Charles Schwab Sends You A Letter To Let You Know That Your $0.01 Check Expired

Commenter annelise13 writes:

My husband and I recently received a letter from Charles Schwab about our account. It refers to a check they sent us last year for the grand total of $.01. Yes, that’s one cent. A single penny. I never cashed the check, having found it funny that they wasted a stamp to send us such a tiny amount. I tacked it up on the fridge for a few months to amuse myself, and eventually tossed it.

Well, Charles Schwab noticed that I never cashed the check, and wasted yet another stamp to let us know the check had expired. Thanks Charles Schwab!

You had to admit, it is sort of nice that they’re that concerned about your penny. Me, I throw pennies at freshmen.



Edit Your Comment

  1. Milstar says:

    you totally have to applaud them on service for this.

  2. Bladefist says:

    *gasp* maybe its an automated system. *gasp*

  3. EmperorOfCanada says:


  4. Bladefist says:

    and Legally they have to pay it. So couple the law w/ its obviously automated, makes this not a big deal.

  5. emona says:

    Apparently Charles Schwab has a bad ass accounting department.

  6. MikeB says:

    Or they could just zero it out.

  7. nequam says:

    What the f*ck, Chuck?

  8. RandoX says:

    Are you going to request a replacement check?

  9. scoosdad says:

    This could be fun. The letter says to contact them so they can issue a replacement check, and that they’d stop payment on the first one.

    It would be interesting to see how many cycles you could keep this up, since it appears that this is all the doings of an over-zealous computer. I don’t think the CSR’s at the 800 number would even give you a hard time about asking for a new one penny check. Lather rinse repeat!

  10. CarlR says:

    Sounds like good customer service to me – they wrote you to let you know that there is a check you haven’t cashed, AND gave you a way to request a replacement check. I wish more companies went to this much effort.

  11. Dobernala says:

    @Bladefist-안녕: Yes, a system that was programmed by real people. It makes *no* difference at all. Its stupid though at least its honest.

  12. esd2020 says:

    Not sure what people are complaining about. Wasn’t there just a post yesterday with people bitching that a bank kept the leftover change in their accounts?

  13. upokyin says:

    @quarterly: But wouldn’t this type of notice fall under “Accountz Payabo”? Bunch of little punks…

  14. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @mbouchard: But then you get this: []

    I agree that it’s funny but I also agree with Milstar that you have give props to a company that’s willing to spend their money to give you yours back instead of just keeping it.

    That said, they ought to change their system so that small balances prompt someone to call instead of sending a letter.

  15. forgottenpassword says:

    LOL! 1 cent? Oh come on!!!!!!!!

  16. heavylee-again says:

    This is much better than the company just keeping the change.

  17. annelise13 says:

    I definitely don’t question their honesty, after receiving this. No complaints on that issue. And obviously this is something that is automated. I never thought otherwise.

    I just feel like there’s got to be a more efficient way to send this sort of notice out when such a small dollar amount is involved. We get other types of notices from them, so maybe they could give us a head’s up in one of those? Or roll the penny into another transaction somewhere? Perhaps send us an email? The mind boggles…

  18. Dobernala says:

    @esd2020: I’d just assume they keep any balances under $1.00. Its a matter of not wasting resources to me.

    My last credit card had a sub-$1.00 credit balance when I canceled it and they told me their policy is to not refund any balances less than $1.00. Didn’t bother me at all.

  19. coan_net says:

    Didn’t we just have a post on Consumerist about a company who “took” loose change from people’s closed accounts…. and some were not happy about it?

    Now we have a post on Consumerist about a company who tried to give the loose change back to people….. and still some aren’t happy.

    It must suck being a business these days with customers who will not be happy no matter what is done!

  20. Buran says:

    @coan_net: There was… and a lot of people said “people will complain if they DO send you a check” – I might have done so too, I forget … I didn’t think it’d only take a day to prove that right!

  21. kilrathi says:

    This is actually good customer service. No matter what the amount is, a customer should be notified if there is a canceled check.

    Now, granted, a printed letter using a full price stamp to notify a person about $.01 canceled check *is* ridiculous. However, I’ll simply say that I would rather be in this scenario and get a good laugh than be in the Wachovia scenario of the bank keeping the money.

  22. oeolycus says:

    I closed my CS account last year and withdrew the funds. For about a year since I’ve been getting statements saying I have a single cent in that account. Well in just a year, I almost have a dime from the interest. (I’m not joking!).

    Does ‘close an account’ mean leave a $0.01 placeholder??

  23. dextrone says:

    *hint: they don’t have to pay full price to mail the letter to mail the letter, look up pre-sorted first class mail rates!*

    Another thing is that they are legally required to send you your payment, otherwise you could actually sure them over 0.01$.

    I actually got a check for 0.03$, never redeemed it….

  24. nardo218 says:

    I worked at a health insurance company, in the department that pays people back for the non-taxed money they have in an account that goes towards copays etc. Aside from the people who refused to cash their checks of hundreds and even thousands of dollars, we had to process checks for pennies. Sometimes my boss would pull the ones that were less than $1, other times we just let them through because it’s less hassle than pulling them. Plus, there are people who will call and complain that we didn’t send them their thirty-two cent check, just for the principle of it, I guess.

  25. Osi says:

    Lol, they only have to legally pay it up to a certain amount of years. After that, they do not have to pay.

  26. jeff303 says:

    @scoosdad: I’m pretty sure that for a company of any non-trivial size (including this one) you and your children (and their children) could keep asking for the check to be re-issued until you’re all dead and buried and they wouldn’t even blink.