Not that far, really, to December 2007. Husband and I decide to go to Verizon for service. I call them, discuss their service plans and when they can get to installing everything. I listen to EVERYTHING the woman says because I'm paranoid like that, and ask clarifying questions whenever I don't understand. I also am writing notes like a mad woman.
She runs hubby's social security # and says that because of our credit (which sucks, and we know this) we need to put down a $200 deposit for the satelite. Ok. Only problem is, my bank account as it stands at that point has about $3 in it. My husband is at work and will be getting his check later, so the money will be in the bank tomorrow. I explain this to the Verizon woman, who sympathizes and tells me "We have that problem a lot. If You give me the number, they don't charge you until the day they come to install everything." I thought that sounded fishy, so I repeated that I had no money in the account now, and it would probably be better for me to call back tomorrow when I had it. She assures me over and over (about three times) "this happens all the time. People don't always have the money right away and need to put it in their account."
So I can admit I was an idiot and believed this woman and gave her my credit card number under the pretense I wouldn't be charged until the install date, which was almost a week later. So she transfers me to DirectTV, who Verizon hires to do the TV for them, and as I'm on hold I look online at my bank.
Ohhh, who can say $-197???? I can!
The lady from DirectTv comes on, I'm BUGGING OUT, and asking them just to cancel it and forget it, I'll reorder it tomorrow. She says they can do that, but it's going to take UP TO FIVE WEEKS TO REFUND the money. I say "how is that possible? You took it out in about 3 seconds!" Blah blah, something about something, all coming down to: You're screwed because you're an idiot and you listened to this lady. I explained that Verizon had told me I wouldn't be charged and the DirectTv lady was like "I don't know why she would say that."
So, I talk to 4 supervisors, keep getting bounced from DirecTV to Verizon and back again, no one can help me. I just cancel the order and hope I can get my husband's check in the bank before the money ceases to be a hold and becomes a debit.
My husband doesn't get home until after the bank closes (joys of being an IT contractor), but still deposits his cash at the ATM. The next day comes, I'm now -267. I call my bank, Wachovia, and ask them where the other $70 came from. It's overdraft fees they tell me. Ok. Fair enough.
I tell them that this amount was NOT supposed to be taken out, I was lied to and mislead, and I don't know what to do, or how to go about fixing the situation. The lady informs me that Wachovia can call DirecTV and ask them why they're holding my money if I cancelled the installation, which I did. She calls, with me on the line, and asks DirecTV if they're installing the satelite or providing me service. They say no. She says then they have no right to be holding my money still and they need to let it go. After a slight argument, DirecTv agrees and the 200 drops off.
Wachovia tells me they'll reverse the overdraft fees and they plan on investigating why Verizon/DirecTV told me I wouldn't be charged and I was. They told me they would make them pay the overdrafts and it wouldn't be held against me at all.
So the account gets cleared, no more negative.
Fastforward to this past Monday, 8 months later, when my husband gets gas on our card, doesn't tell me (or balance the checkbook) and we can see we're going to overdraft. Completely our fault, and he tries to get in the $3 needed to make sure the gas clears and we miss the bank. Again, completely our fault. So for $3, Wachovia charged us their $35 dollar overdraft fee, which we deserved. I figured, though, since we never had any real issues with them, they'd probably be willing to refund it as curteousy.
Nope. They won't do it. We call them, they say because they refunded TWO in December on us, we're not elgible. My husband speaks to 9,000 people, explaining it was just a mistake, he was hoping they'd be able to help us out. Nope. So he asks why we're being held accountable for the charges they said they were going after DirecTV for. Their answer?
"Well, since the money never actually left your account (ie: it was on hold the whole time) we couldn't do anything."
Ok, then why did we get charged overdrafts for something you didn't pay? It never left the hold screen?
"That's our policy."
Ummm k. So WHY did you tell me that you would deal with DirecTV and make sure they reimbursed you for the money you DIDN'T shell out?
"I don't know that was 8 months ago."
Am I crazy, or should they have made a little more effort there? Or should they have just said, "You're an idiot, Rainshowers, and you shouldn't have given out your ID number, we'll refund you the money as a curteousy, don't expect another one for a long time." ? How can they charge me an overdraft fee when I DIDN'T overdraft? They said themselves, since they never took the money out, there was no recourse to take.
$35 isn't the end of the world, I guess, and at this point I'm paying it, I just thought they'd be a little more sympathetic.