Well, it is hard to find a starting point. I will try to go in the order it happened. A week ago, maybe two, I deposited my check into our BB&T checking account. This past Friday my wifes work check was direct deposited into our account. We drove to out house that we are selling that is a good 600 miles away, and then drove back. Needless to say, we used the check card quite a bit doing lots of small ($5 and less) purchases on drinks at gas stations, and lots of $20 purchases for gas.
When we got back, I checked our balance online in the morning expecting to either have about $10 left or have one overdraft charge. Admittedly, we did not pay as much attention as we should have, but we full well to pay for our mistakes when we make them. Instead I saw that we have been charged the insane amount of $350 in just overdraft fees!! That is a total of 10 transactions that they claim we did not have money for.
I am a very logical problem solving math oriented person, so I sat down with a pen and paper and tried to figure out where we went wrong. What transaction specifically put us over and when was it. After seeing that so many transactions that I was almost sure were made while we still had a good portion of our money left, I decided to add everything up. We have only had out account for about a month, so I added up all of our negative transactions in one column and all of our deposits in another. I included the first four transactions that were charged overdrafts since they were small and I really thought we had the money.
When I was finished, I was amazed to see that we had deposited a full $46 in our account then we had spent by the end of the first four overdrawn transactions. That was hard for me to believe, so I literally quadruple checked my math. I needed some answers so I headed off to my home branch.
The teller refered me to one of the two people who I think may be managers who set up your accounts and do all of those kinds of things. I talked to her for a good half hour or more. I asked questions like "How is it possible or legal that at the point that the computer says my available balance went negative, I actually still had $60 even after everything swiped before those were processed?" And "It is physically impossible for me to not have had $40 even after those four transactions were processed since every transaction up to them added together leaves me with $40". I was completely confused and it made no sense to me. She tried telling me that it is just confusing and no one really understands how the available balance and current balance and pending items and all of the computerized things work together, but it was just a matter of when each item went through and when they were originally bought. When I persisted she seemed concerned and at a loss for what to say and called someone and fished around on her computer for a while and printed some stuff off.
She then called over the branch manager and he talked to me for a while and tried to explain it the same way by saying that it is hard to understand the way that all of the different things come in and when they are processed and all that. I kept asking the same questions about where my $40 went and why I still had it after I was charged 4 of my fees. He then said that he would have someone from customer care call me at around 2pm. I aksed if I could take the papers that she printed off with me, since she kept referencing them to explain things to me. She wasn't going to since they are appearently "not really supposed to" but the branch manager said it was ok. I guess they don't want their customers to have all of the information about their transactions since that is all it was. Just a list of my recent transaction including the ones that were overdrawn. Only this paper also had when they were actually swiped including the day and time. It was about noon when I left.
When I got home I realized my wife had the key for the house and she was at work so I sat on my car and looked over the papers for something that would make better sense to me. At this point I believed that there was an explanation for the $40 issue and I just didn't understand the way things worked since that is all they kept repeating to me. The first thing that jumped out at me as I looked at the list of transactions that went through on 8/17, which was a monday so all of the transactions for the weekend were on there as well, was that they were in order from largest purchase to smallest purchase. I thought that was just a way of organising this particular list until I noticed that the available balance was next to them, and they went down along with each transaction in the same order. So they actually took all of the transactions that they recieved over the weekend and that morning up to 11:57am and then arranged them not by when they recieved them, or when they were swiped but by the largest amount first. This way, if you first made 5 $1 purchases on friday, and one $20 purchase on monday morning and you only had $20 in your account, istead of charging the five $1 ones first, like it should in every way be done, thus leaving you with a balance of -$5 plus one overdraft fee of $35, they will charge you the $20 first so that each of the $1 transactions cause a fee. So instead of you being -$40 like you should be, you will be -$200!! IT IS WRONG. They need to processed in the order that you make the purchases. Since that is how they determane your available balance, and when your available balance goes negative that is when they charge you fees.
So after noticing that, I plotted out all of my transactions from the 17th and 18th since those are the days I was charged fees. And I discovered that some of the ones I was being charged for were as far back as the 14th, in the morning. And I was being charged an overdraft fee on items that I purchased three days ago when I still had almost $200 in my account. So I looked back to the long list of my purchases to see where that $40 went, and again to my surprise, it was still in my account on the 17th. And it did not disappear. In this list that I was looking at, it shows all transactions in the order that they were processed and applied by BB&T. It said clearly that I was positive for the first 4 transactions then only went negative after the overdraft fees for those 4 items, and after that was processed, the $40 in my account was used to pay off some of the fee. Which is completely absurd. The first 4 ones that I was charged a fee for actually subtracted from my balance and I remained positive, then even though I was positive it charged me overdraft fees while there was money there! WTF
Then I arranged the purchases according to when they were swiped and by each day that they were processed, and after counting in my $40 that payed for fees, I would have actually only been charged one overdraft fee on the very last of purchase which was a $10 purchase. But somehow they have programed their computer to charge fees when you still have a positive balance even including pending items, thus putting you negative and charging you more fees. They actually stop all of the transactions that come in, and change the order that they go through in so that you get charged as much as possible.
The person never called me at 2pm. I called them, they said that their computers were down and couldn't access any info, so to call back in ten min. I did, they said the same thing and to call back in an hour, and that they are open til midnight and the other people that I would need to call back close at 7pm. I called back before 7pm and they said that I need to talk to account review people and that they close at 5pm. So I am stuck waiting again.
This company is bad. Do not do business with them. To summarize, they charged me 4 over draft fees while I still had $40-60 in my account, and $20 of that paid for all of those transactions, then for no reason I was charged $140 overdraft fees on those and the remaining $40 in my account paid off some of the overdraft fees. Then I was charged another $210 in overdraft fees on the next 6 purchases. Without being cheated and illegally charged I would only be $45 under including fees instead -$365! I am taking them to court. I hope they go bankrupt.