A few months ago, in a visit to my bank, the teller encouraged me to sign up for text alerts for low account balances (you know you live your life close to zero when the teller suggests this option). I haven’t bounced a check or incurred an overdraft fee in years but I thought it might be a good idea just in case – despite my ineptitude dealing with technology.
I completely forgot about this service… until this morning.
I received a text that read, ‘Your account balance is $2.14’ and gave directions on how to transfer funds directly from my phone from my savings account. Sometimes I pay bills a little too far in advance and they clear my account before the paycheck they are intended to be paid with. I transferred $100 as per the directions and put my phone back into my purse with a smug smile because I had conquered technology.
60 seconds later, I received another text that read, ‘Your account balance is $8.14’ and repeated the same directions.
“What happened to the $100?!?” I shouted at my phone in a full panic. Assuming someone had stolen my identity and my debit card, I thought they were clearing out my bank account. “Ahhhh!!” I screamed.
I tried to log on to my bank account from my work computer but the bank wouldn’t let me without a special code since I was logging on from a computer other than my home computer. I tried to get my special code but it was connected to an e-mail account I closed a month ago.
I called my husband, “Help! Someone is stealing all our money from the bank account!” I cried as I explained what was happening.
He calmly logged in from his computer and explained that no one was stealing, it was simply two checks for utility bills clearing back to back. It was close, but we had enough in the account to cover it.
‘Oh’ I responded.
Technology is lame, stressful, and… great?
If your bank has this free service, try it out. It might help save a bounced check.