Do you trust your bank?
Fees are on the rise again as banks try to make up for revenue they've lost to bad debt write-offs. In fact, three-quarters of bank revenue on supposedly free checking accounts now comes from overdraft fees. That's why it's called "fee checking" in industry lingo!
One of the most controversial practices among the giant banks concerns their overdraft systems. They won't allow you to opt out of the loop where they approve debit card transactions knowing you're overdrawn just to fee you.
Bank of America has now increased the maximum amount of its overdraft charges per day to $350. Don't adjust your computer screen…that's $350, according to The Washington Post.
If you're in danger of running in the red with your account, then you need to rethink everyday spending. Go old-school -- live a cash-only lifestyle and swear off the debit card. You might also want to fire your giant bank and take your business to a smaller community bank or a credit union.
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What has biten me is our checking account, 22 years old with same bank, same address, nothing has changed, and we had a problem, a payment done on line for $1100 appeared not to post, so I did it again, I called the bank and told them to not honor both if both were presented for payment as only one should have, (same amount, same debtor also for over 4 years), well both got drafted out, and we were continuing as usual with our debit card, making purchases, even purchases for $3.00 and less, and every single one we were charged a $35.00 overdraft fee, and were not even aware of this. Well not until nearly 9 days later when pulled up at ATM, went to make $100 withdrawal and the receipt showed a -$746. balance. I was like what? so I presented it again, thinking it was an error, same thing, and to really take an extra bite, each time I presented the card into the machine was a $35.00 fee, twice for the decline and the balance check. I went into our bank, and was told well we are just the small branch in this little town we cant make decisions to reverse any charges, I asked for the Corporate bank and was told that our branch manager would talk with them but she didn't think we would get any help because it was all computer generated. Well 3 days later and I went back in, and she told me, no the Corporate Bank said no help, all charges stand. Because we had the $1,000 protection they continued to pay, but charged us the draft each and every time., over $1300 in overdraft fees.
By SCgirl @ 09/25/09 04:57:28 PMreport abuse
The first thing I would like to say is the majority of overdraft/insufficient fund fees come from the customer not keeping track of their own account. The customer should always know how much they have in their accounts. If you know you have $50 don't spend $75 and write a check for $100. That is common sense. The next thing is that a major bank I work for is making drastic changes to the overdraft process that will please many people. I'm unable to expand but I'm sure Clark will explain when he reads about the changes.
By Personal Banker @ 09/23/09 09:13:25 AMreport abuse
BoA Transaction Ordering to Maximize Fees
I've been bitten by this several times in the past few months. I normally keep pretty close track of what's spent and how much we have left, but sometimes mistakes happen.
I understand that. I accept responsibility for that.
What I do not understand is how they can justify re-ordering transactions to go from largest to smallest rather than chronological order. I've had reps tell me that it's "for my convenience," which is utter hogwash, in my opinion.
Typically, I have one transaction that should've gone into the red. Not with Bank of America - they re-order it so that I wind up with multiple fees, instead of just one.
I'm going to follow Clark's advice from the other night and go to my branch manager and ask him to stop this madness and refund the fees. Even if they do, I still plan on jumping to a credit union at my earliest opportunity.
By Steve Scott @ 09/18/09 06:07:47 PMreport abuse
Bank of America fees
I am outraged that Bank of America is riping me and others off. One of my account was overdrawn by $10. I was assessed the $35 OD fee on 8/5/09. So why did I get charged another $35 OD fee on 8/11/09? I called into the bank and was told that since it was not brought up to par within the 5 days, I was charge an additional fee. I have other accounts in other banks and I have NEVER encounter any such nonsense. Bank of America makes sure that the consumer pays for their short falls.
By ktlight @ 08/12/09 11:36:53 AMreport abuse