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

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Well, I have to say that I also work at a bank, and I can't believe some of the things other people who say they work at a bank have said. There is absolutely no defense for some of the covert practices some banks have. For example, if you try an ATM withdrawal from our bank when there isn't enough money in the account, it simply prevents you. Other banks allow it, and then charge you an NSF fee. Or assume you have $100 in your account, and you write three checks for $20, $30, and $90. We clear the smallest first, so only one check would be bad; other banks start with the largest.

These practices are designed for one thing only - to maximize fees. I don't care what the fine print says - my daughter, who lives out of state, was charged $264 in NSF fees by TCF bank when she overdrew her account by $99. That should be illegal.

My wife used her debit card at a book fair. They didn't have a telephone hookup; just a credit card roller, so the bank was unable to deny the transaction. $36 penalty for a $7 transaction. No problem. Our fault for not making sure the funds were available.

But, for whatever reason, that company submitted an additional $.01 (yes, one cent), resulting in an additional $36 penalty. I mean, come on! It doesn't take a whole lot of what I euphemistically call 'common sense' for the bank to reconsider such a ridiculous penalty. Nope, it was submitted and they just HAD to follow the RULES. My only recourse was to take it up with the vendor.

So banks spend millions on TV ads to get my business, and can't understand why I use out of state banks that treat me much better.

I remember when I was a kid. My mother used to say, "Come here so I can slap you." Talk about a Catch-22. If I did it, I was stupid. If I didn't, I got it worse for disobedience. Okay, my mother was stupid. But how stupid are these banks to keep abusing their customers, and then wonder why the customers left them?


I know that there is at least one other person on here who has had to deal with Scotia. If you are a Canadian and you are reading this, PLEASE believe me, do NOT go to this bank.

When I was young, my family all banked at National Trust, eventually they were taken over by Scotia when I was about 12, and as soon as I started going to Post secondary education, the issues with Scotia started.

People say to me, perhaps it's this branch, perhaps it's just that teller, but from what I've seen all over the net and other people I've spoken to, ignorance seems to be a requirement for customer service at Scotia.

I was a University student, who needed money to go to school (as most are like to do). I was denied OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program - gov loans) because my parents made too much $$$, so I applied for a Student Line of Credit with Scotia. AT THAT TIME, I also spoke with the woman who was processing my loan app to make sure that my chequing/savings account was listed as a STUDENT account. She assured me that as I had a student loan (and had provided all relevant "proof" of enrollment) that I would of course have a student account. I then applied for phone/internet banking, as I had a summer job in NC and wouldn't be home to make my loan payments over the summer.

So I happily went of to NC for 4 months, worked and had a great time. Came home, went back to school, paid my loan payments, etc etc, never bounced a cheque, and even went "paperless" (environmentally friendly gal that I am). Well apparently "paperless" for Scotia means that you get a paper statement once every god knows when, and after returning from NC for the second summer I noticed "service fees" of approximately $28 a MONTH for the past 2 years. I was shocked! I hardly do any banking during the month, and besides, my "STUDENT" account certainly didn't have any fees!? What an ungodly mistake. So I went into the branch to advise them of their mistake so that they could refund my fees.

The sweet girl at the counter tells me politely that I did NOT have a student account, so OF COURSE I would be charged those fees, because I certainly wasn't maintaining the minimum balance of $3000.00 in my account. GAH?! I was flabbergasted! I assured her, that YES, I DID have a student account, and she could just speak to Rosa who manages my accounts and she would correct her. Nope, apparently not. The reason I didn't have a student account? Because I hadn't provided "accurate proof of enrollment" to that bank. Totally negating the proof of enrollment I sent them every four months for the past 2 years... riiiiight. I had a student loan... with that branch... I sent them transcripts of class enrollment on a regular basis... but I hadn't provided "adequate" proof. Yup, you heard it. So, I politely asked to speak to the manager, explained the seriously ridiculous situation, and while I waited I managed to calculate that they had effectively stolen $672 from me over the last 24 months. The manager arrived, told me that they would change my account to show that I was a student and this wouldn't be a problem in the future. What about my $672 (plus the interest I may have earned... that aside) I asked. Well, they certainly couldn't refund that money... no. I argued, I threatened, he argued, he postulated, and then he GRACIOUSLY offered to "split the difference" and refund me $336. I... DON'T... THINK... SO!

Eventually after much pain they refunded my $672... and I foolishly believed that my troubles with Scotia were over.


Over the past few years since the student debaucle, they've frozen my accounts because of suspected fraudulent activity (which I later found out was on someone elses' account... not even CLOSE to my name) Oh, did I mention that that was about a week before my wedding? They froze my credit cards too... brilliant. Don't mess with a bride's money a week before her nuptuals. Bad Idea.

Since then, they've taken extra loan payments, paid someone elses' loan from my account (3 times I might add - yes I corrected them a day after they did it the first time... classy place). And now, I'm FINALLY in the process of - cancelling my Scotia credit cards!!! (I had a little cutting up party! WOOT) and now I'm about to close my account. I've drained it of course, 0.00 in there, and when I spoke to a girl on the phone yesterday she told me that there would be a $20.00 fee for closing my account. I politely told her that I would be in the branch tomorrow, and no, I wouldn't be paying her closing fee, and when she protested I said "Let me put this to you as clearly as possible - I'm not going to pay Scotiabank...any...more...money...ever."

