Righting Two Wrongs

You know what they say- two wrongs don’t make a right. But one right can correct two wrongs- or in this case, three. At least that’s what my buddy Vince says. By the way, this guy has seen too much television and thinks of himself either as a member of the Sopranos or that guy who used to do standup comedy wearing a leather jacket and biking chain.

Vince tells me that three wrongs happened, that he subsequently made a couple of phone calls- bada bing- and they’ve been corrected. At least he thinks so and we’ll know in a couple of weeks. It happened like this:

He wrote two checks to pay bills. Put the correct amount on each one, to the correct companies and signed them. But he accidentally switched envelopes. You got it- each company received a check for someone else for an amount not due to them. Both companies didn’t bother to examine the checks. (That takes too much time and someone to think about what they’re doing.) So, both companies deposited the checks. His bank didn’t care. (Too many checks to look at on a commercial deposit ticket. Both are electronic deposit anyways) Three mistakes- his switching the checks and both companies not examining what they got and just going ahead and processing it.

So, he makes a call to one of them- a hospital corporation- and explains that they cashed a check for the wrong amount and for the wrong party. In fact, it was a couple of hundred more than they should have received. The customer service lady told him to hold on while she checked the records. After a few minutes, she came back on the line and said that her supervisor said they were refunding the entire amount. He told her to hold it- why not just refund the overpayment? The lady said that he said that he wanted the money back. He told her that he never said that. She said that it was too late to change it- the refund process started. So, he asked her when he could expect the money? She said that it would take one to two weeks. He didn’t want to create a bigger hassle so he told them to go with the plan, that he would send a new check for the correct amount of what he owed. Bada boo.

The next call was made to a bank institution that also has a credit card. When Vince got their customer service person on the phone, he had the feeling he was talking through a United Nations interpreter and that she was in a far away country. She probably felt likewise.

He explained to her about their cashing a check that they shouldn’t have. He also pointed out that he was charged $5.87 interest because the payment didn’t cover the full balance owed. He also looked at when they cashed his check through his online banking site. He told them that they deposited the wrong check ten days before it was due and that they could have called him and said that they would tear up the check and a replacement would have been sent in plenty of time. So, he should not have been charged interest for paying less than the balance due.

Vince asked for the $5.87 fee to be dropped. The customer service rep told him that she tried to submit his request and it was denied. That’s when he explained to her that it was fraud to cash a check written to someone else claiming to be that person or entity. All of a sudden, whoever else was giving her advice told her that she now had good news to tell Vince- that the $5.87 was being dropped. He was happy.

Vince stopped in at his bank and asked them why they would record deposits on checks that were not properly written to the recipient. They said they could not give him an answer because their computer was down and would he like a coffee mug for his inconvenience? Anyways, he’s counting two weeks to see what happens. Bada bing, bada boo.