Today, I got a letter from US Bank. They say two elements in the MICR line (the funny looking line of numbers and symbols on the bottom of the check) are too close together: they should be at least .115 inch apart, and apparently they're not.
I spoke to the lady who sent the letter, and she told me there wasn't anything she could do for me aside from testing new checks once I'd printed them. She did send along the bank's MICR specifications sheet, which I'd never seen before (and was told wasn't available when I opened the account and asked for one). She suggested I talk to the branch manager.
I did just that. She was surprised that I'd been told the MICR specs weren't available, and that I was printing my own (the cost of MICR toner has dropped over the past few years), but also was disappointed that I'd gone this long without the bank telling me I had a problem.
She's crediting me $50 for the cost of supplies to reprint the 500 or so checks I'll need to throw away. She's also going to talk to her folks to make sure they know that the MICR specs are available and that the folks in St. Paul will test privately printed checks. As she told me, she has to make both the folks in St. Paul and me happy. I can't ask for anything more than that.