Adrienne tells Consumerist that she did something very mundane: she deposited a payroll check that her fiancÃ© had signed over to her in her Wells Fargo bank account using an ATM. Based on previous experience, and assuming that a payroll check from a Fortune 1000 company is a straightforward enough deposit, she then paid bills using the money that she thought was in her account.
First came bounced checks and the fees that come with them, then a flurry of contradictory information from Wells Fargo, and finally Adrienne learned that her deposit had been reversed and mailed back to her, because she needed to present it to a teller in person. She’d be happy to do that, but at the time she wrote to Consumerist, the check hadn’t showed up in her mailbox yet and her account remained overdrawn.
On September 3rd my fiancÃ© signed his paycheck over to me for deposit. I then deposited this check into the Wells Fargo ATM. The check had been indorsed to me, and both of our signatures were on the back in the appropriate place. We had done this before with other checks that were made out to him, and never had a problem.
We then proceeded to pay a few bills with the available money, including a few ATM withdrawals, and wrote a check for a portion of our rent.
On September 9th I checked my balance online and saw that it was negative by over $400, and that the deposit had been reversed. I called Wells Fargo and I was told that everything would be covered while they figured out what happened. I told them I had a $300 check outstanding, and I was informed that it would be covered,
The next day (09/10/10) we received a letter dated 09/07/10. The letter stated that only half of the funds from the deposit made on 9/03/10 would be available for immediate use, and that the remaining funds would be available 09/08/10. I checked my online statement again, and the check bounced that day. The day AFTER I was told via letter the funds would be available, and after I was told it would be covered.
I called Wells Fargo a second time, and was told they had mailed the deposit back to me earlier in the week, and that I would have to deposit it in the branch itself with a teller. They said they could not verify the deposit, which is funny, since it’s an ADP payroll check from a Fortune 1000 company.
As of today 09/17/10, I still have not received the payroll check in the mail to re-deposit. The branch and ATM I used originally is 1.5 miles from my house, so this delay is worrying. My Wells Fargo checking account is still negative by over $450, including the returned check fee they charged – even though they said the check would be covered. I had to pay $110 in late fees and charges to as a result of that bounced rent check. In fact, I was called 4 times yesterday at work by their collections department to tell me that I had a negative balance! I can’t tell if this is merely incompetence or if they are just trying to find any excuse to charge me more fees by allowing me to use funds, then taking them away and charging me for the pleasure.