This all started when an unauthorized charge came through my account for 50.00. This was a service I had signed up for, but over a month prior had called that company & canceled their service. I had 618.00 in the bank & had 17 items totaling 88.58 from where I had used my debit card over that previous weekend, so that left me with 529.42 in my account which would cover the rent check I had also paid for 510.00 over the weekend, but that 50.00 came out unauthorized & unexpectedly, so that dropped my balnce down to 479.42, not enough to cover my 510.00 check.
In a panic I called Suntrust, spoke to a girl & explained my situation. She explained I had to fill out a fraud packet for them to research. I reiterated that my account was now going to be short because of this transaction. She apologized and said there was nothing she could do until I filled the paperwork out, notarized it & sent it back. She said the only thing I could do to prevent my account from being overdrawn was to make a deposit to cover what I was going to be short. I wasn't happy about this as I used to bank with Bank of America & if you disputed a check card transaction, they'd put a temporary credit into your account to avoid this type of thing, but she said they wouldn't do that. I explained to her that I knew my brother would loan me some money until I got this straightened out & told her that I knew a WAlmart that had a Suntrust inside it that was open till 7pm. I told her that we both got off work at 5pm & would head right over to the bank & deposit the money. I mentioned this to her several times about us going there AFTER 5pm. I know from previous transactions with the bank, if you deposit CASH, it shows up right away. Just to make sure I had no problems, I reconfirmed this information back to her & said, "So if I go into the branch when we get off work & if I deposit cash, it'll show up right away & I will be ok, right?" she replied "Yes, cash always shows up right away"
My brother & I went to the bank, deposited 70.00 cash & just to make sure there was no problem, I explained to the teller everything & I wanted to make sure my balance reflected the deposit, she said, yes your balance shows your available balance is now 549.00 (that was taking the 88.58 in transactions out) so if your check is for 510.00, you'll be fine. I went home, just because I am a worrywart, checked online & sure enough, my new balance was 549.00 so I was relieved.
Went to bed, woke up checked my account expecting to see 39.00 in there & I was now negative 249.00, they had charged me 288.00 in fees, 9 of the 17 items posted so 32.00 x 9= 288.00. I called the local branch immediately & she sd that it appeared that the 70.00 deposit was still "pending" & did not post last night so of course the bank put the items through largest to smallest & so that is where I incurred the fees from. I explained that I had done everything in my power to make sure my account had enough money to cover all items. She seemed baffled as well. I told her I deposited cash & that I verified with the teller my available balance reflected enough funds. She said she'd have to reseach it and call me back.
About 3 hours go by & she returns my call and says that because I deposited it after 5, it didn't post that night. I explained to her that the rep over the phone was well aware that I'd be making the deposit after 5 & was aware that I knew I'd be short, why didn't she stop me and warn me of the policy. Why when I asked if cash shows up right away, she didn't say, well cash still has to be made by 5pm. She never said a word! This rep said she could only refund back 100.00 of the 288.00 I was charged. I was so enraged, I spoke with her manager & no help there either. They said, well since it wasn't a banking error, that's all we can do. I explained that the misinformation or lack of information WAS a banking error. I am at the mercy of the bank & if the rep tells me making a cash deposit is ok & the teller tells me my AVAILABLE balance is 549.00 & the online system says AVAILABLE balance, 549.00, why I am being punished. It gets worse.. I accepted the 100.00 & was told I could try getting the rest by the customer service dept.
My account still sat negative and no one else I could borrow money from, 5 more of the 17 items posted that night, so another 160.00 in fees , the next night 2 more items, 64.00 in fees & the following night the final item came through for 32.00 fee. A grand total of 544.00 in unavailable fees when my account had enough "Available" funds to cover everything. They did credit back 100.00 so I still had 444.00 in fees sitting on my account & my account sat negative. My paycheck was direct deposited on that Friday for 522.00 & guess what, almost the whole thing went to these erroneous fees. I tried to stop the direct deposit, but I didn't do it in time so I was left with about 100.00 out of a 500.00 check!
I have called, emailed, written letters to no avail. This bank will not accept responsibility for the fact that their rep was either too lazy to take the 5 seconds to explain I needed to deposit it by 5 or wasn't trained & maybe didn't know herself!! In the meantime I am disputing the original fee that triggered this whole nightmare, but I have a feeling they are going to come back and say it is valid, they don't want to lose any money. The other factor is how misleading their balance descriptions are, if online, it said my AVAILABLE balance was a certain amount, doesn't AVAILABLE mean it is there, it can be taken. If any one knows of any class action lawsuits, I would be so very willing to see this bank change their deceptive ways. Although I don't make much money & I work hard for my money, I know there are people worse off than me & it kills me that this bank gets away with doing this to people, I am a single guy who can eat cheap, but what about single mothers who have mouths to feed? During the days when my account was negative, my brother bought me food so I could eat & I scrounged up change for gas, but it is the point that I had enough money & they still pulled one over one me!! Suntrust definitely ripped me off!
Altamonte Springs, Florida