I took my daughter out for lunch the other day and then I couldn’t pay the bill, it seems that all my bank accounts were frozen.

Oh goodie, that means I must make a pleasant call to the bank now. I am less comfortable on the phone, and customer service calls tend to be frustrating. I always choose live chat when it is an option.

I call the bank and am placed on hold for 30 minutes, then:

Me: Why are all my bank accounts frozen?

B: (After I wait on hold for another 5 minutes) It looks like you deposited a large cheque that wasn’t in your name.

Me: Yes, last week. It was in my daughter’s name. You can see in my account profile that we have a joint chequing account.

B: That doesn’t matter, we can only process a cheque one time. Now it’s invalid.

40 minutes (of painful conversation and holds) later….the bank suggests that I should call the business that issued the cheque, have them cancel it and give me a new cheque with my name on it. (Yeah, right! That’ll happen. There is a fee to cancel a cheque).

So, another phone call; turns out the business will not do that (duh), I must bring the rejected cheque back to them and then they will issue a new cheque.

Which means:

Yes, another phone call to the big bad bank. Let’s start all over again. So I retell the story to a new representative, then to a supervisor, and ask where my cheque is now, and why wasn’t it mailed back to me?

B: We put it in a file.

Me: ???!!! what? You don’t notify me there is a problem on my account, you put my account $9000 in default, and simply file the cheque?

B: Yes

Me: Why?

B: We can’t return the cheque to you while your account is in default.

Me: !!?? What? It’s in default because you kept my cheque and invalidated the deposit.

B: Repeats previous sentence.

Me: (Losing control, raising voice, angry tears coming) How long will it take to get my cheque back?

B: Well, I have to put in a request (1-2 business days) and then it will take 7-10 business days.

Me: So, 2 weeks?

B: Yes. More or less.

At some point, I hung up. We have had all of our finances, mortgage, credit cards, etc. with this bank for over 20 years. This is the customer service we received. Over 2 hours spent on the phone.

It is an understatement to say that the bank handled this badly and confirmed my anti-phone call bias.einstein-on-stupidity



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