Another bank snafoo. I wrote a check, got an invoice from the supplier with the check number on it, the item was sent to me and : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

alas, the check did not show up on my monthly bank statement so I was not charged for a check that has obviously cleared and has been paid to the supplier. I looked some more and saw that the automatic monthly deduction for my internet service provider also was not charged to the account. This is the first time this has ever happened to me and it is one of the large National Banks with numerous branches. The dilemma is do I tell them?

-- Tom (amazed@cash.ahead), April 16, 1999


ummm... be honest.


-- tim daniels (, April 16, 1999.

My son deposited $500. worth of cheques via the ATM. The deposit has not shown up in his account. The Bank says it can't find the cheques!

Fortunately they were cheques, not cash. Since he got his debit card in September, nine times the bank has charged him NSF charges, even though the funds were available. Once it was 3 times in one day! Each time, the bank has reversed the charge after a phone call. The last two times, the bank had reversed the charges before he even knew about them.

At this same bank, I happened to be in the lobby on the day after the deposit was made although I didn't know yet that there was a problem. An elderly man was in the bank making quite a fuss.....I don't know exactly what his problem was, but the Customer Service Rep was trying to calm him down. Just then, a repairman came out and said the ATM was "fixed".....


-- Sheila (, April 16, 1999.

I wrote a check for a mail drop. When the check never cleared, I went to the mail drop to ask about it. They had my account 'paid in full' and said that the check HAD cleared.

ummm....I thought I would tell the bank, and until now I forgot about it. This happened last October (for the first time in my life).

-- shy ann (shy@really.shy), April 16, 1999.

'Bounced' a check at Sams Club. Plenty of money in account, I found out when I got bounce slip from bank. Called Sams, they said no problems, check cleared. Bounce fee was $25, check was over $300...... never showed cleared from my account.

This was a few months ago.

Now what do I do.... I want to be honest, but I hate letting the bank get away with making me figure out their mistake on my time and at my expense. I know them, they'll screw us given half a chance.

-- art welling (, April 16, 1999.

A man's character is revealed in what he does when no one is looking.

Does that help anyone decide whether to be honest or not?



-- pamela (, April 16, 1999.

PAMelA IS 100%!!!!!!! THe faCT ThaT You aRE UNsurE ABouT WHetheR Or noT TO be honESt iS TEllinG, is iT NOt?????? jaCKaL!!!!! ENouGH evIL DEviLS aS YOu wHO CannOT Be uPSTANdiNG WIthoUT GUidanCE WiLL End uS For gOoD, IS That NOt so???????

-- Dieter (, April 16, 1999.

PS, Not To pICK ON YoU But........ S(ITuatIoN) N(orMAl) A(LL) F(@#ED) U(p) is riGHt fOR SNAFU!!!!!!

-- Dieter (, April 17, 1999.

I cannot believe that I am reading this.

Do you folks really mean to state, in public no less, that you would foul and stain your family name by being less than honest in this matter and righting the errors and oversights in each instance?

Does your personal honor mean so little to you that you would tarnish it over such a trivial thing as a few dollars?

How could you even try to teach your children honesty or morals, or even attempt to instill into them the values that either your family has failed you in, or you, quite obviously, have forgotten?

It is for the lack of these qualities, and that lack is indeed very pervasive in our modern society, that we all must now fear and mistrust our neighbors.

Take a look in your mirror. What does that person have to say about you?

A man's character is revealed by that which he does when no one else is watching.

The answer to your question? Without reservation, without any hesitations, must always be... Return the money to it's rightful owner. Correct the transactions and make whole the party who has both the moral, and the legal, right to the money.


-- sweetolebob (, April 17, 1999.

Hmm, are these things happening to everyone?

I moved 6 months ago, and had to cancel my phone service (because they didn't cover my new location).

They stopped the service, but every month they sent me a bill with the basic charges on it. Every month I called about the bill, and they acknowledged when service was stopped and promised to clear up the glitch. Finally I got a little angry (not at the help operator, at the situation) and asked to speak to a supervisor. They promised my account would certainly be closed and all phantom charges cleared out.

Last week I received a check for almost $600 to reimburse me for the charges. Only I hadn't paid them anything. The company is now trying to figure out what I should do with the check. (I KNOW that if the check isn't cashed or returned to them, my account has to stay open, with more phone calls month after month).

-- Dean -- from (almost) Duh Moines (, April 17, 1999.

I seem to recall that when the bank makes an error in their favor they respond with "Count your change before you leave the counter."

-- Patricia (, April 17, 1999.


You're my buddy. And I admire your honesty and morality. I also agree entirely with every word you've posted above.

