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At My Bank, NSF = Non-Sufficient Friendliness - Comments

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I have to respond to Bud's post, regarding why tellers are the way they are. Just because they have to deal with the occasional obnoxious customer doesn't mean they should treat every other customer the same way. Most "tellers" aren't even called tellers now, they are "customer service representatives". Almost every job I've ever had is a customer service-oriented position. Just because I may come across a few obnoxious, rude customers, it doesn't mean that I will or should treat every customer as a potential problem.

In many cases, it's not the teller/CSR who is the problem, it's the bank's (or any company's) policies that the CSR must deal with. There are many people who are not aware of their bank's internal policies, and most people are not familiar with banking laws at all.

What it all boils down to is that everyone should be treated in a civil, polite manner and not treated as if you are an inconvenience to the customer service representative, which is the attitude that some CSR's now have.

This is just a funny/interesting story, not really good or bad. My wife had an accident in which her vehicle was totaled. While waiting for the check from the insurance company, we were looking for another one for her and we eventually found one. We received the insurance check on Friday and deposited it on Friday afternoon, after the 2:00pm cutoff. We bought the car on Saturday, from an individual, and we went to meet him on the following Monday to give him the money for it and pick it up.

The teller said that since I deposited the check after 2:00pm on Friday afternoon, it wouldn't get posted until Monday night. OK, I should have expected that. We arrange to meet with the guy on the Tuesday at lunchtime. We meet there on Tuesday and then we have to argue with, first the teller, and then the CSR about getting the money from the insurance check. We finally get the branch manager involved and he OKs it. Then I ask for a cashiers check so that the guy doesn't have to carry all that cash over to his bank. Their answer: "We can't give you a cashiers check because it's just like cash" until after the insurance check actually clears. So instead, they just gave us the cash.

As a side note, one year the name of the bank changed three times as it got taken over/merged/whatever it is that banks do when they combine to get bigger.

Many times on payday I've posted enough debits to make my account go -$ before my paycheck direct deposits into my account. I've found that Washington Mutual doesn't charge me for it, as long as my bank account has a positive number by the end of the day.

This is not the case at my local Wal-Mart "Woodforest" bank. I know enough people who've had bad experiences there. I'm convinced that when you deposit a check into the account, they sometimes hide it in hopes that your account will go negative and they can collect fees. I thought my friends were lying, until I happened to stop by the bank with one of them and see their bank statment later.

I've had a lot of bad banking stories but after reading all these stories I decided my current bank is really good. It's a small local bank. My parents have banked there for more than 20 years. I've been living in the "big" cities for many years and am kind of used to impersonal banks, so the "homey" nature of my bank was kind of wierd for me.

When my folks or myself walk into the bank they greet us by name (as they do every customer)--they even notice if you've had a haircut. When I first moved back to the home town, my mom came along as I opened up my bank account at their bank. The teller takes all the information, greets my mother then instantly sets up my account with their overdraft protection (they never bounce checks--just charge a fee and cover them). I point out that I got a basic account which shouldn't get that kind of coverage. Apparently since my parents were long standing customers I got it.

Then the funniest bit of all: My folks have a "Senior" account which is for over 50. This account gets free checking, free checks, lower NSF fees. The helpful teller goes "I'm not sure I can get this for you but we'll see!" (I'm well under 50). Of course she couldn't but she certainly tried! So I can put up with a bit of waiting in line while the people ahead of me chit chat to get that kind of good service.

Now the bad story. When I was living in Illinois I got an account at a local bank. I'm all for self service so I always deposited my paychecks via the instant teller. One day it malfunctioned during my deposit. I immediately went inside the bank to tell them, thinking they could take care of it right then. No, they had to wait for the repair guy. After a moment I suggest that maybe they might want to put a sign on the machine. "Oh! Good idea!!!" Then I ask about my money. They assure me it'll be fine. At the end of the week, my money is still not there. I go to the bank. The girl LAUGHS and says "Oh, it must just be a paperwork thing." I told her that wouldn't buy groceries. She said she'd fix it that day. Three days later... yep. no money. It took me 2 weeks to get my money out of them. I closed my account the next day. Not necessarily because of the amount of time it took to get the money, but because the teller apparently thought it was funny that their machine would eat people's money.

