My Bank Doesn’t Know Basic Math

21 07 2010

I am so busy and have roughly 400 things that need to be done TODAY but I think I’d much rather sit here with my late afternoon coffee and talk shit about people. Also, I am thinking that purging this from my brain might make my mind less discombobulated and therefore more productive in the long run! Right? Right!

Last week I screwed up and spent more money than was in my checking account. I don’t worry about that too much, though, because I had signed up for overdraft protection and even received the confirmation letter in the mail. However, when I checked my account, I saw two charges for $34 each so I called the bank to complain. This is roughly the conversation that followed:

Me: Hi, I’m calling to ask why I was charged overdraft fees when I have overdraft protection on my account.
Bank: You don’t have overdraft protection.
Me: Yes, I do.
Bank: No. You have debit protection. It’s different.
Me: What? How is it different?
Bank: It’s debit protection. Not overdraft protection.
Me: But what’s debit protection.
Bank: I already told you. (Seriously! They said that!)
Me: Um. What?
Bank: Don’t worry, I’ll waive the fees for you. And you can sign up for overdraft protection if you want. It’s totally free.

So they signed me up and and then told me:

Bank: Your overdraft protection will take effect immediately. And I’ve waived your fees, but now you are not eligible to have overdraft fees waived for one full year.

I am going to choose to assume they are playing a joke on me.

Another complaint I had – which I ALWAYS have about banks – is that they didn’t bother to send me any insufficient funds notices. In the past I’ve had banks send me the letter up to a full week after going short. In this case, the bank doesn’t send me paper statements anymore, they conduct everything by e-mail. So I am uncertain as to why the computer can’t shoot me a quick e-mail the moment I go negative. It doesn’t even take an employee to do it. True to form, several days after speaking with the phone teller, I got my e-mail warning me that I might want to go check my account. Thanks, dudes.

But it doesn’t end there.

Today I logged in and found several hundred EXTRA dollars in my account. Which is lovely. But definitely too good to be true. So I called to ask about it, secretly hoping I’d won some fantastic contest or something. No dice.

Me: Um, yes, I have too much money in my account.
Bank: I’m so sorry about that. (Seriously! They said that!) Let me figure it out for you. … Ah, I see it’s because you were overdrafted so those are transfers coming from your savings to cover your purchases.
Me: Um. No. I wasn’t short.
Bank: Yes you were.
Me: No. I wasn’t.
Bank: Yes you were.

Just wait. It gets better. Here is where the bank teller TRIED TO DO MATH AND FAILED.

Bank: See, your balance was for $1,000. And then you spent $500.
Me: Yeah. And that is WELL BELOW $1,000.
Bank: And then you spent $6, $10, and $5.
Me: Yes. Um. Still well below $1,000.
Bank: Oh. Um. (pause)

Eventually, it was discovered that the check hadn’t cleared yet and, apparently, this bank’s overdraft protection is just really, really excitable. I am assured the funds will walk themselves soberly back to where they belong in a day or so. In the mean time, I’ve only lost complete faith in this bank’s tellers. Add that to the librarian who didn’t know who Madeleine L’Engle was and consider me finished with humanity. I am thinking that since I have no qualifications, I should be a doctor or something. At least my overdraft protection would get a break with that salary.




4 responses

22 07 2010

Excellent post. Make me laugh in a smug-I-have-totally-been-there sort of way.

I hate banks.

22 07 2010

I think I need some moles removed.
How much do you charge?

22 07 2010

For you? Nothing! I have knives. I’ll bring them Sunday.

24 07 2010

doctor zeeb. i like that idea. PhD in smartallecry (i mean that as a good thing)…

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