Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can't Bank On It

May I take you back to August 1st? Okay, thanks.

I went to my desk to grab a new 'book' of personal checks. The box was empty. Oh yeah, it was a while back that I turned in the 'time to reorder' slip at the bank. Where were the new checks? I hunted all over. No checks. I headed to the bank for answers, but I was still somewhat concerned that I had misplaced the new order. I have been kinda busy, y'know.

So I got to my bank, just down the street about a half mile. As a family, we have had accounts at this bank for over 35 years. When I spoke to one of the bank officers I was informed that they had no record of an order being processed and that they had changed printing companies. It had probably gotten missed in the transition, I was told. Just marvelous. What was I to do? The officer put in a new order and gave me five free 'starter checks'-the limit for freebies.

Now in this case, starter checks are a funny predicament as they are not really starter checks being that the account has been established for over six years. Starter checks are NOT funny because most business establishments will not accept them. Can't use them at the mall, supermarket, Home Depot, Ace, pharmacy, etc.

You get the picture? I can't do diddly unless I pay cash, have either Amanda or my mother write a check to pay, or put it on my credit card (I won't do that). Thankfully, ESP, my shipper will accept them from me and I can use them to pay the bills that get mailed like utilities, etc. (Gee, I hope :-/)

Anyway, back to ordering the new checks...the bank officer assures me that I'll have them in 5 - 10 business days.

Let me now insert the fact that I have just written 'starter check' number twelve. The first five disappeared quickly even though I tried to hold off on stuff until my REAL checks would arrive. I tried to be patient, but when the tenth day rolled by with the checks NOT being in the mail, I headed back to the bank to complain. They assured me that the order had been placed on the 2nd (it evidently took them an entire day to place it?) and that I would have the new checks within a day or two. I insisted on five more 'free' starter checks. They weren't too pleased about that.

Saturday morning rolled around and my mother was heading for the bank. I owed her for half the fuel oil delivery and the water bill. She had been patiently waiting for my checks to arrive. I gave up and wrote out a starter check to her. A couple funny things then happened. I decided to go to the bank as I needed to get some cash to buy some food. My mother was still at the bank when I arrived. Funny number two was when she tried to deposit that starter check and they discovered that they had printed the wrong account number on it (and the other 4)! Good thing that I was there because they went in to panic mode about those other four checks. Thankfully for them, I hadn't used any of the others and gave them back...again asking for more 'starters'.

Sadly, the question "do you think my checks will be in the mail today?" has become a family joke. We are convinced that I am cursed. I went to the bank once again last Friday morning. I had a nicer officer who at least made the effort to look up my account to see if it had been charged for the missing checks. She said that they post the charge to the account the day that the checks are shipped. My account had been charged on Wednesday 13th.

Yay! I should have them shortly. If not that week, certainly by Monday's mail.

Tuesday's mail came and the curse lived on. I was furious and headed back to the bank. I had bills to pay and not enough 'starter' checks. And besides, I really needed to blow my top at someone.

Back to the original officer, drat. I told her that my checks STILL HADN'T ARRIVED. It was now two and a half weeks. It was MORE than inconvenient. And what did she do? She passed the buck, of course. After all the bank HAD ordered them and the printing company had shipped them. It was the United States Postal Service at fault. Well, I was not pleased with that 'not me' attitude and I told her as much. I told her that I should not have to pay for the checks, if and when they ever arrive. She offered to reorder!!!!! Huh????? and wait and wonder once again? Then she offered to order additional checks, leaving the original order in place. The additional order would be at no charge to me. This I agreed to (although I'm somehow sure that the 'no charge to me' part will be conveniently forgotten by the bank and more 'meetings' will ensue over that one). Then she said she thought she might have a trace put on the original shipment.

HUH??? THOUGHT???MIGHT??? I truly believe that this should be at the top of the list of follow-ups! ... followed quickly by the offer to issue me a debit card at no charge so that I, a longtime, loyal customer, will not be so inconvenienced in the meantime. Pfft. Haven't heard a thing.

I asked for five more 'starter' checks and got them with a glare from the teller.

I went home and paid more bills. Then off to ESP to ship some keys. I've got two more sets left to ship this week. One tomorrow and another Friday. Guess what? I'll then be needing more 'starter' checks. As........

I still haven't gotten my new checks in the mail.

The curse idea just might have some merit. What do you think, tomorrow maybe? 20 days and still counting...................


mary said...

Wait, call the guy who sent you his car keys to see if your new checks fell in with his keys when you sent them back to him!

Sorry, I didn't mean to make light of such an aggravating situation. That is maddening. I'd go over all their heads and talk to P.A. himself.( if he is still the president of the bank.

deb said...

Haha! Delivered his to his door yesterday. Gang went to Skip's and the guy lives nearby.

Well, P.A. can't help, it's the other bank. I like the idea of heading for the president, however, and may do that when my checks don't arrive today.

Hmmmm, maybe pessimism will work. Optimism has failed me.

dickiebo said...

Just like Mary to be flippant!!!
As you know, we are inundated with Eastern Europeans at the moment, over here to find work. Blow me down, at our local bank, there's only a Czech, who checks the cheques! Honest!