When you borrow from a bank where you also keep your day-to-day cash, you might be opening yourself up to problems down the line. Most banks have a right of setoff, which means they can tap other accounts you hold with them to repay themselves money you owe. For a woman in Atlanta, this meant Wells Fargo legally drained her checking account without warning, leaving her and her husband with no cash and $385 in overdraft fees, due to some ongoing confusion over a student loan. [More]
Consumerist reader Jake got a big scare a few weeks back when his father called to let him know he’d been contacted by Wachovia. The bank told Jake’s dad that not only was Jake’s law school loan in default, but that, as a co-signer, he was responsible for paying $11,750 immediately. Two problems with that: 1) The loan wasn’t in default. 2) Jacob’s dad wasn’t a co-signer. [More]
Sean is accusing Wachovia of using tricky online transaction posting that makes it difficult to tell when you’re in danger of slipping into the red. He says that although his account never appeared to be overdrawn, but he was still hit with overdraft charges thanks to funny accounting. He writes: [More]
Jared thought he had enough money in his Wachovia checking account to cover a mini-spending spree, but he found out soon after that he’d racked up big-time overdraft fees. Now he’s not sure whether or not he should pay Wachovia the money he owes or just cut and run and start over with a new account somewhere else. [More]
Richard bought a vehicle, returned it and bought another from the same dealership. He says Wachovia erroneously paid off the second loan instead of the first. Once he got the finance department to correct the mistake — a process that took a month — Wachovia started hassling him to make a payment for which he was never billed. [More]
Kate and her husband knew they had to settle a big debt to Capital One, but elected to wait until the bank came to them to pay up. The move ended up costing them, because Capital One got Wachovia to freeze their checking account with the assurance that it would release the funds once the couple paid up. [More]
Wachovia has a new financial product called Way2Save that automatically moves $1 from your checking account into a high interest personal savings account every time you make an electronic bill payment. Susan tried to maximize her contributions by making a lot of little bill payments, but Wachovia cut off access to her funds without notice and triggered an avalanche of penalty fees. Now she owes over $5,000 to her credit card companies, far more than she would likely have ever earned through Wachovia’s complicated savings program, and of course Wachovia is denying any responsibility.
“The best advice I can offer to those who wish to commit check fraud against Wachovia Bank,” writes Jim, “is to purchase a typewriter.” Although he’s been a customer of the bank for years and had a hefty balance that more than covered the deposit amount of his handwritten check, because the dollar amount was in black ink and the signature was in blue ink the teller said it might be fraudulent and refused to take it.
The secret of the $23 quadrillion VISA debit errors looks like a specific and not uncommon programming error. Take the insanely large number, if you convert 2314885530818450000 to hexadecimal, you end up with 20 20 20 20 20 20 12 50. In programming, hex20 is a space. Where a binary zero should have been, there were spaces instead. What made this instance special is that it wasn’t caught in time. A Slashdot commenter identifying himself as working in the industry explains more about what very likely happened:
I hope he cleaned his plate. Jon Seale was another of several VISA customers who were charged $23 quadrillion for mundane purchases. This time it was his July 13th meal a Dallas restaurant, reports KXAS. VISA said a temporary programming error affecting prepaid accounts was responsible for the error . Jon spent the rest of the day calling between Wachovia and VISA to try to clear the $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge.
When Wachovia closed its bank branch in Shoemakersville, PA, last month, a spokesperson made it sound like it was part of a normal review of locations. Local newspaper the Reading Eagle, however, found out that the bank lost the branch last September in a tax sale, when a local company bought the building for only $16,900.
Tom just received a great offer from his bank. He can receive a free credit report just by peeling off this sticker and affixing it to another part of the same page. That’s right, a free motherloving credit report! Who doesn’t want one of those? Free, you say? Sign me up!
Reader Mike wrote to us about a problem he was experiencing with Wachovia (now part of Wells Fargo, but apparently keeping its own identity.) A day later, he he wrote back, informing us that the problem had resolved itself via Wachovia’s Twitter account. (Customers, take note: that’s http://twitter.com/Wachovia.)
60 Minutes recently took a look at World Savings Bank, the acquisition that ultimately wounded Wachovia so badly that it had to be acquired by Wells Fargo. What was wrong with an institution for which Wachovia was willing to pay $25 billion? Well, one whistleblower claims that World Savings was engaged in fraud and predatory lending — tricking its customers into signing up for dangerous “option-arm” or (as they cheerfully called them) “pick-a-payment” loans.
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
Wachovia announced their $23.7 billion third quarter loss with an all-too-easy-to-mock pre-taped conference call. “Let’s just close our eyes and imagine what the combination of Wells Fargo and Wachovia will create,” said CEO Bob Steel. We suppose that does make it easier not to rudely stare at the number “23,700,000,000.” [WSJ Deal Journal]
Wells Fargo is the winner in the battle for Wachovia, says the New York Times. Apparently, Citibank became nervous about splitting the bank when they saw the size of the “bad assets” it would have to take on, and quietly walked away. The bank will continue to seek $60 billion in damages, however.