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Posted July 24, 2006 8:00 AM | Permalink
I like to check my bank account balance and activities often online. Just this week I carefully monitored my activities and balance so I would have enough money to pay the mortgage and still have enough for food, gas and car repairs that were needed. All was fine. The check I wrote out for the mechanic cleared leaving me with still $200 before making my next deposits for the mortgage payment.
Suddenly I check Sunday morning and the whole page of activity had changed! I don't know how they did it, but now they were saying that there were non sufficient funds for the mechanic's check plus two more non sufficient funds for small withdrawals... one for $10. and one for $20. I'm so confused! This kind of thing happens quite often to me. I've noticed that every weekend, the statements are totally incomplete and it's impossible to keep track. Like the gas my husband bought for $40 that appeared yesterday and somehow mysteriously disappeared today. Does anyone know what I can do about this? I know for a fact that the employees are taught to manipulate peoples accounts in order to cause more bounced checks. I had a friend who worked in a bank and she told me how they are taught to clear the debits before the deposits. This is totally unfair and something needs to be done.
Nov 18, 2007
I have had my fair share of bank frustrations over the years - bounced cheques because they processed them out of order, the time my credit cards were suspended when I was on holiday in Spain because "someone was putting charges on them from Spain", and so on. But in the end it all depends upon the manager of the branch you deal with, and these occasional errors were cleared up promptly.
The branch manager I dealt with was great, and could organise whatever I needed at short notice from anywhere in the world. Over time all of my financial affairs had gravitated to that bank, including mortgages, insurance, brokerage etc. Eventually the manager called me and asked, seeing as I was such a good customer with a wide range of products, whether I could give them a "testimonial quote" as to why I like banking with them. I was happy to oblige him, albeit a little surprised when my name and glowing quote was used in their nationally distributed brochures and placed in every branch.
Soon after that this manager moved on, and I had to deal with the new idiot. Again, I can accept mistakes happen, but only if someone is prepared to correct them.
One day a $10,000 debit was made to my savings account by mistake. I noticed it the next day, and it was promptly fixed. But that debit had put me into deficit for a day and the bank dishonoured all my bill payments (why didn't they dishonour the debit??), along with charging multiple fees. One of these was the insurance on my house, and the insurance company, a subsidiary of the bank, immediately rang the bank to say my house may be uninsured which was in breach of the mortgage conditions. This led to my mortgage account being suspended.
At this point the bank manager should have stepped in and fixed it by hand. Instead she quoted "policy" that her hands were tied and she could not possibly waive all of these fees. She also claimed she had no authority with the related insurance company and could not fix things there.
As we sat in her office and argued the stupidity of it she sarcastically offered me her phone to check with head office myself. I took great pleasure in dialing head office, then asking to be put through to the MARKETING department and asking them to withdraw all of their brochures nationally as I considered my previous recommendation to be no longer valid.
Watching the blood drain from her face as she realised what this would do to her name in head office, she walked out to the teller and had the whole thing fixed in about ten minutes.
I actually get very good service now, but unfortunately it is based upon her fear, as the trust element went when she spun the line about "policy". Even the new branch staff know me before I arrive as "the guy in the brochure that the boss is scared of".
I thought you might appreciate a "little win", but I dread to think how insane it can all get when you are not in the fortunate position that I was.
Nov 22, 2007
I have set every single bill for automatic payments every month. I have two credit cards that I am carrying a balance because they are always sending me offers in the mail for 0%. It's free money, so I used it last summer to pay for the floor and moving or whatever. Plus I do have the money to pay them off, but right now it is locked in a CD and I don't want to break the lock on the CD, because they charge you a couple hundred dollars.
It is Wells Fargo Bank. They were set up to be paid just a little bit more than the minimum payment every month on the 15th. I'll let you know, I owe them almost $2,000, and they only want 1%, which is $19 or $20. Well, last month, for the first time ever, they changed the due date to the 14th unlike the month before due on the 19th. I wasn't paying attention and didn't change my payment. They still got their money as usual on the 15th and charged me a $39 late fee. So I called them up and they understood it, and CREDITED the 39 dollars back on my card. (Thank you).
Yesterday I got the bill in the mail saying I am past due and I've been charged a $39 late fee. $112 is due immediately.
First I logged into my bank and sure enough, I had paid the account. It was due by the 17th, so I wasn't late. So I called them. Did they get last month's payment? Yes, but I didn't pay the minimum due. It's $59 and I only paid $20. Remember I said everything was set up on auto pay?
Apparently, a credit is not considered a payment (since when?) and I didn't PAY the full amount.
I have never been so ugly to someone on the phone. I almost cursed her. When my husband came home, he got so mad too, and he called and canceled the card, after they gave him a run-around and transfered back into the answer queue. But now I have to come up with $1,978 to be paid right now. And because I was late 2 months in a row (even though everything comes out on the 15th like clockwork), I am in default, I have lost the 0% interest rate, and they have no grace period.
