Some thoughts on what happens when you bounce a check. In today’s world, and I’m sure most of you don’t, I haven’t bounced a check in twenty, twenty five years. So when a check of mine was returned for insufficient funds, as they say, due to a bank error, I was acting actually on Wells Fargo’s instructions and they just today apologized and said they were in error. But when it initially happened, I went to I think it was TransUnion Consumer Reporting Agency and put a note in my file explaining that I was acting upon the advice, acting upon the direction of Wells Fargo in regard to this matter and that that investigation was starting.
What’s happened now, which is. Fascinating. Oh, backing up a little bit when the check bounced, I told the a number of people in the following calls that went on that I was really concerned about this bounce check impacting my credit report. And I was told flat out that it wasn’t going to be a concern, that it didn’t get reported to the credit reporting bureaus, which I found incredible, because today they must get. They must get everything on you.
And so if you bounce a check like that, it would have to get it. But you can’t see credit reports in real time. You have to request right now I’m requesting a consumer report will take at least two weeks to get back to see what’s actually on the record. But, yeah, they actually told me it didn’t go on my credit report. The only thing I think I remember that doesn’t as if, say, you fail to pay a utility bill and that doesn’t get put in your credit report as it just doesn’t get reported.
But I’m not sure. I’ve never I haven’t bounced a check in two decades. But it does turn out that and I was only aware of three the big three Experian Trans Union, who else? Equifax, as far as consumer reporting agencies. But it turns out, in fact, Wells Fargo sure does report, but they report to a group called the Early Warning Services. Whom I had never heard about, apparently early warning services E.W. s is A is used by the seven largest banks in the country and they get a notification the day after an account where total fees or charges on a bounced check are over 100 dollars.
So now I am requesting a report from them. Again, I’m probably going to be sent to the mail to find out what’s on the record with me, because and now this gets really strange when I go to look at the my account online, there’s no longer any record of the initial insufficient funds report. That is the bounced check when it hit. There’s no. Record of the fee, the thirty five dollars that I was charged for bouncing this check and there is no showing of the credit that I got yesterday, I got that credit it back to me because of this bank error.
So. There’s no there’s no nothing online that I can point to. It’s it’s a it’s as if the entire incident never happened, it’s gone, which is great from my standpoint, but surely for accounting purposes, Wells has. A complete documentation of the whole event, and in fact, I can reconstruct it through email notifications and doing it manually, but there’s nothing there on the screen. So what a consumer rep with Wells Fargo and I talk, we’re not going to be on the same page.
They’re probably going to be looking at a different screen than I am because all this information is gone. And so without so now I need to know who else does. I’ve got to. File for these Consumer Reports in this early warning services, which I’ve never heard of. To see what Wells actually reported to them. It’s. A nightmare, everything you would think in banking documentation is the most important thing, and yet it isn’t. And the people answering the phone are not your traditional bankers.
They are just run of the mill customer service people that are obviously being timed. They want to get you off the phone. I know they’re getting scored as far as how little time they spend with each person. I think they’re getting score too on if they consent, if they could settle the matter at their level and they are all being recorded. They are so hesitant to talk and they’re bluffing their way through on matters they’re not familiar with and they’re not looking at bank policy at any time.
Nobody I talked to was ever looking at bank policy and quoting me something word by word. Instead, it was something my training or I recall. It was so imprecise and vague and fuzzy. And of course, I think I mentioned in my earlier post about Wells is that this woman who is the top tier troubleshooter for Wells, she. Sent me an email defending Well’s position and providing a policy, a policy statement to back that up, but when you read the policy statement, it contradicts her position.
Here’s what that Astrid C. person writes. Note how she doesn’t refer to a stale check. She’s not on point with my case.
It contradicts Wells. I’ve never seen anything like that. And she really didn’t have an answer for it other than to say that the wording was hazy, which it wasn’t. It was very clear. And so somehow the people at Wells are authorized to say one thing on the phone, even when their own policy, their written policy is different. It just can’t be. I wish I didn’t have so much of my financial life tied up with wells, otherwise I would just move off of them.
[Do you see what’s going on here? Wells isn’t saying they must pay a check, they say they may. Wells, in other words, has the discretion to refuse a stale check or one of those other types. Their call. They could have returned the check as stale as a courtesy to a 25 year customer. But they returned it as insufficient funds.
[It bounced, despite my first contact at Wells who said the check wouldn’t go through because of the date. Every one I talked to at Wells past that first call said checks live forever. They don’t. Not if Wells decides they may die. This is completely consistent with Nevada law and the UCC. How can a bank be so sloppy?]
[If I have to explain to a highly paid professional the difference between permissive and mandatory language then all hope is lost. She didn’t know what an ombudsman was, either, which was pathetic for a customer relations specialist. I had to explain that the word meant an advocate, a patient advocate in medicine, perhaps a subscriber or reader advocate when it came to a newspaper. In this case, a customer advocate, a neutral third party that could assist in resolving a complaint. Argh. How do I apply for your job?]
But after twenty, twenty five years, you get tangled up. But anyway, so the main thing on here is just to remember that there is this new group, Early Warning Services. You may want to get a report like me just to see what they have on file because it’s a whole new world when it comes to banking these days, especially if you if you bounced a check. So I end up rambling. I wish you well.