Thursday, February 9, 2012

JP Morgan Chase Bank -- What are the odds?

I encountered a new low in banking experiences today.
I had occasion to go to my local Chase Bank branch to cash two paychecks. I have an account at Chase, but for this transaction I was going to Cash the checks.
I was the only one in line with two teller stations open. It seemed to be a long wait and I had only eight minutes on the parking meter, so I wanted to get through the line quickly. This was not to be the case.
I presented the teller with my two checks and I swiped my ID card through the machine and put in my pin number. The teller was nice enough, and asked me how I wanted my cash.
She then proceeded to tell me that I was to get $370.
I pointed out to her that it was not an round number of dollars that I was expecting.
She looked at her screen and then finally corrected herself and came back with $370.50
I pointed out to her that it was not a round number like that.
She looked at her screen and reiterated $370.50.
I again pointed out to her that I did not think that was right.
She looked at the original checks and took out a pencil and paper and did some arithmetic. Something was wrong. She concluded that the machine had erroneously read one of the checks for the incorrect amount.
She reprocessed the checks with a manual override and said proudly, "$370.52".
I concurred.
She then proceeded to count out $360 in $20 bills plus a $10 bill for a total of $370
and then pressed a button for the machine to dispense the change. I received $.02.
This is short by $.50. I said.
Oh, yes, the machine does that sometimes, she said.
Okay, I got the right amount, but the $25 parking ticket for the amount of time consumed was not sitting right with me.
I count four separate errors made by the teller/system on this transaction. Each error was not in my favor. What are the odds?
First of all, what is the chance that there will be any error in a transaction? I thought they never make mistakes.
Assuming that any given error will have a 50/50 chance that it will be for/against me, the chances of this occurring with four errors against me is 1/16. This is amazing.

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