UPDATE: Landlord Auto-Deducting My Life Away

Despite being a broke fool who let his landlord auto-deduct from his bank account, Mike was able to get all his money back from his landlord, using two of consumers most important tools: persistence, and sheer force of will.

    “The charge is now reversed and all fees reversed. (only took 8 days, and with calls from my APT complex on Monday like “you account number is invalid” Well since they took OUT the money just fine I said that can’t be, today the money is back in!) Thanks again!”

Excelsior. Lesson: If you don’t have a lot of money and aren’t razor-sharp about managing it, don’t let people auto-deduct from your bank account. For that matter, you should avoid giving out your bank account information to anyone. — BEN POPKEN

PREVIOUSLY: Landlord Auto-Deducting My Life Away


Edit Your Comment

  1. healthdog says:

    Hooray! Another thumbs up pic.

  2. Jamie Beckland says:

    What is up with the insistence that people should not give out their bank account information?

    I hate to break it to yall, but EVERY time you hand someone a check you give them your routing number and account number! These numbers are not even remotely private!

    Now before you tell me that you never use checks, I should not have to remind you that you give your credit card to every waiter you encounter, who could easily cirb what they needed.

    You are supposed to give out your account numbers in order to make your life easier! Hello, direct deposit. Nice to meet you autopay cell phone bill.

    Please don’t tell people to protect their account numbers like they are social security numbers or something.

    This, of course, in no way absolves you from overdrawing your account. Just because someone has permission to get paid what they are owed doesn’t mean they can’t let you rescind that permission, and this guy got screwed.

    Glad it worked out in the end.

  3. guroth says:

    I think the idea is that if someone is monetarily responsible enough to where they can have money withdrawn directly from their bank account then they should be perfectly able to get a credit card and NOT go into debt.

    Just as with debit cards, if someone draws money direct from your account when they are not supposed to then you are out of X amount of dollars until you get the money back.

    If you use a credit card and someone charges it when they are not supposed to then you STILL HAVE ALL YOUR MONEY, and you are not really hurt at all in between the time of the charge and when you get the charge taken off.

  4. swalve says:

    That’s why these auto-pay setups are not a good idea. Use the online banking to push payments out when you want them to go. If you have an interest bearing account, or are just ornery, you can figure out the last possible day before a late fee gets charged and make sure the payment gets there the day before. And you remain in control of your account. It’s a lot easier to prove someone has accessed your account in an unauthorized fashion if you never gave them permission to go into it in the first place.

  5. Antediluvian says:

    Ben, why would you exclaim “wood shavings” at the end of the quote?

    Excelsior. I love that word. “Wood shavings!” “Packing material!”

    I like tossing it up in the air and proclaiming loudly to all who’ll listen and then stare at me funny, “Excelsior!”

  6. Deusfaux says:


    Sorry no, I don’t use cheques and when I give someone my credit card they don’t leave my sight.

  7. shoegazer says:

    @Antediluvian: Maybe Ben’s just channeling Stan Lee for some arcane reason. Maybe Ben is Stan Lee, and Consumerist is just another way to act out his superhero fantasies.

  8. kimsama says:

    @Antediluvian: If you can toss the wood chips “ever upward” then you can laugh madly at the recursive delight

  9. mac-phisto says:

    @Deusfaux: they don’t have to leave your sight what with skimmers hid under counters (but connected to the transmittal line) or even embedded in transmittal devices. then there’s the handheld skimmers that fit in the palm of, say, a waiter’s hand. you’re protected anyway, but i just thought it was important to note that.

    also, i never set up billing on a credit card b/c it’s damn near impossible to get it to stop when you’re dealing with an incompetent billing department. i can always have a debit from my bank account sent back “unauthorized”, but credit card issuers require you to work with the merchant to resolve incorrect billing. anyone who has ever tried to stop aol will realize the horror of this venture. a person needs to write 5 different letters (in triplicate) to 5 different billing centers to effectively stop aol from hitting up a card. remember those “free” premium services like spam filter? they start billing you separate for those when you cancel your monthly service. what fun. not like anyone uses aol anymore, but it still gets the message across.

    plus, i never had to change the expiration date on my bank account.