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Old 10-11-2014, 06:14 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,701 times
Reputation: 10

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I miss the days of our old Wachovia -- left the vault outer cage door unlocked and allowing direct customer access to safety deposit boxes. You would just walk in the bank front door, directly into the vault, insert your two issued keys and remove your box (drop something in it right there in the vault or take it to a small closet of a room with a counter if more privacy or time with it is desired). No staff contact.

Anybody have Northern Virginia bank with that kind of relaxed access? I want to move my business.

Background: Under Wells Fargo, with new policies as it subsumed the old Wachovia, things changed. Now you come into the lobby, sign in on the wait list, and after the six people ahead of you have finished opening their accounts or whatever, you are called to follow the bank person to a deposit box sign-in card, and they personally open the now-locked outer vault cage door. If you actually need to remove the box to the private room for serious reorganization, then the wait begins again to put it back. Oh what a mistake to have tried that on a Friday afternoon yesterday with the payday crowd in the lobby.

It's not a huge deal, but a royal pain to spend 50 minutes doing what used to take 1 minute. It's not just that occasionally one of the girls wants to trot out a nice piece of jewelry, but quarterly I swap out computer hard disk backups (the fire/burglary level of protection where primary backups at home are lost). Yes, I know I could store a terrabyte in the cloud for the fire protection, but Wachovia used to be so easy, cheap and direct, and I had other uses for the box as well.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:21 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
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Interesting. I too use WF and Wachovia before that, and I always had to sign in before accessing the box room. But it only took a second.

I think this requirement is not only justified but also necessary; if anyone off the street can just wander into the safe-deposit room, then a mugger/robber could do so. And there have been multiple bank robberies (especially in Arlington, where I live) in the last few years. Not of safe-deposit boxes--but if banks routinely allowed the access you're talking about, it would be a matter of time before some bad guy thinks of robbing the box holders as well.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:28 AM
 
Location: The South
3,916 posts, read 5,379,963 times
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Check BB&T. They are switching theirs over to that style.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:35 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynchburgLover View Post
Check BB&T. They are switching theirs over to that style.
Does the customer at least have to show a key and/or some ID before getting access to the room?
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:19 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynchburgLover View Post
Check BB&T. They are switching theirs over to that style.
Thanks, LunchburgLover, I'll check out BB&T.

Carlingtonian, my experience was with the Wachovia branch in the 7700 block of Richmond Highway south of Alexandria... maybe other branches didn't provide that "freedom" of walk-in. No, didn't need to show an ID. And yes, if you labeled your keys with the box number (maybe helpfully with the bank name too), you certainly would be of risk of your friendly neighborhood burglars giving that a try, sauntering in with your keys and cleaning out your box. I'm not planning to make it that easy for them. The what-if's are endless... what if they put a gun to your wife's head and insist you accompany them to the bank, etc. I was satisfied with the balance between relaxed access and security. If I can speculate for a sec, I'd be inclined to take a bet that most of my neighbors do not have a bank box, probably keep their jewelry hidden in the house just because of the hassle of getting a necklace out of a bank box. And while I might snicker about sophisticated thieves scanning the walls with a metal detector, I do recall local crime prevention cops telling the civic association about a nearby burglary where the thieves lowered themselves by ropes from a skylight on the roof they penetrated -- so I recognize not all thieves are quick smash-and-grab punks looking for a quick fix. I don't mean to launch a diversion thread on crime and security, but am just saying easy access is a risk I'm willing to take. And I bet if it access was easy, fewer people would use safe deposit boxes in lieu of keeping expensive things "hidden" at home.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: The South
3,916 posts, read 5,379,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Does the customer at least have to show a key and/or some ID before getting access to the room?

Not at the branch I use. I wasn't thrilled with it at first but I must admit it does make things easier.

The key has no bank identification on it. So, if a thief steals it, they would have to know what bank, which branch, which box etc. We keep it locked up at home and only the kids know where the key and the branch are located.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,988,325 times
Reputation: 3858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry999 View Post
Thanks, LunchburgLover, I'll check out BB&T.

