Archive for May, 2006

Site Update

Not that people do post comments on the site very often, but for those that do: I’ve added a subscription function. This way, if you post a comment and somebody responds to it, you can be notified that another comment has been posted. All it requires is that when you submit the comment, you click the checkbox below the submit buton.

They can live. For now.

The bank just refunded me the additional $90 that they didn’t give me yesterday. They’re safe, at least for the time being. :)

“A bank is a place that will lend you money…

…if you can prove that you don’t need it.” — Bob Hope

I spoke to the bank today about my financial woes. I asked if they’d be willing to refund at least some of the fees they charged me, if only because of the fact that what they were fining me was almost five times the amount that I’d actually spent to get me into the red. Besides, one mistake in calculations and it costs me over four hundred bucks? Let’s face it: It would be wonderful customer service to be understanding and forgiving of a situation like this.

They didn’t really see it my way. Big shocker, no?

The customer service agent I spoke with said that the most she could refund me was $110. This is the equivalent of three overdraft fees. I told her that while I appreciated this, it really wasn’t acceptable. I asked to speak with somebody who had the ability to grant me a larger refund than that, and she resisted, because obviously the bank doesn’t want to give up more money than it absolutely needs to.

I tried to explain in as many logical ways as I could how ridiculous the whole situation was. Personally, I think that my best explanation was the one in which I responded to her claims that the bank had effectively loaned me the money to cover the charges, by countering with the fact that if the bank wanted to look at it as a short-term loan, they were charging me an interest rate that was almost one hundred times the prime interest rate.

Eventually, I got her to speak to a supervisor. She came back and told me that the supervisor authorized her to refund me $210, which equates to half of the total fines they charged me. She all but told me that I was lucky, because they very rarely go halfway with a customer. And then she had the audacity to ask me to rate the customer service on the call.

I don’t think she grasped the irony of the question, or understood why I laughed in response.

The real kicker? After agreeing to refund me $210, she fat-fingered the update to my account and only refunded me $120. When I called to get it fixed, the woman I spoke to wouldn’t update it because she apparently only had my word to go on that it was supposed to be $210. So now I have to defend that money all over again, apparently.

Now THIS is cool.

So I’ve had a pretty horrible week. What with the events of my previous entry, and the general depression I’ve been feeling, there have been only a few things that I’ve been able to do to keep my moods up. Golf is one of them. The other has been playing the Da Vinci Code Quest on Google. It was a set of 24 puzzles over the course of 24 days, and the idea of it was that it was part of a contest for a pretty amazing grand prize worth over a hundred thousand bucks. The first ten thousand people to finish the puzzles would be entered into the final stage of the contest.

The final stage of the contest is apparently a set of five more puzzles. The person who finishes the puzzles consecutively (they won’t let you take a break after starting) in the quickest amount of time wins the grand prize (which, by the way, I think is a pretty damn interesting way to do a contest winner).

Today, when I got home from work, I had this waiting in front of my door:

(click thumbnails for larger version)
Da Vinci Code cryptex

Opened cryptex with note

It opens and everything! SOOO cool.

What’s the alternative?

I got screwed out of over $300 by my bank today. I think more fines are about to come through tomorrow.

The sad thing is that I have no recourse. Technically it was my own damn fault, because I was expecting a check to bounce, and instead of doing that, it was processed, which caused all of the transactions that I did over the weekend and at the beginning of this week to overdraw, which generated about eight overdraft fees.

The thing that upsets me is that the bank cleared the check on Tuesday night, but claims that they actually did it on Sunday night. As a result of this regression of 48 hours, the bank was able to retroactively give me the overdraft fees. Had the check been marked as cleared on Tuesday as it should have been, the check would have bounced instead of the eight other transactions.

The bank has done this to me once before, in a similar situation. In that situation, they wouldn’t change anything.

The real problem, though, is that I don’t seem to have any alternative. Wachovia seems to be slightly corrupt, but I have heard some incredible stories about Bank of America, and I used to be a member of Citizen’s and I’m not a fan. I think that what I really need is to find a better bank, but I’m really not sure that one exists or not. I’ve heard great things about Commerce Bank, what with their 24-hour banks and stuff, but alas, they apparently won’t have any Connecticut branches until 2007.

I guess I’m just pissed that it seems like every time I start to get on my feet again, something like this happens.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

I’m not really in the mood to write any kind of in-depth, well, anything, so here are some talking points:

  • Tuesday evening marked four months of not smoking. For those really counting, that’s seventeen weeks. Yes, I’m very proud of myself.
  • I was hoping to spend this holiday (if you can call it that; we are in America, after all, and this is really just an excuse to drink, like St. Patrick’s Day) with friends, but no such luck. Seems to be par for the course, really.
  • Speaking of “par for the course:” The first official week of the golf league got cancelled due to unstoppable rains. Naturally, the day after, it stopped raining and has been some of the nicest and warmest weather we’ve had all year. Go figure.
  • As this post’s bullet-point style would indicate, I have almost no desire to do anything requiring any kind of actual work at the moment. My job has sapped me, I have no money (despite the fact that I just got a raise; I think it’ll take a little while before that really starts to have an effect due to the amount to which I’m in debt at the moment), and I seem to be some kind of pariah lately, if the fact that my friends seem to be avoiding me is any indication.

Let’s hear it for staying positive. *clinks glass* Cheers.

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