I am a little greedy, so I jumped right in when I got an offer of $500.00 cash just for opening a bank account with Bank of America. The main string attached to the deal was that I had to make direct deposits of at least $10,000 within a three-month period, from payroll earnings, pensions and the like. Easy peasy. Right?

I checked with Chase Bank, who had lured me with a similar offer a decade, or so, ago, to see if they’d make an effort to keep me on their books. I spoke with a branch manager who didn’t seem to care so, after getting the go-ahead from my dear wife, Daisy, I began the process. There was a little procedure to deal with, but we now have accounts with Bank of America. All I had to do then was to get our two pensions and Social Security to start the direct deposits. 

Then I pondered and realized that I should contact the several credit accounts, insurance companies and other concerns that we pay by direct charge to our bank account so that our bills will be paid as they come due.

I made a list of all those trusted companies who are paid automatically, and the real fun began. The list had 23 names and I began to contact them, one at a time, using my internet provider and, when necessary, the telephone. 

Some companies were easy. Great! Some were challenging. Grrr!

Web addresses. Telephone numbers. Login credentials. Passwords. Challenge questions. Account numbers. Bank Routing numbers. Confusing instructions. Poor connections. Long waits and call-backs. Age fatigue. And my never-ending, but human, tendency to make clerical errors have been my lot this week.

Most often I got things right. Many errors were correctable with earnest effort and patience. Only one issue remains to be solved and I’m home free! I had to work for my five-hundred-dollar reward. I’d guess I put less than eight hours, so I had a fair hourly return. Ask me in six months and I may be able to tell you that it was worth the effort.

I take comfort in the fact that much of the rigamarole is for my benefit, to insure the privacy and security of my financial affairs. Safety is important.

I’m hoping that the drive-through tellers at Bank of America have lollipops to share with clients – and I hope they’re free!


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