I’m afraid to fly. Doesn’t mean I won’t, it just means I’m afraid. So to help me to be more comfortable, I take a little something my doctor prescribes and chase it with a glass of wine.
When I flew back to Pittsburgh from Minneapolis last month, I had a glass of wine on the plane. The United Airlines flight attendant swiped my debit card and the $7.99 charge showed up in my checking account two days later. That should have been that.
Three weeks later, another United Airlines charge of $7.99 showed up in my checking account. Now let me just say that the wine was hardly worth the $7.99 in the first place, let alone nearly $16! I used my bank’s online customer service link to file a “complaint” about the charge. The bank’s response was to give me back the $7.99, cancel my debit card so it wouldn’t happen again, and issue me a new one.
Because of that glass of wine, I had to log on to Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other places that had my old debit card information and change my information to my credit card. A minor pain in the butt, nothing more.
When my new card arrived on Monday, I called the 800 number and activated my account. I went to the gas station and put $30 of gas in my car. On Tuesday, I logged into my bank account and saw that the $30 charge went to the checking account I use only to pay bills. Whoever issued my new card associated it with the wrong checking account. Because of that glass of wine, I had to call my bank and talk to an associate who assured me she could take care of it. A few clicks of her keyboard and all was back to normal. Another minor pain in the butt, nothing more.
On Wednesday, I went to Walmart to pick up a prescription and buy a few groceries and a Christmas card, which was an adventure all its own. People were sneezing on the cards, everyone smelled of Vicks. I needed a radiation bath when I got home. Anyway, I used my new card to debit $141 from what should have been my regular checking account. Yesterday, I logged into my bank account and saw that the $141 charge was debited from my bill-pay-only checking account AGAIN, this time causing an overdraft and two overdraft fees of $29 each.
This was becoming a major pain in the butt.
Because of that glass of wine, I went to an actual branch and talked to someone in person. Cathy was very friendly and very helpful and just as confused about the whole fiasco as I was. She said the associate I’d talked to on Tuesday not only associated my card with the correct account, but she left my bill-pay-only checking account on it, too, therefore causing the Walmart charges to post to that account. She canceled my new debit card and issued me a new one (which will arrive in 3-5 business days), and she assured me that the two overdraft fees would be taken off.
Because I had no debit card for my regular account and my bill-pay-only account was overdrawn (nothing in the banking world is taken care of immediately), I had no access to money except to go to a teller and withdraw money the old-fashioned way.
This morning, I logged into my bank account. The two overdrafts were indeed removed, AND the Walmart charges were now posted in my regular account AS WELL AS my bill-pay-only account! I burst into tears. Not only did I have limited access to my money, I had way less money to access!
Because of that glass of wine, at 9 a.m. I called Cathy and told her what happened. She looked at my account and said in a rather snotty tone, “You’ll need to talk to Walmart about this. There’s nothing I can do.” What the…WHAT? Was she kidding me? The only thing I did was buy a lousy glass of wine 30,000 feet in the air more than a month ago and she was going to make me go to Walmart and have THEM fix my banks’ mistakes?
“I won’t do that,” I told her. So she said she would try to put in a request to have the Walmart charges removed from my bill-pay-only account, but that it would take two business days for her request to be considered.
Because of that glass of wine, I’m going into the weekend $141 poorer and will have no access to my money. I will use this time to decide if I should A) withdraw my money from my bank and find a new bank; or B) withdraw my money and put it in a shoe box.
I’ll think about it over a glass of wine.