Friday, September 24, 2010

Tales - of Idiots - Re: Big Business, etc.

Part I - "The Characters" - who were acted upon

A. In 2002 I separated from my first wife and we were divorced a year later in Oakland, CA, our county of residence when we separated. In 2004 I remarried and in 2005 the new "we" began our move to the Pacific Northwest.

B. My ex-wife moved from California to NYC several years ago

C. The son (my ex-wife and I had) graduated from college and began teaching high school science in Chicago in the Fall of 2009.

Part II - "The Characters who seem to lack a little"

My ex-wife and I had Merrill Lynch investment accounts for ourselves and our son. The accounts for our son got confused and initially were tied to my address. At our request they were switched to my ex-wife's address well over a year ago. At least three or four years ago I switched all my investment monies away from Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch was "rescued" from disaster and purchased by Bank of America to avoid collapsing in the recent financial meltdown period.

Part III- "Action"

Today a voice mail message was left on my home phone from Merrill Lynch asking for "E" (my ex-wife) asking her to call concerning her investments.

I called the number left on my voice mail and expressed my displeasure with what had transpired. I was particularly perturbed because this was either the second or third time that this "mistake" had happened and it somehow hadn't been corrected when previously pointed out to the fine folks at Merrill Lynch.

Danny at Merrill Lynch initially indicated that they'd straighten it out and then came back on and said that they couldn't take my home phone number off their records for my ex-wife without talking with her.

I called my ex-wife and encouraged her to consider leaving Merrill Lynch - which she is seriously considering.

I then found a phone number for Bank of America - Corporate Headquarters - Public Relations or similar and the lady who answered the phone seemed sincere in trying to get ahold of the original caller and ensuring that my home phone number would be removed from their records (will it?).

Needless to say - I recommend to all: "STAY AWAY FROM MERRILL LYNCH!" They seem to be lacking in at least this one area.

Part IV - Epilogue: - A Parallel Similar and Dissimilar Tale from my recent past.

Several years ago we refinanced our first mortgage (which we've done again more recently). A traveling notary came to my wife's office where we signed the necessary closing documents and gave her a bank check from Wells Fargo Bank, where we have our checking and savings accounts.

The plot thickened about 4-5 days later involving:

1.) The mortgage broker in Georgia,
2.) The title company handling the closing which was in Texas,
3.) The branch manager of the Wells Fargo Branch where I'd gotten the bank check in Seattle - the true hero of this saga and
4.) Me

I was in Chicago with my wife who was just leaving a meeting (why we were in Chicago) when I got a phone call from the title company (2.). The woman asked me where the check was that was due. I told her that I'd given it to the notary.

After several phone calls it was clear that the Notary had lost the Bank Check! The Wells Fargo Branch Manager (3.) determined that she could stop payment on the check and re-issue the check with some paperwork.

was important that things get wrapped up quickly, so the closing wouldn't fall apart. I had to go to the nearest Fed Ex where the Title Company had I think sent an emailed (or similar) mailing label and instructions. The paperwork was Fed-Exed to Wells Fargo in Seattle and things were cleared up between them and the Title Company in Texas.

Subsequent and during this mess I got various apologetic calls from Texas and Georgia. Subsequently we received free complimentary tickets to a Seattle Mariners game from either Texas or Georgia and a Visa Gift Card from the other one together with more written apologies.

I had zero hard feelings related to anyone in this mess, except of course the Notary who I assume was let go from her work for the Title Company at least. I was impressed particularly with the Branch Manager at Wells Fargo who was an "innocent" to the entire mess who got caught in it and made things work out. Thanks!

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