Suntrust Bank is using questionable tactics to secure profits from individuals closing bank accounts. It is an indication of Suntrust's desperation in the economic crisis that looms over the heads of all banks in this time. Those with automatic payments for services including insurance premiums, credit card payments, and everything under the sun that makes life easier now should be very wary of Suntrust and how they "close" accounts.
I married in April, 2008, and we relocated from Florida to Tennessee. In June, my wife and I made the decision to merge bank accounts. I went to the local Suntrust Bank location in a Kroger and closed my bank account. The balance was zero. The account should be closed. The end. Right?
Of course not! I called my agent to have the automatic payment stopped on the account and requested a paper bill. For whatever reason, the draft was drawn on the account. Suntrust paid the amount, even though I closed the account. Then Suntrust charged an overdraft fee, one I have no intention to pay for obvious reasons. I was never contacted by Suntrust about the charge. I had to call Suntrust three times to dispute the overdraft charge. I spoke with so many customer service representatives I couldn't keep track of who I spoke with. I finally reached a person who was kind enough to give me the advice of "dispute" the charge with the company drafting from the account. I'll get back to this.
FIA credit card services, the credit card company Suntrust uses to issue credit cards attempted to draft on the account, even after I specifically went to the website the very day I closed the account to discontinue the automatic withdrawal. THANK GOD Suntrust decided NOT to pay this amount. This account was not to be drafted. I confronted the company over the phone. I spoke with two nice gentlemen on a conference call who offered to credit my account $35 for the inconvenience. Gee, thanks. Too bad I just got another statement by Suntrust today stating they just charged an additional fee as I have not paid that over charge.
So, here I am, speaking with a representative that recommends I dispute these charges. I call my insurance agent from the first company, the one that Suntrust paid my premium for me (and then charged me a $35 fee). No bank my agent has EVER worked with has ever paid a premium on a closed account. Mind you, I have another account I am attempting to transition to, and the whole time Suntrust is keeping my account open when I closed it with a $0 balance to begin with. I finally get some answers regarding this situation...
When you close a Suntrust account, Suntrust keeps that account open for 30 to 35 days. They claim this is as a "protection service." They rationalize this by claiming they try to "save people money" that would otherwise be charged by the company with which they have an automatic debit agreement. They want me to believe that this whole schism I am facing with overdraft charges exceeding $150 is for my convenience. When I finally speak to someone with some common sense, I'm told to file a dispute, an affidavit that I informed these companies that I intended to cancel these automatic debits, laying the blame entirely on them instead of on Suntrust, who kept my account open AFTER I CLOSED IT.
Suntrust may take the "high and mighty" position that they are doing a service to consumers by paying their automatic payments for them rather than assessing a fee. I have a sneaking suspicion that once I file these disputes, Suntrust will come back to me with further overdraft charges and claim the disputes had no positive results in the case and charge me the full overdraft penalties... ALL ON AN ACCOUNT I CLOSED at a Zero Balance!
Beware of what I will surely testify to as a SCAM by a bank on the brink of takeover by larger companies. I will file my affidavits. I will do what they ask me to do to resolve these disputes. And if Suntrust does not take immediate action to remove these charges from my account, I will take this to the national media and expose the whole, corrupt scam for what it really is. I closed my account. It had a zero balance. I went and discontinued my automatic payments. For whatever reason, these payments were not canceled by these companies (I have my suspicions about FIA Card Services, considering their connection to Suntrust). Now I am expected to give Suntrust Ammunition to try to go and, what, collect from these companies when Suntrust took the liberty to pay one of these when the account was closed and charge me overdraft after overdraft penalty.
Talk about scraping from the bottom of the barrel. This is just about the most obscene scam I've ever experienced in my banking relationships of the past. I will not recommend Suntrust to anyone in my family, circle of friends, business associates, or anywhere else.
Suntrust isn't exactly flourishing either, and it's no surprise as to why. Too bad they want to get their dirty little fingers in my pocket on the way out of the market.