Tales from Planet Buggy whip

If I were to create a new NewsCut category, it would be “buggy whips,” stories that are about an old-fashioned and irrelevant world that exists in the present.

Take Wendy Dodek’s problem with Fidelity Investments, which rejected her $6,500 check (buggy whip No. 1) for her Roth IRA even though it was mailed (buggy whip No. 2) before the April 17 deadline.

The problem? Buggy whip No. 3, the postmark. It was smudged and unreadable, the Boston Globe says.

It seems like a good time for some decent customer service (buggy whip No. 4), particularly since she’s been a customer for more than 30 years. But she got a form letter instead.

It said IRS rules require Fidelity to verify that it was sent in on time, which it couldn’t do because of the postmark.

It turns out, however, that all the information is on a phosphorescent bar code the post office applies to the backs of envelopes. But Fidelity had already destroyed the envelope by the time a Globe reporter intervened on Dodek’s behalf.

  • MrE85

    Yikes. I send my annual IRA contribution in the same way, but I have never had Wendy’s problem.

  • John O.

    For better or worse, I let the electrons handle it.

  • BReynolds33

    I work for a company that handles 401ks. When I started, I had money in two 401ks elsewhere. It took me 10 1/2 months to get all three combined into one account at my current employer.

    Capital One wanted me to get some documents certified in a style called “Medallion Certification.” The only way to get that is through a bank that handles stock accounts as well as transaction accounts (checking account). They have to do both, and you have to have both at the same company. (This is what I was told by Wells Fargo, so take it for what it is worth.)

    Fidelity, to their credit, had my money transferred as soon as the got my mailed request.

    Not one of the companies was willing to do business electronically. They all wanted paper, and for it all to be sent via USPS.

  • Ralphy

    On a related note, my Mother In Law had her application for a motorized wheelchair rejected by Medicare because her Dr used the wrong format for the date on the application form. The rejection letter came about 5 months after the Dr’s office had filed the request. It was then resubmitted, but because it had been rejected once before, it will now require an auditor from Medicare to review and approve. Three months and still waiting. Meanwhile, this 87 year old lady is pretty much stuck in her assisted living facility.

  • Jack

    I made a 2017 HSA contribution on April 10th. Couldn’t do it on-line since that option disappeared by the time my linked account was verified. Also had to mail it in but sent it priority mail with tracking for just the reason cited above.

    Customer service at institution holding my HSA couldn’t explain why the option for prior year contributions was removed before April 17th. Of course this institution is on-line only.

    The day I leave my employer, the HSA is getting rolled to a local credit union.

  • emersonpie

    Until the world gives up buggy whips altogether, change the rule so that the accepting agency has to prove that you *didn’t* mail your document on time.

  • Mike Worcester

    //If I were to create a new NewsCut category, it would be “buggy whips,”
    stories that are about an old-fashioned and irrelevant world that exists
    in the present.

    I really don’t think you’ll have a shortage of material. At all.