No, You Should Not Launch An E.E.C.B. Against Your Own Employer

Do not launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb against your own company or it will explode in your face. Reader E discovered this the hard way when he tried to use an E.E.C.B. to convince the bank where he worked to reverse $300 worth of overdraft fees.

E. writes:

I’ve been an avid reader of this site for several months now and I find a lot of the advice helpful, or at least interesting. But I do have a word of warning regarding the EECB practice.

I work for a major, national bank with whom I also have my accounts. During the month of February I had an incident occur where I incurred multiple overdraft fees totaling almost $300 due to the policy of clearing items from largest to smallest. I tried to resolve the issue through the main customer service line, but got little help. I was extremely frustrated and decided to take my next move out of the Consumerist playbook and launch an EECB to several of the higher ups to try to get some money refunded.

Well, about a week later I have the district president call me into my manager’s office who sits me down and tells me that what I did was inappropriate and put me in a negative light with the company. I was mortified. The president continues to tell me that I breached the code of ethics of the company and should have gone to my manager first (neither of which I was aware of).

EECBs can be a great technique for a regular consumer, but if that person happens to be an employee as well as a customer, it can get him/her in hot water.

(I won’t name the bank, because it will likely get me in even more trouble; I just wanted to put the warning out there)

If you have an issue with your employer, take advantage of your insider status and escalate your complaint properly through normal channels.

Comments

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  1. Blaaaah says:

    Wow…I thought that was common sense?

    • ojzitro says:

      @Blaaaah: Yeah, This is very Dwight Schrute-y.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @Blaaaah: Depends on where you work…our company, Continental, and many others have a “flat” hierarchy, where it’s perfectly acceptable for anyone to talk to anyone. I believe Best Buy has a limited version of this as well..

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @ComcastRedwoodFlyer: definitely common sense, or so i thought…
        EECBs are supposed to be a last-ditch effort.
        seeing as he worked for the company (bank of America, most likely), he has a few more channels that normal consumers don’t have. first off, “premier clients” at BofA have a special customer service line (1.800.294.7999). there is probably another special line for employees, which he could find by searching the intranet. if both of those fail, he could have talked to his manager, or at least said “hey, boss, this is bullshit. i’m going to send an email about this”
        also, i don’t think i would have sent the EECB from my company email- not sure that this guy did, but the company email address throws up red flags to anyone reading it, but it wouldn’t be immediately obvious he was an employee if he used a personal email account.

        (if this actually isn’t BofA, the same things still apply)

        • deep.thought says:

          @Gstein: I’m surprised no one else has mentioned it, but beyond the whole employee thing it seems trigger happy to jump straight to EECB from a bit of poor customer service.

          • jeffbone says:

            @deep.thought: Good point. Going to the EECB without exhausting, or at least trying, the standard avenues of resolution dilutes the ultimate value of the EECB.

            Put another way, as one of my sysadmins used to say: “When everything’s priority one, nothing’s priority one!”

    • ngoandy says:

      @Blaaaah: I’m surprised he is still employed. I’d imagine you could lose your job pulling a stunt like that.

      • KCChiefsFan says:

        @ngoandy:

        I’d have to agree. First of all, you should never do personal business with your company. Secondly, if you are a peon, where do you get off e-mailing executives? They are your bosses! If you are simply a customer, then it’s in your rights, but if you are an employee it is a horrible idea. For a 300 dollar charge, this person probably has a gigantic HR file about how he/she is disrespectful of authority, and of the chain of command. This could very well keep promotions from ever reaching him/her, all over 300 dollars. I’m surprised the direct manager didn’t fire this person for going over their head and making them look like an idiot.

        I understand the anger at overdraft fees, but an EECB to your own company? Wow.

        Use common sense guys. If you want to keep your jobs, mass e-mailing executives is not the way to go.

  2. SGAC says:

    It sounds like the bank was BoA. Isn’t there a lawsuit going on about that regarding that policy?

    • lauy says:

      @SGAC: Agreed. Sounds just like BofA talk.

      /former BofA employee

      • Stile4aly says:

        @Kishi:

        First off, Wombatish, BofA posts credits before debits, so the situation you describe wouldn’t occur at BofA.

        Next, Kishi, if it’s someone else’s screw up (like a double posting) then you are not responsible for those overdraft fees. What you need to do is file a claim and the od fees will be returned as part of the claims process. Double postings are incredibly simple to resolve, though some issues may be more complicated. If you’re dealing with an ACH payment or an ATM transaction, or debit card item then you’ll get a temp credit no later than 10 business days, and most of the time within 24 – 48 hours.

    • ScottRose says:

      @SGAC:

      Regardless, there should be a lawsuit against this type of thing. I have a strong disagree with the last line in this post:

      If you have an issue with your employer, take advantage of your insider status and escalate your complaint properly through normal channels.

      While I agree the above is usually true, in this case the complainant was not writing an EECB in the capacity of an employee, but rather in the capacity of a customer. His use of the bank’s services for his personal finances should have no reflection on his status and standing as an employee, be it positive or negative. (I’d be just as appalled if he got a commendation at work for opening a checking account for himself).

      If this were an issue with a business-related travel reimbursement or some such, I would be on the side of the bank here.

      But for god’s sake, he was a customer.

      • ScottRose says:

        To continue my rant…

        This is a privacy issue as well. I wouldn’t want my manager or anyone I work with directly to know a damn thing about my personal finances (other than how much I get paid, in the case of my manager).

