ED Magedson – Founder
Bank of Internet4350 La Jolla Village Drive San Diego, California USA
Bank of Internet BOI, BOFI Refuses to release deposited funds to a flood victim because of a single 60 cent overdraft from months ago San Diego California
I have been a customer with Bank of Internet since 2012 and until now it was a pleasure having them manage my money. I am a student who lives off of loans and grants and have had all of my education disbursements deposited into BOI since I opened the account. On June 18th I went out to dinner on my last dime and miscalculated the tip, accidently leaving $.60 more than I had in the account. About a week later I received an email informing me of the overdraft and asking me to deposit funds. I immediately initiated a transfer from my Amazon Payments account and the balance was back in the green two days later.
Last Saturday on the 15th of September I deposited my most recent check expecting it to clear by today, which it did, but then they sent an email stating that they were holding my funds for an extra week because of "repeated overdrafts." In fact, that $.60 was the only time I've ever over drafted.
Now, normally this would not be a big deal except I live in Colorado which was recently declared an emergency disaster zone due to the "100 year storm" and me and my family have have immense expenses to deal with, on top of educational supplies, food, etc.
I explained all of this to a call center worker and he agreed completely, saying "I know this sounds crazy but at this point there's nothing I can do." When I asked why a customer would want to stay with a bank that did this he said "Yeah, I agree." Even their own employees realize how absurd the company is acting.
Eventually I had to speak with a supervisor who was not the least bit interested in helping me. He explained that in order to treat customers "fairly" they "never" make exceptions to holds due to repeated overdrafts (even though the first person I talked to said they did sometimes make exceptions). So I asked whether the contract I signed with them specifies repeated overdrafts or whether a single overdraft gives them the right to hold funds and he said that the contract only says repeated but "repeated" refers to the number of days rather than the number of overdrafts. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if this is something that has been established in the courts but he assured me that he had "8 years of banking experience" and I should trust him.
He also claimed that federal regulations forced them to implement this policy, but when I pointed out that other banks exist that don't follow this policy he backtracked and reiterated that they can't make exceptions. I recorded both phone calls and I can make them available publicly after I remove personal information.
When I asked for the logic behind holding funds because of a tiny overdraft he claimed that by overdrafting even a tiny amount I was "defrauding" the bank...yeah, fraud, not just a tip miscalculation.
An hour later I have no resolution to this and no means to purchase my basic living expenses. My next steps are to file complaints with every official body I can think of and to get the word out there about my horrible experience with a bank that claims to value their customers. Laughable.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/17/2013 02:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bank-of-Internet/San-Diego-California-92122/Bank-of-Internet-BOI-BOFI-Refuses-to-release-deposited-funds-to-a-flood-victim-because-o-1085283. 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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