5/3 Bank's New Overdraft Fee Stream: Treat Pending Charges Like Processed!

5/3 Bank decided to rape customers for more fees by changing their policy for handling transactions.

They’re now counting pending debit card transactions against the ledger balance. Following up on a reader complaint, here’s what Doug Grieme, 5/3 customer service rep, told us how the new “system” works:

    Start with the Account balance from the previous day. Minus Pending debit card transactions made before 7pm. Minus the posted transactions from the Statement activity from the day of overdraft.

5/3 recommends signing up for overdraft protection in the form of a savings account that autotransfers funds, for a $9 fee, or use a credit card. Another option is to simply take this new system into account before making purchases. The first two options are typical among banks.

However, it may take customers learning the hard way, because as far as we know, 5/3 is unique in treating pending transactions as fully processed…

A reader surprised by the fees says, “I have no issue paying overdraft fees for things that come through when an account is genuinely overdrawn, but it seems like the bank is predating funds before they clear to generate additional overdraft fees, since those items had actual money available in the account that day.”

Grieme says the policy is a result of “recent system upgrades,” and “reflects balances more accurately, and in a more timely fashion.” Indeed it does. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. I know that Huntington likes to process all debit card transactions before processing the deposits I’ve made at times. annonying – very much so- to say the least.

  2. mitten says:

    There is a third option: find a better bank! We bank at our local credit union, and they are really quite fair with fees and so on, and the service is great.

  3. xkaluv says:

    I used to bank with Bank of America and they used two different balances, an available balance and actual balance. They would then lower the available balance by debit card transactions. Then if a check came into the account they would return the check based on the AVAILABLE not the ACTUAL balance on the account, thus effectively doing the same thing 5/3 Bank does.

    I left BOA for this reason and this reason alone, it was impossible to use the debit cards and write any checks. You had to do all one or all the other or carry a balance large enough to accomidate both.

  4. whysteriastar says:

    I had so many problems with Wamu doing this, they’ve only recently stopped, but sometimes I’d get overdraft fees for charges that hadn’t even gone through. It drove me nuts! I’m so glad I haven’t had that problem since I got direct deposit.

  5. DeeJayQueue says:

    …or you could… i don’t know… treat your debit card as a really fast and efficient check, or maybe keep better track of what you’re spending out of your checking account.

    I actually like the fact that my bank takes holds and pending transactions into account when displaying my balance. It helps me not spend money I don’t have.

  6. Phil says:

    As far as I know, this is how US Bank has operated for years (at least, this is how they’ve operated during the 9 years I’ve been banking with them). It’s only bit me in the ass a couple times, when I didn’t keep a close eye on how much I was spending.

  7. Dragontologist says:

    A while back, I crunched the numbers for my personal checking and savings, using Bank of America. The charges that I accrued were HIGHER than the interest earned. Admittedly, I was only a poor college student at the time, but I still had enough cash in there to pay a semester’s tuition.

    Charges, in this case, refer to: ATM withdrawals, fees for keeping a checking and savings account, fees for not using direct deposit (I quit to go to school, and they give you six months to start using it again or suffer fees), and fees regarding the above comment (dual check/debit fees).

    There’s a point at which keeping your money in a cookie jar (so to speak) is actually keeping it safer than in a bank. (Homeowner’s insurance should protect against theft up to a pretty good dollar value; if you have it, make it worth your money. If you don’t, why not?) Personally, I have managed to find a good credit union (and they even pay back my ATM fees), but this isn’t an option for most. Lots of credit unions require you to join via job or family, and don’t let others in.

  8. JacePhx says:

    The problem with treating “your debit card as a really fast and efficient check, or maybe keep better track of what you’re spending out of your checking account” comes into play when you use your debit card when filling your car at the pump.

    FROM MSN MONEY:

    If you use your debit card at a pump that does not require a PIN, your bank regularly will block out an amount — often $50 or $75 — on your card.

    That amount doesn’t “un-block” as you drive away. Instead, the hold remains up to 72 hours, until the station does a “batch” transaction that lets the bank know the actual amount, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

    While the length of the hold is up to your bank, the amount of the hold is up to your gasoline retailer.

