Get Customers To Sign Up For Overdraft Fees Or Get Fired

One of our readers is a bank teller branch manager and he feels queasy. His bank is making him trick customers into signing back up for overdraft fees, and if he doesn’t, he’ll get fired.

He objects to the misleading name for the program, “Account Protector,” and the fear-stoking sales pitch he’s instructed to use to push it: “You wouldn’t want your card to be declined, would you?” Worse, customers our bank teller talks to who have opted in often have no idea that they’re saying yes to overdraft fees.

Our reader says it goes down like this at his bank:

A customer walks up to a teller window to make a deposit. The teller asks, “Have you enrolled in Account Protector yet?”

Account Protector? What does that actually protect? We are told to overcome objections to opting in by saying things like, “you wouldn’t want your card to be declined, would you?” It seems a bit shady to me.

Some customers I speak to about the changes are completely unaware that they had opted in as well, which speaks to the fact that they simply don’t understand the difference.

It reeks of deception, so when faced with the termination of my employment here at the bank, I accepted the fact that we would be giving consumers a choice, but I went about it by explaining the differences in the choices with real world examples and actual facts.

…Calling affirmative consent to charge overdraft fees the “account protector” is pretty much like putting a cartoon character on a box of cigarettes. My approach is putting the picture of the cancerous lung on the box instead. Same product, but at least you know the dangers upfront…

It’s not surprising that I am not getting enough people to opt in. It’s also not surprising that my job here is in serious jeopardy because of this. I was delivered an ultimatum today – commit to selling the “Account Protector” regardless of whether it is necessary or not, or tender my resignation.

Any ideas?

Sincerely,

Concerned Banker

Tough spot. Do something you find ethically questionable or lose your job during a recession. Which would you choose, dear Consumerists?

RELATED:
Chase Now Has Human ATM Greeter Who Helpfully Sells Overdraft Protection
TD Ratchets Up Overdraft Opt-In Push With Pop-Up Scare Tactics
Banks Luring You Into Signing Back Up For High Overdraft Fees
Is Chase’s Overdraft Fee “Opt-In” Purposefully Confusing?

Comments

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  1. Matzoball says:

    I think I would let the company know they are creating a hostile work environment. Just lay the groundwork.

    • joshua70448 says:

      I totally agree with this. If they fired you, you could probably argue in court that the bank was forcing you to disobey the spirit of the law.

      • SChance says:

        You can argue anything in court. Whether the court will laugh at you or not is another matter. Spirit of the law doesn’t matter in this case. The letter has to be broken first before the teller has any kind of a case.

    • JMILLER says:

      You’re kidding right? If you can not sell the product your company wants you to sell it is not a hostile work environment. Hostile work environment is for things like making racist or gay jokes, allowing off color jokes when they have been asked to stop. It is not for not doing your job. It would be like telling car salesman to sell more cars, and then saying if you don’t tender your resignation you will be fired.

      • Dover says:

        But this is a teller, not a sales person. It’s like firing a mechanic for not selling floor mats.

        • Grabraham says:

          A teller is a salesperson.

        • kenj0418 says:

          Firing a mechanic because she’s a woman: illegal
          Firing a mechanic for not selling floormats : legal
          Don’t try turning this into a legal issue when its not.

          Concerned Banker needs to decide which is more important to him: his job or his ethics, because it looks like they aren’t compatible any longer.

      • Matzoball says:

        I know there are lawyers that would advise a person exactly how to handle this type of situation and if followed it would result in an employee settlement…no admission of wrong doing…etc. But at least you have stood your moral ground. Some people would live on the street rather than perform this type of behaivor. Not sure where I fall…I would at a minimum try to change the ploicy and if that did not succeed I would look to change jobs. If this is the only employment issue I would probably just go along. The issue is he/she is not getting results by presenting the program in what he/she believes is a dishonest light.

    • yusefyk says:

      Just like “wrongful termination,” “hostile work environment” has a specific, legal meaning, which this doesn’t even begin to approach.

      Bad for business and morale, but not a hostile work environment.

    • lim says:

      If you did let the company know they were bringing down morale what do you think will happen?

      I was told “You know, the people we’re hiring right now-if they can’t do it we aren’t even looking at them. This is staying and the standards* are only going to get higher.” Employee moral wasn’t even a blip on the radar, even though many were complaining (not just to each other, but to the higher ups). When supervisors were told they were going to lose some of their best employees (when upselling wasn’t factored in) they focused on the program even more tightly.

