bank fees are crap

I recently returned from an AMAZING overseas holiday. I tried to organise myself beforehand and transfer all of my rubys to US dollars, but I ended up running out of time and used my ANZ credit card on a bunch of occasions.

One such transaction was at the Virgin Store in New York City, and it's really ticked me off. I bought a couple of CDs, a tshirt and a book, and the total was US$79. As I was leaving the store I checked my receipt (the final price seemed a little high) and I noticed the salesperson had accidentally charged me twice for my book.

After 20 minutes of frigging around they finally refunded the $16 onto my card, but what has really irked me is my bank's treatment of this transaction. For the intial $79 purchase, the exchange rate was 0.63c. For the refunded amount of $16, the exchange rate was 0.67c - and, I've been charged a 3% service fee on both transactions. This just doesn't seem fair to me!!

I paid US$16 @ 63c for the book = AU$25.39, plus 3% fee (76c) = $26.15

I was refunded US$16 @67c = AU$23.88, minus 3% fee (71c) = $23.17.

So I'm out of pocket $2.98 for a mistake someone else made!

Clearly, it's not a huge amount of money, so it's the principal that's annoying me rather than the short-changing - but imagine how much extra gravy the banks make out of simple transactions like this one?! Or, what if my hotel accidentally charged me twice and they'd issued a refund of U$1,060 - I'd have been out of pocket a lot more than $3!

There's nothing I can do about it, (hence this vent!) but it just seems to highlight one of those tiny cracks of "unfair" that happen in life.

Meanwhile, in the interests of moving on, have you heard of Twitlonger? It's a long-form version of twitter, for those occasions when 140 characters is not enough (and when is 140 characters ever enough?!). Social networking sites are destroying my real-world social life...