• Report: #593646

Complaint Review: TCF Bank

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  • Submitted: Thu, April 15, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, September 10, 2010

  • Reported By: jason — Westland Michigan United States of America
TCF Bank
360 S. Merriman rd westland, Michigan United States of America

TCF Bank Illegally held my money and then purposly overdrafted me 4 times westland, Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Tcf bank takes your money in overdraft fees

*Author of original report: Better Business Bereau

*Consumer Comment: Response for Edgeman...

*Consumer Comment: A debit card can be a safe and convenient way to make purchases..

*Author of original report: Document

*Author of original report: Overdraft Protection

*General Comment: Question...

*Consumer Comment: Debit Card?

*Author of original report: Overdraft Protection

*Consumer Comment: You can't "reason" with a bank...

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Ok here we go. I thought this was the most outrageous thing I ever heard of in my life. I made a series 6 to 8 transactions and not all on the same day either. I had $169 in my accout and spent $170. Which now you would think I would get one overdraft fee right?

No I was given 4 overdraft fees and heres their reasons why:

They told me that they held 2 transaction for no apparent reason and allowed the rest of the transactions to go through. So lets recap, I started with $169 they held $69 then allowed a $81 charge, $20, and $1 charge all go through. Now I'm negative.

Then they tell me the next day I'm positive $67 because they put the money that they held back into to my account, but since I was technically negative they hit me with 2 $35 dollar overdraft fees and once again I'm now negative $3. Then they go ahead and

put the last two transactions that they held the money for and again hit me with 2 more $35 overdraft fees. Now does that make any sense what so ever???? I tried to reason with them. I even tried to pay $75 which is more then I owe and they refused.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/15/2010 03:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TCF-Bank/westland-Michigan-48186/TCF-Bank-Illegally-held-my-money-and-then-purposly-overdrafted-me-4-times-westland-Michi-593646. 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:
4Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Tcf bank takes your money in overdraft fees

AUTHOR: Debbie - (USA)

I have to agree with you on this i am a Tcf banker for the last 7yrs never ever had a problem or ever had a over draft on this account exept for one time when i accidently hit my house payment online 2x but had the money in there that same day so they didnt charge me. Now all the sudden i have 275 dollars because i was 1.50 short they charges me 35 dollars each item that came in that day instead of just one whatever i think they should have a class action lawsuit over this a lousy 1.75 short cost me 275.00 and there explination is for crap, and should be illeagal!
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#2 Author of original report

Better Business Bereau

AUTHOR: jay124444444 - (United States of America)

The BBB sent me an email stating that they have contacted my bank and the have 30 days to comply. The BBB agrees that I have been royally screwed.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Response for Edgeman...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I reviewed the terms from the link you posted...


http://www.tcfbank.com/documents/PremierPlusChargeCard_TermsConditions.pdf

It is an amendment dated Sept 1st, 2009.

I actually get a kick out of reading terms like those, regardless of the potential headache it can cause. It is like a legal word game puzzle, and you try to pick out the parts that are most violating and anti-protective to the signer. And with so many "not required to" and "may"....well lets just say it can be overwhelming to someone who is not a contract attorney.

However, this doesn't show the contract where the customer signed anything giving acceptance into OD protection on the Debit card. It is an amendment of some Premier Plus Charge Card policy changes, which it also appears the bank states it can change at anytime. We have learned that also does not always hold up in court if it hurts a party in the contract, and can at times lead to legal action awarding damages.

Whether this customer received the amendment or not, it does not document or provide evidence of what was disclosed at the time the customer first joined the bank, and if the customer was given the fair and reasonable opportunity to CHOOSE whether or not they wish to participate or be enrolled into any kind of OD protection service regarding the debit card, and it's terms clearly stated.

Reading that is however quite a good way to get a headache, or at least a bit of a dizzy spell. I would imagine most customers would have to present that to a contract attoney to decipher it. I wonder if at the time of signing up for the account, if the banker suggested the terms be overlooked by an attorney before signing up if the customer does not fully understand what they are signing to the letter.

Do you think that is what they did? Or is it safer to assume that a customer opening a bank account was "not wise" because they didn't realize they were entering into a potential swindle, and giving the bank permission to swindle them?

What is more "reasonable" considering the fact that the banks are reasonably assumed to be a safe place to keep our money, and are insured by the FDIC, and bailed out using public funds if they screw up? Should it be considered unreasonable to expect the banks to be held to a slightly higher standard then a rent a car business for example, where it is more reasonable that a customer understand every aspect and term in a contract to the letter? OR, to expect that if they make an honest mistake, the bank can manipulate it into an excessive amount of fees, and place all the blame on the customer for agreeing to the terms, regardless if fully disclosed or not, and whether or not they fully understood the implications?

I am probably asking that to the wrong person, but the banks will have to answer these, and similar questions that had better convince a court they did nothing wrong. We will see how that goes.
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#4 Consumer Comment

A debit card can be a safe and convenient way to make purchases..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..but you need to understand the particular banks policies.

Simply put, now that banks are going to have to present a contract which FULLY discloses the overdraft protection polices regarding the DEBIT card, many will be wise, and not fall into the trap.

However, some still may.

The way many see it, is simply the banks promising "convenience and protection", when in reality it was simply a ploy used to take advantage of their customers mistakes, at a time when the economy is hurting and people are more likely to keep a low balance. This hedged their bets quite effectively, to wit.

