June 5, 2013

Is your Bank Making too Many Mistakes? Errors I’ve Caught

When it comes to choosing a bank, there is nothing more important than finding one that is known for providing error free service. While things can and will happen from time to time, you don’t want to find yourself dealing with mistakes on a regular basis.

Over the years, I have been a customer of multiple local banks. Some have exceeded my expectations while others have come up short.

Any mistake made by my bank, no matter how big or small, is one that gets me thinking about our relationship. When I get the feeling that I always have to be watching over my account (more so than usual), it is time to move on.

Common Bank Errors

Everybody makes mistakes. I have done so myself in the past, such as an error in my addition when depositing a group of checks. However, you don’t expect your bank to do the same as it is their job to be 100 percent accurate at all times.

Here are three common bank errors I have experienced in the past:

1. Wrong amount of money deposited into my account. It doesn’t matter if the deposit was more or less than what it was supposed to be. What matters is that an error was made and a solution has to be found sooner rather than later.

Tip: if you notice extra money credited to your account, do the right thing and let the bank know about it. There is a good chance they will find out anyway, so you might as well come clean.

2. Wrong amount of money withdrawn from my account. If this has never happened to you, consider yourself lucky. My last bank was notorious for making this mistake. I would venture to guess that this happened to be three to five times over the course of six months.

I would withdrawal money for one reason or the next, just to find that the wrong amount was debited from my account. This eventually led to me taking my business elsewhere.

3. Incorrect address for mail correspondence. This was one of the craziest mistakes I have experienced on behalf of my bank. Despite the fact that 99 percent of my mail would make it to me, there were situations in which the wrong address was used and it ended up at my neighbor’s house.

This is when I lived in a condo, and it was not the end of the world because my neighbor a few doors down would bring it to me. But how do I know I received every piece of mail? What would happen if something important, such as a debit card, would have been delivered to the wrong address?

What to do about these Mistakes

How you approach a mistake made by your bank is up to you. Some people let these errors slide while others have a “zero tolerance” policy. Here are three things I suggest, based on my experience:

  • Contact your bank right away to report the error and determine what happened
  • Once a resolution is agreed upon, make sure your bank lives up to their word
  • Consider if now is the time to make a change

Final Thoughts

I am the type of person who double checks every deposit, withdrawal, and purchase transaction. This is a habit of mine, and it has served me well over the years. That being said, other people don’t have the time or desire to keep a watchful eye on their bank.

This piece is not meant to scare you into thinking that your bank is making mistakes. Just realize that things can happen, and your finances will be impacted as a result.

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