I recently had an experience such as this. Upon moving into one of the larger cities in my state after growing up in a small farming community, one of the first things I did was to open an account with a local branch office of a major chain. (cough, cough, U.S. Bank...)

For the first few months things went well with this branch. I worked very odd hours so I usually used the night depository to deposit my paychecks.

On one occasion things suddenly changed. I had deposited my check via the depository and then proceeded to write out my checks for my bills (rent, utilities, etc.)

Two days later I come home to find a letter on my door from my landlord stating that my check had bounced and I had three days to pay rent plus the NSF fee or leave my apartment.

So the next day, I actually had to take the day off work to resolve the issue because after spending 3 hrs on the phone I hadn't spoken to a live operator yet.

Upon going in there they insisted that I hadn't made a deposit. When I told them repeatedly that I had and threatened to get my lawyer involved they finally went and manually looked for my check.

Sure enough, they finally found it. Apparently the automatic printer had garbled some information so all that was printed on the envelope was my name.

So what did they do? Did they call my employer who was listed clearly on the paycheck and ask for me? No. Did they attempt to find which account these paychecks had been going into on a regular basis? No. Instead they simply tried to call up my name and deposited it into the first account listed. Unfortunately that happened to not only be the wrong account, but belonged to a guy living two states away!!

So, to recap, I'm now short on rent, have several NSF's, and had to take a day off, all because some nitwit thought that someone would drive 2 states over and deposit the check in the middle of the night because they had nothing better to do. After providing several pieces of I.D. and a phone call to my employer, they finally agree to put the money back where it belongs, minus the NSF's.

After another two hour gripe about that they finally drop one, and agree to drop the one they charged my landlord, but insist that there's nothing they can do about the additional NSF's. After a long, grueling day fighting for MY money, I'm finally ready to leave, albeit, with less than what should have been.

As I'm putting away my documents the teller has the gall to offer me overdraft protection for a minimal fee!

That would finally be the point where I canceled my account and went back to a bank where they knew me on sight.

Horror story #400,000 coming up. I have been banking at Citizens bank, formerly Charter One Bank, for 6 years. Recently I early retired from my job at the power company. Along with my retirement came my seperation pay. So last tuesday I deposited my seperation pay. All was good: funds were available the same day and also the next day. However, on Thursday when I go to get gas.."please see attendant" pops up. Come to find out that no funds were available. Now, I just deposited $29,000! How can nothing be available? Well after a phone call to customer service (that's a laugh) I find out that they have put a "fraud hold" on my deposit. I ask them what exactly is a fraud hold and why would you put one on my account. (I'm just a 40 year old mother of 3 that lives in suburbia). I am advised that the check "in question" could have been forged by me and could also have a stop payment put on it by John Hancock, the maker of the check.

I have a big problem with this I tell "Frank", 1 of 15 people that I talk to in the next 7 days. Because, not only did you put a fraud hold on the deposit, you froze the whole checking account. Because, when money was flowing after the deposit I paid my cable, electric & phone bills. So, now they don't want the money I use to "get out of hand" in the case I made the check up myself or a stop payment gets put on it. After 30 minutes of this I'm dumbfounded. I hang up from Frank and call my former employer. They agree to call my bank to try & clear up any questions they may have with this check. Well... here we are 8 days later, and believe me when I tell you, 20 calls later too. My bank will still not release any of my funds until tomorrow 9 days after I deposited this check. Even though they received 2 phone calls from John Hancock personal to verify the check. They fluff it off again as, I could have forged the check, but they did add because the check did not have "annuity" written on it. I'll have to remember the annuity thing, so that when I turn 65 and start getting my retirement checks from them I'll have to ask them to write it in. Also, as my whole checking account has been frozen, they bounced my mortgage check (which Tom has assured me they will write a letter to my mortgage compnay & refund me any NSF fees that have been charged -- to date $356 -- I told you I paid some bills.) Me thinks that once this money becomes available, AND I get my nsf fees reversed ..oh and the letter. I am walking in there and getting all $29,000 of my annuity dollars and going to another bank. UGHHHH!!!!!

