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Policy on check writing

Posted Fri June 1, 2001, by Arlene L. written to JCPenney Company, Inc.

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I would like to bring your attention a complaint I have about the experience at your department store, located at Canandaigua, New York. I am frustrated and annoyed by this, and I hope you are able to resolve this situation.

In the middle of April I bought some items in your company. I wrote a check for the full amount. Right after that, I went out-of-state for a vacation.

When I came home, I had a notice from my bank that the check that I wrote to Penney's did not clear. I spent several hours trying to find my checkbook mistake. I mistakingly had entered a deposit twice.

This was an honest mistake. As soon as I was notified my check to you did not clear, I asked Penney's to resubmit for payment. They refused. A few days later, I received a notice in the mail from a collection agency wanting that money paid to JCpenney's along with another $20 service fee! It was bad enough I had to pay my own bank $20 for the check not clearing. Anyway, my honest mistake. I paid the collection company.

But this is the part that is so very upsetting. Two days ago I went to my local Wal-Mart to buy a few things I really needed. When I came to the register and wrote a check, they told me they wouldn't accept it because they had been notified by JCPenney's that my check for them did not clear. AND I cannot cash a check at Wal-Mart until I have something in writing to them from you it's okay. Another task that's up to me? Why can't your company notify Wal-mart my debt was paid? You had no problem notifying them my check didn't clear?

I want to know who the hell gave your company permission to release that kind of information to any one else? I was so embarassed and so mad when I left Wal-Mart I decided you needed to know how to run your business.

Let's look at some alternatives here:

1. I have a JCPenney's account, If my check wouldn't clear, why didn't you just charge it to my Penney's card?
2. Resubmit the check again (like all the other businesses i know).
3. Don't allow checks being written unless they can show they have overdraft protection.

How difficult would it be to implement any of the above options. I have been a customer of JCPenney's since the 1960's. I am not overly found of the way you do business in connection with your finances.

I was publicly humiliated by JCPenney's by what happened to me in Wal-Mart.

I believe I am extremely valuable to your company based on my frequent purchases, and I usually spend $100.00 each time I buy. I am uncertain whether I'd pay any more if you could fix this problem.

I have not yet decided whether I will return to your store again, and I don't think I can recommend JCPenney Company, Inc. to my friends and family. The main reason I shop at your store is because of its low prices and good value.

Here's what I'd like to see happen:First of all, I would like you to contact Wal-Mart so that I may regain my check writing privledges there. Seondly, I would like Penney's to change their policy on handling bad checks. Especially for people who have honestly just made a mistake figuring out their check books. Your action was a little drastic. Would you say!

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt response.


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