My "rip off" complaint has to deal with Sovereign Bank. Specifically, I feel I have been scammed out of $70.00 in the form of two account overdrafts of $35.00.
Sovereign Bank has been my bank for at least 15 years. About 6 or 7 years ago they created an online portal to check your account, manage you money, etc. I find this online portal to be extremely helpful. I check my account often to make sure I have no fraudulent charges or overdrafts.
I checked my account on 11/08/12 at around 2:30pm. My online Sovereign Bank portal specifically said I had two posted deductions for that day of $180.00 (Cable bill), and $15.02 (gasoline), leaving a total account balance of approx. $860.00.
Now, I knew I had a rent check of $875.00 that was still outstanding. Even if that check hit the account later that day, on the 11/08/12, I would have been over-drafted by -$15.00, ($860.00 - $875.00 = -15.00) because the prior two payments were already deducted. (Simple math, I thought.)
On 11/09/12 I went online to check my account. I was curious to see if my check from work had been deposited as it was scheduled. To my surprise, Sovereign Bank re-ordered the sequence of my 11/08/12 transactions. Now instead of having one overdraft fee (of $35.00) for my rent check, I had two overdraft fees (of $70.00) for my previously deducted Cable bill and gasoline transactions.
Now mind you, I saw the account the previous day, and the two posted deductions, Gas and Cable bill, came out of the account without overdraft fees.
I find it complete BS to re-order already posted deductions to seemingly receive more money in overdraft fees.
On 11/09/12 at 3:45pm I called and spoke to a representative. They told me, "Sovereign Bank posts all deductions from highest to lowest. We do this so mortgage payments and larger bills will be paid first to make sure Sovereign Bank has enough money to cover our customers larger deductions. In the future we recommend you set up a savings account to draw from in the case of overdrafts."
Thats great and swell... but having a savings account is a luxury in today's economy. It's a lot easier said than done. Also, what type of regional bank wouldn't have the money to cover their customers?
I feel this practice is to maximize overdraft fees, through unfair and unethical reporting and recording of transactions. The online portal is apparently garbage, because Sovereign Bank can freely adjust how and when it orders your transactions. Check your acct. at 2:30pm and your transactions are coming out of a positive account balance. Check it at 5:45pm those same posted transaction are coming out of a negative account and you now have multiple overdraft fees. Complete BS!
Stay away from this bank.