Okay--I checked my checking account balance last night via my bank's automated phone line. The system told me that my balance was several hundred dollars overdrawn, and when I checked the most recently posted transactions, the amounts ($50 -75) did not immediately ring a bell.
posted by theperfectcrime to Work & Money (24 answers total)
I also knew that my shit was not fucked up to the tune of (at least quite) that much cashish. So I dial the option to speak to a live CSR, and he clues me in to the merchants with whom these transactions have purportedly gone down. I've been to none of these retailers/service providers within the last few weeks (in some cases, never; ex: Gold's Gym). I realize whilst talking to the dude that my VISA debit card is not in my wallet. I hadn't used the card in about 3 days, but I had opened my wallet several times within those 3 days and not realized my card was gone.
But I digress. Of course, we realize that the card has been lost/stolen/whatever. So he closes the card down and advises me to go to my branch in the a.m. to do paperwork and get the ball rolling to make everything all better.
I get there at 8 a.m. today to discover that their lobby doesn't open until 9. I wait around until 9 and sit down to tell Renee, the "Assistant Branch Manager" my story. She sorta acts rather nonplussed, maybe even a bit suspicious, but again, I digress. She gives me a printout of the recent activity on my card, I find out that these bitches had really gone shopping, and I fill out several forms, no problem. She directs me to a desk where I call the Austin Police Dept. to initiate a police report (the bank's fraud dept. requires a legal case # on their forms; no problem).
I initiate the report with the nice lady on the phone. She informs me that in order to include each fraudulent transaction on the police report, I must provide physical addresses for each of the merchants with whom the questionable transaction was transacted. Anypoo, no one at the bank, or anyone at their main offices (including the fraud dept.) was able to tell me exactly where the businesses which had been given all of my money, and then some, were located! The statements the branch personnel printed out for me contained every bit of the info (not much) that The Bank, at all levels, had access to. Scary. A few of the merchant names on the statement/printouts I was given had store numbers,which of course made tracking down their locations much easier.
The others were a different story. Long story short...(too late, I know, and sorry) I spent two and a half hours on the phone trying to track down where exactly some motherfucker stole this stuff with my money. Basically, I figured that if I didn't get physical addresses for the merchants, the transactions would not be included on the police reprort, and therefore i might be held liable for the fraudulent charges. I found all of the locations but one, an ExxonMobil where the transaction was only $6.83. I can live with that.
Here's the real kicker--my paycheck was deposited via direct deposit this morning, and--you guessed it, or not, if you're an optimist--the amount of all the fraudulent charges, plus the NSF fees charged by The Bank, were more than my paycheck! So I'm currently overdrawn by $150. 24, even though my paycheck was posted this a.m. I had been led to believe that The Bank would provide me with a good faith "provisional credit" of at least the amount of the overdraft charges ($200). So Renee talks to her boss, the Branch Manager, who relays to me, through Renee, that the process to credit any and all of my money usually takes less than the posted 10 business days. What a relief! But she was unwilling to even credit me the amount of the NSF fees, so I'm pretty much fucked for two weeks. Until my next goddamn paycheck.
I find it hard to believe that the Branch Mgr. did not have the discretion to credit me at least the amount of the NSF fees. I relayed, through Renee, that this created a huge hardship for me (I have no savings, no credit cards). So, even though this nightmare was not the bank's fault (and I don't really think it was mine; I've never lost a card or wallet in my life), it might be nice as a customer service gesture to perhaps expedite the process of crediting my money. Luckily I have a Plan B (family) to help me out in this emergency, but what if not? Should I ditch this bank once all my money is recredited? I've been thinking about it even before this. Are credit unions better? Why? Should I write letters? Thanks!