Posts Tagged "banks"

All About ATMs

Dear Kid,

Possibly the world's coolest ATM DearKidLoveMom.comQuick, guess when the first ATM (automatic teller machine) went into business. Wrong (probably). September 2, 1969, was the day the first ATM debuted (at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, NY). According to the bank’s advertisement: “On Sept. 2 our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again.”

The first ATM was called Docuteller, invented by Don Wetzel at Docutel (Docutel also figured out how to automate baggage handling).

“But wait!” you say, “I have never heard of Chemical Bank—they must have closed.” Wrong again, young padawan. Chemical bought Chase and chose to take the Chase name. But this is about ATMs and not about Chemical or Chase.

At first ATMs were less than widely successful, mostly because they were less than widely available, mostly because they were less than widely cheap. However, the cost went down and acceptance went up and by the 1980s there were more ATMs than butterflies. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The penguins find this very helpful when they leave home without enough pebbles in their pockets.

Eventually (and by “eventually” I mean in the greedy 1990s), banks figured out that they could charge people to use ATMs. Customers loved this added benefit (and by “loved” I mean would have started a revolution if social media had been invented then).

Today, a new ATM is born every 5 minutes. There are rumors that we won’t need ATMs in the future because we have cell phones and clever college students have figured out how to do 90% of their banking through their phones (including check deposit and getting mom to transfer money). What the clever college students haven’t yet figured out is how to get their phones to dispense cash. Once they figure that out, well. I can think of several things that will change in the universe.

Yes, I transferred the money we talked about.

Love, Mom

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The Bank of Mom and Dad | Policies and Procedures

Dear Kid,

It’s official. The phrase “the bank of mom and dad” is now in the dictionary. I know this because I heard it on the radio so it must be true.

The Bank of Mom and Dad -- even this bank is limited. DearKidLoveMom.comWith this officiality, I thought we should discuss the policies and procedures of The Bank of Mom and Dad—at least your branch of said bank.

The Bank of Mom and Dad funds major academic initiatives. The Bank of Mom and Dad funds the standard (required) lab breakage fee and up to $5 annually of normal lab wear-and-tear breakage. After that, you fund your own catastrophes (please try not to blow up anything).

The Bank of Mom and Dad funds the occasional dinner at Hillel. We do not fund your sushi craving (you’re on a food plan!) but we will send brownies every now and then.

The Bank of Mom and Dad will fund transportation home for Events like Thanksgiving and my birthday, but we will not pay for you to flit home every weekend to see The Girlfriend. In fact, I think we object to funding most flitting.

The Bank of Mom and Dad will not pay for you to purchase (yet another) soccer ref jersey (four is more than enough), (yet another) pair of cleats, or (yet another) Ohio University t-shirt (4 billion is more than enough).

The Bank of Mom and Dad is here for qualified emergencies. Pizza at 2am is most assuredly not a qualified emergency.

The Bank of Mom and Dad will pay for your cell phone and your internet connection. We will not pay for movies, apps, or online gaming.

The Bank of Mom and Dad does not fund penalties, fines, or tickets.

The Bank of Mom and Dad provides unlimited hugs, texts, and phone conversation support. We do not accept calls when you’re supposed to be studying.

Getting a loan at The Bank of Mom and Dad is not the easiest thing in the world. Getting a hug is (providing you are geographically accessible).

We do not offer a free toaster with a new account or provide laundry services but you are welcome to use both the toaster and the washing machine when you’re here (preferably not at the same time). How many banks do you know that do that?

Advice (and blogs) are gratis-free-of-charge. You are free to do with them as you please.

Love, Mom


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How Hard Can This POSSIBLY Be? Bill Paying in the Modern World

Seriously, It Can't Be This Hard. DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Banks like to hold on to money. I get that. So when you want to take money out, banks get fairly insistent that you provide 17 kinds of ID showing who you are, when you were born, what your favorite color is, why your hair is currently ½ shade lighter than your passport photo, and write an essay on being kind to small creatures. Then reluctantly they might part with their cash. Which is really your cash.

On the other hand, when it comes to putting money into the bank, they don’t much care who you are or why you are there that day. They don’t even care if you’re putting money into your own account. If you have something resembling cash, checks, or money orders (I have it on good authority they don’t accept goats), they’ll accept your deposit. And possibly even give you a lollipop.

Which is why, O Best Beloved, I have been sooooo frustrated (that’s the only word I can come up with at the moment that won’t get this blog banned in several countries) as I try to pay my bills.

I am trying to PAY my bills. No arguments. No hassles. No “can’t you please cut the bill in half because my dog ate my homework.” No nonsense. Just plain old please-take-my-money.

In the seriously olden days, one would simply walk over to the store, hand over a goat, and have your cell phone bill marked “paid.” In the less ancient but still olden days, one would sit down at the kitchen table, heave a big sigh, write checks, and send payments by snail mail. The sigh was very important to get into the spirit of things.

In modern times, we’re supposed to be able to push a few buttons on the computer—voila, funds transferred, bills paid, no need to think about it again until next month (or ever if you’ve set up auto payment). Should be easy, right?

Oh, how wrong thou art.

Our saga begins earlier in the week when I tried to set up autopayment for Fred the Car. I had several spare minutes, the account number from the bill I’d received, and the checkbook. I was Prepared. I thought.

I shall spare you the details because I am a Kind and Loving Parent. The short version is Chase Bank (who handles the financing for Subaru leases—yes, I’m naming names) insisted I had an on-line account, hung up on me twice as I tried to get it reset, texted a sign in key code to my phone that didn’t have enough digits, had to talk me through their account set up process (have I mentioned I am not the dumbest person on the planet? There is no way anyone could follow the on line directions (which included having to know to do step three before step one)), and ended with me sitting down at the kitchen table, heaving a VERY heavy sigh and writing them a check. It was easier to refinance our mortgage.

Then there was The Difficulty with Verizon (seriously naming names today). Despite them never having sent me a bill (harder to pay when you don’t know how much, when it’s due, or who to pay!), we were Down to the Wire and had to pay your phone bill or you would be sans communication device. No prob. Happy to pay.

Verizon had other ideas. There was no way to set up an account on line. (Or if there was I couldn’t find it. Have I mentioned I design websites? What IS it with these people?) So I clicked the little box that said click here if you want to talk to us. Love talking. A few minutes later I got a call on my non-Verizon phone. So far so good. After insisting that I wanted to talk to a live person I was finally connected to a very nice human who asked for my home Verizon phone number. Huh? I don’t have a home Verizon phone. Well, then she’d have to connect me to the wireless support center. (Remember, they called me.)

I was able to pay your bill (you’re welcome) without resorting to violence or check-writing. I did use some colorful language (but only in my head so as not to upset anyone).

There should probably be a college course called “How to Deal with Crazy Customer Service Policies and Other Survival Techniques for the Modern World.”

Here’s a crazy idea for the business world: Let’s put ‘customer’ and ‘service’ back into the concept of customer service. Probably too radical an idea.

Heavy sigh.

You better REALLY enjoy your phone this week.

Love, Mom

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