Bank Of America: Let's Charge Three Overdraft Fees To The Account Flush With Cash!

Bank of America charged Jason three overdraft fees for the hell of it, even though his account balance never approached $0. Jason called the bank for an explanation, and was told that due to some mathematical wormhole controlled exclusively by Bank of America, he now owed $105. Tired of the bank’s nonsensical jibber-jabber, Jason printed out his statement and headed to the local branch…

He writes:

I’m at a loss of words right now, the anger and hatred for Bank of America has tuned me into a raging lunatic. I have been on the phone with them twice now, asked to speak with a manager/supervisor and I’m still sitting here spinning my wheels.

This past week, I went out of town to visit with my family. At the start of that weekend my account had $68.39 in it. I went to a coffee house and spent $8.89 there across two purchases (one for me and one for my wife when she joined me afterwords $5.71 and $3.18 respectively). I also went and spent $12.00 on a car wash. That day I had a fit of allergies hit me so I went to the drug store and bought some drugs to help me which came to $19.89. This now brings my total weekend spending to $40.78 and all done on Saturday. This would mean that my account would now be at $27.61. After I got back (Tuesday), I had money from my savings transferred in (see the $420.00 transfer into my account). I then used my check card two more times on Wednesday (yesterday) which are still pending (see the $44.00 and $5.55 purchase both of which say “pending”). However I went into my account today (Thursday) only to find BofA has slapped me with 3 overdraft fees!

Knowing this had to have been done in error (and knowing that in the past BofA has had really great customer service) I gave them a call to point out the error of their ways and to correct my account. This is where I started to loose my sanity as BofA tries to explain how in fact the charges which are still pending brought my account to $18.84 and that the purchases I made over the last weekend caused my account to go over and in fact is why I have three overdraft fees. (Are you as confused as I am? Did BofA invent a time machine that they never told us about??)

Now they explained to me that when I make a purchase that purchase causes a “hold” on my account for that much (hence the Pending) and my account reflects that amount being taken out. Which makes since, I can understand that, but what I cannot understand is how a purchase I made in the “future” made it so that the purchases I made in the “past” cause my account to go over and thus I get three overdraft fees as apposed to one or in what I thought was my case, none.

Am I missing something here? I mean I never did take a class in quantum physics but I did get a B+ in Calculus and both me and my wife (who is a finance major and works as an auditor for a financial institute) cannot understand the math BofA is using here.

I have attached a snapshot of my bank statement so hopefully you can understand and maybe show me where the BofA math is coming from, because to me, I can’t see it.

He later added:

Today I went into my local branch (where I opened my account) and talked with an Account Executive (the people above tellers that have offices, I think that’s their title but I could be wrong). After I spoke with them and explained my situation, showed them a printout of my bank statement and also explained what BofA told me on the phone, they preceded to call their customer relations line and get the 411.

After the woman explained my situation to the lady on the other line, they told her something that she couldn’t understand and thus handed me the phone so so they could explain it to me. The woman on the line proceeded to explain how the hold on the pending amount $44.00 and the charge for $5.55 made my account $10.00 so all remaining charges caused my account to go under and given an overdraft fee. She said this was because when you make a purchase the bank puts a hold on those funds until the receipt from the transaction gets mailed to them for verification.

I tried to explain to the woman on the line that using HER rules that would mean (minus the 420 I deposited into my account to counter act any of this happening) that only the 44.00 charge would have caused my account to go over and thus I should only be charged one overdraft fee and not three. She did not agree and kept reiterating the same thing she told me over and over again.

At this point I said I was done talking with her and handed the phone back to the Account Executive and she hung up on her. The Account Executive was very kind to me, she understood that there is no reason my account should be charged overdraft fees because it was never bellow zero in the first place. She went to her Bank manager and they agreed to pay me half of the fees back to me.

I can’t knock the Account Executive or the Bank manager because they understood my situation and understood where I was coming from and did everything in their power to correct the situation. Granted if Corporate BofA had better policies or a calculator that can add and subtract properly I would have never needed to go to them in the first place.

All in all, I still would like the remainder of my money back but I feel somewhat vindicated that at least my local bank understood where I was coming from and did what they could to mend my wounds.

Jason is still out over $50 for Bank of America’s error, and not an inch closer to understanding the bank’s justification for its ludicrous charges. We’re not ones for math, wormholes, or mathematical wormholes, but maybe one of you scientists can untangle Bank of America’s convoluted logic. Publish your hypotheses in the comments for peer review.

Comments

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  1. zingbot says:

    This is predatory.

  2. Aphex242 says:

    I wouldn’t call it an ‘error’, technically they’re in the right. But he’s right, it’s bullshit math, and it’s done solely for the purpose of sticking it to the customer.

    Basically holds get placed on funds when you buy certain things, particularly things like gasoline, rental cars, anything that’s going to potentially be higher than an initial estimate. This is all above board, but does not appear anywhere in your check register or your online account, and that’s why I think it’s crap.

    So the poor guy has no idea he’s in this situation and spends as if, *shock*, he actually HAS THE MONEY THE SYSTEM TELLS HIM HE DOES.

    BoA should refund all of those fees and should seriously reconsider it’s reporting practices, although I believe almost all banks run a similar scheme.

  3. junkmail says:

    This type of thing was a favorite habit of the Credit Union we used for a few years. (Yes, the almighty CREDIT UNION). We switched to First National, and haven’t had a problem since.

  4. Rando says:

    I think its pretty obvious hit account got down to $50 from that screen shot. Who knows what he had pending.

    You can’t trust the online portion of bank websites to be 100% accurate when living paycheck to paycheck.

  5. Christopher says:

    Key Bank switched to this ridiculous policy about a year ago, and I got hit with $68 in overdraft fees. Fortunately my local branch waived the fees for me, but it is still an absolutely absurd policy.

    What I did, and what I might recommend you do, is to waive the “right” to overdraft. I’d much rather be embarasseed about my debit card getting declined at Starbucks than to be forced to pay $40 for a cup of coffee!

    • Mel B. Sherman says:

      @Christopher: This is something that you did with Bank of America? I heard that I have to pay a fee to waive my “right” to be overdrafted.

  6. BlondeGrlz says:

    @aphex242: I don’t think you understand what’s going on here. He didn’t buy any of those things you stated above, he bought coffee, a car wash and allergy drugs. His next cleared transaction is a deposit, so at no point did he have a negative balance. I think this is simply a bank error, plain and simple, that BOA refuses to admit.

    Also, when my bank – ok, credit union – places a “hold” for a rental car, hotel, etc. it shows under my available balance, so I know not to spend it. In my previous BOA days I believe they did the same.

  7. calvinneal says:

    Why does anyone bank with these bastards? Use a credit card and be done with it. Bank ATMs are a very dangerous instrument. They are prone to silly fees and idenity theft!

  8. mgy says:

    @BlondeGrlz: I came in here to say what you said.

    It’s kind of bizarre that you only got out with half of the fees refunded, even though the branch manager realized the error and was sympathetic. My fiance just accidently paid her credit card using my account, overdrew me so that I incurred $196 in overdrafts when all my transactions from the previous 10 days all posted the same day as the CC transaction (which wouldn’t have occurred if they didn’t order transactions from highest to lowest). I called them up and instantly had $100 refunded.

  9. elislider says:

    they did this to me as well, not too long ago. the CSR’s explanation over the phone made absolutely no sense, and the best i could come up with was they take every pending transation over 3 days and debit the largest stuff first so you are guaranteed to go into the negative if it is even remotely possible, even though i never showed that i had gone over on my statement UNTIL they charged me 2 overdraft fees, and then ANOTHER when i ACTUALLY went over when they charged the first 2. NOBODY would budge on any of it and i was explaining basic math to them. its like the system their automated “charge you fees” uses and the system the CSRs see and the system that is visible on your statement are all different, because the CSRs kindof knew why it happened, but not really, and therefore couldnt explain it to me, just that it was legit and i was supposed to take her word for it. yeah. right.

  10. sleze69 says:

    It sounds like after getting half the money stolen from him back, from the people who stole it, he is going to stay with BoA. If that is indeed the case then he is a fool.

    BoA is REALLY gunning for worst company this year.

  11. Snarkysnake says:

    There is a day coming when the political climate in America will support the GOVERNMNENT cracking heads for stuff like this. And when it happens,(could be sooner than we think),these companies won’t have anyone to blame but themselves for this kind of asshattery.

    I for one,want some rough justice handed out to the Bank O’ America- type companies out there (Uh, that would be most of them)

    You ” free market” advocates don’t even bother flaming me. We have tried it your way for about 30 years now and people are tired of being raped by these giant companies.

  12. OletheaEurystheus says:

    @aphex242:
    problem is these days, there is NO justification for holds on 99% of
    what you purchase. Everything is instantaneous, taking at most 2-3
    minutes to go back and forth between bank and purchaser. Holds are meant
    for those things that have potential to be more (a hotel room, where the
    price quoted doesnt include stuff like watching the bad porn on TV) but
    banks more and more are using it for things that have a finite amount
    like gas where you KNOW exactly how much is charged right then and
    there, with the expectation of screwing customers out.

    Worse is that banks have no issue charging you overbalance fees based on
    timing of transactions, but refuse to allow a customer to game the exact
    same system they in fact are gaming. BoA did this to me once and I was
    livid, they cashed my checks EXACTLY right so that my checks cleared
    BEFORE my paycheck despite all 3 being EXACTLY the same day and my
    paycheck being direct deposited (and thus electronically they knew it
    was official and cant play the it takes a few days to clear game)

    The only reason I still use them is the website. The MINUTE my credit
    union gets their web based accounting finished, I’m closing my BoA
    account and going back to my credit union for all of my needs, as
    opposed to just using it as a savings account.

  13. Communist Pope says:

    Wachovia uses the same “time machine.” I got hit for double overdraft fees in a similar situation. Fortunately for me, Wachovia was willing to waive both after I got a live person on the line and walked her through the spurious logic at play. Maybe he should switch to Wachovia (and no, I don’t work for them).

