Bank Of America Refunds $325 In Overdraft Fees To Customer Who Was On Cruise

Don’t say we never printed anything nice about you, BoA. One of your customers just had an experience with you that—despite still having an overdraft fee of $20 to pay—has left her feeling pretty good about you.

Kristina writes,

I am so happy with the customer service I just received from Bank of America that I wanted to write in and share.

I went on a Caribbean cruise at the end of February and had written a post-dated check to my roommate to cover my rent while I was gone (I had enough funds in my savings to cover the check, but I wanted to continue to earn interest. I was unaware that post-dated checks can be cashed before the date of the check – that was my error). Unfortunately, my roommate forgot (immediately) that I had asked her to wait to cash it until Feb. 29 (my payday) and cashed it on Feb. 22.

I had little avenue for communications while on my cruise, so I did not notice that my checking account was overdrafted until Feb. 29, and I had been assessed a total of $345 in overdraft fees. On the BOA website, it says that when an overdraft occurs, BOA “will send a notice informing you: The item was paid; Your account is overdrawn; You’ve been charged an overdraft fee; etc.” Since I am signed up for e-statements, I assumed that meant these notices would be sent via e-mail. It turns out they are sent by postal mail, but that is not clear on the website.

At any rate, I called BOA Executive Customer Relations at (704)386-5687 and spoke with Matt Gross. After briefly explaining the circumstances of my situation, he refunded $325 to my account (we agreed that the first $20 fee should stand, as it was my mistake re: being able to cash post-dated checks, but that since that should have triggered a notice which would cause me to transfer funds from savings to checking, the rest of the fees should be refunded). This process was quick and easy, and Matt was extremely pleasant and helpful. A mistake that could have cost me $345 has now only cost me $20 and has ensured that I remain a loyal BOA customer.

I hope that you share this with the community so everyone can see that some banks are not trying to nickel and dime us to death!

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. sleze69 says:

    Possibly planted by BoA public relations? (move pinky to lips, Dr. Evil style)

  2. B says:

    It would be so easy to blame the consumer on this one, but good job by BoA realizing that keeping a customer happy is more important than racking up fees.

  3. Okaasan says:

    OT: What a great picture! Especially the harness peaking out of his t-shirt. Sexy, yeah, that’s the word I was looking for. [snort]

  4. APFPilot says:

    I’ve said it before, their executive customer service is excellent. It is why I stay with them.

  5. andrewe says:

    Why in the world can post dated cheques be cashed? This makes no sense at all.

    I have a $100 bill dated 2012. It should be good right?

  6. Yoooder says:

    Much better than my experience with Huntington bank in Michigan. I made several small purchases, then had to make 1 large one that I knew would overdraft my account.

    I was hit with 6 overdraft fees, as they run their transactions for the day in largest-to-smallest order; so my big transaction overdrafted followed by all my little ones.

    It took me 3 visits to the branch (finally coming in on a Friday, payday, and making a scene and tying up tellers) to get it reduced to just the one overdraft. As soon as they cleared that up I closed my account and took my money to a competitor.

  7. Hanke says:

    How does a $20 overdraft fee become $345?

  8. hi says:

    lies

  9. SarcasticDwarf says:

    Overdraft notices are always sent by postal mail. This is done to ensure that you have at least 3-4 days to rack up more fees in the meantime.

  10. trinidon2k says:

    Your roommate owes you $20.

  11. JRock says:

    @andrewe: Banks don’t *have* to honor the post-date. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a decent number of checks aren’t even viewed by people anymore at all, with so many automatic and electronic options for depositing one these days.

  12. exkon says:

    @Hanke:

    She probably used her debit card while on the cruise, and for each transactions while overdrawn results in a fee.

    So for example, if you’re account is overdrawn and you make 2 different purchases, you would be charged TWICE with an overdraft fee.

    BofA has been really nice to me when asking to reverse fees.

  13. B says:

    @Yoooder: Just so you know, all banks will do the same thing.

  14. carlyman says:

    Actually, if a check is found to be post-dated (even after the deposit), the funds are not supposed to be cleared and the check subsequently returned. Of course, the bank can charge you a fee for trying to deposit a post-dated check.

    They’ll get you one way or another…

  15. DeepFriar says:

    After a well-toned letter to the CEO, they refunded $75 for me in a week.

  16. mynameisnate says:

    Two Obeservations as a BofA customer:

    1. I try to keep my money as long as possible in my Banc of America brokerage as the money is auto-swept into the money market (Earning a whooping *sarcasm* 2.75% now). But if you were planning on being away, next time I would just bulk up my checking since you probably are earning 1.75% max on a savings account at BofA.

