A Chase Bank Teller Makes A Mistake, I Spend The Long Weekend $2,300 Overdrawn

Jason began his holiday weekend with an unpleasant surprise. When he checked his bank account on his iPad, he saw that it was overdrawn. It was overdrawn by a lot. More than two thousand dollars. Jason hadn’t made any huge withdrawals from his account, and neither had any other authorized person. Was he the victim of identity theft? Fraud? ATM skimmers? How could someone take out money that wasn’t there? It turns out that it was quite easy: it just required a one-digit error in the account number.

Warning: Jason’s e-mail to Consumerist contains copious rage-induced use of the F word. When you read what happened, you might understand why.

So here is how my 3 day weekend kicks off getting fucked over. I look at my iPad in the morning and I see my chase account is overdrawn by -$2,3xx.xxx. I call Chase’s 800 number speak to a rep. From what I was told the slip they have on file shows that 1 number is off from the account number. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?

Did the teller did not check the name on the account? Let’s not mention the withdraw amount wasn’t even available. Also what manager approved the withdrawal when the funds weren’t a available and also why didn’t the manager check the name on the account to match with the slip.

I have been in the phone with Chase bank all day and they cannot issue me a refund as I have to wait 48 for the refund to hit. This is your fault chase and your telling me I have to wait 48hrs? This is fucking insane. Now if I have an emergency I have no access to my money whatsoever because I have no fucking money!!!!

We didn’t hear from Jason that he had experienced a catastrophic emergency. That’s no excuse for a teller at a Chase branch somewhere to go handing out thousands of dollars’ worth of his money that isn’t even in his account to strangers, though. Aren’t 21st-century banks set up specifically to avoid this kind of mess?


Edit Your Comment

  1. dwasifar says:

    Not to blame the OP, because Chase surely screwed the pooch here, but if he used the same language with them that he used here, I’m not surprised they didn’t hurry to help him.

    • GOInsanity says:

      Yeah, the ranting by him is pretty bad.

      But it is really insane that it just takes a second for them to take the money from you, but 48 hours to give it back. That never really made sense to me. Yes, I understand they have to check everything over before they refund the money, but if they had done it in the first place, he wouldn’t have had this problem. They’ll take the time to be extra safe with their money, but when it’s your money, the banks’ll just throw it around knowing they won’t get into any trouble. I almost want to read one of these stories where the person has a lot of problems because of the banks mistake, and they manage to take them to court for it. Nope, it’ll never happen.

      • spartan says:

        In a “Free fucking country” like the USA, a bank customer should be able to use the same words as a bank CEO.


        • JollySith says:

          So by this logic because the CEO, who no one a customer ever speaks with will ever meet or have any influence over uses a bit of profanity it is OK to cuss at and verbally abuse a phone rep or CSR?
          Look the bank made an error, they should definitely fix it and much faster than 48hrs. But lowering the level of civility and being a douche to someone who didn’t make the mistake and probably has zero resources available to fix it just makes you a jerk.

          • MuleHeadJoe says:

            Everyone pointing out that if the OP ranted at the CSR it would be poor manners is correct, however I’d like to point out that the rant posted in the article is the OP’s email to the Consumerist, not a transcript of his conversation with Chase.

            For all we know, he was calm, cool, collected and completely polite at all times in his dealing with the CSR.

            … just sayin’ …

          • spartan says:

            The CEO lowered the level of civility. It isn’t his customers responsibility to raise the bar back up there,

        • Jawaka says:

          If that’s the case then the tellers should be allowed to use the same language as the customers without having to worry about being fired.

      • Sneeje says:

        This is the crazy part for me–when they make a mistake that impacts you, they expect the recourse to impact you instead of them.

        In other words, when they accidentally take your money, they ought to replace it immediately with their money until they can get your money back.

        If you damaged their building so that it couldn’t be used, they would expect you to pay for both the damage and the inability to use the building for its purpose. Why its different just because they are a “corporation serving thousands of people” is beyond me. I suspect if it were different, these mistakes would happen far less often given that they would have an actual consequence.

        • PunditGuy says:

          Sounds like a problem with a common-sense legislative fix.

          Oh, but regulashuns r teh socialisms.

          • ashley440 says:

            A law that states that a bank has to provide an immediate refund in the case of a mistake would never be passed. Banks do need time to confirm errors. I’m not saying the OP doesn’t deserve his money back right away; he most certainly does. But there’s never going to be a law that states that.

            At the bank I work for, we have a thing called provisional credit, and every branch and call center has the ability to provide immediate funds to the client with the understanding that if the complaint does not pan out the money will come right back out of the clients account. Chase has the resources to do something similar, I’m sure.

            • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

              Sure, Chase has the resources to do it, but not the ability to give a shit.

              If I can go to a teller or service rep and point out a very obvious error, the provisional credit should be immediate. That’s what happens at my current credit union – but not at all what happened with BOA (which I consider to be interchangeable with Chase.)

        • euph_22 says:

          Unless you did it on purpose, I don’t think they would expect you to pay for it. They would expect their insurance carrier (and possibly your insurance carrier if it’s a vehicular accident).

          They certainly wouldn’t expect you to pay for it immediately.

      • Aliciaz777 says:

        I’ve always wondered that too. A bank can screw up your whole life in a split second but in order to fix their mistakes, it can take anywhere from 48 hours to 7-10 business days. It really is rage inducing, and I can’t totally understand the OP’s F-word filled rant and I don’t blame him one bit for it. I’ve been in his situation a couple times. I was living paycheck to paycheck at the time and thank God my landlord was understanding, or else I would’ve been evicted because my bank was bunch if flippin morons. It only took a second for them to take my money, but I didn’t get it back until they “completed their investigation” almost 5 days later.