        Not only should the employee have a right to resolve this by going around/over their manager, but the company should have protected the employee and never disclosed the complaint (and requisite reasons/background for the complaint) to the manager.

    • Calviin says:

      @SGAC: This is why we can’t have nice things. It sounds like the guy didn’t even TRY normal channels before dropping right into an EECB. Part of the beauty of an EECB is that the executives aren’t getting 60 of these a day for menial issues. If that happens, they consider changing their email address and then the EECB becomes less effective for that company. I hate it when stupid mess it up for the rest of us. They always do that. Bah!

  3. Emperor_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Yeah, I agree that going over your bosses heads to the execs is NEVER a good idea. It makes your superiors seem incompetent.

  4. Matt Redacted says:

    First of all, at least be aware of the code of ethics of your own employer. Chances are when you accepted employment, you signed a document that stated that you have read and understood said code.

    Beyond that, I’ve got nothin’. This was just a huge lack of common sense.

    • the_gank says:

      @Matt Redacted: Regarding the code of ethics, have you any slightest idea what those documents look like? If you work for a large corporation, like I do, you’ll have an idea.

      Reading and signing “codes of ethics” and “etc” is like studying for essay or critical reading exam ….at least in my own opinion.

      • ngoandy says:

        @the_gank:

        If by studying, you mean blindly winging it and never looking at the document.

      • Matt Redacted says:

        @the_gank: Yes…yes I do. You may not believe me, but you’re not the only one working for a large corporate entity.

        Call it what you want…code of ethics, code of conduct…but if you sign your name to a document that says “I have read and understand blah blah blah” you’d better be damn sure you do. Otherwise, you really don’t have a leg to stand on.

      • feckingmorons says:

        @the_gank: If one does not take the time to read, understand and follow the code of ethics perhaps they should find work where there is no such code. Perhaps the mob is hiring.

        Where I work there is a code of ethics, and I am subject to fedaral and state laws as well as SEC independence rules.

        People not following ethics codes are what has caused the great downturn in our economy.

        Additionally I am surprised that a bank would continue to employ someone who runs up overdrafts to the tune of three hundred dollars. I worked in a bank, Florida Federal Savings and Loan, in the student loans department. They only hired people with good credit, and they directly deposited our pay into our accounts there. The employees dealt with others’ financial records and could wipe out a loan balance with the stroke of a few keys. They wanted credit worthy employees who would not be tempted to fiddle with the books.

        Unfortunately they did not find those employees and high level management was pressuring mid level management to falsify loan documentation when they claimed loans with the government. They did not have a significant number of original documents, but falsified statments to the loan guarantors that they did. I resigned, my manager and department director were indicted and imprisoned.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          @feckingmorons:

          “Additionally I am surprised that a bank would continue to employ someone who runs up overdrafts to the tune of three hundred dollars.”

          Why not employ him? He is paying his own salary.

          It also show that if employees fall prey to Bank of America’s diabolical schemes, then what chance do we have?

        • worksanddays says:

          @feckingmorons: Actually, the Mob has quite a code of ethics. Haven’t you seen the Sopranos?

          Just kidding. Kind of.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          My company’s code of ethics/code of conduct is “If it seems wrong, it is wrong.”

          I don’t understand why some companies have a “code of ethics” that runs for a hundred pages. A paragraph or two that covers specific internal policies should suffice. Apart from that, I don’t know why you need ten pages on “when it is inappropriate to steal.”

          • SynMonger says:

            @RvLeshrac: Banks can’t use that sort of logic. Running through debits from the same day largest to smallest maximizes fees. Seems wrong to me, but they do it.

    • XeniaGaze says:

      @Matt Redacted:
      I’ve read code of conducts documents for various companies and, although I am not a lawyer, I’d be hard pressed to believe that the code of conduct states you have waived your rights as a consumer. Was it a good idea? No, but probably did not violate the code of conduct. I think your manager is trying to scare you with that trash-talk.

      • Matt Redacted says:

        @XeniaGaze: That’s a fair point. I don’t think one should waive one’s rights as a consumer simply due to working for the company.

        One question that I would ask is, how did the OP get the contact information for the executives? Did E. get this information ‘the Consumerist way’, or did his access from within the company allow him to use contact information not intended or available for public consumption?

        Gstein made some great points above. As an employee, E. probably had more options to try than jumping from regular customer service right to the EECB. Yes, he’s a customer…but also an employee. This warrants kids gloves, in my opinion.

        Talking to his manager would have been a great next step. Lesson learned…and I truly hope this doesn’t negatively affect his job too much.

        • failurate says:

          @Matt Redacted: On top of all this, do you really want to go to your boss and explain that you were kiting checks and that you ended up getting screwed by the system that is designed to screw people who kite checks?

          I can’t imagine anyone being this lacking in common sense. At the bare minimum he should have handled this issue as quietly as possible, instead of shouting it from the mountain tops for all his levels of bosses to hear.

          • Matt Redacted says:

            @failurate: Where does it say he was kiting checks? It looks to me like he got pinched by the clearing policy and his lack of ability to balance his checkbook.

            • failurate says:

              @Matt Redacted: I should have used softer language. When you write a check or make a charge that you know you don’t have sufficient funds for… that’s kiting. Just because the banks have created friendlier language in order to charge you fees, doesn’t make rubber check writing any better.