  14. trvstro says:

    i had the SAME thing happen to me on two accounts and spent over an hour on the phone with a CSR (hey, i wanted my money’s worth). basically, they are right but online banking does NOT reflect this new (and absurd policy). they base the charges on pending payments so if you have a pending charge and something clears then they charge an overdraft… even if you have money in your account when the pending charge clears. the whole thing is ridiculous and with debit cards, next to impossible for the customer to manage.

    anyway. solution? i closed all three of my bank of america accounts and closed my credit card with them. f them.

    oh and the funny thing — i asked the CSR if they were getting a lot of calls about this and she sighed and said a “few”. reading between the lines, she thought it was crazy too.

  15. mgy says:

    @Snarkysnake: I don’t think you’ll find any “free market advocates” supporting Bank of America’s methodical fraud.

    I’ll give you 9/10 for effort.

  16. Joe S Chmo says:

    Are you certain those fees are not for checks that are being returned? Your transfer posted on Wednesday the 28th. If you had 3 checks trying to clear on Tuesday the 27th the fees would post the next day (the 28th) as that is the day they would be returned. I just don’t think that the phone CSR really knew what was going on if checks are involved.

    If checks were not involved this is totally bogus as you have stated. The Account Executive should have then reversed all of the fees due to this is a bank error and not a customer error at all. They are under a lot of pressure not to do courtesy fee reversals but this is a bank error so that you should have gotten all of the money bank once you brought this to their attention.

    Try calling again and don’t mention the fees you have already had reversed. You may get someone who understands that customer service is there for when the company has wronged their customers. Good luck.

  17. Parting says:

    @Snarkysnake: I’m for free market, bu t this is fraud.

    If bank’s employee does not understand explanation, it’s fraud.

  18. mrjimbo19 says:

    Doesn’t BofA do some kind of weird thing where they process all debits before deposits? If so i am not doing the math as i am bouncing between this and work but would that cause the account anomaly?

  19. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @zingbot: Contact the FDIC. That’ll get BoA’s attention.

  20. mobilehavoc says:

    Why do people get hit with overdraft fees? Either use a credit card or keep a higher balance in your checking account. I think this particular guy just got burnt playing too close to the fire.

    I love how people are quick to blame the bank for a person’s poor management and misunderstanding of their finances.

  21. xDimMaK says:

    @Rando:
    You call that justification? A customer shouldn’t have to pay overdraft fees because of the bank’s inability to provide accurate information about their bank account.

  22. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    This kind of crap is exactly why i don’t use debit cards. I have one visa with a rearwards program that is my everyday expense card I carry 40 bucks cash for little 1-2 dolor stuff and places that don’t take plastic everything else goes on visa. Then the visa gets paid off 100% at end of month. I have separate low interest cards i carry for stuff that I need to pay over time.

  23. @junkmail: I had the same problem with the local SECU. They wound up dinging me for nearly $300 because the companies that wanted the money resubmitted and they called it “bounced check fee”. Funny part, I had nearly 20k in a savings account with the same CU. Its with a different CU now, which doesnt have a nearby branch, but is so much better.

  24. BlondeGrlz says:

    @mobilehavoc: I love how quick you are to blame the consumer for not keeping track of his money. $59.50 is not ZERO no matter what you say, Mr. Judgy McJudgypants. If he has one cent in his account he shouldn’t incur any overdrafts fees. I’m sorry thats so hard to see from up there in your crystal palace of virtue.

  25. Parting says:

    @mobilehavoc: What are you, retarded? Where do you see a 0$ balance in this statement? Or you flunked 1st grade math?

    If bank’s OWN employee does not understand where charges come from, then it’s fraud.

    Since the last time I checked with my credit union, 59$ does not equal negative amount. Go troll somewhere else.

  26. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    I’m still confused. I understand the bank used creative math, but I still can’t see where the total of any of these number is below zero. Help?

    Also, remember this one?
    [consumerist.com]

  27. Parting says:

    @GreatCaesarsGhost: That’s not creative math, there is no such thing as a time machine.

  28. raisitup says:

    after being charged $35 x 6 (yes, six) = $210 in overdraft fees when i made a miscalculation on my wamu checking account and spent (read: transaction approved) about $10 over six transactions “in the negative” AT A USPS STAMP KIOSK(!) i stopped using my debit card. i use the credit card for all purchases, online and otherwise, and use the checking account to pay the credit card online (this is where you have to remain disciplined) and for the two checks a year i write to my HOA.

  29. McCheeks says:

    Having once upon a time been a trainer and a supervisor in a BoA call center, I have seen this a ton of times.

    There is in fact two parts to a Visa system (credit) style transaction, the initial hold, when the transaction is first established, and the final validation of the transaction, which happens sometime later, and when I mean sometime later it can be months, which can cause some huge problems. This is when the transaction “clears”. This process is truly painful to try to watch from a website.

    If you are in a situation where you run pretty close to the edge in your bank account, use quicken or even just a checkbook, you will be amazed at how often your balance will differ from your bank’s website

    There are a couple easy ways to avoid even needing to deal with this situation, one of which is using a credit card (and paying it off each month of course). The other is to use your PIN number for purchases. When you run the card as “debit” it uses the ATM network to process the transaction in one immediate step. From your side you will just see the transaction clear the first night it is on hold.

    Finally for those of you who will invariably bring up the fact that some places do no offer debit transactions, or charge a fee to run a card that way, I suggest paying cash, or paying for the convenience of plastic.

  30. reykjavik says:

    Dude, three words: small claims court.

    Guarantee you will get your money back. Corps have to be represented by an attorney in small claims, so they will end up having to send someone at $300 an hour to secure $50. Even if you lose, you won, by wasting their money. They clearly don’t mind having customers that are enemies, so play ball and try to waste as much money of their as possible.

  31. maxmax says:

    This is a reason to never use credit card affiliated check cards. When you use a credit card, a hold gets placed against your available credit. When you use a check card, a hold gets placed against your available balance. The kicker: these holds usually have some arbitrary expiration time (24-48 hours). Even after you complete the initial purchase, the hold can remain. Some banks will show these temporary holds as a debit, many do not.

    Not saying this is your fault, but when you mix credit cards and checking accounts, bad things happen. Stick to a simple ATM card, and this problem goes away. Also, if you charge a lot, get a decent cash-back card and simply pay your bill off each month.

    Many banks also offer account features like automatic transfer from your savings to your checking if you go over by accident. And honestly, you need to have more than $40-$50 (or $440) at your disposal. Quit buying overpriced coffee and save your money.

  32. Sidecutter says:

    This is crap. I use 5/3, and while by no means are they saints, they don’t do this crap. If something is pending, I receive that information, and am shown an actual balance, an available balance, AND any pending transactions and how my balance looks with them included. This makes it obvious whether I have the money or not. Hiding that information while still counting it is deception, pure and simple.

  33. loudguitars says:

    As much as most people here swear by debit cards, this type of situation is why I avoid using mine like the plague.

    If you are able to use a credit card responsibly (ie., don’t buy things you can’t afford and pay it off in full every month, something I recognize not everyone can do), there is no reason not to use it instead of your debit card. Holds placed on a credit card won’t get you socked with overdraft fees the way holds placed on a debit card will if you’re anywhere remotely near a zero balance.

    That said, in this particular case I do think BoA is being unreasonable since you did transfer money in, they just dragged their feet on crediting it to your account in an effort to earn themselves the highest possible fees.

  34. MonkeyMonk says:

    Although I agree that these charges seem bogus, nearly all of these problems can be avoided by leaving a buffer of a few hundred dollars in your account.

    Everyone who reads this site by now should know that banks use these byzantine methods of computing overdrafts and if they can nab you they’re going to try to nab you.

  35. @loudguitars: Um, welcome to this site? People here hate debit cards and love credit cards. Responsible credit card usage is a boon to true consumerist, as it builds credit, pays bonus/miles and provides a ton of extra fraud and consumer protection over a credit card.

  36. @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Over a debt card..

  37. dakker says:

    From my past experience banks charge fee’s the moment you go over, even if the charge hasn’t shown up yet(can’t see the dates on the pending purchases) pending still gets overdrafted the moment you charged it to your debit card there wasn’t money in your account. not a check you can’t float these. if the two pending purchases were made on 5/27 then yep, your overdrawn

  38. not_seth_brundle says:

    Forget the debit cards v. credit cards debate for brick-and-mortar transactions. How about good old cash? There’s no possibility of an overdraft and no danger of spending more than you can afford.

  39. I had the same thing happen to me resulting in 6 OD fees. Even though, only one charge ever showed in the red.

    EECB worked for all but two OD fees.

    Here is a quick rundown of my conversation:

    ME: Hi, I dont understand how this one charge of $2.12 resulted in 6 overdraft fees…

    Them: kjce0970y3n3kmdlwkmdwjdwij McDonalds, 4/25 oknsqaifohaf8ywefnwoenwief 5 Orders before that.

    Me: I see… But, if it’s based on the date of purchase and not when the actual payment posts, shouldn’t you take into consideration the actual order that the charges came in throughout the day? Also, shouldn’t my purchase be declined if I do not have the funds to cover my purchase?

    Them: Well, our policy is that lknfy8inwecnf date lkn 09fn j1663r j4663r post, hard charge, pending, date, funds, fees…. Do you understand?

    ME: No. Again, I understand that I have apparently spend $2.12 more than the amount of money in my account. I can accept that. I find sticking to a budget on par with rocket science, but I do not understand why this one purchase resulted in 5 OD fees. It’s what your own website is showing me. I can see, clear as day, that there is only one purchase in the red. Everything else, before and after, is in the black.

    Them: Well, our policy is that lknfy8inwecnf date lkn 09fn j1663r j4663r post, hard charge, pending, date, funds, fees…. Do you understand?

    Me: You just said the exact same thing. You didn’t answer my question, you just repeated your policy… I am asking how one purchase over my limit results in 5 fees.

    Them: Well, our policy is that lknfy8inwecnf date lkn 09fn j1663r j4663r post, hard charge, pending, date, funds, fees…. Do you understand?

    Me: Gives up.

    Them: *ROLLS IN PILES OF MY MONEY*

    This guys situation is even worse because NOTHING shows he went over. The best they can do is hope they reach 88 mph in time.

