Commerce Bank Can't Decide Whether Funds Are Available Or Not

Meg in New Jersey wants to know what’s up with her Commerce Bank account. They say if you deposit a check before 6pm, the funds are made available that day—but when she did just that and then transferred the funds to another account, she was hit with a $35 “uncollected funds fee.” She never got a straight answer out of the Commerce CSR, and although they refunded the fee, they told her she “could only get that refund once ever,” as if to say it was her fault the fee was assessed.

Here’s her story:

Dear Consumerist,
I thought you’d like to know about an occurance I had with my bank, Commerce Bank in New Jersey. Recently, my debt card was stolen at the place I work. My bank refunded all the money that was stolen from my account, but since then I’ve been on hyper alert concerning my account. I check it once a day online now.
Imagine my surprise last night at 3am, when I see an unauthorized “uncollected funds fee” charge for an astounding $35! I immediatly call their 24/7 hotline and get an incredibly perky woman, who tells me the fee is my own fault.
Apparently, the check I had deposited earlier that day wasn’t real money yet in my account, so when I transfered the money to another account, this fee shows up. I was surprised, I had never been informed that you couldn’t do this, and my bank has a slogan that your check is avaliable THAT DAY if you deposit before 6pm, and I did so around noon! Furthermore, how could I transfer money that my account said was avaliable when my bank claims it should have never been showing up?
The woman on the phone said that seemed odd and refunded the fee, before telling me I could only get that refund once ever. I asked her why I was allowed to transfer the money in the first place if I didn’t really “have” it yet, and she had no answer and quickly ended the call.
I’ve had an account with this branch for years and never encountered this problem OR this fee before. I’ve never had a problem transfering money immediatly after making a deposit. I smell a rat.
At least I have my $35 back… and a newfound paranoia towards Commerce Bank.

Meg, you should pay a visit in person to the branch you’ve always banked at, and explain to someone there what happened. It’s great they refunded the fee, but at the very least they should try to find out why it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again—and they should reset your “once ever” refund status to “unused” since this was clearly not your fault.
(Photo: diaper)

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