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  • Report: #630932

Complaint Review: Wachovia Bank N. A.

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  • Submitted: Thu, August 12, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, August 23, 2010

  • Reported By: DLadner — merritt island Florida United States of America
Wachovia Bank N. A.
Internet United States of America

Wachovia Bank N. A. Overcharging fees, setting up consimers to pay extra in fees Internet

*General Comment: FRAUD by WACHOVIA BANK

*Consumer Comment: I appreciate the response..

*Consumer Comment: get a job Karl

*Consumer Comment: TRUTH DETECTOR IS WRONG!!! IF TRUTH DETECTOR LIVES IN AMERICA THEN....

*Consumer Comment: Ronny, no blaming the consumers on this one...

*Consumer Comment: UPDATE !!! Wells Fargo found GUILTY of violating California law.

*Consumer Comment: Already a class action suit in progress..

*Consumer Comment: SCREW Your Class Action Suit!

*Consumer Comment: You're correct, it's ridiculous

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My family and I have several business accounts, personal accounts and savings accounts setup through Wachovia Bank.  This past year ALONE I have noticed that more & more overdraft fees are being taken from our accounts for stupid tiny transactions.  I ended paying over $230 in one month for overdraft fees that were for little charges because when I looked at my account online, I had more than enough money to cover the money I spent, but then a few days later when I went to the grovery store, I was told that my card was declined.  It was humiliating....It turned out several of my charges that were pending were held for days, but a large transaction went through immediately and that made all of the pending transactions bounce.  This was not the first time this has happened, it's been happening more and more and I actually get scared when I need to use my bank card.  This is totally ridiculous.  I believe that we should be able to start a class action lawsuit and make Wachovia admit to their wrongdoing.  They should not be allowed to continue business this way and treat loyal consumers in this way.  They are taking advantage of consumers because noone is making them own up to their behavior.  If an attorney would like to take this case, please feel free to contact me.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/12/2010 10:21 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Wachovia-Bank-N-A/internet/Wachovia-Bank-N-A-Overcharging-fees-setting-up-consimers-to-pay-extra-in-fees-Internet-630932. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

FRAUD by WACHOVIA BANK

AUTHOR: gyorgyi - (United States of America)

i reading ripoff on wachovia to see if I wasting my time with them.suprise or NOT i am the 677 who filed the same riport.

     What they doing is double charging on one item,before even able to see the charges/not $35 but $70.00

    for the complaint in they web they even do not reading the complaint because they answer is unrevelant.

    Now they sended to me a paperwork and credited back the $ charge from the company and the single $35.00 from the $70.00 double charge.

   Now I have to prove the company charged double what is not truth,so they going to recarge again the $35.00 they will say Idid not prove the company was wrong but the bank was wrong.

   They totally think we are all stupid peoples.

   second think: six small charge$1.00 and $2.00 5-6 charge/as my son runned the card at gas stations to buy more items at the same time/already was cleared.

    I saw the bank statements also I printed out so I do have,next day all small from the cleared was pulled back and runned ahead a $140 payments .

   And think what???? all small items was owercharged by $35 each one.

   mean time i deposited money to cover the $140 payments but now they unlawful

actions made me again negativ odervise left money and the $140 will going true.It is absolute UNBELIVABLE!!!!!!!

 last monts I lost $750 for the above tricks,egain not on holds but already cleared check was overturned again but I have provements from my printouts they was already cleared.

   bank workers told me they doing with them the same thing in my local bank . 

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#2 Consumer Comment

I appreciate the response..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..left from Truth Detector.

I can admit I have on occasion responded a bit "knee jerk" and perhaps typed without thinking. Once a long time ago, I was victim (wish I could find a different term, but I can not) of Wachovias tactics, as were several friends of mine. We are all good people, hard working, talented but went through a rough time when the economy crashed. The LAST thing we needed, was to be ripped off by the bank, or to have to worry about the bank being a MAJOR source of financial damage to us.

Granted, after much battle, time, aggravation and effort, I can say I neither have ever "paid" an overdraft fee...but I was "charged" quite a few.

I can also understand why some thought (or maybe still think) me as a hypocrite. I admit to at times get a little pleasure out of belittling a poster...but only if I felt the complaint or rebuttal was not warranted, or ludicrous.

