Tag Archive for 'walmart'

Friday roundup: news that caught my eye

There was a lot of small news this week that didn’t warrant an entire blog post but I still wanted to mention them here since not all of you are following me on Twitter or in the Buxr discussion board. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Walmart is staging a new price war, this time in video games. Last Wednesday GameStop’s stock tumbled 8.26% on the news and caused a discussion on the topic ‘can Walmart cause deflation’ on NPR Morning Marketplace on Thursday.
  2. Do you have a Google Gmail account? You can send a free post card to your friend with this free Google sponsored service. There are several designs available but all have a Google logo hidden in them.
  3. Lenovo is running a 40-day holiday giveaway. I usually don’t take part in these (just as I never play lottery) but there is something about this particular one that attracted my attention. Maybe the fact that it takes very little time to try? :-)
  4. Disney Rewards is giving away 5 points daily in December. You need to login daily and enter the unique code they feature on this page. What a brilliant idea to bring people to the website! You can redeem the reward points towards movie DVD’s, soundtracks CD’s or theater tickets.
  5. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Amazon beats Walmart and Target in a usability test conducted by uTest among the three retailers. Target came in last in every tested category. 600 testers from more than 20 countries took part in the test, over the half of the bugs found were at Target.
  6. New York Times rounds up several smart phone apps for reading e-Books. I use Aldiko on my G1 and it is great!

My experience with ordering checks from Walmart

I recently wrote about inexpensive check printing service offered by Walmart. It was a discovery for me that you can use Walmart (or other check printing services for that matter) to order checks for any bank account on your name. Yesterday I gave it a try. I ordered a box of doubles and it took me around half an hour to get it done. I saved about $20 compared to what Citibank charges me but I lost 30 minutes of my precious family time.

Why? Walmart has put several layers of “protection” to guarantee I get exactly the checks I need and also to make sure it is not someone else who is ordering my checks. For starters I had to enter the account and routing number twice and confirm it later on several screens. Also I had to dig out my bank mailing address and confirm my submission with my SSN and drivers license details. Alternatively I could fax a voided check back to them but I honestly don’t even remember when it was the last time that I faxed anything, so I opted for SSN.

The thing that killed me though was that I had to dig out the month and year when my bank account was open at Citibank and honestly I didn’t even know where to go for this information other than call the Customer Service, and you might guess how long it takes to get anyone on the line on Monday afternoon.

So my overall experience was rather disappointing. Do I wish it was less stressful? Yes. Will I try to do it again when I need more checks? Probably yes. I am hoping to cut the 30 minutes in half since I know most of the drill now. Also I hope Walmart keeps some of this data in online so next time ordering checks should be somewhat faster.

Where are you ordering your checks? Please share your tips in the comments

Cheap check printing from Walmart

dog-check.JPGI don’t use many checks, most of my payments are done online so one box lasts a few months. I am also usually very good at avoiding the numerous fees the banks try to slap on me. Once every few months however my bank screws me on $25 which is around how much a box of personal checks costs at Citibank.

I was so foolish to believe that I have to use my own bank for the checks. Big mistake! I just discovered today that Walmart offers a check printing service and a box of singles costs just $5.96 plus $2.50 for standard shipping. Here is a quote from

Don’t I have to order checks from my bank?
You can order checks anywhere you choose. Our checks are convenient to order, meet all bank requirements, and are often priced dramatically lower.

I am glad this issue is solved. The check printing expense has even prompted me to move to Washington Mutual at some point but that didn’t work out well because I became addicted to the free overnight interbank transfers Citibank offers to its customers ($1000 daily cap applies). It usually takes several days for a regular ACH transfer to complete.

What services do you use for check printing? Are you happy with them? Please share your tips in the comments.

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