echecks nightmare

A few days ago I received an electronic check as a PDF file by email from a customer. I did the correct things. I printed out the check and deposited it to my bank via my iPhone. Here is a sample check:


Everything seemed to go well. BUT NO! It bounced, and my account was charged a fee.

The message from my bank stated “ACCOUNT NOT FOUND” as the reason for the return.

What happened was a technological flaw. The OCR numbers at the bottom of the check printed out incorrectly from my printer and, as a result, the account number was corrupted.

In my call to the check-making company, I was told that my printer driver was at fault and that I had to update it. Of course, the instructions for printing the check did not include this warning.


It took quite a while to unravel what had occurred. First I called my bank and could not resolve the issue by phone, so I ended up spending an hour at my bank. They insisted that it was not their fault. Not until I emailed a copy of the check to its writer that it was discovered that the account number was wrong. This was caused by a glitch in the OCR font that caused certain characters to be printed as rectangles which were mistaken for zeros by the bank’s scanning system.


Finally, I got the check to print correctly. Let’s see if this one clears.

Note: The check-writing company has agreed to reimburse me for the bank fee, but I will wait until the electronic check clears before celebrating.

smiley face


About stanleygraphics

I am a veteran graphic designer who started at the time when cut and paste meant an X-acto knife and rubber cement. I use my experience to educate others. I have an intolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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