austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And we are all together

So let me explain why I told bunny_hugger that she didn't need to wake up, I was just yelling at a banker.

My employers decided to change who provides their paycheck services, because the cost for processing the checks went up to what seem like implausibly high numbers. This required filling out new forms for direct deposits: they need my bank's routing number and account number, and a voided check. First Niagara, my current bank, never got around to sending me a checkbook when they bought out my old HSBC account, which hadn't been a problem before because they took over my account in like 2011 and I've needed to write two actual physical checks this millennium. But it meant I didn't have my routing number, nor my savings account number (though I remembered my checking number, as it's the same as my former HSBC account number).

Their web site doesn't provide their routing number, and it turns out, they don't provide my account numbers either. All I get is a string of X's and the last four digits of the numbers. I mailed them within their own little Secure Account Messaging service and they explained that as a Security Feature, they won't show account numbers and won't even send them through their Secure Account Messaging service unless I provide them with my passport number or state-issued ID number. Since I've never given them either of those numbers I don't see how this could be used to prove my identity to them, and I was getting cranky about asking them to show their identity to me then.

So that's why I was on the phone with someone who works Customer Service for them. They were willing, if pressed, to share their routing number with me, but not to give my account number out over the phone. I sympathized with not giving account numbers out over the phone, but: if I can't get it over the phone, and I can't get it over the web, and their normal monthly statements mailed to me don't have it, and the nearest branch is, if I'm not using their stupid site wrong, in Meadsville, Pennsylvania, then where can I get my own account number and why is my account number a secret to be kept away from me?

So. He asked for the last four digits of my social security number and the last four digits of my ATM card --- which is why I went to the bedroom and accidentally woke bunny_hugger, who was sensibly sleeping in later than I was --- and a few days later, indeed, they sent me alternate account statements which had my account numbers on them. I don't dare lose them.

They also sent me a book of 150 checks, which, used at the rate I've written physical checks this century, will last me to the year 7,014, and just adorably included the form to order more.

Trivia: Carlo Gatti (1817 - 1878) was one of the first ice cream sellers in London. He obtained ice from the Regents Canal and then from Norway. Source: The Frozen-Water Trade: A True Story, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: The Golem And The Jinni, Helene Wecker.


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