I had NO doubt, that many who lodge complaints here regarding overdraft fees..were truly victims of the banks irresponsibility (click the link to the court order), and out right unconscionable actions and questionably legal tactics.

This was never to say that if someone was careless or irresponsible that they do not deserve a fee. I strongly believe any posters I was defending, was due to the fact that the bank turned an honest mistake that should have been a fee, or a few fees...into many times more unjustly. And that is wrong no matter who it was done to..and anyone it was done to by no other better term..was a victim of the bank.

If someone simply overdrafted and complained about a fee for this I would actually defend the bank..but ANY fee that was due to a manipulation that would not be "reasonably" expected by a banking customer, needed addressing...and apparently the courts agreed.

As far as lobbying for change...how much more lobbying could we do when according to the court order...the banks were WELL AWARE of what they were doing..and flim flamed the issue. Apparently the recent regulation that no longer allows banks to automatically or mandatory force opt in was due to complaints..but the re-sequencing tactic required lawsuits to stop the banks...they were simply too greedy and heartless to have it any other way. And now..it will cost them not only in money..but in exposing what they did to everyone.

If they would have stopped this when warned....none of this would be happening now...so how can anyone possibly blame anyone but the bank for this whole mess? As I have stated many times...if all customers were perfect..and no one ever overdrafted to begin with..it would still have left the banks thinking of ways to profit. As long as they can profit legally and ethically, how can anyone possibly win a suit against them?
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#3 Consumer Comment

get a job Karl

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

No one cares about your stupid poems or google crap - GO AWAY
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#4 Consumer Comment

TRUTH DETECTOR IS WRONG!!! IF TRUTH DETECTOR LIVES IN AMERICA THEN....

AUTHOR: Karl - (USA)

Truth Detector HAS paid part of the 'Overdraft Fee' from the government, because most of the HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS, if not TRILLIONS of DOLLARS in 'bail-out' money, was charged to the taxpayers in the USA who are Americans, correct?

*Truth Detector HAS paid part of the 'Overdraft Fee' that his or her government has assessed to the American people. 

'Truth Detector' just can't see, and understand, the 'truth', huh?

P.S. Anyone can go to Bing and type this in exactly as it appears here- BROCK O'BOMB-A POEM, and that should take you to where "OVERDRAFT POEM" is posted in the Updates section to Ripoff Report #502469. (It appears as 'Consumer Comment #18'.)

Thank You
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#5 Consumer Comment

Ronny, no blaming the consumers on this one...

AUTHOR: Truth Detector - (USA)

You know my position. I am a fierce responsibility advocate because I believe the concept in general benefits individuals and organizations, to say nothing of the money and pain it saves.

However, I have also consistently argued the following...

If consumers do not like the policies in place with regards to ordering or debit/ATM overdraft policies, lobby to get them changed instead of whining about them. NEVER would I discourage U.S citizens from availing themselves to the political and/or regulatory process to change current policies. I don't even mind that one day banks may charge me for an account that has been free for some time because, like many others, I can remember when we DID have to pay for such banking services. Plus, anything that allows poor Americans to keep a few hundreds more bucks each year should not be frowned upon.

My problem with your approach in the past was it was more cheerleading-based and less action-based. It was more comfort food than anything to help these people avoid the charges moving forward.

That being said, you have morphed into a commentator who combines advocacy of responsible banking habits with a call to action via embracing the new regulations and even participation in viable, substantive lawsuits that have some real teeth.

I really do wish the participants of the suit all the luck in the world. Remember, all, that as of tomorrow (8/15), if you haven't foolishly ASKED your bank/credit union to pay debit/ATM overdrafts and sock you with the fees, you will be automatically opted OUT of this "protection".

Oh, for the record, even though I have never paid an overdraft fee in my life, I allowed my "protection" to expire. Apropos my previous rebuttal to Ronny regarding their previous verbiage justifying the ordering process ("Don't you want that mortgage payment covered?") versus what they sent me in the mail ("Don't be embarassed at the checkout register"), this decision should come as no surprise.

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#6 Consumer Comment

UPDATE !!! Wells Fargo found GUILTY of violating California law.

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)


California Case Update: Federal Court Finds Wells Fargo Improperly Assessed Overdraft Fees, Orders $203 Million in Restitution

(copied from bank overdraft com) Posted 3 days ago.