  40. Cap says:

    maxmax has it right on the money on holds on balance vs credit. things can get even more confusing when you use a check card and sometimes make purchases through a “credit” transaction (where you sometimes sign) vs a “debit” transaction (where you use your PIN).

    this can also be explained if the pending charges of $44.00 and $5.55 were not made on Wednesday as stated, but during an earlier time.

    the online statement could have looked a lot different just a few days ago, and it happened to cleared in those confusing orders. (evident by the fact that the $19.89 charge was made during the weekend as stated, but didn’t clear till a later date).

    although based on that, I’m not really sure how BoA came up with three overdraft charges. there should really only be two?

    regardless, BoA should have just refunded all fees, especially if this was a first offense. I would press the matter further and give the online messaging center a few try, a brief email message w/ a neutral tone may get you those other additional fees waived.

  41. pleasestopimbored says:

    are we really seeing the full picture here? are we trusting that the posting – and ORDER of posting on the website, is truly reflective of the order of real events and activity? I never trust the order of things on the BoA site myself, just use it for reference that things are either pending or posted.

    No i can’t explain these fees away [particularly not seeing the before and after the screenshot] or why there were 3. were the other transactions on the 28th [or pending] listed on the site above the item, but in real time happening before the transfer/deposit went through [that’s $70 > $60]? I can’t say, i don’t know the timeline here. What kind of hold was on the deposit that we didn’t see here? Just too much unknown to form an opinion from the sidelines [about BoA or the transaction itself]

    But as other posters have said, don’t tempt things by posting a deposit the same time you’re posting a bunch of other transactions. Even if BoA is in the wrong here, that behavior is just asking for getting caught by legit fees.

  42. MsClear says:

    Corporations run things in this country. Sites like this provide pushback, so I’m grateful for them.

    That said, this is why I keep buffers in my checking accounts. I only use credit cards for online purchases.

  43. AT203 says:

    No big surprise here. Bank of America is going tits up over their greedy buy-in to the subprime fiasco, and now with typical short-sighted corporate hubris they are trying to extract maximum revenue from their customers. Problem is, customers talk to each other, and just about everyone hates their bank nowadays. BoA, WaMu, etc.

  44. GeneBob says:

    I had BofA when I moved states in 1993 .. kept the account with BofA in the new state because I thought it would show “stability”. Ha!

    After enough of BofA’s nickel-and-dime practices, I switched to a local bank, and wonder why I didn’t do this when I first moved. Anyone who sticks with BofA, quite simply, deserves the grief that they mete out.

  45. Wormfather says:

    @Rando: Hey dude, um, how can you ASSUME this guy is living paycheck to pay check? Do you know what’s in his savings? Some people dont keep more a lot of money in their checking account.

    Troll elsewhere brother.

    In other news, Bank of America, Bank of Oppotunists.

    For my fiancee, being with BoA is like a bad relationship. She fell in love with them years ago when they were Fleet, over the years they changed into this abusive BoA person and she’s still clinging on to the hope that one day they’ll stop abusing her and it’ll be like the old days. I keep telling her that it’s not going to happen, but she’s really just not listening.

    Sad man, sad. There should be a support group.

  46. JohnMc says:

    permit ye get thou to a small claims court. Give BoA an overdraft fee called court costs.

  47. ShadowFalls says:

    Again, another reason why you should be using a credit card or two in which you pay off the balance at the end of the month. So stupid things like this, does not happen.

    In short, the best solution is to never give your bank an opportunity to screw up. The more opportunities you give it, the more likelihood it is going to happen.

  48. Hedgy2136 says:

    @Cap:

    I don’t follow your logic. If those pending transactions had happened at any time during the 8 days listed, the lowest the balance would have been was $9.95 (on 5/27).

    This doesn’t look like creative math to me, it looks like criminal fraud on the part of BoA.

  49. ShadowFalls says:

    @Wormfather:

    You may also want to look into credit unions. There are some that have your savings automatically cover your checking without any fees at all. You can essentially keep next to nothing in your checking without worry about fees as long as you have the money in your savings.

  50. ratbastid says:

    This isn’t an error in any sense of the word–it’s absolutely deliberate, and it’s intended to squeeze the most money out of the customer.

    Monday mornings are prime time for this sort of thing, when all the charges from the weekend are processed. They process them in descending value–biggest charges first. The idea is, if you’re going to overdraft, they want you to do it EARLY in the batch, so they can nail you for more fees.

    This is also why they process charges before deposits. If you bounce below $0.00 during the processing of your batched transactions, EVERY CHARGE THEREAFTER results in a overdraft fee. Doesn’t matter if, at the end of the batch, you’re in the black (all those -$35’s might make that unlikely, anyhow).

  51. humphrmi says:

    This is why banks love debit cards. In the olden days, when it was just checks and ATMs, they couldn’t charge a customer for overdrafts until their actual balance went below zero.

    Any idiot can look at the numbers and see why this doesn’t work for banks. If only 2 or 3 percent of their customers actually overdraw, they don’t get no frikkin’ fees. So how do you get fees from customers who responsibly maintain their accounts?

    Enter Debit cards. Now, even though you have hundreds of dollars in your account, they can apply debit card authorizations against your balance NOW, rather than having to wait until those pesky transactions, whether they are real or not, actually hit your account. What saps those banks were before Debit cards!

  52. timmus says:

    Why does anyone use Bank of America? They’re no better than Paypal, i.e. fine for occasional use but god help you if you have a problem. And I say that as a former customer of BoA.

  53. Rachael says:

    My sister was stuck with BOA because she was going to be moving to a small town and it was the only bank in common with her hometown.

    She went in, deposited $800 to start the account, all seems well. The next day she comes in to cash a check and also decides she wants to have them write a rent check for her so she can pay in advance. Will they give her $500 for that check? NO! Because they had to have a 1 week “grace period” before she could do anything with more than something like $150 at once (my memory is fuzzy on the exact amount- it may be more/less than 150). She would have still had well over $500 after taking into account the paycheck she cashed, but they still refused to let her withdraw any significant amount from the account. Ludicrous. She wanted to take her business elsewhere right off the bat but was stuck.

  54. girly says:

    @Wormfather: Yeah, I didn’t ‘choose’ BoA either. The bank I go to got bought by them…

    Perhaps it is time for me to make a new choice.

  55. 67alecto says:

    I understand what BoA did – they charged him overdraft fees when his account *potentially* could have gone overlimit. The two separate purchases at the coffe shop could have resulted in about $30 being placed *on hold* as restaurants do that because they don’t know if or how much you will tip. The car wash place might have done a similar hold depending on what kind it was.

    Horrible, horrible practice on the part of BoA charging OD fees in that instance, but the practice of holds being put on money that is more than the final amount has been around for years. Lesson learned for the victim: try not get cut it so close next time.

  56. bohemian says:

    Someone mentioned banks processing ALL payments before processing deposits. Norwest bank (now Wells Fargo) got in legal trouble over doing this in Wyoming. They were dragged to court, fined and banned from doing this. That was in the early 90’s. I don’t know if that is the case with this BOA issue but it is worth noting that creative mathmatics used to get banks in trouble.

    This sounds like a fraudulent scam yet customers are helpless to fight it because of the red tape. Even the branch employee couldn’t override it.

  57. DJ-Pandemic says:

    @ConsumerAdvocacy1010:

    No, The Attorney General from his state should be the one getting their attention.

  58. umkleidekabine says:

    3 simple things to do to avoid this type of problem:

    - Never use a debit card, use credit cards only, and pay off the balance every month. As a plus, enjoy the free 20-30 days of float.
    – Never sign up for any service that automatically deducts anything from your checking account, ever.
    – Always keep at least $500 in your checking account, and treat that amount as the zero balance. Whenever you drop below $500 bucks consider your funds depleted. I have two siblings that work at banks, and they’ve told me they often see people with a small savings account (<$5000) that have overwithdrawn their checking account repeatedly. Just move $500 into checking and use it as a buffer. The money you save in fees is far more than any interest you would have earned.

  59. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    I’ll say it again: stuffing your money under the mattress is still (and always will be) better than Bank of America.

  60. bleh says:

    Switch to a local credit union. BofA is pure evil.

  61. XianZhuXuande says:

    I really dislike BofA and if any bank were to do something like this it would be them… but we don’t really have a complete picture. If some larger checks were not credited that would initiate the overdraft fee, and banks do, occasionally, charge overdraft fees from previous overages as soon as there is money in the account to nail.

    If they were truly ‘just for the hell of it’, though, that would be an interesting conversation to hear…

  62. ninjatoddler says:

    Could this mystery possibly be part of the upcoming X-Files movie?

  63. MisterRPG says:

    I’d say to bring this whole situation up with your state Attorney General AND your Congressman. It’s absolutely ridiculous in this day and age that banks are still allowed to do anything but process your purchases in the same order that all your purchases are made.

    It seems to me that you have hard evidence that the banks (or at least BOA in particular) are doing everything they can to defraud money from their customers. It’s all in his statement, if he went under at any time it would have shown.

  64. Nytmare says:

    I’d request they provide you their evidence in writing about how your balance was negative three times. That would not only make their explanation clearer, it would expose their ridiculous accounting methods.

    And since this problem seems to stem from using a debit card for tiny purchase amounts, I will add that to the list of reasons to never use a debit card.

  65. Mykro says:

    I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Thank you RegionsBank! I usually never have a problem, besides “my” branch mananger, where I opened my account. Hes a dickhead and just wants to stick us all.. but about 6 months ago I had the same problem, they stuck me with 4 overdraft charges when I had plenty of money in the account. I never got it fully resolved, but they refunded half of it.. Just happened again yesterday also. I got a letter in the mail regarding an overdraft. I called and talked to the lady at the local branch. She talked it over with her manager. She came back and said.. and I quote “This system is so screwed up. I’d cancel my account if they did this to me.. We’ll refund your money sir.. and sorry about all of the problems. I’d consider a new bank! Thanks for using Regions!”.

  66. MitchV says:

    This is how they make a lot of money. Large corporate banks are as sleazy as they come… Google “Bank Of America Advance America Cash” and see what you learn.

    $3 ATM fees, 3% transaction fees on credit cards (which is now built into the price on everything Americans buy), overdraft fees, extortionate interest rates, etc.

