It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's
I had a little snafu with an auto-payment the other day. I had gone through all the forms and phone calls to get it switched from one checking account to another, then the payment came out of the old account anyway. The old account that didn't have enough money, so I got hit with an overdraft.
I went to the bank and told them to reverse the charge and was told… they couldn't. Because I had given permission once to that vendor, they can always pull from my account. I've practically made them a signor on my account.
So I said, fine, I'll cover this one, but seeing as the vendor isn't stopping, I asked them to block that vendor from future charges.
They can't do that either.
Apparently once you give permission to someone to pull money from your account they can do it forever. The only way to make them stop is to, get this, close your account.
I was getting really frustrated at this point -- the banker is telling me that he can't stop some random vendor from getting into my bank account, so in other words, the vendor, any vendor, has more power over my bank account than my banker. My banker gave me a kind of stunned look when I told him that, as if he had never considered that.
Then I got to thinking about all the companies that have access to my account. Google for the Android Marketplace, Amazon for my Kindle, probably Apple (although I haven't used the iTunes store for years)… GoDaddy, Network Solutions…
The list kept growing as I thought about all the online services that I have to give a credit card to and, as in Google and Amazon, it seems I have to give it to them permanently because it's the only way to use the device that I own.
Well, the device that apparently Google and Amazon own. Along with my bank account.