But do you understand the irony of us, as individuals, being constrained by personal moral standards while corporations (legal individuals) are not? They rarely admit even the most egregious error. And they frequently resist, even at the expense of further legal maneuvering, any restitution they may be legally (not to mention morally) bound to make.

Sort of like David, with one hand tied behind his back, taking the field against Goliath.


"The Corporation is an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."---Ambrose Pierce

-- Hallyx (, April 17, 1999.

For me the bottom line is the hassle. This kind of continual screw ups in banking, billings, etc., will be the thing that causes RAGE!! I can handle most of y2k but I can't handle constant paper screw ups. Therefore I have deleted everything I bank acc'ts, stocks, credit cards, etc. Everything is converted to cash dealings. It makes life so much simpler except the bank clerks have a stroke every time I take hubby's pay check in and tell them I want $5,10 and 20s and don't deposit anything.

-- Taz (, April 17, 1999.


Normally I would agree with you to the ENth degree...


I have been there and done that. If I force the bank to notice their error they will debit my account the check AND the bounce fee, and then require me to PROVE the check did not bounce. That will cost me hours from work and countless hours on the phone trying to get a statement from Sam's Club that the check was honored. In the end their goal is to hang on to every dollar as long as possible.

Moral headache...... You see the guy who robbed you last week drop his wallet on the street today. You pick up the wallet.... what do you do? You already know the police don't want to hear your tale cause the guy is the chiefs brother in law.

Huh? What do you do?

-- Art Welling (, April 17, 1999.

Glad to see you're all awake this morning. Moral questions, hmmmmmm

Aside from the wisdom of getting out of all such entangling tussles with the SNAFU's computers of JIT bureaucracies on their way out, what should one do about an overpayment, underpayment, overcharge, underwhatever......?

I say bill 'em, bill the hell out of 'em.

Two years it took me two years to get AT&T to stop billing my business' phone account about $200-$1000 a month for some guy's international credit card calls. We'd never had AT&T for LD or any service, but ol' Emilio's calls to Western Samoa and everywhere else showed up right on time. After a year, we got the local phone provider convinced and we were told to just call every month and they'd reverse it. Another year to get it to stop altogether.

$75 per hour, that's my billing rate. (Maybe I'll raise it for y2k -- sort of an overtime deal?) I should have fired off a billing and collection action letter from the first bill, but I was young and naive (still am).

Maybe a standard "y2k engagement" letter to all your financial interacting entities, telling them you will not work at correcting their mistakes for free, and will bill them accordingly for their time. By certified mail, return receipt requested. "Non-response within 30 days shall constitute acceptance of this agreement. Sums may be billed, OR deducted from other amounts due the (bank/credit card/utility)"

Maybe not your credit cards, or they might choose to cancel you. But your banks -- I mean, you're THEIR creditor -- why are they the only ones setting the rules?

Anyway, I assume most of us will be mostly out of banks before much longer, but the transaction costs for fixing even their small mistakes on your remaining checking account ought to be accounted for and paid for by them.

-- jor-el (, April 17, 1999.

Remember the introduction to The Peter Principle? The author (Peter) moved, and couldn't get a magazine subscription sent to his new residence, it kept going to his old one. Multiple phone calls ended with assurances that this would be fixed. It wasn't. He went to the magazine's offices in person and *watched* while they changed his delivery address. No dice, same problem.

Peter starting writing the book when he learned that the person who'd moved into his prior residence (and was getting his magazine) had himself moved on. And the magazine subscription was duly changed to follow the *other person* to *his* new address!

What Peter described, and what those in this thread are describing, is what I expect life to be like in a year. Get used to it. Normal processing that we've all taken for granted is going to start getting folded, spindled and mutilated.

-- Flint (, April 17, 1999.

Ms. Hallyx;

Firstly, I would say Thank You for the compliment that you have given to me. To be considered as a "buddy" of yours is indeed both high praise and a distinct honor. I shall cherish that always.

As to the irony of this, yes, I can see it. I can understand that a corporation, which is, as you state, an entity of it's own right, or legal person', does indeed, for the most part, hold itself to a lesser standard than that which I use in the conduct of my affairs.

This is not fair in any sense of that word, however, very few things in life are fair to all of the parties to it. I note also your use of the word "rarely". This then implies that they are the exceptions to the norm does it not?

As an aside, I had the privilege of working for a large corporation, for almost 22 years, who held themselves, and their employees worldwide, to this higher moral standard of ethics. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a corporation. There are still some business' out there who hold to the higher plane.

That doesn't mean that we as individuals should lower ourselves to meet the standards of those lesser corporate entities.

