Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stupid Bank Tricks

In August 2008, Jim and I had money from the sale of the North Carolina house. Fifth Third Bank had a decent 37 month CD rate; we bought two CDs so the money would have somewhere to live. At the time I was very clear with our banker that we were not locals and would be leaving the area very soon. No problem, redemption can be handled through the mail she says. The CDs mature 9/5.
Today, I called them to ask if they would prefer to deposit to my Fifth Third checking account or do a wire transfer to my credit union, as I was about to draft my letter of intention to them, regarding what I wanted done with the proceeds. No, I am told, I must come in to a branch in person to sign the money out of the CD into the checking account. Their western most branch is in Chicago. We discussed it for awhile, I asked him if this passed the test of reasonableness, he allowed as how it really did not, but I would have to fly somewhere to sign the damn paper because that's their policy. At this point I asked for a supervisor to call me and hung up. I was so angry I was just vibrating.
Now comes the beauty of the internet. I read a Wikipedia article about the bank, and got the name of the Chief Operating Officer. Then I googled his name, and found a Fifth Third press release about his being named to the COO position. I called the name at the bottom of the press release and asked what the process was to escalate a problem with one of their branches. She gave me the phone number for the Office of the President, which I called. A very nice young man answered the phone, took my info and said he'd be in touch. The NC branch called 30 minutes later to tell me they would be pleased to accept a notarized letter stating how I wanted the funds disbursed. Why, I ask you, why must people make things so difficult? Have they not heard of online banking in NC?
So, that was most of today. Afterwards we did a strenuous uphill walk and worked out our remaining agitation by seeing who would crack first on the hill.

We harvested basil and made red sauce for dinner. I love basil, it smells so good.

Summer is back! Woot!

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