Yeah, sure I can.
But first, HEY! Welcome to MONDAY!
Every now and again, because the New London Hall shows up first in every single web search, I field a lot…I mean A LOT of phone calls I shouldn’t even be dealing with but I do it. I deal with…um…stuff…for Local 43, Local 210, the Yalesville Hall of Local 24 and even for Fisher’s Island. That last is not in our jurisdiction it is definitely in NEW YORK but…who cares?
So today I’m going along, doing my thing, minding my own business at work when I get a phone call. Some Member’s wife needs HELP!
She tells me how she needs me to stop payments from her bank (of course she doesn’t give me her name, her husband’s name, a Union ID#…nothing). She says they’ve switched accounts and the old one is no longer valid.
I tell her she needs to set us up as a payee with her ‘new’ bank.
Yes, but how does she stop the OLD ones?
(Ahhhh….don’t pay us anymore through that account?)
Then, after a few moments I realize she has no clue whatsoever of how Online Banking actually works.
Ok, look, for the overwhelming most part what actually happens when you pay someone online through your bank is your bank cuts a paper check and sends it to the payee via US Post. You know, just like you would do if you actually wrote a check and threw it in the mail. Same process.
It took me about 4 minutes to get her to understand that and to understand that we can’t ‘stop’ said checks from coming to us. The best I can do is put a note on the account not to cash the check and to return it to the Member. That’s it. Why? Because we never signed any type of “Authorized Withdrawal” form. So all payments to us are between YOU and your BANK. We have nothing to do with it.
In the end, I told her, that whatever problem she was having she needed to get in touch with her bank and resolve it. If we’re set up for ‘automatic payments’ just uncheck that box.
Frustrated she huffed at me and said: “Fine!”
Less than ten minutes later she called back. She’s on BANK OF AMERICA’S website and there’s NO WAY to contact them! She keeps clicking the ‘contact us’ link and NOTHING IS HAPPENING! Therefore, I should be the one to straighten this out for her!
OK, dipstick. First and foremost, the only one who has any authority where your bank account is concerned is, oh yeah, YOU and whomever you may be ‘joint’ with on the account. It’s certainly not ME. I try to explain that to her but she isn’t having it.
“NO! YOU have to do it! When I click the link NOTHING happens! There’s no email, no phone number, NOTHING. Obviously, you have to do it from your end.”
(Take a deep breath)
“There’s nothing I can about Bank of America’s website….”
“Yes you can! I know you do the website for Local 24!”
(True. I do. But.)
“Yes, for Local 24. I don’t have access to every website in the world.”
“I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do about this. You have to straighten the problem out with your bank.”
That’s when I learned she was trying to stop payments from the checking account and assign them to the savings account.
Yeah, that’s never going to happen. Why? Because it’s a frigging SAVINGS ACCOUNT!
She’s all huffy with me: “Well then, I don’t know what to do!”
Keeping calm: “Have you tried calling your local branch?”
Dead silence again.
“If you haven’t then maybe you want to do that.”
I just hung my head in my hands and thanked all of the Gods she didn’t call back before I left for the day.
Before anyone out there starts thinking she must have been ‘some millennial’ think again: A Millennial would know how to do this, they would know what was happening, and they would know how to resolve it.
Chances are the clueless woman was at least my age.
What a freakin’ bummer.