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Checks aren't quite dead in the US yet. They will be soon, but if you have a checking account, you can get an ATM card that works as a debit card, and avoid all the death stares from the cashier and everyone behind you in the line, so they're rare.

(At smart stores, you don't actually *write* the check, unless your bank is very tiny and not part of the massive, worldwide network of banks. You hand the *blank* check to the cashier, he/she runs it through a check scanner, punches in the amount, and the check scanner system does an electronic check transfer. The machine prints "VOID" across the check, and you hand it back to the customer. It still takes at least two days to get the money, but the reason for that isn't technical - they could deposit the money in the merchant's account before the customer gets to their car in the parking lot - but rather, because people expect it to take that long, and kite checks, knowing (or hoping) their paycheck will clear before the check does.)

As for the "patronising retail smarm," anybody who deserves it is almost certainly too stupid to notice it.

Sgtpsycho

The best ending for this would have been if Paint Lady ran an extended ID check and full security theatre on the transaction because "I don't want your card stopped by the bank because they didn’t recognize you purchasing it. Better to be safe than sorry, right?"

TechTyger

The only reason I've written checks in the last 15 years was for rent on the apartments... and I had to write a 75 cent check for a toll because they didn't have toll by plate and I don't carry much in the way of cash anymore. I actually had a dollar bill, but it would only take coins.

Time to join the 20th century, grandpa. Leave your 1st century nonsense in the past. (Romans were using checks back when they were relevant...)

TenebrisVenator

I don't even do checks for rent anymore. I'll get a money order if I can't pay by card or electronic funds transfer, and I rarely carry more than 5 bucks in cash. I keep that tucked in my wallet, and I've had the same bill in there for like 3 months. It's my emergency can't get home or stuck in the desert sun and need water money, LOL

Also there are 2 kinds of old people: Sweet as pie and could give Mother Theresa lessons, or Only reason they're still alive is because Satan is scared to drag their souls to hell. There is no in between

Kai Lowell

I haven't had to use checks since Sam's Club started taking my debit card.

I at least know how to do it, though.

TechTyger

I'd rather do checks for rent than money orders... less interaction with people. My credit union has a thing where they can mail a check for me now, too; sadly, it was only in the last couple of years that it was available at the apartment. I tell them who, when, where and how much and any account information, and boom, dealt with from the computer. I use it mainly for paying my water bill because if I use their pay online, they charge an extra 5$, which is just stupid.

TenebrisVenator

I wound up with a massively overdrawn account and a returned check fee, as well as huge amounts of late fees from my apartment last time I payed by check. I paid a couple days before the first of the month, and they didn't cash it for almost 3 weeks, so I didn't quite have enough in the account to cover it. Once the check was returned, the bank charged me a returned check fee, and the apartment retroactively charged me their late payment fees. 50 bucks on the first day, 5 bucks each day after that that your payment continues to be late. I was pissed

TechTyger

Ouch. Yeah, I can see that'd make you want to switch...

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