Okay, so this has nothing to do with IT Conversations or perhaps anything else that interests you, but maybe blogging it will at least make me feel better. 🙂
I’ve got an account with E*Trade bank, and I send deposits in by mail. I just noticed that none of the deposits I’ve sent in since late December 2004 have been credited, and I also just figured out why. They give you these postage-paid deposit envelopes that fit into the box of checks. The problem is, if you put a check and deposit slip into the envelope and fold it where it’s creased, the flap covers the postal address. Turns out, you’re expected to re-fold the envelope at a different point so the flap is shorter. Since it’s a pre-paid envelope, I never bothered to notice that the address isn’t visible. There’s all sorts of stuff on the envelope, and at first glance all looks well. (When I showed it to my wife, I had to point out the problem.)
Tomorrow I’ll try to get the sources to stop payment and re-issue the checks. That should be straightforward unless something else went wrong. I have no idea why the post office hasn’t found at least one envelope and opened it up. The checks have my address as well as the sources’. And there’s a deposit slip with E*Trade Bank’s address, too.
But here’s the stinker: It turns out that E*Trade Bank has known about this problem for some time. I’m not the first one to complain! So I asked the poor service rep why the bank hadn’t sent out a recall notice to eveyone who received these bogus envelopes? Of course, it wasn’t his decision, so he could only play dumb. He said that I wouldn’t be docked for any stop-payment charges (than you very much), but I asked, “What about the interest?” These are fairly large checks.
Since they knew about the problem and know (or should know) who received these bogus envelopes, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t inform their customers ASAP. Customer-relations 101 teaches you that one. Strange management style, I guess. It’s particularly strange since they need to convince customers that it’s safe to do business by mail instead of going to a local branch of a traditional bank and getting a receipt for the deposit. I think I’m now in that cateogry. These guys are going to have to work hard to keep my business.
If you’ve got an E*Trade Bank account, check those envelopes and you’ll see what I’m talking about.