Thursday, February 12, 2015

You just got to wonder?

Are we really saving the economy?
Every now and then something happens that just keeps you scratching your head and wondering, “What were they thinking?” Here is an example.
I got my usual bill from a local home improvement provider and on the usual designated day, I got out my checkbook and wrote the amount paid and the date and filled the return envelope and placed a stamp and the very next day dropped the payment into the postal box. I filled my copy in a metal file cabinet and waited for the next bill. The usual pattern for all my bills as I have been doing for years and years.
Then I get the next bill and there is a statement that I should pay an extra dollar. “What?” I think. I haven’t even been to the store to buy anything. So I pull out my copy of the receipt and double check and I find the mistake. I don’t owe them, they owe me one dollar.
On the particular day I was writing checks my eyes must have been blurry and a 5 looked like a 6, so I filled out a 6 and was a dollar over what was required to balance the account. I just left it alone knowing they would figure it out and credit me with the extra dollar.
But no, it is never that simple.
A couple of weeks later I get an envelope with the check (see attached). I am amazed.
How much trouble and personnel expense plus waste of paper and postage to send me a check for ‘One Dollar’? Now I have to fill out a deposit slip and go to the bank and smile at the teller as I add to my account. 
On the other hand, I got a tax refund on a debit card. I had to activate the card, check the balance, fill out another deposit slip go to the bank another time to transfer the card’s amount to my checking. Then the teller came back and said the card was declined. “Declined !?!” I checked and double-checked the balance before I left the house and the deposit slip was exact, but it was declined.
So I went back home, longed onto the debit account and the amount was what I had tried to transfer. The rules of the card discussed how many times money could be distracted and what were the fees. “Fees !?!”
A little more digging and I found a method to transfer the full amount to my bank with a confirmation number and a statement that suggested waiting two or three days for the deposit to show up. First of all, I don’t like to give out my bank account information to a third party whose security is unknown. Second I don’t even buy things online for a similar reason, so this process makes me nervous.
If this process had been quicker I wouldn’t have complained but it wasn’t. The printing of the instructions, the mailing and the pressing of the debit must take some money and time to prepare. In this case, I wished they had sent me a check.
So I guess next time I get a refund I’ll have to download a special app to my smart phone to access ‘my money’? Then I will have to buy a smart phone. Phew!

1 comment:

TripleG said...

PA does this too, and there are fees. You can figure out that big banks lobbied representatives and senators who were on banking committees to introduce this method in bills just to enrich their big bank cronies -- who pay them back with campaign donations. Do you ever see this in the news, even though it affects so many citizens? No, just partisan rants about things that don't affect you.