    These are predatory companies parading around as trustworthy entities. The feed off of people living paycheck to paycheck. Look around at the tallest buildings in every city and you can easily spot the financial institutions.

  67. Scuba Steve says:

    Should have brought a posterboard, A sharppie, and a glue and short fence post. Explain to them 3 things:

    1. You are going to call another bank, and open an account with them.In the store, loudly.. and angrily.
    2. You are going to withdraw all your money, and sue for the overdraft fees in small claims court. You will win this, easily.
    3. Before this, you will stand, for 4 hours a day, starting today, outside their property with the above mentioned sign and fill out the sign in front of them — “BOA stole my money, [Manager’s Name] doesn’t care, Please do not do business with them.”

    At least, that’s one way of doing it. As you can tell, I’m not a fan of BOA.

  68. eben56 says:

    On of the happiest moments in my life came today when after negotiating an equity loan I was able to wire BOA EVERYTHING I owe them on 3 accounts. I also closed out ALL BOA related accounts. When asked what it would take to retain my business, all I could say was “quit f$%^#&ng over the rest of your customers.” I’m outa there. YES

  69. handalanda says:

    I work at US Bank and our fees may work in similar ways. There is your account balance and there is your available balance. You always want to look at what your available balance is. The available balance takes into account those previous purchases you have made that may still be holding and have not hard posted to the account. Even if the money is still showing in your account, you told another company yes you can have that money and so it is now pending to come out of your account. This can get to be complicated at times because stores do not take out the money right away, gas stations may only hold a dollar, restaurants assume you are going to tip 15%, etc.

  70. Trails_end says:

    It was probibly the Car wash that did him in.Some Gas stations will charch a hold of $100 on every purchase to insure there are enough funds.
    The hold will dissapear and you will have the NSF charges and no record of what happened.

  71. coren says:

    He actually started the weekend with 80 dollars, not 68. Not that it makes a huge difference, but it’s another 12 or so bucks.

  72. coren says:

    I think this is what happened.

    Even though you made certain purchases at certain times, they don’t always post at those times. For example, your allergy meds purchase shows up as on the 28th, even though you said it happened on Saturday (and like I said in an earlier comment, you’re about 12 bucks off, so if you try to go any further keep that in mind).

    Ok, so look at when your funds actually posted. Even though you had the transfer go on the 27th (Tuesday) it didn’t happen until the 28th. Which is where you got screwed. Your meds hadn’t yet posted by the time that cash cleared. Now, it doesn’t say specifically when that money became available to you, so it might be after those purchases were made. So what might be occurring is:

    You have 59.50 available, three charges pending (meds, which clear later, and the other two purchases). The 44 dollar one goes first, because this is what banks do. Then there aren’t the funds for your 19 bucks in meds, overdraft. And since you’re in the red, that 5 bucks pending? Overdraft. Where the third one comes from, I’m not sure. The only other way I could see it is some sort of back charging, but then that’s another mess. So you might be able to bring that up with someone, that the most in overdrafts they can justify based on that statement is two, not three.

  73. Parting says:

    @Voyou_Charmant: My credit union just declines the transaction when there is no funds with debit card.

    It’s much more simple for everyone. And there is NO possibility to overdraft, unless you specifically to ask for the service.

  74. Parting says:

    @coren: Why does a ”pending” transaction is taken in consideration?

    Either there is money, or not. We live in high tech age. It takes a computer couple of seconds to communicate between debit terminal and your bank.

    Bank just creates bullshit fees that does not follow common sense. Greed.

  75. olegna says:

    Holds are stupid, but I’m sure somebody here is gonna blame the consumer. Some banks even place an arbitrary hold — like they’ll want you to have $25 even if the purchase is less than that.

    It’s all predatory, because as somebody else pointed out this entire system is virtually instantaneous.

    But, I’m sure somebody here is gonna to blame it on the consumer.

    I’ve solved this and many other things banks do that should be illegal by simply maintaining a higher balance and assuming they’re all crooks. That’s really the only way to deal with the financial services industry: assume they’re all crooks and liars and build a buffer against their excessive usury and predation. Unfortunately, in our society you simply have to be smarter than the wolves, or don’t play the game.

    I prefer to play the game, and outfox the wolves never forgetting the criminal nature of their “lawyerly” ways.

  76. kristamaru says:

    The exact same thing happened to me over a year ago at National City. I was charged three overdraft charges using about 60 dollars out of my account to pay for them. One of the managers was nothing but rude to me, claiming I didn’t know how to balance my checkbook. I balanced it about four different times, and came up with the same answer: I DID NOT OVERDARFT. She refused to see reason, and kept adding up my balance with the overdraft fees. Well, of course when you add your 60+ dollars of frivolous overage charges, then yes it’s overdrafted, but agggh. It never got resolved, and I ended up having to ask my family for help paying it off. I will NEVER go to their bank again. I’ve been with Chase ever since and never had a problem through them.

  77. dancemonkey says:

    just wrote in about this exact thing happening to my wife this week. The kicker is she got 3 overdraft charges, and the transaction that put her over has actually never posted. We only got one reversed, and the csr on the phone was beyond rude. One woman said “I would be happyto transfer you to yet another supervisor”. What the? They are being trained to be assholes to people who call about this exact issue.

  78. kbarrett says:

    @Snarkysnake: This is pure theft, and it has nothing to do with the free market.

    It IS the government’s job to punish thieves.

    He should start by switching banks, and then sue BoA in small claims. $50 for the financial loss, and $2950 for mental anguish seems like a good start.

  79. pal003 says:

    The real problem is that the banks are supposed to be “self-policing.” This means that the Federal Reserve and agencies like the FDIC are supposed to be regulating banks on how they charge fees and define what “holds” are. Well, we know that system is seriously not working.

    The US Treasury Dept has the ability to punish banks for bad practices – but when the guy from Wall St is in charge – we see them do nothing like the past 7 years at least. I hate to make this about our political system – but it is.

    Some people in Congress are trying to improve things for consumers. So complain to your congressperson, and the agencies responsible. I remember watching a hearing before congress, and the FDIC rep said there were no current complaints on file. Most consumers have just given up complaining.

  80. chris101d says:

    My best advice is to sue the digital reporting contact form..they will issue a “courtesy” refund…for YOUR error…and remind you that because they are so NICE that they are doing this..it lets them feel like they are right…and you get your money…

    ive had BOA charge a 30 DOLLAR overdraft because ‘keep the change’ took 87 cents from my 10 dollar balance, but because keep the change requires a balance minimum, it returned it to the account incurring a ‘transfer fee’…causing it to go below

  81. summertimeblues says:

    Pending transactions or posted, it doesn’t matter. If you spend money before you put it in your account, you are asking for overdrafts. If you have 20 bucks, you can’t spend 60 bucks and expect to not incur fees of some sort. When you try to beat the ‘system’ it is going to catch up with you. The printout has the actual purchase dates in the blue area obscured and only shows the date the items hard posted to the account. I have a bank of america account and never have a problem because I know that when I use my check card the money has to be in the account at the time I use it. They may pend for two or three days, but the money has already been spent, so DON’T SPEND IT AGAIN. Learn to manage your money and you won’t have this problem.

  82. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @CBragg: The ‘right’ to overdraft is called courtesy overdraft protection (we won’t decline your 10.00 charge at Sonic, but we’ll charge you 35.00 for the courtesy of saving you embarassment).
    Most banks will tell you that you can’t opt-out of this rather sleazy practice.

  83. mkn1972 says:

    Oh, do I ever completely understand this. As a BOA customer myself, I had this happen twice, recently… to the tune of $175 in fees.

    NOBODY at BOA Customer service could tell me how much I was overdrawn. I tried three times and got three different numbers. I then was told by internal support while AT the branch arguing with the worst assistant branch manager ever that I was overdrawn because of a debited charge that had already cleared two days prior! Keeping up? No? Neither did I.

    After numerous attempts at handling this with BOA, I finally EECB’d Liam McGee thanks to the email addresses right here on Consumerist and was then able to talk to one of the Executive staff, Brian, who explained the situation in English not requiring an advanced math degree and who cheerfully refunded the fees to me.

    My advice? Give ‘em the three strikes you’re out rule. Go back to the branch, ask for the remainder of the fees to be waived, and tell them very simply that if they don’t, you’ll talk to Liam McGee about it and switch banks.

    The power, my friends, is ours.

    Thanks to Ben and staff for this awesome website and all the great info in it!

  84. szeno says:

    I think this is their algorithm to maximize their profit:

    1. Everyday, always do the debits before credits (regardless times of transactions)
    2. When doing the debits, always debit the largest amount first
    3. Pending transaction can reduce your available balance, it can also trigger overdraft fee.

    At the beginning of Wednesday, he had $59.50, but because the pending charge of $19.89, his available balance is $39.61.

    Then he deposited $420, spent $44.00 and $5.55, and the pending charge of $19.89 also went through.

    So here is how the bank do the math:

    $39.61 – $44.00 – $19.89 – $5.55 + $19.89 (release the holding) + $420.

    So he got charge three times for overdraft fee.

  85. akede2001 says:

    So it’s hard to tell with these being blurred out.. but are these really overdraft fees, or NSF fees?

    Meaning, did he have some outstanding checks that tried to clear? If he didn’t have funds to cover them, he’d still be charged a fee.

    The screen shot doesn’t provide enough information. We’d need to know when these pending transactions were placed. His deposit of $420 was on the same day the fees posted.. as many people know, fees post the next business day, which means the fees posted on the 28th were due to transactions from the previous business day, so the deposit would not help any.

    What I’m seeing here: A credit card transaction for 19.89 posted on 5/28, so it was pending on 5/27.

    On 5/27 a transaction of $12.00 brought the balance to $68.39. Now, let’s take into account pending transactions: 44 + 5.55 + 19.89 = $69.44 pending

    12.00 68.39 = Overdrawn 1.05
    5.71 62.68 = Overdrawn 6.75
    3.18 59.50 = Overdrawn 9.94

    On 5/28 since the balance was below 0 still, three fees were charged.

