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Under 10 overdraft becomes 200

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Posts

  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I recently got bit by these fees recently (and in the past). I was in the process of switching from my East coast bank to Bank of America .. I thought I'd switched all my payment accounts over, but my cellphone bill and car insurance hit the old bank up for the money. I entered a long cycle of trying to cover the negative amount from 3,000 miles away with no ATMs nearby, only to accrue more fees by the time my check arrived.

    As a result, I went into Bank of America and asked to be unenrolled in this type of "service", which they did. I hear awful things about BoA, but my switch to them has been incredibly convenient.

    wallabeeX on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I might just be feeling burned by the utter asshole-ness of phone customer service (I've never filed a complaint but I really regret not getting a rep ID number in this case) but I guess the phone reps generally don't authorize refunds since this would hemorrhage money on a large scale.

    However, the phone staff did tell me not to go in to a branch, because apparently they're going to tell me to call customer support.

    I'm going to see what the manager says though given that this is a 26 fold interest rate, and the bank has a policy of doing reductions on overdrafts under 5 and refunds for under 3.
    I think I could get it partially knocked down if I emphasize that I'm not asking for all the money back, just a slightly less violent ass reaming.

    Sam on
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Figgy wrote: »
    Oh you crazy Americans... I just realized that major difference.

    Up in here Canada, we don't have to worry about our debit cards also being credit cards. Then again, we do have to worry about cats chasing dogs and hamburgers eating people. Opposite land and all.

    Seriously, this thread is depressing. If any bank tried that bullshit here it'd be out of business in a week.

    I went into overdraft (due to payroll issues when changing positions) and I had 4 bills come out to a total of 750 bucks. I got charged $5 for overdraft fee, only one fee, and I sent an email via online banking message center (RBC woo) explaining what happened, long time customer etc.. and voila, no charge.



    In summary get a bank that doesn't fuck you in the ass.

    Edit: I should clarify, I really think there must be some decent credit unions or banks in your area if you look. I wasn't trying to say "haha ours is better" sorry. However there is NO EXCUSE for charging over $100 for going less than $10 into overdraft.

    Aridhol on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    ...


    god I fucking hate America.

    Sentry on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    to shift the thread a little bit- is it in fact illegal to deny a bank customer an overdraft limit of ZERO? It should be right? You can't get forced into a microloan program. And I think it's already been established that debit cards can be set to decline when they're supposed to (i.e if you have money in the account and try a purchase worth more than your balance with the difference being over your overdraft limit, or if you use a card with a negative balance to purchase anything- so it should be able to apply this when you try to make a 2$ purchase with 1.69)

    Sam on
  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence.Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    You probably weren't forced, it was probably in the fine print of whatever you signed when you got the account.

    At any rate, this is H/A and not D&D... my advice would be to not overdraft your account anymore.

    ASimPerson on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sentry wrote: »
    Sam wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend a bank that does not actively shaft customers?

    Your mattress. I understand you're upset, but EVERY bank does this.
    Sam wrote:
    It is not a big deal for a bank to not charge 175 for vending machine purchases, and they are obviously lying about NSF courtesy payment (if you have 500 in your account you can't make a purchase for 800- and your card will decline, even at the same vending machine if you already have NSF fees, so obviously there is nothing stopping them from declining your card at a vending machine if you have less than $1.25. Yet the service reps LIE through their fucking TEETH.

    Can anyone advise on how to make them cut the bullshit?

    as in, it's ILLEGAL to force customers into using an overdraft program as opposed to declining all insufficient funds (which is NOT hard)

    It's not illegal. It's a service they offer. It just happens to be a service that fucks you.

    except you should have the right to opt the fuck out, because it is a loan program and offering a pound of flesh to shylock is something done by choice, and it is *sort of* a basic right to be able to *choose* that.

    also, there was legislation in the works to regulate banks by making them offer the service as an opt-in and not an opt out.

    This implies that it is illegal for them to not let me opt out- but does anyone here have a background in banking or law to confirm/deny that?

    Sam on
  • CloakedCloaked Registered User
    edited March 2009
    saltiness wrote: »
    Credit Union. Best bank ever. Find out if you're eligible for one.

    Seconding this, my credit union's debit card has overdraft protection that only charges interest on the amount borrowed, no fees involved.

