I got a fun E-mail on Tuesday morning – a bill payment out of my Canadian account was denied because of lack of funds. Hmm, there should be lots of cash in there!?! Oh no, what about the rent cheque for CA$900 that was dated last Friday???? Panic! I called the owner of the condo and advised that if his cheque was returned, I would cover everything immediately! Then I called ING Direct and asked what was going on. Well, apparently, the bank-to-bank transfer that I had done the week before, takes up to seven business days to clear, and the bulk of the funds was on hold!!! This has never happened before. I scrambled, used the Interac eTransfer to move cash immediately from another account to cover the cheque. Then, held my breath.
Nothing happened. But the cheque didn’t clear either.
Then, on Friday, I got a note from the owner – the cheque had been returned, with a back charge fee of course, plus they took the cash out of his wrong account, and it cost him a total of CA$75 because it went under their magic “lower limit”.
I immediately issued an Interac eTransfer to cover the whole thing, plus a few bucks in case his institution didn’t do eTransfers directly.
ING called me about 1/2 hour later. Because the transfer was done from Arizona, and because the target E-mail account was a Hotmail account, they were questioning it. After satisfying their concerns, everything was cool… or so I thought. I had to call back again for clarification, but everything was good.
An hour after that, I saw that the transaction had been cancelled! I called ING again (the third time), oh yes, they cancel the transfer, not just question it. I wonder when they were going to tell me that? I re-did the transfer, and all was well.
Moral of the story: Keep a close eye on available balance, and if out of the country, make sure they know about it. I was pretty sure I had advised them, but I guess I didn’t. Oh well.