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A Tale of Two Puzzles
Old 02-24-2020, 07:46 PM   #1
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A Tale of Two Puzzles

ever had a long post you were creating swallowed by this site? Just a warning.......you may want to save along the way to avoid a total loss.

Both puzzles came in the mail today and are interesting in similar ways but differ by 4.5 orders of magnitude:

1) Discover Card rewards...........short by $2.33 from expected. This statement the merchant categories were listed but different terminology used. Supermarket was the term used for most but the 5% reward category is grocery stores. Is there a difference? I call them and we go over every single purchase to see the rewards. Turns out all the supermarkets gave 5%.

Then why the discrepancy? I know that Walmart/Target only gets 1% but Walgreens gets 5%. All is consistent except the total is wrong. I explain to the rep how I got my number and she goes away to try to replicate my numbers. She sounds young enough that I have my doubts. She comes back not w/ my answer but says sometimes rewards late in the statement period don't get counted? Why not....the computer obviously knows the charge is there so why not the reward? She disappears again and comes back w/ a new theory. Sometimes, she says, the rewards appear earlier so check last month's statement.

I am dubious but tell her I will check and certainly will be back. I would have lost the bet but she was mostly right. On the prior month's bill is a note that that there is an extra $2.22 so for the 2 months a net discrepancy of $0.11.
I do have my limits........just as I refused to pick up the shiny penny on the floor , so will I refuse to pursue this one any further even tho the deficit is against me.

2) in the same mailbox today came another mystery with 4.5X magnitude greater. DW got a check from a mutual fund company for $90K+. To our knowledge she does not own a fund in her name only at that company. Nor does she/we own the fund named on the statement that came w/ the check. The account number on the check does not resemble at all the account numbers we do have. Nor did she/we request a distribution which is larger than what we own there.

Unfortunately like the TV soap opera this one will have to wait for tomorrow since the fund offices are closed.
Anybody have any experiences like this? Anyway got a reason to get up tomorrow.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:02 PM   #2
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On 1: You told her you will be certainly be back. You should keep your word.

On 2: How did you come up with 4.5X magnitude... Should it not be 4.56x?
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:42 AM   #3
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My similar experience is that $204 showed up in my 401k after I had moved it over to a brokerage and turned it into an IRA. I had let enough time pass after my last check that nothing should have cleared so I went ahead and transferred it. Then, only because work uses Fido and I have a personal Fido account, all of a sudden, $204 shows up on my summary page. And, it shows up as an employee contribution. What?

I sent an email to retirement administration saying I thought there was a mistake. They got back to me right away and said that it was not a mistake and that an explanation would be forthcoming. Well it’s been a couple months now and nothing came.

Then something even more strange happened. The money went into the fixed fund. Basically a MM fund that was available through work. Well a few weeks after the deposit, that $204 earned $7 of income. Not a clue how $200 earns about 3.5% interest in a couple weeks. I guess it was some arrearage from some time ago.

And then today I got a message from Fido that due to the size of my account being less than $1K, they are going to disburse the funds and zero out the account. Now I need to either contact them to roll it into my IRA or I’ll have to pay the 10% penalty because I’m not 59.5 until July. I’ve also thought about seeing if they’ll just hold on to it until July. For $20, I guess I’ll put a little effort into this. The whole thing is strange.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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I got my Costco membership 2% yearly reward via email.
It was for a measly $61.44
This is strange as I booked 2 cruises through them and after subtracting out taxes and fees, the 2% from that should have been $67 , and we still have not counted my shopping.
So I phone them, talk to a nice person, who looks up my account.
She can only see my store purchases and gas, not the travel, so that is sort of silly as how can she calculate it's correct.
She ends up telling me she can only figure the reward should be about $51 dollars, then goes on to tell me the last travel trip might not all have been credited as it ended 3 wks before the cutoff, which is 2 months before they send out the reward ?

So maybe the rest of the travel will be on next year's reward.... talk about kicking the can down the road.
I point out they should know, not a maybe. As it's possible the travel side didn't report the reward (more profit for them or an employee pocket?).

She said she would message them and get back to me.

Two weeks later I get a letter from Costco, it tells me my reward amount that I got, and the first paragraph is all about me, which is good as I think someone actually looked into it.
Then the next 4 paragraphs are generic, "if you had renewal in May then.... "

I give up, but I'm going to track my Costco spending so I know for next time how close they get to the 2%.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:05 PM   #5
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Called the fund company and was fortunate to reach a supervisor. Was disappointed that they did not follow up w/ a call back but it did feel like they at least had some feel for the problem. A weak apology and blame on human error for sending the check to DW who apparently had the same name as the other account owner(hard to believe the same middle initial).

They were somewhat concerned about the other person's personal info (account nos.) being disclosed on the check document so are supposedly sending Fedex envelope for us to mail back to them.

I told them they should find the root cause of the problem and fix it else it might happen to somebody else. Their procedures allowed them to do it which is weird considering DW, although a jt trustee, cannot conduct business with them and their auto tel system will not accept her SSN. Blaming it on human error is not a valid excuse.

I took the opportunity to take half our funds from them today.......underperforming fund with capital gain so tax implications.
The recent slide in the market allowed TLH of some recent purchases in another fund company that should more than cover the CGs. Don't really want $$ at a fund company with these sloppy procedures. .............so perhaps the goof was a blessing in disguise.
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