              • Matt Redacted says:

                @failurate: No, your language was fine. I’m familiar with the term. I guess I just want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he fell on a hard stretch and this was the only option he saw. Then again, maybe he does this all the time.
                We don’t know the whole story. I wasn’t ready to crucify him as a kiter…just a guy lacking in common sense and good judgment.

              • SynMonger says:

                @failurate: The overdraft fees can come into play easily without “kiting checks”. When banks run through debits from largest to smallest, and process credits last, what you thought would have left you with several hundred dollars on payday can end up with you owing the bank and going hungry for two weeks.

  5. Julia789 says:

    Many large companies have a policy, in their employee guidelines or handbook, which states matters have to be escalated in the appropriate fashion starting at the local level.

    The only time you can “skip a level” is an ethics or harassment complaint that is involving the local manager/HR or being ignored by the local manager/HR, in which case you skip to the next level to reach a neutral party. But never straight to the top. The proper order is usually:

    - Local Manager/HR
    – Regional Manager/HR
    – East Coast/West Coast Manager/HR
    – National Manager/HR

  6. tankertodd says:

    Also in the news: first pants THEN shoes.

    I work for a big bank too and I had an issue with an ATM that took my check and shut down. I did a little research and was able to find the group that could help me out – the folks who run that business were extremely responsive and helpful. That is perhaps better than the EECB. You find the people who run that business but aren’t the trained CSRs. If you work there they will bend backwards to help you. Use the admin assistant network too – the good ones know how to get things done.

    This person could have a great resolution but it turned out quite the opposite to the point where it sounds like it was career-limiting move. Doubt it was worth $300.

    • Blaaaah says:

      @tankertodd: That first bit made me choke on my ginger ale.

    • ngoandy says:

      @tankertodd:

      Yeah, I’ve done that too.

      I was having a problem with a website. I checked the career section and figured out where the Network Operations Center was. Then I called that office and was patched to the NOC. I asked my question, got my answer, and then was on my way.

      • aja175 says:

        @NightSteel:
        I work for a major global bank. My account is flagged as an employee.
        I’m not sure the CEO would take too kindly to me sending an EECB. In fact I’m pretty sure I’d get a nastygram.

    • The Cheat says:

      @tankertodd:

      I work for a large newspaper company and despite having a reasonably good company directory, it is absolutely impossible to find who can help you in what department unless you ask someone who already knows. I had to take a guess and email someone who I THINK handles the rights to public folders because I needed to get access granted for another employee.

      With that said, it is much easier to just ask your manager, that’s why someone is directly over you – their responsibility is to deal with shit above your head.

  7. chipslave says:

    Wow… just wow.

  8. nucwin83 says:

    Easy solution:

    Don’t attempt to float checks. If it’s not in your posted balance, don’t spend it.

    I really have no sympathy for this type of irresponsible behavior.

    • Amelie says:

      @nucwin83:
      Yeah, like people really are looking for your sympathy. Considering you don’t know the details of the situation, your charge of irresponsibility is the typical troll behavior that this site has been plagued with.

    • Wombatish says:

      @nucwin83: My posted balance is $500 dollars. I write a check for $500. I then write a check for $100 dollars and make a deposit of $100 all within an hour (deposit first, then check).

      Normal clear order would be:

      $500 check
      $100 deposit
      $100 check

      especially taking into account the usual day or two it takes for checks to actually get cashed/deposited and clear/post.

      But some banks, BofA and a lot of very small banks that escape media attention (I had this particular issue in the example at a small town Credit Union) like to play with things. Their clear order:

      $500 check
      $100 check
      $35 overdraft fee
      $100 deposit

      Even if there was some “issue” with the deposit that made it take longer, it should have been post-dated back to the day it was made, and reverse the OD Fee. But often, they won’t actually do that unless you call and complain.

      Should I be writing checks for so close to my balance, and counting on deposits and checks done on the same day? Probably not. But it is my right. Never once would I have written a check for more than what my account balance should have been.

      This is not always the case with suspicious Clearing Order stories… many people legitimately generated -some- OD fees… but often, the bank could double or triple those fees by playing with the order of the ‘clear’.

      • Kishi says:

        @Wombatish: Or, even: Have a balance of $500, make a payment of $350, make four smaller payments that add up to about $50, and realize when you check your account that your payment of $350 got double posted, so you’re hit with five overdraft fees due to someone else’s screw up.

        There are plenty of ways that someone can be hit with an undeserved overdraft fee, do we really need to assume that it was an issue of personal irresponsibility?

    • DeloresPompeii says:

      @nucwin83:
      What’s considered an attempt to “float checks”. I get direct deposit added to my account at 1:15 AM +/- 15 minutes on Fridays. My online statement Friday AM will show my available balance as Thursday’s balance + direct deposit amount. BUT if I spend more than Thursday’s balance any time Friday I get hit with over charge. Does that count as trying to “float checks”? One of the advantages of using a credit card for most purchases is to avoid sneaky bank “processing” issues that are specifically designed to generate overdraft situations.

      • Stile4aly says:

        @DeloresPompeii:

        Yes, that is considered trying to float a check. The balance isn’t there on Thursday during processing. It’s considered part of Friday’s business, and the bank has no idea it’s going to be deposited. For all they know you were laid off 2 weeks ago and you’ve already received your final check.