    Each big oil company has a different policy: Shell says it preauthorizes just $1 for gas purchases, for example. Chevron says it has a $1 hold that ensures a card is active. British Petroleum preauthorizes $75 when customers use debit or credit cards, said spokeswoman Sarah Howell. The same policy applies at its Amoco and Arco stations, Howell said. Hess asks for $75 as well.

    The reasoning behind this policy is that oil companies don’t know how much gas you’re about to pump — only PIN-based debit transactions are processed immediately — and so they earmark a certain amount of your money. “We want to make sure that we’re protected, that we get payment for the gasoline,” says BP’s Howell.

    This general idea isn’t new. Credit-card companies have done it for a long time. (Think of when you rent a hotel room or a car, and the attendant runs your card upon your arrival to ensure you can pay for it.) It’s less of an issue with credit-card owners, however, because you’re usually told that it’s happening and you’re probably not flirting with your credit limits.

  9. mfergel says:

    This debate keeps coming up and some of you guys make me laugh. Listen, I don’t care if it’s a debit card transaction, a check or whatever, don’t spend more money than what you have in your account and take into account that your deposit may not be immediately available. So many of you folks are thinking you can play the waiting game and get a deposit in before a debit takes place. Those days are gone. Check 21 and other banking changes have eliminated that. Banks no longer have to transfer physical pieces of paper in order to take money out of your account. It’s all happening electronically. If you have $100 in your account don’t write out a check for $55 and pull $50 out at the ATM thinking that you are depositing your work check tomorrow and you will beat that $55 check you just wrote. It ain’t gonna happen.

  10. tremorchrist says:

    I work in customer service for US Bank, and no we don’t do this…the pending charges are counted against the balance, but we wont charge an overdraft fee until the charge posts.

  11. I’m with DeeJayQueue. I like knowing what I have to play with. Wells Fargo has been doing this as long as I remember.

  12. davere says:

    Never trust a bank called Fifth Third Bank.

  13. joopiter says:

    @mfergel: I’m with you on this one… I’m 29 and have had a checking account since I was in high school. I have never EVER had an overdraft fee because I don’t spend money that’s not there. Once I make a purchase, regardless of when it will be posted, I assume that that money is gone. I also do not assume a deposit is in my account until I see it posted with my own eyes. Yes, it’s crappy of the banks to make you more likely to get slammed with overdraft fees. Yes, it’s crappy of them to pile on even more fees after your first one. But until the banking industry collectively has their heart grow ten sizes, the only way to beat them at their game is to stop playing into their hands.

  14. mac-phisto says:

    @Dragontologist: i don’t think homeowners’ policies normally cover cash.

    i’m not sure i understand exactly what this person is talking about.

    @mfergel: “Banks no longer have to transfer physical pieces of paper in order to take money out of your account. It’s all happening electronically.” that’s not entirely accurate. check 21 allowed the conversion of paper items to electronic form for faster submission, but it did not require it. the certification process for clearing houses was actually pretty slow, but i think they’re all up now. not all banks are though.

  15. mac-phisto says:

    @Dragontologist: cuna – a credit union trade association – estimates that roughly 92% of americans qualify for membership with a credit union. in addition to qualifying based on your employer & your family members, there are many credit unions that have “community” charters. anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school within the charter area qualifies.

    cuna suggests that you contact your state credit union league if you are interested in finding one. here’s a link to phone #’s by state:

    http://www.creditunion.coop/statej_o.html

  16. RHazlett says:

    I worked in the back office for 5/3 a little over a year ago and even though this wasn’t in my area of expertise, I can fully tell you that the bank as a whole is horrible. The CEO has finally decided to step down after cutting the stock in half over the last 18 months. Their technology is old and so are their beliefs. Turn and run if you can.

  17. The Big O says:

    WAMU does the same thing. The best part, none of the service reps I talked to about it could really explain it to me. Finally, after getting to a “supervisor” I said, “since it’s taken you three people to explain how this works to me, don’t you think that maybe this isn’t a very good policy?”

    They did credit me back my 10 transfer fee.

  18. pointedcap says:

    Yes: US BANK has been doing this for years. Here’s their FAQ:

    Q: What is an authorization?

