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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

August 8th, 2008 at 05:11 pm

Groceries: $22 ($94.49/$100)
Paper Towels: $2 ($9.71/$20)
My Food @ Work: $3 ($97.49/$100)

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I did venture to the bank today. I had planned on calling them again, but then I decided I didn't want to sit in a hot vehicle on my lunch break, and then have them NOT call me back like yesterday.

So I went in, was SUPER nice (maybe nicer than I should've been)... and got nowhere. I have fair skin (gotta love freckles), so whenever I get upset or angry you can definitely see the blood rushing to my face. I could feel my face getting hot as the conversation wore on, but maybe because I work in retail, I was determined to stay polite.

Pretty much, the lady that was helping me didn't understand the charges either, but she was acting like she did. I explained the situation, and before I could even finish, I saw her reaching for a stack of pamphlets on "when your money is available". Of course, the pamphlet only said "next business day", which is what my receipt said.

I was told on the phone yesterday that the deposit wouldn't be credited until 9AM Friday, when I went in today, the lady told me it was credited yesterday. So, I asked her, if it was credited yesterday, why did I get charged another overdraft for a charge that was posted yesterday? And if our rent check really came in on the 6th, why wasn't it in the pending charges or posted on the 6th? Why did it show up on the 7th and have a date of the 6th?

I explained to her that I could have deposited cash yesterday to cover additional charges, if someone had called me back to let me know what exactly was going on, when my money was going to be available, etc. She pretty much refused to address the fact that someone had dropped the ball on returning my call. Never even said "sorry for the inconvenience" or "we don't know how that could've happened", nothing.

Then, as I am telling her that I just don't feel like it's fair that I deposited a payroll check on Wednesday afternoon, and I'm getting charged an overdraft fee for something coming in on Thursday. To this, she has a brilliant idea! Why don't I open a savings account with them and put some money in it, and I could use that as overdraft protection? Or better yet, why don't I join their "constant credit" program, and get a line of credit to draw on in such cases?

I felt like saying, "Can you please at least listen to my problem before you try to sell me another account/service?" And if I'm complaining about the customer service, why would I be interested in adding another service? So you can get a bonus for signing me up? Nope.

In the end, I told her that I would be willing to pay the first fee, but I felt the second should be refunded to me. She went away for 5 seconds and said she "tried", but it wouldn't let her. I thanked her for her time, and asked if BF would have to be present to close the account, because his name is on it too. She looked completely shocked, and literally had her mouth hanging open for a second. Then, she said "Well, let me go to the other side of the floor, and call to see if we can do anything. I'll call you shortly to let you know, okay?"

So I leave, and four hours later, they call while I'm at work. I couldn't talk long, so when she said they couldn't refund the money when it wasn't technically a "banking" error, I thanked them again and told them we'd probably have to think about closing it. I didn't even give her time to give more excuses, or offer the "constant credit" again.

Now, I'm not sure if we really will close the account, but we're thinking about it. There are lots of banks closer to where we live. In fact, when I went to make our deposit on Wednesday afternoon, I went WITH a coworker who was going to do the same thing at Bank of America (her paycheck was even from the same company as BF's!). She went in and deposited it, and it credited at midnight. I've heard some bad things about BOA, but apparently they can process some deposits at least.

The bad thing about switching would be the cost of ordering new checks in a new account, and the time it will take to set it up, plus switching over both our paychecks to direct deposit there, and our insurance drafting. Plus we'll be moving in 6 months or so, so maybe we should just put up with BBT until then if we can.

I probably won't be back to that branch though.

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I also found time to call the pup's future surgeon today. I had to leave a voicemail, but hopefully we'll get in touch soon. I really just want to know when we should be contacting him to do the consultation and x-rays. And to ask about some injections for joints, and the pain medication we had taken him off of when his stomach was upset. And payment arrangements! If we pay him through the surgical vet's office, then I think we can use the credit system set up for veterinary costs, which offers no interest for a while. That would be preferrable, but if we have to get outside financing, I need to know ahead of time. Okay... so I guess there was quite a bit I need to ask him!

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Just watched the opening part of the olympics - wow!

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I'm going to start making mini-payments like many of my fellow bloggers do already. I think it will be motivating to be able to add little $2 or $3 payments to our credit cards throughout the month.

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BF still needs to call again about his stimulus check. I'm afraid he's going to wait until too late and never get it! And then it will still be taken out of his refund next year, right? Ick.

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Since the checking account is (hopefully) okay now, I am going ahead with the $100 payment to my Discover card, and the $50 transfer to our Orange savings.

Edit: I forgot to add that I also completed $17.80 worth of surveys today (one big one). I went ahead and requested the check, so hopefully it will get here soon.

Recouping Bank Fees:

$70 Fees
-$7 Surveys 8/7/08
-$17.80 Surveys 8/8/08
=$45.20 Left To Recoup

2 Responses to “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I would suggest trying again at the bank. But this next time ask to speak the the branch manager. If it's still not resolved, then I would start the process of moving all transactions to a National Bank chain (like BofA) so that when you move you won't have to change everything again - just keep the same account. Once everything is moved, then close the account.

    As far as checks go . . when I opened my account with Compass, I was given my first set of checks for free. (A good thing, since I don't plan on ever using them!) So, I would check and see if a bank is offering your first set of checks for free if you open an account with them.

    Sorry you've been having such banking hassles.

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    FrugalTexan - Thanks, I am going to look into some national chains that might offer free checking. Some coworkers had suggested Chevy Chase, but I'm not sure if they are located in other places. It would certainly help if I knew where we'd be moving next, lol!

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