• Report: #244034

Complaint Review: Bank Of America Online Services

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 14, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, April 17, 2007

  • Reported By:Los Angeles California
Bank Of America Online Services
Hwd Main 6300 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 323-730-9140
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Bank Of America Online Services Ripoff Inaccuracies in online bank balances & ensuing overdraft charges Los Angeles California

*Consumer Suggestion: Did Other Items Post?

*Consumer Suggestion: Should carry SOME cash to make those $2/$4 purchases!

*Consumer Comment: You're not an idiot, Pam...

*Author of original report: Question about balance - online banking

*Consumer Comment: Not So Fast....

*Consumer Comment: I hate to join the chorus here.....

*Consumer Comment: I hate to join the chorus here.....

*Consumer Comment: I hate to join the chorus here.....

*Consumer Comment: I hate to join the chorus here.....

*Consumer Suggestion: Pam, a simple solution here!

*Consumer Comment: Don't rely on your online balance.

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On April 9, after regular business hours, I checked my online balance whoch was shown to be in the black by a small margin. There were some pending items - which as I have had it explained to me had been taken out of the lower balance showing the balance at the top. There are n automatic payroll deposit due at midnight that night (which had been in force for months).

The next day I found that the pending items HAD been deducted again - somehow from some OTHER amended balance BEFORE the payroll check was entered - thereby creating an insufficient funds fee of $175!! When I called to ask what was happening - and told them that I had been told repeatedly that the pending items were deducted from the upper balance -as shown - the items mysteriously had MOVED to the other category below & shown NSF.

I was told "to keep better records"!! - which I find ironic when the bank seems to be inaccurate & slippery in its own dealings!!

Pam
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/14/2007 04:22 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bank-Of-America-Online-Services/Los-Angeles-California-90028/Bank-Of-America-Online-Services-Ripoff-Inaccuracies-in-online-bank-balances-ensuing-over-244034. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 11Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Did Other Items Post?

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

Pam,

I'm still unclear about what happened and this can be helpful not only to you but to others. You said your balance was positive EVEN AFTER deducting the PENDING items. This means you had enough money in the bank to cover them. Therefore, when these pending items "moved" as you say, which I assume that means they "posted", your balance should have still reflected a positive balance after they were deducted, the same as it showed the previous day, even if these items posted before your deposit.

Can you clarify, were there any other items that ALSO posted at that the same time like checks you may have written? These would not have shown up as pending the day before.

It could be that your direct deposit was "made available" to you but it wasn't actually "posted" in the ledger on this day to cover any additional items that came in besides those items you saw as pending on the previous day. In other words, the deposit would also appeared as "pending".
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Should carry SOME cash to make those $2/$4 purchases!

AUTHOR: Steve [Not A Lawyer] - (U.S.A.)

Pam,

Those small transactions should be made with cash. Limiting the use of your debit card is a good idea. And, when you do use it, ALWAYS use your pin# so it is processsed right away. Don't just swipe it and sign as it is then run as a credit transaction and could take days, weeks or even longer to post.

And, online banking was NEVER designed or intended to replace your checkbook register. You MUST keep an ACCURATE checkbook register to avoid NSF fees.

If you life is too busy for you to properly maintain a checkbook register, you should switch to using a credit card for daily purchases then write 1 check per month for the CC bill.

Also, 2 people using debit cards daily with multiple purchases from the same account is just plain crazy!
A recipe for disaster.
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#3 Consumer Comment

You're not an idiot, Pam...

AUTHOR: Erikson - (U.S.A.)

and I am sorry if you feel that is the message some of us are sending. Personally, I know that the pending/posted/available transaction rodeo can sometimes leave consumers paying a steep price when they wake up in the morning and look at their balance online. That is why I always suggest that those who utilize banks keep their own records daily. I promise you that suggestion wasn't designed as some sort of smart a** remark to make you feel stupid.

So tiresome has the process of keeping these banking "rules" straight become that I actually have stopped making debit card transactions and writing checks. instead opting to make ATM withdrawals and pay bills in cash. I know it sounds antiquated and a little boring, but I am not a believer in the modern technology "advantages" that financial institutions offer.

I believe that these tools are designed to encourage customers to rely on them to do the budgeting for you...which is the fast track to the ever-profitable overdraft fees.

Bottom line: if you rely less on what the bank provides you, you take away their power and profit. Pay cash when you can. minimize debit/check transactions. and make a habit of recording every debit and credit YOURSELF. I switched to this method of record-keeping about a year ago. and I will never rely on banks to assist me again.
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#4 Author of original report

Question about balance - online banking

AUTHOR: Pam - (U.S.A.)

#1 with so many transactions flying here & there & with a joint checking account which both me & my husband use - & fewer checks actually written & automatic withdrawals - I find it MUCH hard than in the old days to note transactions manually- I naively thought that online banking was supposed to be an automated way to help me with that....I assume that a lot of consumers feel the same way I do - so this caveat is warranted.

#2 re the balances I will try to explain again - for Edward - lacking the banking terminology -
In online banking there are 2 balances - the overall available balance listed at the very top - and the balance minus the pending items (listed under the pending items with the rest of the account's activity) - On countless occasions I have tried to get assurance that the account balance I see on the very top reflects the balance MINUS the items pending. They all say - Yes, that is the case.