    A: When you use your check card for a purchase and do not enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN), the merchant will send your card number and purchase amount to the bank for an approval or an “authorization.” This authorization generally confirms that an account is open and the purchase amount is acceptable. The purchase amount sent for authorization varies by merchant type. Most merchants will request an authorization for the exact purchase amount and others may send an estimate that is more or less than the actual purchase amount. Once the purchase is authorized and the transaction completed, the actual purchase amount will be deducted from your account, usually within two to three business days. If the authorization is not matched with an actual purchase within three business days, it will be removed from your account.

    Q: Why is my authorization amount different from my actual purchase amount?

    A: An authorization may vary from the final purchase amount in situations where there is an estimated authorization amount or a tip is involved.

    Example: At a restaurant, an authorization is requested prior to a tip being added. The final purchase amount will include the tip. Some restaurants will estimate a tip amount in the authorization dollar amount; thus your purchase and authorization amount will vary only slightly.

    Example: At the gas pump, an initial authorization is requested prior to knowing the final amount. Most pay-at-the-pump gas purchases are initially authorized for $1 to $10, no matter the final purchase amount.

    Example: At a hotel, an authorization in the amount equal to the entire stay, plus incidentals may be made. This can be true of cruise lines and car rental agencies, also.

    Q: What is the difference between a non-PIN and PIN-based transaction?

    A: PIN-based transactions require you to enter your four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) into the merchant keypad at the point of sale. Non-PIN transactions generally require your signature. A signature may not be required for a non-PIN transactions, such as Internet purchases, mail order purchases and pay-at-the-pump gas purchases.

    Q: When will the actual purchase amount replace the authorized amount and be deducted from my account?

    A: It may take several business days for the actual purchase amount to replace the authorized amount on your account. Generally, the final purchase is deducted from your account within three business days. If the authorized amount is not matched with an actual purchase amount within three business days, it will be removed from your account.

    Q: How does a “pay-at-the-gas-pump” transaction work?

    A: When you swipe your card at the gas pump, the station generally requests an authorization to confirm that your account is open and active. Most authorization amounts for pay-at-the-pump gas purchases are set at $1 to $10 until the actual purchase amount replaces the authorization amount on the account.

    Q: How are hair salon or restaurant purchases authorized?

    A: Restaurants and hair salons may add an estimated tip to the bill total when requesting an authorization. Because of this practice, your final purchase amount may vary from the authorized amount.

    Q: How do hotels determine how much to authorize?

    A: Hotels are allowed to request an authorization for an amount based on your length of stay, all applicable taxes, plus any additional expected dollar amount(s). Cruise lines and car rental agencies also follow this practice. Upon making your reservation, we suggest you ask for the total amount of the authorization.

  19. thrillhouse says:

    While I’ve never been impressed with 5th/3rd – including their stupid name – I really don’t see the big deal here. If you’ve overdrafted, then you’ve overdrafted. Those pendings will soon be posted. So long as they are processing them in order received, then there is no harm here.

    Don’t spend money you don’t have, and quit trying to ‘float’ everything. As mfergel stated, and I’ve stated before, those days are over.

  20. xkaluv says:

    @DeeJayQueue: So here’s the problem with that. Let’s say you rent a car and the put a hold on your account for $500. (And they will.) While you are on vacaiton you use your card… as any person would. When you return, you find your rent check bounced because your amount on hold was greater than the actual amount you spent. Because the actual charge for the car was only $88.

    This is exactly what happened to me, keeping good records does not fix this consumer rip-off.

  21. rixatrix says:

    Alright, people. Step down from the high horses. It’s not so black and white, is it?

    Some pending transactions can take days to go through. If I swipe my check card on Thursday night to buy groceries, knowing my direct deposit comes Friday (Thursday at midnight, even), and the transaction doesn’t post until Saturday or Monday, you’re saying it’s ethical to charge me a $33 overdraft fee? I don’t think so.

    People take advantage of the float for a variety of reasons. I’ve found myself in that very situation before–lacking food, getting paid on the 31st and needing to buy something on the 30th. Even if my transaction goes through at midnight following the 30th, and my direct deposit also posts at midnight, where do you draw the line? Shouldn’t the overdraft fee be assessed only AFTER the account has legitimately been overdrafted?

    I use Fifth Third. Very carefully. But that doesn’t mean their policies, or even the policies of similar banks, aren’t taking advantage of loyal customers — people who have overdraft protection, who don’t bounce checks, who sometimes need to rely on their paychecks being deposited at midnight. It happens to even the most well-intentioned people.

