Tellers Should Probably Be Better With Numbers

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2020

I am a sixteen-year-old student in a technical school. I chose to study 140 km away from home and most of my family. I am living in my cousin’s living room. My allowance is given through money transfers when I don’t have the chance to go home.

This one particular experience still baffles me.

After school, I stop by the mall on the way and go to the money remittance kiosk. I fill up the form for remittance and give my student ID. The teller calls me when it’s my turn.

Teller: *Angrily* “Next time, I won’t accept this ID.”

Me: *Confused* “What?”

Teller: *Still angry* “You should really have another type of ID. Apply for a voter’s ID or a driver’s license. You shouldn’t use your student ID since it’s not valid.”

I am a very sarcastic person and I’m a little annoyed that she has started lecturing me.

Me: “Can I apply for a voter’s ID at sixteen?”

Teller: *Confused* “Are you not twenty-two?”

Me: “No, I’m sixteen.”

She looked over my birthdate again. Apparently, she misread the year. She lost some of the volume of her voice but still insisted that I get a different form of ID.

I just said, “I will when I can,” in an annoyed tone.

No apologies, no admittance. I never used that kiosk again.

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Waive That Money Goodbye

, , , , | Right | September 25, 2020

I work for a bank call center and if we can waive a late fee for customers who are constantly late, we tell them no. I have a guy threaten me over fifteen bucks.

Caller: “Why can’t you waive my late fee?”

Me: “Because you have been late for months and we waived it last month. We can’t waive it every month.”

Caller: “Do you know who I am? I know the president of your bank and I’m good friends with him. I’ll have him fire you if you don’t waive my late fee!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot waive this fee.”

Caller: “B****!” *Click*

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Give Them No Credit; They Haven’t Earned It

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

When I was a child, I had a “Trust CD” account set up for me at a credit union, which contained money that I obtained as the result of a personal injury lawsuit my dad won. It is a two-hour drive to the credit union, so a four-hour round trip. It is not exactly useful to have an account that way, and this credit union is behind the times and cannot be accessed via Internet or ATMs. 

When I turn eighteen in 2008, I go to get the account cleared out to be placed into a bank that is closer to where I live.

My first visit:

Me: “Hi. I’d like to check on my trust account—” *gives information* “—and see about getting it moved into a different account.”

Teller #1: “I can confirm the account is here, and it’s [amount]. But I can’t access this without your parent or guardian.”

Me: *Pause* “Yeah, you can. It’s my account and I’m eighteen now. I just showed you my ID. My birthday was yesterday.”

Teller #1: “Your age doesn’t matter. [Father] is still on the account, too.”

Me: “As the trustee, yes, but not as the account owner. It says that he is the trustee until [my eighteenth birthday]. We have passed that date. I am now, legally, the account owner. Additionally, my dad can’t come here because he’s disabled and the trip would be too far for him to do safely. He lives in [Faraway City].”

Teller #1: “Well, I can’t help you.”

The teller then just looks away like she can’t even see me anymore and stares into space pretending to wait for the next customer. Frustrated, I leave and call my dad. Despite knowing it’ll cause him a lot of pain from being in a vehicle that long due to his back injury, he agrees to come help me a few days later.

My second visit:

I’m tense but as polite as I can manage to be.

Me: “Hi, I’m here with my legal guardian. I’ve just turned eighteen, and he and I are the only names on this trust account. I want it to be released into my care, as I am a legal adult.”

I give them my information. The teller reads something on their screen.

Teller #2: “Sorry, I can’t do that.”

My dad is grumpy from being in pain.

Dad: “Why the h*** not?”

Teller: *Slightly intimidated* “B-because it’s a trust account.”

Dad: “Not since [my eighteenth birthday]; that’s the release date. Now release it!”

Without another word, the teller suddenly leaves her station. We wait. And wait. And wait. It is clear she wants us to just leave, but we decide to stay until formally trespassed, in which case, they’ll be forced to give us all the money from the account anyway.