      • samurailynn says:

        @DeloresPompeii: No, it’s considered floating a check when you take a check to the bank and then try to spend money from that check before it has cleared. With direct deposit, the bank “knows” that the money is good and is actually in your account. When depositing a check, they have to go through a process to get the money from another bank and from another person’s account. It’s possible that that person/company wrote a bad check and that they don’t have the money to cover it, which then means you don’t get the money in your account. Because of that, the bank asks that you not spend money from a check deposit until it has cleared your account.

        Before digital processing of checks, you could deposit a check, then go out and write checks knowing that it would take a day or two for those checks you wrote to get back to your account. Now a lot of companies digitally process the checks, so they verify funds from your bank electronically, which means the bank already considers that money gone from your account. I am pretty sure that banks batch the deposits received together so that they send out their requests for money from other banks only once a day rather than constantly throughout the day. This means that the money isn’t going to clear your account the moment you deposit the check, but more likely the day after you deposit.

        It might seem like an elaborate process to deceive the customer and generate overdraft fees, but it probably has more to do with simplicity in processing. If you need money from a check deposit immediately, go to the bank that the check is drawn on and cash the check. Most banks will not charge a fee for cashing checks drawn on their own accounts, and they have the ability to check and make sure that the funds are available. Then when you have cash, you can spend it as you wish without fear of overdraft fees.

    • DoubleEcho says:

      @nucwin83: Or, how about you make a mortgage payment from your bank’s Web Bill Pay feature, and they take the money out 3 DAYS before the payment is supposed to be applied, and you set it to be paid on your regular paycheck direct deposit date? And then, when you notice the account is negative only about $20, you take money from your savings into your checking, and then 3-4 transcations come through and apply themselves, somehow, BEFORE you transferred the money, yet occured after?

      Yes, this was seen as my fault. Apparently everyone should have about $1000 extra in checking to cover a mortgage payment, 4 small payments and 4 overdrafts. My next mattress will be extra tall and wide to fit vacuum sealed dollars in.

  9. NightSteel says:

    Personally, I think this would depend on the company and the information the OP included in their EECB. I *might* risk something like that if I worked for a huge corporation, and the people I carpet-bombed most likely wouldn’t know that I was employee unless I told them. And I certainly would not tell them. Of course, it’s entirely possible that a bank would flag employee accounts somehow, making the whole exercise pointless.

    However, I do have to agree that following the chain of command was the first thing the OP should have done. I’ve never worked in a bank and don’t know how likely it would’ve been to work, but it’s always a good starting place.

    Too bad you couldn’t just reverse the fees yourself…

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      @NightSteel: “Too bad you couldn’t just reverse the fees yourself…”

      I think that’s probably even more highly frowned upon.

      Didn’t this guy ever hear the old saying “Don’t shit where you eat.”?

    • realserendipity says:

      @NightSteel:
      I dont know about other financial companies but in mine employee accounts are marked and worked on by a specific unit to protect privacy. We also signed an agreement though about expectations for our accounts and how overdrafts and other financial mishaps are not acceptable.

    • deadspork says:

      @NightSteel: I work for a bank and the other bankers always know my account is an employee’s account, though we work in different departments.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        @deadspork: Unless you get special perks as an employee why should your account be classified any differently .

        I’ve worked for a major corporation that had a credit card – which I didn’t have .I recieved a computerized form letter from the ceo noting I didn’t have one AS AN EMPLOYEE then saying I should get one .

        It’s one thing to do a credit check for a job applicant but to go dig and find which of employees has your credit card ???

        Then there was a small disclaimer saying that I should contact the Direct Marketing Association and have my name removed from their list .But I thought I had did that YEARS ago .

        There should be clear lines between an employee or customer .And those lines should not be fine print in one of the many papers employees and customers are swamped with .

    • theblackdog says:

      @NightSteel: I’m wondering if the employee was foolish enough to send the EECB from their work E-mail. That would tell the CEO in 2 seconds that it came from an employee

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Just so I have this straight. Is crapping on the CEO’s desk until the issue’s resolved still verbooten?

  11. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I work in IT and I have had users go over my head, my boss’s, and his boss’s, to the Director of IT himself, who reports only to God… I mean the CEO.

    This usually happens because the user has persuaded himself that his issue, or the user himself, is too important to be dealt with by flunkies. Or, in some cases, the user himself is a lazy, stupid pain in the ass with a side order of entitlement (thank God we don’t have very many of those).

    Our IT Director seems to take great pleasure in referring the issue directly to the appropriate underling, with a gentle no-nonsense reminder to the user to deal with that person for those issues in the future

    • madanthony says:

      @speedwell, avatar of snark:

      You are lucky to have an IT director who does that. I work in IT, and have had situations where the user has gone so far over the heads of anyone that the person they go to doesn’t know enough about the issue, and often makes us do things that are against policy, beyond the scope of what we support, or involve putting other users who should be helped first farther back, just to make the person happy.

      And when that happens, of course the next time that user has a problem, they will go straight to the high level person, because it worked the last time.

      • Sparkstalker says:

        @madanthony: Yeah, no kidding… most of the places I’ve been, calling in a ticket has been optional at best. Usually, all it takes is a user to complain to her manager, who would then call the deputy commissioner for IT, where it would come down on my head like a ton of rocks. Hell, the accepted procedure was to not follow procedure.

