Bank Error in my Favor, Collect $720!

Bank Error in my Favor, Collect $720!

Bank Error in my Favor, Collect $720.

May 15 – 2012
Big Beaver, Saskatchewan, Canada.

I was up at 8:00 and I called my bank in London, England. My financial institution forgot to mail my pre-ordered bank statements to the farm while I was in transit to Canada. I needed the statements to be at the farm as soon as I got home. They never arrived. When I called the bank, I was very polite, though I told them that they blew it. I explained that no statement for Proof of Funds means that I am now waiting to go to the Irish Embassy for my working visa, and the visa needs to be processed ASAP because I have a family reunion on June 7th in London.

In reality, I have tickets to a Soundgarden/Black Sabbath concert to get to London for on June 7th. It is the banks mistake that the statements were not mailed out, so my personal reason for why I need to be back in London on a specific date is really just extraneous information. Though this bank error is not my fault, it is certain that the financial institution will be more sympathetic to me missing a family reunion than they will be to me missing a rock concert. And truth be told, I feel closer to Chris and Ozzy than I do to must of my aunts and uncles so calling it a family reunion is is hardly a stretch. Same scenario…different empathy levels…

I had everything timed and planned from when I would arrive in Canada until I would arrive back in England. Everything would have gone smoothly, except…my bank in England did not mail the requested bank statements to meet me at my address in Canada.

When the banking-consultant I was talking with on the phone could not offer any help beyond a strong apology and re-sending the statements which I would receive in another two weeks, I asked to speak to their boss where I again pleaded my case. When that person could not find a solution, I explained, “Look, I understand. I work for a corporation as well and there are limitations to what I can do, but the people above me can do more.” I was very polite and asked to speak to that person’s boss. I did the same thing again. I kept on climbing and climbing through people until I got to an Englishman man who said he would personally write a letter in his name with the bank’s letterhead logo, my account information, my available funds, and a letter of apology that I could take to the Irish Embassy once it arrives at my address via priority mail. I hoped to have it soon.

Then the man near the top mentioned the word ‘compensation’ to me.

Compensation? For a bank error?

I had not even considered such a thing. That trigger word took me by surprise. I had no idea one could receive money in their favor for a bank error. I thought that was just a Monopoly card. How much money that would involve, I have no idea. Nevertheless, thanks for that, bank guy!

I told the man, “Honestly, I really hope it does not come to that. I just want my banking information as soon as possible to get this process moving and hopefully we can get all of this completed in time to get me back to London by June 7th.”

I told him I would call him if things went awry.

Once I was off the phone, I drove to the city where I got passport photos taken and went to the passport office. I ticked the box for a ‘two-day express-process’ passport. The lady behind the counter reviewed my application and asked me why I was requesting the two-day express passport processing. I explained my case. She told me she wanted a plane ticket as proof of travel. I told her the plane ticket hinges on everything else. She told me I will have to wait two weeks like everyone else. I told her I will go and buy a plane ticket right now if it will help. I told her I am a nice guy. I told her I will buy her cookies.

The lady was all business and shy of personality. She told me that it does not matter if I am a nice guy, and said that she cannot accept cookies. However, she did go into a room to talk to her boss. When she returned, she told me that for an extra $30, for $117 total, her boss ‘okayed’ my passport for urgent delivery and it will be ready at 10am on Thursday. That is in about 40 hours! Awesome.

Today was a very progressive day.

Kicking too much ass is scary though… I find that existence is full of ‘evens.’ What is a super productive day going to cost me in the grand scheme of things to even up the score of life again…?!


May 31 – 2012
Big Beaver, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The bank statements and priority mail from London both arrived today. I took both pieces of mail along with my new passport, and raced to the city to start the process for the Irish working visa. However, the visa people told me it is going to take two weeks to complete the process, install the visa in my passport, and to return everything to me.

I had anticipated this two-week wait from the get-go and that was why I had ordered the bank statements in advance. 

So, I called my financial institution in London about this visa situation and their bank error. Had they sent out the statements when I ordered them the first time, all would have fell into place. But, now things were going to blow past planned dates. I was talking to the man near the top of the heap who I had spoken with a couple of weeks ago. We had a pleasant conversation and I told him how this bank error is requiring me two weeks of extra time in Canada, which is also going effect my timeline as we had discussed before. This time I mentioned the word ‘compensation.’

The man near the top offered me a £150 remittance. I politely asked him, “So, for two weeks, your offering me £10/day and then £10 as a bonus for having to miss major plans? I make £100/day, so what you are offering me is a day and a half of salary?”

I kept a kind tone and was very nice to the man though I was right to the point about the bank error. I was being as un-English as possible to the Englishman I was speaking with. If an English person felt they were at a loss due to someone’s corporate error, they would be threatening the institute with an angry mob carrying pitch-forks and torches. The English would not be nice in my situation! I kept that scenario in mind the when I spoke with the man in the bank.

I was very mannerly throughout both of our talks, and I crushed him with kindness!

The man near the top asked me what I wanted instead. I told him that I would like £450 to cover the costs of my plane tickets to get back to London. He told me that I will have to launch a formal grievance with the bank and the Complaints Secondary Level Department will have to look at this case. Then he put me on hold to talk to someone.

The man came back to the call and told me:
“Mr. Harris, I have spoken to my manager, and because you have been so patient and agreeable since this started, we are prepared to offer you the £450 for your plane tickets. You never yelled at us. I will have the money in your account by tomorrow if you agree that this is a fair compensation for you.”

I accepted!

A bank just gave me about $720. That is freaking awesome. I had no idea that something like that could happen. Fan-freaking-tastic.

The more you know…

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