Eventually, a manager comes to see us, and she has a super irritating fake smile.

Manager: “How can I help you?”

Me: “You can give me access to my own account. The information should be up on the screen already. As you can see, I’m now eighteen, the trust date has passed, and the account legally belongs to me. Your employee refused to release the account on [day after my birthday] without the trustee. Here he is. Now give us the account.”

The manager shakes her head “no,” still with that fake-smile plastered on her face.

Manager: “That won’t be happening today. If you won’t leave, I will call the police.”

My dad puts his feet up on the desk between us and the manager, in part to intimidate and in part to relieve his back pain.

Dad: “Okay, then. Call the cops. [County Police Chief] still works in this area, right?”

The manager looks like she’s just sucked on a lemon. The cops here are incredibly corrupt, so my dad smartly made friends with them so that if he were involved in trouble, it’d be easier for him to get out of it. My dad actually hates cops, but he does what he has to so he can keep our family safe, since he is often mistaken for being black and I am often mistaken for being white.

Manager: *Resumes the fake smile* “You won’t be getting this account. You’ll have to come back with a court order. By then, late fees will basically wipe it out anyway, so you may as well not bother.”

My dad chuckles at the idea of the challenge.

Dad: “Oh, we’ll see about that.”

So, we go to court to get a judge to force the credit union to give us the money. In the paperwork, we include the demand that no fees or deductions may be applied to the account since this issue was caused by the credit union’s mishandling of the account. I also prepare a court summons document, in case they refuse the court order.

My third visit:

My dad comes with me again despite the pain it causes him. Thankfully, he is able to take something for the pain this time so he’s not nearly as grumpy.

Me: *To the teller* “Hi. You need to close my account and issue me a cashier’s check for the entire balance. No fees are permitted to be applied, by court order.”

I give them my information.

Teller #3: *Looking scared* “Uh, I’ll just get the manager.”

This teller flees to the back room. Guess who comes out? It’s Miss Manager Sue Me! My dad speaks up before either the manager or I have a chance to say anything.

Dad: *Seriously* “If we have to tell the story to one more person, I’m going to make this a serious problem for you. You know who we are. Do what the court demands of you.”

The manager attempts to take the court order and turn to walk away, but my dad grabs her arm.

Dad: “No, you can read it right here. I don’t want any chance of you messing it up, like you did with the trust account in the first place.”

The manager reluctantly sits down and my dad lets her go.

Manager: *Fake smile* “Well, it looks like this matter is settled. Now, after fees and penalties, you’ll get—”

I speak louder so other customers can hear, genuinely getting angry.

Me: “You are refusing the demands of a court order right now. Stop trying to steal my money with your bulls***!”

Her fake smile turns into a furious scowl, and she starts being really short with us.

Manager:Fine! I will issue you the cashier’s check—”

Dad: *Interrupting her* “For the full amount, right?”

Manager: *Growling under her breath* “Of course.”

Finally, we close the account and she produces the cashier’s check. She holds it over the table and I attempt to grab it, but she turns it toward my dad to keep it out of my grasp.

Dad: “It isn’t my account, dingbat. How many times do we have to repeat ourselves? Give. It. To. My. Daughter.”

The manager reluctantly turns to hold it out toward me again. I grab it but she doesn’t let go, and I am literally forced to play tug-of-war with her. She clearly hopes to “accidentally” destroy it. My dad slaps her wrist like one would a toddler reaching for the stove, which shocks her into letting it go.

Manager: *Aggressive, but fake-smiling again* “So, would you like to open a checking account with us?”

Dad & Me: *In unison, loudly* “NO!”

She looked genuinely surprised by our response. I took the cashier’s check to a different bank closer to where I live.

