this $20 bill got caught in the dryer a couple of weeks ago. i took it to the chase branch that is in the local safeway to see if i could get it replaced. they told me that “there was less than 50% of the bill” and they couldn’t replace it.
okay, i suppose that’s one way of looking at it…
i took it to the regular bank branch, i don’t know what bank – it was one that i am not a customer of, but it was right next to the local safeway in which the chase branch is located. i figured that the chase branch in the safeway was not a “real” bank branch, and that a “real” bank branch might have a “more liberal” policy regarding replacing mutilated currency. but the teller of that branch said that she couldn’t read the serial number, and that meant that she couldn’t take it.
the serial number is GL53815389A. you can see it by combining what is visible in the upper left corner with the part that is visible in the lower right corner… and there is a solid, unbroken band running along the top of the bill, that PROVES i didn’t try to “moodge two bills together” to make a readable serial number.
i then called BECU, who told me that if i took it to one of their branches, along with my ID, they could help me out. so i took it to the BECU financial center in federal way (which is the closest financial center to my home, about a 10 minute drive away), but they don’t have tellers, so the lady suggested that i put the mutilated bill in a deposit envelope (because, obviously, it wouldn’t go into the cash machine) and they would automatically deposit it in my account. she even filled out the deposit envelope for me.
two days later, i got the bill back, in a fancy transparent envelope, with a note that said “The above deposit was adjusted for the following reason: Non-negotiable item cash $20.00 – if you have any questions, please contact Member Services…”
it is either “Non-negotiable item” or it is “cash $20.00”. it CAN NOT be both, at the same time. it is either “legal tender for all debts public and private” or it is a “Non-negotiable item”… 😐
so, i called member services again and they explained that, because of the fact that the branch i had taken it to didn’t have tellers, that was why the bill had been returned. however, they assured me that, if i took it to a branch that had tellers, they “guaranteed” me that they would replace my mutilated currency.
unfortunately, the closest BECU branch that has tellers is the tukwilla branch, which is about a 45 minute drive from my home… 😐
SO, i drove to the tukwilla branch, and stood in line for 20 minutes just to get to the receptionist. when i finally got to the receptionist, i told her the story of the $20 bill that nobody wants, and she said that she would find “someone from the teller line” to help me with my “unusual situatuion”. she then took off, leaving me standing at the receptionist’s desk with a line of people behind me (who were getting peeved that they had to wait this long) to find someone.
five interminable minutes later, she came back and said that there would be someone to help me, and went back to the line of people behind me. after another ten minutes or so, a lady came up, and i told her the story of the $20 bill that nobody wants, and she told me that THEY COULDN’T ACCEPT IT and recommended that i send it to the federal reserve… and, according to their web site, they may or may not accept it, they won’t even let me know for six months, and i have to send it by registered mail, which will cost me more than $20… unless i want to deliver it in person…
not to mention the fact that, technically, sending currency through the US mail is illegal… 😐
i have since taken it to three different commercial bank branches, and they have all given me the same advice: send it to the federal reserve and wait 6 months for them to decide whether to respond or not…
SO, the upshot of the whole fiasco is that i have an acknowledged $20 bill, which is apparently a “non-negotiable item” that nobody except me is particularly interested in redeeming. there has got to be a way to make something artistic out of it, that i can sell for more than $20, in defiance of this STUPID way of doing business… 😡