        Speedwell, do you have any IT opportunities where you are? I’d love an environment like that…

    • aja175 says:

      @speedwell, avatar of snark:
      “Our IT Director seems to take great pleasure in referring the issue directly to the appropriate underling, with a gentle no-nonsense reminder to the user to deal with that person for those issues in the future”

      Our service desk manager is usually like that. It’s nice to know mgmt will back up the peons.

  12. mythago says:

    First, if you work at a bank, you are not supposed to have overdrafts. EVER. They look very negatively on their own employees not keeping their accounts in order.

    That aside, isn’t “don’t go over your boss’s head” as a rule of thumb kind of basic?

    • BluePlastic says:

      @mythago: I understand not going over your boss’ head for a work-related issue, but in this instance the OP is acting as a customer. I don’t get why the two issues aren’t separate. If I worked at a bank I think I’d try to have my accounts somewhere else if this is the way it’s going to be.

  13. tedyc03 says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    I’m hardly one to blame the OP but they should have seen this coming.

    Customers are seen very differently than people from within the same company. Customers are seen as exasperated, tired, and in need of perhaps some basic help from a top person. Not to mention, the top person calling down to someone else to handle it doesn’t piss that person off (and if it does, it’s not like it matters, because they can’t fire you).

    Employees don’t get the same luxury. You can’t jump to the CEO because you look at best like a whiner and at worst like a chump. Not to mention that CEO you emailed may hand your issue down the chain (like he’d do for a customer) but the person he hands it to is probably very busy trying to save the bank (and your job), and would really prefer you take this to your manager.

    Very very stupid move.

  14. MrsLopsided says:

    Don’t poop where you eat.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    Another point to consider: No EECBs if you are married to (or sleeping with) the CEO.

  16. u1itn0w2day says:

    But isn’t this person a CUSTOMER as well as an employee .Yes it was not the smartest move but a customer is a customer when it comes down to it .

    In some respects going the route of a customer actually avoids the appearance of conflict of interest .What if the public found out that employees were being cut breaks that it took consumers lots and lots of phone calls & letter writing .

    They sure didn’t mind treating E. as a customer when they charged the 300$ in fees .

    • blankhorizons says:

      @u1itn0w2day:
      “In some respects going the route of a customer actually avoids the appearance of conflict of interest .What if the public found out that employees were being cut breaks that it took consumers lots and lots of phone calls & letter writing .”

      Um, employees are almost always treated differently than customers at almost every job. It’s a perk of working there. You’re only supposed to EECB if you’ve tried to escalate and it didn’t work.

      You’d think you’d try the manager at your local branch if you were a customer, right? Well this guy was an employee that saw his manager every day at work, and he didn’t ask him. So much for escalation or common sense.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        @Keter: You nailed it .If no other reason all of your eggs are not in one basket .

        @blankhorizons: I understand that to a point .And yeah escalation would’ve been a safer bet .E apparently did try the customer service line .Wether a supervisor was asked for is unclear . But then again from E’s point I guess he didn’t want everyone knowing his business especially if worked where he banked – although they know it now .

    • Bungus Aurelius says:

      @u1itn0w2day: True, he is a customer too, but he probably has access to contact info that a typical customer may not have – internal email addresses, direct dial lines, admin identities, maybe even mobile numbers. And his problem is a CUSTOMER problem, not a CORPORATE (i.e., job related) problem that may justify skipping levels or bringing in an entire group of execs.

    • I_am_Awesome says:

      @u1itn0w2day:
      Yeah he’s a customer. And an employee. What he did made him look bad as a customer, and it made him look terrible as an employee.

  17. Corporate-Shill says:

    In the old days (not that long ago) an overdraft situation by a bank employee handling money or access to accounting information would be grounds for immediate termination. No warning, just fired.

    OP still has a job, which means either the OP is not involved with accounts or money, or the banks have lighten up on their employee security policies.

    I hope the banks have not changed their policies on security.

    • coren says:

      @Corporate-Shill: That’s an assinine policy

    • lizzybee says:

      @Corporate-Shill: What does an overdraft have to do with security?

      • Corporate-Shill says:

        @lizzybee:

        Employees with personal financial problems are more likely to engage in theft of bank assets to settle their problems due ease of access to the funds.

      • Coles_Law says:

        @lizzybee: I’d bet it’s the same reason they run credit checks on new hires-money problems mean you’re more likely to steal.

      • K-Bo says:

        @lizzybee: This is much like the army’s policy of not sending people in debt on sensitive missions. They are more likely to sell insider info to get money to get out of debt, ect. Not only does an overdraft show someone who is possibly struggling financially, and might do something about it, it also shows that they don’t do the math in their accounts, do you want to trust someone who can’t do math inputting transactions in your account? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a little leeway, but not overdraft as much as you want it will never affect your job.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @Corporate-Shill: actually best hope they apply it on a case by case basis, or with the current economy, NO ONE will be able to get bank jobs let alone keep them.

      and that doesn’t even begin to address the concept of justice; ex: hey honey – your divorce notice from me is a cleaned out account + jacked up card – have fun!

      • I_am_Awesome says:

        @the_wiggle:
        with the current economy, NO ONE will be able to get bank jobs let alone keep them.

        Some of us don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

        • dragonfire81 says:

          @I_am_Awesome: But a great many do. There’s far more americans in difficult financial situations right now than in comfortable ones.