I am trying to do everything right here, and sometimes I just can't get ahead. Is it fair? Is it even legal?
Christina, Tennessee |
Mar 23, 2008
I used to have an account with M & T Bank. They were awful about rearranging fees. I could take my paycheck there on Saturday morning, when it arrived in the mail, and typically would be lucky if I could touch my money by Tuesday. I would have $50 in my account and spend $5 on my debit card at the gas station and $10 on last-minute dinner items on Sunday, on Tuesday I could have a $55 bill payment set up to come out of my account and I'd get hit with 3 overdraft charges because they would rearrange the transactions.
Even better was the time when money went into my account and cleared and two days after it cleared, not even was deposited but had fully gone through, I decided to spend some and the two transactions were rearranged and I was charged two fees (which they acknowledged as an error and did return the funds).
Kim Lockport, NY |
Jul 13, 2008
As a former 12 year veteran of the banking industry, not only do bad things happen to customers off the street, they happen to us as well.
A branch of M&I Bank in Milwaukee decided one day to post a business customers check against my personal checking account. The business wasn't one that I worked for or had any knowledge of. Also, business accounts had a different numbering scheme than personal accounts, so how this snafu started, I really have no clue.
Anyway, I don't bounce checks, and manage to keep a $500 cushion in the account in case I do go over a couple bucks. However, one day the bank decides to post a $20,000 business check against my account, bouncing ALL my checks for the next few months. After calling constantly to get this reversed, and going into the branch, the check was finally reversed, however, the fees for all the bounced checks (about 15 in all) would not be reversed.
After continuing my phone calls, all the way up to the office of the President of the bank, I finally got the fees reversed...this included all the bounced checks, fees for being overdrawn more than 3 consecutive days, and the fees assessed by the merchants I paid.
Anyhow, just like others on this post, M&I in almost every call pointed the finger back at me saying this was my fault. How can their posting a business check against my personal account be my fault???
M&I is by far the worst bank to deal with. They have ZERO customer service skills, blame the customer for what is obviously their fault, and cause grief and pain for just the average working stiff.
Banks are so concerned with changing the bankruptcy codes in this country, maybe a group of ordinary Americans should lobby congress to pass laws to hold banks accountable for serious mistakes that cost us little guys $$$. Not to mention they should tell banks to curb their fees, because those can kill any average person. $36 for an NSF Fee? Come on. There is no human intervention anymore, they're trying to get a free $36 for doing nothing. Then if they repost the check (even after you tell them not to), you get whacked with another $36 fee. It's almost like the bank is another mafia.
Banks still don't realize it's people like you and I that keep them going. If other businesses treat us bad, we go elsewhere...just remember that when a bank treats you badly, go elsewhere.
Mike, Milwaukee WI |
Sep 22, 2008
I work in the call center at a credit union and all day all I hear are pity me storied from members who have a ton of NSF fees. Bottom line is DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE!!! Your bank or credit union allows transactions to clear even if you don't have the available funds as a courtesy to you. Sure, we could just let your checks and signature based check card transactions bounce so that you have to deal with various collection agencies and legal issues but instead we loan you the money for a fee. And yes the fee is high with the hope that maybe you will think twice in the future before spending money you don't have. It's called personal responsibility. And as for the first person person complaining about compass bank posting her transaction before posting her deposits. When a transaction is done signature based on a check card those funds are "held" by the merchant. The merchant can hold these funds for 24 to 72 hours. At this point you are already wrong. You spent money that isn't really in your account. The bank owes you nothing. When the merchant comes to post (which is usually right at the start of the business day) that's it! Game over! Just because you happened to drop off a kited check into the ATM deposit doesn't mean that the bank has to make your precious little deposit first thing in the morning so that you won't get any NSF fees. You're not mad at the bank you're just mad at yourself for not getting away with it. So next time you want to call your financial institution to whine about an NSF fee just stop and think about how you are the one who did it to yourself. And the representative on the phone is there to help people who have real problems so that's why they could care less about you and your little NSF fees. So don't even waste your time calling!!!
Jack Phoenix |
Oct 12, 2008
To the credit union call center rep,
Just stop it. Like many people these days I am unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. My wife and I have been managing our C.U. account very well in spite of this, but recently got into trouble because of a $300 hold on a $2300 deposit. At the time our CU was clearing the first 2000 of any ATM deposit immediately. I went to a partner CU's ATM to make this deposit because I was told I could use such an ATM EXACTLY as I would use the one at my institution. I knew there would be a hold on the $300, but such holds are normally just three days. This time it was 5 days. Guess when some transactions posted--on the fourth day. Three were courtesy-paid, but one, a check, was bounced. In the meantime I was able to make another deposit and I scrambled to get a cashier's check to give to the payee of the check that bounced. Out of consideration to this person, I added another $50.00. The $2300, meanwhile, is a monthly deposit which we normally make in person, and is noted on the account to be cleared immediately. Once before I made this deposit through the ATM, but was able to get them to clear it by showing them the stub next day. That doesn't work anymore.
