Monday, March 30, 2009

Technology Be Damned

We have an on line only savings account. When I opened it, it was making 4.25% interest. It was a great place to put away money for the wedding because they have no actual branches in our area so even if we were tempted to tap into it, we couldn’t without having to wait several days to have the money transferred to my actual bank, where we could then get at it. We decided after the wedding that we would keep the online savings account because at that point it was still offering a great interest rate and it would then become our “nest egg/emergency” money. Every now and again I would transfer money over from my ‘real’ bank to the on line bank. I set up one of these transfers a while back but forgot to transfer the amount from my ‘real’ checking account to my ‘real’ savings account from where the on line account would draw the money from. I set this up to happen on a Thursday. When I checked my e-mail on Friday morning I saw an e-mail from my on line account telling me that they attempted the transfer but there weren’t enough funds to cover it. They would attempt it again.

Fri 2/20/09 4:12 AM
You recently made the following funds transfer request: XXXXXXX.Unfortunately, we could not complete the request. The account provider from which you requested the funds be transferred has indicated to us that there are not sufficient funds in your account to honor the request. Because this could be a temporary problem in your account, we will automatically submit this transaction once more. If funds are still not available at that time, we will suspend, as a security precaution, your ability to make funds transfer requests. We advise you to check your account balance and deposit funds immediately, if needed. As a security precaution, future Bank To Bank Transfer Settlement Days for your Bank, Savings account have been extended to 4 days from the current 3 days due to insufficient funds activity. This restriction will be removed after you complete 3 successful transactions amounting to $1,000.00. If you have any questions about Internet Banking, please send a secure E-Mail from Internet Banking or call our Customer Relationship Center at XXXX. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be happy to help you.

So I went online with my ‘real’ bank and transferred over the money.

Xfer $700.00

Thinking everything would be fine I went about my life and my weekend. Until I came in on Tuesday and get this e-mail from the on line bank:

Tue 2/24/09 4:16 AM
Dear DH, On February 19, 2009 (you can clearly see the above e-mail was in fact sent the 20th, splitting hairs, maybe.), we emailed you that there were insufficient funds in the account and that we would submit the request again. Unfortunately, we have submitted the request again and your account provider is still indicating to us that the funds in your account are insufficient. Please contact us to resolve the problem. As a security precaution, we have suspended your ability to request transfers until the matter is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Ok, I was a bit flummoxed. Unless in all actuality they only waited like 20mins from the time they sent the 1st e-mail until the time they attempted again, there was plenty of money to cover the transfer. So I logged into the account and sent them a secure Internet e-mail telling them it was ok to transfer the money now, because as you can see, they do not tell you just how exactly I needed to contact them. I heard nothing, and saw that in fact the transfer never took place. I let it go because during the waiting period F and I decided that the money would be needed soon and so it really wasn’t worth stashing it away on line. A month passed and F requested that I get some money out of the on line account so we could buy a car. I logged into the site and saw this message:


Thank you for contacting On Line Bank. We are unable to initiate a Bank to Bank Transfer on a customers behalf. Your Bank to Bank Transfer of $ from ‘Real’ Bank account to your On line Savings Account failed due to insufficient funds. In order to reactivate your Bank to Bank Transfer service and unsuspend the ‘Real’ Bank account for the Bank to Bank Transfers, it is necessary to initiate a conference call with ‘Real’ Bank so that we may verify a few details with them while you are on the phone. Please contact us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

I’m sorry, a CONFERENCE CALL?? Are you quite serious?? I appreciate the “security” precautions that are being taken here, what with all identity theft and all, but I wasn’t sure how a “Conference Call” with my ‘real’ bank was going to prevent this. I had to cool off for a few days before I made the call………

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