She hung up on me. Customer service at its best.

Congratulations Scotiabank. You suck.

So I've read thru a ton of posts here and what I'd like to know is this - is anyone doing anything about it?

We own a small business in Michigan. We established with a new bank after going to our old bank for a loan with 2 paid off vehicles as collateral. We have a car repo on our record from 2000 -- long story but it was mortgage servicing fraud and had to let the vehicle go to pay the mortgage "or else" -- The bank manager says to me "once a repo always a repo". Ah thank you very much I'll take my business elsewhere.

Our new bank is a national chain, National City. All of the employees are nice, call you by your first name and don't look down your nose at you.

Currently we are on a snowball from hell with virtually no way off of it. The bank honors our checks as we deposit money on an almost daily basis, but the OD's are literally killing us. Most likely cost to $5,000 in overdraft fees and "continuous overdraft" fees over the past 5 months. I could have made quite a few mortgage payments with that.

Okay - question is, is there a reform movement out there? I'm tired of paying $36 for a $8 overdraft! That's more than 3 times the amount of the darn check.

My personal opinion is that the overdraft should not exceed X - say $36 or the amount of the overdraft, whichever is less.

Someone point me in the right direction and get our banking reformed as they have in the UK.


The first step toward reform is awareness, whether it's banking, Dell Computer, Pitney Bowes, or the corner grocery. That's our job -- giving a platform for increasing awareness. We can only do so much; the next step is open for anyone who wants to pick it up. -rc

M&I Bank complaint: You take a risk by working with these people, at least at their Woodbury, MN branch:

1) While their building was under construction, my car was damaged in their drive-through. While they compensated me, the manager also sent a letter stating the problem was fixed. Needless to say, that was not and is still not the case.

2) I needed a letter from M&I for a problem with another business that could have ended up in litigation. They repeatedly claimed to have sent it, but I never received a copy. Finally I demanded one in person. The letter they produced was unaddressed, undated, and essentially useless.

3) Their tellers are not able to access or provide current information; only through blind luck was I able to avoid having my income tax pay-in bounce due to an automated deposit error! I had called in to be sure my balance was adequate, and I was assured it was; the same day, they sent an overdraft notice. They steadfastly refused to waive it, using every excuse to shift the blame to me, the customer. They said, "it's all part of the game."

My financial health is a game to them? Avoid this bank, or at least this branch.

Karen, forgive me, but Michigan? Where the governor is a Canadian whose idea of balancing the budget is accelerating early payment of property taxes? Where a previous governor tried to restore financial stability and was voted out because he dared to eliminate welfare for the masses? Where a U.S. Senator has sat for 35 years, not because he's done a thing for the state, but only because he's the only name that voters recognize?

Home to the Big Three, who've been trying since the 70's to avoid total collapse and still may not succeed? Home to K-Mart, which filed bankruptcy and wiped out thousands of investors, yet somehow managed afterward to 'find' $11 billion to buy Sears? Home to Delphi which renegs on worker contracts, demanding pay cuts while giving bonuses to managers for sticking around in the downturn?

National City Bank, formerly First National Bank, which tells you that you can deposit a check into its ATM and then cash it, just like at the teller. Except that it takes a day and a half for it to post, but your withdrawal is immediate, so you're charged an NSF fee.

Look up Michigan.gov on the web and choose Department of Labor & Economic Growth and find out how both the Banking and the Insurance industries OWN Michigan. Citizens there are simply cattle to perpetuate an antiquated system which failed in the second half of the 20th century.

Or you can do what many others, and MOST young people, are doing: Leave the state. Automation Alley is an ad-man's hype.

I am so sick of going over the details because my mind has been spun around this. I live in NC and i bank with RBC centura...i am not a good banker. I finally got direct deposit and was seemingly doing well with it. Then, my deposit hit a few days later than i had planned, and suddenly my account was -400 dollars as small transactions kept rolling through. Long story short. -128 in transactions became a 900 dollar fee. it's eaten through 3 paychecks and my fed tax refund. this is ridiculous. why am i paying them 900% of my negative balance? what the heck? if anyone has any idea how to fight these shenanigans, i am all ears.

I've been dealing with the Bank of Montreal since I was a 'tween and I'm disgusted at the decline of customer service. Every two weeks for the past 2.5 years I deposit a pay cheque and on the odd occasion my boss gives it to me a day or two early. I don't like making deposits via the bank machine because I LIKE to keep people employed, so I (stupidly) will spend often 15-30 minutes waiting for a teller.