        I hate banks, but I need a bank account. I can’t use cash for everything so I’m stuck with them and I hate it.

      • Rocinante says:

        Several managers have to approve the refund. It is setup this way to avoid internal fraud. They cannot simply push a few buttons and electronically transfer the money back to him in a short time.

        • euph_22 says:

          Amen. If banks did immediately refund the money before the incident was investigated, it would be an open invitation for fraud. Paypal has several features like this that frequently get abused to defraud people (I have read several accounts of this on here). If people do this to defraud hundreds of dollars via paypal, why wouldn’t they do if for thousands of dollars via banks.

          Of course there are middle grounds that could be explored. For example, after a cursory investigation they could loan back some/all of the money (after forcing you to sign things that make you easier to hunt down and more illegal if you were participating in fraud).

        • MarkFL says:

          Here’s a thought:

          Yesterday was Labor Day, or as I call it, the day we honor laborers by giving their bosses a paid day off. Obviously someone had to work the customer service phones over the weekend, which in the case of a bank I’m appreciative of. So why can’t one or two VPs be on call for the weekend to take care of situations like this?

          If working on Labor Day is good enough for the grunts, why not for the execs?

          Besides, let’s be realistic. If this had happened this morning (day after Labor Day) I bet it STILL would have taken a couple of days to fix this, even though all the relevant managers would have been working. I can see if it took a couple of hours, but several days?

      • MarkFL says:

        “it’ll never happen.”

        Perhaps you’ve forgotten this one:


        By the way, while I was looking for the link, I found a follow-up that the attorney extracted an additional $3000 for his legal fees in recovering the money.

    • kanenas says:

      You’d be civilized too. Unless it happens to you. The OP has every right to swear, rant and rave because this kind of error should be “undoable” on Chase’s end. Period.

      • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

        Besides, he may be perfectly civil with them, and vent and rant and swear up a storm when talking to third parties about it. I know I do that.

      • dwasifar says:

        Sure, he has a right to. Who wouldn’t be furious? But if you want to get your problem solved, you swallow that impulse and try to get the other person on your side, and that means being civil and decent to them, rather than going off on them.

        We don’t know how he behaved on the call (which is why I said IF he used that language). But this is one of the sweariest rants I’ve seen from an OP here, which at least makes me suspect he might not have controlled his temper with Chase either.

    • dolemite says:

      If someone wiped out my bank account due to idiotic errors, I would definitely not be rosy and cheery.

  2. dcatz says:

    If I, has an individual, had made this kind of “mistake”, I would be arrested and thrown in jail.

    It is amazing what you can get away with when you are in lockstep with the state.

    • lyontaymer30 says:

      So you think every banking mistake made they should put someone in jail? Apparently you think they are ran by error-less beings.

      • Lyn Torden says:

        It SHOULD be that good, yes. At least for the BIG banks.

        • George4478 says:

          100% accuracy? No mistakes? Thousands of people working there and not a single one should ever make a mistake that affects a customer’s money?

          Not at all realistic.

          They should, instead, accept that mistakes happen and improve their method of resolving the mistakes, as opposed to jailing the cashier for a typo.

          • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

            Why not? The regulations for the healthcare industry expect as much out of healthcare workers. 100% accuracy on orders and documentation, no mistakes.

            • TuxthePenguin says:

              Absolutely false. Two words prove that: malpractice insurance.

            • lyontaymer30 says:

              They don’t put people in jail for mistakes though. I worked in the health industry and I’ve made mistakes there, some pretty sizable ones, they didn’t put me in handcuffs.

        • lyontaymer30 says:

          I wonder if at your job they have the same error free or you get fired policy as well. I’m sure you wouldn’t like it, but it’s easy to put that pressure on people when you don’t have to deal with it.

    • JJFIII says:

      Who told you this? People bounce checks every single day. How many of them actually get arrested. Hyperbolic bullshit. You have no clue what you are talking about.

    • Crackpot says:

      No, you as an individual, would most certainly not be thrown in jail. You’d be liable for civil damages, possibly punitive, but not jail time because YOU HAVE NOT COMMITTED A CRIME.

      There’s a big difference between accidentally committing a 1-character typo and intentionally taking money from someone. Also, once you have a business relationship with someone, you must actually show intent to defraud, or it is simply negligence. Does the OP have a case against Chase? Possibly for negligence and MAYBE breach of contract, if he can show damages. But even punitive damages probably wouldn’t come into play unless the OP’s attorney could show that it was a common practice that Chase didn’t put enough safeguards in place to guard against. However, I think that’s unlikely.

      What the OP has to do is speak with the dispute/chargeback department. He needs to document what happened, and dispute the transaction. Once the department in question takes his claim, they will most likely issue an account credit, EVEN BEFORE IT’S VERIFIED. This may not hold true for teller transactions, but is likely to. However, that credit will only show up after one business day. I’m guessing, giving the timing of this post, that the issue happened over the weekend. It’s possible that they can place an instant, temporary credit on the account. Bank of America calls this a “memo credit” – I don’t know if Chase has this facility or not. Regardless, however, he needs to make sure that they place a note on the account that indicates what his balance SHOULD be, and also needs to detail what branch performed the transaction, what forms of ID were presented, etc. I’ll reference why shortly. That takes us to step two:

      The OP then needs to walk into his local branch, where he opened his account. He needs to speak with a teller, point to the notes, and ask for a temporary credit until the matter is resolved. If the teller can’t approve it, ask for the branch manager. If the manager still balks, as three questions:

      1. Can you confirm that I made the transaction in question? (Answer is no.)
      2. Can you confirm that someone else made the transaction in error? (Yes, according to notes.)
      3. Can you give any justification for holding my money without cause? (Answer SHOULD be no.)

