Nagging tasks

11 Feb

Do you ever have the same items on your to-do list from week to week just because you don’t want to deal with them?

 

That’s been the last few weeks for me. I had two tasks that were giving me this nagging feeling but I just kept ignoring. Friday morning, I made some espresso (I usually just drink tea so espresso is approximately 97x more caffeine than I’m used to) and got down to business.

 

 

Issue #1: Give me my money.

{I’m not going to admit which bank I was dealing with on this issue. I’m pretty annoyed but I’ll refrain from publicly bashing them because I am, I guess, technically, in the wrong.}

 

Mike and I recently signed up for a new bank. We got checking accounts and a new cash rewards credit card. Let me note that we signed up for the SAME cards on the SAME day at the SAME bank with the SAME lady. Within 15 minutes of each other.

 

We really just wanted the checking account, but saw online that the credit card had a $100 cash reward bonus if you spent $500 in the first 3 months, so we decided to get that too.

 

Fast forward to a few months later, after we have both certainly spent $500 within the allotted time frame. Neither of us received our bonus. So Mike did one of those online chat things to ask about the status of his bonus. They looked into it and a few days later, he received his $100. Cool.

 

A week later, I called to ask about my bonus and they said they’d look into it. I soon received a letter in the mail saying I wasn’t eligible. WHAT?!

 

cash rewards denial

So Friday morning, (after the caffeine kicked in) I logged onto their online chat, and asked what the deal was. The chat lady looked into it and told me that the $100 cash back was an online offer- you were eligible for the reward only if you signed up for the card online. WHAT?! WHY WOULD THE INITIAL LADY AT THE BANK NOT HAVE TOLD US THAT?!

 

So I guess whoever gave Mike the bonus didn’t look into it correctly to make sure he signed up online. Which is good, because this entire time, he was uber paranoid that we didn’t sign up right.

 

He kept saying, “should we have told them that we wanted the $100 bonus?” and I was like, “no, it’s automatic, you don’t have to tell anyone, DUH”

 

But it turns out Mike is smarter than me (as usual) and we SHOULD HAVE SAID THAT and maybe the bank lady would have been like “oh, you can’t get that reward by applying in person” and then I’d be $100 richer.

 

UGH.

 

Lesson learned, kids: don’t assume anything when you’re dealing with banks. I assumed that the bank lady would have acted in our best interests and told us about the online-ONLY offer… I was wrong.

 

But I guess I’m glad that one of us got the bonus :)

 

 

 

Issue #2: Fix my teeth.

The other nagging task was finding a dentist. After quitting my job last year, I got back on my parent’s health insurance which is based out of the DC area. This means the only dental providers who accept the insurance are also in the DC area.

 

I spent 30ish mins on the phone trying to figure out if I could see any dentists in NY. Unfortunately, it was a big fat “nope!” If I go to a dentist up here, I’ll have to pay out-of-network costs. Womp womp.

 

I got a little bummed but then realized that our dental insurance isn’t all that good anyway- I normally have to pay $30 for cleanings and somewhere around $150-200 for fillings. Maybe that’s not that much more than out-of-network costs?

 

So I googled around and found two dentists in the area. I sent them emails asking for their out-of-network costs.

 

I got an almost immediate response from one saying that an initial exam is $105 and cleanings are $88. No mention of cost for fillings (now that I think about it, that might be variable depending on the severity of the cavity?) but I’m going to guess that if a cleaning alone is $88, fillings would be astronomical.  And I know I need at least a few cavities filled (my teeth stink).

 

So. Back to VA for dentistry I go. But at least I researched it to be sure!

 

 

Lessons learned?

If you learn anything from my extreme annoyance today… it’s:

 

#1- don’t trust banks. they are not out to help you.

#2- out-of-network dental costs are kind of ridiculous.

#3- drink some coffee before doing silly tasks and it will be slightly more enjoyable.

 

 

 

Do you have any nagging tasks on your to-do list? Have you ever gotten RIDICULOUSLY ANGRY at a bank before? (tell me I’m not alone…)

 

 

 

22 Responses to “Nagging tasks”

  1. Melissa @ Mel's Miles February 11, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    I’m periodically ridiculously angry at a bank because I work for one :( things are much better now that I’m only working there on a part time basis. However, I can tell you firsthand that banks are not always there to help you. Certain employees actually care, but as a whole the bank definitely doesn’t unless there are hundreds of thousands of dollars involved. The lady would never have steered you online because she probably gets mega commission on each CC she sells :( also we get confused sometimes about how cash back deals work so the lady may not have even known it was only online.

