Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In my job I have been seeing people who feel that they are entitled to get everything for free or take no responsibility for their actions. Part of my job in bank operations is dealing with customers who dispute charges to their accounts with their debit card or automated clearing house (ACH) more commonly referred to as a check over the phone. While debit card and mail (including e-mail) fraud is continuing to grow at a fast pace, an experienced person can tell when a customer is lying about not knowing what the charge on their account is about.

I recently had two people lodge disputes over charges that caused their accounts to go negative and incur insufficient fund fees. The first was a man who rented a car for two months because he was involved in an accident. His insurance company refused to pay the entire amount of the rental. He felt that he should not have been charged by the car rental company at all and the bank should pay him back because it was not authorized. Visa and Master Card both advertise that transactions performed on your account (here are the key words with a lost or stolen card) that are not authorized, are not the customers responsibility. This customer was so adamant that he was defrauded by the car rental company he even filed a police report claiming fraud. (The bank requires this for all unauthorized transactions over $250.00 so that if the actual criminals are caught, they can be prosecuted and the money recovered). The Insurance company refused to pay the bill because his car was ready in two and half weeks, not two months. The customer liked the rental car better than what he had repaired, so instead of returning the car, he kept it for two months and said, "I'm not paying for it'.

The second case, was a father who's teen-age son went online and bought a pocket-rocket mini motor bike. When he first came into the bank, he had no idea what this was. When he came back to file the paperwork, he had contacted the company and knew that his son had indeed pretended to be him online and, again over the phone, made arrangements with the delivery company to deliver the bike when his parents were not home. This man wanted: The bank to pay him back because it was not authorized, and to keep the mini bike because it was originally coming out of his account. Or, The company was to pay him back and absorb all the costs of shipping the bike back across the country.

Both of these people had the same basic attitude. I 'm entitled to keep my money and keep what I bought because it was not my fault. Wrong!! To the first, take responsibility for your actions. You knew your insurance company would only pay while your car was in the shop. Don't expect someone else to cover the cost for your joy ride over the summer. To the second, be a parent. What example are you setting for a child when he sees you try to get something for free at the expense of someone else. If it's going to cost you to return it, and or, keep it, punish the child. Extra chores, no privileges and have the child earn the money to pay for the mini bike.

These are just a few of the most recent examples I've seen recently. People need to get over this "it's somebody else's fault, I'm not responsible for what I do" attitude. We need to go back to the teaching, that you take responsibility for your actions and, you are not entitled to anything, you earn them.

1 comment:

linda said...

today i stopped at the putnam co-op to look for a gardening tool. while there i over heard the owner making a call to a customer about a check that had bounced. since she was not home he left a message then hung up. he turned to the customer at the register and said "you know when times are bad every one tries to pass bad checks." i guess there are alot of people out there who think they are going to beat the system some how. linda