Monday, June 16, 2008

Looks like we'll be shopping for a new bank.

So, yesterday we went out for breakfast at our usual joint. After a lovely meal, I took the kids out to the car while Homer stood in line to pay. When he swiped his debit card, the message "Limit Exceeded" came up. Luckily he had enough cash to cover the transaction.

When he got to the car, he called the number on the back of his bank card, as he had certainly not exceeded his limit. Turns out, they were doing maintenance on their network, but we would be permitted to withdraw $100 from the bank machine at the branch (there is only one branch of this bank in our city). Otherwise, we were SOL.

I ask you, what kind of bank shuts down their network for maintenance on Father's Day (or any day, for that matter), with no warning to their customers? We were both furious with the bank. There are so many things wrong with this.

First, there's the embarrassment of the transaction not going through at a place where we are considered regulars.

Second, there's the possibility that we did not have cash on us and would have had to drive 20 minutes to the branch, then 20 minutes back to the restaurant to deliver the cash. It's a big assumption to make that someone would have a credit card. We have one card between us and we don't carry it with us.

Third, what if we were somewhere else, like Canada's Wonderland or The Zoo, suddenly told that our debit card wasn't working? Or at the gas station? What if my Father's Day gift to Homer was a BBQ that he was going to pick out that day? What if our kitchen faucet snapped off in my hands and we didn't have access of the funds to buy a new one. Wait... that DID happen!

Homer blasted the lady on the phone (not her fault, of course, but squeaky wheel and all that). He made up a sob story about our three children who were suddenly denied a day trip to Canada's greatest theme park, despite having thousands of dollars in the bank (a bit of a stretch, unless you include our RRSP's). "Do you have kids?" he asked. "Then imagine how low I feel right now." The customer service person asked, "do you want me to put you down for compensation?" YES! I'm usually embarrassed when he's a dick, but I was high-fivin' him when he was done. We'll see if this goes anywhere.

11 comments:

Misty said...

Ouch. That totally SUCKS. Our bank pulled something like that recently. I have a back-up savings account that I access pretty regularly to pay out bills that aren't monthly. Kind of like my own little Escrow. Anyway, I got to look at my accounts online and the money is allllll gone. Seems the bank decided I did something they didn't like (still never got a straight answer on that one.) and CLOSED THE ACCOUNT. They mailed me a check. Which is just peachy, you know, since the flood insurance was due and that account was where the money was sitting.

Jerks.

Pickles & Dimes said...

That is asinine. Any maintenance they need to do should not affect your ability to get to your funds. Jerkoffs.

Nowheymama said...

Our bank is always telling us when they'll be doing maintenance on their automated *phone* system, let alone the network. I can't believe they didn't notify you.

artemisia said...

Oh, I would have LOST MY MIND. That is ridiculous.

My bank was acquired by another bank and I. HATE. IT. On my list of To'do's for the week is switching banks. And what a pain, as everything is set up to be automatically withdrawn from my current account...

Beck said...

Ah, banks. They're just crappy.

Jess said...

You had BETTER get something out of this. It is NOT OKAY to deny someone access to their funds.

Also, it's funny to me that the woman asked if he wanted compensation. Who would ever say no to that?

Chantal said...

Banks suck.

Saly said...

GARBAGE. Our bank had a network outage about a month ago, causing Hub's card to be declined at the carwash. Nobody could tell us anything and we were freaking out because I had just been paid.

I hope they compensate you well.

JMC said...

What does this compensation entail? Are they going to send you and your kids to the amusement park at their cost?

My husband is the CTO of a bank, and he wouldn't DREAM of shutting down the network for maintenance without telling the customers with plenty of advance notice. He freaks out when something happens that makes the network go down accidentally and for hardly any time at all. Also, it is normal to schedule maintenance like that for times that most people won't need to access their money, like IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

SLynnRo said...

Bank of America does this to me ALL. THE. TIME. I have been embarrassingly denied numerous transactions.

Mandy said...

is that even legal??