• Report: #181549

Complaint Review: Charter One Bank

  • Submitted: Thu, March 16, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, March 21, 2006

  • Reported By:Bloomington Indiana
Charter One Bank
Martinsville, Indiana U.S.A.
  • Phone:
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Charter One Bank Ripoff Unscrupulous charges added and then escalated Martinsville Indiana

*Author of original report: Clarifications

*Consumer Comment: Need to be Vigilant

*Consumer Comment: Need to be Vigilant

*Consumer Comment: Need to be Vigilant

*Consumer Comment: Need to be Vigilant

*Consumer Comment: Standard practice, Jackie..

*Consumer Comment: been there

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I have been battling this Bank for more than 2 years. My son opened a checking account with this Bank when they first moved to town. When he received his first statement he found he had been charged fees he was told he would NOT be charged; AND they reported him with $50 in interest income for the "FREE" gift he got when he opened the account.

When he tried to close the account, he went to the manager several days in a row to make sure things had cleared out. He knew he had a very small balance - but used the debit card (for an amount less than what he HAD in the account), which would have left him with a balance of $3.11 Unbeknownst to him, the branch personnel added a "statement fee" of $10 to the account -thereby throwing him into OVERDRAFT status. The notice of the 'overdraft' was postmarked 3 days AFTER the date of the notice and arrived almost a week later - by that time, the bank had added $33 in the initial overdraft fee, then another $66 because it had remained in overdraft status for more than 4 days. We immediately went to the manager of the branch who assured us that the charges would be reversed, the account properly credited and closed.

That never happened. The next week, more notices, more fees - I called the bank manager and was told "they would get it taken care of once and for all" and 'not to worry'. HA! The next month, more fees, when I called the corporate people I was the account could NOT be closed because it was in OVERDRAFT status and I needed to contact the local manager. Guess what??

The one we had been dealing was no longer employed there and the person I did get to talk to was not 'authorized' to fix the account. I made it very clear to them that we would NOT be paying the overdraft fees as the entire balance (now $390+/-) was a result of their bogus 'statement fee' (NOT a SERVICE fee, 'statement fee' -- an extra charge for the 'research' they performed when helping him watch the account prior to closing it)!!

Several months later we got a letter from a collection agency - of course, we disputed the debt and when they sent me their "proof" of the account it showed an overdraft of $6.89 and it showed the 'statement fee' - when I explained this IN WRITING to the collection agency, and was adamant that we did not owe Charter One the $390 they claimed, nor would we be paying it, I never heard from that collection agency again, and thought this was the end of it.

Not so fast.... nearly a YEAR later, we received a collection letter from a DIFFERENT collection agency on the same account, and I am now battling them with the same issues.

this has been a horrible nightmare for both of us. And it seems to never end. On top of it all, he recieved a 1099 for $50 misc income received for opening his "FREE" account.

These people are truly crooks!!

Jackie
Bloomington, Indiana
U.S.A.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/16/2006 11:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Charter-One-Bank/Martinsville-Indiana-46151/Charter-One-Bank-Ripoff-Unscrupulous-charges-added-and-then-escalated-Martinsville-Indiana-181549. 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 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Clarifications

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

From other comments -- a couple of things that need to be clarified -- First, my son was NOT a minor and therefore NOT my responsibility to deposit $$ to his account. However, he asked me to help him clear this problem up because he's 19 and I've had FAR more experience with these types of institutions over the past 30+ years.

Second -- HE did NOT do any transactions with a low balance. He was watching the account, making sure all of the items had cleared because he was going to CLOSE the account. That is why he went to the manager several days in a row to check on the account -- he told the manager as soon as the last item cleared, which would put him at less than $10 he would close the account. Without telling my son he would be charged for providing customer service, the branch manager ADDED the $10 "STATEMENT FEE" for all of the help he provided my son in watching the account -- which threw it into overdraft. My son did nothing wrong in this transaction, if he had, I would be the first to tell him he messed it up. He did EXACTLY what he should have. When the final item cleared, the balance was under $10, he went to close the account - but was told it was in OVERDRAFT status and therefore could not be closed. He went back to the manager to find out how it was in overdraft status -- the manager took his time 'researching' his question, all the while compounding fees for my son. THEN - he told him he would get it reversed and close the account -- IT NEVER HAPPENED and the branch manager then (I assume) was fired (or at least should have been)and we could get absolutely NO one at the corporate level to respond, the branch only had an acting manager who told me to call corporate, and the corporate office told me to call the branch manager.