A few days later my CU PAID THE DAMN ORIGINAL CHECK, again bringing the account down to double digits. Then several more transactions overdrew the account. As on the first day the $300 had bounced, some of the other transactions were POS debit card transactions made without any problem. What excuse do you have for debiting the customer's balance immediately on a POS transaction, but then putting the money back, then allowing other transactions to go through, and then charging courtesy fees on the older POS transactions? Don't tell me you can't post that to the ledger on a daily basis; it comes up within minutes in the pending transactions display online. I think I know why you do this--you can rake in tons more fees by moving the customers' money from one pile to another to ensure that a single big item goes through and numerous piddling little items get charged.
After a couple of years of finally being on track, I now have been charged $250 in overdraft charges over two days. And there will now be more, because: tonight I made a deposit in the ATM, but now I'm apparently disfavored, so only $100 of the deposit clears. Until Thursday.
Meanwhile I've talked to everyone I can; I thought if I could show that the check was supposed to be cleared immediately every month, I could get all those overdrafts reversed. But it was no use.
James in L.A. |
Oct 26, 2008
"I work in the call center at a credit union and all day all I hear are pity me storied (what's a "storied"?) from members who have a ton of NSF fees. Bottom line is DON'T SPEND MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE!!! (etc.)
This is a prime example of the service we can expect from you. You're a condescending prick, who needs to learn how to type, and could use a "grammer grammer" lesson. And I'll bet dollars to doughnuts (much like the service you offer) you don't have an education above a high school diploma. Granted personal responsibility is priority one, but if we were all that smart we wouldn't be using your bank, genius. You offer low APR's, offer upgrades that really benefit the bank, have a plethora of hidden fees, and by all means do post deductions BEFORE deposits. Furthermore the NSF's are easily reversible, and are implemented to benefit the bank.
Blockbuster was making 70% of their profits from late fees, and the bank is following the same business plan. My wife was in the banking business for 10 years. She got out because of the sneaky underhanded corporate crap they pull, on both the clientele and their employees, and would rather be unemployed than work with the likes of you.
Your issue is you don't like your job, and will rot in that desk until you die. Enjoy putting down the people who pay your $16.00 (or 1/2 a NSF) an hour, hey one day you can be an Op. Sup., and then in exchange for your self respect, and soul, you get every third Saturday off! Thank you for reaffirming why I don't keep my money in your bank, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!
Blane, Camarillo, California |
Apr 15, 2009
No one's mentioned Independent Bank, found mostly in Michigan.
The reason I had the account in the first place was because my employer at the time required an account for direct deposit, and had a special arrangement with this particular bank. I signed up, got the debit card, and went on my way.
Numerous times I was overcharged, charged NSF fees, charged NSF fees twice, charged for being overdrawn multiple days in a row, and sometimes I earned those fees. When they truly were my fault, I didn't call and whine, as some people seem to think all bank patrons do. If it was my fault, I suck it up and pay it. But when it wasn't my fault because I specifically advised the bank that automated charges from a specific company were not authorized yet the bank continued to pay them and charged me the NSF fee in addition to the original charge, I cancelled my account. I cut up my card and mailed it to them in the "convenient payment envelope" they provided me to repay the over $3,000 they charged me in fees in just under three months.
I still have not paid them, and last I checked, they are still adding interest to my "open" and "active" account. Good luck with that.
I've had better luck with my small credit union. They have truly free accounts, wait until the end of the day to post all charges against your account and all debits take place the moment they are received, and when an unauthorized charge takes place, the accountant actually helps you fill out the necessary forms to ensure that it can't be held against you and that your money can be recovered in a timely manner.
Kat, Michigan |
May 23, 2009
That is a good as Wells Fargo who charges you $5.00 to cash a check drawn on their bank. As I found out recently I had gotten a $500.00 check and needed to get it cashed. First thing I was told that they could not cash it the day I went in to get it cashed. I called the person who gave me the check and he could not understand what their problem was! So I went back a few days later and was told that they charged $5.00 to cash one of their checks unless you have an account with them I told them I was Happy with my CU. I have worked as a secret shopper some time ago and one of my assignments was a Wells Fargo Bank. I had to try to cash a check and then inquire about opening an account. Just to ask about an account I had to supply my SSN. I reminded them I was just asking about a Savings account they said they had to run a credit check on me! When I question their practice saying that you are not allowed to issue any kind of a debt on the account Check or Debt card so why do they need to run a credit check reply "Bank Policy"!
Tom Littleton, CO |
Apr 3, 2010
(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)