      We were given training to make us better at it and had supervisors and heads trying to convince us that we were providing a needed service by upselling. They trotted out charts that said customers are spending money, it should be spent with us. It was just about all that was talked about. There was so much pressure that a few people felt in necessary to fudge their numbers and even add items without the customers’ permission and were fired. True, they deserved to be fired for that behavior, but the cause was never addressed.

      They want money and they want things to look good on paper and they don’t give a big steamy pile about you. Caring about the customers is now a liability, because how are you supposed to push stuff if you care?

      * % of successful upsells required to be rated meets expectations on reviews.
      PS-I left when standards nearly doubled. No, I won’t tell you the company because I don’t want trouble. Yes, I hated upselling and am still a tad angry at how it was handled.

    • kc2idf says:

      How about a practical answer?

      Do your job as best as you can within your moral limits. Force their hand into firing you. You will be able to live with yourself, and you will be able to collect unemployment. If you tender your resignation, you lose the unemployment; if you give in, you lose your self.

      • ThunderRoad says:

        You won’t get unemployment if they can show you were terminated for cause.

        • psm321 says:

          IANAL. I believe in most states, the threshold is that you have to be fired for doing something illegal or outright not doing your job in order to not get unemployment. I believe if you’re fired for no reason or for not wanting to do something unethical, you’re ok. Not 100% sure about any of this though.

          • SChance says:

            And the reason the bank will give for terminating this teller is “unsatisfactory job performance” – ie, not doing his job.

            He’ll apply for unemployment, and the bank will appeal. Six months down the road (maybe longer these days), there’ll be a hearing, where the bank will have a lawyer and the teller probably won’t. The lawyer will say “Satisfactory performance = x customers purchasing Account Protector, and this teller only got y customers to purchase it.” The lawyer will object to any attempt by the teller to paint this as an attempt to avoid unethical behavior, the judge will agree with the lawyer, and the teller will get to pay back six months’ of unemployment benefit.

            I’m speaking from personal experience, but as the firer, not the firee. Worked for a large bank supervising a shift that included mailroom workers. Fired a guy for attendance reasons, and wound up going through the appeals process. He tried to make a (bogus) hostile/racist work environment claim (because I did such things as enforce our dress code and make him pull his pants up so they weren’t down around his knees). He brought in a binder full of stuff that supposedly supported his claim; all I brought in were my attendance records and the written warnings he’d signed. The judge looked at my documents, but never touched his. Oh, and it didn’t help that he proved my point by showing up 30 minutes late to the hearing.

            In my case, the termination was justified (and ineligibility for unemployment was upheld), but even when it’s not, you can see how the fired person will be at great disadvantage, and will most likely lose, especially in a case like this one.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              Refusal to violate CARD standards, by not fully disclosing the terms of the offer, would likely win.

              Following the law is never a bad way to lose your job.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              By the by, remember that you need to have enforced all policies fairly in order to prove that termination under policy was with-cause.

              I can’t think of a single policy at any of my workplaces that has been enforced uniformly, the few employees I know of who failed to qualify for unemployment were only terminated for particularly egregious violations of policies.

              • pdj79 says:

                Unfortunately Indiana is an “at-will” state and employers do not even have to give a reason for firing you. But on the upside, unless the firing was caused by illegal behavior or blatant disregard of the companies policies, Indiana Department of Workforce Development will find in your favor without the need for court. It’s up to the employer to prove that you were a horrible employee…unless they planned on getting rid of you MONTHS in advance and began a smear campaign with multiple levels within the company, your employee record usually doesn’t corroborate their claims (if you got a merit increase in February but they claim you’ve been horrible for the last year and are always on “probation”…they see right past that).

    • jefeloco says:

      Some of my former co-workers tried that when I was working at Cabela’s and they wanted us to push their Club Card. It is a decent Visa card but not many people in my area wanted another credit card at the start of a recession so new accounts from our store were abysmal. The management started offering more goodies to outfitters who met a (lower than normal) quota per day just to set the tone.

      Not many of the people got their “goodies” and complained so it became a requirement for a positive eval to get 10-15 Club Card apps with your employee number on them each month. Now it is a requirement for employment to get a few each month, so a bunch of my friends who haven’t escaped yet are in danger of losing their jobs.

      Do the best job you can, like kc2idf said, yet start looking for another job now while you are wowing the crap out of your customers. There are jobs out there, you just have to shine a little brighter than the other applicants.

