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Planting my garden is this week’s best consumer experience, while packaging for checkbooks disappoints

By Rita R. Robison

During several sun breaks this week, I had fun planting my garden. However, I wasn’t pleased yesterday when my credit union sent me my checks in a folder.

Garden Early

My best consumer experience: Planting my vegetable garden

This year, I’m trying cherry tomatoes instead of Early Girl or other big, plump, red tomatoes. That’s because I seldom get any red tomatoes.

I also planted carrots, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, parsley, potatoes, and kale.

I hope the beans, carrots, and kale come up soon. The weather’s been cloudy with showers.

My worst consumer experience: Getting my checks packaged in a folder instead of a box

When my credit union sent my checks in a flat, plastic, green package, I was surprised.

But I was shocked to see what was in the package; a CheckFolio. It has three checkbooks glued down to each side of the folder.

The credit union said:

We talked to account holders to learn more about what they want and need from their check products. The result is an innovative new check packaging system called CheckFolio.

CheckFolio is supposed to help me:

  • Stay organized by having all the “components” neatly organized.
  • By providing a tamper-evident package that protects my identity.
  • By protecting the environment because the efficient design uses less material and creates less waste – plus the Check-Folio is recyclable.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. The six checkbooks are glued to the folder, except, woops, one has already come loose.

The directions say to use the checkbooks one at a time or carry the folder around with you. They tell you to use light pressure if you write on them when they’re in the folder to prevent transferring the copy to other checks.

It’s crazy. Usually, my checkbooks come in two boxes. I recycle the outer box and put the copies of the checks back in the box when I’ve written all the checks in the checkbook. I keep the copies for a few years, and then shred them.

I can’t imagine what the credit union and checkbook company were thinking.

The plastic package isn’t recyclable, so the new system is less eco-friendly. It isn’t more secure because if someone is going to steal your checks, they can take a green plastic package and open it just as easily as checkbooks packaged in two paper boxes.

My credit unions usually provide good customer service. With the change, I feel like this is one of those TV ads, which is trying to convince me that something that’s questionable or false is true.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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