Tuesday, September 01, 2009

dealing with jokers takes cards out of my deck

Today I received my new debit card. I have been waiting on it for more than a month.

As my mother lay dying in the hospital, back in late July, I was obliged to leave her side and take care of some business. I'd dropped everything to come here, and made it just in time, but I was flat on my ass broke and living off of my mother's bank account, which she didn't mind, being that money had become pretty unimportant to her, what with the cancer and all. I had Power of Attorney and all (hat tip to Mom for having her shit together), but we hadn't actually registered it with her bank, and it was going to expire when she did, anyway. When that happened, things were going to get complicated. So I had to take care of it before she died, or risk, being shut out from her checking account, which money I was planning on using to live on and to pay for her memorial service.

So, four days after we'd moved her into the hospice center, where she could be away from the loud noises and obnoxious staff on the regular floors of the hospital, I was obliged to run around talking with bankers and paralegals and so on, and ended up running to the hospital to get a note signed by the doctor that Mom was no longer able to make financial (or, indeed, any) decisions, so that I could get my Power of Attorney recognized by the bank and get the money out of her account so I could continue doing all the things that had to be done.

All well and good, and I made it happen. Problem was, my bank has no branches within twenty miles of Lake Worth. None. And I needed the money pretty much right away. So I decided to set up a checking account there at my Mom's bank, SunTrust. Everyone was very nice, and made all the appropriate noises and made things happen with relatively little hassle (it's amazing how nice people are to you when you tell them your mother is dying). I was able to withdraw the bulk of Mom's checking account, and deposit it into my new account. I ordered checks and a debit card, and got myself set up to do online banking. I got starter checks right away, and was told I'd get a debit card in five to seven business days.

Shortly thereafter, Mom died. Not long after that, I decided I needed to gtfo and I went back to Seattle for a couple weeks, assuming my new debit card would be waiting for me in the mailbox when I got back. I even got my uncle Mike's new wife Diane to check the mail for me a couple of times.

Suffice to say, upon my return I discovered that my debit card had not, in fact, been delivered. Which was not terribly convenient, as I was keeping a good-sized chunk of my living money in there. So I went to the branch and talked to the guy, who'd said that my first card was undeliverable for some reason and ordered me a new one, saying, again, that it would be here in five to seven business days.

Kendal came, and on the sixth business day we went over to the west coast so I could introduce her to some family and show her around New College. By the time we got back, it'd been two full weeks (and 9 business days) since I'd ordered the card. The card I needed, for all the things you need a debit card for. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the card was not in the mail. So I got on the phone.

The first option they offered me was to cancel the card that was presumably still in transit and order a new one, with the attendant five to seven business day waiting period. When I expressed my displeasure at the notion, I was informed that there was an option for expedited two-day shipping from FedEx, but that it would cost me $25.

I waited until I'd been passed up the chain to a 'specialist' before I blew my top. I'll spare you the details, and I did refrain from profanity (difficult though that was), but after I'd made clear my amazement at their incompetence and my willingness to take my business elsewhere, the line went very quiet for a minute (during which time I assume that someone up the chain from the 'specialist' hopped on the line, unheard by me, and authorized her to do the right thing), and the bank agreed to cancel the card in transit and order another, and to eat the expedited shipping cost. That was Thursday, and now, finally, I have received my debit card, so that I can actually spend the money I have deposited in their bank. Calloo callay.

Oh, and the extra hilarious part? The card they cancelled, the one that was already late when I called them and pitched my fit? Got here yesterday in the mail.

Fucking jokers.

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