On August 10, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup held in a 90-page opinion that Wells Fargo violated California law. Instead of posting each transaction chronologically, the evidence presented at trial showed that Wells Fargo deducted the largest charges first, drawing down available balances more rapidly and triggering a higher volume of overdraft fees.




Commenting on the Court's decision, lead trial attorney Richard M. Heimann stated:







"Today, a federal court enjoined Wells Fargo from continuing its practice of manipulating their customers' accounts for the sole purpose of generating massive bank fees. These unfair practices cost California consumers huge amounts of money, and we are pleased that the Court has ordered Wells Fargo to return $203 million of its ill-gotten gains to its customers. We are grateful for the opportunity to try this case in order to successfully reveal that the bank's true motives behind its overdraft bookkeeping were profiteering and the gouging of its customers. Wells Fargo's after the fact excuses were soundly rejected by the Court, and rightfully so, as it not only never made an honest effort to disclose its true practices to its supposedly valued customers, but worse yet, misled them. This is not only an actual victory for Wells Fargo customers, but a symbolic victory for consumers throughout the country who are subjected to these kinds of oppressive business practices."




A copy of the Court's order can be found here.


Appears some of my fellow Californians will be getting a little something back soon. And more importantly, this tactic is going to stop. This may explain why my room mate (who is a WF/Wachovia customer) recently had a single overdraft due to a merchant double charging her account. Oh, the register did not show it, we had to wait a week for the online statement to "stabilize" before we knew the cause. The bank sent her notices..one per day for 4 days..showing NINE overdrafts...but oddly..the fees were printed as $0.00. What we can logically conclude then, if not for the lawsuits, regulatory changes and exposure..as well has now allowing opt out of OD coverage on the debit card (which she is opted out of course)...my room mate who is a financially struggling UCLA law student (ironically), would have been subjected to $310.00 in fees for one "legitimate" overdraft. And THIS my friends, is what is being addressed in the courts. Nothing to do with deadbeats or anyone getting a free ride if they are irresponsible, it is simply a by product of the banks having to abide by the law and ethics, that ALL customers are protected..including those less desirable and less fortunate..


I expect as well, similar outcomes for the suits in Miami which are representing many states, and this bank as well as many others are defendants.


For anyone who cares...read the following. This is a fairly recent update on the lawsuits in federal court in Miami. I will highlight the key points which may provoke some bank defenders..but it will be difficult for them to dispute a federal judge...this is not ME stating the following, I just happen to agree with it and am posting it for informative purposes.

Federal Court Rules Consumers' Claims Against Nation's Leading Banks For Excessive Overdraft Fees May Proceed

 Miami, FL - The United States District Court Judge James Lawrence King today denied motions by a number of the nation's leading banks to derail federal lawsuits consolidated before him in a Miami federal court seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful overdraft fees charged to consumers on debit card purchases.

In a 50-page opinion, Judge King found that Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo, among others, were not entitled to dismissal of the complaints. Judge King rejected the banks' primary argument that its customers cannot bring private litigation to recoup excessive overdraft fees. Judge King stated, "Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts -- that, among other things, Defendants manipulated the posting order of debit transactions in bad faith so as to maximize the number of overdraft fees incurred." Consumers pursuing these lawsuits, Judge King concluded, are "not trying to prevent banks from engaging in the business of banking, they are merely asking the banks to do so in good faith."

"Specifically, plaintiffs claim they are not challenging the bank's right to charge overdraft fees," the judge wrote. "Instead, they are challenging the banks' practice of manipulating the overdraft fees 'in order to maximize a benefit to them and to the great detriment of the parties who are their account holders.' "


There is plenty more information to be found by researching. But bottom line is the banks have failed to have this suit dismissed. The plaintiffs/counsel and Judge refer to the following contract laws in part for example to order denying motions to compel arbitration..





  • Breach of Contract and Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing;


  • Common Law Unconscionability;


  • Conversion; and


  • Unjust Enrichment.




The definitions/implications/interpretations of these contract law terms, any or all of which can render the banks "terms and conditions" and contract as void, unenforceable and invalid can be looked up, I have posted them enough on this site and agree with the courts ruling that the fact the customer had signed an agreement, will not and should not legally hold up as a defense for the banks in this case.


