Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting to your own money shouldn’t be this hard or should it?

Things have been relatively quiet around here the last couple days. The roof repair was done on Sunday and, so far, so good Smile It wasn’t set up enough by the time it got dark (which was way too early for us) so we couldn’t do a water test. There is no rain in the forecast for this week so it should be good and set up by Saturday morning. That’s the first daylight opportunity for Rick to climb back up there and do his thing.

We spent a good part of yesterday being frustrated with one of our banks. Like many people, we have accounts at more than one financial institution. Eighteen months ago, we purchased a CD at a well known bank that does business mostly in the Northeast. They gave us a very good interest rate compared to other banks and we were happy to take it. That CD matured on Sunday, the 7th. What they were offering to renew was substantially less than we could get at another bank. Not that there’s a big difference between 0% and 0.0% Smile Sunday night, I attempted to log into that account to get the final interest payment. Well, forgetting which bank I was signing on to, I entered the wrong password. Of course, it told me of my error immediately…in huge red letters! Oops! Let’s try that again. My second attempt brought the message “your password has expired. Please enter a new password and follow all these rules”. Thinking I would be smart and change it to the one I had tried originally (and worked at the other bank) I carefully entered all the digits and then even more carefully, re-entered those same digits to confirm that’s what I wanted the new password to be. I pushed “enter” and in more red lettering it basically told me that I had not followed the rules and that password was NOT allowed and to please try again and please do better this time! Geez! Ok, let’s read the rules more carefully. Got it. Must use letters and numbers. Must not use the same letter or number consecutively. Must use lower and upper case letters. Must stand on one leg and dance a jig while hitting “enter” Smile Ok, I think I came up with a winner this time. I entered all digits after writing it down, because I knew I’d forget it as soon as I entered it. Then I re-entered to confirm. “STOP! (in red) Your confirmation password does not match your original password! For your protection, you have been locked out of your account. Please call 1-800-yada-yada during business hours for assistance.”
Well, guess that wasn’t going to happen on a Sunday night. On Monday morning we called 1-800-yada-yada to have them reset the password and withdraw the CD and send us a check so we could purchase a new CD elsewhere. “you have to come into the branch office to get the money” we were told.  Well, as we are about 800 miles from the branch office, we were sure there was another way they could help us. After trying to talk us into a 1 month CD, then a 1 week CD, they finally agreed to transfer the money into the money market account we have at that bank and then we could write a check for it. Ok, that will probably work. But wait! They can’t do that until we fax them the explicit instructions. Talking to us on the phone and verifying every password, address, relative and what we had for dinner 2 weeks ago Wednesday was not enough Smile
It is now Tuesday morning. The password still has not been reset. If the money has been transferred, we don’t know because the password has not been reset! No way to access the account to find out. Do I want to write a large check off that account and give it to another financial institution to purchase another CD? I don’t think so. Next thing you know, the check would have bounced. I’ll bet they wouldn’t have any problems charging us exorbitant fees for that either SmileOnce this is all straightened out, I don’t see that money market account lasting long at that bank Smile How can there be so much identity theft when you can't even get to your own account, much less someone else's?
Happy Tuesday!


  1. We have been with the same bank for nearly forty years and have been able to work on the phone and internet to manage accounts, even while living overseas. If fact we have never actually ever been to the physical bank in all those years.

    Having said that, they have been forced to make things tougher for their customers to get at their own info because of all the crooks out there.

    We began getting phishing e-mails a few years ago and now we get them all the time. The banks have to keep up with this activity.

    I also find it very annoying, but I guess that is the new world we live in. I now have a five page document of passwords and codes I need to function :( Of course, I have that pass worded as well :)

    Oh, and my first attempt to post this failed as I apparently typed in the wrong password!

  2. What a great blog. We've gone thru that so many times. In fact one of our accounts had to be done in person so we did that when we went to Illinois another reason to visit kids. We've had that account for over 26 years.

    Having my Identity stolen, I like the extra caution, but not sure how they got to it when I can't.

    It's only getting worse, we found out that crooks can get to your account thru the ISP on the computer, great another worry. Check it often, WHEN you can get to it. Good luck.

  3. Hey Gail and Rick,

    We met at the rally last April and I'm glad I found your blog. I don't know why, but I went back in time to read it from the beginning. I'm so sorry to hear about your fall and broken bones but so exited for you both that you found a great MH. It's hard work keeping up with all those passwords. Safe travels...


  4. What a pain in the neck! Hope it gets straightened out soon! I'm not sure there's much more aggravating than money problems!

  5. It truly was a pain in the neck but is now resolved. It took 3 days, 2 faxes and 5 phone calls. I'm still wondering how people steal your identity with all these safeguards in place. They are, obviously, more patient than I.


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