          • samurailynn says:

            @dragonfire81: Even during the time that I was living paycheck to paycheck I never overdrafted my account. It’s obvious that it just gets you into more financial trouble. It’s like a payday loan, you might get the money you want right now, but you’re going to pay for it out the ass later.

  18. pythonspam says:

    Although in the current economic climate, big national banks don’t care who they charge $40 (and then another $40 and another $40 before you get notification that the first overdraft occurred.) Bank employees are people too and sometimes stuff happens. The only other option is to leave an inordinate amount of money in an account bearing NO interest (and no, .025% APR does not count).
    The Banks goal is to make money, and in the absence of everyone paying their mortgages and paying interest on their credit cards, mandatory fees are the last vestige.

    • Alisha Young says:

      I was just wondering. wasn’t the original premise of banking was that you took your hard earned money, LOANED it to the banks for a portion of the profit made by the banks? Credit unions were intended to help people take out loans, and thusly the money that was LOANED was supposed to come back to you? The one thing no one (that I’m aware of) has brought up is how over the past 2 decades these profits from the money we loaned these “banks” decreased, and fees for doing business increased to the point to where .25-.75% is a good rate. Everybody here it seems accepts being raped and being blamed for being raped.

  19. Keter says:

    If I worked for a bank, I would very certainly bank somewhere else – when you work for the wolf, don’t let him guard your pay. You lose your normal rights as a consumer and this is the exact kind of mess you can expect to happen.

    • lizzybee says:

      @Keter: Agreed. I worked for an investment company/bank briefly, and I had the option to move my money over. But what you said was exactly my fear– I’d lose my financial privacy, they’d have access to my pay, and it might be that much harder to get mistakes fixed.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @Keter:

      Don’t poop where you eat :)

      I agree I’d never be a customer of a company i worked at if i could avoid it, it co mingles customer issues and employee issues WAY too much.

  20. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    Duh!

  21. dentedvw says:

    I too would not bank where I work. Then again, I am not foolhardy enough to use a bank, I use a credit union.

    • feckingmorons says:

      @dentedvw: Ever try to send an international wire from a credit union. You do know that all credit unions keep their money in a bank don’t you?

      • Blaaaah says:

        @feckingmorons: I’ve sent an international wire from my credit union several times. It’s cheaper to do it through them then my regular bank. I also keep the majority of my money in my credit union because I get a higher interest rate.

    • samurailynn says:

      @dentedvw: The last time I used a credit union, I asked to open an account that I could leave sitting with little or no activity for long periods of time. I would be using the account a few times a year, but mostly, I just needed a separate place to hold some funds. I specifically asked to be told about any possible fees on the account since I wouldn’t be using it very much. I was told that there would be no fees unless I asked for certain things. I can’t remember exactly, but it was things like getting a statement from an ATM will cost $1 and various other things where I would have to ask for something for my account and then I would be charged a fee. I was told there would be no fees for just leaving the account open.

      After no activity for 30 days, they started deducting $10 a month as a “non-activity” fee. I was pissed and went in to talk to someone about it. I was told that of course they had to charge a fee if I wasn’t withdrawing money from the account because it takes a lot of extra work for them to have an account that someone isn’t constantly accessing. I didn’t see how it would take “extra work” to have an account that someone isn’t withdrawing money from. I was then told that all major banks do exactly the same thing. I mentioned that I had a savings account at a major bank that I often let sit for 6 months or more without depositing or withdrawing from and that I had never ever been charged any fee in relation to that account. The person I was talking to basically told me I was lying and that there was nothing she could do about the “non-activity” fees. So, I closed the account, and I will never touch that credit union again. I will also think long and hard about ever using any other credit union.

  22. sumgai says:

    Why the heck did you EECB from an account they could trace you from??? Der. You’re one of those people they put on “America’s Dumbest Criminals” on TV. Smarten up son! I appreciate that you took the effort to let them know how you feel though. Good try.

    • coren says:

      @sumgai: Um, he wouldn’t have to be tracable via his email – he asked them to look at an account from the same bank he worked at. Hell, maybe they were gonna fix it too and then found out who he was when they went to the manager to get it done.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @sumgai: If they wanted the problem fixed, they’d have to provide account info. It’s not like the CEO was going to leave the $300 under a bush in the park.

  23. Bruce Bayliss says:

    “E” must be – correction: IS – as thick as two short planks…

  24. coren says:

    Did you get the fee reversed?

  25. parad0x360 says:

    This guy didn’t think talking to his own manager was an option or a good idea? Give me a break

    • failurate says:

      @parad0x360: If I worked for a bank, I don’t think I would want to have a discussion with anyone else working there about how I kited a bunch of checks and charges.

      The discussion isn’t even about whether or not he kited charges, it’s about what order admitted kited charges passed through the system.

      This story is funny and super absurd.

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    One thing I’m wondering about is the relationship with their immediate supervisor .It might be non-existent which isn’t surprising in the corporate world .

    One might assume that the boss is a nine-fiver that doesn’t want to be bothered .There are alot of managers that do not want problems nor can they handle problems .

  27. quizmasterchris says:

    I’d pull my money out of the bank and look for another job if possible. They’ve been asses to you as both employers and service providers.

  28. scootinger says:

    People who push such a fraudulent policy to get as much in overdraft fees as possible have NO right to talk about a “code of ethics”.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Some people are saying, “Don’t bank where you work..”