The banks legal teams have their work cut out for them that is for sure. If seems logical they will settle, especially after what just happened to WF here in California..but who knows? Time will tell.

Lastly for your viewing pleasure and trivia...a current list of all the defendants (banks) involved...

Lawsuits have been filed against the following banks in the bank overdraft litigation:

* Bank of America
* Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T)
* Chase
* Citibank
* Fifth Third Bank
* Huntington National Bank
* JPMorgan Chase
* Keybank
* M&T Bank
* National City Bank
* PNC Bank
* SunTrust Banks
* TD Bank
* Union Bank
* U.S. Bank
* Wachovia
* Wells Fargo Bank


In response to numerous consumer complaints, similar investigations into improper and excessive bank overdraft fees are in progress against the following banks:


* Capital One Bank
* HSBC
* RBS
* Regions Bank
* TCF Bank


Anyone else but me notice most of these particular banks have been seen around here before on more then one occasion? Coincidence? What else do they have in common? Something to ponder.

So, some attorneys apparently took the case..and I am sure they are laughing their a**es off...dare I say it?...all the way to the bank..pun intended. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of lawyers overall or lawsuits like this, and I realize they will receive a huge chunk of the money (pro bono/contingency pays off sometimes I guess..risk vs gain you know..capitalism at it's finest), but this is better then the other option..which would be to allow Wall street and the banking industry to operate unfettered and have limitless power..well I am sure most of us are realizing the results of that one way or the other these days. And I am sure there will be more to come. How it will be dealt with is another question and yet to be seen. I predict people will start closing accounts..which will give the banks left standing the opportunity to encourage customers to bank with them by providing better customer friendly policies, offers and interest rates. But the banks will not go down without a fight so watch your pockets carefully.

Sure, the banks will pull other stunts to make up for this loss (which it seems according to the courts and millions of customers they had no right to this money anyhow), but if they weren't in violation in the first place..or using unethical practices, deception and manipulations to rip off customers...then we would not be reading about it and commenting here on these reports to begin with. The blame and responsibility for the most part in this case falls on the banks, as much as some just do not want to hear or admit it... not that I need to say "I told you so"..

No one is required to comment or rebut regarding the facts and opinions I left..but if you do so kindly read and comprehend everything I posted in it's entirety so it doesn't turn into another off topic debate or name calling session.

As a preventative measure...let me state for the record however self evident it is and has been in my replies..

1) I agree, all customers keep a ledger/register (and do not depend on the banks statements or online as the banks promote we should). The online statement is inaccurate and deceptive. However once re-sequencing and manipulations are illegal in every state, and transactions are posted real time, it will actually be a useful tool; not to "manage" the account, but to help manage the account. It will actually look similar to our register..and not a constantly in flux but "fixed" slot machine using OUR money as the revolving numbers.

2) If you do not overdraft, you won't get a fee, and, it would not matter how the bank manipulates the transactions... (assuming the customer was not subject to mandatory OD protection on the card, and the bank used proper disclosure and acted in good faith), and, all merchants were required by law to have the customers consent before applying any authorization holds,and to disclose the amount and length of time of said hold/charge. As of now..it seems arbitrary and is very dangerous to a low balance account customer. As well, the bank cooperating with the customer and assisting if an unauthorized charge was to cause the overdraft...instead of telling the customer "there is nothing we can do" and just charging fees to add insult to injury..and more injury.

3) I know the customer signed an agreement (however due to ethics, contract law violations, disclosure issues and a federal court ruling, it is not grounds to dismiss the suits or a reasonable/applicable defense in this case)

4) I agree if a customer overdrafts, they should get a fee. (I have actually never seen anyone argue this point, but bank defenders bring it up anyhow). We all agree on this..even the plaintiffs in the lawsuits..so why bring it up?

5) The lawsuits and complaints in this case are regarding DEBIT CARD TRANSACTIONS, not checks/ACH. (some seem to miss that I am aware of this even though I mention it repeatedly)

6) People (including the banks) should be responsible for their actions. (self explanatory)..but this does not exclude fairness. Let the punishment fit the crime..it that asking too much?

Hope this clarifies things. Most are "givens" but the circumstances need to be considered as well.

