Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Locked out, where's my money?

Wick's World


“I want my password and I want all my money back right now!" I yelled into the phone.

This conversation had reached the supervisor level and I was having a heated discussion with the poor clerk who answered my phone call this morning. The clerk could not rectify my situation so she readily agreed when I requested her supervisor.

“Sir, I first have to identify myself. My name is Maggie Mae and I have something that I want to say to you.” Well, it went something like that.

“Am I speaking with Mr. Gary Fisher?”

“Yes, you are” I replied.

In her politest customer service tone she asked me, “I will need to verify that this is you. Can you give me the number of puppies in the second litter of your wife’s favorite pet before she got run over by a train?”

“Dreadful,” I replied.

“Yes it is. I’m sorry about your dog,” she said. “That was certainly unfortunate,” she said in a jolly voice hoping this conversation would take a turn toward the friendly. “What is, uhm, was her name?”

“Dreadful, that was her name; Dreadful. After she got run over by the train, we named her Unfortunate. Dreadful had a litter of three puppies that we named Dumb and Dumber. The runt of the litter was named after your company.”

"Well, that was certainly nice of your wife to think of us,” the supervisor sweetly said.

“Oh, both my wife and I have been thinking a lot about your company since last June. That is, when you blocked my account, correct?” I said in a harsh accusation.

“OK, Mr. Fisher, I see that matches with our records. I must inform you that for security purposes this conversation will be recorded.” The sweetness in her voice began to turn sour.

Speaking in a monotone she said, “I see the account was blocked and you were unable to retrieve your password.”

My account had been blocked since the day my wife set up the IRAs: one in her name and one in mine. We shared some of the guilt in this business deal. The account was created online and we immediately forgot the password. When my wife called, they became concerned that someone else was trying to access my funds. That I understood. I can see where fraud, income tax evasion, money laundering and identity theft, among a number of unlawful activities, could take place by multiple access to a non-joint account.

I had to re-send a paper registration for the account. We began this process sometime in June. My money had been sitting in a checking account earning a few pennies per month. Meanwhile, I thought I was getting rich quick from the first IRA I ever owned.

To rectify this situation, I filled out the proper paperwork, took it into my bank and had the information and my signature notarized. I took the copy to our local post office and sent it by certified mail. I waited a few weeks to give the company time to receive my notarized, certified signature. Eventually, I tried to access my account only to find I was once again locked out.

That is where we sat when the current telephone conversation took place. Here it is late September and we really should be back in school. Instead, I'm acting like a 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Not only that, it's via telephone to people I don’t know and in most likelihood will never meet.

“Two weeks ago one of your clerks assured me my frozen account would be unblocked within 24 hours!” I said in the pleasantest demanding voice I could conjure up.

“Do you remember the clerk’s name with whom you spoke?” the supervisor asked.

“Are you kidding me? I can’t even remember where I put my glasses last night. Besides, you are the one who is recording every conversation. You should have it.”

“Mr. Fisher. I will have to do some research on your account before I can answer you. I will get back to you before the end of the day,” she stated while hanging up the phone as quickly as possible.

I’m not holding my breath for that; I’m barely crying.


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