      If they still balk, say “Then I respectfully request that you close my account, effective immediately. Please give me my correct account balance, in cash. The details in my account notes clearly indicate what the balance should be. Give me my funds, please.” (Remember those notes from before?) ;-)

      If they still balk, slowly raise the volume of your voice so that other bank customers can hear repeating the key points that it was a bank error, that the error is verified, and that the notes clearly indicate what your balance should actually be. Reference the aforementioned notes that detail where the transaction occurred and be prepared to demonstrate that you were at another location. Reference the notes to indicate that the ID shown clearly doesn’t match your account. DO NOT lose your temper. DO NOT swear. DO NOT use words like “fraud”, “theft”, etc. when speaking to the teller/manager initially, but it might be worth tossing them in there for other customers’ benefit when you start raising the volume. It is important to note that, personal feelings aside, this is not actually fraud or theft – it is simply a banking error that is already set to be resolved. (Within 48 hours, according to the OP.) Using a term like fraud will simply wipe out your credibility in the eyes of your bank.) Assume that you will not be successful today, so that you will not be surprised or upset. Your slowly raising the volume of your voice is merely a tactic to apply pressure to the bank, and will only work if there are other customers present.

      For those full of righteous outrage towards banks, regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, no; this isn’t fraud or theft. It may FEEL like it, but both the law and the banking industry clearly differentiates between knowing and willful fraud/theft and a stupid mistake made by a teller. Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, no police officer will arrest the teller who screwed up, and no court will convict them. If you want to sue, sue. But if you start ranting and raving about fraud, theft, scandal, etc. you will only look like a fool.

      • MuleHeadJoe says:

        Thank you for a well thought out comment. I like reading things like this :-)

      • jumbojeepman says:

        Well if they aren’t going to issue a credit, they surely aren’t going to give you cash and let you close the account before they finish their internal investigation.

        • Crackpot says:

          Um… they DID issue a credit. They DID finish their internal investigation. The credit simply doesn’t post to the account for 48 hours, possibly due to the weekend/holiday. Besides, closing the account is a last resort – but before that, it’s a tactic. This alone can sometimes make the difference between no help, and a manager who is willing to do crazy things like post an immediate cash deposit (as if the OP had made one), then cancel the transaction when the credit hits. They’ll never do things like this when you request it, but I’ve seen it happen when there’s no other way out. It’s not exactly following policy, but some branch managers have more leeway/discretion when it comes to this sort of situation in which the bank is totally at fault.

          Remember: you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Try being nice first.

  3. lyontaymer30 says:

    Same thing happened when my account got overdrawn. And in these situations, yelling and cursing at them doesn’t help lol. Luckily, I didn’t have any major expenses and I already had food to eat for three days so it wasn’t a big deal for me to wait. And just like him since it was the weekend, all I could do is put in a complaint and wait to the next biz day.

  4. SoCalGNX says:

    Chase is never in a hurry to help any one. And you can bet he will have trouble getting rid of any charges for overdrafts that come in.

  5. spartan says:

    Why can’t the OP use the language we used. because as Chase CEO Jaime Dimon proudly says, “We live in a free fucking country”


  6. Marlin says:

    Now let’s see if he does anything about it; you know like dropping his accounts with them and going to a CU?
    Or will he be like many that scream and complain but then just stay and takes it.

    There’s a reason banks get away with things like this, too many people are lazy and will not leave. Or just sign up at another big bank to start the process over again.

    • JJFIII says:

      Yes, because credit unions NEVER make mistakes


      The whole credit unions are perfect bullshit is getting old. Here is a list of credit unions that have failed recently


      • Marlin says:

        So generic “problems” with no other info and also some small CU’s that are having problems is reason to allow Big Banks to keep their BS flowing? Really?!?

      • lvdave says:

        Hey Sparky.. NObody in this thread said credit unions are perfect… NOthing is perfect, but they are DAMN sight better than ANY for-profit bank out there.. I’ve been with credit unions for the last 30 some years, and I can count the number of times I’ve had ANY problems with my accounts there on ONE HAND, and in all cases, the problems were solved immediately. I’ll admit in one case, I had to call the CU CEO, and once that happened, the problem was solved (and several people lost their jobs..)…

        • wade says:

          Congratulations. I’ve been with for-profit banks for 15 some years, and I can count the number of times I’ve had ANY problems with my accounts there on ONE HAND, and in all cases, the problems were solved immediately. Even better, I didn’t make anyone get fired. So, Sparky, where does that leave us?

    • nopirates says:

      yeah, credit unions are totally immune to human error. this has NOTHING to do with your silly CU/Big Bank war.

      • Marlin says:

        immune no, but the one me and my wife joined fixed a problem on a Sat and had updated papers to us 2 business days later.

        Did not have to ask for a manager, scream, worry, etc… just pointed out a mistake (by my wife not the CU) and they fixed it then and there.

        The mess we delt with from Wells Fargo was enough to push us out and have been very happy about it.

  7. ninabi says:

    Too bad there isn’t a way for bank customers to impose their own fees on banks when problems occur, with additional inconvenience fees for holiday weekends.

    • MarkFL says:

      I suggest you send them a bill. If it’s reasonable and they pay it, it’s reimbursement for you and a ton of postive publicity for the bank.