    Also, ING's electric orange checking account has a similar setup, if you don't have a local credit union or something.

    http://home.ingdirect.com/faqs/faqs.asp?s=Overdraft#charge

    Cloaked on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Sentry wrote: »
    It's not illegal. It's a service they offer. It just happens to be a service that fucks you.

    Whilst charging overdraft fees may not be illegal, the amount being charged may be illegal.

    The argument over overdraft fees is whether or not they are legitimate fees for a service or are fines for breach of contract. If the latter, then they are probably disproportionate to the administration costs for the bank and could therefore be illegal.

    This revelation has sparked a massive consumer backlash in the UK over recent years, with banks repaying overdraft fees and other penalty fees to their customers rather than risk going to court and having the legality of the fees formally tested.

    Considering the similarity in laws between the UK and the US there may be a comparable process that Sam could go through to get his penalties revoked.

    Either way, personally I'd be telling my bank to go fuck itself if they are going to mess you around with this. Go anywhere else, even if they would penalise you the same amount, just to clarify to the bank that they can't be cavalier about customer loyalty any more.


    Q: Do banks in the US seriously not offer negotiated overdrafts? My bank accounts all have a minimum £500 overdraft limit. If I go into the red, I have to pay interest but the bank won't try and hit me with fees unless I go over -£500.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • PaperPrittPaperPritt Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Q: Do banks in the US seriously not offer negotiated overdrafts? My bank accounts all have a minimum £500 overdraft limit. If I go into the red, I have to pay interest but the bank won't try and hit me with fees unless I go over -£500.

    This. A thousand fucking this. You realize your fees are NOMINALLY higher than the overdraft they are the result of ? that's insane. I mean a $20 for a $400 overdraft ? it's bullshit but at least i could vaguley understand why such a system exist.... but we're talking about $20 for $1.....

    Seriously go straight to their face and ask the fees to be removed. If that's not possible, get the hell out of there.

    PaperPritt on
  • HalberdBlueHalberdBlue Registered User
    edited March 2009
    USAA is a great bank. The default on their debit cards is to not let you overdraft your debit card, and if want that turned off, their overdraft protection is FREE. Plus, they have no ATMs of their own, so they'll let you use any ATM and refund up to 10 ATM transaction fees per month. They also have really good interest rates. There is a catch though - someone in your family has to have served in the US military in order to join(I'm not sure how direct the relation needs to be).

    HalberdBlue on
  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Man, what the fuck is wrong with your banks. If I don't have money in my account, my transactions get declined. No harm, no foul.

    Is this not the very definition of logical? I suppose I don't live in America though.


    Edit: Sorry, thats not really advice. I'd probably go complain face to face like other people have said.

    I can't speak for all banks, but this is how mine does it:

    Whenever I view my account balance online I will be give 2 amounts. I have my account balance and right next to it I have my available balance. The available balance is not what credit machines/ATMs/etc look at when completing a transaction; its the overall account balance. My wording isn't the best so I'll try and create an example:

    Lets say you have just deposited $100 in your checking account and that $100 is all that is in there. You check your balance online and you see:

    Checking Balance: $100.00
    Available Balance: $100.00


    You make a transaction using credit for $60 (we'll say you bought an xbox game, they go for about $60 right?). Later that afternoon you check your account information through an ATM and it fallaciously says:

    Account Balance: $100.00

    You think to yourself "hey I still have a $100 in there, I guess some money came in from somewhere" and you make another credit transaction for $50. The transaction still goes through because the extra hubbabaloo the banks have to go through to process credit hasn't completed yet and your account balance hasn't been updated to reflect the previous $60 purchase.

    After everything has updated you find yourself -$10 plus whatever the bank charges you. I hope that makes sense.

    brandotheninjamaster on
  • cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Not entirely relevant because I am in the UK - not the US - but

    When i changed from a student to normal bank account, my terms and conditions changed. I lived from paycheck to paycheck, and with my student account, no money in account = no transaction.

    With my normal account, they changed this so that I could go so far overdrawn to an unofficial limit where the bank would cut it off. I didn't know I was going overdrawn because I wasn't very good at checking my account ballance - used to just spend til it stopped. I didn't know they had changed the T&C on my account.

    Looked at a statement after a month and found they had charged me $300 for going $40 overdrawn ($100 per unsanctioned use of ATM card, up to a max of $300)

    End result - in 8 months, the bank had charged me over $3800 in "overdraft fees" and were a major contributor to my finanical woes at the time.

