My experience with the Simple bank

About a year ago, I opened a checking account at Simple.com and made a small deposit. I’d seen a lot of chatter about the new service and its plan to fundamentally change personal banking, and wanted to give it a try.

My experience was so-so.

On the positive side, I really, really appreciated the effort they put into the design of the user experience. They also did some interesting stuff like geo-tracking my debit card transactions. On the negative side, I missed basic things like being able to download monthly statements for reconciliation. And as someone who spends more time outside the US than in, I missed having access to foreign-transaction-free credit cards and fee-free foreign ATM access, like I get from other American banks.

At the end of the day, though, Simple seemed primarily intended as a personal-finance tool, helping people maintain goals and budgets—services I don’t personally need (as I do budget tracking elsewhere).

This week, realizing it’s been months since I’ve even logged into Simple, I decided to close my account. When I logged in, Simple showed my available balance as $5.72. Manually adding up my transactions, though, the balance came to $15.06.

When I emailed customer support, they reported that indeed my balance was $15.06, and speculated that the website is displaying the wrong balance since my account has been inactive for several months.

Hmmm, that doesn’t inspire much confidence!

Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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