Now They Follow SEC's Rules?

I have been known to have my issues with customer service representatives of big corporations. Just earlier this week, I was on the phone with my dental insurance provider. I had called to question the company’s refusal to cover part of the expenses from my last visit to the dentist. Before I could even talk to someone, I had to give the digits of my account number to a voice recognition software system that was — let’s say — way over par (sub par, after all, is a good thing). I said the numbers slowly, loudly, even tried to enter the digits by my phone’s key pad. Nothing worked for about 4 minutes. The wait wasn’t worth it. I heard a boilerplate explanation from someone with a distinctly foreign accent (I say South Asian) that let me know I was still out the money I had paid.

Today I had another adventure with a large corporation that manages part of the Hart retirement funds. I was trying simply to change the email address on my account because we closed out one of our internet service provider’s this fall and the investment company’s e-statements are no longer being delivered. After talking to three different customer service representatives — count ’em THREE! — I found out that my problems are far worse than a dead email address. It turns out that one of my accounts is jointly owned by the missus and that means that when I filled out change-of-address forms 18 months ago, that change did not include the account with my wife. In order to change the address on that account, she needs to sign the form and we need to have a notary vouch for our signatures. Bottom line — changing my email address on the account, either on-line or by phone, cannot happen until we change the address on this co-owned account.

When I asked the third representative I talked to why the company used such tight security on my accounts — especially refusing me access to the accounts that are solely in my name (with my wife as beneficiary), the woman, who was nice enough to put up with an exasperation I inherited from Ellen Marie Hart, told me the investment company was only following SEC regulations.


I could not help laughing. After I apologized, I explained that earlier in the day I had seen a matinee of The Big Short, an account of the 2008 financial meltdown — very, very good, mind you — that showed how little scrutiny that the SEC and other regulators were giving to the banks who were giving away mortgages. But now, I’m — mmmmeeeeEEEE — supposed to comply with the SEC before changing the email address on my account information?

Why don’t I feel any safer (or calmer)?


8 thoughts on “Now They Follow SEC's Rules?

  1. Not unlike having your mortgage sold to (yet another) company, signing up for the auto withdrawal, having the auto withdrawal date roll around and nothing gets withdrawn, so you write a check in order to not get hit with a late fee, have the auto withdrawal finally kick in so that you’ve now paid twice, consider calling the mortgage company to perhaps tear up the check but realize this will be futile, so call the bank to stop payment on the check and told that will cost you because it’s not the case that they stole your money. Upshot: you pay an extra sum of money for trying to pay your bills on time, which is enough to wonder if the anarchists really are onto something.


  2. Zrim, they are. Especially at Christmastime. The USPS whines about too much mail meanwhile Amazon wants to give you a year’s worth of music-streaming, movies, and guaranteed 2-day shipping for the price of mailing (stamping) 200 Christmas cards.


  3. gold is not “Christian money”

    Norman Brown—“Luther’s vision of the dominion of death in life is correlative to his eschatological hope in the transformation of life on earth, and the transformation of the human body—the resurrection of the body, in a form, as Luther says, free from death and filth. Luther’s eschatology challenges psychoanalysis to formulate the conditions under which the dominion of death and anality could be abolished. In thus challenging psychoanalysis, Christianity would perform the function, proper to all religion, of voicing the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen


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