    • APriusAndAGrill says:

      I recently got fired and had to go through the appeals process myself. I won but did so by making sure to keep every document they gave me….. and perhaps stealing the management binder. NCESC request a phone testimony on what had happened and I faxed them my “write up” for “disloyalty to the company” and “bringing down team moral”. I also faxed the pages from the handbook describing those offenses. NCESC agreed that as stated in the companies own handbook, I was neither disloyal and I did not bring down moral…. and that there was not enough evidence to say that I committed gross misconduct. Reason I am saying this is because I never had to go to court, I did have to wait 4 weeks but I was back credited the unemployment. Also I was “really” fired because I alerted our CEO to some immoral procedures I discovered that were occuring (claiming product was free-trade when it was not, and selling heavy metal tainted jewelery……). He told me that it was not my job to worry about that, but he would look into it. When he never did, I reminded him of his duty to correct the situation or I will make it my job too. I was fired the next day.

      On a good note, I am getting almost the same amount in unemployment as I did working there, and I don’t really care, just is nice knowing they have to pay half of it.

  2. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Well, there are plenty of jobs out there that require employees to do upsells.
    A lot of store employees ask if you have their “discount card” and when you say no, they ask if you want to sign up. They don’t mention that it costs anything until you realize that your total amount is $10 more than it should be. That’s just one example – but there’s tons out there. i think we’ve all experienced either having to do the upsell or having to hear the upsell.

    This is where consumer responsibility comes in. Consumers should be asking what exactly the ‘product’ is, if there are any fees, etc.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Also, I’m guessing this is somehow related to the changes made a month or four ago. But I’m not exactly sure what the law changes were. So I guess this may be different.

      In any case, I would let myself get fired and then try my best to fight for unemployment (which can happen if you’re fired if it’s shady or ‘beyond your control’).
      But I may be different – as I cannot deal with having ‘sell’ anything.

    • aloria says:

      Yep, they do the same thing at Best Buy with the extended warranties. The official line is that you’re only supposed to offer the plan, explain it if asked, and back off if the customer says no, but it was made very clear that if you did not get the numbers they wanted, your job was on the line.

  3. dbeahn says:

    Do NOT tender your resignation. Let them fire you for “performance reasons” (not selling enough) and you can collect unemployment while you sue for wrongful termination.

    Get as much in writing as you can.

    • yusefyk says:

      Being fired for not selling what your company asks you to sell is not anywhere near “wrongful termination.”

      You talk as if getting fired for not doing your job is like winning the lawsuit lottery. But I don’t think a lawyer would take this suit without a hefty up-front payment.

      • c!tizen says:

        This isn’t entirely true. If he can provide bank memos or emails showing that they were demanding he willfully deceive customers then he may have something, especially if he can prove that not deceiving customers is what lead to his termination. It may even fall in line with the new Consumer Protection Agency that is being set up (not sure, haven’t really sat down to read into it yet.)

        • Extended-Warranty says:

          I doubt the teller would ever be able to prove such a thing. Something tells me the teller just doesn’t believe in the service himself (which I can’t blame them for). By pushing it they feel the customers are being ripped off.

          Unfortunately, if you are going to work at a bank, be prepared to push unnecessary services. Because of people who can’t make normal payments, we have to punish everyone.

          • Davad Sneed says:

            Well, don’t resign. If they fire you, you can collect unemployment. The only thing they can fire you for is not meeting this sales quota of theirs. As long as you don’t quit you at least get a fighting chance.

        • PTB315 says:

          It’s not a black and white “deceit” here. Technically, what they’re being instructed to say is true. If you sign up for the service, you get hit with an overdraft instead of the embarrassment of your card being declined. They apparently don’t make it clear that its simply agreeing to overdraft fees all over again. It’s not the complete truth, but there is no lie involved so far as I can see.

          I still think its ridiculous because I doubt there are many people who would prefer to pay $35 to avoid getting embarrassed by a declined card. This probably is the only way to get more people to agree to overdraft charges again.

    • JMILLER says:

      Lets see, employer says your job is to up sell a product. You choose or are unable to do so. Yes, if he is fired he can collect unemployment in most states, just like any other non-performance issue. Wrongful termination would never fly. They fired him for lack of performance. There is no valid lawsuit.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I disagree. Unfortunately, no matter how unethical this upsell is, and no matter how pissed off at Wells Fargo I was when I saw this offer on their website, it is 100% legal. You quit jobs when they ask you to act unethically toward the customer or toward co-workers. I have quit better jobs over so much less than this and I would advise the OP to do the same.

      Of course, this doesn’t mean he can’t write a very thoughtful and detailed letter to a local news outlet before doing so.

      These banks are multi-national corporations and you are no more than cattle to them. If you can’t bring them the value they need, off to slaughter you go. If you want to work in finance and make a difference to your community, work at a credit union.

