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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Doesn't stay fixed

A couple weeks ago I laboriously set up a way to pay my bills on-line. The process was unnecessarily complicated by my old credit union being bought out by a much bigger fish.

Today I discovered that the payment system that worked well last week wouldn't even let me into the system. That's how it started.

Not having time to deal with that , my lovely wife and I went into town. After treating her to lunch, I learned my debit card would not work. It took a while to get through to the credit union on the phone. Eventually, the problem was sorted out and the card ran just fine.

Soon after my lovely wife walked into the local branch to change the pin number on her debit card. There was a very long line. Apparently, when they transferred the old accounts to a new server, they entered then in such a way that every single account was in default. No wonder the card would not work.

It didn't matter if it was a debit or a credit card. Nothing worked. Imagine trying to buy something at the store. Your debit card is refused. Then your credit card from the same institution is also refused. That's what happened to a lot of people.

It occurred to me that a person would do well to have access to accounts from different institutions. Local accounts for day to day use, and then maybe a card with a national bank for emergency use only. Operator error crashed my local accounts, but it could have been a natural disaster. Being able to tap into funds from across the country could be a good thing.

Of course, I took out a good wad of cash before leaving the credit union.



  1. The old saying is that "cash is king." (As long as someone doesn't knock you over the head for it!) My wife went to the bank and closed her three accounts today. I closed mine earlier this year. We now have one joint checking account with few dollars ever remaining in it after bill paying, and one credit cards (no debit cards). Obamacare was our reason for cashing out. Not only can they withhold your tax refund to pay fines for not having insurance, they can access your bank accounts as well.

    1. Hadn't heard about the ability to access bank accounts.

      It's just the government's way of encouraging our participation in the grey economy.

  2. Big +1 on Mr. Smythe's comment above, banks are proving more and more they cannot be trusted. My wife (a school teacher) is receiving more and more pressure to be paid in 'direct account', which so far she has been successful in avoiding.

    Not a fan of debit cards, the only service I use are gas card type of transactions. I almost always deal in cash, no hassles with 'Is this account good?', and nothing brings down the price of an item like 'This is what I'm willing to spend on that - do we have a deal?".

    1. Cash does focus the mind. My lovely wife and I have no choice but to get paid by direct deposit.

  3. In Germany there is no such thing as credit.Banks issue debate cards .Banks are there to save money.In USA banks are set up to make you broke.
    Health care is not about insurance . Insurance is Obamacare.It is always about insurance inUSA.
    Canadians have it right.All there Judges politicians and workers have same health care.And no they do not run to USA to get Medical treatment.Its about big insurance and big banks that is killing America.Obamacare is Big Insurance getting your money$$$$$$.

    1. You are right. I've German friends and it's a whole different way of thinking about money there.

      I'm also right next door to Canada. They love their health system.

  4. I refuse to do auto payments. Closest thing I have to that is my netflix goes on a CC monthly. I keep the balance low. I like knowing when I pay a bill or if I have to juggle something. Always pay but sometimes mail it out 3 days before payday so it wont clear first. You know the drill.

    I'm a believer in cash. I do gas and groceries on the debit card so I can track expenditures in the checkbook but I guess I could do it in a notebook. I use the envelope method for my insurances, taxes, ect that I pay once or twice a year. So much of each paycheck go in to cover them and any extra goes in the cash envelope. Works for me.

    About Canadians and crossing the boarder. Alot of them shop across the the border as some items are cheaper. My mother worked retail up north and had alot of Canadian customers tell her that.

    I have a Canadian friend and he says that for basic health care they have it good but some major procedures take a while and elective procedures they do come to the USA.

    Obama care will cause alot of damage to this country. I'm not opposed to giving health care to the ones that cant afford it but when employers reduce people to part time so they dont pay fines there is a problem. And who knows what other BS is in that law. Obama care is not the answer.

    1. I never had anything payed automatically. However, I've decided it's the lesser of two evils for me right now. Travel makes it hard to pay bills. At least I'm only doing auto pay with bills that are a set amount, so I can budget.

      US health care needs to change, but Obama care is a dog's breakfast.