Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Missing Expenses

Remember how Dave and I both got our Indefinite Leave to Remain this year? The process in which we had to pass the "Life in the UK" test and jump through some other bureaucratic hoops in order to stay in the country?

Well, that process created some incidental expenses (study guides, test registration, passport photos) which our employer agreed to reimburse. So a few weeks ago I filled out an expense report, attached my receipts and turned it all in to the finance office.

Several days later I got a pay stub saying my expenses (about £95) had been paid by bank transfer. But the money didn't show up in my account. Well, I figured, I'd wait until my paycheck came -- maybe it would be included in that. But it wasn't.

So yesterday I went to the finance office and learned that the payment should have shown up immediately. In checking the account number, the finance guy realized he sent the payment to a different account. I assumed it must have been our old Barclay's account, which we closed in July 2016. This filled me with dread because it meant I had to call Barclay's again, and dealing with them is always incredibly painful. I thought perhaps the account wasn't closed properly and now had my money sitting there.

So I called Barclay's last night, and it was painful -- but not as bad as it's been in the past -- and the old account is in fact closed and has no money in it.

So, the bottom line is, where did my £95 go?!

Of course this all came to light on a Friday, so now I've got to wait until Monday to pursue the mystery further.

Stay tuned as, in the coming week, we try to unravel the tangled threads of modern British banking...

(Photo: A discarded plastic castle / toy kitchen unit (?) outside a house in Hampstead. Every time I see things like this in the trash, I'm filled with despair. All that plastic headed to a landfill, where it will linger for a million years -- and for what?)


Yorkshire Pudding said...

That £95 could buy you several pairs of shorts in local charity shops. I share the anxiety you often feel about items that are heading for landfill. Many people just don't seem to see the connection.

ellen abbott said...

you'd think that when the bank received money wired to a non-existent account they would contact the sender or just send it back.

Ms. Moon said...

I hope they find your money!
As to plastic not get me started. And I'm as guilty as the next person. I buy plastic stuff all the time.
My new beloved fan, for instance.

Red said...

I hope they solve this mess. Just think what if it happened with much more money.

Vivian said...

I have 8 cats who need a tiny drop of anti-flea meds squished onto the back of their necks every month for half the year. You should see the packaging that comes with that! There is enough plastic, foil, cardboard, and paper to wrap a mini-fridge, and it's all for mere teaspoonsful of goop.

It will be interesting to see where that 95 pounds turns up. It's out there somewhere, in the ether.

Jennifer said...

I always seemed to have issues at my last two jobs getting reimbursed for expenses. It's such a pain. I hope it isn't too much trouble for you on Monday!

robin andrea said...

Bummer about the bank's mistake. I'm sure they'll figure it out and get that money to you. I saw a photo the other day of a beautiful seahorse in the waters off Indonesia. It was holding a cotton swab wrapped in its tail. We are leaving a plastic trail of destruction on our beautiful earth.

Sharon said...

That really is annoying about the expense check. In the US if they had sent the automatic deposit to the wrong bank, the bak should have sent it back immediately. Hopefully, they can track it down.
I agree about the plastic.

Catalyst said...

Re: the plastic castle. Unfortunately we all live in a disposable society and some day in the future it will probably bury whoever is left.

jenny_o said...

I hope the bank surprises you this time around with quick, efficient, accurate resolution of the missing money issue . . . yeah, I know, hilarious thought.

And you are right on about the plastic. I try not to buy plastic, but my efforts seem to be such a drop in the bucket. There is this encouraging young man, though:

The Bug said...

Probably the money went to a legitimate account, just not yours. The recipient thought, “free money!” Or they haven’t noticed yet. It’s your employer’s responsibility to fix - I hope they can get their money back, but they should reimburse you regardless.

This is only sort of related, but I’m sharing it anyway. I had prepaid a little over $3,000 for my Augustt 21 surgery. On Thursday I got a bill from the hospital for $78,000, which is the additional that they said I owed. The bill said that my insurance had already paid their portion. Fortunately NONE of that is true - they sent the bill to me before my insurance had finalized their payment, the insurance only approved $29,000 of the bill, AND they said that all I owe is a little over $600. So the hospital owes ME a refund. Wonder if I’ll get it as quickly as they sent that bill?

Steve Reed said...

YP: Right?! £95 is nothing to sneeze at!

Ellen: They would if the money went to an account that was closed or didn't exist. But if it simply went to an incorrect but active account, I don't think the bank would know.

Ms Moon: Well, we can't really avoid plastic entirely. The world is what it is. But we definitely have to figure out better ways to get rid of the stuff.

Red: I think they'll figure it out, but meanwhile, I have to wait to get my money!

Vivian: Packaging is out of control these days. A side effect of Amazon, I think.

Jennifer: Stay tuned!

Robin: It wasn't really the bank's mistake. It was my employer's mistake. We'll see what happens! I've seen that seahorse photo too. Poor seahorse!

Sharon: Apparently, as I mentioned to Ellen above, it would have bounced back if my employer sent it to a closed or non-existent account. But if they sent it to an incorrect account -- but one that is open -- the bank wouldn't know. We'd have to track it down and reverse the payment somehow.

Catalyst: I know! It's horrible to contemplate.

Jenny-O: Well, it's really up to my employer, rather than the bank. I'm not sure that means resolution will be any faster, though!

Bug: Exactly. I think that is precisely what happened. That story about your medical care is crazy! Why on earth did you have to prepay when you have insurance?! Is that routine? I hope your refund comes quickly!

Iris said...

I'm late to the party here, but I once worked at a bank in Germany. We had what was called a CPD-list (Conto Pro Diverse). This was an automatic computer printout of all amounts in transfer that had some issue. Some bank employee (sometimes me) then had to figure out where the money came from and where is was supposed to go. The result was noted on the list and this list was given to a data-entry department. Once the correct data was entered in the computer, the money was on its correct way. This could take a couple of days. In your case, with a closed bank account, the money would have been refunded to the sender. But, of course, I don't know if this is how things are done at your end.