    I wrote to the branch manager and stated that I thought these charges were unlawful and were the main reason I couldn't get my account back onto a correct footing. I said I would take them to court to get the money back because I didn't consider the charges fair. The bank made a deal with me, and refunded without question $3600 of the charges, on the condition I didn't tell anyone.

    Shortly after, they closed my account for "commercial reasons".

    There has been a major movement on this in the UK, with *milions* of people claiming back unjust bank charges.

    Maybe see if there is a similar movement in the USA?

    cmsamo on
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  • TarantioTarantio Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29879567/?

    Looks like there is, sort of.

    Tarantio on
  • EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2009
    Doc wrote: »
    You'll be lucky to get one knocked off as a courtesy.

    Also, add overdraft protection to keep this from happening again.

    They charge you every time overdraft protection is used. You get equally fucked with a different name.

    You get less fucked. It is like 5 bucks and they transfer 100 bucks into checking.

    EliteLamer on
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  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend a bank that does not actively shaft customers? It is not a big deal for a bank to not charge 175 for vending machine purchases, and they are obviously lying about NSF courtesy payment (if you have 500 in your account you can't make a purchase for 800- and your card will decline, even at the same vending machine if you already have NSF fees, so obviously there is nothing stopping them from declining your card at a vending machine if you have less than $1.25. Yet the service reps LIE through their fucking TEETH.

    Can anyone advise on how to make them cut the bullshit?

    as in, it's ILLEGAL to force customers into using an overdraft program as opposed to declining all insufficient funds (which is NOT hard)

    Like someone else said, check out the credit unions in your area. Since I've taken up with a credit union here I've gotten spoiled.

    One of their features is that for no charge you can sign up for "overdraft protection". Their overdraft protection basically pulls from your savings account if your checking goes empty, and if your savings account is empty too they give you up to $1000 leeway to prevent having to ding you for your check bouncing etc. Then they notify you that you're in the negative and need to deposit money, but they don't charge you anything unless you don't fix it.

    They also don't charge ATM fees at all, give interest on checking accounts with no minimum balance, and generally have awesome customer service, yay! Your mileage may vary, of course, but it really does seem like credit unions are way nicer than banks.

    Hypatia on
  • DeShadowCDeShadowC Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    Sam wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend a bank that does not actively shaft customers? It is not a big deal for a bank to not charge 175 for vending machine purchases, and they are obviously lying about NSF courtesy payment (if you have 500 in your account you can't make a purchase for 800- and your card will decline, even at the same vending machine if you already have NSF fees, so obviously there is nothing stopping them from declining your card at a vending machine if you have less than $1.25. Yet the service reps LIE through their fucking TEETH.

    Can anyone advise on how to make them cut the bullshit?

    as in, it's ILLEGAL to force customers into using an overdraft program as opposed to declining all insufficient funds (which is NOT hard)

    Like someone else said, check out the credit unions in your area. Since I've taken up with a credit union here I've gotten spoiled.

    One of their features is that for no charge you can sign up for "overdraft protection". Their overdraft protection basically pulls from your savings account if your checking goes empty, and if your savings account is empty too they give you up to $1000 leeway to prevent having to ding you for your check bouncing etc. Then they notify you that you're in the negative and need to deposit money, but they don't charge you anything unless you don't fix it.

    They also don't charge ATM fees at all, give interest on checking accounts with no minimum balance, and generally have awesome customer service, yay! Your mileage may vary, of course, but it really does seem like credit unions are way nicer than banks.

    This is basically how my credit union works as well. Just the overdraft protection fund is a loan with a high interest rate, so you have a month to pay back before you get fucked. Plus since it's a loan it improves your credit.

    DeShadowC on
  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Doc wrote: »
    You'll be lucky to get one knocked off as a courtesy.

    Also, add overdraft protection to keep this from happening again.

    They charge you every time overdraft protection is used. You get equally fucked with a different name.

    You get less fucked. It is like 5 bucks and they transfer 100 bucks into checking.

    You guys are mistaking what overdraft protection is. ODP is when a bank pays for your purchase when you have no money in your account. When you use a check card or a check they are looked at the same way in the bank's eyes. So their overdraft protection is just protection from you bouncing a check. They still charge whatever fees they want.

    brandotheninjamaster on
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Honestly I never use my bank account or debit card anymore for simple purchases.

