Had a few unpleasant experiences with postal money orders the last week or so and thought I would share. If you'd rather not read the whole thing, just skip to the last paragraph.
Initially (last week), I had a few postal money orders that I needed to cash. Small amounts...two for less than $20.00 and one for about $35.00. So, having learned my lesson from trying to cash them at the post office before, being berated and told they have very little cash, etc., I took them to my credit union.
Well, they apparently verify EVERY money order now. Alright fine...counterfiet postal m.o.'s are ubiquitous now so...she calls the 888 number to validate them. They had all been purchased at least three days prior to my trying to cash them. All three came back as "not issued". Of course, it's an automated system...no way to ask anyone anything. Just...no. Those money orders are not issued...so they won't cash them. I explained they can check to see if they're counterfiet with a UV light if they know what to look for and the teller just automatically said, "Oh well they counterfiet all of those markings too..." Ok...fine...I guess I hadn't heard that yet, so I just go along with her and leave.
So then I go across the street to the post office. I went in and without looking at the amount of any of them, the clerk says, "I don't think I'll be able to cash those..." I explained they were for relatively small amounts and two days prior to this watched her go get change for some idiot that brought (only) a $100 bill to pay for $7.00 postage. Yeah, I was a bit puzzled...but remained polite. I don't remember what she did to check the serial number, but she did and cashed them. Took about 20 minutes to have the endorsing printer allow the last one to go through though...but that's another story. I taught them what ctrl-c does and will send them an invoice later. (They were extremely thankful for that...I've never seen more happy postal folks than after that...apparently that printer had been doing that for a while.
Anyway...I went on my way -- late back from lunch, but cash in hand. I called the bank and asked if they really verified every single postal m.o. and the manager said they usually don't...only if they're over a certain amount ($100 or so, I think)
Fast forward to today. I sold something for a large sum of money to get my diesel back on the road. I bring it to the credit union again, knowing that if I were to even attempt to take it to the p.o., they would look at me, point, and laugh at me until I left -- not cashing it. So...same deal...money order had been purchased on the 21st. I brought it in with my Arc "AAA" UV and showed the teller the UV markings in the paper and the UV serial number on the back. I explained I just wanted to show them that in case they hadn't seen it before but that I understood they had to call it in and did want them to do that so I'd know it was alright for my own piece of mine. I can't afford for them to take a chunk that big out of my account for a bad m.o.
It wasn't in their system so it said (again) NOT ISSUED. Bless her heart, she tried to check for about 20 minutes while I was parked in a 15-minute loading zone!! hehe I remained polite and understanding...I could tell she was frustrated with their system, as was I. I happened to have the number for the Houston regional customer service center for USPS and called them. After two calls, I finally talked to one of them (first one hung up on the teller)...I explained everything and the person on the phone kept saying, "Do you take postal money orders all the time?" "Do you do this all the time??" She kept restating things, trying to verify who I am, what I sold, why I have a large $$$ postal money order...she said I can thank all of the bad people out there that counterfiet postal money orders. I felt like I was being treated like a criminal by USPS...but when I finally convinced her that I really did sell something and someone really did send me that m.o., she was nice enough to verify it and tell the teller the same info so she could cash it. But stated again that they don't like verifying them over the phone because of fraud.
Sorry that was so long...I'm not sure if I'll be taking postal money orders anymore for anything. It's getting near impossible to cash them anywhere. Does this happen to you?