Way back in the seventies, the nineteen-seventies, my mother-in-law and her husband opened an account at a bank. I am not sure if it was The Bank of America then, but that is what they called themselves today.

One of the advantages of having such a well established and old account included a safe deposit box. There was no charge for the box. It was all part of a package deal.

Recently the account was closed. About a week ago we discovered that the safe deposit box part of the account was still open. No big deal. It was not costing us anything but we felt that it might be to the banks advantage to close that part of the account as well.

My wife tried to turn in the single key she had to that box and was informed that they could not close the account unless they had both keys. My wife then tried to reason with them. She offered to mail in the second key which was most likely in Grandmothers stored records. No, the bank would not accept a mailed-in key. Both keys had to be presented in person for the account to be closed. However, they could close the account by charging us 25 dollars for the second key. The 25 dollars would be refunded after we personally delivered the second key. That was not going to work for us because the bank is in Oklahoma City and we live near Dallas. Besides we had far better plans for our 25 dollars. At no time had we ever considered presenting a bank we would not do business with, a present of 25 dollars.

Well, that was just too bad. That was the best the bank could do. So, my wife left the account open. We now have a no cost perpetual safe deposit box at some user unfriendly bank in Oklahoma City. We will probably never ever use that box, but we also know that the bank will not be able to use it either. It turned into a lose/lose situation with the nasty banker getting his just deserts for being less than cooperative. Charge us 25 dollars for a second key indeed!

This banking institution is in desperate need of a lesson in public service. Sometimes those who serve get confused and expect to be served by the customers that pay good money for bad service.

One of these years this particular bank in OKC might wake up to the fact that there is no activity on that safe deposit box. They may even inquire as to why and decide to reclaim ownership to the box so they can rent it out to a paying customer and an active account.

No problem. It will cost them about 2000 dollars. That is 2000 dollars as valued in the year 2007. Since we have no idea how long this sleeping dog will remain sleeping I guess we also need to identify how this 2000 dollars is disbursed. The funds will be used to provide a limusine in Dallas for travel to the DFW airport. At the airport we will purchase a round tip ticket to Oklahoma City, first class of course including a generous flight insurance policy to cover the trip. Then we will need another limusine in Oklahoma City to take us to the bank and back to the airport, and transportation from DFW to our house. Finally, there is the matter of being compensated for our time. We figure 100 dollars an hour and an eight hour minimum is a very fair price. This is takehome pay. Any considerations regarding taxes will need to be paid by the bank. All of these services are payable in advance, of course.

Yes, we can mail in that second key if they like, but it will still cost them 2000 dollars shipping and handling.

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