    • SenorBob says:

      If you are fired for performance reason, you do not get to collect unemployment.

      • benk1342 says:

        In my state, and probably in most others, if you are fired for MISCONDUCT you can’t collect unemployment, but mere subpar performance does not constitute misconduct. Failing to meet the quota for Performance Protector upsells would not be considered misconduct.

  4. goodpete says:

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    Ethics are a nice luxury if you can afford them. But if it’s a choice between doing something ethically questionable and unemployment, it might be better to go with the flow — to a point.

    Continue to do what you’re told. But check on whether your bank has an EAP (employee assistance program) or ethics line you can call. Calling the ethics line cannot get you fired, and they may be able to assist. Contacting Consumerist also doesn’t hurt. Might not kill you to let us know what bank it is, too.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Might not kill you to let us know what bank it is, too.

      Might get them fired though, especially if they don’t work for a huge bank like BOA.

      • goodpete says:

        Good point. But after the crisis, I thought we did away with all the small banks?

        What? Too soon?

    • bravohotel01 says:

      Going through an “EAP” or “HR” will do only one thing: put him on the fast track to termination.

      Remember, these things are set up to shield the *company* from lawsuits. Squeaky wheels are dumped. OP needs to start looking for a new job if he doesn’t like the working conditions of the one he is in now.

  5. opticnrv says:

    Do the devil’s bidding and take the money. It’s the American way! We live in the land of ‘buyer beware’ and ‘gotcha capitalism’…being right in the wrong environment is being righteous.

  6. dolemite says:

    I’d just sell the hell out of it, even if I disagree. Times are too tough to be looking for a job now.

  7. balthisar says:

    I wish I were his customer, because I’d be happy to sign up for “Account Protector” to help the guy make his quota. After all, it’s not something that will ever affect me under ordinary circumstances. Under extraordinary circumstances, such as if I didn’t know how to count backwards and would prefer to have my card declined, it would be easy to just opt out again.

    As to advice for him, “Sell! Sell! Sell!” Don’t give them a reason to fire you. In the meantime, start a union. You can’t be fired for starting a union, but you can be fired for other things, so again, don’t give them a reason. Sure, in the long run it’ll destroy the bank, but at least for the time of your tenure you’ll be able to bargain your way into strict job classifications whereby you’re a “teller” and not a “sales representative,” and as such you won’t be required to up-sell.

    • goodpete says:

      “After all, it’s not something that will ever affect me under ordinary circumstances.”

      Everyone makes mistakes.

      I had my PayPal account linked to my old checking account from a previous bank. Even though I’m the kind of guy who (at 25) is saving for retirement, has a reasonable amount of mid-term savings, pays off his credit card every month (when I even use it), and never overdrafts, I still managed to accidentally hit that old account (containing 10 dollars) with a 12 dollar charge for a piece of software. Incurring a 25 dollar overdraft fee. Making my 12 dollar software into 37 dollar software.

      I would have rather the charge get declined so I could adjust the payment source to the appropriate account. I don’t care of my debit card is declined, because it will only ever be declined if I screw something up. In which case, I’ll just pay with my credit card. Better to get that taken care of right away than to learn a 5 dollar sandwich turned into a 40 dollar sandwich.

    • Bativac says:

      Legally, you can’t be fired for unionizing. However (I’ve seen this at my place of employment), who’s to say the employee attempting to unionize the workplace doesn’t have performance issues?

      There are generally enough reasons to terminate an employee considering unionizing that companies are safe in terminating them. So if I were this guy, I’d keep selling the overdraft protection, and would try to sell it as honestly as I can. We don’t all have the luxury of just quitting over principle.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      You’ll be able to bargain your way into strict job classifications whereby you’re a “teller” and not a “sales representative,” and as such you won’t be required to up-sell.

      Selling products to customers is part of the job description for a teller, not something that falls under “other tasks as needed” or something similarly vague.
      http://www.google.com/search?q=bank+teller+job+description&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

  8. Why is this on Consumerist? says:

    Hostile work environment has to be based on a protected class, as far as I know. Just because you don’t want to be dishonest doesn’t mean you can sue when you get fired over it.

  9. nerble says:

    On the one hand employers can terminate for not being able to fill a sales quota. On the other hand shady business practices are extremely ungood. So I’d report them to the BBB and a local newspaper and name the bank here, all anon of course. Just use an alias email, and make it impossible to prove it was you. All else fails you’ve tried to do the right thing.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      And get fired anyway because they WILL find out who sent that information, one way or another. If they have to fire all of you and hire new workers at lower wages, so much the better for them.

