Don’t Bank On Anything Useful

, , , | Working | January 14, 2021

My husband and I took some church youth on a trip a few years ago and the church debit card locked up because we had unknowingly broken some security rules. There was no way to unlock it right away, but it automatically unlocked the next day, and we understood the problem and could figure out how to work around it. There were some changes made to how the account worked right before this trip, and somehow, none of the four employees I spoke to in getting things sorted out in the week leading up to the trip — all of whom were informed that we needed things in order before leaving — thought to tell me the out-of-state rules were different than in-state.

Fast forward a few years. We are preparing for another trip with our church youth. I call the local branch of the bank about two months before our trip to get a list of rules so we know what to do and not to do so that we aren’t stuck using personal accounts halfway across the country. The teller is completely confused by my request for travel policies and looks up the person who regularly works with our church accounts. This person also has no idea what to do with my request and transfers me to someone in the corporate office.

I explain what I need again and how it was a problem in the past.

Bank Employee: “We don’t give those out. It increases the risk of fraud if people know the safeguards we have in place.”

Me: “So, you shut down people’s accounts for breaking rules, but you won’t tell them what the rules are so that they can follow them?”

Bank Employee: *Pauses* “Yes… we don’t even have a compiled list of all those policies.”

Me: “We can’t really work with that. I have parents who are trusting me to take care of their kids, and your policies are to refuse me the information necessary to do that.”

Bank Employee: “I will see what I can find out for you, but please do not make it public.”

This lady emailed me a few times after my phone call to let me know she was working on my request, which required speaking to multiple departments. I finally received a list of their safeguards about three weeks before we left. I printed one copy of the list before deleting the email, after thanking her. We did not have any problems with frozen accounts on that trip.

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