    I was a banker at WaMu for a little over a year– first job. I used WaMu for a while then went to BofA.. I closed with BofA and went back to WaMu because of the atrocious customer service. At least at WaMu, I know their policies inside and out. My advice is to avoid BofA. They’re horrible. WaMu is usually a little easier to get “courtesy” reversals. Accounts (mine for example), have OD fee waivers that build up over time. If I got an OD I could use the waiver to get a fee reversed, no questions asked. Anyone who has the same, I’d advise against using it unless you’re in financial hardship. If you OD and you have the cash to cover it, just deal with it. You might OD later on and really -need- that fee reversed.

    /Software engineer now

  86. akede2001 says:

    @szeno: The way it actually works is this:

    Credits processed before debits*
    Checks processed in order of check number.
    Credit transactions processed in order of capture request.

    *If your balance ends below zero at the end of the day, you’ll receive a fee for any transaction which brought your balance below zero. Here’s an example:

    balance = 65
    -15 balance = 50
    -75 balance = -25
    +50 balance = 25
    -50 balance = -25
    +75 balance = 50
    -51 balance = -1

    Now you’d think you would only get one OD fee. But at many banks, you’ll get 3 OD fees. However, if your balance ends above 0.00 at the end of the day you won’t see any fees.

  87. akede2001 says:

    @mkn1972: The reason they usually can’t tell you is because it’s largely dependent on pending transactions at the time. By time you notice the fees and call in, the transactions are no longer pending and the CSRs don’t think/know how to actually look in the more technical systems to see what card transactions were pending at the time.

    My time at WaMu– I never had a case where an OD fee was actually charged in error. And I handled a LOT of those, including escalations. My wife (before we were married) had gotten over $400 in fees over the span of a few days. Bank would reverse only one as a courtesy. So I looked over the account, noticed heavy PayPal usage. Had her transfer about $50 from her PayPal account over, called the bank and claimed it was a refund from a merchant dispute.. asked to have a fee reversed and they agreed. Bingo. At that point, I basically started going down the list: “Ok, so now if that OD fee hadn’t happened, this one wouldn’t have either, nor this one, or this one, or this one..” Ended up having a manager reverse them. In the end? $0 paid to the bank in fees. Every one of them reversed for “Merchant Error”.

  88. akede2001 says:

    @akede2001: Also to clarify, the $50 was a match for a $50 withdrawal earlier in the account history. Having the extra $50 would have prevented the first three overdrafts. Then having the money for those 3 ODs would have prevented all of the other ODs.

  89. Eigtball says:

    Suggestion: Use a credit card or cash, never allow the bank to put holds on your money, have it out and spend it right away, or purchase your items on credit and pay them off on a regular basis (every pay, every month etc).

  90. redclear55 says:

    I used to be a BoA customer. Then they pulled this BS on me back when i was in college living close to that bottom line. they proceeded to deduct my account by the largest amount before the smallest, even though the charges were chronologically in the reverse order. this allowed them to charge me 2 overdrafts as opposed to 1. after getting no where with their customer service, i closed down the account and moved to wachovia. never had anymore problems after that.

  91. Cap says:

    @Hedgy2136:

    Read akede2001’s post on the number break down. His post was basically what I was seeing from the screenshot too. Three overdraft is correct based on those assumptions. I was thinking two because I forgot they debit largest transaction first (the $44).

    I think if you’re a BOA customer and frequently use their online account, you’ll recognize that what’s posted in your account doesn’t necessary reflect the order actual transactions were made, clear, or pend. As others have stated, the second screenshot doesn’t tell the whole story.

  92. Cynicor says:

    The best part is that if these charges put you negative for six days in six months, your deposit clearance time goes from 5 business days to 11. Surprise!

  93. lordargent says:

    I’ve had accounts at BofA since 1984 (that’s 24 years for anyone that’s bad at math), and I’ve never been charged any fees of any sort.

    That being said, I believe that all banks are evil, and actually have cash at three different banks to spread out my risk.

    I still keep my old BofA account for two main reasons.

    1) They have ATMs everywhere.
    2) Their billpay system is very good (well, now that it’s free).

    My main complaint about BofA is that their interest rates suck both ways. (IE, when you borrow money, the rates are high, when you loan them money, the rates are low). So I keep the majority of my money at other banks to get better rates.

    /still uses cash to buy certain things, I grew up in the fatwallet era.

    /besides, this guy is a pothead, of course he’s bad at math (who the hell transfers $420 instead of an even $400?)

  94. akede2001 says:

    @lordargent: While I think banks are complete shit and cannot stand them, I think the OP needs to accept some responsibility here. If he actually maintained a register, he would have known that on 5/27, he did not have enough money to be making those transactions. Likely he was assuming that because the transactions were pending, he could make a deposit later and be OK. This is the same as writing a check for $100 when you know your account only has $25. It’s possible the person will just take it to one of your banks and cash it on the spot, in which case you get an OD fee.. or they could deposit it and it could take a couple days to clear, or it could be the next business day if it’s the same bank.

    The OP was gambling and lost. He was spending money from his account that he didn’t have yet. If he wants to be doing that, he should be using a credit card and not his bank account.

  95. mechanismatic says:

    So, kids, the very simple lesson we’ve learned here today is: Don’t be poor. If this dude was just richer, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s not too late to sell out.

  96. coren says:

    @szeno: What you said just charges him twice for the same purchase – the medication money was already being held

  97. hwertz says:

    My friend had something like this happen with one of the banks in Iowa City. (I won’t name names, they’ve been bought and rebought, so they might not do this any more.)
    He would get close to overdrafting and “float” checks by a day or two.. well, the checks he’d deposit would always go through in a day or two and all was fine. BUT, after one buyout, the owner of the bank started making it so, if *and only if* it made the account overdraw, they’d delay the deposits by a week so he’d overdraw his account. If he wasn’t going to overdraw the checks still deposited within a day.. if he was going to overdraw the deposits would mysteriously be delayed just long enough for him to overdraw. Legal but slimey. They also each time they were bought by a bigger bank, would cancel his ATM card basically without notice and then issue him a new one weeks later. Personally I would have left the bank the first time they did that — it’s incompetent IMHO — but he’s still with that bank as far as I know.

  98. coren says:

    @akede2001: Except that he deposited the money on the 27th, which posted on the 28th, and made the 44 and 5.something purchase on the 28th, so if what you’re saying about fees not posting til the next day, what you just outlined is not possible.

  99. coren says:

    @akede2001: According to him, he made no transactions on the 27th, just deposited money. All his transactions either occurred before (the coffee, the car wash, the medication) or after (the 44 and 5.something).

  100. mythago says:

    @hwertz, not actually legal; banks have to notify you if they are putting a week hold on your funds.

  101. akede2001 says:

    @coren: It sounds like his transfer was after bank hours and was not included in transactions for the 27th. Online transfers may make the funds immediately available for you to spend on, but the posting date will be the next business day if made after bank hours. This means that when it comes to fee calculations, the funds were not deposited on the 27th.

    Not sure what time he made the actual deposit, but there’s a chance the nightly processing had already started and it wasn’t just a cut-off issue.

  102. jimmydeweasel says:

    I don’t get it. So the Bully who stole your lunch money gave 1/2 of it back? If you’ve followed their stock price as of late, you’ll see they need to use every Clintonesque trick in the book to get YOUR money on their side of the balance sheet.

  103. mizmoose says:

    Ohhh, my former bank used to pull crap on me. They’d always make sure to process outgoing funds before any deposit, so they could guarantee any chance, no matter how slim, of slamming me with overdraft fees. After the 2nd time they did this to me I withdrew all my money, walked across the street and opened an account with a different bank, one I’ve been with for over 20 yrs.

  104. seanSF says:

    My guess is that the transfer from savings was also “pending” for a period of time and during that time, other transactions posted. It doesn’t explain a lot — like a) why he got THREE overdrafts or b) why the CSR couldn’t explain the savings “pending” status — but it could be at the root of all this. Cases like this are why I try to never get below $100 in my checking account. It doesn’t always work out that way, of course.

  105. Ramses says:

    B of A’s math doesn’t make any ‘since.’

    /jus’ trollin’

  106. SilverShadow says:

    I didn’t have the time to read all the previous comments, so my sincere apologies if someone else mentioned these:
    ** Never deal with the idiots in service over the phone, they’ll just give you the company BS line ad infinitum.
    ** Get to know one or more of the “office cubical folk” in your Bank’s branch,. Even stopping by to “say hello” to them and to your branch’s Manager. If they know you they will more than likely help you out.
    ** It doesn’t hurt to “remind” them of the competition down the block, or across town.
    ** If you can’t get anyone to help you, write a nice, polite, but firm letter to the CEO of the bank explaining the situation and why you object.

    Same thing happened to me with the overdraft thing and I went and spoke to one of the AE’s I know and who knows me.

    Bottom line… all the fees were removed and I was given my money back.
    Cheers!

  107. Ailu says:

    I am sooo glad I dumped BofA. But I seriously believe, that as the mortgage crisis gets worse, more and more banks are going to follow suit with these predatory tactics just to stay afloat.

    Makes me want to stash away the ATM card and use cash. But sadly, I live far from town and do nearly 50% of my shopping online, to save gas. So I don’t know what to do, now..

  108. Daniels says:

    I understand that this site always has some blame the victim people, but all of you taking BofA’s side in this are truly idiots.

    You’re essentially saying that BofA has the right to charge overdraft fees when the account never actually overdrafted.

  109. arachnophilia says:

    my bank has a habit of slamming me for overdraft fees… on an overdraft fee.

    i once went under the minimum balance on my savings account because of a typo. now, that’s a nice $30 dollar mistake, which is especially retarded if i’ve just transfered money to another account and it’s not the end of the day or anything. i should be able to go “whoops” and transfer it right back, and no harm no foul, right? …but ok, i accept that was my mistake and everything. it sucks, but i did it.

    of course, because that 30 bucks came out of my savings account, that put it further under, prompting another charge. i’m glad it stopped at two, but i went to my bank to complain anyways. “isn’t that just a bit silly? charging me overdrafts on overdrafts?”

    they took one off. so you MIGHT wanna check and see if that’s what happened, and you got overdrafts on overdrafts, turning one fee into three.

