Friday, May 27, 2005

Poo Poo on the Paper

I originally was not going to post about this for several different reasons, but now, after what just happened, I decided I am going to post about this. I’m mad at the Californian.

Last week I found myself in the very embarrassing situation of being over drawn in my checking account. (Balancing my check book has never really been my thing. Numbers – hate ‘em.) Not wanting to add more over drawn charges to my account, I thought long and hard if there were any other automatic charges that might still go through. There was only one – the monthly charge to have the paper delivered. I promptly got on the phone and called The Californian. The first thing I did was explain that my checking account was over drawn so I did not want them to charge my account. I asked if I could come in and pay the fee instead and I was told that I could but it would be twice the amount I currently pay.

After a brief conversation I determined that the best way to avoid any further charges would be to cancel the paper altogether and re-subscribe later. I very precisely asked the girl on the phone, “So are there any other fees or charges that I need to take care of?” No. “Okay, so you’re not going to deduct anything else from my checking account, right?” Yes. Four days later, after the paper had stopped being delivered, they deducted $7.00 from my checking account, causing me to be charged another $23.00 over draft fee.

Very calmly I called the number I had dialed days before and spoke to the same girl. Very nicely I explained my situation and asked if they could not refund the $7.00 back into my checking account, thus erasing the over draft fee. I was told they could not do that and promptly turned over to her supervisor. Again, very nicely I explained what was going on and asked if the money could be credited back into my account. He admitted that the charge was their mistake and that I would be reimbursed, but that because of how the account was set up, the best they could do is send me a check for the $7.00. That is about the time I started to get pissed. I raised my voice a little and informed the man that I was upset. I told him I didn’t really care about the $7.00 charge and that I was more concerned about the $23.00 fee. Then, and only then, did he said that they would also reimburse the bank charge if I showed him my bank statement. “Fine” I said, and hung up. I was planning on going in today, bank statement in hand.

But then my mail arrived. I found a check from The Bakersfield Californian. The check was for $6.78. Not $7.00. Sure, it’s only 22 cents and not a big deal, but still – what the hell? Am I being charged some sort of processing fee for their mistake? That’s ridiculous. True, I am an idiot for causing my account to become overdrawn, but I don’t think it’s the paper’s place to punish me.

In retaliation, I am not going to read the paper today. So there! (sticking my tongue out)