This morning I managed to negotiate my way out of paying $160 in overdraft bank fees. I had been running a little lower on cash in my checking account this week than I thought, and I managed to overdraw my account with several small charges. So today I called up Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and requested that my excessive overdraft fees be removed. I had nearly $200 in overdraft fees due to multiple small debit charges, and it seemed to me that $200 in fees was excessive for such small debits. While Bank of America would not remove all the charges, the customer service representative on the phone generously offered to remove $160 worth of fees without any significant prodding on my part.
I have a somewhat mediocre opinion of Bank of America as a whole, but I was especially pleased with the way I was treated on the phone today. And the lesson to you readers should be clear. Bank fees and charges that seem to be set in stone are actually quite negotiable, since financial institutions absolutely do not want to lose you as a customer. Do not lie down and let yourself be charged up the wazoo by your bank. In all likelihood a simple telephone call is all it will take to get those overdraft charges (or even credit card late fees) eliminated.