I went to the bank today to deposit, among other things, a $5 rebate check for a piece of computer gear purchased before my illness. The check said on its front that it was “Not Valid Unless Cashed Before April 28, 2010”. Today is April 27, 2010. The teller refused to accept the check. “It says April 28. I can't accept it before that date. Come back tomorrow.” Of course, had I done so, the check would have been invalid. I protested that the words “not valid unless cashed before” had some relevance here. The teller was adamant: the check couldn't be cashed until tomorrow. I was adamant too: the check would be worthless tomorrow.
I was invited to go sign in at the front desk and cool my heels in some other queue for an indefinite period of time until the manager (“he's busy with someone right now”) might deign to speak with me to resolve the issue. I refused and suggested I would stay put in front of the teller until the manager arrived. The teller went to see her non-manager supervisor. Amazingly, the supervisor agreed the check couldn't be cashed without the branch manager's OK. I stood there. Eventually, the teller found the manager, who never appeared to speak to me, and announced that since it was only $5 they would do me the great favor of taking the check.
Short Citibank now? Or is it a good business model for them to alienate customers who bother them by depositing pesky $5 checks?