  8. pdj79 says:

    I don’t know…he only had $252 in his account when this happened….not sure what kind of catastrophic emergency he could hope to pay for with that sum of money….perhaps a late-night beer run?

    But in all seriousness, it does piss me off that a bank can essentially hold your money hostage in such a way. I think it’s ridiculous that they say they have to wait 48-hours for the refund to hit when they pretty instantaneously issued a $34 payday to themselves. You ARE the bank…you CAN make that account positive just as quickly as you can make it negative.

    • jeb says:

      My bill for an alignment and two new tires was $230. Had to get it because my two front tires were bald, so it wasn’t safe to drive.

      $252 would cover that emergency.

      • MuleHeadJoe says:

        Some emergency … you ignored the deteriorating state of your tires for how long before deciding it was absolutely necessary to get them replaced?

        Okay, I think the “emergency” concept is just hype … a more realistic notion is this: say you start the weekend with a positive balance of XXX dollars. You go to a restaurant & order a nice meal and attempt to pay using your debit card, and get denied because of the bank’s error. You’ve just been horked … the restaurant is gonna be pissed at you if you can’t pay them, and depending on how big a douche the manager is they might even call the cops on you. That is actual harm or damage caused by the bank, and no need to scream “emergency” to validate it.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I have my money spread out at 3 different banks, none of which is a big national bank that got a bailout. Maybe I should make that 4.

    • ovalseven says:

      A tow truck, or cab fare, or locksmith, or motel room, or bail money…

      Plenty of emergencies can be covered with $252.

      • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

        If you can cover bail with $252, you’re not partying hard enough.

        (Then again, if all you have in the bank is $252, maybe you shouldn’t be out partying.)

        • Jane_Gage says:

          I only keep a couple hundred dollars in my checking account. Its sole purpose is to pay for expenses I can’t put on CCs. I also find it useful to have a cash reserve for buying gas in NJ, in case ATM is down, tolls for trips, regional rail, WWIII, etc. Anything over a couple hundred dollars in your checking account should be routed to savings or paying down principle on a loan.

  9. ovalseven says:

    Chase could/should have fixed this right away for him. I think he just got a lazy CSR.

    You should be able to trust a bank with your money. I hope he’s at his local branch this morning to close his account. In fact, this story makes me want to close my own account with them.

    • cactus jack says:

      This happened to me at Norwest/Wells Fargo years ago. They deposited my paycheck into my roommate’s account somehow and he went on a spending spree, thinking “well Monopoly says bank error in your favor…”
      Spent a day fighting with the bank (at the bank) who at first called me a liar and said I never made the deposit . I produced the receipt and they found the error and told me to try and collect from my roommate since he spent the money. I told them that was a load of crap and that I wanted my money in my account now. They reluctantly did so.

      Then they tried to send me on my way without fixing the $350 in overdraft fees. Yet another fight to get them to do this. Once everything was finished and I was assured my money was returned, I closed my account.

      Probably the worst feeling in the world knowing the place you bank with is trying to screw you at every turn rather than fix their mistake properly.

      • Lyn Torden says:

        So whatever happened with your roommate? Surely they pulled the money back out of his account.

        • cactus jack says:

          They overdrafted his account. He went down to complain and they told him he had to pay it back. They did give him a 5 minute prepaid phone card for his trouble though.

          • Marlin says:

            “They did give him a 5 minute prepaid phone card for his trouble though.”

            IDK why but that made me laugh. All I could think of was them saying “heres a 5 minute phone card to use from jail if you don;t pay it back”.

      • JJFIII says:

        So you willingly lived with a criminal? Sounds like there is way more to the story that you are only giving one side.You do realize your roomate is the one who stole your money?

        • ovalseven says:

          I’d look at this the same way Cactus did. The bank took my money and the roommate stole the bank’s money. It’s not up to me to get it back for them.

        • cactus jack says:

          He didn’t deposit my paycheck into his account. The bank did. I deposited the money and the bank put the money into the wrong spot. Was it stupid that he spent the money? Yep. But he was forced to pay it back.

          • MarkFL says:

            Your roommate is the one who spent the money. If I found my roommate’s paycheck in my account, I would just give him the money and then go with him to the bank to give them hell over their mistake.

        • cactus jack says:

          One last thing. I’m pretty damned sure you were just trolling, but consider the OP in this scenario. If the recipient of his deposit spent all of the money mistakenly deposited into the account, should he be forced to go after that person to retrieve his funds? Or do you hold the bank responsible for the mistake?

      • MarkFL says:

        I’m loathe to agree with the bank, but yes, you should have demanded repayment from the roommate.

        And knowing your roommate stole your paycheck is definitely a worse feeling than knowing your bank is trying to screw you.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      You should. I did in 1999 after their 2nd mistake.

    • Rubberduckgrrl says:

      OP is to blame for this too. He should have checked his own receipt before walking away – at the very least to make sure it had his name on it.

      • dpeters11 says:

        The OP had nothing to do with that. We’ll call him “customer A” and there’s a “Customer B” that has the same account number, but one number off. It’s customer B that made the withdrawal and had the money taken from the wrong account. Should they have checked the receipt? Probably, but honestly, if you already know your balance it really doesn’t have any info you don’t know. I really don’t pay much attention to them. I’m more careful with deposit receipts. Otherwise, they get shredded fairly quickly.

      • Farleyboy007 says:

        someone else made the withdrawal, the teller fatfingered one digit in the account number to match the OP’s account instead. There is 0 blame to be laid at the OP’s feet.