    Every month or 2 I throw a large sum into my visa card via online banking and I just use my visa for everything and carry a little cash for places that don't take visa. I never pay interest, I pay almost nothing in transaction fees, I never worry about overdraft and I rack up the points.

    If your disciplined enough to use your credit card for good (groceries, gas) and not evil (shopping spree) I think using a credit card instead of a debit card for day to day purchases is a good idea.

    Automatically dipping into a line of credit instead of over drafting sounded pretty sweet too, if my bank offers that they sure don't advertise it. I might have to go pester them.

    Dman on
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Man, what the fuck is wrong with your banks. If I don't have money in my account, my transactions get declined. No harm, no foul.

    Is this not the very definition of logical? I suppose I don't live in America though.


    Edit: Sorry, thats not really advice. I'd probably go complain face to face like other people have said.

    I can't speak for all banks, but this is how mine does it:

    Whenever I view my account balance online I will be give 2 amounts. I have my account balance and right next to it I have my available balance. The available balance is not what credit machines/ATMs/etc look at when completing a transaction; its the overall account balance. My wording isn't the best so I'll try and create an example:

    Lets say you have just deposited $100 in your checking account and that $100 is all that is in there. You check your balance online and you see:

    Checking Balance: $100.00
    Available Balance: $100.00


    You make a transaction using credit for $60 (we'll say you bought an xbox game, they go for about $60 right?). Later that afternoon you check your account information through an ATM and it fallaciously says:

    Account Balance: $100.00

    You think to yourself "hey I still have a $100 in there, I guess some money came in from somewhere" and you make another credit transaction for $50. The transaction still goes through because the extra hubbabaloo the banks have to go through to process credit hasn't completed yet and your account balance hasn't been updated to reflect the previous $60 purchase.

    After everything has updated you find yourself -$10 plus whatever the bank charges you. I hope that makes sense.

    Honestly you cannot expect nor should you rely on online banking to show you exactly what you have available at any given moment. Given how all kinds of transactions work (especially given that lots of debit card transactions are now "credit") there is a waiting period. It is not the bank's fault that all credit/debit transactions are not instantaneous.

    Back in the old days before all this online hoo-hah we used to do this thing called "balancing your checkbook" in which you keep a running total on paper so you could actually know what you had available to buy stuff at any given moment.

    That said, overdraft fees are ridiculous and it's even more ridiculous when the bank's system is rigged to fuck you over as much as possible (by taking the largest amount out first to drain your account faster and rack up more fees). Those that can least afford to be slapped with more fees are those who are hurt most by them, which sucks.


    To the OP: If your bank has no ATMs anywhere, then I suggest you change banks. Also make sure to set up your account so that you can't withdraw more than is available in your account and be sure to keep track of your balance separately.

    Alternatively start using a credit card for purchases (if you can get one) rather than a debit card.

    tsmvengy on
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  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Also if I may make a suggestion to expound upon tsmvengy's point. If you switch banks look for a credit union, they tend to treat you better.

    brandotheninjamaster on
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yes, use a credit card if you aren't an irresponsible person. I know credit cards have this stigma about them for being some sort of ploy to ruin the world, but used responsibly they are fine.

    They build credit, which you will likely need at some point. They offer rewards once you have decent credit (or have a Costco membership). It is generally easier to recover from fraudulent charges and they are less likely to be able to take your entire life savings for a ride. And most importantly in this instance, if you go over your credit limit your card gets declined. If you go over your ability to pay for a month or if there is some charging snafu, you are charged interest instead of rape-me transaction fees.

    Saammiel on
  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Just an FYI - I have seen plenty of credit cards that allow you to go over your limit, and you get slammed with a similar fee. Note these weren't even bank-backed credit cards.

    Ganluan on
  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Ganluan wrote: »
    Just an FYI - I have seen plenty of credit cards that allow you to go over your limit, and you get slammed with a similar fee. Note these weren't even bank-backed credit cards.

    This. I used my credit card to pay for my gym membership fee. They took 2 payments sent me over the edge and now I'm still trying to pay it down. Bastards.

    brandotheninjamaster on
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Ganluan wrote: »
    Just an FYI - I have seen plenty of credit cards that allow you to go over your limit, and you get slammed with a similar fee. Note these weren't even bank-backed credit cards.

