The New Disney Classic: America Is Broken

, , , , , | Working | September 27, 2019

(I am a teller at a credit union, working in the drive-up. My coworker and I are discussing the technically illegal things that people do out of ignorance, such as Person A signing a check made out to Person B after Person B has already signed it in order to deposit the check into an account that both of them are on. My coworker vents her frustration with people’s ignorance in a silly way so that she won’t actually be mad about it, and I like to be silly back at her to ease the frustration all the more.)

Coworker: *in a silly, sing-song voice* “Why are people so stupid? Why do people break the law? Why don’t people understand basic things about finances?”

Me: *in a very serious tone* “Because the United States educational system is thoroughly broken and doesn’t care anymore, so people aren’t taught the basic life skills that they used to be taught in order to become functioning adults and don’t know where to turn as adults to learn the proper rules. Thus, they inadvertently commit financial felonies.”

(There’s a pause as she looks at me, eyebrows up.)

Me: *now in a sing-song voice* “And also people are just really, really dumb!”

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I AM THE SENATE!

, , , , , | Right | September 21, 2019

(I’m training a new teller. She’s doing so well that I put her in her own window to see how she does. I’m working in the next station. Everything has been going normally until I hear raised voices coming from my trainee’s station. She pops her head around the corner.)

Trainee: “HELP!”

Me: “What’s up?”

Trainee: “I’ve got a problem.”

(I step over to her station where an older man is scowling at her. I don’t recognize him.)

Me: “Hello, sir! What can I get you?”

Customer: “I want to take [large amount] out of my account!”

Me: “No problem. We just need to see your ID.”

Customer: “Don’t either of you know who I am?!”

Me: “Well, she is in training, and I’ve never helped you, so… I’m sorry, no.”

Customer: “I’m State Senator [Customer]! Now give me my money!”

(I recognize the name. I’d actually voted for him in the last election. I put on my brightest customer service smile.)

Me: “That’s great! But since you’re taking a very large amount out, I still need your ID.”

(The customer’s jaw drops.)

Customer: “MANAGER! NOW!”

Me: “No problem, sir. I’ll be right back.”

(The manager is out, so I grab the nearest banker.)

Banker: *sighs* “I heard it all. Yes, that’s definitely him. He hardly ever comes in, but expects everyone to know who he is. I’ll take care of it.”

(She comes up and explains to him that we ID everyone who’s taking a large amount out. He calms down, produces an ID, and my trainee is able to complete the transaction.)

Customer: *calmly* “Thank you, ladies. Have a great day!” *exits*

Trainee: “WOW.”

Me: “Well, I know who I’m not voting for ever again…”

(This was several years ago. Sadly, he’s still in the state senate. However, I haven’t voted for him since!)

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This Flow Chart Needs To Log Out

, , , | Working | September 2, 2019

(It’s been a few years ago now since my bank introduced online banking as a service. After some heavy advertising and pushing on their side, I decide to give it a go. I go online and apply for an online banking account. It all goes smooth and three days later I receive a letter with nearly all the account information. For security reasons, they will send me my password in a separate mail. Two weeks go by without a letter with the password. I call their service desk and ask what is going on.)

Service Desk: “We have made an error and a lot of letters were never sent, and we’re fixing it now.”

(The next day, I get five letters with five different passwords. The following day, I get another three letters with different passwords. I call the service desk again and ask what they are doing.)

Service Desk: “Well, there was a bug in their program and it kept generating passwords. But we are fixing it now.”

(Two days later, I get a letter with a new password and apologies from the bank to all customers for the inconvenience. Thinking that it can’t get any worse from this point on, I go online and try logging in to my bank account. I get a “wrong username or password” message, try it two more times, and get a “too many failed attempts, account locked” message. I call the service desk again.)

Me: “Hello. The password you sent me for online banking was incorrect and now my account is locked.”

Service Desk: “Oh, that can easily be fixed. You just need to log in to your account and reset your password and unlock the account.”

Me: “I can’t access my account so that is not possible.”

Service Desk: “Sir, I know that people have difficulties with computers, but if you log in to your account, I’ll help you to reset your password and unlock your account.”

Me: “Listen to me. The system won’t let me in because the account is locked. And the account is locked because the password you sent me is incorrect for this account.”

Service Desk: “Yes, and that’s why you need to log in to reset the password.”

Me: “Could you work with me? If I’d call you to tell me that I stood outside my house and I lost my key would you give me the advice to open the door, find the spare key, and use that key to open the door?”

Service Desk: “No, that would be silly.”

Me: “So, let’s start again. I can’t get into my account because it’s locked due to an incorrect password you sent me.”

Service Desk: “I understand. The only way to fix this is logging in to your account and… This is stupid. Sorry, sir. I just caught on. Sorry, but this is what our flowchart tells us to say when people report this issue with their account.”