    2. Link your BofA CC to your checking accounts. You still get charged an overdraft fee, but it is much less. Then again, you have to say hello to your CC’s interest rate for cash advances… Well, so you lose both ways.

  17. lolan64 says:

    @sleze69 I am the OP. This really did happen and let me tell you it was scary when I saw the charges! :)

    @Hanke $20 did not become $345 – I was charged a whole slew of fees, one for every transaction I had before I realized my account was overdrafted (the first 5 fees were $20 each, and the remaining 7 fees were $35 each). I only had to pay the first fee, $20, because BOA agreed that I should have been notified when my account was overdrafted (then I would have prevented any other fees from coming up).

    I was surprised to find out about the post-dating thing, it doesn’t sound right to me, but it checked out with a few sources. Lesson learned: much as I love my roommate, never trust someone with no short term memory!

  18. lolan64 says:

    @mynameisnate No CC – was a debit card. I have since added overdraft protection so that any overdrafts on my checking are covered by my savings. I should have thought of that sooner! (But I never had this problem before, I try so hard to be careful!)

  19. Tank says:

    well, if it’s true, that’s one.

  20. Rufdawg says:

    In general, banks can ignore the date on any check presented for payment, unless the customer properly informs the bank beforehand. See UCC §§ 3-113, 4-401.

    As a BofA customer myself, I would have used their wonderful online billpay feature. The payee would have recieved their money on time while BofA agrees not to withdraw the funds until the specific date.

  21. mynameisnate says:

    @JRock:

    It’s my understanding that most teller do not even look at the face of the check, especially when they are given a handful such as from a small business deposit. The teller could care less because the summations of deposits are audited and verified at a regional clearing house. They are the ones who deal with misprints and errors in deposit amounts; often times they don’t look at dates or even if the names match the names on the accounts exactly (You would be surprised at how many checks clear into someone’s account that is addressed to someone else).

    Also, after the new legislation in Check 21. All banks need to do now is image the check and keep it in electronic storage. They then submit the check information (account number/amount)to the drawn bank and the money is then sent. The other side doesn’t even require the physical check any longer.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I’ve gotten really pissed at BOA in the past for this. They process the highest value transaction first, so the small, subsequent transactions will result in overdraft fees.
    A $500 transaction could put you in the red if you only have $499, then the ten, five dollar transactions will all generate fees. resulting in 11 overdraft fees. However, I argued that they should be processed smallest to largest which would result in one overdraft.

    Regardless, I set up overdraft protection, so I never get overdraft fees if I screw up my math. Any trans that would put into negative pulls money from savings or a credit card. No overdraft fees.

    Um, not that I ever spend more than I have in my checking.

  23. Atlantys says:

    Isnt the whole point of a post-dated cheque is that they cant deposit the cheque until that date?

    “I cant pay you now, but in a week, when I have the money, you can deposit this”

    Basically, it means that when I give 4 months of post-dated cheques to my landlord, he can deposit them all, and completely screw me over?

  24. katylostherart says:

    “I hope that you share this with the community so everyone can see that some banks are not trying to nickel and dime us to death!”

    some banks other than boa right? ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT FOLKS!!

    wachovia’s overdraft fee is $22, their overdraft “protection” is still $10 per instance. does that make sense? i recently went over by a dollar or something, totally my fault. but i like how the notice said “you did not have these funds but we let the charge go through”. i specifically telling the idiot on the phone THAT I WANTED THE CHARGE DENIED IF I DIDN’T HAVE THE FUNDS. you think they’d understand that. no, instead they get the $22.

    banks ARE out to nickel and dime you. if it weren’t for the fact i needed an account just to be able to get paid i’d keep everything in a freaking piggy bank. why do i need an account? because chase (my employer’s bank) will not cash any check without an account to write on the back. their reasoning? in case the check is bad they want to be able to get that money back. hear that? instead of just penalizing the jerk who writes the bad check they take that money back out of your account. and since you’re not a chase customer i doubt you get any sort of warning, snail mail or otherwise, that your money from a cleared check have been taken back. so you’re out the money in your account even if you’ve literally cashed the check.

    so there’s the math on that one – they write bad check, you pay for it. nigerian scam anyone?

  25. GearheadGeek says:

    @Atlantys: That’s exactly what it means. Your agreement (verbal or otherwise) with your landlord doesn’t govern your bank at all, and your bank told you in the tiny fine print that it wouldn’t care if a check is dated in the future, it’ll still try to clear it through your account.

    If you have some sort of written agreement with your landlord regarding these post-dated checks, you MAY be able to enforce it against your landlord if he cashes the checks early (assuming there’s a defined penalty in the contract.)