      • JollySith says:

        Reading comprehension fail.
        Someone else withdrew $2000.00 from their own account but due to a clerical error the money was withdrawn from the OP’s account.

  10. Lyn Torden says:

    The computers should be set up for this. Unless Jason had his account authorized for overdraft, the computer should have rejected it. This is a prime example of why we need to have MORE regulation of banks, not less. This should have (can could have) been impossible to happen by default.

    • Not Given says:

      Apparently, that’s only good for debit card transactions. Any other transaction is at the bank’s discretion.

  11. Rubberduckgrrl says:

    Threaten them with filing a complaint with your state’s banking and insurance commissioner. THAT puts the fear of god into the biz and will fix the problem – and they will double-time it if they know they’ve done something they’ll get spanked for, like this!!

    • nsv says:

      That works for local banks, not so much for the big banks.

      Wachovia gave my account information to my ex. He had a friend in the bank who looked up my accounts, printed the information, and handed it to him. I walked into my branch (a different branch than the one where he got the information, so I wasn’t talking to the person who gave it to him) and showed them the printout and complained. The branch manager wouldn’t do anything, he just promised that nothing like that would ever happen again.

      I said I’d go to the banking and insurance commissioner, and he laughed at me and said “Go ahead, our headquarters are not in this state.”

      I closed my accounts. (I also quietly moved to get away from the crazy ex, but that’s another story.)

  12. Tim says:

    You don’t have any credit cards for emergencies? No savings, perhaps?

    I’m going to blame the OP here for having absolutely no backup plan for the $252 in his bank account. Any number of things could happen to that money and leave you up shit’s creek without a paddle.

    For example, I once had $1,200 stolen from my account (probably through a skimmer). I was overdrawn, and I had to throw out my debit card. So I had nothing in my account for a few days, and no debit card for a few weeks. But I had two credit cards, so I didn’t starve or anything.

    • howie_in_az says:

      A nearly identical thing happend to me at Wells Fargo during a major move, leaving my wife stranded with no monies and just the $200 in her pocket. Several calls to WF finally resolved the issue (WF issued a “temporary credit”), but not before dropping numerous F-bombs and threatening to call the police, news media, etc. At one point the CSR said that only the CEO could help me, to which I responded that they needed to get him on the phone “right fucking now”. Everyone wanted to wait the 48 hours for it to “roll off” of my account, nobody wanted to lift a finger to help.

      Compare that to a recent event with my local credit union where they called to tell me there was a mistake on my account and someone had deposited money into it that wasn’t mine, and that I shouldn’t be worried when I saw the deposit and subsequent withdraw.

      As for your blaming the OP, perhaps his savings account is in another bank that provides better returns. An ACH will still take 1-2 business days, so that’s of no help to him (much like your comment).

      • Jane_Gage says:

        Even if he’s a student and that’s his net worth (guessing this is the case given the colorful presentation), it just makes it more important to make him whole again as soon as possible. It wouldn’t be responsible of him to have multiple CCs or stick it under his mattress.

      • Tim says:

        You can blame people until you run out of breath, but all the blame in the world won’t replace the responsibility to be prepared. Yes, the bank screwed up. Yes, the bank should have done it differently. But if the OP had been prepared, he would have avoided a lot of pain.

        • MarkFL says:

          What’s with the “blame the victim”? If he had been robbed at gunpoint on the street, would you say the OP should have set aside money to be prepared for a robbery?

          A lot of people are unemployed or underemployed, and sometimes that reserve has to be used to pay the rent.

    • castlecraver says:

      Thank you for your suggestion, Gov. Romney. It’s amazing how many money problems can be remedied simply by having more money, and I can’t believe we never thought of this before.

    • triana says:

      It must be nice to get paid enough to have a backup plan. For those of us that rent, rent was due this past weekend, and for many of us, it’s damn near a whole paycheck. And that’s all there is until the next one. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, there’s little left to set aside in savings, and your income isn’t going to be enough to get you much credit.

      I’m college-educated and have a halfway decent title in my field, and yet the only backup plan I can afford is, “F*ck. I guess it’s cereal for dinner until payday.”

  13. gweemus says:

    I had a similar problem with my (old) bank, where they removed my rent check amount *twice* (same check number, everything!). This put me about $2000 in the red, on a long weekend. I had no problems (credit cards to cover purchases, etc) but the bank refused to even look into the matter until I presented myself in person at a bank (even though, on the phone, looking at the electronic records, they could see that the same amount for a single check including the check image had been debited twice). When I could finally get to a branch, I was told I should be more careful and keep more money in my checking account to cover problems like this!

    Needless to say, we closed that account asap.

  14. Danno23 says:

    What amazes me is that it only took a one digit error. I would have thought that bank account numbers would have a built in mechanism to prevent that, like credit cards do with the last digit being a checksum. Issuing account numbers sequentially without any mechanism to detect errors is just being lazy.

    • tooki says:

      I wanted to post the same thing. Here in Europe, the tracking numbers on giro* payments contain a checksum, so if you make a mistake while entering a payment online, it will reject it. It makes total sense for account numbers to use checksums, too.

      *The closest thing to a check that’s actually used here; it’s kind of a reverse check.

    • micahdg says:

      It amazed me as well, being such a large bank. The bank I worked at gave out account numbers that were all at least 2 digits different from other account numbers. This way, a teller would have to make TWO mistakes to put money into the wrong account.

      Unfortunately, our bank also liked to acquire other little banks with their own account numbering systems. Some of these little banks would give customers any account number they wanted. These accounts seemed to suffer more inadvertent deposits and withdrawals than our native accounts. The op’s account might have been acquired from another bank; who knows.