The next year, we found out that the credit union had actually failed to give us the whole amount! It was found during an audit. Thankfully, the IRS took that money, and we just had to fill out some quick paperwork to get the last of it instead of having to go to the courthouse again. The IRS was way more reasonable about the whole issue and they were happy to help us finish our association with the credit union, which included closing the trust account without penalty, since the credit union hadn’t actually closed my account that day.

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Hell Hath No Fury Like A Homewrecker Scorned

, , , , , | Working | September 21, 2020

I’m a teller at a bank. It’s near closing, and I’m working with one coworker, who I don’t like because she’s an aggressive flirt, and one manager is in his office seeing to paperwork. I see a customer come in and my coworker sneers at him and walks off.

When he gets up to my counter, the customer tells me he hasn’t been able to access his account. I look it up and see that his account was recently locked on one of the days I wasn’t working and is now pending closure, with a note that it was for being aggressive and threatening to shoot the teller — the other coworker — which got him removed from the premises.

I inform him of this fact and tell him to leave before he sets off again or decides to act on his threat and I have to hit the panic button, only for him to react in shock and panic and actually start crying. He has no idea what I am talking about and seems terrified of being arrested for something he seems to not remember doing. I’m not sure what to do at this point, so I tell him gently to leave and I’ll review the case.

After he obliges and departs, I ping my manager to come up and my coworker walks back up to the counters.

Coworker: “Is he gone? Did you threaten to call the cops on him?”

Me: “I was about to, but he seemed to have no idea what he was talking about. The poor guy walked off crying and terrified.”

Coworker: *Smugly* “Good. That’s what he gets for snubbing me.”

Me: “What?”

The manager walks up just in time to hear that sentence and looks at my coworker. Something about that comment seems off to him, too, so he goes to his office to review the video footage of the day and time the note said he made the threat.

An hour later, he calls my coworker into the office with him and she pales. She leaves about half an hour later in tears.

Me: “What’s going on?”

With very visible annoyance, he grabs [Coworker]’s nameplate off the desk and chucks it into the garbage.

Manager: “[Coworker] tried flirting with [Customer], but he’s married so he turned her down. Apparently, she was so offended by this that she fabricated this story to ruin his life by getting his finances locked out! The police weren’t even called, and it all happened silently! [Manager #2] was working with her so I need to do some looking into this. You got things covered?”

I nodded and went back to work until closing. Over the next couple of days, I got to watch a domino effect; [Manager #2] was having “after-hours involvement” with my now-ex-coworker, so he corroborated her fake story and allowed her to make the note because she had him wrapped around her little finger.

When my manager called to set things straight with the customer, he was, rightfully, less than generous because his rent situation was uncertain and we could have gotten him and his family kicked out onto the street, and it resulted in us being sued for wrongful termination of a contract, among other charges of financial and emotional damage. Naturally, he also zeroed out his account with us and went to find another bank.

I do have to give credit where it’s due, though; when word of all of this reached the bank owner, he fired [Manager #2] on the spot, gave a huge payout to the customer as an apology for his hardships when he was approached by his lawyers — more than his lawsuit was asking for in damages, even — and set out to see if there was any legal retribution he could advise the customer to take on my ex-coworker and ex-manager for their petty revenge scheme.

At the time of writing this, that hasn’t borne any fruit just yet.

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An Exhausting Tale Of Poor Customer Service

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 17, 2020

This might be a bit long, but I hope it’s entertaining in an “awed horror” sort of way.

I love banking with my small, local bank. I like the fact that the tellers and I know each other by name, and that when my wallet was stolen and the thief tried to come in and write one of my checks for cash, the employees instantly knew she wasn’t me and called the police, instead.

However, it does have its drawbacks. For instance, my bank does not have a twenty-four-seven customer service line; they can only be reached between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. That would be fine, except what they do have — as I found out a few months ago — is a very sensitive automatic anti-fraud system.

