Dear Mr. Wescott,
This is to inform you that I have recently become disinclined to continue doing business with you and henceforth I shant be availing myself of your victuals.
That means I ain't ordering no more pizzas from you.
Which is a goddamn shame because I'm quite partial to your EYEtalian steak sandwiches and I have the bloated physique to prove it.
No, Dean, the problem is with the prehistoric, Amish manner in which you handle your financial transactions.
Let me tell you a little bit about XO, Dean.
Unlike you, I don't own a chain of fucking restaurants. You probably don't have any trouble making ends meet. In fact, I bet your ends are overlapping and looping back around each other like a couple of snakes giving each other oral sex. I'm sure you're doing just fine.
But I, on the other hand, am just a middle class working stiff living paycheck to paycheck. Other than my fat ass, I don't have any cushion. No savings, no credit, no investments, no prospects or provision for a cushy retirement. In fact, if I live long enough to retire, I'm pretty much fucked. Which is why I order your EYEtalian steak sandwiches with extra fries and wash it down with a bottle of bourbon. Think of it as hedge fund approach.
But I digress.
My point is, I sometimes have to manage my finances uncomfortably close to the wire. To this end, I stepped into the 21st century several years ago and quit writing checks. In fact, other than my octogenarian parents, I don't know anybody who writes checks anymore.
I use my debit card for EVERYTHING. This allows me to rely on the balance shown on my statements and receipts from the ATMs because I KNOW that I don't have any latent charges (or "presentments", as they are called in the biz") floating around out there. A debit card transaction is as immediate as it gets.
This has been working for me PERFECTLY, without exception, for several years. Until this week.
My girlfriend was coming to my house on Tuesday and I needed to swing by Price Chopper on the way home to pick up some snacking goodies and libations. I checked my balance at an ATM on Tuesday and had a bit over $80. So I stopped at Price Chopper and dropped a little over $40 on munchy/drinky stuff. No problem, I was getting paid today. Just had another 48 hours till payday.
On Wednesday morning, just to make sure (because that's how carefully I manage things), I checked my balance at the ATM again expecting to verify that I had around $30 left to limp on till payday.
Imagine my SHOCK and PANIC to discover that my account was overdrawn by (-$4.67)! I never, EVER, overdraw my account! Fucking NEVER! I suspected identity theft.
I pull up my last 30 days of transactions and what do I find?
TWO "PRESENTMENTS" FROM MINSKY'S FUCKING PIZZA THAT BOTH CAME THROUGH AT 8:21 TUESDAY NIGHT WHILE I WAS HANGING WITH THE GIRLFRIEND AND NOT EATING MINSKY'S FUCKING PIZZA! One for $19.21 and the other for $16.80. Which was just enough to send my delicately balanced account over the edge!
Now, luckily, that morning I had decided to grab the Tupperware container full of my collection of daily pocket change just in case things got tight. The change yielded a bit over $50 in the change counter. Damn good thing or I literally would not have had enough gas to drive home from work!
I took $5 of that $50 and deposited it in my account to avoid any overdraft charges from my bank.
I called Minsky's in Independence and asked to speak to your manager (Tom). His initial investigation came back with the conclusion that no calls were received from me the previous night and that no transactions went through on my card the previous night.
:: blink ::
"Umm, Tom, I know that. Because I didn't order any pizzas last night. That's kind of EXACTLY THE FUCKING PROBLEM, TOM! FIX IT!!!"
I sent him back for a Mulligan and he concluded..., OK, wait for it... the charges were for orders that I had placed "sometime" between the beginning of JUNE and MID JULY. Their card swiper had been busted so the charges never went through until they got their card swiper fixed which apparently happened on Tuesday while me and the girlfriend were bumpin' uglies!
Tom can't understand why that should have overdrawn my account since the original transactions never went through the money should have still been in my account.
I don't have the time or patience to explain to Tom the difference between the way the Ancient Sumerians balanced their books and the way 21st Century technophiles do things.
When a consumer swipes a debit card in a transaction they have a reasonable expectation that an IMMEDIATE transfer of dollars (or 'credits' as I like to call them) has taken place between the consumer and the merchant and the transaction is COMPLETE. No follow up or audit is required. That's exactly why I stopped writing checks! So that there would never, ever be any unaccounted for, pending charges floating around.
I escalated on Tom and told him I needed to talk to the owner. That would be you, the aforementioned Dean Wescott.
Over the course of a couple rounds of telephone tag and voice mails, your investigation concluded that the charges were for orders placed on July 8 and July 15 when you were having problems with your credit card machine, my credit card wasn't charged then, the credit card machine has been fixed and you are "just swiping the money now", transactions are good for 30 days, and "that's the way it is".
Well, fuck you Dean.
It's not my fault your fucking cheap ass card swiper was busted.
It's not my fault you sent your delivery people out with faulty fucking equipment.
No one ever told me "Hey, this charge didn't go through tonight, so you might want to jot down the amount and keep track of this as a pending charge".
No one called me or emailed me to let me know "Hey, XO, I know you're a regular customer and we've had some problems with our equipment lately. Just wanted to let you know we'll be sending about $30 worth of charges on your card tonight that we weren't able to send through before. Sorry for the inconvenience, We'll toss in some free bread sticks next time you call. Love you, love your show!"
No. Instead what I got was we're "swiping the money now" and "that's the way it is".
You know what the balance was in my checking account yesterday Dean? .33 fucking cents. What was the balance in your checking account yesterday Dean? Somewhere north of that?
Did it ever occur to you that your archaic, check processing era policy of holding onto charges for weeks before sending them through might pose a hardship for people who actually live in this century?
Did it ever occur to you that tossing out a $30 comp to a loyal customer might be a really cheap and easy way to fix a very real problem that YOU HAD CAUSED with your faulty equipment and antiquated transaction policies?
Have you ever heard the statistic that an unhappy customer will tell 8-10 people?
That was old school, Dean. This unhappy customer just told the entire fucking Internet, blogosphere, Facebook and twitter verse! SKIDOOSH!
OK, when you add up all the people who follow me in all those arenas you're probably talking less than 8-10 people. But still, I'm just sayin'. I'm an unhappy customer.
So this is it for us Dean. The end of the line.
I'm sure that in time, you'll find another fat lethargic bastard to order your tasty fucking EYEtalian steak sandwiches with extra fries.
But I'm done. I hope overdrawing my account by (-$4.67) helped you make your boat payment on time. I'd hate to inconvenience you in any way.
Go fuck yourself Dean.
Yours In Christ,