Monday, August 31, 2009

My longsuffering hubby!

I just had to write and share what just happened to my poor hubby. After a 14-hour day today (leaving here at 4:00 AM and going straight to the job in Delaware), Jerry stopped at the ATM in Rehoboth to take money out of his business account and deposit it into our personal account for a payment that was automatically set to come out tomorrow. Let me start by stating that there is only one Bank of America ATM in all of Delaware. Anyway, he withdrew cash from his business account and then went to immediately put it into the other account.

The ATM came up with a message that it couldn't accept some of his cash. This was the cash that he had just gotten out of the ATM! He tried several times. He has had problems with this machine before but this time it was really being stubborn. I was on his truck phone with him the entire time. We would talk for a while and then he'd try the machine again. Finally, while we were still talking, I connected with Bank of America customer service online to try to get some help. Jerry stayed in the parking lot where the ATM was in case they could somehow help.

After waiting forever, I finally got a customer service representative who was, well, nicely put, incompetent. The messages typed back and forth went something like this:
Bank of America (BOA): How can I help you?

Me: My husband is out of state and trying to make a deposit at an ATM to cover a payment that will be automatically withdrawn from our personal account at midnight tonight. The ATM will not accept the cash deposit. Any suggestions?

BOA: (After a LONG wait for a response) You should not use non-Bank of America ATM's when out of the United States. You will need to use wire transfer when out of the country. (I am NOT making this up - this was the conversation).

Me: I didn't say he was out of the country; he is in Delaware and our accounts are in Maryland, and it is a Bank of America ATM!

BOA: What is your card number and I will look the transaction up for you.

Me: Card number? There was no transaction. The machine won't let him deposit cash to cover a payment that is coming out at midnight, and it's the only ATM in Delaware.

BOA: I need your card number to find out exactly why your transaction was denied.

Me: I don't think you understand - there WAS no transaction!

BOA: I will get my manager.

BOA manager: (After an interminable wait) Thank you for notifying us about the malfunctioning ATM machine at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We will try to have it fixed as soon as possible. Thank you for banking with Bank of America.

I did not make ANY of that up. That was the conversation. *Sigh*

Since I had been reading the responses the whole time to Jerry since we were still connected via his truck phone, I had gotten nearly to the end of that lopsided online conversation when he decided to call customer service from his cell phone. Finally, after a long wait and being transferred once, they took care of everything for us. They linked our business and personal accounts online (which they normally don't do) so that we could transfer money from account to account whenever we needed to and Jerry wouldn't have to stop at the ONLY ATM in the state to make these transfers anymore. So, finally, two hours later the problem got resolved. Breathing a heavy sigh of relief, Jerry left to go back to the trailer and get a good night's sleep.

Shortly after he left the parking lot we were talking about everything that had just happened when he said, "What the.........? What did I do?" He said a policeman was pulling him over. Then when he pulled over, he said a backup arrived. One police officer walked up to his driver side and the backup walked up to his passenger side, both shining flashlights into his truck. Since I was still on the truck phone, I heard the entire conversation. Turns out that several people had called and reported a suspicious person lurking at the ATM and in the shopping center parking lot for a couple of hours. When Jerry opened his glove box to get his registration out, the backup officer on the passenger side seemed awfully interested in shining his flashlight in the glove box - Jerry informed him that what he was looking at was Red Yeast Rice - an herbal cholesterol lowering medicine that I make him take! Jerry explained what had happened at the ATM and after checking his tags and license and such, they apologized and said that they had to follow up on it because they had gotten so many phone calls, wished him a good night and left. Has this guy had a bad evening or what?!

So, my poor hubby is an exhausted man, somewhat humiliated by being pulled over not only by one, but two police officers on Route 1, the main thoroughfare in Rehoboth Beach. All for trying to make a deposit at an ATM. Let this be a lesson to any readers - make your necessary deposits far ahead of schedule, don't linger in parking lots too long, and keep your Red Yeast Rice in plain view at all times!

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