Reader DudeAsInCool got an apology from Walgreens and a $20 coupon after submitting his complaint over the hassle he was put through when trying to pay with a check. Somehow the who/what/when/why/where/how of his purchase tripped Walgreen’s check verification service, Certegy, and he had to go through a ridiculous phone call in order to get his check cleared.
The woman at AT&T told me I received it because AT&T no longer provided telecom service to the Penn State campus – where I haven’t lived for 8 years (because I am 100). I’m not sure what went down so that they’re sending me almost three whole dollars, but it’s three dollars I didn’t have this morning, so… Aces.
Kate tells us she’s very excited to cash her check so she can buy “IN TOUCH and some gum.” She also notes that the check says “CON REFUNDS,” which we feel is heartwarmingly honest of AT&T —MEGHANN MARCO
So, I wrote in recently to mention that WaMu had sent me blank “checks” in an open, unsealed envelope. I complained, of course, and got a generic reply. Today I got another unsealed envelope of blank checks from Washington Mutual. Hmm.
UPDATE: "Comcast Bullies Customer for Cash, Breaks His Hard Drive, Drills Huge Holes In Walls And Baseboards"
Remember Jason? He had the Comcast tech from hell. The cable installation tech asked Jason for cash, drilled holes in his baseboards, broke his Media Center PC, installed the wrong router…
I’m not sure what to say about this check I got from Comcast, except that I almost framed it. But then I decided how much I hate Comcast, like many decent people do, and decided if I can take money from them, any amount, then I’d do it… then I’ll print a copy and frame it.
Maybe we’re being picky, but if you’re going to mail people blank “credit card” checks that they don’t even want, you should at least seal the envelope. Reader Brendan writes:Today I got a solicitation from Washington Mutual to “use these paper checks” to access my account.
Checking systems’ vagaries make them susceptible to scams, so we can understand why Walgreens might want to protect themselves against our reader by denying his drug purchase.
Unwitting consumers are falling for a new twist on the old “advance fee scam.” In this variation, a consumer receives what looks like a legitimate check in the mail, either as “foreign lottery proceeds,” “prize money,” or even payment for goods via classifieds (which includes Craigslist and eBay).
If a box of your checks gets stolen from your mailbox, only call if you’re going to cancel your account, at least if your bank is Wells Fargo. One blogger found they refused to cancel a whole box worth of checks stolen from his mailbox. And Wells Fargo told him that if he hung up without canceling his account, he removed the bank of any liability for any fraudulent checks getting cashed…
USATODAY research indicates banks typically process checks in order of highest balance, maximizing overdraft fees charged to the customer, critics contend.
• Vonage offered shares to customers before the IPO. Now that the stock tanked, customers are balking at paying up, and Vonage may pursue payment, which is sorta like breaking the knuckles on your amputated arm. [NYT]
Think balancing your checkbook is hard? Try sharing it with twenty-four other people…
Thanks to this, several of his checks bounced and he got lots of insufficient fund fees.
Reader Steve J writes:
A long time BofA account holder who enjoys living dangerously with his balance, I’ve had my pocket picked to the tune of $300-400 with this artful setup. It’s rather simple. If you have multiple transactions in a same day they process the largest dollar amount first. This means that if you overdraw your account on a day where you have a particularly large transactions, you end up paying the maximum overdraft fee allowed by math. A numerical example to illustrate:
Though no representative of Bank of America will tell me what exact times each transaction occurred, they assured me that they know that the bad one came first, and that even though they have no specific record of it, they can assure me that I had a negative balance… for an undetermined period of time.
Cutting it close is user error, for sure, but we can remember (imagine?) a time when banks used to cover for a person when paychecks crossed the finish line just behind a check for eighty-nine cents. (We have a thing for those little brown coconut donuts.)
This is exactly the sort of question we love being asked, despite the fact we don’t personally know the answer. We suspect one of you probably do.