover the amount. I also have a virulent hatred for usurers and thieves and when I get charged out the arse for bank fees it looks like that's what you are. I feel I am being penalized because I am only putting 20 dollars a week in as opposed to my entire check -- something I refuse to do because at my other bank the funds are available for IMMEDIATE use as opposed to Key where I have to wait a day or two and I have to go to work the next day!! Ridiculous. However I believe my ranting is probably useless seeing it is NOT your job to care, its your job to count the money and then go home at the end of the day. Yeah, you assessed me the thirty dollar fee -- fair and square -- you warned me up front -- if I had known when you guys were going to charge it I'd have had the money in there already. Please forgive the you know what out of me. 8-P

So -- take the hint. If you don't have a Key account, DON'T GET ONE. If you are unfortunate enough to have one already, SWITCH BANKS! TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN -- BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T IT WILL BE GONE.

I have managed to save at least two correspondences with my bank. Here they are, for the entire world to see:

COMMENTS: I would like to explain my overdraw of Sept 9, 2003. My boyfriend had one-day surgery at (Name Withheld) Hospital and had several incisions on his abdomen and one on his leg. He was discharged and needed a nutritious meal and medication to help him recuperate. I am asking you very nicely to please consider this extenuating circumstance and waive the overdraft fee -- if not I will have to reconsider having a bank account with you. Thanks, Constance Goodnow

Dear Constance Goodnow: Thank you for contacting Key. Upon review of your account, we have reversed the $28.00 overdraft charge assessed on September 10. Your reference number for this service charge reversal is *******. Please be aware that we are unable to reverse any additional charges on this account for you unless they are the result of a bank error. Have you considered overdraft protection for your account? We offer a product called Cash Reserve Credit that can assist you with avoiding overdraft service charges. On approval of credit, we will attach a line of credit to your checking account. (Editor's Note: Sounds good, but the annual fee was twenty five dollars a year, and they ended up declining me anyway) Funds will automatically be transferred to ensure that all items are paid so your account is not assessed overdraft charges. (Editor's note: I'll believe it when I see it, bitch, hahahahahahaha) If you would like to apply for overdraft protection, please reply to this message with your telephone number and the most convenient time for us to contact you. If you should need any additional assistance, please feel free to send us another message by signing on to Online Banking and Investing and clicking on "Contact Us", or call us at 1-800-KEY2YOU (1-800-539-2968). We are available Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., local time. Sincerely, (Name of Hapless Teller who works there withheld) KeyBank

COMMENTS: WHAT THE &@*! IS THIS!!!!!!!!!!! I used Paypal to pay off an EBAY auction of 8.49. Now I see you have stolen six bucks from me so that I will NOT have enough to cover it, as i would have had you just held off. Screw it. I will pay whatever charges I incur and then I'm CLOSING MY ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T AFFORD YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only that but I will recommend Pathfinder to everyone I talk to. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Constance Goodnow: Thank you for contacting Key. We apologize for your frustration regarding the fees assessed to your account. Whenever a transaction is completed at any non-KeyBank ATM, there is a $2.00 fee assessed to the account. This is in addition to any fee that the owner of the ATM may impose at the time of the transaction, and is assessed on the date that your account statement prints. Upon review of your account, we find that two non-KeyBank ATM withdrawals and one non-KeyBank ATM balance inquiry were completed during the most recent statement cycle. This is the reason that Regional ATM Withdrawal fees totaling $4.00 and a Regional ATM Inquiry fee of $2.00 were assessed on September 15. (Editor's note: Almost a full FUCKING WEEK AFTER THE FACT THAT I MADE AN EMERGENCY WITHDRAWAL TOWARDS FOOD FOR MY POOR SLICED UP BOYFRIEND) You can avoid this type of fee by using KeyBank ATMs to complete your transactions. We value you as a customer, and are sorry to hear that you are considering closing your account.(Editor's note: Sorry to hear it because if I close my account you will no longer be able to rob, pillage and plunder, no doubt) If you should need any additional assistance, please feel free to send us another message by signing on to Online Banking and Investing and clicking on "Contact Us", or call us at 1-800-KEY2YOU (1-800-539-2968). We are available Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., local time.

Well, it was this final insult that ended up being the final straw. "We let you get away with not paying the first 28 dollar fee, but we'll sure as hell charge you out the butt for having the audacity to use your other banks' ATM, just to make sure that when your Ebay auction payment bounces, we're going to charge you ANOTHER overdraft fee, ha ha ha!!!" As a last ditch effort to save the relationship between me and Key (Why? WHY? WHY?????? WHY?????????!!!!!!!!!) I looked into Overdraft Protection.


That did it! As of yesterday, Sept 18, 2003, I finally did what I should have done months ago. What I had long threatened them with. What I had often muttered under my breath, emailed to my friends, sworn under pain of blood and sin and death and hell itself to do: I marched my attractive little ass down to their Mexico office and closed the account. As of this writing, I'm planning on holding a scissor party, with my debit cards as the cannon fodder. Then I plan to send the president the following letter:

To Whom it May Concern:

As of Sept 18, I cancelled my account and I will no longer be doing business with Key Bank. I Now that I no longer will be banking there, I should be a much nicer person and less angry person for others to deal with or be around. What angered me was your fees for practically everything I did or didn't do -- talk to a teller? $2 fee! Call the bank? Another $1.75. A flea flew by -- another $4 fee! Some Chinese guy in Beijing farted -- another $3 fee. I CANNOT AFFORD YOU GUYS. Free checking, my ass!!! I will be doing business with Pathfinder and recommend others to them too. It is NOT wise, or practical, or prudent business sense to alienate your customers by fee-ing them to death. Please accept the remnants of my debit cards and throw yourselves a ticker tape parade congratulating yourselves for the wonderful people you are -- I truly would not care. PS. Your ATM receipts make lousy toilet paper.

I am free. Free! FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

Send your story to me at And if I like it I will use it. And if its about another bank I may use it anyway... I'm SICK OF THEM SCREWING THE LITTLE GUY!!!!!!!!!

My Favorite Web Sites

Why ATMs are hazardous to your health (Key is mentioned by name)
How consumers can fight back
One woman's story
The Monster Itself -- Key Bank's web site
More Customer Horror Stories
Key gives new meaning to the term
Some more legal trouble
Woman sues Key
More judicial rigamarole...
A spitting, snitty rant
Judge puts Key in its place
More people who have been abused by Key
Key Bank screws Native American tribe
Some more good advice
Angry Net's Banks page
Pathfinder -- The Best Friggin Bank You'll Ever Meet!