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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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Hmm, it's not just by mail. I paid our rent once and the check cleared for an even $1000 less than I had written it for. I was tempted to call the bank, but figured, no, they'll find it eventually, so we'll see just how long it will take them. I think it was 3 months later my monthly statement included some very odd, handwritten slips of paper that, when totalled up, corrected the $1000 mistake. Somehow, they had charged off the $1000 against 2 other accounts in very odd increments (I remember, one of them was like x-hnundred dollars and eighty-three cents). The bank didn't bother computing and deducting the extra few cents in interest I earned.

Got a recording of Current music:Britten - A Ceremony of Carols you would reccommend?

Ceremony of Carols recording

Boston Cecilia, the chorus that Robert sings in and has for ~30 years has a very fine recording on Newport Classics. Ordering info from Boston Cecila. (I wasn't listening to that version at the time of posting because I was listening to the choices of good Christmas music that Richard Knisely was offering on WGBH and he was featuring the Handel and Haydn Society live.

Ask Doris her horror stories about this some time. pinkfish tells me they are legendary.

Indeed; her stories has made Doris become completely cavalier about the payees on checks. She fills them out to anyone she wants, because she knows that nobody ever verifies these things. It really makes you wonder, how anyone ever gets the right money anywhere, ever.

The other day I was thinking of how backwards I am for depositing all my checks in-person.

This makes me feel better.

I have also had a check -amount- changed by the utility company when I was in NJ, PSE&G or something. They merrily deposited my check for the additional $0.60 or whatever amt was actually on the statement. And was legible.

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