The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 April 2003

My personal one-strike law

Compared to the stereotypical Average American Consumer, I am way low on the Fickle-O-Meter. I still have my 1974 stereo (and quadraphonic!) receiver and speakers, and one magazine subscription that has run since 1978. I've kept the same bank account for twenty-eight years, despite the fact that the bank has changed hands twice during that period. In short, I am generally a loyal customer, provided you don't try to stick it to me — and once you do, you're history.

Relegated to the past tense this afternoon: my long-distance company for the past two decades. (I won't mention any names, but I'm sure they made a mint off me during those months when I was always talking and talking.) Never before have I seen a firm actually lose an electronic payment. My bank was incredulous — "How could they do that?" — but after checking to see that yes, the payment was sent in a timely manner, and no, the recipient never heard of it, they promptly reversed the charge to my account. I wrote the offending firm a check for the entire balance and promptly switched my LD service to someone else offering the same rate. And if you've switched LD services lately, you know that this is not something to be undertaken lightly; anti-slamming rules, to prevent unauthorized changes, make authorized changes exceedingly cumbersome. Still, as the phrase goes, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

And, just incidentally, the new LD provider was happy enough to offer me a better rate than what I'd had or what I'd asked for, once they heard I was leaving That Other Firm.

Posted at 8:50 PM to Dyssynergy


I am able to boast holding my same Credit Union account (which has never changed hands) since 1976. That is no small task, considering I was born in 1972.

Posted by: Ravenwood at 9:31 AM on 15 April 2003

That's impressive.

I had a little two-dollar credit-union account opened when I was working for the Dreaded Utility; I left them 15 years ago, but the account is still open, and though no deposits have been posted, it's up to about $6.50 now.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:43 AM on 15 April 2003

The electric company did the same thing to me last month. Problem is, I don't have the option to switch!

As far as long distance telephone service goes, we dropped it completely a few years back. I'd rather dial up one of the 10-10-X11 services and only pay for what I use.

Posted by: ronbailey at 5:38 AM on 16 April 2003

I've got you beat, though not by much, on the stereo side: right now I'm listening to Big Joe Turner on the AR 4x speakers I bought after a long summer working for Mayflower in 1973, just in time for my junior year in college. The tuner and (obviously) CD player are newer, though, roughly 1988, and still work fine. The AR turntable lasted until less than 2 years ago. And my Navy Federal Credit Union goes back to 1971 or before, even though I've never been in the Navy. (I opened it when I was still a dependent, and now I'm 50.)

Posted by: Dr. Weevil at 12:33 PM on 16 April 2003

I was always fond of the smaller ARs, though what I wound up buying was something comparable in the KLH line. My first CD player dates to 1987, and still serves bedroom duty.

I've had three turntables. The most recent is a vintage-'88 Onkyo direct-drive that's still going strong, and I still have about two quarts of Discwasher fluid on hand.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:48 PM on 16 April 2003

Well, I can't beat you for time, but I've banked with the same credit union since 1987. That, in and of itself, is not remarkable. The fact this credit union's dozen or so branches are all in San Diego county, and that during this time I have lived in Japan (for two years) and Washington state (for the past year) meant that a visit to the local branch have been just a tad daunting.

Posted by: timekeeper at 11:32 PM on 17 April 2003

Bless you, O widely-available ATM. :)

When I was in the service, I had an account with a Massachusetts bank that catered to troops, though I dropped it after ETS.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:58 AM on 18 April 2003