Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bank’s Mistake: Your Problem

© 2008 Stan Spire

Computer error

No such thing.

Computers don’t make mistakes. Humans do. Computers are human designed, human built, human programmed, and human operated. All that humanity means a computer doesn’t err on its own.

So how did the bank explain the discrepancy in my checking account? So-called computer error.

It’s a good thing that I kept a paper trail, i.e., my ATM receipts. I was reviewing them when I noticed that my balance had roller-coastered from high to low. I was worried a check for my rent hadn’t cleared yet; it was going to bounce. I had taken out a fair amount of cash, assuming that there was enough in my account.

So I visited the bank the next day, requesting a print out for the last two weeks. I compared the print out with my ATM slips. It didn’t match; no record of the roller coaster ride.

A clerk explained there had been a “computer error” that had done some doubling to everyone’s account. My ATM slips showed that the mistake hadn’t been fixed for a few days.

Luckily my rent check had already been processed and there was enough money in my account.

And if my check had bounced? Well, the bank apparently isn’t responsible for “computer errors.” I’m supposed to watch over my account down to the last penny, 24/7.

The bank clerk advised me that I didn’t need my ATM receipts; I should throw them out.

Fat chance. I made sure to safely file them in case any more human error committed with a bank computer happens again.

Never destroy a paper trail.

Especially if you have limited means like yours truly. Then they’ll really screw ya.

Banking is the root of all evil.

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