Now - on this day before payday - I had a slim margin in the black - and an automatic deposit was on the way. (I did not spend any more $ it was late in the evening...) Then the next say - the SAME items that had been pending somehow MOVED below and were deducted before the payroll check was counted. I do not understand this. As they had already been previous deducted as pending and non NSF. Money had been deposited - so why should thry be NSF?

I would like to get some accurate sense of how this all works - I would have gone out & COVERED any pending NSF if I had been aware of it - !!!thereby avoiding the penalties - (some for trivial amounts of $2/$4 which is even more maddening - altho perfectly within their rights.)

I suppose I should always keep a substantial amount in my - which as the wife of a school teacher, I find frankly difficult, despite our pennypinching....Perhaps I should avoid automatic deposit. Now I am told I am an idiot because I have been lead to rely on something which has been presented to me as an AID. OK -it's a sort of outrage - and the US is full of too much of it as we are alas seeing in current events - but one has to TRY. I do think it's unjust - so I persevere.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Not So Fast....

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

Pam,

I have two suspicions of what may have happened to you but it would help if you can provide more details. When you say the pending items had been taken from the lower balance, showing the balance at the top, I think you're referring to your final "Ledger Balance" as of the previous business day and nightly processing, vs the "Available Balance" after the pending items were deducted.

Suspicion #1 - If those pending items were DEBIT transactions where you used your pin # and not CREDIT transactions, and these items overdrew your account, BofA will charge overdrafts for these items, even though they had not yet posted. But this would have been reflected in your available balance at the top being in the red. Can you clarify - Was your "Ledger Balance" in the black but your "Available Balance" in the red after the pending items? Or was your Available Balance also in the black, even after deducting the pending items?

Suspicion #2 - If in fact both balances were always in the black, then I agree with you - your direct deposit should have posted first before any debits at midnight. But it's important that your direct deposit "actually posted" in the ledger and was not just "made available" to you but not posted.

You might have reason to be concerned but it would help if you can clarify some of these specifics.
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#6 Consumer Comment

I hate to join the chorus here.....

AUTHOR: Erikson - (U.S.A.)

but it appears as though you did not accurately account for your debits and credits in a manner that would protect your account from being overdrawn. Regardless of what your online balance shows, if you account for your debits and credits sufficiently (via register, computer personal finance software, etc.) you will reduce instances where you deduct amounts that exceed your available balance.

I'm sorry, but there is no ripoff here...
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#7 Consumer Comment

I hate to join the chorus here.....

AUTHOR: Erikson - (U.S.A.)

but it appears as though you did not accurately account for your debits and credits in a manner that would protect your account from being overdrawn. Regardless of what your online balance shows, if you account for your debits and credits sufficiently (via register, computer personal finance software, etc.) you will reduce instances where you deduct amounts that exceed your available balance.

I'm sorry, but there is no ripoff here...
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#8 Consumer Comment

I hate to join the chorus here.....

AUTHOR: Erikson - (U.S.A.)

but it appears as though you did not accurately account for your debits and credits in a manner that would protect your account from being overdrawn. Regardless of what your online balance shows, if you account for your debits and credits sufficiently (via register, computer personal finance software, etc.) you will reduce instances where you deduct amounts that exceed your available balance.

I'm sorry, but there is no ripoff here...
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#9 Consumer Comment

I hate to join the chorus here.....

AUTHOR: Erikson - (U.S.A.)

but it appears as though you did not accurately account for your debits and credits in a manner that would protect your account from being overdrawn. Regardless of what your online balance shows, if you account for your debits and credits sufficiently (via register, computer personal finance software, etc.) you will reduce instances where you deduct amounts that exceed your available balance.

I'm sorry, but there is no ripoff here...
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

Pam, a simple solution here!

AUTHOR: Steve [Not A Lawyer] - (U.S.A.)

Pam,

Keeping an ACCURATE checkbook register is an ABSOLUTE MUST!

NEVER rely on online balancing or using the ATM to determine balances.

There is no ripoff here on the part of the bank.

You ripped yourself off by not keeping an accurate register. This is not optional. You have to do it if you want to avoid this problem in the future.

An ACCURATE checkbook register is the ONLY guaranteed way of knowing your ACTUAL account balance. And, when keeping a register, do not add in deposits until they clear. But deduct transactions as soon as you make the purchase.

The fact is, many people are just in too big of a hurry or just too lazy to keep an accurate checkbook register. This used to be taught in schools.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Don't rely on your online balance.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

No matter which bank you use, it is never accurate.

To guarantee no more NSFs, keep your own account register. Whether hand writen or computer software, write down every transaction. Deduct it from your running balance. When you reach 0, stop spending. Date your deposits on the day that they become availble to draw against (this is easiest when using a software program). Depending upon the type of deposit it could be the business day the deposit posts or several business days after the deposit posts. Consult you account terms and conditions for your banks funds availability policies.

If you have a direct deposit due to be credited on a Friday, don't draw on it until Friday. That includes transactions initiated on a Thursday but not posted to your account until Friday (that will guarantee a NSF).

I don't work for BofA or any other financial institution but as they already told you, keep better records.

Good luck.
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