OPINION | Barry Richard: Has Technology Made Us Stupid in Other Ways?
I pulled up to the bank drive-thru to pay the mortgage. I pulled away 15 minutes later with the cash still in hand wondering whatever happened to common sense. Has technology actually left us technologically stupid?
My bank (a different one) decided that free checking was just too customer friendly so it decided to charge 30 bucks for a box of checks. I write one bill per month from that account so I declined. I would make the trek each month to my bank, draw out the cash to pay the mortgage and then stop at the bank that holds the note and make the payment.
I don't like to pay online in case you were wondering.
Today I withdrew what I needed to pay the mortgage then drove to bank two to pay it. But, there was a problem. The window clerk disappeared for what appeared to be an unusual amount of time. She reappeared with a supervisor and the two of them stared at the computer screen and appeared to be completely stumped.
The mortgage is "X" dollars and 55 cents. I'd forgotten the 55 cents and they couldn't convince the computer to accept the payment without it. Partial payments are not allowed. They needed 55 cents in order to process the payment.
With no cash in my wallet and only pennies on the back floor, I offered up my debit card.
Me: "A major credit card?"
Teller: "Sorry, no can do."
Me: "Can I mail it to you?"
Teller: "Ah, no."
Me: "Can you just add it to next month's payment?"
Teller: "As we've already explained, we cannot accept partial payments."
Me: "This is a freaking bank! Don't you have 55 cents in there somewhere?"
Teller: "here is your money back. Try again later when you have the correct amount."
Back in the day, this could have been resolved quite quickly and easily, no? But the computer says it can't be done and no one can figure out a common sense way to resolve an issue unless it is up there on the computer screen.
My mistake for forgetting to include the 55 cents, but really?
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.