Carlingtonian, my experience was with the Wachovia branch in the 7700 block of Richmond Highway south of Alexandria... maybe other branches didn't provide that "freedom" of walk-in. No, didn't need to show an ID. And yes, if you labeled your keys with the box number (maybe helpfully with the bank name too), you certainly would be of risk of your friendly neighborhood burglars giving that a try, sauntering in with your keys and cleaning out your box. I'm not planning to make it that easy for them. The what-if's are endless... what if they put a gun to your wife's head and insist you accompany them to the bank, etc. I was satisfied with the balance between relaxed access and security. If I can speculate for a sec, I'd be inclined to take a bet that most of my neighbors do not have a bank box, probably keep their jewelry hidden in the house just because of the hassle of getting a necklace out of a bank box. And while I might snicker about sophisticated thieves scanning the walls with a metal detector, I do recall local crime prevention cops telling the civic association about a nearby burglary where the thieves lowered themselves by ropes from a skylight on the roof they penetrated -- so I recognize not all thieves are quick smash-and-grab punks looking for a quick fix. I don't mean to launch a diversion thread on crime and security, but am just saying easy access is a risk I'm willing to take. And I bet if it access was easy, fewer people would use safe deposit boxes in lieu of keeping expensive things "hidden" at home.
I wasn't thinking a thief would get the key and use it to burgle the box. I was imagining a bad guy sauntering into the bank, into the vault room, and then hanging out there with a sheaf of papers to be looking through while waiting for a victim. When someone walks in and (thinking the robber is just another customer) pulls out their box, the robber could threaten with a gun or knife and then make off with whatever was in the box.

This is not a far-fetched scenario if it's well known that certain banks allow access to the box room with no screening. It would be a very easy way for a bad guy to rob someone--and very easy to prevent, which is why most banks don't allow such open access. Just because there are unlikely risks in life doesn't mean that easily implemented precautions against the more likely ones are not justified.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,655 posts, read 33,488,749 times
Reputation: 32383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry999 View Post
Thanks, LunchburgLover, I'll check out BB&T.

Carlingtonian, my experience was with the Wachovia branch in the 7700 block of Richmond Highway south of Alexandria... maybe other branches didn't provide that "freedom" of walk-in. No, didn't need to show an ID. And yes, if you labeled your keys with the box number (maybe helpfully with the bank name too), you certainly would be of risk of your friendly neighborhood burglars giving that a try, sauntering in with your keys and cleaning out your box. I'm not planning to make it that easy for them. The what-if's are endless... what if they put a gun to your wife's head and insist you accompany them to the bank, etc. I was satisfied with the balance between relaxed access and security. If I can speculate for a sec, I'd be inclined to take a bet that most of my neighbors do not have a bank box, probably keep their jewelry hidden in the house just because of the hassle of getting a necklace out of a bank box. And while I might snicker about sophisticated thieves scanning the walls with a metal detector, I do recall local crime prevention cops telling the civic association about a nearby burglary where the thieves lowered themselves by ropes from a skylight on the roof they penetrated -- so I recognize not all thieves are quick smash-and-grab punks looking for a quick fix. I don't mean to launch a diversion thread on crime and security, but am just saying easy access is a risk I'm willing to take. And I bet if it access was easy, fewer people would use safe deposit boxes in lieu of keeping expensive things "hidden" at home.
I used to work at Wachovia and I worked that branch a few times. I would never let a customer just walk into a vault area without showing ID. Great way to get yourself fired immediately if anything happenee. Also, payday was no time to expect quick access to your safe deposit box.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:43 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 1,823,323 times
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I bank with Bank of America. After you set up your safe deposit box, you access the safe deposit box room by having your handprint scanned and entering your code. You don't need staff intervention and you can't get into the room unless you have a box.
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Old 10-11-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,419 posts, read 20,307,705 times
Reputation: 16496
BB&T gave me a free safety deposit box (I have no idea what, if anything to put in it) - I did see someone access theirs and it seemed like they just waived hello and spoke to someone at a side area, they then brought the box out to a carrel.
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