  26. VA_White says:

    I found a forgotten birthday check for one of my children in a pile of mail and Wells Fargo wouldn’t cash it because it was “stale dated.” It was over six months old, was a personal check written to my child from his grandpa.

    I scanned it in using USAA’s Deposit@Home and the date wasn’t an issue.

  27. evilcharity says:

    @katylostherart, that $10 fee for moving money from one account to another kills me. Wells does it also. It makes no sense, I can make my own transfers for free at any time, but if the bank does it for me it costs $10? I’ve had this happen to me twice over the past five years and it always chaps my hide.

  28. PermanentStar says:

    What drives me crazy, is my bank statement (with BB&T in VA) will show a charge, then the overdraft fee, and the amount my account is in the negative is less than the actual overdraft fee. Like I will have say a $5 charge, then the $34 overdraft fee, and my account will be negative by $10 or less. How is that overdrawn? If it really was overdrawn, I should be negative by the entire overdraft fee, plus a portion of what I didn’t have funds or…right??? I have asked them multiple times just to deny my card if I don’t have the money in the account.

    I’ll be honest. I do not watch my money very carefully, I go over bills and my bank account in depth every couple weeks, but I don’t do well with keeping track of my balance…so I don’t mind a legitamit overdraft, but to me, that just doesn’t make sense.

    Also, as far as processing large transactions, then the smaller ones, I honestly feel like transactions should be able to be processed in the order I made them in. I doubt it’s possible…but it’d be nice.

  29. icedcornholio says:

    Lots of comments here.

    First the UCC , or Uniform Commercial Code, provides the guidance for the presentation of checks. Post-dated checks don’t matter, but stale dated checks do.

    Even though VA_White was able to cash the check, the issuer of the check has recourse. They can go back to the bank and say “you shouldn’t have paid this check as it’s over six months old!” and the bank would have to give back the money.

    The fact that BoA didn’t link you savings and checking is obscene. At a credit union 99% of the time the accounts are linked and there will be an auto transfer for a nominal fee ($2 at my credit union).

    Why is there a fee for access to your money? Well, it’s the account holder’s responsibility to maintain their records. Also, the bank/credit union must keep records of electronic transfers from Savings to Checking under Federal Reserve Regulation D. (You are limited to six electronic transfers per month from a savings account).
    Some CUs do not charge a fee, it pays to shop around.

    As far as the overdraft notices go, check your “terms and conditions” when you open your account, aka the 300 page brochure that goes over what the bank will do. Notifying you of an overdraft is NOT a federal requirement. (Again, it’s the account holder’s responsibility).

    Sorry to sound so negative here, but the only way these things can be changed is in the political process. Good luck with that!

  30. katylostherart says:

    @icedcornholio:

    “Why is there a fee for access to your money? Well, it’s the account holder’s responsibility to maintain their records. Also, the bank/credit union must keep records of electronic transfers from Savings to Checking under Federal Reserve Regulation D. (You are limited to six electronic transfers per month from a savings account).
    Some CUs do not charge a fee, it pays to shop around.”

    i’ve done more than that in a month as well as in any 4 week cycle in general. no fees yet. it’s like the one thing they DON’T charge for.

  31. the_wiggle says:

    @Atlantys: yes.

  32. yankeecardinal says:

    Does anyone know what they name of the attorney who brought the civil suit against BoA? I had an account with them during that time but cannot find any information on it. Thanks

  33. rufus2005 says:

    This is out of control. Bank of America will refund money to someone who can afford to go on a freaking cruise but would not refund me any money for almost $500 worth of overdrafts? They told me if I didn’t like it get a new bank and hung up on me. I think I was less at fault than cruise-lady too. I had $520 in my account. I made several coffee purchases (about 1.50 each) during work for a few days on my card. These were already reflected in my balance on web banking. A full week later, I wrote a rent check for $500. I balanced my checkbook and realized I only had about $498 in my bank account so I immediately went to the ATM and made a $5 deposit. I make the deposit and my receipt spits out and my balance is NEGATIVE $500. Basically the bank decided to clear my $500 rent check first, even though I wrote it a week after I made the coffee purchases. Then they charged me $35 for each of those $1 coffee purchases. Since it was after banking hours, I called the BOA 800 number right away and explained the situation but they would not budge. After about an hour on the phone, they agreed to re-credit ONE of the fees. There I was $500 in the hole because my account was TWO DOLLARS SHORT. That’s like 10,000% interest.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I know this is old but I had an experience similar to this and BofA REFUSED to credit me AND the overdraft protection has limitations. Enough money was in the savings and it was not transferred and somehow that was my fault too. I have never recieved this level of customer service from them.