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.


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


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.  :-)