Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Doing The Right Thing?

After dropping my older son off at a function about a week ago, I took the brief time I had before picking him up to run some errands. My first stop was my bank as I needed to make a deposit.

I parked outside and walked toward the ATM. Someone was already there, so I maintained a respectful distance as the man completed his transaction. Finished, he left the machine and walked toward me. We said our casual acknowledgements as we passed, though neither of us was really listening, just being courteous as the sidewalk to the ATM allowed little room to get around each other.

I inserted my card and pulled out the checks when I noticed a card lying on the bottom portion of the ATM tray. I picked it up and read the name, assuming it belonged to the man who’d just left. I turned to see if I could catch him, but his black truck was speeding out into the street. I caught part of his license plate but little else.

OK. So what now?

Had it been me, I would have eventually noticed that my card was gone. However, I doubt I would have realized it while I was driving. Being that the person who’d left his card was a male, I figured he wouldn’t either. Still, I waited a few minutes. No one returned.

I could have left it where I found it but knew that wasn’t a good idea. A number of people would visit that ATM that evening. And while I like to think that the world is good, I know the chance exists that some less than honest person will pick up the card.

The best thing to do, I reasoned, would be to drop the card in a night deposit box of some kind. I looked for one but didn’t see any. Next, I looked at my ATM receipt and called the customer service number on it. After dealing with the bank’s IVR (Interactive Voice Response), I finally got to the right department, only to get the recorded message that said the department was closed and that I should call back during normal business hours.

I thought about putting it back right there. It wasn’t my problem. I’d made a good faith effort and come up empty. But I’d worked in a bank before, handling business customers, and had often dealt with situations where customers or their family members had been defrauded. It’s not a fun process.

I looked at the front door and saw another number printed on it in big white letters. The security number for break-ins. What did I have to lose? I called them and explained and asked if they knew a place where I could put this away. They didn’t but transferred me to another number. Unfortunately, it was another group who couldn’t help. I wasn’t the card owner. They were prohibited.

I turned the card over and saw a new customer service number, at least one I hadn’t tried. After navigating that system, I finally got a live sympathetic body. Unfortunately, it was the credit card group. She couldn’t help. I was holding a debit card. And while she could give me the number of the correct department, she couldn’t transfer me directly. She suggested I slip it through the door. I said that might set off the motion sensors, at which point I would have to wait for the police. And though they would probably believe what happened, it would be a long night either way.

So, at that point, I gave up. I could have the called the debit card group, but I was done. Instead, I placed the card near the front door, in a place only an employee (or as bank robber) would notice. Hopefully, someone saw it in the morning.

So what would you have done? Would you have called the debit card group? Would you have done what I did? Would you have given up earlier? I’d really like to know.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow, you really went above and beyond, in my opinion. I;m not sure what I would have done. I'd be torn between taking it so no robber could use it and leaving it in case the guy returned. Maybe he did and was able to get it back. :)

Walt M said...

I would at least like to think that someone called him.

Victoria Dixon said...

Geesh, well you certainly tried! I guess I might have tried taking the make and model of the truck along with the partial license plate number to the police station along with the card. But I have to admit, if I was in a hurry, which I usually am, I might have taken the card with me and tried to do all of that later in the day. I hope he got his card back, but no one could say you didn't do your best!