I hate progress. Don't you hate progress?
I'm not talking about the eradication of disease, and proper food storage methods, and AIR CONDITIONING. Nope. I don't mind THAT progress. I'm talking about everyone being forced to jump on the internet technology bandwagon. I don't WANT to hop on that bandwagon. I have knees that are not good for hopping. I don't like loud band music. I fear the wagon might throw a wheel, and THEN where would we be? Stuck there on the dirt road or halfway across the prairie on a wagon that can't take us where we need to go.
One of my credit unions, without bothering to tell anybody, or maybe just without bothering to tell ME, decided to force everybody onto their bandwagon. Oh, they didn't have twin six-shooters to Yosemite-Sam us onto it. They hit us where it counts. In our virtual pocketbooks.
This practice apparently started at the first of the year. A paper quarterly statement that arrives by mail costs you FIVE DOLLARS! You know, I used to be my mom's Five Dollar Daughter. But I have no intention of being this credit union's TEN DOLLAR WENCH! Because, you see, we have TWO accounts there. So in early April, I opened up our statements to see that each account had been assessed the five dollars for paper statements. The NOT-HEAVEN YOU SAY!
I rushed right down there to their facility in Bill-Paying Town to complain. Okay. By rushed right down I mean that I went during the first week of May. Because I had some other business to attend to, that being withdrawing money to cover monthly checks for our health insurance premiums. Since we'd already been charged TEN DOLLARS for the first quarter, I figured it wasn't going to happen again until the second quarter. Actually, I figured it wasn't going to happen again AT ALL, because I was going to give them a piece of my mind about fees that would end up being dang near more than the interest earned on those accounts by the end of the year. By complain, I mean that I broached the subject of the paper statement fee with the teller when I withdrew money.
The teller told me that she was not able to help me, but that Brianna (may or may not be her actual name, as I am not good with names, and that was two whole months ago, by cracky) over at a desk in a cubicle could, but she had a gentleman with her at the moment. I stood around for a good ten minutes, and darted over there just as that gentleman left. Even though Brianna had been tipped off by the teller's phone call that I was waiting, she looked like she was going to make a break for it. I sat down in that gentleman's still-warm chair before she could get away.
"I just need to change my accounts from paper statements to electronic statements. So I don't have to pay the fees every quarter."
"Oh. You can do that at home, yourself. You'll have to set up an internet banking account. I could do it for you here, but I'd just be bringing up the screen, and turning the laptop around for you to type in an ID and password, and security questions, and set up your account."
"Well...I guess I'll try that at home, then."
I was a bit dubious. It's never quite like they lead you to believe. I figured I'd have a while to work on it. After all, it was the first week of May, and the quarter didn't end until June 30.
Sometime around midnight on June 28, I tried to set up my account on my New Delly. A more misbegotten excuse for a website I've never seen! I tried and I tried to set up a new account. The system kept telling me it was unavailable, after I'd typed in all my stuff. But you know me. I'm quite persistent when money is concerned. So I kept at it. And as if by Karmaic intervention, on the fifth or sixth try of doing everything EXACTLY the same, the site let me register. I went to the part about statements, and set it for ELECTRONIC. All done, right?
Yesterday, I got a paper statement on one of the accounts. Showing a charge of FIVE DOLLARS for a paper statement. This morning, I called the credit union. Explained that I had set my accounts for electronic statements, but now I'd received a paper one, and was charged.
The gal on the phone might very well have been Brianna. Heh, heh. Do not put off forever what you should have done that day, Brianna. Because now I am back to bite you on the butt. Figuratively, of course. She asked if I was in the account right now, and I told her yes. She took my information.
"I am. But it's really hard to get around in. It still shows me that I have my account set to electronic statements."
"Oh. I see that it is."
"Then why am I getting a paper statement and fee? I have two accounts. Am I going to get another paper statement and fee?"
"No. It looks like only one account is set for electronic statements."
"How is THAT? When I bring up my online account, both of my accounts are showing."
"Yes. I see that. I'm going to need to look into this."
"OH! It looks like we only have an email address on ONE of your accounts. The one with the paper statement, we don't have an email address to send it to."
"Well, how am I supposed to do that? Because in all the time I spent setting up this online banking account, it never once gave me an option to set an email address for my second account."
"I'm going to have to go in and do it. I'll put your same email address on the second account. Give me 15 or 20 minutes, and then you can go back in and check."
"I'm not really in a hurry to check it. I don't know where it would show me that, anyway, since I didn't see a place to do it before, and it's going to take you 20 minutes to do it. But this will take care of the paper statement problem?"
"Yes. And I'm going to take that fee off of your account for this one."
Yep. Ol' Brianna only THOUGHT she was getting rid of me that day. Now her toes have been run over by the bandwagon.
I hate progress.