      In any case, the op needs to have more than one bank with at least a little emergency money distributed between the two. Putting all your eggs in one debit card is never a good idea…

  15. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    All it takes is a teller that doesn’t pay attention. I tried to make a deposit to savings at my local bank, and the teller insisted the account was closed. I had given her my full name and account number on the slip. I insisted it was open. She was very snotty toward me and said “my computer says it’s closed. I’ll get the manager”. Manager lady came over, and pointed to the screen and said “you flipped these two numbers”. Voila, the correct account popped up. And no, she didn’t apologize to me.

    So – even though I gave the teller all the correct information, she mistyped the number. Luckily, the account she keyed was closed, otherwise, someone else would have gotten my money.

    • Budala says:

      Seems like you ran into a fine product of our public education system. Bet she wasn’t even written up for it, even if such an idiot should have been fired on the spot. I’m certain that you weren’t the first customer that happened to, nor will you be the last. My recommendation is avoiding that teller for life and even letting other customers know of her errors and wait in line paitently for another teller. ‘she dumb, go ahead’ is really easy to say to the next customer in line.

      • Banished to the Corner says:

        You are a complete ASS. I did have customers like you when I was a teller, being snotty and rude, and often saying demeaning things to me. One of our most experienced tellers gave me some hints: do everything slowly & completely – don’t multitask (ie: count cash/verify each check) and every time the customer asks you a question; stop, answer the question and then start the interrupted task over again.

        You want to have a person terminated because they transposed two numbers. According to lovemypets00 the teller wasn’t polite, and didn’t apologize for the error — I can see speaking to the manager about the teller’s attitude, but losing her job???

        Wow, it must be nice to never make a mistake, never be rude or not be polite, never have to worry about money/job.

        • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

          “Wow, it must be nice to never make a mistake, never be rude or not be polite, never have to worry about money/job.”

          Most successful adults (by which I mean successful at being adults, not necessarily rich) realize that the best way to not have to worry about losing your job is to be unfailingly polite to the customer…even when they’re being an ass. If you’re lucky, your boss will refuse to tolerate outright abuse and will back you up if you firmly but civilly turn away an abusive customer, but none of us can be that lucky in every job we have, so the key to not having to worry (as much) about your job, and hence money, is to learn to never be rude or not polite when needed.

          I’m assuming you’re mad because you never learned that lesson.

          I am unfailingly polite with anyone trying to help me, and I am very patient if people make mistakes and try to fix them or at least apologize for the trouble, but someone who makes a mistake and then acts like I’m inconveniencing them by pointing it out and refuses to fix it, making it my problem? You can be damned sure I will complain to every level of management possible about it until I at least hear that they will be retrained.

          So I guess I’m an ass, too.

          • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

            so the key to not having to worry (as much) about your job, and hence money, is to learn to never be rude or not polite when needed.

            Someone here has never actually worked in customer service, or they would know that the ultimate fallback of a customer embarrassed by lack of funds, expired coupons, missing a return window, etc is “Well but s/he was rude to me!!!!1!”

            And even keeping the job doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about money, given that it’s a rare customer-service job which pays above poverty level.

            So yes, you are an ass. And the sad part is, when one day your job gets pulled out from under you and you end up in CS, you won’t even recognize that you were wrong. You’ll make it someone else’s problem.

            • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

              Actually, I did answer the toll-free number as a front-line CSR, waited tables, and worked retail in a mall. I was lucky enough to have a combination of ability and opportunity in the form of bosses who recognized and valued my hard work and ideas, and I no longer work directly in customer service…now I have clients who are sometimes just as difficult as anyone I served in retail.

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          I need to point out that I was not rude to the teller, I asked her several times to please recheck what she was keying/seeing on her screen, and she just continued to be snotty. When I asked her to recheck for the 3rd time, she got the manager.

          I know now to avoid her – and if she’s the only one available, I walk outside and use the ATM machine to make deposits as I’m 99.99% sure the money will end up in the right account.

          • Banished to the Corner says:

            I apologize to you, lovemypets00, my comment wasn’t aimed at you, and I’m truly apologetic that it seems like I was. It sounds like you handled the event politely and with aplomb. My comment was a reply to Budala’s, “Bet she wasn’t even written up for it, even if such an idiot should have been fired on the spot.” I don’t think that making a mistake should result in person being terminated, Budala does.

            • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

              No worries! I figured that’s what you did, but I wanted to clarify for everyone that I wasn’t being a bad consumer toward the teller, I don’t want her fired, but what we should all take away from this is to be very careful when we bank :)

  16. ashtonn4 says:

    I had a Chase teller just leave my account open on her computer after I made a deposit, the person after me was making a withdrawal and the teller ended up taking it out of my account. Even with the proof that CHASE sent me (a copy of the other customers withdrawal slip that had none of my information on it) they initially tried to tell me that I withdrew the money, It took me a few weeks to get my ~ $300 back. It can be ridiculous what they make you go through when they screw up.

    • JoeJackson says:

      They just want to make sure you REALLY want your money, cause you know, some people might be all like, oh, in that case, keep it.

  17. Budala says:

    Have a recommendation to speed up the banks process to deposit the money back into the acct if incorrectly withdrawn. Let’s penalize the bank 10% of the incorrect amount withdrawn daily with the customer receiving the penalty. So if it takes them 48 hours to deposit the money back into the acct the above customer would be $460 richer, not a bad investment if you ask me.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      Your grammar is horrible. What does this post even mean?

