@$)^&@!&%$ Banks!

Please allow me to have a mini rant here. If you’re not in the mood for ranting, you can… go…. look at…. meditation stock photos.

Image from a Telegraph article appropriately titled “Bank Complaints: Don’t get mad, get even”

A couple of months ago, University Credit Union let me know it was going to start charging $2.99 a month for my formerly free checking account. I had been debating closing my account with them anyways because I don’t like ridiculous fees for what is most of the time just really stupid mistakes. In other words, I don’t think most people overdraft their accounts with a malicious intent. Most of the time it’s truly accidental. I mean ok I understand a $5 fee for being a dummy but $32? That’s absurd.  Anyway, I had made a couple of stupid mistakes already and I didn’t like being slapped with that huge insulting fee which doesn’t exist at ING Direct. Which by the way, if you’re interested in ING Direct, and you should be, email me and I ‘ll send you a referral so we both get extra money. Ok so back to the freaking point.

I decided to close the credit union account BUT not right away because it was linked to the child support payments and I kept receiving promises of payment during this time. So I kept it open, made up my mind to send in paperwork to change the account the child support deposited into, and forgot everything.

Fast forward to September. The account had dwindled down to about $14 since the only thing connected to it was the child support deposits and those weren’t happening. But, oh no, my kids’ school pictures were coming and the only account I have checks for is the credit union. So I got online, checked the balance to see how much I’d have to deposit to cover the three $15 checks, and set out the next day for the bank. On September 18th I deposited $45. I got a receipt that showed I had just under $60 and threw it away.

Today I logged on to see if the checks had cleared so I could follow up with child support and make sure they had transferred the deposit info and then I could close the credit union accounts– including the savings one as they had just emailed a few weeks ago they were going to start charging $5 a month for THOSE accounts.

I was overdrawn by $25.

What. The. Hell?

Photo check one? Clear.

Photo check two? Clear.

Photo check three? Bounced and initiated a $32 NSF fee.

But how? I hadn’t touched the account since I deposited! I took a look and lo and behold there was a credit card transaction that happened September 13th that overdrew my account by a little more than $5.

Ok now the transaction is sort of valid. It’s a bill I pay. I had changed the credit card the last time I paid but for some reason it charged this old card this time. I never deleted it from their file (LESSON!). And it went through even though it was for $19.99 and the account only had $14 in it. But the part that is driving me insane is that it wasn’t there when I went on the 18th to make the deposit to cover the photo checks. I even had more cash on me but only deposited what I needed because I wanted to close the account.

And here’s another thing I don’t understand. If they did allow it to go through when it was overdrawn as the ledger shows then why didn’t it get an overdraft fee attached to it?

I called. They can’t help me because it’s a branch issue.

I went to the branch. I stood in line for over 20 minutes because everyone was out to lunch except one teller. I tried talking to her. She waved me off saying not to worry everyone does that, no big deal. So when I said great you’ll fix it? Oh no I can’t do that. Make your deposit and go talk to Member Services. Another line. This one I didn’t make. I left. I was starving and preferred to sit here and rant while I stuffed my face with a sammich than to sit in line for who knows how long to maybe get $32 back.

It’s situations like these that make me very very very distrustful of banks. How the hell was that transaction not there five days after it supposedly went through? Especially since I got a receipt on the 13th for that payment (didn’t show the credit card number that was charged so I didn’t think twice about it). And why do they allow credit card transactions to overdraw accounts without penalty and with full payment but not checks? And why didn’t I get alerted that my bank had been overdrafted on the 13th?

Ok my sandwich is done which means the rant is over. Your turn to rant about financial institutions and/or our own stupidities relating to money management.


10 thoughts on “@$)^&@!&%$ Banks!

  1. I parted ways with bank of america (a couple years before all the icky new fees) because I overdrew my account, and then they charged me two $35 fees, since I tried to put 2 transactions through before I realized. $70 for overdrawing my account by about $10! Why don’t they just call it a small loan an charge me 25% interest on it? That would be way less than a $70 charge…

    • Right. This is how ING handles their overdrafts. It keeps people happier and more inclined to bank with you. I’d charge the fee once the person shows bad faith like attempts to close the account with the negative balance or leaves the account overdrawn 90 days or whatever. In other words, if it looks like they’re leaving you, make them pay, but if they’re showing signs of stupidity, feel bad for them.

  2. I was going to suggest a credit union as I began the read as they are much more consumer friendly but see that is with whom you are dealing. Always leave $100 in an account and pretend it is not there when you balance each month and don’t dip into to with with check or charge. One bank charged me $35 over draft fee for a check for $9.48. I raved and ranted because this was incorrect. The bank closed two months later and I got a check for $9.48 as I was correct but was out the $35 charge. You cannot believe the hassle I am getting with bank of America trying to close mother’s credit card account with my power of attorney.

  3. I learned a lesson about debit cards from my sister. She’d enrolled in martial arts class that monthly charged her debit card. After cancelling (and with written confirmation) they continued to charge her card. She went to the bank, they advised her to close the account to prevent further charges. She did so and the next month the REOPENED the account and honored the charge. She went through hundreds of dollars in fees.

    The moral of the story is this: DO NOT EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER use your debit card where it can be stored. Actually, I don’t have one at all. I use a credit card that I pay in full at the end of each month. When someone erroneously charges your credit card, you have time and resources to sort it out. When it’s your debit card the money is *poof* out of your account and you’re hit with surprise fees.

    It’s a real shame, but banks are very much a buyer beware setting. My mom was in banking when I was little and she taught me many lessons about how to avoid these problems. The issue is, the charge the highest amounts to the people that are least able to afford them.

  4. I absolutely agree with you! I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten slapped with $35 charge for going over a couple dollars. I know some banks with not charge you the fee if you deposit money in the account within 24 hours or something; because CLEARLY they understand that people make mistakes and accidents happen. However my bank does NOT. Also, when I make a deposit, usually to cover the cost of something coming out, so I don’t get charged, the bank will take the withdrawal first, then credit the deposit. Which can result is an overdraft. I noticed they will also charge the most expensive first, that way if it makes me negative, they can charge me a fee for each other smaller charges. I don’t even know if all that made sense- but I hate banks and the fees that come along with them!! I’m sorry you had to deal with that, it is totally uncool!!


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