June 16, 2024

BOZEMAN, MT — Local residents are growing increasingly fed up with banks’ persistent advertisements for “totally free checking.” Despite the promises of no fees or charges, many customers are discovering hidden costs that make the checking accounts far from free.

“Every time I see one of those ads, I just roll my eyes,” said Bozeman resident Jed Peterson. “It’s like they think we’re all idiots or something. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a free checking account for that matter.”

According to several anonymous banking insiders, the advertisements for “totally free checking” are nothing more than a ploy to attract new customers.

“It’s all about getting people in the door,” said one source. “Once they sign up for a checking account, we hit them with overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, and all sorts of other charges. It’s a great way to make money without anyone noticing.”

Despite the growing frustration among customers, the banks show no signs of abandoning their “totally free checking” campaigns.

“It’s been working for us for decades,” said a bank executive who wished to remain anonymous. “Why mess with success?”

But not everyone is buying into the banks’ claims of “totally free checking.”

“I opened a checking account with one of those banks, and it turned out to be anything but free,” said Bozeman resident Molly Johnson. “They charged me for everything, from ATM withdrawals to balance inquiries. It was ridiculous.”

Gallatin Nat’l Bank, circa 1960

Other residents are simply annoyed that banks continue to use the same tired advertising campaigns year after year.

“I swear, I’ve been seeing those ‘totally free checking’ ads since I was a kid,” said Belgrade resident Ben Miller. “It’s like they don’t even try to come up with anything new.”

In the end, it seems that the banks will continue to advertise their “totally free checking” accounts, despite the growing skepticism from customers.

“I don’t know why they bother,” said Peterson. “Everyone knows it’s not really free. Maybe they should try being honest for a change.”