A second response to the follow up email I sent the the department with short and long versions of my complaints pasted in:
Thank you for providing your complaint information. As bank complaints fall outside of the DCA's regulatory authority, we would like to offer alternative options and information for possible resolution to your complaint.
Upon reviewing your complaint, it appears you have taken the necessary steps to resolve your dispute by speaking to the bank's first line representatives and management. If you are still unable to receive satisfaction from the bank, we recommend you contact the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), Consumer Affairs Office. For information on how to file a complaint with the OTS, you may use the following link to the OTS Web site for its complaint filing and handling process: http://www.ots.treas.gov/docs/4/48780.html For your convenience, we have also provided the contact information for the OTS West Region Consumer Affairs Office below:
Office of Thrift Supervision
West Region, Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 7165
San Francisco, CA 94120
(650) 746-7097 (Spanish)
(650) 746-7001 (Fax)
You may also contact the OTS at its main office at:
Office of the Thrift Supervision
Consumer Affairs, Customer Relations
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
Telephone: (202) 906-6000
Toll free: (800) 842-6929
Web site: http://www.ots.treas.gov
Additionally, we suggest you file a complaint with the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General (AG) to report the businesses that withdrew the funds from your grandmother's account. The AG's office establishes and operates projects and programs to protect consumers from fraudulent, unfair, and illegal activities that victimize consumers. For more information and assistance regarding this matter, please contact the AG directly at the following:
California Department of Justice,
Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Toll free: (800) 952-5225 (in California)
Telephone: (916) 322-3360
Web site: http://www.caag.state.ca.us
Also, you may wish to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for assistance. BBB's are nonprofit organizations that promote an ethical marketplace by encouraging honest business advertising and selling practices. They offer a variety of consumer services including information about a business, particularly whether or not there are unanswered or unsettled complaints. For more information, please visit the BBB Web site at http://www.bbb.org.
Further, we suggest that you contact the DCA's Office of Privacy Protection (OPP) for information regarding fraudulent charges to your grandmother's bank account. The OPP serves as a statewide resource for consumer information and source of assistance on identity theft, unsolicited telemarketing calls, unsolicited junk mail and other privacy issues. For your convenience, we have provided the contact information for the OPP below:
Office of Privacy Protection
1625 N Market Blvd., Suite N-324
Toll free: (866) 785-9663
Telephone: (916) 574-8180
Web site: http://www.privacy.ca.gov
We regret we are unable to assist you further and hope you find the above information helpful. Again, thank you for contacting the DCA.
I apologize in advance if I come off disagreeably in this email but your response irritates me for a number of reasons:
1. I get no sense from the website you link to that these agencies will be of any help to me. If you know one that will -- or better yet, an actual person that can help me, please send me that info. Some of these site send me in circles back to your site!
2. You don't answer -- or even acknowledge -- the specific question I ask. As a consumer affairs agency, can you direct me to someone specifically who could?
3. You really can't read my web page? Really? Are you too busy to open up a browser? Has your sysadmin taken away your internet access? Some anachronistic 19th century law that makes it illegal for state employees? I put the blog up so I could make the info readily available without having to reinvent the wheel every time I contact somebody new.. It certainly doesn't reflect all that impressively on the greatest, most advanced state in this nation. Anyway, it's probably best at this point that you not visit the website.
4. I'm a big supporter of government oversight of business, but if this is characteristic of the kind of support you offer, why do we even fund the allocation? Or is it that the governor has already starved your agency to the point that you can't afford an operating browser? If you can't help me and don't know of an agency or institution that can, I'd prefer you just say that, simply and straightforwardly. A modified form letter with a bunch of links in it doesn't really help me. I've wasted enough time on this matter that I don't need to waste any further in a bureaucratic wild goose chase.
Anyway, you get the picture. I don't mean to insult you personally, but it would be nice to get some sense that you aren't just some chatbot firing off these messages to me.
But to the substance of my original complaint. I guess my question is: is it in the state's interest to have Washington Mutual or any bank cashing checks of this nature? Are the legally obligated to do so?
If you can offer some real help, please do so. If not, feel free to state that plainly, too. I wasn't really expecting all that much to begin with.
Actually, I edited out the more offensive parts of points 3 and 4. Suffice to say, about as impressed with the State of California right now as I am with Washington Mutual.
I did email the Office of Privacy Protection. Not sure I want to wait on hold with the Attorney General's office.