Billions in Profit, $500 at a Time

An entertaining bank story for your Monday reading pleasure.

With our old home equity plan we had a line of credit (Old LOC) and a Visa (Old VISA). When we bought the new house we needed to pay off the old stuff, and we got New LOC and New VISA as part of the new home equity plan.

In the process, I overpaid the old Visa by $500. I didn’t catch this until a few months ago. Called the bank up, asked them to please transfer my credit balance from Old Visa to New LOC. Sure, they said, no problem.

Two months later, another round of statements and I realize they had transferred the credit amount from Old Visa to Old LOC. Not so helpful, so I call again, explain my problem, and ask them to transfer credit balance from Old LOC to New LOC. Sure, no problem, we’ll get on that right away.

A week later, transfer hasn’t shown up in New LOC, so I phone to see what’s going on. Transfer never happened, much apology, will re-authorize. Then a phone message at home: we can’t do the transfer, would you mind going to your branch and getting it done?

Three days later, I check New LOC. I find the $500 transfer in there, but it’s been transferred in the wrong direction. Now, instead of having two closed accounts with $0 balances, I have Old LOC, which I can’t access or check online, with a credit balance of $1000. The extra $500 came from New LOC. Pretty impressive given I was told they couldn’t actually process the transfer for me.

The status now is a promise to transfer all the money back into new LOC, backdating as appropriate to avoid interest charges. If this happens without further intervention I will have to schedule time to retrieve my jaw from the floor and reattach it.

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