Saturday, July 31, 2004

"Why would I write a check?"

There's something about a full moon. All of the crazies come out and the calls at work get weirder and weirder. I just need to discuss a couple that I received today.

The first woman I spoke to had to be taught Banking 101. She just didn't get it. Surprisingly enough, her account wasn't in that bad of shape, but her comments were, let's just say, moronic. She was upset that she didn't get charged extra fees because the product she has for overdraft protection actually worked. Here's our conversation:

B: Thank you for holding Ms. Worry-wort (WW). My name is Beth and I'm a supervisor here at NABABNA. I understand you wanted to talk to a supervisor about your overdraft protection.

WW: This is all your fault! I shouldn't be overdrawn. What did that banker mean this isn't a bank error?!!!

B: I'm sorry Ms. Worry-wort. I would be happy to go through the situation with you and see what happened. I see the account went negative, what happened that made the account overdrawn?

WW: I wrote that check and it wasn't supposed to clear yet.

B: Okay. If you didn't want it to clear, why did you write it?

WW: I didn't think it would clear yet. That merchant shouldn't have cleared it yet.

B: Did you have an agreement with the merchant to hold your check?

WW: No.

B: Then the merchant had a right to collect.

WW: This isn't my fault. I wrote that it shouldn't clear until next week.

B: Okay, we're talking about post-dating checks then.

WW: Yes.

B: Unfortunately, post-dating checks is not something that will stop a check from clearing. Some states even have laws against post-dating checks. Once a check is written and given to the payee, the payee can clear the check. If you don't want the promise to pay to clear your account, you have two options. Don't write the check yet or place a stop payment on the item.

WW: But the teller wouldn't let me cash an item from three years ago.

B: So now we're talking about stale-dated checks?

WW: There's a difference?

B: Yes. One has a future date on it, one has a past date on it.

WW: What is a check?

B: Um, you've written checks before.

WW: But what is a check?

B: A check is a legal promise to pay someone. You have authorized the payee to have the funds written on the item.

WW: Oh. Why would I write a check?

B: To pay someone. I really wanted to say, "They're pretty. It's just fun to decorate. Wasting paper is great!" This woman seriously has ten checks clear a day. You think she'd understand the whole concept of owing money somewhere and that this little piece of paper is how they are receiving the money.

WW: Okay. But this isn't my fault.

B: Did you give the person this money?

WW: Yes.

B: Then they could take it.

WW: Oh. Thanks!

B: Thanks for calling.

I sat stunned for a moment, trying to understand this woman's concerns. I still don't get her.

Here's the other weird call I got tonight:

B: Thank you for holding Mr. Freaking-Out-in-Public. My name is Beth and I'm a supervisor here at NABABNA. I understand you're having problems with your debit card.

FOP: I am out to dinner with my family and I need to pay for my $80 meal and my card doesn't work.

B: I'd be happy to look into the situation with you Mr. FOP. I am showing that your card was closed as stolen over two weeks ago.

FOP: That's right. I had my wallet stolen and I got the new card, but I threw it away since my wallet was returned.

B: Okay. But we closed this card two weeks ago.

FOP: But I have it back!

B: Um, once a card is closed, it remains closed. This is for security reasons.

FOP: Make it work! I can't pay for dinner. What am I supposed to do?

B: Have you considered writing a check?

FOP: I don't like checks. I didn't bring my check book.

B: Let me see if I understand this. You brought your family out for dinner with the only form of payment being a card that you reported stolen to the bank and you knew that it had been reported stolen?

FOP: Yes.

B: Unfortunately, I can't make that card work again. It's closed. I can reissue another card since it seems you threw out the new one we sent you. Unless you have a different form of payment, you might want to talk to the restaurant personnel about how to pay.

FOP: Okay. Thanks!

B: Thanks for calling.

Why do people not think? That's the problem with this world. People don't realize that there is a little bit of planning and thought that goes into a day/week/year to make sure that it goes smoothly. I just don't get people sometimes.


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