Sunday, January 20, 2013

Relaxing on our detour

cocktails on the beach

We are at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground (map).  Music lives here, according to their motto, and so do our friends, so it is a familiar stop for us.  Our good friend Charles just retired from a quarter century as a route air traffic controller with the FAA, and coincidentally he's been having something of a retirement / birthday party over this weekend, so our drop-in was very timely.  We were up late around the campfire last night, eating pulled pork and gumbo with a dozen or so of his closest friends.

After yesterday's post I finally heard back from Chase and the manager of the San Jose branch.  He basically declined to do anything on his own authority, but said he would check with the regional manager when she came in on Tuesday.  I argued that, in the age of cell phones, he ought to be able to get an answer that afternoon, as it would mean the difference for us between a long detour or a direct route, and a delay of two days.  He told us he would try and would call us back later.

We opted to get on the road, and get at least as far as Valdosta, where the detour decision point would be.  As luck would have it, his call came in just ten minutes shy of that point.  The decision from the regional manager was that if we presented ID and got signatures notarized and overnighted to them by Tuesday they would make an exception and do the wire then.  We pulled over in Valdosta to ponder our options, and look for a notary.

There was a notary in Valdosta open on Saturday and we could send the papers second-day air, as UPS considers Monday a regular business day.  Total cost about $40. The problem with this whole proposal, however, is that the bank in San Jose doesn't even open until 9am, which would be noon here, and by the time UPS got there, the wire could be started as late as 10am, even if everything went perfectly.  There's a better than even chance that the wired funds would not make it by COB Tuesday.  On top of that, we could see many things going wrong -- just last week, we "overnighted" papers to the documentation company, and UPS slipped by a full day due to an undescribed "transportation accident."

So we bit the bullet and decided instead to divert to Jacksonville.  This way we can be there right when the branch opens, at 9am eastern time, and get the wire started, and if there is any issue with it we will be right there in person.  The diversion will only cost us twice what sending the paperwork to San Jose would cost, so we are really just losing a couple of days in the process.  The pony at the bottom of this pile was that the diversion route would bring us right past here, and we could have a couple of days of downtime with good friends.  This is also the warmest we've been in weeks, and I spent today working outside the bus in short sleeves.

My rant here yesterday about Chase generated a lot of replies, many of which came by direct email.  Lots of good suggestions, and we are following up on them.  That said, we know now from multiple past experiences that, no matter what kind of good deal and service we find, there is always a possibility that the bank (or brokerage house) will be bought out by someone with a less beneficial customer service policy.

Tomorrow we will leave here and head to Jacksonville, so we can be at the bank right at opening time Tuesday.  I expect it will be crowded, as it is literally the only branch in town, and it will be the first day after a holiday weekend.  If we can be in and out in an hour, we ought to make it to the marina in Savannah by 2pm or so.

Photo by Cut To Pieces, used under a Creative Commons license.

1 comment:

  1. When we moved out of our house and into the bus we left all our accounts at our local credit union. Its a mid-sized western Canadian institution so not in immediate danger of takeover and has in fact acquired some additional local credit unions in the past few years.

    When we purchased Gray Hawk I phoned our CU Manager (who worked for me before taking his current position) and he organized the transfer. I don't think there is any replacement for the human touch in the lifestyle we have chosen. If you fit the cookie cutter mould that banking (and all commerce) is built around, then a conventional bank will likely work for you. But if you choose to live differently from the average client then I believe you need some system that allows for human intervention. My advice plus 3 bucks will buy you coffee but my advice is to find an institution where your presence will be known and the minute that situation changes, move your accounts.


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