In all logic and reasoning, and historically proven, people make mistakes. And circumstances sometimes can cause an overdraft to occur even if the customer is keeping a register. Why choosing not to opt into the standard OD protection with your debit card account is actually better protection, is because it not only prevents unauthorized or unknown holds from being placed on the card if the account can not cover it, but also prevents any overdrafts that can occur if the unauthorized or unknown hold is covered, and the card normally would have been allowed to be used, regardless of the fact, and unbeknownst to the customer, it was overdrafting. And by the time the customer finds out..it is too late. And when you call the bank to ask why and how this happened, you get a bunch of double talk, sometimes they can not even figure it out..and then comes the old cliche' "there is nothing we can do".

Things like direct deposit and using the debit card instead of carrying cash is safe and convenient for many people. But, you must protect yourself from the BANK, not only your spending habits.

Chase has changed policies that I feel are more fair. The contract regarding OD polices with the DEBIT card are clear and concise, you must sign up if you want the "protection". If you choose the protection they will cover an overdraft, but no longer will re-sequence or manipulate the times/orders of transactions. They allow you time to cover the OD that day without a fee if you catch it in time, and they limit the amount of OD's per day to three, it used to be six.

Of course the best line of defense is not to overdraft in the first place if you don't want to pay a fee for it, but any deception or lack of disclosure perpetrated by the bank to steal, fleece, swindle or otherwise gouge the customer, is considered by many to be a crime. And where do criminals often end up? In court. Where they are forced to pay, which in turn is a very good deterrent used to prevent them from continuing these practices.


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#5 Author of original report

Document

AUTHOR: jay124444444 - (United States of America)

The document you are talking about i'm not sure if you are referring to when I opened my account or when I signed up for this program. When I signed up for my account this program wasn't offered yet. When I signed up for this program they didn't give me a copy. I'm gonna go up there and try to get a copy of the agreement right before I close my account.
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#6 Author of original report

Overdraft Protection

AUTHOR: jay124444444 - (United States of America)

Yes you are both right I know I need to always be careful with my money. I was only off a dollar and change because I didn't take my ipod application download that I downloaded 3 weeks prior. I forgot all about it. That's why I went over. None the less I do need to be careful. But what they did was down low and dirty. I would like whats mine to be returned. Also to answer your question yes i do use a debit card.
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#7 General Comment

Question...

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

Was this document in your account agreement when you signed off on it?

http://www.tcfbank.com/documents/PremierPlusChargeCard_TermsConditions.pdf

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#8 Consumer Comment

Debit Card?

AUTHOR: la gente es est - (United States of America)

Were you using a debit card? A debit card is often the worse way to pay for certain things. For example if you use a debit card at the pump to purchase gas the station often will automatically block 75-100 dollars since the pump cannot tell them in advance how much you will buy, also restaraunts will block more than the total because you are most likely to leave a tip. It sometimes takes several hours or days for this block to be removed. Never use a debit card to rent a car as they could block the entire rental amount plus extra just for a precaution.

And as Ronny said be more careful about how much you spend as even a penny over is still an overdraft.

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#9 Author of original report

Overdraft Protection

AUTHOR: jay124444444 - (United States of America)

In regards to the overdraft protection you referred to. I tried to get this protection, but it doesn't  exist until this coming August according to TCF Bank. They instead enrolled me in an opped out program where it chooses which transactions to block. Now they

told me that which ever ones it chooses to block it will decline my debt card when I try to use it. Which did not happen. I am changing banks by the way. They told me when I spoke with a tcf person on the phone that the opped out didnt take affect in this case. He said that this happens quite often that with larger transactions it won't block them.
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#10 Consumer Comment

You can't "reason" with a bank...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Not any more. All they understand is money. Fortunately many banks will be forced to change soon, because of laws, and because it is going to cost them money. Well technically any money they took by deceptive means was not theirs to begin with, so lets just say they may have to pay it back.

Now at the risk of this post turning into another long useless argument, I will state FIRST AND FOREMOST. That you should have been more careful, even though it was only one dollar. By going over by just one dollar, YOU gave the bank the opportunity to fleece you like this, so exercising caution could have prevented this whole mess.

NOW, lets look at the banks part in this. Aside from the fact that you REALLY need to find another bank for doing this to you over one dollar, here is what they did that MANY feel is WRONG.

They enrolled you into overdraft protection automatically. Do you remember signing any agreement that will allow the bank to approve transactions on your DEBIT card if the account can not cover it?

By using sophisticated programs and strategies, that can maximize fees, This is going to be investigating in a class action lawsuit against most of the larger banks.

They re-sequence the times and orders of transaction so it will cause addtional overdraft fees to be applied to transactions that DID have the funds at the time of the transaction, hence why you do not have just one overdraft for only going over the account by one dollar, you have several.

The bank will tell you this is a "courtesy" when you try to "reason" with them. They will tell you the reason they post the larger amount first at the end of the day is that they assume the larger transactions are more important, hence they paid those first. But since they pay them all anyway, and have no way of knowing which charge is actually more important since they are all relatively small amounts, it is not a "reasonable" defense. Hence, it is now up to the courts and lawmakers to fix this.

I use Chase bank and they no longer use this and other tactics. Not to say they have a perfect past, or what "strategies" they will apply in the future, but as of now comparing them to all other larger banks, they seem to be the most fair for free checking and debit card safety for customers protecting an honest tiny mistake from allowing the bank to financially pillage you like that. And if you choose to opt into overdraft protection on the debit card, which IMO makes no sense, they will forgive up to $5.00 over so a tiny mistake like one dollar over will be forgiven.






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