Banks: Can't do business with them; can't banish them to the lowerreaches of Hell where they belong.

Our saga begins with me trying touse the bank's web site to reorder checks:

Record Created: Monday, November 19, 2001 David Bogen Has other questions or problemsComments:  I tried to reorder checks using this web site but Icouldn t change the starting check number. Obviously, Idon t want two sets of checks that share the samenumbers. How do I get the starting check number changedon your web site so that I can order checks with numbersthat start -after- my current box of checks?
That was the text that I entered into the bank's web site. This istheir response:

Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 08:36:55 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;2;md;bogenDear David Bogen,We can place your order for you and change the starting number if youwould like.  Please advise.

Sincerely,MarianneUS Bank 24-Hour Banking

Ok, that sounds reasonable enough. My response:

Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 10:39:52 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;2;md;bogenHow much does an order of checks cost?

Their response:

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 10:24:34 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;md;bogenDear David Bogen,Your account type provides the check styles listed below for no charge:Free standard wallet or duplicate checks U.

S. Bank Custom, CambridgeGreen or Maroon, Vikings, Mariners, Timberwolves, or BroncosAll other styles are offered at a 50% discount with your account type.

Sincerely,MarianneUS Bank 24-Hour Banking

This is working out reasonably well. I ask them for simple bits ofinformation, they give me the simple bits of information that I seek. This process is slow but has potential.

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 10:59:11 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;2;md;bogenOK.  I want the Vikings checks, same information block as now, with a starting check number of 3333.  Those checks should be duplicate checks.

Send the checks to me at work:David Bogen[snipped - My Work Address]

My request doesn't sound too unreasonable. I'm not sure thatthey'll send me the checks at work, but it never hurts to ask.

Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 12:14:23 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;ak;bogenDear David Bogen,We are not able to mail the checks to an address that is not on theaccount.  Please let us know if it is all right to mail them to theaddress on the account.  There will be a charge of $10.48 for this boxof checks. Sincerely,AngelicaUS Bank 24-Hour Banking

Alright, they won't send the checks at work, but now they want to chargeme for checks that were free yesterday?!?

Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 14:04:17 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;1;ak;bogenUhh, why are you trying to charge me for checks now?  The e-mail below:>>>>>US Customer Service 1 wrote:> Dear David Bogen,>> Your account type provides the check styles listed below for no charge:>> Free standard wallet or duplicate checks U.

S. Bank Custom, Cambridge> Green or Maroon, Vikings, Mariners, Timberwolves, or Broncos>> All other styles are offered at a 50% discount with your account type.>> Sincerely,>> Marianne> US Bank 24-Hour Banking> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The reason that I don't want the box of checks mailed to my house is thatidentity theft is fairly common in Alameda.  One form of identity theftinvolves stealing boxes of checks mailed to people's houses before theresidents come home to collect their mail.  While our front door has amail slot, large items, like boxes of checks, get left outside on the frontporch until we get home.  So, if I can't get the checks sent to me atwork, I'll collect them from the branch near my home.
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 11:48:29 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;ak;bogenDear David Bogen,I do apologize, those checks would be free per your account type. Sincerely,AngelicaUS Bank 24-Hour Banking
We got the cost of the checks cleared up. Now lets try to clear upthe delivery method.
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 22:17:31 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;1;ak;bogenSo, if I order checks you can have them held at the branch for me to pick up?
Apparently they can only handle one idea at a time but they verify thatchecks can be held at a branch.
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:51:01 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;md;bogenDear David Bogen,We can have the checks mailed to the branch if you do not want themmailed to the address on your account currently.

Sincerely,MarianneUS Bank 24-Hour Banking
The two main issues cleared up in their minds (cost and delivery), let's try placing theorder again.
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 10:03:39 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;1;md;bogenOK.  I want the Vikings checks, same information block as now, with astarting check number of 3333.  Those checks should be duplicate checks.

Have the checks held at the South Shore Branch in Alameda, CA.
Not too difficult a request. There is only one South Shore branchin Alameda.
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 10:38:59 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;md;bogenDear David Bogen,To ensure we have all the information for your order correct, pleaseconfirm that you are wanting the following information printed on yourduplicate Vikings checks with a starting number of 3333:DAVID BOGEN                 [snipped - My Home Address]                          ALAMEDA, CA 94501 5220And that you are wanting the checks shipped to the South Shore branchlocated at 2234 Otis Drive, Alameda, CA 94501.

Once we receive confirmation we will place the order immediately.

Sincerely,MarianneUS Bank 24-Hour Banking
Yes, that's all correct. Place the order already. This isdragging on too long.
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 11:01:40 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;1;md;bogenReferences: That all looks OK and the address of the branch is correct.  Can you put a dash between the 94501 and the 5220 such that it appears 94501-5220?

How will I know when the checks have been received by the branch so that I can pick them up?
This is the moment of truth, can the bank follow simple directions. Survey says?!? BUZZZZZ! Unfortunately, the bank cannot followsimple instructions.
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 10:07:01 -0800From: "US Customer Service 1" To: David BogenSubject: usbank;1;ak;bogenDear David Bogen, I ordered the checks as you specified.  The starting number on thechecks will be 3333.  They should arrive to the address on the accountwithin 5-13 business days.  There is no charge for the checks per youraccount type.

Online check ordering is now available.  You may access this new featureonce successfully logged on to your account using our InternetBanking.   From your Account Summary page you can choose the link, "Reordering checks and inquiring about your order status".  Then youshould be able to follow the quick and easy steps of placing your nextcheck order online.      Sincerely,AngelicaUS Bank 24-Hour Banking
So wait, you didn't hold the checks at the branch, even after all thate-mail? What were you thinking? Or perhaps more precisely, whatweren't you thinking? Now you're pushing that moronic webinterface! How do you think I got embroiled in this whole mess? By trying to use the infernal web interface! Idiots!
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 10:27:24 -0800From: David BogenTo: 1800USBANKS@USBANK.

COMSubject: Re: usbank;1;ak;bogen> checks will be 3333.  They should arrive to the address on the account> within 5-13 business days.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!What portion of the following three sentences was unclear???????

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CHECKS BE MAILED TO MY HOUSE.

REPEAT:  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CHECKS BE MAILED TO MY HOUSE.

REPEAT:  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CHECKS BE MAILED TO MY HOUSE.

Multiple times I specified that the checks were to be SENT TO THE SOUTH SHORE BRANCH AND NOT MY HOUSE!!!!!!!!!  WHAT WAS UNCLEAR ABOUT THAT?!?!?!?!  The branch to which I wanted my checks was known.  You even supplied the address, so it's not a big secret where the branch is located.

I -knew- that this would get screwed up.  I just knew it.  I was hoping against hope that there was someone in the bank who really cared about getting the job done right the first time, but now I see that US Bank, like all other banks, is just as committed to sloppy, careless work as all the others.