  110. henwy says:

    I’m a bit confused here. Is the core of the problem that he didn’t realize that it would take a few days for the money transfer from the savings account to clear? If that’s the case, it seems like it would be something he should have known. If not, then I can’t figure out exactly what’s going on with the overdrafts. Can anyone give me a flowchart of the logic?

  111. bankof_fees says:

    Call Tyson Price in the Executive Office. His number is 480.225.1310

  112. humphrmi says:

    @Daniels: Sheeple only think one-dimensionally.

  113. Callreynol says:

    How I was Screwed over at Customer Service at Online Banking at WAMU.
    I am a Grandmother of 7; I had to retire early due to illness last year so I started using my Online Banking at WAMU and I am living on a tight budget every month. But I understood that when I got online to do my online banking I had a chance to stop the process within a short time so I could recalculate. So I paid my bills on the Friday night and called the 24 hour online banker and asked them on Saturday if I could still cancel those transaction if they have not been processed yet. I was told yes and it would be done.
    So Monday when I tried to get online to check my account and redo my payments I find that my online banking account had been closed. I called WAMU and told them what had happened and they reactivated my online banking account right away and said they were sorry and didn’t know what had happened.
    Anyway, when they restored my online account I noticed some glitches with a missing payee list. So I called back this time I asked for a Supervisor at WAMU’s Online Banking. Thinking that I could get it all fixed at once and tell him that they need to retrain some of there banking assistants and he seemed as if he was pissed off that I was complaining. He was able to restore my payee list, so I didn’t have to recreate a new one and it was then we noticed that none of those payments had been canceled and I politely shared with him how unhappy I was with WAMU.
    It was then that he said, well we can still stop some of the payments for you, at least the ones that had not gone out electronically already. So I said wow if that is still possible thank you and it would give me a chance to redo my bills.
    I do have to juggle some months with robbing Peter to pay Paul just to get by. So, after Jason did his magic and I was off and back to redoing those bills.
    It wasn’t until the end of the week that a list of bills show up that have stop payments on my transaction history. Seem Jason put stop payments on all my bills and of course WAMU never charged me for those but he never said that was what he was doing. He never said anything about those payments had already been mailed out. I would never have stopped payment on my bills.
    It wasn’t until a week later that my bills start rolling in double of what I owed with NSF charges attached to them now and some of those bills were as low as $5 bills that have been turned into $30 bills. My water company sent me a certified letter (I have never gotten one before in my life) to tell me that now my $78 bill that I owed was $103 plus the new charges of $30 more all due on the 2nd for NFS funds for a returned check.
    I carry overdraft protection of $1000 so I have never bounced a check before. This has been very embarrassing for me as I live in a small town and I see these people everyday.
    Of course I have called Jason at WAMU, but he never returns my calls. I think what he has done to me is awful and nasty unfair business practices. I think what he has done to be me unethical and I have left a message for him on his voice mail telling him that what goes around comes around. How would he feel if someone did that to his Grandmother? Of course he still has not returned my calls.
    I feel like I have been run over with a lawn mower and left in a mess by WAMU’s online banking customer service.
    By the way you can reach Jason at WAMU his phone number (866)-203-9338 ext 5093 see if he will return your calls, good luck.
    So if anyone here has some good advise for me or phone numbers at the Executive level at WAMU. I need some help. All I want Jason to do is send out a letter from the bank explaining there error and now cover the NSF charges with my payees that he has cost me.
    What did I do wrong?

  114. junglee069 says:

    bank of america is really tricky. here’s what they do.

    day 1 – balance 100 dollars.
    day 2 – i buy 40 dollars worth of groceries
    day 2 – go online and check my balance, it shows 60, with 40 pending.
    day 3 – go online, it goes back up to 100.
    day 4 or 5 – it goes back to 60

    now the above can really get you in trouble if you leave your account anywhere near 100 dollars – simply because anytime you check your accout, it’s only showing all transactions that are either in that initiatal pending state, or have completely come through. you could be in the day 3 phase for 80 dollars thinking you have 100 dollars in your account when you only have 20.

    basically, they punish you for keeping a small amount of cash in your checking account – their resolution to that is, start a savings account and use it for over draft protection. it works, but then they have MORE of your money, and they still charge you 10 dollars everytime you dip into your savings account.

    it’s all one greedy scam they run.

  115. sleze69 says:

    @olegna: But, I’m sure somebody here is gonna to blame it on the consumer.

    Did you read ANY of the comments before you posted?

  116. henrygates says:

    Wells Fargo must use a different method than BofA. Last year I accidentally overdrafted my account. I always check my account online daily. The balance showed zero, and after looking at the pending charges I realized I had forgotten a transaction. With overdraft protection from my savings, the bank transferred over an amount and added a $10 fee. It was all pending. I then transferred a couple hundred over from the savings using their online system to cover the charge, and when everything cleared the balance showed it never dropped below zero and the charge had been removed automatically.

  117. unixinit says:

    Easy solution, folks. Get ING Electric Orange. Instant $1000 overdraft credit line. No fees for using it, you just pay the interest (9.9% for me). I went over by ~$100 the other month for a few days, paid all of $.01 of interest for the privilege. Love it!

  118. zanthia says:

    Once upon a time, there was a little credit card company that was very nice. Then they got bought by Bank of America. And I cried.

  119. chrisbacke says:

    I’m beginning to wonder why I use a bank at all… My money is safer there? Riiight… Decline the ‘right’ to overdraft your account – get it in writing, keep copies, all that sort of thing, then call it done…

    In the off chance you’re rich and happen to keep $1,000 in your account at all times, this shouldn’t apply to you…

  120. Damaris148 says:

    National City in Indiana uses this crazy “new math” as well. I agree- it’s all about sticking it to the consumer. After calling and speaking with seven (!) different people, the seventh of which was able to explain to me what happened, I was told that my bank manager was the only one who could do anything about it.

    Something else to be aware of is that any bank I’ve spoken with always take out the largest item first, and then the smaller items- so that they can hit you with more overdraft fees.

  121. billy8113 says:

    These type of stories just confirm to me two things that I always try to do.

    1) Always keep a $500 buffer in your account.

    2) Never use debit cards. You have no control. Use a credit cards or cash. I am amazed when I see people throwing a $5 lunch on a debit card. Just the effort to properly deduct it from your checking register isn’t worth the hassle.

    I understand that some can’t keep that much money lying in a bank account. All the more reason to not use a card that directly deducts from that account! There is a point where personal responsibilty comes into play.

  122. Yurei says:

    Wow, BofA is absolutely retarded. In fact, it sounds like they use the same style of creative math that Verizon/Fairpoint does to cheat me out of my “30 days free”.

    TD is simple. My bank account shows charges/debits/checks/deposits and whatever in the order that they take to go through, not by amount. Deposits usually go through same day, checks can take god knows how long depending on the casher, and depending on the place debit and credit can come out instantly (usually if i shop at a large chain and use debit) or take 1-2 days as “pending” if i use it at a smaller store and use it as a CC. I’ve never yet over drafted my account thanks to TD’s “normal” math system, and this is coming from someone who drops their account down under $2 almost every time.

    My bank account is for paying bills via check or online payment, period. Money gets deposited, a few days later it goes out. Rarely when traveling away from home i keep a bit of money in it for expenses, but not very often. Since i have no real “protection” on a debit card, I keep it fairly small in balance size and use. *sighs* Wish I could do charge backs…

    And remember people, some people don’t have credit cards because they can’t GET one, like me. I can’t seem to get approved for one no mater how much i’ve tried, so being told “well don’t use a debit card” isn’t really realistic for some people.

  123. bankof_fees says:

    Call Tyson Price in the executive office. His number is 480-225-1310

  124. MrsLopsided says:

    I’ve had the same battle with Chase Bank. They’ve told me not to rely on the website balance and website transaction dates as they are not in sync with the “real” numbers. Even though the pending shows after the overdrafts it actually occurred before. If the debit shows as the 28th the bank actually received it on the 27th. Banks also process the biggest withdrawls first.. this way a big debit resulting in an overdraft will make all the small debits that day bounce…and incur $35 fees each.

  125. glorpy says:

    I’ve run into similar issues with Chase. Basically, any transactions that take place on Friday and Saturday may not actually post to the account until the following business day.

    Even with my credit card, the gas and groceries I buy on Friday do not appear on the website in any form until the following week, when the stores clear the transactions. Curiously, the web site shows the transaction date, not the processing date.

    This means that your post-deposit transactions may have been run alongside your pre-deposit transactions – and all before the deposit was actually posted.

    In my experience, banks are pretty good to you IF you have a special relationship with them, like Chase’s workplace checking. If you don’t, they’ll screw with you every which way.

    Oh, and apply for an overdraft line of credit to avoid the fees.

  126. Infe says:

    IMO it may be silly, but it’s worth considering a small claims suit. If I were a judge, I would give you your money back, plus any time you spent doing anything dealing with this, and anything else I could legally give to you in small claims. Missed work, gas to drive to the court, etc. :)

    If you went into the negative, then the balance statement should state that. Anything else is fraud on their part, no matter the fine print.

  127. friedduck says:

    Are people taking crazy pills? It doesn’t matter what term they used to describe it, his account never had a negative balance, and he’s entitled to a full refund.

    Some deposits (out of state checks) may not clear immediately, and funds may not be available for withdrawal but that doesn’t sound like the case here.

    Call the local consumer reporter, or maybe a gov’t consumer affairs department. That’s just nuts.

  128. Nighthawke says:

    I think there’s a loophole here somewhere that they are exploiting. From what I understand there are undocumented holds that do not show up in the registry when they are issued. Same goes for CC or debit card records. I believe that we need to DEMAND a full accountability, meaning ALL the transactions, the temporary ones and their redacts, show up in the records.

    I’d be calling my bank and see if that is possible, if not, WHY.

