I am frustrated over WAMU/Chase and their business practices.
I have a knucklehead son (19) who opened an account in this bank last year. He has a hard time keeping up with his bank balances, so I suggested he enrolled in some sort of overdraft protection after his first overdraft fee (as well as check his balances more often, of course).
A few happy months have passed, and suddenly he ends up with over $700 on overdraft fees!!! It appears he lost track of his balance and used his debit card several times for stupid stuff, each time costing him ~$35 in fees. Before realizing there was a problem (no notifications of any kind from the bank), he made a weekly deposit and assumed that he had that much money available. After making several more transactions, he received the first letter notifying him of an overdraft fee. By then, he had racked up a grand total of over $700. His last deposit had been applied entirely towards overdraft fees causing a continuation of the problem. I must point out that this deposit was made in person, where a bank teller could have notified him of the issue before it escalated any further.
I cannot tell you how many times I have had financial responsibility sessions with the kid, and I hold him responsible. The bank, however, seems to lack in the customer service department. Why does somebody with "overdraft protection" get in this situation? My bank's overdraft protection eliminates the fee, but any overdraft goes into a "revolving" loan with not so nice interest, which I consider to be reasonable for the situation: the sooner you pay it off, the less interest you have to pay. Am I wrong to expect anything similar from WAMU? To add insult to injury, at no time did any of the bank personnel point out that there is a variety of notification options available, such as text messaging. Now, how about that? I'm sure any teenager would remember such an option.
Apparently two weeks of his hard earned salary were not enough for these crooks: When he made a large deposit to cover all the fees and some leftover funds, the fees were deducted immediately but the rest of the money went "on hold" for a couple of weeks. He knows this because he asked the question. I'm sure if he did not, more overdraft fees would be in order for the two weeks the bank gingerly sits on perfectly good funds. If this money was good enough to "pay" for bank fees, why is it not suitable for a depositor's use?
Is there any legal recourse to at least partially mitigate this horrendous situation? Or at least to make sure it does not happen to other unsuspecting victims.