My wife showed me this site, probably because I'm angry at "her" bank for doing $500 worth of NSF on checks I thought were clearing, but weren't because of a slight error on her part which started the landslide rolling.

This Bank of the West let me know 10 days later, by mail, that there was a problem happening. When I called to request a change, I was given a lecture on balancing our check book by the branch president. I commented that whenever there had been any kind of a problem with other small town banks that we were at least given a phone call. I have since moved away, but we still use it because our renters must make deposits there. That will end soon!

On the other hand, "my" bank not only calls me if there is any problem, they have refunded NSF charges made because a deposit just missed a debit more than once.

While I'm here, I'd like to give the big salute to Bank One in Denver for deleting the entire record of my payments and payoff on a car I had bought from John Elway's Auto. They had me down as late on 28 payments and the car wasn't paid for, 2 years after I had paid it off without missing a payment. After going through their phone maze for hours, for weeks trying to get a live person to correct the report so I could get a good credit rating, that person lied saying they would handle it. Months later, I find out it was the same. I go through the mazes again and the next person apparently thought handling it was to delete the record entirely. I needed a record of that payment history for another car loan.

I have been paying off an account with CitiCard for years now. I have been paying on time and without a problem, untill today. I got my bill, opened it up and find a late fee for $39.00.

I call the customer service line to find out why. First I get a young woman with an attitude and ask her why this is? She tell's me it's because I didnt pay the full amount of the last bill. I said what are you talking about -- I paid the same amount I have always paid. Turns out it was a PENNY short. This is the reason for the late fee. Well I asked her to take it off she said no. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she got so angry with me and started going off on me then hung up on me.

I called back to get a very nice girl and she explaned to me why this was happening to me. I still wanted to talk to a supervisor; again she tell's me they can't remove the $39.00 payment -- I have to pay it this time and they will credit my account the $39.00. So basicly I'm paying a double payment for a .01 mistake. What is this world coming to when you can't even give the little guy a break on a PENNY!

As for the rude girl I sent a e-mail to the comapany with her ID# in her comments. After I called back I was told that she wrote in my file that I hung up on her. Not true.

So be aware of not paying your bill to the fullest amount that you owe. You might get a late fee.

This following information relates to a recent experience I have had with Union Bank of California, a Japanese owned bank.

My wife and I file a joint tax return with both the State of California and the Federal Government, and have done so for the 10 years we have been married. When we receive a tax refund, the check is made out to both of us as payees.

We maintain separate checking accounts. This eliminates the possibility of bouncing checks due to our independently writing checks against the same account in a total amount greater than the existing balance.

We recently received a $2,500 tax refund. We both endorsed the check, and I deposited it in my checking account that I have had with Union Bank for over 25 years using the ATM. The Bank returned the check to me by mail stating that they would not accept it as a deposit since my wife's name was on it, and my checking account was not a joint account.

I contacted the Supervisor of Teleservices who stated that the check would be accepted as a deposit if:
1. My wife and I changed the way in which we conducted our personal finances by either opening a new checking account designated as a joint account, or,
2. I added her name to my account making my existing account a joint account.

I have not yet decided what to do with my checking account, savings account, and safe deposit boxes I have with Union Bank.

My horrible experience is with Charter One Bank. I did a friend a favor and deposited an insurance settlement check for her until the check cleared. The next day I checked online and it said all the funds were available for withdraw. Then I called and the automated phone system told me the same thing. We go to the bank and take out 90 percent of the amount and left in 10 percent.

All of a sudden I get home late at night and the account now says I am overdrawn basically for the whole amount I took out today. I called to complain and they said there is a hold on the account until everything clears. The system said everything is available and now is holding everything else in my account becuase of this. I have bills to pay. She tells me the department that handles that is now closed and you have to call back tommorrow. I said you need to contact them for me tommorow and the girl said she couldn't do that. I am so pissed off. I asked for a superviser and she said they will contact the department tommorrow.

Why in the hell would the bank system tell me it was available in the first place? Also why would the teller verify it was available and give me the money today? I am switching banks immediately after they unfreeze the account and I get the rest of my money out. I have two accounts there and am switching banks immediately.

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