  129. gina227 says:

    I just had the same exact thing happen to me with Citizens Bank this morning. I recieved 2 overdraft fees (total=$78) when my account never went negative. And now I will get more fees based on what I’ve spent this weekend, not knowing that they had hit me with the fees I never should have gotten. I called the bank, frantic, and they agreed that they would try to refund the 2 fees, but their system is “down” so it can’t be done until tomorrow. They usually will refund 2 overdraft fees as a courtesy if you haven’t had any waived in a certain amount of time, so that should take care of those 2. But since they won’t do it until tomrrow, I’m going to rack up a bunch more and then they will tell me that they’ve already done 2 so they can’t do anymore. Crooks, much? I live on Social Security and can’t afford to lose any money, much less hundreds of dollars on this stupidity. Unfortunately, the fact that I don’t have a huge account with them makes them much less likely to try to make me happy. I’d launch an EECB if I could find the corporate exec e-mail addresses, but so far I’ve had no luck.

  130. rpm773 says:

    Use cash or a real credit card. By the looks of your statement, you don’t have enough in your account to play debit card roulette with B of A.

  131. Umisaurus says:

    I actually had the same thing happen, but went to my branch manager with a cool head and he refunded the overdraft fees. He probably had some pending transactions that pulled out before it showed up on the online statement. When you’re living check-to-check, you need to keep your own ledger and not push your luck like this.

    I think I may be the only Consumerist reader that has had excellent luck and service with Bank of America.

  132. BAF says:

    @dakker: My local bank doesn’t do such scam practices. My bank will decline/approve debit card transactions based on what’s pending at the beginning of the day (the system that handles the Visa network with the debit cards is only updated once a day), however they don’t charge fees based on that. Maybe they are the exception to the rule, but I had a few transactions through my debit card that hit at the same time as a check, leaving me with a negative available balance. The debits that pushed me into the negative were still pending though, so I went to the bank and made a cash deposit, and all was fine. They don’t start charging fees until the debit that pushed you negative moves from pending to finalized.

  133. BAF says:

    @Yurei: You CAN do chargebacks with a debit card, if your bank is worth anything and you use the card as CREDIT. When you use the card as credit, it’s still going through the same credit card/merchant network that makes chargebacks work. Actually, you should be able to chargeback ATM/Debit use too, but that’s more paperwork and hassle than if you use it as credit.

  134. joellevand says:

    I had this happen to me with BoA back in 2001, and ended up paying the bastards $200 in fees because of this sort of B.S.

    I’m with a different bank now and couldn’t be happier.

  135. joellevand says:

    @chrisbacke: I’m not rich, but I keep $1000 minimum in my bank account at all times as an emergency fund. In fact, most financial planners, finance books, and others who are much wiser than me recommend keeping that as a minimum, in case of lay offs, unexpected events, etc.

  136. johnny121 says:

    Banks intentionally present charges in a batch and INTENTIONALLY submit the largest charges first. This has the friendly side-effect of raising their profits by hitting you with the maximum number of non-sufficient-funds charges possible. Example: If you have $1000 in the bank and write 3 checks for $900, $300 and $200. They [could] pay out the $200 & $300, and bounce the $900…hitting you with 1 NSF charge. NO! They pay out the $900 first, then bounce the lower amount checks- hitting you with >2< NSF fees. I’m betting the same holds true of etherial “hold” amounts. Nice. Huh?

  137. coren says:

    @akede2001: Then, at most, they could have gotten him for two overdraft fees, and those only based on pending charges.

  138. coold8 says:

    After getting burned time and time again on overdraft fees, I have made a worry-free decision. I got an amex CHARGE card, which I pay in full at the end of the money (sometimes earlier if I start to feel uncomfortable with a growing balance). Now, nothing goes through my checking account except for one payment. The only time I get a fee is if I pay late, which I never do, so, I end up on top, and make free checking, FREE checking.

  139. lauy says:

    1. BofA always posts credits before debits (of any kind). This is evidenced by the OPs own image; his transfer of $420 posted on the 28th before the debits.

    2. BofA, as most financial institutions in the US, posts debits in largest to smallest order, except in Nevada (where it is a state law to post smallest to largest I believe).

    Not advocating BofA over any bank; however, banks are for profit, so they are going to maximize profits anyway they can, just as any other business that is trying to make a profit would.

  140. SayAhh says:

    Either BofA were right or wrong. Refunding half of the fees means that they admitted wrongdoing. SUE THEM in small-claims court.

    That said, why did reader Jason charge so much in two days? Doesn’t he read The Consumerist? If he did, he’d know that charges ALWAYS get deducted before payments/deposits get added, so BEFORE you ever swipe your card or write new checks again:

    1) make sure your deposit had cleared (this means ABSOLUTELY NO ATM DEPOSIT as it might take a week or more to clear)

    2) wait two days so you won’t have to put up with any b***shit they throw your way.

  141. mitchelwb says:

    I’m not a mathmetician. And I’m not a banker. And I’m not a BoA customer (I’ve been BoA free for 9 years)

    But it appears as though the formulas I’m seeing other people guess at are missing something. The element of time. The OP states he started the weekend with $68.39 and made 3 weekend purchases totaling $40.78. These should have processed Monday BEFORE he transferred the $420. Then on Monday, transferred the $420, so that should be taken care of on Tuesday BEFORE he then proceeded to spend money on Weds. Or did I miss something else?

    Either way, if it were me, I’d get back on the phone. I’d get someone who says they understand what happened. I would tell them that I don’t understand what happened. And that I don’t want to let it happen again, ask them politely to go over each transaction with you. Reconstruct the WHOLE timeline. Charm the socks off the CSR so they’ll stay on the phone with you as long as it takes. One of two things will happen. Either you’ll understand exactly what it is that caused the problem and should you decide to remain with BoA, you will know what pitfall to be wary of. (and please, if so, share that here!) or you’ll be able to use their own logic to prove them wrong. I suppose a third possibility would be that if you can get a CSR to walk through the entire timeline with you and tell you that yes, that is what happened with your acct, then that is what you take to the Atty General. Hopefully, the AG will be able to help at that point.

  142. RvLeshrac says:

    Bank of America’s official policy is that credits post before debits.

    They also do not place held deposits in “Pending” status, they simply do not appear on the account at all until they are fully processed – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “pending” deposit on my account, actually, despite having had plenty of paychecks held for a week.

    Further, federal banking laws require that the account holder be notified of any deposit holds immediately – if there is a delay in notification, any pending debits prior to the date of notification must be applied to the full balance of the account including the delayed deposit.

  143. thrlsekr says:

    STOP using Debit Cards and all of these fees would no longer be an issue!

    Banks and retailers love Debit Cards because you DO NOT have the protection that Credit Cards offer. And try doing a charge back on a Debit Card, what a joke.

  144. blackmage439 says:

    This is why we need to do away with “Express/pending” balances. As a rule, I now use them for planning ONLY. We do not have the whole story here. The most important issue here is, when exactly did the transfer complete?

    Just because the entity known as BoA knows that you will have $400 incoming into that account, does not mean that money will actually be deposited before your other transactions “hit”. This happened to me recently. I had plenty of money coming in from an ONLINE transfer, the very day transactions would have put me into the negative. What happened? The charges in fact did hit the account before my transfer completed. Luckily, I have overdraft prevention on my checking, so I was only docked $5 for a negative balance. Still, I learned my lesson.

    I’ll repeat: use your express balance as a planner ONLY. As Ben and the other Consumerist editors have said, you do not have money in an account until the “system” says you do!

  145. bigkirb76 says:

    I know someone who works for Bank of America and they told me about this last week. It’s a new policy BOA put in to say if you did not have the money in your account when the transactions took place, you will be charged an overdraft fee even if the transactions are still pending. It doesn’t matter if you deposit money into your account before they actually take the money out of your account for the pending transactions. This is a horrible practice and is exactly why my primary bank accounts are at a Credit Union.

  146. This guy’s wife is a finance major and they still do business with BoA? Proof the educational system in this country is going to hell.

  147. FrankenPC says:

    My favorite BofA story is this: I went online and transfered a few thousand from my savings acct to my checking. a week later 5 checks bounced. I checked and the electronic transfer never occured. Also, there was no record of me placing the transfer request.

    I was out 100$ because of their online glitch. Word of caution…print out a screenshot when doing transfers.

  148. I worked for Wachovia as a phone rep, and this is the hardest thing to explain to a customer. SOMEthing over the weekend, that may have not posted yet, caused a hold. Lets say he got gas that didn’t post until…Tuesday. The money is still ‘held’ because technically it has been ‘spent’.

    I know this because not only did I work there, but I have gotten fees both at Wachovia and BOA before from it. He just isn’t letting on that he made some purchase over the weekend that tied up his funds. Likely culprits are gas purchases.

    Yes, it is somewhat bullshit, but it is how banks make their money. Haven’t you seen the news lately? like 90% of their revenue is from fees, and this is how they do it. Technically he overspent. They use that and charge fees on the items posting on Monday, posting highest amount to lowest, so they can get 5 fees on small items rather than one on a large item. It is true tellers don’t understand this, because they always just call customer service and give the customer the phone instead of trying to figure out what happened.

  149. And if you want an expose tell-all on how the phone reps work at major banks, I’m your guy. That was the most evil job I have ever had, where you were forced to lie or lose your job. Eff that.

  150. Uberdude328i says:

    My disclaimer: I’m a Bank of America customer and I haven’t had any problems (I’ll probably be posting my own BoA story in a few minutes now that I’ve said that).

    My comment: Judging by the poor grammar and multitude of misspelled words, I can’t help but think there is something going on here that the consumer in question isn’t divulging. Not that they are hiding something, but that the key piece of information that makes this whole thing make sense is being dismissed as trivial and not communicated to us, the readers.

  151. Uberdude328i says:

    @wiretapstudios: For some strange reason I understand that. But why then don’t they, and I’m quoting my college physics professor here, “show their work.” The confusion comes from lines of bank statements disappearing. Why do they disappear?

  152. dlbritton says:

    My local credit union tried to pull a good one on my wife. We have an account that requires a minimum of $1500 in checking+savings+money market combined to avoid monthly fees. We get a fairly good interest rate on the money market with that minimum

    We had $2100 in checking and money market combined. Our checking account had dipped close to a balance of $100, so she went online to the credit unions web site and transferred $1000 from our money market to checking leaving around $1000 in the money market and bumping the checking balance to $1100.

    At the end of the month our statement showed a monthly service charge for dropping below $1500. When my wife asked the credit union how that occurred the explanation was that the system calculates the total balance after each transaction. Apparently the transfer was seen as 2 transactions, the first transferring money out, dropping us to a total of $1100, thus triggering the fee, then the transfer into checking raising the combined balance back to $2100.