  22. shashashocking says:

    I actually have fifth third bank, and I love it. The online banking interface is much cleaner and easier to understand than either National City or First Merit, who I’ve had to deal with in the past. I’ve never had to wait more than 5 minutes to deal with anyone over the phone, though they always just tell you to go to a branch.

    As far as this stuff goes…5/3 used to be awesome to float charges with. Everything cleared in 3 days exactly(on the third day), so as long as you got money in before then, you were safe. Obviously that’s changed

  23. Sudonum says:

    @xkaluv: What rental car company takes a debit card for the deposit when renting a car?

  24. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Sudonum: I’ve rented a car from Avis and Enterprise using a debit card for deposit. Same for hotel pre-authorization.

  25. Mr. Gunn says:

    Another nasty thing Crapital One bank(not the credit card, which has no problem processing the payment the same day) does is to hold your transfers for an unspecified time after they’ve processed them. So you initiate a transfer into your account from a different bank, you give them 3 days to process it, the money is already gone from the other bank, but it’s still another couple days before it shows up in your account at Capital One. They wait until you see it gone from the source account and start spending it to hit you with a couple overdrafts before crediting it to your account. You can guarantee they process any spending you do while they’re sitting on it from biggest to smallest, too.

    Fucking bastards.

  26. allthatsevil says:

    I used to bank with Wells Fargo, many years ago. I had direct deposit that would deposit my paycheck at midnight on a Thursday night/Friday morning. I would go grocery shopping Thursday night, around 10 or 11PM, and write a check, knowing my money would be there before they even got the check. This method worked fine for a long time, then out of nowhere, they started charging me overdraft fees because of the date on the check. Even though there was plenty of money to cover the check when it was processed (a couple days later), because the money wasn’t there when it was written they considered it bounced. The purpose of overdraft fees is to pay them for the convenience of covering something you don’t have the funds for. If I had the funds when they paid the check, there was no reason for them to charge me for anything.

    This is not a case of writing checks for money I didn’t have. I already had a paystub and knew how much would be there w/in a couple of hours. Banks just love finding new and creative ways to get more fees out of their customers.

  27. kerry says:

    @DeeJayQueue: I’m the same way. In fact, I just did a little checkbook balancing (turns out i forgot to record an ATM transaction last month, good thing I went looking!) and was glad to see that they were holding back a bit of money that wasn’t even pending, yet. I don’t care if they show my available balance to be lower because of pending transactions, I PREFER it. That way I know how liquid money I have right now, not how much money I’d have if I hadn’t just gone and bought stamps. There’s no good reason to try and game the system to spend money you don’t have, and then complain about the system gaming you right back.

  28. guntherpark says:

    “Thanks for taking the time to write in. In my research, of the top 10 banks (by assets), only Washington Mutual posted the transactions in order of check serial number.

    Here’s a link to the full article that ran today on USA TODAY if you want to read it.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2006-11-1

    From personal email correspondence with Kathy Chu, Personal-Finance Reporter, USA TODAY

  29. Asherah says:

    It really all goes back to the fact that before individuals are given access to checks and debit cards, they need to be enrolled in a personal finance course and explicitly taught how to balance a checkbook (no matter if you ever write a check in your lifetime!). I’m serious, either your parents or other financially responsible adult needs to do it, or a small percentage of the population can teach themselves. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the age-old, “But I keep a running balance in my head…”

    Write your transactions down people! Don’t spend more than you have!

  30. Anonymously says:

    National City is nice because they process credits before debits, but they do the same thing as this post.

    If I have a “pending” transaction dated March 3rd on my statement on March 1st, at midnight when it turns March 2nd, that “pending” transaction is checked against my balance and if it goes below zero, they charge an overdraft fee, even though the transaction isn’t “posted” until the 3rd. Even if I (direct) deposit a million dollars on the 2nd, they won’t rescind that overdraft fee because I “made the transaction on the 1st.” In essence, National City has done away with the “pending transaction”.

  31. sleepydumbdude says:

    5/3 seems to take forever to make my deposit go through. Sometimes it is like 4 days after I deposit a check. I only use them because them because it was a special account I opened through my work. I’ve got overdrafts through them serval times because the money hadn’t gone through. I called them to see what was up and was told by the branch manager that they didn’t do anything digital so it takes awhile to go through.
    I have an account from another bank called Old National. I’ll deposit things there and it shows up on my online details within the next morning.
    I plan on just using the other bank as soon as I quit using my 53 debit card.

