Mercury Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Nancy Mendelson


 

“Three times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards for about three weeks.
This time was traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.” — The Farmer’s Almanac

 

Mercury has been in retrograde since May 18. This phase will end on June 11, and it can’t happen fast enough for me! This last go-round has brought with it the requisite confusion, delay, and frustration…but this time, in the form of bank fraud.

Let me break this down for you:

 

Confusion:

When I checked my bank account electronically, I discovered that a sizable amount of money had been withdrawn, and not by me. I both called and then visited my local branch to report this. “I didn’t withdraw this money,” I told them.

Delay:

They told me that nothing could be done until the transaction — currently pending — was complete, and to come back then. And so I did.

Confusion:

The transaction showed that a withdrawal had been physically made in my husband’s name (allegedly) on the previous Saturday. “Impossible,” I tell them, given that he recently had a full knee replacement, was still recovering, and that I knew for a fact he hadn’t left the apartment all day.

So, the customer service rep calls the fraud department to report this. “She claims her husband didn’t do this.”

Frustration:

It wasn’t the words themselves, but the way he said them that made me feel like I was the one committing fraud.

Confusion-Delay-Frustration Trifecta:

Long story short, they freeze the account and tell me to check back in a week to 10 days, which I did, only to learn that fraud had been committed and that the money was going back into my account that day (this was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend). “If the money isn’t returned to your account by Tuesday morning, come back in,” I’m told.

Tuesday morning I return to the bank — no money returned. This time, when the same customer service rep calls to find out what’s going on, he’s told that the bank has decided it isn’t fraud after all, that it was my husband who made the withdrawal (like they actually know what he looks like), that I should ask him if he did it (I’d already told them he didn’t!), and that they were unfreezing my account.

“If you want to reopen the case, come back with your husband.”

Infuriated:

OK, now I’m really pissed off. Not only have they created confusion, delay, and frustration, they also 1. Questioned my integrity and honesty, and 2. Implied that my husband has some kind of secret life and that we don’t communicate.

So my husband limps in the following day, tears them a new one, and finds out that the transaction was committed in South L.A. “Have you been to California recently?” the fraud department asks him. SERIOUSLY?!

The bank determines that there has been an error (or fraud), they refreeze our account, and tell my husband that the money will be returned to us within five days.

Bet we don’t see our money until June 11!