      Aren’t you the person always making snide remarks about people who went to public school? I don’t know where you went to school, but you should’ve paid more attention in English class.

  18. DuckNCover says:

    I had $20,000+ debited from my bank account in error once a few years ago. There was language coming from me that I didn’t even know I knew, though it was in the privacy of my own home as I checked my balance online. But, it was fixed and my account was back to normal in under 2 hours after the bank was made aware of the problem. One of a few times Bank of America has actually done right by me. I have to wonder if the holiday weekend had something to do with the delay in this case as well. But, I agree with those who have said if he used this language to talk to Chase it may also have an effect. When my issue happened I was definitely pissed, but I was as calm and polite as I could possibly be to the person I spoke with at BofA because I knew it was unlikely that specific person’s fault.

    • nishioka says:

      > One of a few times Bank of America has actually done right by me.

      It’s interesting that in order to appreciate when Bank of America has “done right”, they first had to take $20,000 out of your account.

  19. Zelgadis says:

    Reading this, one minor detail strikes me. He’s checking his accounts with his iPad? Christ, I won’t even check my bank account on any sort of wireless anything whatsoever.

    • IndyJaws says:

      Why? If he’s using a secured wifi network plus SSL encryption on the bank’s page, he should be safe. If the bank’s app weren’t encrypted, I’d say you have something.

  20. gitmo234 says:

    I was stuck this weekend too. USAA lost my $17500 deposit two Weeks ago and is ” researching” it.

    • lvdave says:

      Yikes!! Say it aint so… USAA is one of the VERY VERY few banks that I will do business with.. I’ve been with credit unions for over 30 years, but when I wanted to roll over an old employers 401K into a self-directed IRA, I went to USAA, since I’d heard such good things about them.. Hope they’re not going down the toilet along with the rest of em….

      • gitmo234 says:

        I keep hearing that their slowly headed down the toilet. I was ill-advised twice on mailing in this deposit, when I did, I spent $40 on overnight shipping only to still be without it. There’s a research request pending to find out where it went.

        Simultaneously my car died (under warranty) and I’m using USAA roadside assistance to get it towed, but it has to go to dealer for warranty service. They got approval for the extra 14 miles of coverage on the towing. I called back to have the towers come and the lady FLIPPED out on me about only being authorized 14 miles.

        I called back and talked to someone else and got it taken care of.

        Called about my missing deposit and I “should hear something in 3 – 5 business days” and the customer service rep seriously asked me if there was a reason for my urgency… I guess $17.5k gone missing isnt enough. My car’s broke down, I have tuition to pay for, work to go to, mortgage to pay, etc just like everyone else and my cash is gone.

        • AzCatz07 says:

          Do they not allow deposit by mobile for an amount that large?

          • gitmo234 says:

            No, nothing over $10,000. It was a cashiers check I had drawn from my savings account. When I actually didnt need it, I called three times to verify instructions to re-deposit it, mailed it back accordingly and two weeks later it’s not in. The only thing they do is say they are researching it.

  21. konfusi0n says:

    This essentially should be considered theft. They took his money without permission, or notification. If someone had me holding onto two grand for safe keeping, and I ended up taking the money for my own use, I’d be charged with grand larceny (at least in NY). So tell me again how this is not stealing? Especially when they admit the mistake, yet still say it will take 48 hours? There need to be penalties against banks for situations like this. Reasons like this make me glad my Bank has my picture on file that comes up every time, and require Name, Member Number, and Account Number with all transactions.

  22. oldwiz65 says:

    Typical of the big banks like Chase, BofA, Wells Fargo. The tellers don’t really care about customers, and the bank management cares even less. The only ones they care about are the super rich.

    The OP will have a very hard time getting his money back and trying to get them to waive the fees. If the OP is smart he/she will find another bank after getting this straightened out.

    • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

      “The tellers don’t really care about customers, and the bank management cares even less. The only ones they care about are the super rich.”

      Wait, you mean a business cares more about their better customers? Shocking.

  23. dpeters11 says:

    Leave it to Consumerist commenters to say it’s the OP’s fault. Things certainly can go wrong. I once made a deposit, it showed up as pending on my account, and didn’t think anything more of it. Turns out they forgot to do some end of day work, and all the deposits that day got reversed. Fortunately I was able to get it resolved without a hassle.

  24. Santamente says:

    I had the same issue with BoA over the 4th of july weekend. I deposited my paycheck, verified that the money was in the account when i got home, woke up the next morning and the paycheck was gone, plus a few hundred more in bounced check fees. I went to the bank, and I was told not to worry, it would all be taken care of. I told them that I would need cash for the holiday in case something went wrong, and they told me they couldn’t do that until the account was cleared. a few hours later and my money was back. two hours after that it was gone again. and that’s how the next two weeks went. i would wake up, hit an ATM to get enough money for the day, while it was showing in my account, and then an hour later it would be gone again. it took two weeks to get the “software error” cleared up so my money would show up, and another three weeks after that clearing up bounced checks.

  25. drtrmiller says:

    After perusing the comments in this thread, it has become clear to me that half the commenters here are hired goons working from some corporate dungeon, set out with the sole intent and purpose to discredit authentic wrongdoings by changing the conversation from who was wronged, to something so unequivocally trivial, such as the language used by the person who WAS wronged.

    It’s regretful and despicable that these goons can not share a shred of empathy for someone who was inadvertently charged as much as an old, used car’s worth of cash, just because of the incompetence of a bank teller—that they must resort to wasting valuable comment space on here, blaming the victim, all because of a bit of vulgar rhetoric.

