Monday, September 14, 2009

Cheque This Out

My frustration with the global banking system reached a new peak today.

It all began two weeks ago, when I had to order new cheques for the Pub. We had a change of mailing address, because of our move last year, and I was finally getting around to ordering new cheques with the correct address. I went to the Scotiabank and dropped off a sample cheque with the new address information, and they said that they’d take care of it. A week later, my new set of cheques arrived in the mail. Easy.

A few days later, I noticed that my cheques at the Olive Branch were also out-of-date from the move to a new address there eighteen months ago (ok, so I’m a little behind in my work right now). I decided to get new cheques there too, and while I was at it, I figured I should also order payroll cheques, which come on a different type of paper.

I took the cheques to the bank and dropped them off with an explanation of the required address change. A few days later, I got a phone call – the bank couldn’t order them for some reason, because the Davis & Henderson (cheque printing company) website was down, and I’d have to call in the order myself on their toll-free number. I went to the bank the next morning to pick up the blanks that I had dropped off, so I had all the correct account info to work with when I placed the order. No luck – the bank had accidentally shipped my void sample cheques off to Halifax, but I could get them back next week.

So this morning, I picked up the cheques after their vacation in Nova Scotia. I called the David & Henderson customer care number. I started off with the payroll cheques, and got them re-ordered with a relatively low number of questions. They actually had our old order on file, so they knew which number to start off with, and the color of the cheques and everything. They said that they’d have to FAX me a form to confirm the change of address, which I would need to take to the bank to get signed. I don’t have a FAX - that's outdated technology, and everyone should be scanning and PDF'ing these days. So they agreed to email it. I went to check email, and the internet was down. I called back to ask if they could re-send the email to a different address, so I could go down to the University to print it out and deal with the problem. They said that they had no idea what I was talking about. I tried to explain the problem to the lady on the phone, and she said that what I was trying to do was impossible, because those cheques have to be ordered directly by the bank and customers can't order over the phone. At this point, I tried to refrain from screaming. I was only moderately successful.

Eventually, after another visit to the bank, the girls down there were able to help me out, and assured me that my cheques would arrive soon. I’m not holding my breath. Oh, and by the way, the cost for all these new cheques? A bit over $600. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS.

For any of you would-be entrepreneurs out there, I would strongly recommend that you change your mind and look for a less frustrating career, like teaching cats how to do synchronized swimming.

ETA, September 15th: I just got a call from Davis and Henderson. They said that they just got a call from ScotiaBank, trying to order more cheques for me. The bank wasn't allowed to do it without authorization from me. Unbelievable.