I had a weird thing happen at my bank this week: I ran out of checks because I didn't reorder them in time, but when I needed temporary checks so I could pay some bills, my request was refused. The bank, which has locations across several Southern states, doesn't give its customers temporary checks.

My first impulse is to quit the bank over this hassle. There's a bank on every corner these days, and the services they offer are utterly interchangeable. To get my bills paid, I ended up buying the check-printing software VersaCheck. Printing your own checks costs more up front, but it feels like you are making an end-run around The Man.

Before I switch banks, I'd like to figure out the rationale for giving temporary checks to new account holders while denying them to long-time customers. A web search on the subject of wrongful temp check denial turned up bupkiss.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

That's pretty messed up!

I would think that, as long as this is not a habitual thing, they should be more than happy to help their customers out of a tight spot. This is a relatively inexpensive way to offer some assistance to a long-time customer that, from what I gather, has never made such a request before.

Is that enough to make me drop the bank... probably not. Every business I give money to has policies I'd love to change (in my favor, of course). ;-)


 

Reminds me of Zing when they moved us to the windowless office and explained to us that they were saving the nice offices with the windows in order to entice new employees to join the company.


Corporations are just like women - they work hard to get you; then once they've got you, they get complacent and make no effort to keep you. I say - dump your tired old bank for a newer, hotter financial institution.


 

"A web search on the subject of wrongful temp check denial turned up bupkiss."

How do you know? I mean, what search criteria do you use to find anything about "temporary checks" that isn't 123 pages of commercial references; concatenated to hell?

I had a job doing internet searches for Y2K compliance certificates, and *never* found anything which would force the "engine" to avoid COMMERCIAL redundancy, ad nauseam.

Help us "civilians" out, please?


 

The temporary check booklets banks give out to new customers are pre-printed with the MICR account numbers and purchased bulk at some point in the past -- it wasn't that they wouldn't give them to you, it's that you used up the only existing book of temporary checks for your account when you opened the account. While it's possible to print out ad-hoc checks complete with MICR numbering and official-looking text, as you do at home, banks generally don't want to encourage their employees to have the ability to print out blank checks drawing on any account willy-nilly. If you personally start printing out official-looking Ameritrade checks at home, you're going to jail for bank fraud -- talk a bank into doing it for you, then there's much, much bigger mess for the bank to worry about. Also, if banks had the resources to print out your checks themselves, they'd keep that money in their own pockets rather than outsourcing to other companies like Deluxe; the bank would be just as likely to hand you a booklet of checks with your name and address printed on it as it would hand you a 'temporary' set for the same account -- it takes the same amount of work and resources, because those checks are customized for you either way.


 

Thanks for the explanation, Derek. Makes more sense, but it's weird to have no option to pay bills with checks when the checks run out. I can't be the only imbecile who ran out of them.

I mean, what search criteria do you use to find anything about "temporary checks" that isn't 123 pages of commercial references; concatenated to hell?

I didn't find any effective search terms. I tried as many as I could think of, looking for others who had the same problem, and got nowhere.


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.