    At first the CSR was unwilling to remove the service fee because they had already forgiven a fee the previous month for something that was their mistake as well. After pressing the CSR on how moving money from one account to another account inside the credit union could cause the overall balance to fall below $1500 my wife did get the fee waived, but with a distinct attitude from the CSR that we were trying to pull one over on them.

    We have since moved to a different credit union.

  153. jimconsumer says:

    Sue them in small claims court. I’m serious. Their bullshit babble and twisted logic will not go over well with the judge. If more people stepped up and used the force of law to stop these assholes from stealing, yes stealing, your money, they might stop doing it.

  154. bankof_fees says:

    test

  155. bankof_fees says:

    Call Tyson Price in the Executive Office. His number is 480-225-1310

  156. TheConsumer says:

    @mobilehavoc: I am sorry that not all of us have brown sacks with the big green $ sitting on our countertops, and stowed in our cabinets.

    Give this guy a break, at least he had the money to deposit over 400 bucks in the account.

    HAH and charging to a credit card is _so_ déclassé. :D

    I love people.

    Why is this funny? I can’t get over why someone like mobilehavoc would even be on this type of website.

    Better Dead Than In The RED.

  157. Tarpo says:

    This is the exact same thing that happened to me with Charter One.. What was worse is that authorizations online took DAYS to show up sometimes and would frequently be incorrect or go away and come back.. It was war to get anything refunded and I have never been happier to leave a bank

  158. lordargent says:

    For anyone still reading, I take back my previous comment.

    For the first time in 24 years, a BS fee showed up on one of my BofA accounts (too many withdrawals in a month from a savings account, where “too many” is a number greater than 3).

    /guess it was bound to happen

  159. dirtcheap says:

    I own stock in BAC I wish they would of used this practice long ago, maybe the stock would be more stable. This is a capitolist country & every one is okay with it until they get capitolized on. Every one made themselve volnerable to banks & credit unions. In this society they are necessary. SO don’t blame the banks for capitalizing if you had the chance to make money off others misfortunes you would do it too. Everything is fair until it happens to you. Go Bank of America & Chevron give consumers what they deserve.

  160. arl84 says:

    This guy needs to read his june statement, there was a notification sent out about how they’re changing it. Basically it’s a way to stick it to the customer and make more money in fees, but as long as you keep track of how much money you have, don’t overspend, and don’t try to pull anything funny with the bank, you can still avoid fees.

    Either way, they still should have refunded more of these fees, and made sure he was educated for next time.

  161. goldenmonkey says:

    This is my fault I know, but I think it illustrates how banks purposefully “stick it” to those of us living paycheck to paycheck. I too used to just look at the balance of my checking account online, if it said there was money I’d spend it if I felt like it. One day the bank took my rent check first, then my car payment, then several small transactions from places like Walgreens and Target. These were very small purchases. Many not even reaching $5. The thing that caused me trouble was they did not take the money out of my account in chronological order. The small purchases all happened before the big monthly payments like rent. The car payment also was made before the rent. The rent being the last transaction I made and the *FIRST* thing the bank took from my account. So basically after the car payment and the rent I had a very low balance. THEN THEY STARTED TAKING THE LITTLE THINGS. I ended up with 4 overdraft fees. If they’d at least have done things in order I would have had 1 fee if any as I was about to get my paycheck. Me and my husband went to the bank and were basically threatened with being arrested for check fraud when we pointed out how they’d obviously purposefully screwed us. I think it was still BankOne then, which is now Chase. I hate banks.

  162. goldenmonkey says:

    @dirtcheap: You’re a moron.

  163. TancredoNumskis says:

    Let me do some explaining.
    the three purchases were done BEFORE the transfer.
    So technically you ran out of money and the bank “paid” for your purchases
    upfront.
    Then you later in the same day online transferred the 420 into your checking
    account.
    What you forgot to show us is the time stamp in which you made the transfer
    which would explain your three ODFs.
    Regarding the Pending charges.. Since the two purchases were completed on
    the 28th, the BoA computer will automatically place a fee if you go below
    your spending limit. BUT. if you make a deposit before the end of the day..
    the fees will be removed. YOu have before the end of that business day. So
    how about you show us your statement that is current and a time stamp of
    your transfer?..

    response to:
    Bank Of America: Let’s Charge Three Overdraft Fees To The Account Flush With
    Cash!

  164. EsmereldaThersites says:

    If you think Bank of America’s bad, then don’t go to BankAtlantic………my son operates a business in Florida and makes deposits every week. The deposits are local checks and he uses a debit card. When he opened the account he wasn’t told that a 2-day hold would be placed on every deposit he made and from June, 2007 – July, 2007 he lost $1,300 in bank fees because of the hold on operating funds.

    They never told him the branch manager had the option of tagging the account for “next day” deposits and so we continued to battle the account and the fees for another 2 months until a call was made pleading with them to do something to help with this business account. At that point we were told that the account could be tagged to accept “next day” deposits and that was August, 2007. Because of the nature of the business, payments come in erratically, meanwhile new jobs are being completed for which we must operate off of the existing funds in the account. We lost over $4,000 last year because of the 2-day hold issue. Also, the bank “stacks” the incoming debits from the account so that they make the most overdraft fees possible. I have print offs of the account to prove it.

    I’d be interested in finding other individuals or businesses this has happened to. I’d like to explore a “class action” lawsuit against BankAtlantic. Unless you’re independently wealthy, or have alot of money floating in your account, be prepared to pay outrageous bank fees.

  165. cooked77 says:

    I had this happen to me as well. I had $380 charged in overdraft fees for an account that never went negative. After arguing my way up the food chain, including email addresses from this site, I was contacted by Martha Dominguez with Executive Customer Relations @ 714-792-4264. She was very helpful, even though she reiterated the same inane policy; but she did refund my charges in full.

  166. mbernal131 says:

    I was googling around about overdraft fees, and I couldn’t believe how similar your article was to my situation. I’m not sure that this type of practice is legal, but I know I intend to find out and pursue the full extent of the law should my bank not help me.

    Here’s what happened with me.

    I bank with Wachovia. I had a balance of $31 and I made two purchases, one for about $26 and one for about $9. I thought I had $40 and didn’t realize till a few hours after the purchases that it was too late. Figuring I would just eat my $35 overdraft fee, I waited for payday to take care of the fee. Today however, I decided to check my balance to find that I had a negative balance of $144.

    When I reviewed my statement, I saw two overdraft fees for $70 a piece (since the OD fee is $35, that would indicate 4 different overdraft fees). I was confused and that’s when I saw the horror of the situation. After having a balance of $31 and making two purchases for $26 and $9, I see that before my two transactions posted to my account, I was charged an overdraft fee for each purchase BEFORE it posted. Since I was charged $70 before the fees posted, that meant I didn’t have enough money to cover either transaction, so after the transactions posted, they charged me two more overdraft fees for an additional $70. That means that before the end of business day and before the fees even posted, I was charged overdraft fees for both transactions!

    I called up Wachovia’s CSR department and as usual they cut me off, and transfer me to a different department. This time though, they transfer me to a department that isn’t even open. . .

    When i get to an actual rep, I explain the situation, and advise them I acknowledge $35 of the $140 they are charging me, but I would like to know how/why I was charged 4 different overdraft fees for two purchases. The CSR clearly has no idea what’s going on as they constantly place me on hold when I tell them my story, and they constantly cut me off just to say “umm. . . . .”. When all is said and done, they advise me that even though I had a balance of $31 and made two transactions for under that amount, they charged me 2 overdraft fees for the purchases while they were on hold (and before they posted) and once they posted they charged me 2 additional fees. I tried to ask her why in the world I would be charged for overdraft fees that haven’t even posted by the end of business day, she just kept saying they were on “hold”. I then tried to explain to her that if I was not charged the first batch of random overdraft fees BEFORE they tried to debit my purchases, I would have only overdrafted by $4 for one purchase, thus I should only be charged $35 in fees. They lady pretty much ignored everything I said and just kept re-iterating that I was charged for fees before my transactions posted, and after they posted.

    I plan to call the specialist department (the one that they first transferred me too but was closed) on Monday, but should I get no results I will stop by my branch office.

  167. Anonymous says:

    They BOA has a team of programmers that have written the program to screw people. It’s more than likely the biggest source of revenue for them. USA banks of which BOA is the largest brought in $58 billion in overdraft fees. Wells Fargo is #2 in the game. The Banking commitee in congress knows all about this Rackett, they however get donations to his/her campaigns so they just turn the other cheek. Sucks but until they outlaw lobbying / bribes of members congress it will be the banks that win.

    Good Day

    charlie

  168. Anonymous says:

    I have had the same thing happen to me. I talked with my local branch and could not figure out what was going on so I filed a complaint with the better buisness bureau. I recieved an email that said there was no banking error but they would refund all my overdraft fees. This was nice but does not prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

  169. Robert Kavanaugh says:

    Anyone who is even considering opening or retaining a demand deposit account with Bank of America should first go watch “Mars Attacks,” especially the part when the martians say, “We come in peace, we come in peace,” and then blow up Congress, twice. Get the picture. Anyone still banking with those thieves deserves to lose their money. RUN DON’T WALK to another bank.

  170. Anonymous says:

    I have written CEO Ken Lewis about $3500 in NSF fees accrued this summer while unemployed and EFT’s were coming through just before unemployment began. I also filed two complaints with Michigan Attorney General’s office. Of course, no reply from either. But since my tax money was used to keep them afloat, I want my damn $3000 back now more than ever.

  171. Katie Benshoof says:

    BofA keeps doing the same thing to me. They probably have over $500 of my money. I am very close to just switching to another bank because none of their explainations make sense. One of the problems I find is the way your transactions post. I had four small transactions pending with $30 left over. And I would have had more than that but I accidentally sent money to my credit card and couldn’t get it back. Well those 4 transactions should have posted on Friday, but instead, they waited until Monday when my Internet Bill was to be posted. Well they put the most expensive transactions first. So they charged me $140 because those 4 transactions were smaller and were in negative.