    wow this comment is really negative baha! Sorry about that! I really do love my job most of the time, but can’t continue making a living off of financial sales for much longer. Lots of it feels evil to me :/
    Melissa @ Mel’s Miles recently posted…Weekend in MilwaukeeMy Profile

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 10:08 am #

      haha the whole post was really negative… your comment wasn’t :) I’m so glad you commented since you know the ins and outs of banks!! You make a good point, the bank lady (what on earth do you call them? tellers are the ones at the counter, right? who are the people who give you accounts?!) probably wouldn’t make any sort of commission if we signed up online. Or maybe I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say she didn’t know. Either situation, if I had spoken up, she might have felt obligated to tell us or she would have researched it and found out the truth! Good lesson to learn, I guess.. ugh haha.

      a lot of things in the financial industry feel evil to me… I don’t think I could ever work for a bank or financial planning company because it seems that all of them are just out to promote whatever makes them the most money, no matter if it helps customers or not! I don’t like that at all :(

  2. Kraig February 11, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Ashley,

    Wow on the bank thing. That’s why I don’t play those games. Ugh…. I would be SOOOO mad if I were you.

    I’d threaten to close the account if they don’t give you the bonus.. and I would close it.

    And boy, do I know about dentist costs. Although I have a private health plan, I don’t have dental coverage (and haven’t for years). So I just pay for the work I get done, which can get expensive at times. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your bill isn’t too high.

    Lastly, I’m enjoying a cup of highly caffeinated coffee as I write this and I’m loving it. Gosh, I love coffee! I also like tea and will switch to that when I’m at my caffeine limit for the morning.

    Talk to you on Friday?
    Kraig recently posted…Comment on It’s NOT About Dollars per Item, It’s About Total Dollars Spent by Kraig MathiasMy Profile

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      I feel bad writing a whole whiny post about it but I was SO angry! Mostly I guess I just feel dumb for knowing about the offer but never bringing it up. I hope she would have felt obligated to tell us about the online-only thing if I had asked about it! oh well… lesson learned!

      Ugh dentists are so crazy expensive- but you might have a good strategy. I have terrible teeth so I feel like I’m always shelling out a ton of money when I go… it’s the worst! When I get back on my own insurance I’ll definitely have to price out the monthly cost of a dental plan vs paying out of pocket.

      Hahaha I hope the coffee helps you be super productive today!! and yes, Friday!!

  3. Mike February 11, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    What about getting taxes completed? Certainly another nagging task you managed to accomplish. For free.

    Also, I agree with Craig. You should threaten to close your accounts with them. After all, they CAN just simply press a button and give you your $100 (+10% more if redeemed into BoA checking… so $110) bonus, and they sometimes do anything to keep customers.

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Good point! I wrote this friday before we did the taxes :) Yeah, I should make a fuss and threaten to close the account. Even if they call my bluff, I wouldn’t mind actually canceling it. Have we ever even used the actual bank?! I think I’d be fine without it.

  4. E.M. February 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Ugh that sucks you didn’t get the bonus, but at least Mike did. Honestly, I don’t think very many big banks have their customer’s best interests in mind. They’re just out to make money and ensure you don’t get anything extra!

    One of my teeth started hurting the other day. It bummed me out as well, because I just wanted this whole thing over with after having that one wisdom tooth pulled last year. I’m still not covered under my new job, and it only hurts during brushing, so I’m going to tough it out for now and hope it doesn’t get worse.

    I’ve been needing to call Verizon to see if they’re going to give me a credit and I keep putting it off. I really don’t want to speak with them, but I’d like some money back!
    E.M. recently posted…What Are Your Distractions?My Profile

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      Bah! I hope your tooth feels better! :( I get so nervous when anything is wrong with my teeth… which is often, haha.

      If it makes you feel any better, I had to call Verizon when I was switching to RW and they were surprisingly nice and helpful. Although they tried to convince me like 7 times to not cancel my service, haha. Hopefully your call is just as easy :) DOOOO it!

  5. terri d. February 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    I can give you an uplifting bank story…back in the olden days when phishing was new, I had money stolen from my account. This was in a time where I tracked every penny and most of it was going to pay for my 420 square feet of bliss (aka: efficiency apartment by myself) and books. I went crying and heartbroken to my bank and they immediately gave me all the money back…thank goodness. Anyway, I would agree that banks can be tough to deal with and it’s a bummer, and most credit card companies (even the bank) just want you to rack up debt so they can make more money.

    Sorry that you have to come back to VA to go to the dentist (ick), but at least it means we get to see you – yay!

