Friday, November 11, 2005

More bizarre banking stuff

First read yesterday’s post, if you haven’t already, for the background.

When I called my bank yesterday I was placed on hold several times while the person checked with several other people to be sure her information was correct. Even so, I later called back with a follow-up question and spoke with someone I know who works at the bank. She, a very careful and reliable professional, further confirmed the earlier information that my personal payroll money would be available to me on Friday morning (today).

This morning when I got to my office, a message was waiting on my phone. Here’s a transcription:

Mr. Earle, this is _____ Bank, and we talked to you earlier on the payroll that we thought was going to be memo-posted for Friday? They will not memo-post until Saturday morning.

“Uh, we just wanted to let you know that, uh, you were told in error. Those payrolls for, uh, your company, will not memo-post until Saturday morning. And I, we apologize for the error. You can give us a call at _____ Bank if you have any questions. Thank you. Bye

Now, I’m usually a fairly calm person. I don’t have much of a temper, and can control it pretty well in most instances. But I was flat-out fighting and cussing MAD!

What’s wrong with that message?

Well, for starters, the person (substitute a pejorative of your choice here) who left it did not give her name. So when (not if) I DO call the bank on Monday when they next open, I won’t know who to cuss out, blame, ask for.

Next, her tone was flat, matter-of-fact, and informative. Her words said “I, we apologize...” but her tone said “Oh well, there you have it, like it or not.”

I had made it clear yesterday to the bank’s spokespersons that I would pass on to ALL our employees what the bank’s procedures were—to reassure them, or at least to inform them. Now they were telling me that I had given everyone incorrect information. Since I had asked multiple people and all had assured me that the information was correct, I had passed it on in very certain language.

This was going to reflect on MY credibility. I’m usually very careful to include “weasel words” and caveats and so on in my messages to employees if there’s any doubt about the information. I hadn’t done that.

Resigned, knowing what I would find but wanting to see it anyway, I logged onto my bank’s online banking web page and viewed my account. Sure enough, there was nothing...

Wait a minute... The money IS there! And it shows that’s it’s available to me NOW (7:00 a.m. Friday).

What the HELL is going on?!

Lydia (who works with me in HR) checked her account at a different bank (using the internet). Her payroll amount was likewise in her account and available.

We called Jane. Her bank is a small rural one and doesn’t have online information, but they DO have ATMs. She did a “balance verification” at an ATM this morning and reported ruefully that her money did NOT show up in her account.

If she’s not gong to change her spending habits, maybe she need to change banks.

If I ever find one that has its act together, I’ll recommend it to her.


Mike Ashley said...

Talk about one hand not knowing what the other is doing .....

Karyn Lyndon said...

The bad news is they didn't have her money because of the holiday. The good news is the checks she was trying to float in won't go through till Monday either. As far as money for the weekend, cash a check at the grocery won't go through till Tuesday or Wednesday.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Good thought, but for one more little bank ideosyncracy: often, on any given business day, they will first process any debits that come in (checks), and then process credits (deposits). If her bank follows that sequence they will first bounce all of her early checks and then put her payroll money into her account. I've seen it happen!


Christina said...

Yes, I have had that happen too, but in my case, at the end of the day they (or the computer) realized it all balances out and I didn't get charged. When I checked my account online during that day, it showed pending transactions, showed charges for an overdraft , but the next day neither the overdraft nor the charges had actually occurred. Also, I have had similar circumstances in which I have walked into the bank and explained the situation, and have gotten charges reversed. I guess I don't manage my money so great either, huh?

Anyway, I bank at Bank of America and have never had trouble with them.

Nankin said...

Well, I can tell you, Bank One/Chase posts debits first and credits last. Even thought the money is available, they say I'm over budget.