Maybe YOU think this is off-topic, but this story is in progress here and is happening to me. The story is 48 hours old at this writing and started Sunday when I went to the grocery store…
Meijer. Starbucks coffee sitting sweetly in my cart. Short list. Nice day. At the register on checkout #14 was Cherie, longtime checkout clerk. Fast. Efficient. Total: $102.25
Monday morning. Login to online banking at First Source Bank. Not one, but TWO memos for pending transactions of $102.25. I call online customer service. I’m on hold for approx. 2 minutes. I’m told to phone Meijer. There was a system outage at the bank and the customer service rep has been told some retailers triggered two transactions when the first didn’t go through. I phone the local Meijer. They give me their bankcard unit’s number. Nope, they debited once. I phone the bank back. New information: it will be taken care of in the overnight transactions. The error will be gone in the morning. I complain that $102.25 of mine has been encumbered since it isn’t part of my ‘available balance.’
Tuesday morning. Login to online banking at First Source Bank. Not one, but TWO line items for $102.25 have been actually DEBITED from my account. As in gone from me. And given to whom? Who has the money? I phone the bank’s customer service. (Actually I phone the bank from my deskphone and Meijer from my cell phone. Meijer answers first. I hang up on the bank’s incessant wait messaging). Meijer confirms again that there was only one debit initiated by them. I thank them, phone the bank back. Wait another 2 minutes. Customer service rep. mumbles her name. I explain. She checks. She asks me if I wouldn’t mind holding. I wait. She returns to the call. She’s talked to the Branch Administrator, here is what I have to do (in my head the words are screaming, “HERE IS WHAT I HAVE TO DO???”). I need to go into my branch bank and fill out a “RESOURCE PLUS CARD CARDHOLDER STATEMENT OF DISPUTED ITEM” ‘The sale posted more than once, I made only one purchase.’ She acknowledges, as did the other bank employee on Monday, that there are several (10’s? 100’s?) of errors the bank is researching which occurred over the weekend.
I ask if we are being recorded and calmly ask her if it makes sense to her that the bank’s system error is being pushed out to their customers. She raised her voice. Clearly she was frustrated that I was not following the party line. I suggested perhaps the bank should credit to the accounts having duplicate debits the money the account holders have entrusted to the bank. Then, when the bank discovers the system error which caused this fiasco, the bank can review those accounts to which it gave provisional credits and determine if any of them should be withdrawn, THEN debit them out.
Okay, so what lesson is there in this for course management systems and their administrators? Well first, praise the Force that holds the universe together that you and I don’t administer a banking system. Secondly, if we did… if we did, that we know what customer service is supposed to look like.