I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.
After we were married, Huzzy and I combined bank accounts. It’s been a pain in the you-know-what switching all my stuff to another account. To top it off, there are some places that are giving me heck about changing my last name. For example, my mortgage company wants me to not only a fax a copy of my marriage certificate but also a copy of my homeowner’s insurance that has my new name on it.
Now I understand about making sure it’s really me who is requesting the name change, but I really don’t like giving copies of my marriage certificate. It has a lot of identifying information on it, including my mom’s maiden name, my dad’s middle name and my place of birth… all are questions that are asked a lot as “security features.” I don’t like that getting out. It’s been a real hassle doing all of this and while my name is one thing on the bank accounts and another on bills, it makes for sometimes a tough time just to pay my bills.
Now, to what my post is about. Money issues.
I am realizing that other military spouses are correct when they say that if something is going to go wrong, it will just after your spouse leaves or deploys. It’s certainly true here. So far, I’ve had problems with both Wal-Mart (oh Wal-Mart… I find you evil in your ways but oh-so unable to resist when the budget is tighter than Scrooge’s pursestrings) and my mortgage company.
Wal-Mart: Lower Prices because we like to charge you twice!
Let’s start with Wal-Mart first, ’cause that’s easier. I made about three weeks of grocery purchases at Wal-Mart on Sunday. I wanted to get some cash back to pay my lawn guy (yes, I have a lawn guy but only because he mows AND picks up a week of poo from 3 dogs for only $20) so I used my new Navy Federal debit card. It automatically went credit and I asked the cashier about it. So they voided the transaction and re-rang the items. She pushed debit before I swiped my card this time, but nope, it wouldn’t work! So credit it was. *side note: I called Navy Fed and they have an agreement with Visa to only have their cards used as credit… no cash back for me unless I’m at an ATM. That stinks! But there is ANOTHER card I can get that will get cash back and some limited places. <insert eye roll>
So I checked my account the next day and sure enough, two charges for WalMart for exactly $91.83. They were both pending so I figured one would fall off when they actually went to post. Nope. Yesterday they were both actually posted. So I took a trip to the evil store and they went throught their transactions and showed me that it was indeed voided but that it might take a few days for it to be re-imbursed to my account. So if I don’t have it put back by tomorrow, I get to make another trip there and “they’ll work on it.” Lovely. I have had enough of companies having my money and “working” on getting it back to me/credited. That’s where my next story comes into play.
U.S. Bank: Five Star Service Guaranteed… unless we made an error
I paid half my mortgage back on the 4th of this month through my bank’s web bill pay. I then paid the second half of the mortgage the other week over my mortgage company’s over-the-phone pay. My mortgage company is U.S. Bank Home Mortgage. They bought my mortgage several years ago from a bank who had purchased it from the local bank I had gone through to get the mortgage.
U.S. Bank is now saying that they didn’t receive the payment I made on the 4th. It is clearly debited from my checking account and clearly says it was an ACH (Automatic Clearing House–basically sent electronically… no check) payment made to U.S. Bank Corp. When I call to inquire why my payment isn’t showing on my mortgage account, they accuse me of not making the payment. Um, no… I did. I’m looking at my bank statement right here. I have talked to several people and none of them have been very nice (until one today… but I’ll get to that) and one was particularly nasty and rude so much that I hung up on her. I NEVER hang up on people. I may ask to speak to their manager but I never hang up.
So U.S. Bank in all their suckiness tells me that they don’t believe I paid and that is my responsibility to PROVE that they have the money. Hi… you have my money and now I have to prove you have it? Not only that but the person I talked to said that while she didn’t believe that I paid the money, they’d look into it if I could send them something from my bank stating the fact that it was sent. Then they’d “look into it.” I asked about being reported to the credit bureaus and she said if the mortgage is 30 days late, they will. That’s next week. And when I pointed that out, she said, “yeah, it is next week… I can’t help you if they report it because we don’t have it.” GRRRR… but you DO have it.
Luckily I have a very nice local credit union (I love my credit union… it’s so much better than a bank that is out to make as much money off of you as they can) that looked into my account and verified that yes, it was debited from your account and it was paid. They even wrote up a letter and attached a business card for the mortgage company to call them if they needed to verify.
I called today to get the fax number of where I could send my “proof.” The customer service person I talked to said she couldn’t help me but would transfer me to the department that could. She also gave me a 800 number to call the department directly. So she transferred me and I immediately heard, “We’re sorry, we can’t help you right now. Please call back another time.”
Getting extremely irritated, I called the 800 number she gave me and got a different message, “We’re sorry, our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time. We are unable to answer your call right now. Please leave a message and your phone number and we’ll direct your message to the proper department and they will get back to you.” First… um, no, I’m not leaving a message. I want this taken care of NOW. Second, it was 11:30 a.m. EST… which is 10:30 CST… you should be open right now.
So I called the original customer service number back (which of course you have to go through no less than four automated directories to get to) and finally got a great customer service rep. Until I got her, I was going to say I completely hated U.S. Bank. After speaking to Linda, I have decided that I’m only pissed at them… but Linda is totally cool in my book.
After listening to my story, Linda told me, “Well, what probably happened is they accidently typed in the wrong account number and it was applied somewhere else.” Thank you, Linda, for acknowledging that I probably did make my payment and *gasp* U.S. Bank might have made an error. She went on to say that instead of transferring me to the department to get their fax number, I could send the fax directly to her and she’d make sure it got to the right department. She also notated in my account that I was sending a dispute and that the bank would “take that into consideration” before reporting to the credit bureaus. Beyond that, she said that as soon as she got the paperwork, she’d open a “research request” and that they usually got the research done in 24-48 hours after opening it.
Thank you, Linda, for easing my frustrations with U.S. Bank. But U.S. Bank… you still suck big hairy monkey balls. Everyone except Linda, that is. I like her.