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May 3rd, 2011

So I have a few bank accounts floating around that have been set up for me by relatives. Just typical money market type of accounts. These are all with the same small, regional bank.

I e-mailed my bank the other day and asked if I could consolidate all of these into one money market account. Aside from the fact that it would earn more interest that way (if I mathed correctly), it's just simpler to not have scattered accounts. My e-mail was essentially a briefer on how I would prefer they all be together, with a request to the effect of "I would like accounts 1, 2, 3, and 4 to have all their funds dumped into account 5, and then have 1, 2, 3, and 4 closed, so that account 5 was the only one remaining, with all of the funds in it."

I got a reply back that no, this was not possible, because of the way accounts 1-4 were opened (something about how they were opened with my father as the executor because they were created before I was 18). That's okay. No big deal. This isn't a horribly pressing concern to me; just had some free time and thought about it. I'll ask my dad about it later.

Ummmmmmmmmm no. I log into my online view of my accounts and see that accounts 1-4, including the money value that was in them, are totally gone. Not included in my totals, not available to be viewed in any fashion. I e-mail them back asking about this, including a screen shot of what my online account view looks like. Hey, maybe it just takes a couple of days for changes to be reflected online, yeah? Again, no biggie.

Cue them sending back the exact same e-mail as before explaining why I cannot personally empty and close these accounts, this time with the header "please refer back to our previous e-mail." I tried re-wording my question and saying that I totally understand why I cannot close these accounts... but if I can't, where did they go? Yep: exact same e-mail back. "We cannot consolidate and close these accounts for you" -- okay, so where are they then? If you can't close them, why are they gone? My request was basically "can you do A?" they said "nope, we can't do A" and then A has been done, but in a screwed-up way.

Sigh. This is a small bank. I really don't get why it would be that difficult to have someone like actually read my e-mail. It's just a pain in the ass to rearrange my schedule and go into the bank itself during business hours, but I guess that's what I'll have to do. I've switched things around in accounts online here before and it's never been an issue but there are only so many ways I can rephrase WHY ARE MY ACCOUNTS CLOSED AND WHERE IS THE MONEY FROM THEM??!

Too bad I love AC

Sorry, quick post to vent since in the grand scheme of things this is nada but it's bugging the snot out of me.

At my house we have an outdoor heat pump for our heating/cooling needs. It it builder's grade and probably a piece of crud. It is not quite 6 years old.  About 2ish years ago I contacted a local company that came highly recommended to start a preventive maintenance plan, come out twice a year to do all the checks, etc. In the 2ish years we've had to fix so much stuff. I'm not blaming the company for that because I don't doubt that it's a crud system. What's been bothering me more and more is I don't see how they are preventing anything. I've got a lot of examples, but this is the most recent.

(Pls keep in mind I am explaining things as they were related to me. I don't have HVAC training, so the guys could totally be dumbing things down for me to the point where what they are saying contradicts themselves).

Middle of April they come out to replace a fan motor. Apparently (?) there was no way to know this fan motor was going to die even though they were out here doing work in  the middle of March for something else in the heat pump. While they are replacing the fan motor I renew my yearly preventative (which ain't cheap but not too bad, around 200 a year). They do the check, ok. Last week (end of April) I go to turn on the system for the first time since it had the check in mid April. It's blowing air, but not cooling. I'm pissed, but I very politely schedule for them to come out.

Guy comes out.This was the same guy who did the check two weeks prior, says he was really surprised it wasn't cooling b/c when he came out it had freon. Apparently there was a little part in there was was causing the freon to "slowly leak out" and this part "usually goes bad" (his words). He said, as I understood it, that he had a tool he used to check if there is leaking freon, but I didn't ask if he had brought this tool previously, since the initial call was to fix the fan motor and we tacked the preventative visit on there since he was at the house.  He changed out the part, put in more freon, and I got the bill for labor, parts, and freon. It was around 300.

I'm pissed, but I don't know if I have any right to be. I'm not mad about paying for the part (broken is broken) or labor (although it might have saved time if he had fixed it when he already had everything open to fix the fan motor.) I'm pissed about the 70 or so bucks for freon, because from the way he danced around the subject and a quick google of "signs of freon leaking", it really seems like this thing started leaking back in March. 

Again, not an HVAC person, but it seems to me that if there is a tool you can run around the system to detect leaks, and there are specific parts known to leak, then checking for that should be preventative. Maybe I wouldn't have saved that much freon, heck, maybe you can't save freon and it would have leaked anyways. I know HVACs are complicated beasts, but how the heck can something new be breaking every other month without any warning?

