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

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I banked with ScotiaBank in Ontario Canada for approximately 8 years. I'm the son of a banker so I'm meticulous about my records. Don't write a cheque that can't be cashed, don't spend more than you have, etc. In all my time I had two NSF charges, both due to direct debit transactions that weren't supposed to happen (canceled service among them).

The second time it happened, my insurance payment was the bounced payment. Shortly thereafter I received a letter informing me that if I did it again my insurance would be canceled. That would mean I'd face upwards of a $5000/year increase in premiums! Forget that!

I went to my bank and requested as little as $500 in overdraft protection as well as $500 in "cash back" allowance (that allows $500 to become immediately available from any funds I deposit). They refused. They didn't like my job, my income, my credit rating wasn't stable enough, whatever their excuse of the day. The fact that I had documented explanations from the two companies who'd caused my overdrafts in the past and the fact that my savings account never had less than a $2000 balance in the past EIGHT YEARS was immaterial. I was too "high risk".

So I went to Bank of Montreal and opened an account. Within minutes they not only had me approved for $1000 in overdraft protection, $1000 in cash back, but they also set up what they call "Oops Protection" - if the chequing balance is too low, try savings. If it's too low, go to my credit card. This was phenomenal! I was virtually guaranteed to have funds available!

I've now got my second car loan, my primary credit card, my chequing and savings accounts all through BMO and I'll never look back to Scotia. Now, where do you think I'll turn first for my mortgage application??

Some banks just don't want our business, I suppose.

When my husband and I first got married I had a bank account at Norwest bank. When I went in to have my name changed on that account, I had our original marriage certificate which I had already used at the SSA and DMV to change my name. Norwest wouldn't except it. I had to order and pay for a certified copy or our marriage license in order for them to change my name on my account. I did that, but I wasn't happy about it. Shortly after that they were bought out by Wells Fargo, and for whatever reason we closed that account.

A few years later, my husband opened a new account for us at Wells Fargo. Six months later we decided to close that account, but were told we couldn't because it hadn't been open long enough. I didn't like that answer, so I withdrew all the money except for $.09. Now, for the past 3 years they have been spending $.39 a month to send me a statement in the mail for a $.09 balance. I grin every time I get that statement in the mail.

I worked at a bank for five years... customers never ceased to amaze me. There are a few things of which most people need to be aware:

1) When you open an account, you sign a contract. In the contract, you agree to abide by the bank's terms and conditions - including overdraft fees.

2) It is a crime to take something of value from someone and give them something worthless, pretending it has value. If you write a check, and there is not AT LEAST as much money in the bank as what is written on the front of the check, that check is worthless. You have committed a crime. It is irrelevant that you have every intention of making a deposit.

3) The check that you deposit in the bank is worthless. What has value is the actual money sitting in the payee's bank. Until that money gets from the payee's bank to your bank - you do not have any money. That can take time, especially when the bank is out of state.

4) A bank is a business, NOT a non-profit organization. Businesses need to make money. How? By charging interest and fees.

5) It is YOUR responsiblity to know how much money is in your checking account. No one else's. The bank assumes that you are smart enough to add and subtract and that, therefore, if something overdraws your account, you knew that would happen. Since you also already agreed to pay the feess (see #1), the bank assumes that you wrote the check or made the debit knowing the fee would be assessed and agreeing to it. Obviously, the bank gives most people too much credit.

And just for the record... I no longer work at the bank, not because I'm arrogant, and not because I was rude to the customers (although I wish I could have been). I no longer work at the bank because I got tired of listening to people I've never met call me at my place of business, act like they were somehow entitled to special treatment, insult me, and then order me to do them a favor. No, thank you!

i've been banking with washington mutual for more than 20 years. i have had this checking account for more than 10 years. i recently got an over the limit $40-charge for 25-cents at Washington Mutual the day I deposited several hundred dollars in CASH (US Funds). when i had went to the teller i had $15 in good standing in the account (so my account slip says). but when i checked my account online it stated that the over-charge fee was applied before my deposit! i am soo frazzled by the negative customer service experience postings here that i'm wondering if it is worth keeping wamu as my back up bank.

To: I'd Rather Not Say

Were you the person I talked to at Comerica in 1992? I ask because one day a coworker had a dilemma. She showed me her checking account statement. There was a deposit of $30,000.00 that she never made, leaving her with an incredibly high balance by her standards. What should she do?

Well, the way I saw it, she could call the bank and point out the error. OR... No, you can't take the money out and keep it, even though it was the bank's mistake. You KNOW that it's not yours and a court will later order you to pay it back. But... you COULD take it out, put it in a Savings Account and draw interest. When the bank discovers their mistake, give them their money back, but YOU are entitled to keep the interest.

No, she was too scared to do anything at all. So I took the ball and ran with it. I called the bank. I asked the bank if there was a Finder's Fee for helping them recover a mistake. (I figure 10% was good, I'd get $3,000 and they'd get $27,000 back.)

Nope, they don't pay any Finders Fees. Okay, I replied, thank you for your time. Wait! they exclaimed, aren't you going to tell us where we made the mistake? Why? I asked. Well, because I should just do it. Gonna pay me? No? Then forget it.

Strange how the bank charges me for every mistake or delay, and how it's always MY fault, never theirs, but expect me to just give them $30,000 worth of information for free. Anyway, it took them 6 months to find their mistake on their own and correct it. Calculate the interest on a 6-month CD at 1992 rates.

My mother unfortunately chose to stay with "her" bank after it was taken over by Chase. She had been a customer of that branch for over 30 years, the W. 70th street branch in Shreveport, LA, and didn't want to change. After her death I walked into that branch with her original will, original death certificate and all my proper ID naming me as executrix of her estate. I was advised it was against banking policy to close out any accounts without "proper proof" and they would have to "run this by legal".