  32. Amry says:

    Wachovia does this exact same thing, and burned me very badly a few months back. The stupidest part about it? The pending charge that sent me over the limit was a mistake that was never pushed through – the bar accidentally ran my card on someone else’s tab, thus authorizing it for the $100 charge. Even though the pending charge fell off after 24 hours, and my avail balance showed as positive again, Wachovia didn’t remove the 5+ overdraft fees. I had to call and explain the situation to the rep, and he had to get approval before they could be removed. Nice.

  33. Charles Duffy says:

    @Asherah: I do keep a running balance in my head, and have not once in my life bounced a check or had a card-based transaction refused on account of insufficient funds.

    But then, I’m pretty conservative when it comes to spending, and have a healthy buffer point below which I consider myself completely broke.

  34. basket548 says:

    Why does anyone even use a debit card anymore? Why not just use credit cards and avoid any possibly of an overdraft fee?

  35. @thrillhouse: (And the other blame-the-victimers in this thread) — You can’t control how big a hold (which shows as a pending transaction) companies put on your card. If you rent a hotel room or car, or even put gas in your tank or eat at a restaurant, you may see a pending transaction for quite a bit more than you actually spend. This happens whether you use your card as debit or credit!

    So this is not an issue of people needing to be more responsible; it’s a blatant grab for more fees, period. Yes, people should be careful about overdrafts. Most people are. But no matter how careful you are, shit happens and you may occasionally make a mistake. Does this mean you deserve to be raped with a spiked melon and not even thanked afterwards? Hardly.

    Ahem. My credit union has an overdraft plan that costs nothing. If I go over on my checking, they quietly take it from my savings, end of story. And this is too hard for a bank to do because…?

  36. thrillhouse says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries:
    “blame-the-victimers”, eh? I’m not blaming anyone. My point, tho I can’t speak for others, is that I find no merit in the case presented by the Consumerist. And I stand by that. I do see the difficulty presented by holds placed on cards by various vendors and agree that this can be a pain in the ass. But once again, that was not the case presented, and I haven’t changed my position because of it.

    If you are a traveler, or planning to travel, then it would be worth your time to pad your account beforehand to allow for a few holds. Maybe you need to get out of the business of being a victim? Just a thought.

    Also, I wouldn’t liken a $9 fee to “raped with a spiked melon and not even thanked afterwards”. Not a big fan of fees, but overdraft fees are usually much worse. Maybe they plan on lower fees and collecting more often. Dunno. Once again, step out of victim mode.

  37. acambras says:

    Not trying to be overly PC here, but I would really like to see an end to the use of the “rape” metaphor in a financial context.

  38. ConwayGritty says:

    @joopiter & @mfergel:
    I wish people would just stop being poor. It’s so annoying. Don’t they understand that this is an egalitarian rule. It’s like the old saying goes, “Neither the rich nor the poor can sleep under the bridge.”

    I had the same problem as sleepydumbdude. In the end, I closed my 5/3 account because they use paper for deposits at a slothlike pace but enact withdrawals with lightning speed. But they wouldn’t stop there even after I closed my checking and savings. They ended up sending me a bill charging a fee, because my savings was under the required amount of $500. The teller actually was dense enough to say, “When you said you wanted all of your money out of this bank, I didn’t know you meant you wanted to close your account.”

  39. a_m_m_b says:

    Ethical or no, none of this is new. We also live in the world of What Is not What Should Be.

    I’ve spent 7yrs at a credit card co (1/2 in cardmember service; 1/2 in merchant service) & nearly 5 to date at a bank (member services). The holds being complained about are standard whether debit or credit cards are used. They keep the merchant and the bank from getting shafted by members trying to game the system or stiff the merchant. Ex. of the 1st: rent the hotel, trash the room; buy the product and empty your account (accidentally or on purpose) before that transaction clears.

