Blog entries from February, 2015

Twice a week for four weeks

Friday, February 27th, 2015 at 08:57pm

After getting back on my bike I quickly realized that as it needed a bit of work (new chain and cluster, new brake pads, etc) it was time to invest in a new one. After some research online and at the bike shops in the area I decided on a flat bar road bike:

New bike for 2015

In the four weeks that I have had it I have ridden to work twice in each of those weeks. It is a much smoother ride than the old bike, but I have only cut a few minutes off the ride to work. The ride home is steadily reducing in time, but I put that down to riding more rather than the new bike.

I have also been fine tuning the route, trying different things to see what is easier. As the bulk of the route is along bike paths there are only a couple of possible variations at the start, middle and end.

Near Alamein Station I tried Dent Street for a while, but as I found the rough concrete and speedbumps annoying I reverted to Baird Street. Dent was also fairly busy with car traffic on the ride home.

When almost at the city I now head up the Exhibition Street extension (footpath is a shared path) and then down Flinders Street. Before 7AM there isn’t much traffic and it is much better in regard to pedestrians than going past Flinders Street Station along the river.

On the way home I did try heading back up Flinders Street before making a hook turn into Swanston Street and then down beside Federation Square, but around 4PM the traffic is getting busy and it was annoying waiting at the lights. One time I tried crossing over the river and riding in front of Southbank and the boatsheds, there were even more pedestrians to contend with than the path between Flinders Street Station and the river.

In the morning I still start off by heading down High Street Road as that is a nice direct downhill stretch with very little traffic at 6AM. On the way home I leave the bike path to head up towards Jordanville Station to follow the railway line up to Mount Waverley Station.

Initially my plan was to ride at least once a week, but I think I can reasonably set the minimum to be twice a week…

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Request for Recall of Funds

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 10:07pm

Last Friday I received two letters, this is one of them:

If you cannot see the image, it is a request that I authorise the return of funds debited to my account in error. The other was very similar, only the amount and reference number being different.

This would be for my share trading account that I have not logged into for years, I login and sure enough there is an extra $22k. Nice. Can I keep it?

There are couple of things that strike be as odd about this letter, which probably all boil down to incompetence. The big one being that there are two transactions from a company, not an individual. I wonder who screwed that up…

Some details that appear odd are that the name of the departement “Institutional Banking Client Services” doesn’t seem to come up in a search of the Commonwealth Bank website, neither does the phone number. Why is it so hard for companies to have the names of their departments match the names on their site? I had a similar issue a few years ago with NAB.

The most amazing thing is that even though they appear to be printed on normal paper, there must be some technology that will communicate back to them if I fill it in. I say this because this is all they provided. It doesn’t ask me to post the form back (no reply paid envelope included), what do they want me to do with it?

What exactly are the rules and regulations related to this? I would love to keep the money, but probably shouldn’t. Again my overall feeling about this is that it is pretty slack on their part. What is my motivation to act on this? If I remember to take the letters into work tomorrow and I find some time I will give the bank a call, but on their main enquiries number (if I can find one…) as I cannot verify that the phone number in the letter is legitimate.

The account the funds have gone into early very little interest, all that goes into it is some share dividend payments and it normally earns a massive $0.01 per month. I had to chuckle when I saw that for the past two months that had risen to $25 per month…

Update Tuesday 3 February 2015:

I called the general enquiries number of the bank, had to mash zero and hash a few times to get through the menu but got onto a person. They could see nothing (eg a note) on my account indicating that there is a recall request, they spoke to someone else and the best next action they could give me was to take the form into a branch, where they should be able to help further and I would be able to give authorisation in person instead of having to post the form somewhere. I might have time to get to a branch on Friday…

Update Friday 6 February 2015:

Just before lunch I went to the branch nearest my work. It was interesting that they had a greeter who directed you back to the the tellers or used a tablet to add you too a queue, when I showed her the letter she commented that something didn’t look right with it. After waiting for about 10 minutes I was shown through to another person who also didn’t recognise the letter, she called the number listed and there was a bit of confusion becuase I was a customer and not another institution. Once that was sorted out the requests were confirmed to be legitimate, I signed them and they were faxed through. In a few weeks I will check the account to see if the funds are still there…

Update Thursday 26 February 2015:

I got a phone call from someone confirming that I had authorized the recall of funds. I confirmed that I had, though they didn’t confirm my identify…

Update Friday 27 February 2015:

The money has been transferred out of my account, in total it earned a massive $100 interest…

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