Adventures in "Prior Authorization"

When I was 18 (eight years ago) I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. (Actually, doctors had told me I had it before, but I only got an "official diagnoses" at 18.) I've been on Zoloft on and off for the past five years (mostly on, off when I forget to take it), and it helps immensely. After I aged out of my father's insurance, I changed doctors, got an Rx, and continued with the Zoloft, covered by my current insurance. (I've also been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder [not to be confused with OCD], and while not officially on Zoloft for said OCPD, it does help with that as well.)

Until today. I went to my normal pharmacy to pick up said Zoloft and was told it was no longer covered without the dreaded "prior authorization." After fighting with my insurance (unsuccessfully) to get a certain steroid covered after my inverted papilloma surgery this past December, I knew I'd have some hoops to start jumping through. The cost without coverage would only be $29, not a major amount, but, thrifty as I tend to be, if I can get it covered, I want to do it that way. Once home, I called my doctor's office. A member of his staff told me that my insurance company recently "overhauled" what they covered, and the requirements for said coverage. In my case, with Zoloft, they "almost certainly" won't cover it unless I go see a psychiastrist and get the prescription from him/her. Even so, she said, she'd try to see if she could talk to said insurance. "Don't get your hopes up, though," she said. She advised me to call my insurance company directly.

After a minor freak-out at the prospect of going to a new doctor, one who would poke around my head, I called said company. The first woman with whom I spoke, Lisa, told me I "definitely" needed to see a psychiastrist, not only for the prescription but because "it would really help." Well, thanks, random insurance person, but I've tried the psychiatrist thing before and I don't respond well to it at all, so... no. She then asked if I was taking Zoloft for "anxiety and depression or just depression." To this, of course, I said "er, neither of those; just social anxiety. No depression." She came back with "Well, there's always depression." "Um, what?" said I. "Well, social anxiety and depression always occur together. Depression causes anxiety; it's why people are anxious." Really, now. I'm actually pretty non-depressed; I just can't deal with people. After telling her this and mentioning that I was uncomfortable with the discussion (I wasn't, really, but I didn't want to go the "you really need to stop stupid things" route), she placed me on hold to "see what she could find out."

10 minutes of crappy hold music later, she told me she'd transfer me to another department (she never said which one), and added that she "really hopes" I "get the right treatment." The next woman, Martha, was actually helpful (turns out said insurance generally does cover it, they just need my PCP to fill out a few more forms or something?), but I can't get over Lisa. Calling all these people today is bad enough (talking on the phone is awful for me), but to be lectured over my choice of treatment, and then to insist that because I have some people-issues, I'm automatically depressed?

Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had gotten something more than the name "Lisa" from her, so I could possibly call back file some sort of complaint. Having never worked in customer service (that'd be my own personal hell, heh), I have no idea if there's any way said company would be able to determine which person I'd spoken to without more than a first name. Alas.

(ETA: I probably should make it clear that the b_s I'm ranting about is not really that of the insurance company, though PAs are annoying enough, but that of Lisa and her unwanted and unwarranted... I don't even know what to call it. Advice? Lecture?)
 So, I was forced to change hairstylists because I moved. My old one was really great, and I was sad to see her go. After getting some recommendations from a couple of people, I went to a hair salon. At this point, I should mention that I have a birthmark that isn't very cute...Some people call them stork bites. It's a little patch of discolored skin on the back of my neck. I didn't mention it to the stylist because I honestly had forgotten about it.

Stylist: (glimpsing the birthmark) EW, what is that?
Me: Oh, sorry, I forgot, it's just a birthmark...
Stylist: Is it contagious? That is disgusting.
Me: No, it's not contagious, it's a birth mark...
Stylist: Oh, you should really get that fixed, it's really ugly. I'll get you a different stylist.

I don't understand what the big problem with my birth mark was, but she made me feel really insecure about it. I really don't think I'll be going there again. To top it off, the different stylist "trimmed" my hair three inches. 

Small bank annoyance

I screwed up and put money into a complete stranger's account....fortunately the bank was nice enough to try and help me get that money back. Only problem is...they will not talk me.

They will not return my calls or my e-mails when I try to contact them to know what's going on with that money. I left my cell number, my home number, my e-mail, my facebok, my twitter so they can contact me, but I have to go talk to them in person everytime I want information, and it's frustrating since I don't live exactly close to that branch.

I know this starts out as customer_suck but please talk to me....

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