    To all said goons—grow fucking up and get a fucking life.

    • dwasifar says:

      Nice name-calling there.

      For the record, I am not in the employ of the bank or anyone set out to “discredit wrongdoings.” Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the term “screwed the pooch.” (In this context, it means “wrongdoing.”) I did not say the problem was the OP’s fault; I simply observed that he may not have approached the solution process well.

      I have as much sympathy for the OP as you do (perhaps more, if your obvious sense of superiority is any indication of your capacity for empathy). I merely point out that you’re more likely to get cooperation from anyone if you are pleasant and nice than if you curse and threaten. If you come in with guns blazing, they’re going to do exactly the minimum they must do for you, and not one thing more. If you want more than that, antagonizing the very person whose help you need is not a good plan. Would you rather vent, or get the problem fixed?

      By the way, I’m surprised to find you on the customer’s side here. I thought you were Mister Follow The Contract. Weren’t you the guy who insisted on defending that customer who was trying to get a refund from Costco on a worn-out TV after what, 7 years, based on a strict reading of one specific piece of fine print? Why aren’t YOU defending Chase now? After all, some fine print somewhere surely says they have 48 hours.

  26. Pete the Geek says:

    It’s unfortunate and I have sympathy for the OP because I had something similar happen many years ago when they wiped out my account on payday; We got paid montly back then and due to my circumstances I had no alternate sources of money.

    I agree that bank staff should fix their errors with the same speed as they made them. There is really no excuse. I don’t know if the OP used swear words in his complaint, but I think that as a rule, good consumers must make complaints using dignified and carefully-considered language. Swearing at the CSR is impolite and almost certainly misdirected. Furthermore it is very likely to get you flagged as a “problem customer”. I think company workers are more motivated to work harder and bend some rules when the customer presents an easily and plesantly resoved issue.

    The bank that made the error and wiped out my account over 30 years ago… they fixed their error but offered no apology and I haven’t banked with them since.

  27. bben says:

    My CU made a mistake – actually it was the ATM that shorted me $300 on a Friday evening. I went through at just after 6 PM – technically the CU was closed. The door was locked, but there was still one customer inside. An employee opened it up and invited me in, he stayed after hours to see that I filled out the proper paperwork, checked it to be sure I had filled it out correctly and Gave me $300 cash – the same amount the ATM had shorted me. On Monday, I received a phone call at a little after 9 AM saying they had completed their investigation. The count on that ATM was exactly $300 over. And as I had already received the $300 we should be even. I agreed and that was it.

    When I got my statement, I checked and it showed that I had an ATM withdrawal for $300* (with an asterisk) , a ‘courtesy’ counter withdrawal of $300 on that Friday, Then a ‘balancing entry’ of $300 to my account the next Monday. The asterisk led me to a note at the bottom saying something like ATM error and giving a case number. If they had counted that as $600 my account would have been overdrawn as I had less than $600 in that account.

    Not only no 48 hour wait, but nearly zero wait to settle a problem. That is what the big banks are competing with.

  28. Sedrick says:

    I don’t like the language but I understand the frustration. I’ve been on the phone with CHASE most of the day. We have a mortgage loan with JP Morgan Chase Bank, Approximately 5-6 YEARS ago our address was changed by the US Postal Service and our local E911 Department at which time Chase Mortgage was notified in ‘WRITING” of the said change. Our address was 911 ********* Road and was changed to 701 ********** Road. Every three months for the last 5-6 years we get a letter from Chase that we do not have any Hazard Insurance….which is ALWAYS not true. We have Insurance, it just has the CORRECTED address on it and since CHASE Bank is full of Incompetent personnel we can not get it changed on the Mortgage. We have provided info from the Postal Service as well as our county E911 Director as to the change but as of this date it has not been corrected with the lender. Our complaint is that we are now being charged $3058 through our ESCROW for insurance that we have already paid through a private agency. I have to make a call every 3 months and fight with this stupid bank and it’s CS people. Every time they request the same info and we have provided it numerous times and they still continue to ‘harass’ us about not providing coverage. I’m sure this is not looking good on our credit report and we are tired to dealing with a company that doesn’t care. Our hope is to be able to get out from under this loan in the next year and NEVER have to deal with them again!!!! Wonder what would happen if we quit paying this loan…could they foreclose on property that isn’t there?!?!?!

  29. technos says:

    My credit union almost did this to me once, with someone else’s account.

    Went in to deposit a check and take out some cash for a trip to the junk yard. Walking out I took a look at the receipt to see my balance.. $18,200? That’s like $10,000 too high. And my name isn’t ‘Morrison Construction’.

    Combo of bad handwriting and a new teller, they fixed it in 30s.

  30. Moifee says:

    I had virtually the exact same problem this week with Chase and was contemplating contacting Consumerist about it!

    In my case, Chase made a payment from my account to somebody else’s car loan. They replaced it 48 hours later without any explaination for how somebody unauthorized could access my account. When I asked for more details they pretty much said “Meh. Whatever. Your money is back in your account. Whatever.”

  31. Therulnig says:

    I had a problem where an online retailer double-charged me for an order online and it overdrafted the account I used. Called the merchant and they said call the bank. Called my bank and they said no the merchant can simply void the transaction at that stage, but instead of just pawning me off they stayed on the line and I 3-wayed the merchant in and the merchant said it would take 2-3 days to post the voided transaction and the bank rep said nope I’ve memo’ed your account and credited for the amount of the duplicate order – and I saw the money back in there and the cancelled overdraft fee immediately.

    THATS how an error should be handled at the bank.