    The only real solution to the mess I can see short of humans/companies growing up; ie, dropping their twin obsessions MAX profit for ME/Damn the cost for everyone else attitudes in addition to their I’m Entitled To Because [insert whiney excuse of the day here]attitudes:

    PEOPLE -> read your Debit & Credit Card Agreements carefully, call with questions and persist until you understand how your accounts & most common transactions will function. Never be afraid to ask for clarification or another rep and never be too lazy to research before picking a bank or credit product.

    BANKS & MERCHANTS -> train your staff to clearly & correctly explain (to include the applicable gov’t regulations) how the entire transaction process flow for both credits and debits (wires, ACH, DDP, etc.) from POS or check to deduction from the account to both the account user and the merchants. OR at least the flow part handled by your company.

    Ex. RegCC which requires limited release of funds on certain sorts & sizes of deposits. Here’s a link http://www.federalreserve.gov/Pubs/regcc/regcc.htm

    Ex. There is a hold of $X.XX for Y days because. . . .

  40. GothamGal says:

    This is ridiculous because sometimes a club or bar will charge your account more than you placed on the card. This happened to me at Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. I had one drink and a $50 charge sat on my card for a week before falling off. I am never that dangerously close to being overdrawn, but for people who are, this is completely insane.

  41. Broncobrian says:

    I think this should go both ways. Deposits should be magic the same way withdraws are. I have been screwed over by this a few times. It simply is not fair that you can get get charged overdraft charges, and review your account that never had a negative balance.

  42. The-Iceman-Cometh says:

    thrillhouse says:
    While I’ve never been impressed with 5th/3rd – including their stupid name – I really don’t see the big deal here. If you’ve overdrafted, then you’ve overdrafted. Those pendings will soon be posted. So long as they are processing them in order received, then there is no harm here.

    And therin lies the problem my friends “So long as they are processing them in order received” They are not. At least not Bank of America. They (BOA) tell you, as many of you self-righteous oh-so-responsible bank customers who have never had an overdraft fee (because you do not live paycheck to paycheck) have also pointed out, to keep track of all your purchases in your little register as you make them. Yet they fail to inform you the bank is not following the same system for debiting yor account; they are taking out the largest amounts first then working down to the smallest. And wham just like that it hits you! You have three overdrafts where you should have one. Sure you should have not overdrafted at all, but excusing the banks actions with this kind of flawed logic is like saying it is OK for the police to charge you for three speeding tickets when they stop you for speeding once and saying “well if you weren’t speeding…” Ridiculous.

    To make matters worse, the bank shows pending transactions (online account default view) exactly like they tell you to keep track, in the order that you spent your money. Then when the post the transactions they pull the old switcharoo and tell you that you did not (big lie) have the neccesar funds in your account when you made the purchase. Think they set the default view to match the system you expect them to be using by accident?

    Unethical? Immoral? You bet. Illegal? Actually, yes it is. It is a violation of the Federal Trade Commision Act which prohibits unfair or deceptive trade practices. Will the Fed act on it? Wait and see my friends wait and see…

  43. B.Marshall says:

    OK, I have one for you. I just checked my account, and find that I am now overdrawn. It seems that a service I paid for a year ago, automatically charged my account for another year of service, without notifying me. I now have to cover this cost, and an overdraft fee.

  44. Overdrafted says:

    I just paid 10 overdraft fees of $31 each because of exactly this problem. My bank, USBank, counted a pending charge against my ledger balance. It was a charge I didn’t foresee because of a misunderstanding with an online pharmacy. My ATM balance deceptively showed my account in the black as I began to accrue overdraft charges. The true balance was not revealed until after two full days of small purchases with my debit card. It’s a new bank account, and I had no idea this could happen.

  45. banksareimmoral says:

    Hey —
    Firstmerit Bank of Akron Ohio ALSO counts pending debit card transactions against the ledger balance. The actual and available balances mean NOTHING unless you know the HOLD balance — which the bank DOES NOT reveal to the customer — not even on the monthly statements!! This makes those of us living paycheck to paycheck (about 80% of the population) ALWAYS in danger of running past the red. NO, we don’t spend more than we have, but this “Banker’s Trick” has stolen over $2500 from my family of five over the last year!!!