    Well, I bank where I work because if I don’t, the bank won’t direct deposit my paycheck into another bank (which is becoming common practice). I can’t afford to wait until saturday for my paycheck to arrive.

    That being said, EECB’ing your own management is definitely not a good idea – hell, I don’t even talk to my EVP except to say ‘Hello”. Perhaps instead of calling, the OP could have gone to a local branch and asked for help – usually a person in a branch will be more forgiving, especially if you’re a fellow employee.

  30. MyTQuinn says:

    For the purposes of my argument I’ll ASSUME that the OP did not use their corporate email for the EECB. If that’s the case, I see nothing wrong with their approach. This was a customer-service provider issue, not an employer-employee issue. I think that the OP properly separated their role as customer from their role as employee, and sought no special treatment. It is the bank executives who failed to properly separate their service provider role from their employer role.

    Now, if the OP used their corporate email for the EECB, or dealt with this issue on company (paid) time, then that’s another story.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just for the record, I AM a BofA customer and at least my branch hasn’t ever treated me poorly and I HAVE had charges reversed in my favor. Their termsd do indicate that they can process a btach of items that show up on the same day in any order they choose… why a bank employee (if this is BofA) wouldn’t know that is beyond me.

  32. ramfan1701 says:

    OP here; I decided it was time to chime in.

    It’s all fine and good to say ‘don’t float checks’ but when rent is due on Sun. the 1st and you don’t get paid again until Fri. the 6th, what choice do you have? You’re going to get hit with a fee no matter what either from the apartment complex or the bank; I just don’t make enough money to have much of anything in savings right now.

    But, instead of getting one OD fee for the rent check, I wound up with multiples, because of the policy of clearing items from largest to smallest. The customer service line was no help; in fact some of the people I talked to were rather rude. I did not feel comfortable talking to my manger about this, as it was a personal issue. In retrospect, maybe I should have asked for advice, but I was extremely frustrated with the situation and wanted it resolved as quickly as possible.

    I don’t even have a company email; I used my personal email to send a detailed timeline of the situation and to protest the policy that I felt was unfair. In the end, the email was kicked back to customer service, who still told me nothing could be done and no fees were refunded. If I hadn’t gotten my tax refund, I would be in danger of overdrafting with my next rent check because I had so much money taken out of my account from fees.

    Also, the employee handbook (which contains the code of ethics) is about 120 pages long; I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to read through all that and know every nuance of it.

    In short, I took a gamble and it came back to bite me on the ass; I thought a word of warning to others who may find themselves in my situation would be helpful so they can also learn from my mistake.

    (Sorry for the long rant; I just wanted to explain things a little more clearly.)

  33. digitalgimpus says:

    Wrong lesson.

    Don’t use your employers goods/services.

    Why put all your eggs in one basket. It’s bad enough you rely on them for your paycheck and benefits. Why invest more?

    Diversify.

    IMHO the EECB was silly, but it was outright stupid to use your employer for your bank.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @digitalgimpus: Well, to be honest, most employers would make an effort to encourage you to use their services. I would expect a bank employee might be exempt from minimum balances, get free checks or something similar. It’s a perk and it makes the bank look like it is competent enough for their own employees to bank there. It’s like driving to GM in a Hyundai. It just looks bad.

  34. anthonyhasp says:

    As a recovering banker, I can tell you that overdrafts for bank employees are a big no-no. Not because it just means that you mismanage money, but also because for many positions you are handling other people’s cash all day long. If you are having financial difficulties, it makes “borrowing” money from depositors that much more tempting (and yes, we had experiences of tellers stealing-it’s quite common).

    Second, the OP didn’t suggest that the overdrafts were the bank’s fault. I’ve had that happen, as an employee I was not supposed to receive service charges, but got hit by them anyway, which resulting in an overdraft. If it wasn’t the bank’s fault the OP should have just taken their lumps and made sure to keep sufficient funds in their account.

    And by the way, some banks require that employees keep an account with the bank.

  35. JoshReflek says:

    banks are designed to steal your money and you work there………their policies should be no suprise to you.

    Conclusion: take out your money.

  36. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Trai_Dep: Yes, but pissing in his wastebasket is acceptable.

  37. blb says:

    It’s only a matter of time before a guy like this moves up and is working on Wall Street.

  38. Anonymously says:

    Pretty stupid move, but the breaching of the Code of Ethics sounds like B.S. to me. Asking for a favor from your direct manager sounds more unethical to me than handling it as a regular customer to me.

  39. Trojan69 says:

    I worked for a bank and we had an ATM in our building that, for at least six months, shorted folks $5 on transactions. This would happen a few times a month.

    I decided to go through the channels at a branch office and report the bad ATM. The customer service specialist promised to escalate this to the fools who serviced the ATMs. A month later, no attempt to fix, same problem recurring. I went back to the same person and she was shocked, SHOCKED, to learn of this. She called the fools at the ATM department right in front of me and let me listen in. A month later, still nothing done, problem still not resolved.

    Our company was real, real, BIG on every employee taking “ownership” of anything that wasn’t right. So, I decided to send an internal email to the CEO, who pleaded with us to let him know if his management team was letting down anyone who worked at the company.

    Holy hell was instantly raised within the ATM department and the problem was fixed within two days.

