Didn’t Take Your Explanation Into Account

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2018

(I run all the returned check chargebacks for my company — anywhere from 500 to 1000 per week. I’ve been doing this for about eight months now and pretty much know what I’m doing backwards and forwards. About a third of the bad checks we get are fraud, a third are legitimate customers who just don’t want to pay their bills, and a third are customers who make mistakes with their checkbooks and are embarrassed and eager to pay off their debts immediately. That last group, I like. One day, I get a call from a man who belongs in the last group.)

Caller: “I don’t understand why I have a bad check. I have a special deal with my bank, that I pay extra each month and they cover my checks if I bounce. I can’t bounce checks.”

Me: “Well, sir, your check didn’t come back as ‘insufficient funds.’ It came back as ‘account closed.’ Is it possible that you wrote the check from an old check book?”

Caller: “Absolutely not. It’s not possible. I haven’t changed banks in years. This is unbelievable. I don’t understand why this is happening.”

Me: “Like I said, sir, this isn’t an insufficient funds check. The account is closed, and that’s why the check was returned.”

Caller: “But I can’t have a bounced check!”

(This goes on for another few minutes.)

Me: “Sir, could you take out your checkbook, and let me read to you the MICR information we have on this check to see if there’s a discrepancy?”

Caller: “I don’t see why there would be.”

Me: “Just humor me for a moment… 1-0-0-0—” *provides the rest of the MICR numbers*

Caller: “No, there’s supposed to be four zeros. Oh, I know what happened. I ran out of checks, so I went into my safe and got an old check-book from an account that I closed a few years back. I’ll go down to the store and pay today.”

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