JWG (jwg) wrote,

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The risks of banking by mail

I always send in bank deposits by mail. Yesterday there was a phone message from Citizen's bank about my deposit. I don't have an account at Citizens's bank! My bank is Wainwright Bank and Trust, a small bank with a few branches that is extremely Gay and Lesbian friendly and very community oriented. Citizen's does advertise as Not your typical Bank so this would be pretty untypical. They do have pretty amusing ads about their untypicality though.

So I called them this morning and Linda explained that the Post Office had misdirected my mail deposit to their bank - an interesting feat considering that it wasn't my messy handwriting on the envelope. Citizen's then deposited these checks into some apparently mysterious account and subsequently discovered this - presumably there is no account with my Wainwright account number on it in their bank. To rectify it, they issued four replacement checks and are mailing them to me so I can endorse them and deposit them to my bank. They called to explain and verify my address.

At least they took responsibility for fixing the problem. I remember once when my mother mailed her rent check made out to rent company to the cable company and vice versa. The rent company returned the wrong check and the cable company deposited the check. The cable company wouldn't give her the money back and instead happily credited her with several years of cable service. Her bank (Chase Manhattan) wouldn't lift a finger to help out. Eventually with umpteen phone calls some higher up was enlisted to get the cable company to fork over the dough. So much for thinking that it matters who is the payee on a check.

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