Ad Check

Today’s mail brought a check from my brokerage. Not a disbursement, mind you, but a free check for $5, with a letter urging me to consider electronic statement delivery. If I sign the check, I get the five bucks and then they just keep my statements online.

Now, I’ve got a few of these before (for phone service or “credit protection”), and I’ve always trashed them because endorsing, of course, bound me to some service with a monthly fee. But this is different. It’s a free service, I can cancel at any time, and the way it’s implemented is shockingly clueful: already, TD Waterhouse has an online archive of every monthly statement they’ve sent me for the life of my account (nearly a decade) and they’re all accessible. They’re just urging me to rely on it instead of the postal version.

I just find the whole approach so refreshing. Here’s a company that doesn’t pretend that getting me to switch to electronic statements is all about my convenience — they know they’re going to save more money and provide me with less, so they give me some cash and work to provide the online equivalent in an easy, reassuring way (contrast this with my former credit card company, which would only provide the last 5 months of statements, with anything older incurring a fee.)

So: well done, Waterhouse. (I hope Ameritrade doesn’t fuck you up in the merger.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the ATM…

Hit Me With It