Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Following the Bouncing Check

I've always been really meticulous (OK, kind of anal) about recording all the checks I write and balancing my checkbook with my bank statement. I never write a check without knowing there's enough money in the account. We just got another alert from the head honchos about one of our customers bouncing checks, and it disturbs me when this happens with our regular customers (ie, not the criminal element one-timers who we will never see again.) And usually they have written at least a couple of checks before we catch up with them --- I mean, how do you come in and write that second check when you know darn well the first one was no good? And you KNOW you'll be back again... like, what's the deal? We know you by name, for God's sake (and frankly, you can be a bit of a pain in the arse.) I've had people ask me to hold their check for a day or two, and we can work with them on stuff like that.

Seems to me it's just not worth the hassle -- I mean, they gotta pay attention. We're now put in the position of telling them we won't accept their personal checks any more. I know it's not my fault, but I still feel bad. We have one husband/wife regular pair who now have to come in and pay cash right out of their ATM envelope. I think I would feel kind of embarrassed. I just wouldn't let it happen.


Anonymous said...

It happens when a. you don't keep track of a checkbook, and b. an unexpected large amount of money leaves the savings/checking account without supplementing the loss.

I used to pay my bills by cash or check on time, and never have purchased anything on credit. So, am not familiar about asking for extensions for bills. Over the years, a couple times we've had to pay unexpectedly large bills e.g. $6,000 for legal matter, $4,000 for a used car when mine caught on fire and there was no collision involved so no insurance coverage and, I needed a car right away to drive to a job 100 miles away.

When everything was paid and nothing left in the account, the bank did not bother to let me know we were in arrears (we have several kinds of IRAs, college savings programs, as well as separate husband/wife accounts, etc. that we could've drawn from had we known how close the checking account was to zero balance.) Another time with a new job and direct deposit, the bank didn't deposit the funds from work into the bank account as planned, and several major bills bounced, plus the bank added overdraft fees on top of not having the money in the bank.

Yes, it's embarrassing, and quite maddening. To have it happen once, is a kick in the stomach, but it also engenders a sense of helpless victimhood, which allows some of the embarrassment off the hook. Personally, I use the debit card every chance I get despite the issue with lack of checkbook notation because it's immediate.

I hope this provides insight into understanding the situation. And, the policy of no personal checks might be good from the business side of things, but am of the belief that people will not be inordinately annoyed with it unless of course the drugstore charge is unexpectedly large. I would expect there would be more calls from patients asking if their prescription is ready and how much it costs, which is sometimes annoying to the pharmacy department.

xtine said...


And you say they're pains in the rear?


People who still write checks in a retail setting...they might be the worst kind of person, ever.

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