    Of course, I got in trouble for not talking to the managers of the facility I worked in. I looked the big boss in the eye and told him that the issue with the ATM was an open issue for every line employee he had for more than six months. If not a single one of them trusted their managers, or him, to fix it, he had far bigger problems than any perceived lack of corporate ethics on my part. To his credit, he agreed and that was the end of discussion.

  40. MBEmom says:

    While I agree that there are valid ways for a customer to be wrongly charged an overdraft fee and get a chargeback, generally there are standard ways that items are posted to accounts. I worked as a bank teller then manager for about 6 years for a few different banks,both large and small.

    All daily activity is treated the same. While your deposit receipt may have a time of day on it, the processors and computer who process the postings each night have no idea what order checks and deposits were made during the day. All credits are posted to accounts first, then all debits. So, all deposits made during the day hit your account before any checks or service charges come out. The exception might be if your deposit is made at an ATM but a warning stating that there may be a delay in deposits hitting your account should be present.

    If your bank tells you that they process their posts any differently than described above, don’t use that bank. There is no other way to process in our modern world that is fair to the customer.

    In regards to double posting of checks, any overdraft charges and third-party chargeback fees posted to an account due to the bank’s mishandling of an account (a double posted check) should always be reimbursed by the bank. Again, I have never encountered an example of a bank where this was not their policy. No bank should ever expect a customer to pay for overdraft fees for a mistake the bank made.

    Having said all this, as a former manager everyday I got a list of overdrawn accounts that were the responsibility of our branch. This means those accounts were opened and maintained at our branch. The management made the decision to pay the checks and charge a fee, pay the checks and not charge a fee or simple reject them as chargebacks altogether. These decisions were made based on the customer’s average balance and activity history.

    For example, construction companies with large bank loans routinely overdrew their accounts to pay for materials or labor, only to have the accounts replenished in a few days. These customers were so valued by the bank and trusted that they were never charged fees and never had checks returned. Similarly, an individual with multiple accounts might overdraw on one but have such a high average daily balance or have such high daily average balances in their other accounts, the bank officers would chose to waive fees.

    On the other hand, a person with a large number of overdrafts in a month or year, with low average balances and no other accounts would likely find their checks returned by the bank and fees charged.

    Banking is, more than any other industry, one of trust. If you do not feel that your bank or bank branch is trustworthy, you should change banks, period. Those are the people that handle your hard earned money and you should be able to trust them. However, it works the other way and if you have a history of bounced checks, the bank is in no way obligated to pay those checks or waive the associated fees even if you are an employee of the bank.

  41. Gerald Oh says:

    Just reminds me of those times when I think (of people I’ve worked with)… “How the hell did we ever hire this person?” Zero common sense — congratulations, you’ve managed to kill your career.

  42. mariospants says:

    Well, lesson #1: don’t use your work e-mail account to launch an eecb of any stripes – most definitely one against your own company.

  43. Zanpakuto says:

    You just dead-ended your career with your current employer, I would start looking for a position at another company. If there is ever a lay off in your group and your current manager is still around you are going to be at the top of the list. I’ve worked for an outfit for a long time and I can tell you at my company you would probably have been terminated immediately. We had a similar incident a couple of years ago although the circumstances differ the fundamentals were the same, that dude was toast by the end of the day.

  44. Lucky225 says:

    I would have told the bank the $300 in overdraft fees on one of their own employees was inappropriate and put the bank in a negative light with me as I now know how my customers feel when we steel their money. No doubt this was Bank of Opportunists.

  45. synergy says:

    I’m confused. If this person is a customer of the bank, how does he have to go to a manager for a personal issue. Why should he be treated any differently than if she was any other customer??

  46. UniComp says:

    The problem with the ‘right’ way is that it’ll will probably take much more time to play the waiting game while climbing the ladder. It’s a no-win situation, and a bummer for sure.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @UniComp: Too many in business ASSume the customer knows how to complain .And most do to the point of asking for a supervisor or manager (still unclear what E did ) .But after that it’s all bets off .The customer wants their problem resolved .

      Now you have an employee AND customer .This is definately a no win situation .But E really didn’t go public per say nor did he make his company look bad publically .He made the local manager look bad just for the shear fact they didn’t emphasize the point bring your problems to us .But I doubt even the local manager cared before hand .

      As many have pointed out I’d be more upset if he used inside information to contact an executive with that e-mail being for internal use only .Or if used a company computer and time to do so .But things like chain of command or ‘ your shouldn’t have banking problems as a bank employee ‘ I don’t think are as important .

  47. Spaceboy says:

    Hoisted by your own petard?

  48. chenry says:

    Common sense isn’t.

  49. consumerd says:

    ya know some people in this world serve as an example to others.

    Darwin award winner here. If they end up jobless well least we know why.

    Epic fail.

  50. Bs Baldwin says:

    You have to be kidding me. This is common sense 101. You do not go over your boss for anything unless they are harassing you. If you get an OD fee, take it up with your manager. You do not e-mail bomb executives. They will now view you as a troublemaker, a rogue in their system that needs to be flushed out.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is annoying on multiple levels.
      Did you take addresses that were not publicly available? If so, then your company has to consider that a data breach and do proper notification. As your manager gave you a talking to, I have to assume you did that. Dumb move. Really dumb move.
      You spent more money than you have. Dumb.
      Then you expect them to go back and change the rules of the game because you f’d up. Really? Why?