  46. pdomin says:

    I came to this site looking for information on 5/3 bank. After reading the above comments I find that I am also included in this group. I recently received over $200 dollars in fees in one day. Here is my question. If 5 different merchants pre-authorized small charges and the money was deducted from my “available” balance”, why the next day when one large charge came through, did 5/3rd pay that charge immediatly, when there was not enough in the “available” balance and then charge 5 overdraft fees? (my direct deposit hit the account later that same day, but they didn’t take that into consideration) If the previous explanation for “pre-authorization” and “available balance” is true, then is it only when its convenient? So therefor how does that theory “pre-authorized” and “available” work again? I have read the story’s about putting larger items before the smaller items on the same day, but this was not the same day.

  47. jill1967 says:

    I think what everyone seems to be forgetting is that there is the possibility that the pending charges aren’t yours. I just got hit for the first time with overdraft fees from 5/3rd because of this new policy of theirs. They hit me with two overdraft charges on pending charges that were not mine. The overdraft fees hit my account a full two days before the pending charges ever became “actual”.

    The problem with this is that, while 5/3rd feels it’s perfectly okay to charge a fee for the pending charges, neither you nor your banking representative can touch those pending charges to dispute them until they actually hit your account. As overdraft fees hit daily because the charges you actually did make are coming in while the erroneous pending charges still sit there stealing from your available balance, money that is yours is being eaten up by the overdraft – reverse that overdraft cycle!

    It may be rare that false charges end up in your pending charges, but just the fact that they can (I’m living proof) should be reason enough never to charge an overdraft on a pending charge that the customer can’t even dispute until it actually posts to their account. If even the bank rep can’t touch that pending charge to dispute it, how is it possible that the bank should be allowed to charge a fee on it? It’s unethical if for no other reason than this.

    I check my balance online against my constantly balanced checkbook register, by the way. I know my own spending habits and know taht if I didn’t keep constant knowledge of my balance, I would easily overspend. Regardless, I am currently still in the process of fixing this error, which you will all be interested to know resulted from two different merchants innocently double-scanning my check card. My money is tied up until this is all completely resolved.

    It can happen regardless of how careful you are with your balance. Pending charges that can’t be otherwise touched by your or a banking rep should not be subject to a fee of any sort, because if it’s wrong, the customer suffers all of the consequences.

  48. heatkab says:

    This actually happened to me today at 5/3 I had enough in my account to cover either one of the two automatic withdrawls but not both. Since they both came in on the same day the total that was being withdrawn was 19.32 more than what I had. Because of that I learned the hard way $66 charged for my 19.32 overdraft. I believe that is interest of 341%. Needless to say I learned from my one mistake. I have closed my account.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I never heard of a bank charging about $130 for spending about $2 in overdraft until I dealt with 5/3 Bank. Talk about rip off thise was the worst experience I ever had or evn heard of in my banking history.

  50. Anonymous says:

    My son recently overdrew his 53 checking account by $4.62. He had made an addition error. I received a phone call from the bank 8 days later to tell me the status of our account had changed? I immediately went online and noticed the overdraft. 2 – $33 OD charges (okay his mistake – willing to pay not happy but.) But what I am upset about is the $8.00 per day for everyday the account is overdrawn. That is more than 200% a day? Loan Shark? I called the company to try to close the account to stop the fees and make arrangements to pay the current amount – since my son has not started working for the summer and was told – NO. Until the balance is paid in full $8.00 will continue to incur on the original OD of $4.62 everyday until another 20 days pass, at which time they will close the account – charge off the fees and report his information to every bank in the country. For $4.62? Be on his record for 7 years. They will also not let you talk to anyone higher than customer service and they are extremely rude. We do not OD our accounts in fact at my other bank I am at check #10,000 +.
    What kind od bank is 53? Really think before you sign-up.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I recently had a problem with Bank Of America with this. They charged me overdraft fees on pending charges because they were ‘overdrafted’ at the end of the business day. Had I known this, I would’ve rushed to deposit the extra $21 dollars that I put in the next day. But then it kept compounding and I was charged an overdraft because my account was overdrafted from overdraft fees, and charged an extended overdraft fee because my paycheck was not deposited in cash on Saturday.
    Easy to say, I’m finding another bank, if not a credit union.

  52. jmgrinberg says:

    This bank is nothing more than a leagal rip off artist. after the acount was closed these “people” took a directdeposit that was plcased there by my employerer and was not my check just a error on their part and than when the employere tried to take it back this wast of time bank did not give them the money back and now i am stuck paying it off thanks to these croocks