    This. I used my credit card to pay for my gym membership fee. They took 2 payments sent me over the edge and now I'm still trying to pay it down. Bastards.

    That's pretty evil.

    I guess the real problem here is living paycheck to paycheck.

    It seems like the system is designed to prey on people who are just making ends meet. If you budget so you have a little extra cash going into your bank account every month you will build up a buffer and never be down to your last $100 and worrying about overdraft.

    Dman on
  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Dman wrote: »
    Ganluan wrote: »
    Just an FYI - I have seen plenty of credit cards that allow you to go over your limit, and you get slammed with a similar fee. Note these weren't even bank-backed credit cards.

    This. I used my credit card to pay for my gym membership fee. They took 2 payments sent me over the edge and now I'm still trying to pay it down. Bastards.

    That's pretty evil.

    I guess the real problem here is living paycheck to paycheck.

    It seems like the system is designed to prey on people who are just making ends meet. If you budget so you have a little extra cash going into your bank account every month you will build up a buffer and never be down to your last $100 and worrying about overdraft.

    Pretty much. I can't even imagine how much banks pull in annually because of this.

    brandotheninjamaster on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    Dman wrote: »
    Ganluan wrote: »
    Just an FYI - I have seen plenty of credit cards that allow you to go over your limit, and you get slammed with a similar fee. Note these weren't even bank-backed credit cards.

    This. I used my credit card to pay for my gym membership fee. They took 2 payments sent me over the edge and now I'm still trying to pay it down. Bastards.

    That's pretty evil.

    I guess the real problem here is living paycheck to paycheck.


    It seems like the system is designed to prey on people who are just making ends meet. If you budget so you have a little extra cash going into your bank account every month you will build up a buffer and never be down to your last $100 and worrying about overdraft.

    For real. A good guideline is to keep enough in liquid savings to buy a house in detroit.

    Doc on
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Fake Gamer Goat Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If you haven't already paid the fees, go into a local branch and talk to a manager. Don't talk to desk monkeys, they can't help you and the only purpose they serve is to weed out the easily discouraged. If your local branch manager won't sit down and talk to you, talk to a manager over the phone. Insist to talk to someone higher up on the totem pole, they're more inclined to actually do something.

    Be professional, polite, direct, and do not compromise. "Hi, I'm X, my situation is Y. This is unsatisfactory. I am not pleased with the service I have received from this bank. Do you have a plan to help remedy this?"

    The math of the situation is that they make the most money out of screwing you, but in order to make money off you you need to stay at the bank. You switch banks, they lose a customer (and you can tell all your friends and family to switch banks as well). This is implicit, if you come out and say "I'm switching because you screwed me!" then that's probably what is going to happen.

    You'll likely be able to get some of the fees removed. You might be able to get all the fees removed, but cutting ~$200 to ~$50 is a pretty good internal goal for you to have.

    In the future, consider paying in cash or by credit. Debit cards are a terrible terrible way to buy things, you have all the weaknesses of cash with almost none of the advantages and the bonus of overdraft bullshit to deal with.

    PotatoNinja on
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  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I got $105 refunded by calling the Executive Customer Service line (listed on consumerist)
    From the research I did, going into the branch would've been a waste of time.

    Not only this but the ECS rep readily gave info on and offered to remove the automatic overdraft approval and make it a normal card that works for the money that's on there. This is something that regular customer service vehemently and very spitefully denied was possible. They also denied/hid the existence of any other customer support (specifically, the level 2 "supervisor" claimed there was no one above him to escalate to and offered to transfer me back down to a basic representative with a 20 minute hold time)

    Sam on
  • Teslan26Teslan26 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This revelation has sparked a massive consumer backlash in the UK over recent years, with banks repaying overdraft fees and other penalty fees to their customers rather than risk going to court and having the legality of the fees formally tested.

    I would like to second this, as it was what I was about to say.


    First, irrelevant.

    Second, look in depth at the situation in the UK if you can find out the legal behind it, and take it to one of those lawyers who'll give you an hour of time for free. Might be worth a shot.

    Finally - you are unlikely to win this totally whatever happens. Sorry, but the banks are wankers.

    Teslan26 on
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    get out of here, numbername
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