We as individuals have to continue to maintain, or strive to attain, that higher moral plane with the sure and certain belief that they will rise to meet us, rather than our sinking to meet their level. If enough of us practice those higher standards they too could become the accepted norm, as once it was so.

We as humans tend to mimic the actions of those whom we admire, or hold in high esteem. To bask in the reflected glow as it were. Granted that at this late date there are altogether too few of them available to us.

This we must change. One step at a time if need be. But change it we must.

Corporations, or any multi-faceted entity or group, are simply the sum of their individual parts, and as such can be aligned to the thoughts and mores of the majority of the body public.

To do anything less can only lead to the eventuality of the lower standard becoming the accepted societal normal for us all, and then, by default, we can only sink further downward from that new plateau as this would be the path of the lesser resistance. It is this acceptance, to a large degree, which is affecting (infecting) our society today.

Irrespective of the frustration and inconvenience involved in righting the matter I still say that we simply have to continue to do so. A persons honor, or word, is the bedrock of the little bit of civilization that we have.

In spite of it's apparent lack today it is still the only "glue" that allows us to conduct the intercourse of our daily affairs in relative safety from each other.

It is the trust that we must have, or society is indeed lost to us all.

It is, by implication alone, the basis for your belief in "money" for example, or for your use of a credit card. All commerce is based on the premise that you will pay.

In other words, that you will honor your word.

The more of this "glue" that we lose the more we must surrender the control of our lives to the lawyers and to the costs, both financial and societal, attendant thereto, and to the ever increasing criminal elements which we will spawn by our lack of moral fiber and by our conduct.

In the final analysis, the honor of all of those people who labored so hard for so long, in all of the generations before you, to give you your family name rests solely on you.

To dishonor it is to show disdain for all of them and all that they did before you. For good or for ill, it is both your burden to bear and your privilege to have and to carry.

No one except you can tarnish it.

It is also the most precious and enduring legacy that you will in turn leave for all future generations of your family. Guard it well and allow them to cherish it as it once was cherished by your father, and his father before him, back through all of the annals of recorded time.

Even with only the one hand I do believe that I would have to bet on David in the final analysis. Of course there is also that "tilting at windmills" thing too.

Thank you once again for your most insightful and enlightening quotes. This one is of course very appropriate to the issues in discussion.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Welling;

Sir, I can understand what you say. I know from personal experience just exactly what you mean. I had the "pleasure" of returning 2 checks ($1000 total) to a Savings and Loan where I had my checking (NOW) account.

It took me about four hours of my time spread out over two days, involving two statement periods, but in the end I did get it done. They were grateful in that they simply said thank you. That was more reward than I wanted anyway. There were no fees involved but I feel certain that they would have been waived in any event.

I would like to think so anyway.

Even at the cost to you of the time, and even of the $25 should that come to be, I still feel that you should right the oversight.

Personal opinion only.

I believe that you are a business person.

Look at this from the other side of the thing. Are you not guilty of theft of property if you don't correct the matter?

Is there really any basic difference between your lack of action and the blatant theft so common today?

Would you not want someone to come forth and right the wrong were it to your favor?

Right is right regardless of which issue is in contention, or of the position that you hold. Regardless of all other factors, for the moment, this is still just a simple mistake.

A mistake can never become an error unless you refuse to correct it.

We all make mistakes. There is absolutly no excuse for an error.

As for your "moral dilemma" as stated above.

Without question Sir, I would return the wallet to that criminal. I would have no other choice but to do so. To do any but that would make me no better than the criminal, differing solely in the method involved in commiting the theft.

Two wrongs do not cancel themselves out.

Lest you, or anyone else for that matter, assume that I am one of those sanctimonious holier than thou types who practice hypocrisy for a living, let me assure you, one and all, that I really don't give a happy rat's *ss what you do, or don't do, in this matter, or in any other facet of your life.

I am just stating my beliefs in regards to the matter, and how I would conduct myself in this situation, and have, in fact, done so in the past.

You will do as you will do and I know that I can sleep with that knowledge, and my actions.

Can you say the same? Really?

Way down deep inside of yourself you know what's right. You and I both know that Sir.

I subscribe to the observed certainty that "No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished and that The Punishment Received is Directly proportional to the Greatness of the Deed".

Still, however, I continue on, set in my simple little ways. Yes, I know that I'm dumb as a rock and a glutton for punishment. That's just my life in "Late 20th Century America".

I kind of suspect that I was born in the wrong time. I guess I should have been around back in the late 18th century, or the early 19th at the latest. But, then again, there is that upcoming Y2k thingy...

What the h*ll, maybe Infomagic is right. Maybe all we need do is just continue on as we are now. But, I digress. That subject is for another day.


-- sweetolebob (, April 17, 1999.

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