18 Aug

I should clarify — when I said “US Bank” I didn’t mean all United States banks. I meant the specific bank called US Bank, which is headquartered in Minneapolis (I think). US Bank of Oregon swallowed up my old bank, Peoples Bank, then merged with a Minnesota bank to become US Bank.

I also wanted to add:

The main issue is not so much that the float is eliminated, but that the website does not at all make it clear that has happened. The combination of the changed behavior by the bank and the crappy UI of the website is what got me. Just one of those problems would have been OK, but both of them together = overdraft.

18 Aug

US Bank customers be warned:

They eliminated the float on debit card transactions.

Check card transactions are now being debited from your account immediately — but this is not reflected directly on the website. The website just includes them in “funds held pending verification” — which sounds a lot like deposited funds, doesn’t it? It’s not.

Default behavior until recently was that funds were not removed from the available balance until transactions actually cleared. Now they are removed immediately, even though it is frequently several days before the transaction goes through.

So when I made a couple of charges the evening before payday, knowing that my paycheck would be in the account by 6 am the next morning to cover them (something that has never, ever been a problem before — and don’t tell me you’ve never done this), I was instead overdrawn — because though the actual funds to cover the charge would be in the account before the next business day, and the charge in question didn’t clear for 3 more days, apparently the new system immediately made those funds unavailable to me — hence, a $20 overdraft fee, and a bunch of money sucked out of my savings account that I wasn’t expecting.

So now US Bank enjoys the use of my money for a few days while denying me access to it. This is a scam to get more overdraft fees. The person from US Bank I talked to on the phone claimed it was because of customer requests. HA!

US Bank customers, you are warned. NO FLOAT.

12 Aug

Baseball Prospectus claims that Pete Rose is going to be reinstated. Major League Baseball denies this, calling the report “unfortunate and journalistically irresponsible.” As opposed to Bud Selig’s complete and utter irresponsibility as regards his obligations to the sport of baseball, I guess.

Doug Pappas’ commentary on the matter in his Business of Baseball Weblog is spot-on, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want Pete Rose anywhere near MLB, and should he be reinstated, it is another in the long list of crimes against baseball committed by Bud Selig.

08 Aug

Some folks in Chicago bought a bungalow, kind of like we did. But unlike our bungalow (which was spotless and empty when we got the keys), theirs is full of stuff. And not just a little bit of stuff. STUFF. 60 years of stuff, some junk, some valuable. The house itself has been muddled (the previous owners covered the fireplace with fake wood paneling!), so not only is it full of interesting surprises in the pile of stuff, the bungalow itself has many surprises, some better than others. House in Progress: a Home Improvement Diary describes the restoration process, the items found in the house, and general old-house craziness with humor and fun. Great stuff, in more ways than one.

03 Aug

I love bubble tea (or pearl tea, as it’s sometimes called). I first had it a couple of years ago. Suddenly, it’s a fad around here. Good stuff, but doesn’t taste much like tea. It’s just a sweet drink. My question: when will Starbucks start selling it? It’s only a matter of time.

03 Aug

Gary Ridgway might make a plea deal. All I can say is, if this resolves as many of the Green River cases as possible, it’s a Good Thing. I don’t believe in the death penalty anyway, and it’s better to resolve this for the families of the victims than to put him to death with the truth locked away.

Still, I can’t believe this might finally be over. Only a few months before my 20 year high school reunion, and we might know the truth about how my classmate Cynthia Hinds died.

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