I was planning to be out of the country for nearly three weeks. I go out of the country fairly regularly, and I did all of the things I was supposed to: contacting my bank and advising them of my travel schedule and where I would be and when. I was all packed and ready. My flight left at 5:30 am and I was planning to leave for the airport about 2:30, since it can take close to an hour to get there and I like to have plenty of time to grab a snack, etc.

Around 2:00 am, I took care of my very last chore — paying my electric bill. I pay this bill through an automated phone service every single month the same way. However, I guess that doing so in the middle of the night triggered my bank’s anti-fraud system, and they froze my card. When I tried to call a rideshare at 2:20, it was rejected. After several tries, it was clear that something was wrong.

Slightly panicked, I walked about 100 feet to the mini-mart next door to try my luck at the ATM, thinking I could call a cab. I had $50 on me, but I knew it would cost about $75 to take a taxi that distance. The ATM would not give me cash, and that’s when I knew my card was frozen. I tried calling the number on the back of my card on my cell phone, but I just got a voice recording telling me that they opened at 8:00 am.

The overnight employee of the mini-mart, with whom I had become friendly from being a frequent customer, saw my distress and asked what was up. Near frustrated tears, I explained my situation. The worker nodded at the guy next to him, who I had assumed was another customer, and said, “He’s a taxi driver; he’s just off right now.” He looked at his buddy, who was actually just there to hang around and chat. “Hey, man, want to earn some cash?”

I was hesitant, but the guy took out his license and allowed me to take a photo of it with my phone and text it to a friend, and the employee said that they’d known each other since boot camp. He also promised that if he didn’t hear from me in two hours, he’d call the police. Feeling much better about it, I let the off-duty taxi driver take me next door to my apartment to grab my luggage and then to the airport.

Unfortunately, [Major Airline #1] had decided to start charging for the first checked bag even on international flights. This was a recent decision, and I hadn’t heard anything about it. The kiosk worker explained that I couldn’t check my bag until I paid the $30 fee. I did start to cry then, and I explained the situation. The worker tried to be comforting and said, “Let’s just see if it will go through!” It wouldn’t. I begged her to waive it. I couldn’t use my card and I had given the off-duty cab driver all of my cash. She was sympathetic but explained that only the manager could make that call, and he wouldn’t be in until 6:00 am. If he decided that they could waive the fee, he would put me on another flight to Chicago at no charge so that I could make my connection to the UK.

I sat on a bench near the kiosk for two and a half hours until the manager came over to talk to me. I explained my entire situation, but he would not be moved. I paid the $30 or I didn’t fly. In the end, I missed my flight and had to wait until 8:00 am when I could call my bank and have the block on my card lifted. I then had to purchase a $400 ticket from Oklahoma City to Chicago, though it gave me a bit of grim satisfaction that [Major Airline #2] were the only ones who had a flight that would get me on the ground in time for my connection. When their worker heard what I’d been through that morning, she bumped me up to first class, gratis.

There is a happy ending, though. When I returned home, I went into my bank branch to complain, and the manager helped me fill out a report to request reimbursement of my $400. He said it would also help encourage the bank to get a twenty-four-seven customer service line, as they were collecting such complaints for that purpose. A couple of months later, I got an email that I could now reach my bank anytime regarding “security concerns.”

Further, I’ve been fortunate through circumstances to form strong friendships with several people who are “Someone.” While I didn’t go around complaining about what happened, I did mention it to one friend, and it apparently got around. Several of them took to social media to complain about [Major Airline #1], since they hadn’t made any sort of announcement about their baggage fee change and hadn’t even updated the information on their website yet.

Apparently, this made the Powers That Be at [Major Airline #1] realize how bad they looked, and they contacted me in response to my complaint to offer me a credit for the unused portion of my original ticket. I explained that my bank had refunded the cost of my replacement ticket and I wasn’t looking to get anything for free, but the airline insisted, so I came out ahead. However, it will probably remain my most dramatic travel tale for a very long time.

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