Bank Of America: Let's Charge Three Overdraft Fees To The Account Flush With Cash!

Bank of America charged Jason three overdraft fees for the hell of it, even though his account balance never approached $0. Jason called the bank for an explanation, and was told that due to some mathematical wormhole controlled exclusively by Bank of America, he now owed $105. Tired of the bank’s nonsensical jibber-jabber, Jason printed out his statement and headed to the local branch…

He writes:

I’m at a loss of words right now, the anger and hatred for Bank of America has tuned me into a raging lunatic. I have been on the phone with them twice now, asked to speak with a manager/supervisor and I’m still sitting here spinning my wheels.

This past week, I went out of town to visit with my family. At the start of that weekend my account had $68.39 in it. I went to a coffee house and spent $8.89 there across two purchases (one for me and one for my wife when she joined me afterwords $5.71 and $3.18 respectively). I also went and spent $12.00 on a car wash. That day I had a fit of allergies hit me so I went to the drug store and bought some drugs to help me which came to $19.89. This now brings my total weekend spending to $40.78 and all done on Saturday. This would mean that my account would now be at $27.61. After I got back (Tuesday), I had money from my savings transferred in (see the $420.00 transfer into my account). I then used my check card two more times on Wednesday (yesterday) which are still pending (see the $44.00 and $5.55 purchase both of which say “pending”). However I went into my account today (Thursday) only to find BofA has slapped me with 3 overdraft fees!

Knowing this had to have been done in error (and knowing that in the past BofA has had really great customer service) I gave them a call to point out the error of their ways and to correct my account. This is where I started to loose my sanity as BofA tries to explain how in fact the charges which are still pending brought my account to $18.84 and that the purchases I made over the last weekend caused my account to go over and in fact is why I have three overdraft fees. (Are you as confused as I am? Did BofA invent a time machine that they never told us about??)

Now they explained to me that when I make a purchase that purchase causes a “hold” on my account for that much (hence the Pending) and my account reflects that amount being taken out. Which makes since, I can understand that, but what I cannot understand is how a purchase I made in the “future” made it so that the purchases I made in the “past” cause my account to go over and thus I get three overdraft fees as apposed to one or in what I thought was my case, none.

Am I missing something here? I mean I never did take a class in quantum physics but I did get a B+ in Calculus and both me and my wife (who is a finance major and works as an auditor for a financial institute) cannot understand the math BofA is using here.

I have attached a snapshot of my bank statement so hopefully you can understand and maybe show me where the BofA math is coming from, because to me, I can’t see it.

He later added:

Today I went into my local branch (where I opened my account) and talked with an Account Executive (the people above tellers that have offices, I think that’s their title but I could be wrong). After I spoke with them and explained my situation, showed them a printout of my bank statement and also explained what BofA told me on the phone, they preceded to call their customer relations line and get the 411.

After the woman explained my situation to the lady on the other line, they told her something that she couldn’t understand and thus handed me the phone so so they could explain it to me. The woman on the line proceeded to explain how the hold on the pending amount $44.00 and the charge for $5.55 made my account $10.00 so all remaining charges caused my account to go under and given an overdraft fee. She said this was because when you make a purchase the bank puts a hold on those funds until the receipt from the transaction gets mailed to them for verification.

I tried to explain to the woman on the line that using HER rules that would mean (minus the 420 I deposited into my account to counter act any of this happening) that only the 44.00 charge would have caused my account to go over and thus I should only be charged one overdraft fee and not three. She did not agree and kept reiterating the same thing she told me over and over again.

At this point I said I was done talking with her and handed the phone back to the Account Executive and she hung up on her. The Account Executive was very kind to me, she understood that there is no reason my account should be charged overdraft fees because it was never bellow zero in the first place. She went to her Bank manager and they agreed to pay me half of the fees back to me.

I can’t knock the Account Executive or the Bank manager because they understood my situation and understood where I was coming from and did everything in their power to correct the situation. Granted if Corporate BofA had better policies or a calculator that can add and subtract properly I would have never needed to go to them in the first place.

All in all, I still would like the remainder of my money back but I feel somewhat vindicated that at least my local bank understood where I was coming from and did what they could to mend my wounds.

Jason is still out over $50 for Bank of America’s error, and not an inch closer to understanding the bank’s justification for its ludicrous charges. We’re not ones for math, wormholes, or mathematical wormholes, but maybe one of you scientists can untangle Bank of America’s convoluted logic. Publish your hypotheses in the comments for peer review.