Friday, February 04, 2011

The Insanity of Banking


I went to the bank today. Like as in physically walked in the door and desecrated the hallowed hall for I had a larger than normal deposit and had a payroll to distribute. In cash. As is the way here. The cash withdrawal would have been over my daily ATM limit, set by me back in the day as a deterrant to anyone stealing my card and PIN.

Everything was awfully pleasant until the teller held up the largest cheque I was depositing and told me she would have to put a hold on the funds until the cheque cleared.

Me: Wot?

T(eller): We have regulations, we have to hold the funds on this until February 14th.

Me(gasping): You are going to hold my money without interest for 10 days?

T: Well no, not 10 days. Look here's a calendar, we don't count the two weekends in there.

Me: No offence, but I do. That's 10 days of holding my money. This has never, ever happened to me before. I've banked with this bank for over thirty years, you've never held my deposits and there have been ones far larger than this!

T (apologetic shrug): Those are the rules. But you could go to the other bank and get it certified, they would probably charge you $25 and then we could deposit it right away.

Me (sigh): No, driving off and finding another bank, waiting in line, giving them $25 to certify, coming back here, waiting in line again, I don't have that many years left in me. Go ahead and deposit it then.

Teller deposits, shows me how printed on the slip is the message that funds won't be released until February 14th.

Me (lightbulbs firing off in my head): Hang on a minute. I always deposit at the machine and my funds are cleared immediately. How come?

T: Give me your ATM card again.

click, click whir, click.

T: Oh, you have unlimited access to any funds you deposit using the machine outside.

Me: What do I do now? Can you reverse the deposit then and I run outside and deposit this in the machine?

T (astonished): Yes, that would work for immediate access to the funds. Are you sure?

Me(laughing):Why, do I look brain dead?

T(laughing too): OK, I'll reverse the deposit and give you back the larger cheque.

Me: This is why I never darken your doors I guess.

T (snorting, laughing): We don't recommend it, but don't tell anyone.

23 comments:

  1. That's pretty incredible. I guess you learned a big lesson that day, didn't you? It seems like a very odd system to me, but once you're in on it, you never make the mistake of entering the bank again and doing live deposits.

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  2. Nora:
    I'm still shaking my head in disbelief.
    XO
    WWW

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  3. It sounds like your banks are very similar to ours - all transactions done online or through the ATM are free, however, if I want to utilise a member of staff (for example, if the ATM is broken), I get charged for it... It seems like there is a real drive to stop personal contact within the bank!

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  4. Bureaucracy gone mad etc. Why didn't she tell you right away you could use the ATM? And why is there a separate rule for ATMs? Why are some people determined to make life harder rather than easier?

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  5. That is completely bonkers. The only ray of hope I can see is that she did see the funny side of it, so probably wasn't actually a robot or a clone.

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  6. At least the poor girl had a good sense of humor. Typical banking nightmare. My mattress is looking like a better place to store my money.

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  7. That is an amazing story. Machines are better than people!

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  8. Very peculiar! The day will come when machines - ATMs among 'em will rule the world. ;-)
    They won't do any worse job than flesh and bloods, that's for sure.

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  9. Jo:
    As I heard years ago from a banker: they truly want us all out in the street in the cold and rain where we belong!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Nick:
    I guess it's their way of enforcing a "do not sully our fine institutions by actually walking into them, you peasants".
    I imagine she never checked the first time that my ATM card had no limits on withdrawals.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Christine:
    She was a little clonish, the whole business of telling me to run off and find another bank to certify my cheque without a thought of how totally inconvenient this would be in St. John's where banks are scattered in a huge radius.
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Marcia:
    I think us ordinary non-wealthy folks just frost their ****s, they would prefer us to use the mattress, though I honestly believe it is their usurious 'user' fees that keep them afloat these days.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Ramana:
    They function a lot better, methinks, at least they have one braincell.
    XO
    WWW

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  14. T:
    With the added advantage you don't have to exchange the pointless pleasantries when you feel like launching yourself across the counter and screaming epithets your mother never taught you, LOL.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. "Customer Service" has become an oxymoron. Maybe Lewis Carroll wasn't so crazy after all. Curiouser and curiouser...

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  16. Well at least they only nearly got away with it! Well done for subverting their stupidity and sheer cheek.

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  17. Now don't knock the banks. They're very important. So important, when they lose all their money, we have to give them ours to replace it.

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  18. Sharon:
    You're absolutely correct, a complete oxymoron, I don't think they even teach it anymore.
    XO
    WWW

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  19. Freda:
    I was frankly amazed at myself for coming up with an alternative strategy for accessing MY money.
    XO
    WWW

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  20. RJA:
    Oh I do hope they accept my apology for being such a demanding customer!
    I forgot my money is theirs for the bonuses.
    XO
    WWW

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  21. Funny, I can't remember the last time I actually TALKED to a bank employee. I use the ATMs and online banking exclusively and if I have a question, will send it off via e-mail and get a reply. Same with groceries ... when I go to Superstore, I almost always head for the self-serve checkouts ... wow. I just had a vision of self-serve dentistry and how that might look with robots doing all the work. Yikes!!!!

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  22. VP:
    Oh I avoid the so-called 'personal" banking too unless inevitable like "cash payroll"!
    As to the selve-serve checkouts, I seem to always have a glitch on those scanners and can't bear the contempt and ridiculousness of us paying for customer service where none exists. I know, I know, losing battle.
    XO
    WWW

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  23. People are a bit mad, really, and their bureaucratic institutions -- banks being a good example -- effortlessly intensify the madness.

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