My gosh, it’s almost July, I’ve got an old promotion front and center on my blog, and I’ve had a terrible week. Do you ever have weeks like that? Last week at this time, we were diving in sunny Bonaire, a small island just north of Venezuela. We left with money in the bank and a smile on our faces just to be getting away. We dove in the 80+ Fahrenheit water, made our own lazy schedule each day and had loads of fun. I guess someone had it in for us on our return.
When we got home, both of our bank accounts had been wiped out due to other people’s mistakes. One was an error by Bank of America, the card issuer for our Alaska Airlines credit card. They decided to take out not only the scheduled payment but also a repeat payment of the amount I scheduled last month. Hence, we were double charged. We called them right away and were told by each of the 6 departments we were punted to that it would be handled, the money would be put back, yes, yes, yes. At first we were told it would be 5 – 7 days, then we got it down to 3 – 5 days, then we got it down to 2 days. 5 days later, nothing had arrived. We called again and were told that no one on Monday had told us the correct story and that the process hadn’t even begun until Weds. When we told them we didn’t have any money, and we wanted OUR money back ASAP, we were told it should be in our account already.
We said it wasn’t.
They said it should be in there tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Saturday, we responded.
They said, well, it takes 3 – 5 days after it has been released by the bank. They also said your bank just can’t see it.
We called our bank and they said if it was in there, we would see it.
BofA said they were wrong. We promised them we would take this wherever we needed to take it to get results. We are tenacious.
Another error happened when our former bookkeeper logged into the IRS payment account, made up a large amount to take out of our account – just made it up, mind you, she did not have the Quickbooks file in her possession, nor did she contact us to see why she did not have the file – she just took it upon herself to schedule a late payment, not noticing that a payment had already been scheduled and made. Another bank account double billed and wiped out. Her ass has been fired. The company that she works for refused to take any responsibility for the error, as usual. They always have assumed that it is our fault when mistakes are made. I should have fired them long ago.
We will get all of our money back. Every last dime. But the thing that infuriates me is that this is OUR money. Ours. It is not BofA’s money, it is not the IRS money, it is not the saving account’s money – you know, the one that takes 2 business days to process a request – what has happened to our world, people? We have dealt with nothing but bureaucracy this week. Endless hours on the phone with banks full of non-customer service. We believe at this point that they just kept making up stories to get us off the phone. SOMEONE could have done something. But that someone would have had to care, first.
Have we become a heartless society? Does big business really have the right to hold onto our money? Do the people who answer the phone really have no power to find us a solution? I’m starting to long for a mattress to shove our hard earned wages under. It really makes me think.
I rarely spend this much time in this big of a gloom. The good news is that we’re going to get through it, one step at a time, together. I am grateful for the together part. Another piece of good news is that there is a department within the IRS who cares. Called the “hardship” department, their job is to determine if the money that they took really is your money, and if so, they can get it back to you. Who knew? In any case, I hope your week has been better than mine. I’ll be back in good, saucy cheer before you know it. In the meantime, check your bank statements, everyone. Make sure that what is yours is still yours. If the bank made a big mistake, I wish you the best. May your voice be strong and your tenaciousness be tenacious in getting results.