This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 38

, , , , , | Right | March 30, 2015

(As I finish up opening an account with the minimum opening deposit for a brand-new customer at my in-store bank, I explain EVERYTHING that I give him: disclosures, business card, signature card, and starter checks.)

Me: “Here are your starter checks. A lot of places won’t take them, since they don’t have your name or address printed on them, but they will work to get direct deposit set up with your employer; just write your name and addresses across the top of the check and VOID across the check.”

Customer: “So, I can use these to pay for things, right?”

Me: “Once you’ve deposited some more money in your account, you can order regular checks that more places will accept. Right now, you would have to check with the retailer. Some places might take them for smaller amounts.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.”

(Ten minutes later, a store employee calls me.)

Employee: “Can you verify a check for me? I know you aren’t supposed to, but the customer says you just told him he could write a check here.”

Me: “I can try. What’s the account and amount?”

Employee: “It’s [account I just opened] for $4,250.”

Me: “Yeah, not going to happen. Send him back up here and I’ll see if I can explain it better.”

(The customer returns.)

Customer: “Well, you gave me checks, so I figured I had better use them and get the stuff I needed. Our TV broke.”

Me: “As of right now, your account only has $25 in it, so you can’t write a check for more than that.”

Customer: “I have to put money in my account?!”


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