      Find another job, THEN sell out your current sleazebag employer.

  10. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. If y’all are telling customers “you wouldn’t want your card to be declined, would you?” then how do they not know that you’re talking about overdrafts? What do they think that they’re signing up for if they’re worried about their card being declined but not for having insufficient funds?

    If the OP opts to start aggressively signing up customers he could still point out that the customer can opt back out anytime they want to.

  11. BrownShawnL says:

    Actually, it is flat out illegal for a bank employee to attempt to pursuade a customer’s decision one way or another in regards to opting in or out of overdraft fees.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen all the time.

    • PTB315 says:

      I did not see that in any news stories I read after seeing this article. Do you have a link to something that explains this? I’m curious how they define this.

      • BrownShawnL says:

        No link. Just information passed along to me by folks that work at a bank.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          Are they sure that it’s illegal and not just something that their employer has told them not to do? I find it odd that the new regulations would actually outlaw selling this to customers and that this provision wouldn’t make the news.

          • BrownShawnL says:

            Selling overdraft protection is not an issue. Influencing someone’s decision on whether to opt in or out of being able to overdraw their account is illegal.

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              Are they sure that it’s illegal and not just something that their employer has told them not to do?

    • JeremieNX says:

      I work at a bank and it is not illegal to try to “sell” the overdraft opt-in. We do have a strict policy of not “selling” it. Instead we suggest overdraft PROTECTION – linking a savings account or credit product to provide a back-up source of funds in the event of an overdraft.

      I do have a friend at Chase and she tells me she is required to try and sell it.

  12. Muddie says:

    What happens if the teller sells the ‘account protection’ but then later the consumer discontinues it? Would the teller get trouble for that?

    If not, just explain to people that they get home, they should cancel this service. He gets the sell on the spot, and the consumer doesn’t have to pay for this unnecessary service.

    • Doubts42 says:

      If I walked up to the bank window and a teller sold me on something then told me I was supposed to go home and cancel it I would be talking to a manager next. I would be pretty sure he was trying to pull something on me. Of course being me if i went up to the window on a bust day and the teller tried to sell me account protection i would be the one loudly asking if that wasn’t just Overdraft protection, and why would i want to pay $35.00 rather than just put something on a credit card? And letting everyone in the bank hear me ask if actively selling overdraft protection wasn’t illegal.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        And letting everyone in the bank hear me ask if actively selling overdraft protection wasn’t illegal.

        It’s not illegal. Just because they can’t opt you in doesn’t mean they’re not allowed to convince you to opt-in. The way they’re doing it at the OP’s bank may be wrong but trying to get people to opt-in isn’t itself illegal.

    • tundey says:

      That’s just asking for trouble. I think it’s obvious he can’t keep working there. He just has to find a way to do it while covering himself (either career-wise or unemployment benefit-wise).

  13. evnmorlo says:

    Banks could make overdraft protection more attractive to consumers by lowering the price or at least giving them a toaster…nah, it’s better to bully employees into bullying customers to sign up for their scam. Nothing less than massive profit is acceptable!!

  14. CSpaR says:

    I was called several times by Chase Bank (I have my checking there) asking if I made a choice yet. Told them I dont want to be charged $35 for a $5 purchase. They said well, you wont be charged if you have OD protection. Not true. If I catch it within that same day, no charge. But if I do not find out about it until the next day…there’s a fee.

  15. tanzgabu says:

    I’m honestly surprised that so many people are saying “Screw the customers!” on Consumerist… oh well. I’ve lost a job by being ethical and refusing to do the wrong thing, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Obviously it’s up to whoever wrote this letter to choose, but people compromising what’s right just to make a buck is what’s wrong with the world…

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      In this economy, it may not be the ‘best thing’ especially with a slim chance of receiving unemployment benefits.

    • PTB315 says:

      I’ve not read a single comment prior to yours where anyone gave an indication that their feelings on this matter were anything close to “screw the customers”. The advice seems to be pretty much be settled on the bank teller doing what he’s told or exploring legal options to sue his own employer if he gets fired. The customers are collateral damage if this guy wants to remain employed.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      What people are saying is “Don’t screw yourself”. In your case things turned out well but in this job market I don’t think you’re going to find most people telling the OP to fall on his sword to protect people from overdrafts.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Once again, with feeling: he’s not “falling on his sword” to protect consumers (at least not, “only”), he’s not upselling because the methods dictated to him to do so are unethical.

