Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I REALLY hate my financial institution

In a move that some would find shocking, I kept my bank account at my former employer. It was easier to keep it because all my bills were set up under it, and I'm a lazy, lazy person. I had another account with a different institution, but that was for one monthly withdrawal and any cheques I had to write (my former employer was never able to get me the cheques I requested, and I eventually stopped asking. They also weren't able to set me up with internet banking. And I'm not the only employee they managed to do those things to. I'm surprised the people who work in those branches are able to dress themselves. But I digress.) but most of my banking is done through my former employer.

That is gonna change.

Today, I went in to deposit a cheque, so that I could use the money for trivial things like food, and important stuff like a new shirt for my study date tomorrow. I went to the teller, thinking I'd be able to get a few dollars out today instead of waiting. Boy was I wrong.

The teller was all confused, and told me there was a hold, but she would get someone to authorize my withdrawal of 5% of the money today. That person came over, and looked at my file, and yelled that I hadn't updated my information. I was in that very same branch not two months ago, paying my fees for school, at which time I updated all my information with the teller (or so I thought) so I told her I was confused. Then she ripped into me for not having employment information listed. This confused me, as I'm not sure what business it is of theirs where I'm employed, but I told her I was in school, so there wouldn't be employment info. She retorted that they should have my school information listed then. Again, I stated that I had been in, paying my fees for said school not that long ago, so you could take a look at my transactions and see a bill being paid to my school, and deduce that probably is the school I'm attending. Again, I don't see why this is their business, but whatever. I told them my school name.

Then, they ask to see a bunch of forms of id, never mind that they have my card, and have already updated the information I gave them. I can see why this is important if I'm taking money out, but fail to see the importance when depositing money. I'd be the worst thief ever. And let me point out that at this point, they haven't actually deposited the money, so I guess they are testing to see who I am for the information update. I know they need to confirm my identity, but asking me upfront at the start of the transaction in a polite manner would be better than getting part way through and demanding it like I'm some kind of criminal.

And then, the final insult. They tell me they can't do anything, but if I want to head to the bank where the cheque originates and get it certified, then they can help me, but other than that, I'm boned. I'd like to point out at this juncture that having worked at a financial institution, and being a person with at least a modicum of intelligence, I know that there are many things they could have tried to help me. They could have called my home branch to get the hold lifted in whole or in part (again, I wanted 60$, not the whole amount of the cheque), or they could have called the branch the cheque came from to see if they could get certification over the phone, or they could have decided that since I've never deposited a cheque that wasn't good, they could advance me the 60$. And there are probably other things they could have tried. They might not have worked, but it would be worth a shot. Instead, they decided to make no effort to help, and instead dump the problem in my lap. This is why I pay fees? Next time, I'll just get cash and stuff the money under my mattress.

Finally, the woman explained everything to me like I was a child, and offered to send a letter to my home branch to see if eventually they'd remove the hold, and sat back, satisfied that this should make me happy, even though I told her that I actually needed a tiny bit of money for tomorrow and the rest could wait. When I told her there was no point, as I needed the money tomorrow and ordinarily I don't need it, so it doesn't solve the problem I have, she didn't even bother to apologize or be nice at all.

So, now I can't buy the food I wanted, or get the new top I was eyeing, or even pick up the clothes and winter coat I had tailored (this is why I needed the 60$) until next week.

Today was the last straw. I'm so overcome with rage at the continuing ineptitude of my former employer that as soon as I can access my money, I'm taking it all out, and closing the account. And I'm telling them exactly why, pointing out that even when they eliminated my job, I didn't close the account, but their inability to get any of the tiny requests I've made right has made it impossible for me to keep my account.

And, in a nice turn, today has also opened up those old wounds of "Why the hell am I out of a job when simpering morons who can't complete the simplest of tasks keep theirs?" and "I can't believe that I'm so worthless that I can be let go this way." which I thought I'd left behind.


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