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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Some of you may recall I'm renting space in Elaine's garage to store some of my stuff.  Tbh I've moved most of it now but there's still a few bits there.  Of course neither of us thought it would continue for this long but then who could have predicted the frigging Fizzy Flu and its consequences?  Mostly I've paid her in cash when I've been visiting but occasionally I've sent a cheque.  Recently she was saying she was struggling financially because Tammy [one of her dogs] needed veterinary treatment.  So I suggested I could do a Bank Transfer online for the garage rent due, or send a cheque - whichever she preferred, rather than wait for my next visit [hopefully next month]. 

She opted for me to send a cheque which I duly did about ten days ago.  Elaine paid it in on Monday 13th October and was told it would take 5 days to clear.  When we were chatting over the weekend, she told me it hadn't cleared yet so I replied they probably meant 5 working days not including the day it was paid in.  

Today she called me, understandably angry - the cheque had been sent back 'refer to drawer'.  Which made me equally angry.  I knew damn well there was more than enough money in the account to cover the cheque. In fact there was enough money to pay it more than 33 times over so I was frigging furious.  With the bank, not Elaine - obvs.  I suggested again she gave me her account number and sort code so I could do an instant transfer, which she agreed to.  I consider this the easiest way but I know some people don't like giving their account number and sort code details out of fear people will then be able to access their account.  Despite the fact these details are on any cheque they write and don't give access to their actual account. 

I logged into my online banking and attempted to pay it straight into her account.  Only to be told HER account couldn't be verified.  WTF?  So natch I called customer services.  "We're experiencing a high volume of calls and it could take up to 5 minutes to answer you.  Please press 1 if you'd like a call back.  Alternatively, continue to hold".  I chose to continue holding.  Sixteen and a half minutes later, my call was answered, and I was immediately cut off!  Deep breath and I redialed.  "We're experiencing a high volume of calls and it could take up to 6 minutes to answer you.  Please press 1 if you'd like a call back.  Alternatively, continue to hold".  This time I opted for the call back and amazingly, my call was returned six minutes later.  

I don't know about you, but I kind of figure if you've opted for a 'call back' it will be an actual human being that you deal with on said call back.  But no.  I was shoved back in the loop and landed up waiting another 14 minutes.  Explained the problem and insisted the bank operative ensured the money was transferred to Elaine immediately.  That done I pushed more on WHY my cheque had been returned.  She waffled.  I told her if it helps there's a code on the return letter [as Elaine had informed me] of 06.  Seemingly that indicates I had stopped the payment.  Which I hadn't.  So I asked how that could happen?  Basically she didn't have a clue other than to say sometimes the bank will refuse a cheque on the basis it falls outside the account holders usual spending patterns.  What?  Is there any point to my having a cheque book if they decline my cheques owing to the fact mostly I use online banking?   

I thanked her for her personal assistance in transferring the money to Elaine, but said I'd like to make a formal complaint about the fact my cheque had been declined, plus the poor service I'd received in contacting customer services today.  I'll send you an email with a complaint form you can complete, she assured me.  Suffice to say, said email hasn't arrived.  I've checked my account and the money is shown as having been taken.  I've asked Elaine to check her account in the morning.  Plus also advise me of any charges she incurs as a result of the cheque not clearing.  I am very angry.  I reckon they figure people won't chase stuff up if said complaint form doesn't arrive.  And the worst of it is, they are right to some extent.  We all have busy lives and if we're stymied from making an official complaint for a while, other stuff may take over and so we let it slide.  Not me. 

Of course they may have read last night's blog and be after me.  But really, do they think I'm going to rob my OWN bank?  Or any bank?  Ejuts.

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