        And as for “in this job market” crap. Are you saying that ethics are only in play if you can afford them? If so, we’re well and truly screwed.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          he’s not “falling on his sword” to protect consumers…he’s not upselling because the methods dictated to him to do so are unethical.

          Yeah, which means getting fired. I get that the OP’s ability to feed, clothe, and shelter himself doesn’t matter to you but it does to him.

          • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

            Great. Do let me know if you follow through on this when your boss asks you to perjure yourself when the sexual harassment incident you saw happen comes to court, or lose your job.

            Again, if this is the prevailing attitude, we’re well and truly screwed.

  16. Beeker26 says:

    How about something like this: you push the upsell and get people to sign up in order to keep your job, but then after they sign you hand them literature about the changes, tell them to read up on it, and that they can change their minds at any time.

    This way you’re fulfilling your requirements, but at the same time making sure the customer is fully informed. And if they decide to cancel after the fact, well, that’s their choice and shouldn’t have any bearing on you as you did get them to opt-in.

  17. c!tizen says:

    I would get that ultimatum on record and then take it to the AG’s office and my attorney.

    • SChance says:

      Who will laugh at you. Banks have been using sales metrics to rate teller performance and make hiring/termination decisions for years and years. The teller has *no case* against his bank. The bank is exploiting the stupidity of the average American consumer, who doesn’t bother to read terms and conditions or investigate any farther than the sales pitch. That may be shady, but it is certainly not illegal. If it were, our economy wouldn’t just be in the tank, it would be completely gone.

      • c!tizen says:

        If they’re deliberately misleading people, I think he’d probably have a case. Especially considering that right now an AG going after a bank for doing something like this after taking a bail-out and not extending credit, then using deception to get around newly placed rules meant to protect consumers would be a career maker.

  18. Extended-Warranty says:

    The CARD act was such a good thing, right?

    • kataisa says:

      People should always beware of government “reforms”, it usually means the consumer will get screwed in new and exciting ways.

      • StutiCebriones says:

        But it isn’t the government’s fault that regulators can’t keep up (or, in the case of the right wing, are uninterested in keeping up) with the “new and exciting ways” businesses use to screw their customers.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        Because the banking industry wants people to be pissed off to the point where they make John Boehner the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. So it’s all “the CARD Act is forcing us to be total dicks.”

    • c!tizen says:

      Haven’t really read through the whole thing yet, but for the most part… yeah. These are common sense rules that should have been in place long ago.

      • Extended-Warranty says:

        In theory, it sounds good. However, if you cut off one stream of revenue for banks, they just don’t suddenly accept less revenue. It has to be made up somewhere else….

        I miss the days of good credit card rewards.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          So the real question is if the new revenue streams are worse than the old ones. I haven’t seen a new one that’s worse than the old, at least not yet.

          • Extended-Warranty says:

            Personally, I’d rather pay late fees and higher interest if I miss a payment. At least I can control that. Everywhere I turn, I am offered overdraft protection. I am not usually bothered by upsells, but this one won’t stop.

  19. EdK says:

    Why the pic of Metro Bank? This is kind of misleading..

  20. MickeyG says:

    Having worked for a bank in the past, I feel for him. I felt sick to my stomach the things I had to try and do to customers in order to meet the sales goals.
    When I was hired, I thought it was because of my University degree and work experience with the public – turned out it was because I worked at Best Buy. Sigh.

  21. kataisa says:

    I’m ever so thankful that I don’t work for a bank.

  22. Hoss says:

    Some people actually want this service and don’t realize the overdraft protection they had for years is now gone. It would be more upsetting to that group if the mortgage payment bounced because the last deposit had not cleared. If this is really a problem for you, the right thing to do is find another job and resign (in that order, or you’ll regret it severely!). Your insubordination, quiet or not will be noticed by others, including the manager. Try getting a job in this climate with no references from your former employer

    • Tim says:

      It’s not gone yet. It will be gone sometime this month if customers don’t opt in. That’s why banks are pushing so hard to get people to opt in.

    • Hoss says:

      I misspoke — the new rule applies only to debit card and automated payment transactions.

  23. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I think you should keep your job, sell the stuff even though you hate to do it, and start planning your exit strategy. Polish up that resume and get to job hunting. Tender your resignation once you have found a new job.

    Working proactively on getting yourself out of this job and into a new one will help make the crappy aspects of the current job more bearable.

  24. eargang says:

    …Why did we bail these [censored]s out again?

  25. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I guess I’m in the 1% of customers who actually like overdraft protection. In the small chance that I miscalculate things and I spend more than I have, I’m more than happy to spend the $8 to have the funds taken out of my savings account. $8 is very cheap insurance against bouncing a mortgage payment or property taxes.

