Well, after a long (long long, rife with unpaid bills) dry spell, I got a $5400 check in the mail last week. Yay!
So my darlin’ beloved sweetheart brought it to me at the radio station, had me endorse it and promptly took it off to deposit in a timely fashion. And I did what all good Americans do when we get fat checks–went to the grocery store and the bookstore, not necessarily in that order. We paid mortgages, car payments and other important things. All was well.
Then today when I was attempting to download some’n from iTunes, I was informed that my debit card was not going through. "WTF?" I thought to myself. So I hied me over to the bank’s Web site to check out the situation. Lo and behold, there was my deposit, duly appearing where it belonged with no annotation, foreboding or otherwise to it–but for some reason, the money was not in the account.
Naturally, I squelched my innate fear of talking on the phone long enough to call up the bank and talk to a real person. She, too, was puzzled, and promised to get to the bottom of the mess and call me back.
And when she did so, the situation got worse, not better. She informed me that since the check was for over $5000, there was an automatic five-business-day hold on it "unless the funds could be verified." Fine, I said, it’s from a big company… P——-, you might’ve heard of them? She said "yes, well, most places don’t verify funds any more, and this must be one of them."
So… since this check was for more than a certain arbitrary amount (so arbitrary, in fact, that this woman had never heard of it before) and it was drawn on an account at a bank which, like most banks, apparently, "doesn’t verify funds," and despite the fact that we were not informed of this rule either when we opened the account or deposited the check… we now have a few hundred dollars and counting coming our way in overdraft fees.
But the Web site still says we have over $7000 in our account after a weekend of hardcore shopping. (Oh yeah, there was also that $2500 deposit Jim made yesterday that’s "pending." No one is sure why.)
We’ve had an account at this bank for four and a half years. We have a checking account, a savings account, two business accounts and a CD with them. I’ve been getting checks from this same payer for years. YEARS. But apparently none of that counts when they have a chance to stick ya.
Wait, wait. This just in. Jim just called and said he went into the bank in person and talked to someone, playing dumb and pretending he and I hadn’t had the frenzied flurry of "oh what the hell are we going to do" conversations with which we’ve whiled away our afternoon. And hey… the fellow went and talked to the branch manager, got the OK to release the funds and reverse the overdraft charges, and generally made everything better.
But I’m still mad. Wondering why Jim got a totally different explanation for events than I did, and why his concerns were enough to warrant a branch manager conversation, while all I got was the big brush-off. (Sneaking suspicion that his being a handsome, very professionally dressed fellow might have had something to do with it.)
Relieved. But still mad. Going to go read Rhys a book and concentrate on the important things in life now.