Bad Advice from My Bank

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?

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9 Responses to Bad Advice from My Bank

  1. Sounds like a good place to send people who can’t read but need jobs.

    And: you went to the bank! Progress!


  2. John Flood says:

    First, for god’s sake don’t let this affect your blood pressure!

    Second, welcome to that part of the world which is now termed “navigating the complexity of modernity”. You’d be surprised–or maybe not–at how many people flounder around in this quagmire….

  3. dr3550 says:

    This story reminds me of the time that I learned that I could be arrested for refusing to get out of line.

  4. wcw says:

    Why don’t you bank with a nice credit union instead?

  5. Garry says:

    You’re probably on a list of potential false cheque cashers now and won’t find out until your mortgage re-negotiation gets a flag on your character check 😉

  6. Joe1 says:

    Get away from citibank NOW.

  7. John Flood says:

    Time for the US to get a Financial Ombudsman Service!

  8. Hayden O'Byrne says:

    I would highly recommend the University Credit Union. It is the most convenient bank to the law school by far. There are hardly any fees. And most importantly, they have excellent service. The branch manager will even give you his direct telephone number so that you can call directly, and he will actually take care of any problems for you immediately.

  9. Janet Stearns says:

    I would like to agree with Hayden that the University Credit Union has exceptional service. I would also like to add that on May 17 (ie, the day after graduation when my summer begins) that I plan to close my account at CItibank. I am tired of the bad service, ever-rising credit card interest rates and thus signing onto the Move My Money campaign. Onward.

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