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      HAHA “the olden days”. That is awesome when they actually treat you well (especially for something like that where it wasn’t even your fault). I might call them and threaten to cancel the account and see what happens!

      I made the appt for next Tuesday! But I’ll probably only be in town that day then leave Weds morning :(

  6. Emily @ evolvingPF February 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    I’ve gotten quite mad at our megabank in the past, but we don’t work with them any longer. I’d be mad about the salesperson not telling me that there was a bonus available online. Did you ask them to make an exception for you?

    • Ashley February 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

      I know right?! She MUST have known that deal was available! Ugh. I’ll probably call them and threaten to cancel. I really don’t need the account anyway (thank goodness for smartphone apps that let you cash checks) so even if they don’t give me the money, I’ll feel better taking a stand against them :)

  7. Sol February 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    I opened a Capital One 360 checking using a friend’s referral, and got $50. I thought it was annoying that they asked me to make at least three transactions, but at least they weren’t ambiguous about the deal, as was your case!

    Sol – frugalsouls.com

  8. ashton February 13, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    Sometimes when I have a giant to-do list I’ve avoided for days, I’ll write extra things on my list I’ve already done just to cross some off. It’s like optimistic procrastination. :)

    • Ashley February 13, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      I TOTALLY do that too! bahaha so glad I am not the only one… :)

  9. Casey February 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    I loathe loathe loathe PNC Bank. Unlike your classy choice not to name the bank, I wish I could scream my dislike at the top of my lungs for all the hear! Mostly customer service and follow-up issues with them, but let’s just say that one issue lasted almost a FULL YEAR before it was taken care of. Shhh…I’m planning to install the ultimate safe so I will no longer have to deal with banks ;)

    • Ashley February 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      bahaha “the ultimate safe”… love it. I can’t believe one issue took a YEAR?!?!?!?! I would not be able to handle that. UGH!

  10. Debbie M February 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    On #1, maybe you can try the chat method, as if nothing else has happened. Maybe one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing. (Or maybe everyone just got properly trained in between the time Mike asked and the time you asked.)

    The first time I ever dealt with a bank, they cashed my camp paycheck even though I had no ID and lived 200 miles away. (I think they trusted that the local summer camp was good for the money.) No bank has ever lived up to that standard since!

    The next bank I dealt with wouldn’t give me a checking account because those are for adults. I was in college. (Admittedly, I looked 12.)

    Another bank charged so many fees I pulled all my money out and used my friends as banks.

    My savings and loan got bought by someone–they were still okay. Then they got bought by someone else and got worse. So I switched to a credit union that was slightly worse than my original S&L (you had to have direct deposit to get the free checking–but when I do have a paycheck I love direct deposit), and no one is buying them. Whew! Plus when they got worse one time and called it an “improvement,” letter writing caused them to get better again.

    Another bad thing is when they pay the biggest bills first so they can bounce multiple smaller checks and charge you fees. And when you deposit a check, you can’t use the money right away, even nowadays when I’m sure they get the money instantly or at least overnight.

    The main thing that angers me is interest rates. When I was a kid, savings accounts paid 5%. Of course credit card interest rates were much higher. Now credit card interest rates are higher still, and savings account interest rates have plummeted to basically zero. I switched to CDs (once I figured out that the “substantial penalty for early withdrawal” is usually almost nothing), then online high-interest savings accounts. Still with the plummeting. Same with my HSA. Now I also get I-bonds, even though they’ve plummeted to 0% + inflation (though 0.2% + inflation currently). Inflation alone is higher than all interest rates I can get.

    • Ashley February 15, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

      Hmmm you have a point. I’m just afraid they’ll pull up my “file” and see that I already asked about it! But then again, I kind of want to cancel the account anyway, so I really have nothing to lose…

      That is too funny that bank cashed your paycheck even with no ID- I bet many places wouldn’t do that now! I can’t believe how many banks charge super high fees- I would pull my money out too! (but not sure about using my friends as banks, haha)

      I guess I’m just used to super low rates- but it is definitely still depressing. It’s almost impossible to even find 1%! I use a few online accounts and get somewhere around .85%… and even that feels like a fortune :)

      • Debbie M February 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

        I can’t imagine any bank cashing a check with no ID. But it’s right there in my memory!

        I only get 0.75% from my online bank and 0.65% from my HSA. And 0.25% from my credit union’s savings accounts, 0.1% for their 1-year CDs. (And 0 for my checking account and broker accounts.)

        Which is why I-bonds look good at 1.38% even if you lose 3 months interest for cashing them in after less than five years. The only problem is that you can’t cash them in at all for a whole year.

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