Since there was a cd involved that was mature (as of the day I walked into the bank) I was concerned about it being reinvested. I made it very clear that I wanted it cashed out and transferred via EFT to a savings account in another bank (I was using the saving account as a holding account for the different financial accounts I was consolidating). After 6 hours of phone calls back and forth, 2 calls from my attorney to the bank they finally agreed to the EFT. I sat in the office of Jennifer H. as she placed the EFT and received the receipt of the transaction.

When the transaction never showed up at the destination bank I was advised by them to contact Chase. After 3 1/2 hours of phone calls I finally reached the employee that placed the EFT 2 weeks earlier. She told me the manager and "legal" decided not to approve the transaction since I had "no legal rights to this account." She also refused to tell me where the money even was - it was not showing up anywhere I could find. When I reminded her of the original will, original death certificate, and me being named as executrix of the account she said that since they take their customers' account securities very seriously they could not recognize that as valid and if I wanted to know where the money was I could "just take them to court".

A couple of hours later (after my blood pressure returned to a slow simmer rather than a rolling boil) I called the Chase again and spoke to a very polite bank representative who pulled up the accounts on computer and advised me that the EFT had been cancelled by the manager of the branch and reinvested in a 60 month CD at the "request of the account holder". I asked what name was listed as the account holder and if there were any further notes on this account. He then advised me that the account holder was my mother (who was deceased) and the notes stated that she had personally walked into the bank and filled out papers to reinvest the cd. The date on the papers she filled out?...a full 6 months after her death!

When I arrived at the bank to ask about all this I was told that everyone was busy helping other customers and I would need a court order to retrieve the cd. My attorney is now involved, we are awaiting a court date to receive the court appointed executrix status. I will eventually get the money they owe me, and will NEVER do any business with Chase or any of its affiliates again.

A bit over two years ago, after B of A placed an unreasonable hold on a deposit from Merrill Lynch (not a third-party check, a company check directly to the bank, and they had verified funds by phone when taking the deposit), we closed our checking account and, with it, the overdraft line of credit for the checking account.

Or at least we thought we had.

Checking my wife's credit report this year, I noticed the account was showing active and *delinquent*, the only negative item on an otherwise spotless credit history.

It seems they should have paid us eight cents when we closed the line of credit. But since they didn't pay it to us, and the couldn't be bothered to use a telephone or send us a letter, they just left the account open.

Then they tried to charge an annual fee, but the checking account was closed so they couldn't draft for the fee. No problem, they just put the fee on the line of credit.

After a while, the fee became "delinquent." But they still didn't bother mailing or calling.

After another year, they added another year's fee to this "delinquent" line of credit, which was protecting a checking account that had been closed more than two years at this point. But they still didn't contact us.

By the way, I'd been at that branch several days a week for years to make business deposits, it's not like they don't know my name.

Reading these made me wonder about something. In the old days the banks got to play with a lot of money floating between many accounts. Hence the term, "float". Then people starting catching onto the "float" concept. Here it is, Wednesday, and I'm short of cash. I'll write a check and it will clear my account on Friday, which is also the day I get paid, so I'll have the money in there. Banks didn't like it, but there really wasn't much they could do about it. Unless you screwed up on your payday. As they say in Vegas, "Ya pays ya money and ya takes ya chances."

Today, though, with EFT, wire transfers, etc, there was recently passed the 21st Century Banking Act or some such thing. Bottom line is, write a check on Wednesday, electronically it's debited from your account on Wednesday. Better have the money in there, Bud. No float allowed. Makes sense; this IS the 21st century and things happen fast.

So, why is it I deposit a check that was mailed to me from another state, and there is a 7-10 business day hold on it? The check writer is debited immediately, but the physical money has not yet transfered between banks. I thought that was the whole purpose of the 21st Century Banking ya-ya, that it was now all electronic.

Oh, I see, the banks just wanted to get the float back.

Well I am very impressed. Upon stumbling upon this site and figuring out what it was all about, I am very surprised and sorta happy that not all the negative postings are about bank of america.

In fact i think I even found one good story about b of a. Working there I constantly hear complaints about stupid policies that we have (which are true), stupid fees we charge, and stupid wait lines that take forever. But please know that even though it is an associate's fault if they don't offer good service, we really have our hands tied behind our back for everything else. The policies, the fees, and even the scheduling of enough employees is not up to us but up to a higher power: computers.

I don't normally rant about one employee's lack of customer service. That happens anywhere. It's the business policy which perpetuates that lack of service. But please don't blame computers for the human decisions which programmed them.

When banks advertise that they pay "the highest interest rate allowed by law," you can well believe that it was the banks behind the politicians that created that limit in law. Certainly it was not the consumers saying that they were already making WAY too much money on their savings and there oughta be a law.

But in these times of mergers, and mergers, and mergers again, I've come to realize that it's not the bank's name but the branch managers, who have wide discretion in their operations. For example, 25 years ago I applied for a $10,000 signature loan at Chase bank. The loan committee approved it, only to have the branch manager turn around and deny it. The bank supported their branch manager. I got the loan from Bank One instead.

Years later, Chase took over Bank One. Due to expansion, I began doing business with several Chase branches, all to my satisfaction. Now, one of the branches has been constricting my cash flow. It's just "Standard Procedure," they say. None of the other branches have this problem with me. So one branch has lost my business. Interestingly, they just cannot understand why they're being penalized for simply following 'policy'.

My refusal to do business with them will not break them. But there is also no reason to hinder myself when I can receive better customer service elsewhere.

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(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)