Mistakes happen. But, what do you do when a mistake that isn’t even yours affects your entire budget? Yes, I faced this question this week.
As a good little renter, on the first of the month, I made my parking payment, for a little over $100. Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from my management company stating that a mistake had been made and that more than $700 had been withdrawn from my account. (Once WilliamPaid launches, I will never have these problems because I will be paying my rent and parking using WilliamPaid’s Rent Payment services.)
Umm…what?!?! That’s no small chunk of change. In fact, that was my grocery, cable and furniture budget for the month – combined.
With a mix of terror and shock, I muttered something like, “What are you going to do about it?” The person on the phone graciously told me not to worry. You see, she said, the money would be credited toward my next month’s rent. Oh. The call lasted less than a minute and left me panic-stricken as it sank in what exactly had just happened.
I called the one person I knew could help – my mother. While there were tears, yelling (not at her, of course) and many choice words directed to the person responsible – whoever it was, we were eventually able to come up with a few ideas.
My wise mother informed me that I had a right to get the money put back into my account, and that the management company could not just choose to hang on to MY money. I now had two options:
Option 1: Call my bank to find where the error was made and by whom, and then get a copy of a check to keep for my records. Next, call my rental company and inform them that I wanted the funds to be replaced and would need a check from them instead of a credit.
Option 2: Essentially the same as Option 1, but instead of requesting that my rental company refund the money, I would allow them to credit the money toward my account (but provide me with a written receipt).
By now, you know me well enough to know that I chose Option 2. It seemed the path of least resistance considering that I would have to pay them the money in twenty days anyway.
So, as I watch my pennies – literally – and continue to eat Ramen noodles while watching the same ten DVDs in succession while sitting on my floor, they will be holding my $600.
The moral of the story – by next month, I will be using WilliamPaid’s Rent Payment service.