Dear Bank, Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

Last week, someone from the bank called. My husband talked to the lady and asked what the call was in regards to, but she had to talk to me.

Well, that made it weirder. You see, we have a joint account. But I also have a business account that’s just me, and two accounts for my RWA chapter, of which I’m the treasurer.

Let me ask you, when you get an “important” message from your bank telling you to call them as soon as possible, what do you think? Nothing good, right?

Yeah, me too. So it was with some trepidation that I called the woman the next day.

And… they wanted to tell me about their new combo debit/credit card.

I told the woman “Put me on your do not call list and don’t ever call me again for something like that!” I then informed her that if I got another sales call (or similar), I’d take my business elsewhere – all of it.

Was that harsh? Believe me, I was using restraint (because I knew she was just doing her job). Thing is, the last time I got an “important” message from the bank was about six years ago. They were calling to tell me that one of my accounts was overdrawn by several thousand dollars.


After an initial (and I’m proud to say, internal) panic, I realized that it wasn’t my personal account, but the RWA chapter’s. And regardless of which account it was, I knew I hadn’t written that much in checks. “There must be some fraudulent activity on the account,” I told the woman.

Indeed there was. Some shady “company” in Belgium had charged each of the chapter’s three debit cards, overdrawing the account with the third withdrawal.

It took awhile, but the bank took care of it. They opened a new account and replaced the amount we’d had stolen so we could continue to pay our bills. I continued to get calls from their phone center drones reminding me that my account was still overdrawn, which prompted me to call the head office each time and remind them that I was waiting for them to “investigate” the fraud charges, but it all ended up working out. I’m thankful that was all the hackers got, and that it was resolved in a few weeks.

Oh, and I cancelled the debit cards immediately, both the chapter’s and my personal one. They were nice to have, but the chapter doesn’t need them. We just write checks, and if we absolutely have to have a card, one of the officers uses a personal credit card, and I reimburse quickly.

What about you? I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? What do you think about the bank calling to offer you services? Do you think I was a little harsh to the woman? Or would you have already broken up with your bank?

My Town Monday: When it Sucks to Live in Ohio

No, I’m not talking about the weather (although there’s plenty to complain about there). This is something else entirely, although it is seasonal. Some years, it doesn’t really start until late September or early October. Other years, it gets going early. I’m talking about when you’re enjoying a relaxing evening at home (is there such a thing? LOL). Or you’re at least spending time with family, getting chores done, doing some writing (in my case), or that old classic, sitting down to eat dinner.

They should just leave me alone

Then they call. Not the telemarketers – we’re on the national Do Not Call list, so that’s cut down on them a lot, with the exception of GE Home Security (but that’s another rant).

I’m talking about political campaign calls. Sometimes it’s a computer. Sometimes it’s a human. Sometimes they’re taking a survey, but most of the time, they just want to tell you why you should vote for their candidate, or for/against a particular issue. If you’re registered to vote and you have a landline phone, you’re vulnerable.

It’s worse in some places than others. It’s really bad here in Ohio, because we’re a swing state – meaning any year, which party gets the lion’s share of our presidential or congressional votes is up for grabs. And while we have a little less clout than in prior years (we lost two congressional seats this year) we’re still a significant number with 20 electoral votes.

This guy took the high road - yes, it can happen

It doesn’t matter which party you’re registered with, but if you’re registered to vote but not for either party (i.e., that sought-after animal called an Independent), it’s probably worse.

Several years ago, one poor sap called at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, when my husband had just happened to wake up. Now, my DH is a master of improv, and he was excited to answer it, especially when a human came on the line. Well, DH launched into the rudest, most offensive rant I’ve heard in years, and I think the guy hung up within ten seconds. That party has not called since. Big WIN for being obnoxious! Now we just have to think of some way to offend the other party so they’ll stop calling too.

Of course, there are still the TV ads. Incessant blathering, all of it so biased as to be worthless. I hardly ever watch TV, but my family does, so there’s no escaping them. In that vein, I would like to thank U.S. Congressman Steve Austria for deciding not to run for re-election. Because of the redistricting in our state, Congressman Austria’s district has been chopped up, leaving him in the same, redrawn district as fellow incumbent Mike Turner. Both have similar qualifications and voting records, so while Turner has been in office much longer, it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion as to who would have won, had the two been pitted against each other in a primary. Austria decided not to run because he wanted to avoid an expensive, negative primary campaign. (And I did not want to watch the obnoxious commercials.) So thank you Congressman Austria, for taking the high road.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my husband to turn off the TV so I don’t have to listen to the other bozos screaming about each other.

Do you find election season a pain in your area? Are you in a swing state, or do the telecampaigners pretty much leave you alone?

More at the My Town Monday blog