Money, Day 4: THIEF!!

October 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm 1 comment

OMG, I stole $300!

Remember how I said I’d missed an AT&T bill in September, and now owed $300?  The actual total is something like $307-something, but regardless…  They were threatening to disconnect our service if the amount wasn’t paid in full by the 27th.  Not good.

I was so distressed by this news that I ran out as soon as I saw the notice and deposited my paychecks at the ATM.   See, at the time, it was only about 6:00 a.m., and I had come downstairs to deal with some of this before the kids woke up.   Ergo: the bank proper wasn’t open and the ATM was all that was available to me.  But I needed to feel I had done something right then and there, so that’s what I did.

‘Course, when I got back and sat down to pay the bill itself, Andy reminded me that checks deposited at the ATM usually take two or three days to hit.  So I fretted for a minute, then realized that AT&T will let me just schedule a payment.  I set the payment up to go through on the 20th — Tuesday — because that would be two business days after the deposit and also Payday, so even the checks didn’t go through, we’d be covered until they did.  All good.

On Tuesday night, I was talking with other Moms at Susie’s soccer practice, and one of them mentioned that she was using UVerse, but they used Vonage instead of the Uverse phone, since it was cheaper.  Cheaper is definitely a good thing in my book, so I looked into it today.  I wanted to compare the costs between Vonage and Uverse, so I logged into our AT&T account to see if I could find a breakdown of what we’re currently paying for each component of our package.

What I saw instead was that my account still reports that I owe $307.   NOT GOOD.  When I saw that I went right to my bank account to check, and sure enough… the 20th went by, and no withdrawal from AT&T.  Again: Not Good.   And there was plenty of money in the account that day, too, so there was no reason for it not to come out.  I was very perplexed.

So I called AT&T and went through the usual 300+ steps required to get myself to the point where I was talking to someone.  (Can I just say that AT&T is hopelessly convoluted?  Yeesh!)   The first thing she did was to inform me that if I wished to pay my bill over the phone, there would be a $5.00 charge, but if I would like to pay it online, this fee woudl be waived.

This was NOT what I needed to hear just then.   I got snippy with her and informed her that there would be no $5.00 charge for anything, no matter how this went down.  I had attempted to pay my bill online, and it hadn’t WORKED, which is why I was calling in the first place.   So as far as I’m concerned, there will be no $5.00 fee.  No.

Suffice it to say, my approach there didn’t exactly foster a productive conversation for a few minutes.  But eventually she was made to understand that what I needed was for her to look at the account and see what happened and why the payment didn’t go through.  This she attempted to do, disclaiming repeatedly that she might not be able to tell, because that information is not available to her, etc. etc.  I told her to just look, or pass me off to someone to whom that information would BE available.  Sheesh.

She looked, and told me that no… the bill HAD been paid.  The balance showing on my account page was out of date.   She was seeing a balance of zero, and showed me where to go on the website to see for myself that it had gone through.  Sure enough, there it was… a payment on 10/20/09 for $307-whatever.

Well, that’s great and all, but why wasn’t that showing up at my bank?!

I happened to have clicked the transaction ID on the page, which produced a pop-up with details about the transaction.  I noticed that the account number cited (well, what I could see of it, anyway, which amounted to the last few numbers) ended in a number that is different from mine.  I began to realize what happened… I had put in the wrong bank account number, and the $300 had come out of someone else’s account entirely.

Whoops.

I thanked the AT&T lady and told her I needed to go and call my bank.  But as I hung up, it occurred to me that it was possible I might just know who has that account.  The account I’m using at the bank is the same account I’ve had since I was young, so all of the members of my family have bank accounts with numbers right around mine.  I called my Mom to ask her which of us had an account that ended in this number.  She said, “That’s mine.”

She had me log into her account to check, and sure enough… $307-something was taken out of her account on 10/20. Mystery solved.

I was mortified.  I apologized profusely and asked Mom if I was able to transfer money into her account.  She laughed and told me not to worry about it, and then hung up.

Wow… I stole $300 from my Mom.

And now I can pay my Insurance bill.   Wow.

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Entry filed under: Money, Successes. Tags: , , , , .

Money, Day 3: Budget Money, Day 5: Phase 1 Complete!

1 Comment

  • 1. Melalvai  |  October 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    That is hilarious.
    I hope you tell your kids the story about how you stole $307 from their grandmother. Repeatedly.


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