Me: “Is there a way for you to cancel my online banking account?”

Service Desk: “No, sir. And according to my flowchart here, you have to log in to your account to cancel it…” *nervous giggle*

Me: “Okay, thanks. I guess I’m going to have to pay the bank a visit.”

(I did go to my local bank and I did give them my opinion about their new service and why I wanted to cancel it. They cancelled it, but not before first trying to tell me that I could do it myself by logging in.)

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Gotta Work For Those Dollars

, , , , , | Working | August 28, 2019

Six months after my grandfather dies we receive a letter from a bank he had a credit card with. This is strange in more than one way, being that the estate lawyer has already closed down all the accounts my grandfather had and that the letter was not sent to the estate lawyer or to us but rather to my grandfather’s old address. We only receive it by chance, seeing as we redirected all his mail to our address for a full year after the fact.

We take the letter to the estate lawyer, and when he opens it we find out that my grandfather had overpaid this particular credit card by an excess of a thousand dollars — something that the bank did not mention when the account was being closed down. Instead of transferring the existing balance to the estate, they instead put it on a prepaid credit card in my dead grandfather’s name, saying in the letter that he can use it anytime at his convenience now that his account has been closed, despite the fact that they had to receive a copy of his death certificate in order to close down the account.

This is where the real craziness begins. The bank refuses to transfer the money off of the prepaid credit card. At first, they even refuse to accept any contact from the estate lawyer, saying they have no idea who he is and that they can’t prove he isn’t trying to scam them. They will only speak to my mother, who works full time and therefore has to take time off work to contact them during business hours. Finally, after much fighting, my mother telling them multiple times that she gives them permission to speak to the estate lawyer, and sending another copy of not only the death certificate but also the lawyer’s credentials, they agree to speak to our lawyer.

A few days go past and the bank calls our lawyer, telling him that they need my mother to come into our local branch to discuss this situation with one of their representatives. My mother has to leave work early to do this and when she gets there, armed with the specific representative’s name, she is told that this is something that cannot be done in branch but rather has to be done over the phone, with the billing department. My mother calls the billing department then and there and is told by them that no, this has to be done in branch. The people at the bank location refuse to call into billing to sort this out and the billing department refuses to call the branch, both of them stating it isn’t their responsibility. By this time, the bank location has closed for the day and my mother is ushered out the door. She leaves extremely frustrated.

For the next few weeks, the estate lawyer calls and emails the bank’s billing department multiple times a day. His emails are ignored and his calls are mostly hung up on. Finally, he manages to be escalated to a manager who sends my mother back to the same specific person at the local branch but with a promise that he will call this person first and tell them exactly what needs to be done. My mother leaves work early again and gets to the bank only to be told that person has already left for the day and that she will have to come back tomorrow. In a fit of rage, my mother yells at the person at the bank that she will be contacting a specific national news organization that runs a segment about regular people being scammed by big corporations. She then calls the bank’s billing department, gives her name, and explains the situation, and tells them the same thing she told the person at the bank branch.

An hour later — and nearly a month since this whole mess began — our lawyer is called by the bank and is told that the money is being sent by certified check and should be there the next day. The situation leaves me to wonder how often this bank has done this before and how much money they’ve made off of this because other people probably weren’t as persistent as we were and most likely just gave up partway through the whole rigamarole.

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I’ll Just Transfer Your Complaint To Mother Nature

, , , , , | Right | August 25, 2019

(I work in the credit card department of a call centre for a major bank.)

Customer: “I ordered a replacement credit card last week and it was due to arrive on Monday. It’s now Wednesday and I still haven’t received it. This is ridiculous.”

Me: “I do apologise, sir. As I’m sure you are aware, there was a major storm on Monday and the whole country was on strict orders not to travel. As such, no post could be delivered, which is why your card is delayed.”

Customer: “Exactly, and because of the storm damage, the postal workers aren’t delivering post today or yesterday, either.”

Me: “Yes, so you should expect to receive your card tomorrow.”

Customer: “But why didn’t it arrive when you said it would?”

Me: “Because of the storm, sir. As you said, there has been no post delivered for the last three days.”

Customer: “That’s unacceptable. You should have known the storm was coming and sent the card earlier.”

Me: “We can only send a new card when you request one. I can see you requested a card last Thursday and, had it not been for the storm, that would have arrived on Monday. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the weather.”

Customer: “That’s not my f****** problem! Typical incompetent banks! You should have known the storm was coming and done something about it.”

Me: *exasperated* “I can log a complaint for you sir, but we certainly can’t control the weather. We also can’t predict that you will want a card and send it before you request it.”

Customer: “F****** idiot!” *hangs up*

(Needless to say, when I logged his complaint, it was dripping in sarcasm.)

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