Fight To Win

After taking on the Fairfax County government over our home’s tax assessment a few years back, and winning, I have recently won a couple of other minor battles. (By the way, our assessment for this year was exactly the same as last year’s. The market is slowing for sure.)
Last week, I returned a bunch of books to the library around 7pm (the library closes at 9pm). Most were Ellie’s little board books, along with one of mine. The next day, I logged on to my library account to find that five of the books, including mine, were marked as overdue and had fines! It wasn’t much, only $0.65, but I was annoyed because I had previously had a problem where they claimed I didn’t return a book for a couple of weeks after I had returned it. It didn’t take long to get the fine taken off my account, because later that same day, the books were marked as returned. Apparently there was just a lag between me returning them and them actually scanning them into the system.
In a more prolonged battle, I took on our credit union and won. Our main credit union is the Senate CU, which is from back when Lisa worked in the Vice President’s office (the VP is President of the Senate, but you knew that, right?), so our main checking and savings accounts are there. The Northwest Credit Union is much closer to us, with a branch right in downtown Vienna, and I was able to join because of where I work. We have a “vacation fund” savings account there, and also have two custodial savings accounts for the kids there. Since they are so close to us, we regularly use their ATMs, since they are part of the same ATM network as the Senate, the Alliance One network.
Recently, big red signs went up at the Northwest ATMs which weren’t there before, warning of surcharges for using the ATM if you weren’t a member. The problem is that any credit union which is a member of Alliance One is not supposed to charge other members for using their ATM. But when I tried to withdraw money, I was warned that they were about to charge me. After checking with the Senate CU, who said they had no control over it, I checked with Northwest. The first response I got was, essentially, “Yeah, we put up signs that we’re charging fees now,” which didn’t answer my questions at all. After a tersely worded email, I got a quick response from their “ATM Team Leader” asking me for information on my Senate ATM card (apparently the first 8 digits are coded to the particular financial instituion). After sending him the information, he quickly replied that he had fixed the problem, and offered a refund on any surcharges I might have paid.
I win again. Granted, my savings for all this was $0.65 plus any $2 surcharges I might have had to pay, but hey, it’s just as useful as advice to brownbag your lunch!
What are you still doing here? Go watch the tourney!!!