Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why I Was Up Late Last Night


I sat down to pay bills tonight.  And, flipping through my checkbook, I realized that I didn't get a MasterCard bill this month.  This would be a mistake -- as I definitely charged stuff.

So, I called up my bank.  To protect the guilty, we'll call them MyBank.

I get the telephone banking computer.  It asks for my account number.  I duly type it in.  It asks if I want to know my balance and payment date.  Yeah, that'd be nice.  It gives me a balance and says it was due four days ago.  Not so good. 

I go back to the main menu and wait for the option for a Live Human Being.  (Press 5.)  I press 5.  The Live Human Being comes on the line.

She tells me they're doing routine maintenance on the computer.  I must call back in about an hour.

(Did I mention it was just past 11 pm?)

I settle in for an hour of waiting.  I call back just after midnight.  I press 5. 

I get the same Live Human Being.  She tells me to call back in another 15 or 20 minutes.

I call again at 12:30.  I press 5.

No Live Human Being this time.  I'm on hold, because there is, apparently, a long line of customers who have been waiting for the computers to go back up online.

I get a Live Human Being!  He asks what's up.  I explain about the whole no statement thing.  He looks at my file, decides I really DO pay my bill on time, and agrees to waive the late fee while he sends me a new statement.

OK, here's the fun part.

It'll take "seven to ten days" to mail me a new statement.  I can just take his word for the balance, he says, and send him a check.

Fair enough.  Although, I suggest, why don't I just do a transfer from my checking account and pay him right away?  Here's what follows:

Him:  Well, you can do that, but the problem with that is there is a charge of $14.95.

Me:  You're kidding me.

Him:  No.  We charge $14.95 for a funds transfer.

Me:  Is this something new?  I do this all the time and I've never been charged before.

Him:  No.  We have always charged $14.95 for a funds transfer.  Maybe you have some arrangement with your bank.

Me:  YOU are my bank.  My checking account is with MyBank. 

[Silence.  I assumed this resolved the misunderstanding, but it clearly did not.]

Him:  That may be, but the charge for a funds transfer is $14.95.

Me:  I've never been charged before.  I do it over the phone.  The computer asks me if I want to transfer funds between linked accounts, and I do it, and there's no fee.

HIm:  [broken record]  Maybe you have an arrangement with your bank.

Me:  [yelling now]  It's YOU!   My checking account is with MyBank!

Him:  That's "MyBank."  We're "MyBank Credit Services."  That's different.

Ohhhh.

I hang up, call the MyBank computer that owns my checking account, and do a funds transfer to the credit card.  No charge.

2 comments:

andreakingme said...

Hee. How do you get yourself into these kind of situations?!

annalisa135 said...

Very Smart Chick!!!!  If anyone can figure out a way to do it, it would be YOU.  :-)