    • Wburg says:

      I think you’re the 1% who have a small fee, too. It’s $36 for me.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Is it a $36 fee to pull from your savings account or a $36 fee for the bank to give a line of credit to cover your overcharges?

        • Wburg says:

          “There is no charge for accepting this service. However, if you have accepted Overdraft Coverage and have a transaction that is in excess of your available balance, you will incur a fee of $36.”

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      People don’t like the regular overdraft fee that usually costs around $30 bucks and sends your account into the red.

      I don’t think people have a problem with the service you’re talking about where it really does prevent an overdraft by pulling money from a savings account. Actually, maybe that’s what the OP should be doing: pushing the overdraft plan that links accounts.

      • thewildboo says:

        When I signed up for my checking account (at Chase) about 6 years ago, they automatically linked it to an overdraft credit line. If I overdraw (which has only happened twice), it just borrows the money from there to cover it. The credit line probably has some outrageous interest rate, but only if you just let the charge sit on it. Both times I paid it back the following day when I saw the activity on my account online and there was no fee or charge of any kind involved. It wasn’t until recently, when all this CARD act stuff started coming up, that I realized most people don’t have that kind of set-up. Which is odd, because it was presented as totally standard to me when I opened the account, and it seems to make much more sense than choosing between huge per-transaction OD fees or having a purchase totally declined.

    • kc2idf says:

      I put $100 extra into the account that I then ignore completely until it’s time to reconcile. Three mistakes, and it’s paid for itself.

  26. Wburg says:

    When I signed up for my checking account, we had it tied to my savings account so any overdrafts would pull from there. A few months back we had to opt in to a new service, which we were led to believe was the same thing under a new name, and that everyone had to just re sign up for it. I looked online now, and sure enough I have a $36 fee if I ever overdraft. It’s called Overdraft Coverage at Suntrust, and I’ll be opting out now, and calling later.

    • Wburg says:

      I read the fine print, apparently it was a federal regulation that will automatically opt everyone out on 8/14

  27. Dutchess says:

    Talk to your HR department or Corporate Security and make an annonymous complaint. I worked for BofA for many years and I had a branch manager that was having us do illicit things like this. I called a friend in the corporate office and they did an audit of our location and that person “resigned” shortly after.

    Regulation E (I believe) requires you give customers disclosure on accounts. I doubt that this directive to lie to customers is coming from corporate office.

  28. peebozi says:

    Ethics and morals have no place in the world of a Corporation. Profits are their only responsibility.

  29. Populamus says:

    Ask them to put their request in writing. They wont.

  30. alaron says:

    I don’t know what advice to give, but I applaud the OP for keeping moral values. In this job market, it’s not an easy thing to do.

  31. Dallas_shopper says:

    Unfortunately I think the OP will probably end up being fired. Too bad, because we need more bank tellers like him.

  32. djshinyo says:

    I liked when I recently went to get a cashier’s check for August rent at a local Sovereign….it was the second time I had been offered to opt-in to account protection program. Both times I said I was going to keep avoiding said fees the way I had over the past few years….keeping track of what I spend, and not reaching into funds that don’t exist….I learned this the hard way in college.

    What struck me as bizarre the second go round was when I mentioned to the teller that I was aware of the cut off date when banks cannot charge you as they had in the past…the teller starts saying that the date might not actually be true and that she does not really understand the policy….yikes.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Wait, so she tells you that date is wrong right before telling you she doesn’t understand the policy. She expected this to be a compelling argument?

  33. Buy used! says:

    Overdraft protection is the best way for a bank to get “mistake-prone” people to treat their account like a credit card and rack up fees. Why shouldn’t banks ream the customer for all they can get? It’s not illegal. Yet another way we’ve perfected the ethical “race to the bottom” in this country because regulation seems somehow, well, un-’Merican.

  34. wolf3345us says:

    Sounds alot like working for AT&T…

  35. bleigh says:

    I believe this is any bank at this point. I’m sure any banker/teller was told to tell customers, “Imagine not having funds in your bank account and you go to pump gas or get groceries and you’re declined… Wouldn’t it be stressful/embarrassing?” I feel sick to my stomach as I do it to, and sadly enough people are like oh no! opt me in for overdraft protection with the fee!

    I do, however, try to opt out those who are really getting murdered by OD fees. Sadly, these people seem to use it the most and they LIVE off of it. I hate banking. I feel like the devil… always.