This is a clear case of them ripping off customers, providing customer service (for a fee!), and then no one at the company standing behind what was relayed to the customer.

As for the $50 in 'income' -- I still have the documents he received when the account was opened - there is NOTHING in there that states the 'free gift' would be income. Whether or not it's 'standard practice' is of no consequence. My caution for anyone dealing with Charter One is "DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!"
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#2 Consumer Comment

Need to be Vigilant

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

I have 2 accounts at Charter One. I find their practices to be the same as any other large, national bank.

How old is your son, by the way? The minute his account was in the negative, you -- his parent -- should have put money into it (if he was a minor) to get it in the positive, then have the account closed. If he wasn't a minor, he should have put money in the account right away -- it clearly states in the terms and conditions the fees that are charged and what happens if your account is negative for more than a couple days.

If your son is young, unfortunatley all this collection agency activity is on his credit report, and I doubt he'll be able to open a checking account at another bank...and that's a shame for anyone much less someone young, and over a small amount of $60 (the original negative dollar amouont) no less.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Need to be Vigilant

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

I have 2 accounts at Charter One. I find their practices to be the same as any other large, national bank.

How old is your son, by the way? The minute his account was in the negative, you -- his parent -- should have put money into it (if he was a minor) to get it in the positive, then have the account closed. If he wasn't a minor, he should have put money in the account right away -- it clearly states in the terms and conditions the fees that are charged and what happens if your account is negative for more than a couple days.

If your son is young, unfortunatley all this collection agency activity is on his credit report, and I doubt he'll be able to open a checking account at another bank...and that's a shame for anyone much less someone young, and over a small amount of $60 (the original negative dollar amouont) no less.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Need to be Vigilant

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

I have 2 accounts at Charter One. I find their practices to be the same as any other large, national bank.

How old is your son, by the way? The minute his account was in the negative, you -- his parent -- should have put money into it (if he was a minor) to get it in the positive, then have the account closed. If he wasn't a minor, he should have put money in the account right away -- it clearly states in the terms and conditions the fees that are charged and what happens if your account is negative for more than a couple days.

If your son is young, unfortunatley all this collection agency activity is on his credit report, and I doubt he'll be able to open a checking account at another bank...and that's a shame for anyone much less someone young, and over a small amount of $60 (the original negative dollar amouont) no less.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Need to be Vigilant

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

I have 2 accounts at Charter One. I find their practices to be the same as any other large, national bank.

How old is your son, by the way? The minute his account was in the negative, you -- his parent -- should have put money into it (if he was a minor) to get it in the positive, then have the account closed. If he wasn't a minor, he should have put money in the account right away -- it clearly states in the terms and conditions the fees that are charged and what happens if your account is negative for more than a couple days.

If your son is young, unfortunatley all this collection agency activity is on his credit report, and I doubt he'll be able to open a checking account at another bank...and that's a shame for anyone much less someone young, and over a small amount of $60 (the original negative dollar amouont) no less.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Standard practice, Jackie..

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

'AND they reported him with $50 in interest income for the "FREE" gift he got when he opened the account.'

A nation-wide bank recently opened a branch in my neighborhood. In today's mail I received an offer to open an account which also gives a $50 gift card. Very clearly stated is the fact that the gift card will be considered interest, will be reported to the IRS, and a 1099 will be sent new owners at year end.

A couple of years ago I opened a new account with a bank that gave $75 gift cards. At the end of that year, I received a 1099 covering the $75.

Just how much income tax did your son have to pay on this $50? The amount is so minimal, chances are it made no difference at all. And even if he would have had to pay $10 in tax--he still was $40 ahead, wasn't he?

Best advice to your your son (and the many others who complain about bank fees): DON'T do any bank transactions when your balance is as low as $3.11!

Your and your son's problem? You failed to read all the terms and conditions of the checking account. This was provided when the account was opened.
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#7 Consumer Comment

been there

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

I also have been victom of this bank. It starts off nicely then they get you good. I love it when they call and offer half off to settle. I closed my account after i got slammed to the tune of 700 dollars plus. I closed the account as soon as I knoew i was getting scammed but cause they considered it in over draft state they tacked on more fees that is how I got to 700 plus. My advice for any one who is with this bank is get out when you can. i know several who have been taken by this bank, most of us paid the settlement because they post it on the credit report. It does not pay to dispute or argue withthem. so good luck
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