TCF Bank Won't Close $.05 Account, Prefers To Charge $149 In Fees

Reader DFCL says that he asked TCF Bank to close his account back in April as it only had a $.05 balance. Now it’s June, his account is still open, and he’s in collections for $149 in fees. Some very exciting things happened between those two points, including him offering to donate $500 to charity if they waived his fees. They declined his offer.

DFCL writes:

In April I asked TCF Bank to close my checking account. On May 13th it was still open with a $0.05 balance. TCF assessed a $9.95 maintenance fee and started adding $10 daily account overdraft fees (for my convenience, of course).

They printed an overdraft letter on Friday, mailed it on Monday, and I received it the following Friday. The balance was -$79.90 by the time I became aware the account was still open.

They informed me that I could not have closed the account since I had not signed a form and there must have been a miscommunication.

…I offered to give $500 to charity if the fees were removed, in TCF’s name if they desired. …The branch manager, assistant manager and regional manager discussed this and declined my “generous offer.” Instead they reversed $50 in fees. Not acceptable.

I asked the manager three times if she had the sole authority to remove all the fees. She refused to answer but told me (quite loudly) that she would absolutely not be removing the fees.

The account balance has since sank to -$149.90.

On 5/16 TCF told me the account would be closed and the balance would be sent to collections after 14 days. At least I finally found a way to get TCF to close my account, right? Wrong. It is 19 days later and the account is still open.

Should I be thanking TCF for reversing $50 in fees? Should I just give up on it?

Sincerely,

A loyal Consumerist reader

Interesting story. Couple of things. Every time I’ve seen it at a physical bank, closing your account indeed involves signing a form. So if you didn’t do that, I don’t see how it could be closed. On the other hand, it would be better customer service if the bank had owned up to leaving you with the misunderstanding that your account was closed and had waived your fees back in May and closed the account down for you.

I think if you still want those fees waived you should try, calmly, clearly, and succinctly, to tell your story to someone over the regional manager’s head. The bank is on firm ground as far as their stated policy goes, but maybe you can use the fact that your account is still left open as sign of their basic service failure in order to get the next higher sympathetic to your cause.

Then again, you could just try repeating over and over again, “IT’S $149 IN FEES OVER A NICKEL.”