  36. bleigh says:

    I work at a bank as well, and I’m sure ANY bank at this point is scared they’ll lose a ton of money with people ‘opting out’ of OD protection. They make us say, “Imagine going to the grocery store or gas station and not having enough funds… Wouldn’t that be stressful/embarrassing?” It works to opt most people in.. Some people really live off OD and the fees associated with it.

    Others may just opt out (myself included) or have some type of OD line of credit or savings backup. Find a bank or CU that doesn’t have a fee for the associated accounts w/ checking and there may be no fee… Personally.. I won’t risk it.

  37. Oh4Sh0 says:

    Sounds like Chase’s account protector.. wouldn’t surprise me. They were deceptively shady when I got a checking account years ago, and refused to just let me say no.. “Well why don’t you want the service, sir?” “But it protects your checking account..”

    Needless to say I’m no longer a Chase checking customer. ATMs everywhere were convenient. But shitty and deceptive policies were everywhere, from their account protector service to trying to get you to refinance your home – they won’t tell you upfront what it’ll cost you in fees.. to $8 they would charge for a cashier’s check. $8 cashier checks were the final straw.

  38. Link_Shinigami says:

    Are shady business practices illegal? Like, you’re a banker. Not a sales person. You don’t get commission for this, and last I checked, a job is not commission. You aren’t getting tips or bonuses for this and you are giving a pitch, except you’re giving an honest pitch. I did the same thing when I worked as a rep for T-Mo and no one really cared because we’d just pull a “Well it’s a gray area… We wanted to show our knowledge on the topic!” which usually got a monkey to climb down.

    You should look into reporting your employer as well as potential law suits as they are threatening to fire you/force you to quit because of said shady practices.

  39. smo0 says:

    Uh…. yeah so all of those PRO CREDIT UNION guys….

    I can’t log into my bank account anymore without seeing a pop up saying I have to OPT IN to overdraft “protection” or “remind me later.”

    Explain this…

    • qualia says:

      I have STOPPED getting that popup. It freaks me out. I tried to check to see if I’d turned it on, but it tries to get me to link accounts instead of just giving me information. I think I’m good, but I want to cry a little.

  40. AngryK9 says:

    Let them fire you, then file a complaint with the FTC and Board of Labor

  41. donovanr says:

    These sort of things tend to be self correcting. Either the competitors don’t pull crap like this and your company stops or goes under.

    Or it becomes the new standard and the entire industry takes another step toward a point of no return where something so new and different comes along and destroys them.

    A great case in point was that the early cars were desired not because they were better than horses (they weren’t) but because a whole industry existed to screw over horse owners really well. In the old western’s we would see them throw the rope over a beam and walk off. But what do you think you did with a horse in the city, say overnight. There were tons of regulations that forced you into the hands of a few stables that would charge you some serious cash for food, manure disposal, etc. Then cars came along and you could just park it somewhere and that’s it. How many stables in NYC in 1949? For a rich person going into the city it actually saved a fortune. Now with cars we have wonderful inventions such as parking meters and a bunch of people desperate to screw over car owners.

  42. bwcbwc says:

    Definitely start a job hunt, even if it’s internal to the bank. That manager seems to fall into the category of “once a slimeball, always a slimeball”. So even if you cave this time and do things his way to avoid losing your job, there will always be a new promotion you’ll be required to push.

    Part 2 of this is what do you do? You can a) do it the sales manager’s way and throw ethics to the winds, b) resign as they request, or c) make them fire you. c) has the potential to be the most psychologically painful option, as they find ways to pressure you to resign, but it would be the only way to (possibly) collect unemployment benefits if you don’t have a new job lined up. I’m also not sure how a termination would look on the resume of a bank employee, so it might not be worth it. Also, if your bank has an “ethics and compliance” officer, you could raise a question or complaint with that office. It probably won’t get rid of the promotion or the pressure to sell, but it might change the tone of the debate a little bit.

  43. EcPercy says:

    “you wouldn’t want your card to be declined, would you?” – My response to this question would have been: YES, I would rather be embarrassed that I don’t have the money in my account than to go in debt (plus fees) for what is probably an extremely small purchase anyway. That $3 slurpee doesn’t sound so good when you add the $35 overdraft fee to it…

  44. Davad Sneed says:

    Don’t let them trick you into resigning anymore than you want to trick people into buying into a bad “account protector”. Tell them you are doing your best, and if it’s not good enough, make them fire you. If you quit, you have no shot was unemployment. If they fire you, you at least can file the claim, and those benefits come in very handy for those not wanting to move into a nice box under a bridge.