Today (after waiting 20 minutes), I was told that I would have to "come back tomorrow" since they couldn't deposit my cheque (dated the next day). I informed the teller that I have done this many times over the years with this bank and also with CIBC (another pathetic bank) and asked to speak to the manager. I once again informed the manager that I have done this many times, etc, etc and then (after some arguing) she comes up with the bright idea that they can hold my cheque and deposit it for me tomorrow! Well duh! I understand that there's a lot of fraud out there, but it's not like they don't have a credit rating on me (they approved a credit card for me - idiots!) and like I said, I've been dealing with them for years. I have overdraft protection, PLUS it wasn't like I was asking to cash the bloody cheque. It's sad enough that the teller couldn't come up with the brilliant plan of holding the cheque, but the manager was really rude and had no right to be.

Basically, it all came down to semantics - I didn't word it correctly. Obviously, the tellers are no better than trained chimps which doesn't say much for the management. I think I'll just start using ATMs, neither the tellers nor their managers deserve their jobs.

On 7/25 Bill writes....

I made the mistake of not knowing an obscure federal law that says you may not make more than 6 transfers from your savings account in any 30 day period. Instead of letting me know politely, I received a call from my bank that they had closed my savings account! They had also (illegally) opened up a new checking account in my name and deposited the savings funds there.

Instead of closing both the new checking account, and the old one I had had for 5 years, I got even.

I left $5 in each account, then went online and set up an automatic transfer, twice each month, of $2 from account A to account B, then from B to A. Not only does it add a few trasactions to the bank's workload, BUT, each month they have to mail me TWO statements! This has been going on for 2+ years now, and I'm not sure how much it has cost them, but I really don't care -- I get a chuckle twice a month!
(end of Bill's comment)

I work for a bank and it looks like the bank you were using Bill, was not up on telling customers full and complete information. It is not illegal for any bank to change a savings account into a checking account if it's NOT being used for "saving purposes". It is called a "product change". I do agree, lots of banks can have crappy customer service..even my own bank (not the one I work for) can be a pain in the butt. But what I find day in and day out....most lay people do not read the disclosures that come with opening any account. Heck, I didn't even read mine for my own personal checking account until I started working for a bank. But absolutely everything is in there. It will say in the disclosure that so and so bank has the right to change a savings account into a checking account if according to the Federal Government standards is not being used to "save" money. And I really don't think it's "obscure", Bill. The reason why the Federal Government does this is to prevent money laundering especially amongst terrorists. This regulation came into play after 9/11 for that very reason. It's true you probably are one of the honest ones, but the bad ones, when it comes to banks, spoils it for everyone. Heh, nice try Bill...give you an "A" for effort...lol. Automatic transfers or "scheduled transfers" are done by system and don't need anyone to manually fulfill your request. You're just lucky you don't have a bank that charges you for that. I have heard of just one or two people doing something to a company that seems small but really does cost them in the end....heh. Can't say anything about the statements, you could be quietly and discreetly getting revenge.

It's really sad to hear about the horrible customer service that lots of you have received. I pride myself in helping people as much as I can and will even push for the customer if I believe in their issue and cause. Please don't think all of us (customer service reps and bank employees) are all the same...some of us genuinely care like we are supposed to!

We seriously need to report Wachovia's shady business practices.

I admit I recently overdrew my account and I take full credit for the 3 overdraft fees. Now if the bank was really on my side, there would only be 2 because there was enough in my account to cover 2 but not all 3, but the highest to lowest policy got me.

Anyways, more importantly, in my account I saw 3 more overdraft fees from the day before when there was money in my account and I could not figure out why.

The rep explained to me that the computers see me make a purchase and place it on hold while requesting the money. Well, when I made the purchase there wasn't enough money in my account so I was charged an NSF on the "hold". Then the following day when the purchases posted, the "computers" don't recognize them as the same charge so I was then charged another NSF when they posted.

So now if there is not enough money in your account, you will get charged on the pending transaction and the posted transaction even though it's for the same purchase. I've been with them for 4 years and I have never been double charged like this.

She offered to change my debit card so if there is not enough money it will decline...yes, you have to actually request this. Isn't it common sense that your card would be declined if there is not enough money in your account. What's the point of a computer system if it can't tell you right away what you have available. Instead they let everything go through racking up now double NSF charges.

Not to mention they always used to list each purchase separately that you were charged an NSF for, and now they just list it as 1 lump NSF charge so you can't figure out what they're from, and now when you call in to speak with a live person you get charged $2 for each call!!

On another occasion, I had made a deposit and for the past 4 years when I deposited a check there was immediately $100 available, while the rest would post the following day. So I go out and buy about $60 worth of groceries for the weekend. On Monday I see an NSF charge, and I don't see my $100 available. I speak with a rep who can't figure it out either. She put me on hold for almost 10 minutes only to come back and say this: "Based on your account history, we can no longer offer you this courtesy." When were they going to tell me this? When I first signed up with them this "courtesy" was not explained as a priveleaged service that I could lose, and then they just take it away with no warning.

I'm so fed up with them. I'm in the process of switching to WaMu and my husband is going to try Bank of America who seems to not pull all this "pending-hold" bull crap. I urge everyone to please send in complaints to your Attorney General about this. I made 1 transaction, 1 swipe of the card, only to be charged for 2 NSF on the pending and then posting transaction. How can this be legal?

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