What Is Wrong With You People? (No, not you. Them.)

As my wonderful regular readers know, my various activities include owning and running a Zero Waste services business for athletic events. And I do my best to follow the “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle” program, in that order. Less waste is always preferable, even with composting and recycling options.

So when I got an e-check recently instead of a mailed paper check, I was, naturally, delighted. Something I could transfer directly to my account, with no paper to file and eventually shred and recycle.

But as you may have guessed, there’s more to the story.

Among the items I collect at races are running shoes people don’t want no more. Every year I end up with lots of them. Recently I had over 40 discarded pairs to dispose of responsibly. I used to take them to North Face for their Clothes the Loop program, but at the time, the pandemic threw a wrench into that.

My most recent shoe collection. Actually, this is about half the “old normal” amount.

An organization called Got Sneakers came to the rescue. They take old, used athletic shoes and resell or recycle them. They send me postpaid bags to ship the shoes, and even pay me a little, based on their condition. Great stuff!

So I bagged them up and sent them in, and today I received my payment. A whopping $23.50, but hey, every little bit helps the business. Got Sneakers used the echecks.com service to send it. All I had to do was set up an account to finalize the deposit. Done!

Then I got to this screen that showed my available options for depositing the check:

So, my electronic deposit options all call for a minimum fee of $5.00. On a $23.50 check, that would be a pretty sweet deal. For them. But hold on, there’s a free option! Just print the check and deposit it myself. So we’re back to using paper, which I have to file, and eventually recycle. By shredding, which is harder to recycle.


But believe it or not, this is not the first such idiocy I have dealt with regarding paper vs. electronic payments. I have a teeny-weeny pension from the first company I worked for, in the form of a teeny-weeny check sent each month. It’s managed by a contractor. The money is, at least, direct deposited. But they insist on sending me a paper notification and receipt in the mail.

Why? “Because,” a pension contractor spokesperson told me, “the company didn’t pay us enough to go fully electronic.”

So they’re printing this receipt I don’t need, putting it in an envelope, attaching postage, and having the USPS deliver it to me, instead of just sending an email. Because, in their twisted little minds, they don’t get paid enough to save paper, money, and effort.

Repeat above bolded, capitalized question.

I sent an email to Got Sneakers thanking them for their service and hoping they’ll find an alternative to echecks for payment. With so many payment companies wanting business, there must be some who could scrape by on, let’s say, 1% of the check, with no minimum. Bet I could. Anyone up for Happy Planet Banking?

One thought on “What Is Wrong With You People? (No, not you. Them.)

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