Don’t bank on it

So far, I have been luckier than others and mostly avoided the slippery fingers of banks and financial services. But they can still find ways to get you. Earlier this month, I had put down the wrong amount for a student-loan payment. Realizing my mistake, I tried to stop the check. My loan provider found away around this, however, and the bank took the $30 anyway. The takeaway: Transactions are not always what they seem.

Bank of America: Hello! Thank you for being a valued Bank of America customer! My name is Nancy. How may I assist you with your personal checking and savings accounts today?

Me: Hi, I am trying to stop payment on a check to ACS. I requested a stop payment on the check on December 7, but the check went through anyway.

BofA: I would like to share with you that the stop payment was placed on the physical check. If your check is converted to an electronic debit, the check may be paid.

Me: How do you stop an actual check from becoming an electronic debit?

BofA: OK, let me check that for you. I would like to share with you that this could not be done from our side, as it is done at the merchant’s end.

Me: OK, then if the stop check didn’t work, can I get my $30 stop-check fee returned?

BofA: I completely understand your concern regarding the fee, as the stop payment was on the physical check which was not presented by the merchant. The fee could not be refunded as the fee was charged correctly.

Me: Then what I am paying for, exactly?

BofA: I completely understand your concern; if the merchant would have presented the physical check, the transaction would have not gone through.

Me: How can they not present a physical check if that is what I sent?

BofA: A merchant does that by contacting his/her bank and getting the check converted to an electronic check.

Me: This whole thing seems like a scam.

BofA: Please accept my apology for any inconvenience you are experiencing. Please allow me to make an exception, and refund the $30 fee to you. Is that fine by you?

Me: All right, thank you for your help. I look forward to the return of the $30.

Compiled from Cull-de-Sac.