Oh, and anyone pompous, selfish and conceited enough to be upset at the victims of the banks tactics for causing the banks to come after you next...think again about who is charging the fees and messing with interest rates. The point is not about who is the victim..but that no one gets ripped off. If anyone complains that since the banks are not able to rip off the less fortunate anymore that it will cost them...then there should be a report lodged against you as well for approving of and contributing to a ripoff for personal gain. Or, lodge a complaint against the BANK for ripping you off. Or, find another bank with better terms. Actually if we all had the balls to pull our money out, I think we would be amazed how fast the banks changed their tune.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Already a class action suit in progress..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Granted, if you are careless with your account and overspend, one way or the other you will be subject to fees. Your debit card is not a credit card. So you and the bank BOTH should not be treating it as a credit card.

However the debit card is funded by your checking account and checks and electronic bill pays follow ACH regulations...in other words it is a commitment like cash and the account has to be able to cover those transactions or you will be subjected to fees just like the rest of us. How much per NSF/OD/return they charge is up to them..but they all charge something for this.

You also state you were embarrassed when the card was declined. Would you have preferred ANOTHER 35 dollar fee each time instead? Be thankful it was declined, embarrassment does not earn the bank a DIME out of your account.

I know longer use this bank but know many who do and you have to be extra careful because they DO use tactics which will apply fees to transactions that did have the funds by using manipulations. And as stated, if you use the online statement to manage the account like the BANK promotes...you will be financially fleeced..so keep track yourself by all means.

I do not condone irresponsibility by consumers...or the bank. Since the banks have used deception, trickery, manipulations, failure to disclose and other shady unethical tactics...they are also wrong. Many hold the banks to a higher standard then other businesses who use tactics since the banks have an advantage over us..and other businesses such as direct access to our savings and checking accounts, our direct deposits, right to offset, tax payer bailouts, insured by the FDIC etc..not to mention no bargaining power (opt in choices) at time of sign up..which current regulation changes have addressed and made some changes for the better.

Here is the info on a class action suit regarding these tactics..not just Wachovia but others as well who have robbed customers this way..Bear in mind since you are a Wachovia customer you will be notified regardless when the suits are won/settled. When that is no one knows..but it will end eventually.

Marking a substantial step forward in litigation over the banking industrys abusive and excessive overdraft fee policies and practices, plaintiffs' counsel announced that bank customers have filed a series of nationwide class action lawsuits against Bank of America, Wachovia, U.S. Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank and others. The complaints were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, where all federal lawsuits brought against the banking industry for abusive overdraft fees have been coordinated before the Honorable James Lawrence King.

Further Information for Bank Customers

Bank customers assessed overdraft fees who wish to learn more about this litigation should visit [[www bank-overdraft com]] where they can submit their complaint to plaintiffs counsel.
Contacts

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Michael W. Sobol, 415-956-1000
or
Bruce S. Rogow, 954-767-8909
Permalink: http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20091020005332/en/fee/overdraft/lieff-cabraser





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#8 Consumer Comment

SCREW Your Class Action Suit!

AUTHOR: Jim - (USA)

You claim to have "business accounts" yet you don't keep a check ledger?

The ONLY reason you have overdraft fees Mr. Big Businessman is because YOU kept running them up!  YOU kept using an ATM card for "stupid tiny transactions" (your words!) when YOU didn't have a clue what your balance is because you aren't keeping records of each and every transaction and doing the math right then and there.  The "$230 in one month" is a monument to your lack of properly managing your account.  Basic financial common sense says you should know how much is in the account BEFORE you use it!  Don't blame the bank...YOU brought this on yourself!

"Hello Wachovia?  Great job with this profit center!  As long as there are people who have less financial common sense than the average postage stamp, you'll have the opportunity to profit from them!  Why not profit even more?  Raise those O/D fees to $100 a pop!  As we have seen, there are plenty who won't keep written records of their account, and of course, when they run up O/D fees, its blame the bank time!"

Oh by the way, no attorney will take your "case".  He/she will laugh their a-- off!

 

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#9 Consumer Comment

You're correct, it's ridiculous

AUTHOR: coast - (USA)

It's ridiculous that you blame the bank for you're failure to maintain a check register. The online balance does not always reflect pending debits and withdrawals but a properly maintained check register will always be precise.
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