• Report: #285936

Complaint Review: Wachovia Bank

  • Submitted: Wed, November 21, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, January 21, 2009

  • Reported By:Durham North Carolina
Wachovia Bank
NORTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER Durham, North Carolina U.S.A.
  • Phone:
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Wachovia Bank Excessive overdraft charges & deceptive practices Durham North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

*Consumer Comment: Charter One does the same thing Wachovia does...

*Author of original report: UPDATE: Federal Reserve Proposed Rules on OD/NSF charges due to HOLDS

*Author of original report: How to get your money back every time

*Author of original report: Speaking of disclosure ...

*Author of original report: Speaking of disclosure ...

*Author of original report: Speaking of disclosure ...

*Author of original report: Speaking of disclosure ...

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia-First Union and Bank of America-LaSalle

*Consumer Comment: As much as it pains me to agree with him...

*Consumer Comment: More Information for Plaintruth

*UPDATE Employee: TROLL ALERT!

*Consumer Comment: Here's What I Want

*UPDATE Employee: So what is it you truly want Edward?

*Consumer Comment: More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

*Consumer Comment: More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

*Consumer Comment: More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

*Consumer Comment: More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

*Consumer Comment: Solution Idea!

*Consumer Suggestion: and yet again...

*Consumer Comment: The Never Ending Goose Chase

*Consumer Suggestion: Hi Clev

*Consumer Suggestion: Being clear and concise???

*Consumer Comment: Redundant Answers for Plaintruth

*Author of original report: Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

*Author of original report: Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

*Author of original report: Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

*Author of original report: Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

*Consumer Suggestion: And...?

*Consumer Comment: Just an F.Y.I.

*Consumer Comment: Round and Round We Go

*Consumer Suggestion: Re: Incorrect Statements...

*Consumer Suggestion: Re: Delayed response to Plaintruth

*Consumer Comment: Delayed Response To Plaintruth

*Consumer Comment: Delayed Response To Plaintruth

*Consumer Comment: Delayed Response To Plaintruth

*Consumer Comment: Delayed Response To Plaintruth

*Author of original report: Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

*Author of original report: Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

*Author of original report: Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

*Author of original report: Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

*Consumer Comment: The Problem with Merchant Holds

*Consumer Comment: Merchant holds on the account

*Consumer Comment: I agree, Plaintruth.

*Consumer Comment: I agree, Plaintruth.

*Consumer Comment: I agree, Plaintruth.

*Consumer Comment: Explanation

*Consumer Comment: More Incorrect Statements by Plaintruth

*Consumer Suggestion: So Edward....

*Consumer Comment: Additional Answers for Plaintruth and Chloe

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't worry Chloe

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't worry Chloe

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't worry Chloe

*Consumer Comment: But Edward....... I DO understand.

*Consumer Suggestion: To Edward

*Consumer Comment: Answers for Plaintruth and Chloe

*Consumer Comment: I think the complaint really boils to Wachovia will pop you twice for the same charge

*Consumer Comment: Unavailable funds

*Consumer Suggestion: Question for Edward

*Consumer Comment: Your points all all irrelevant, Clev

*Author of original report: Rebuttal to those who claim overdrafts are associated with financial irresponsibility

*Consumer Comment: No Chloe. The REAL Problem is - The Deposit Agreement

*Consumer Comment: It's very interesting I have had a BofA account for over 20 years

*Consumer Suggestion: The problem is..

*Consumer Suggestion: I almost forgot...

*Consumer Suggestion: Re: Interesting article ... but it is again one-sided and it does not recognize the true culpability of banks in maximizing these fees

*Author of original report: Interesting article ... but it is again one-sided and it does not recognize the true culpability of banks in maximizing these fees

*Consumer Suggestion: Is that what you really want?

*Author of original report: The GAO Report on Disclosure of Banking Fees is now online + CNN article on same

*Author of original report: GAO Survey finds banks violate regulations by not disclosing banking fees.

*Consumer Comment: FINALLY - A Fair and Honest Employee Response

*UPDATE Employee: Responding to Original Post

*UPDATE Employee: Responding to Original Post

*UPDATE Employee: Responding to Original Post

*Consumer Comment: Another Tip for the Bankworker

*Consumer Comment: Really how hard is it to understand!

*UPDATE Employee: You're right, it can't be explained...

*Consumer Comment: It Cannot Be Explained

*Consumer Comment: I need to better manage my money to keep from being charged unavailale funds fees???

*Consumer Comment: Actually.....Sa and Jim

*UPDATE Employee: Actually Edward...

*Consumer Comment: To Sa and Jim - Double Check Your Facts

*Author of original report: CLARIFICATION

*Author of original report: To reiterate my previous statement ...

*Consumer Comment: Save it Clev

*Author of original report: If your are UNINFORMED ABOUT THE ISSUE (Individual from Flagstaff, AZ) do not post your NAIVE endorsement here.

*UPDATE Employee: I probably missed this, but I'll ask anyway

*Consumer Suggestion: Striderq is trying to help - This in my opinion is NOT a ripoff

*Author of original report: Recession, consumer confidence & "17.5 Billion in OD fees earned by banks last year"

*Consumer Comment: RE: Clev

*UPDATE Employee: Again...

*Author of original report: It is Wachovia's own policies that created the circumstance of the "potential overdraft" using their UNDOCUMENTED NEW FEE, the UNAVAILABLE FUNDS fee

*UPDATE Employee: You've been hanging around Edward too long...

*Author of original report: Primary sources for information on excessive overdraft fees

*UPDATE Employee: Basically then...

*Consumer Comment: Answer For Jim

*Author of original report: I stand by my statement ... It's the FEE MAGNITUDE, the MANIPULATION of TRANSACTION ORDER to maximize FEES, the lack of TRANSPARENCY and TIMELINESS

*UPDATE Employee: And once again...

*Author of original report: The primary issues are 1. the MAGNITUDE of the fees and the 2. MANIPULATION of TRANSACTIONS to increase LIKELIHOOD of fees and 3. LACK of TRANSPARENCY

*Consumer Comment: The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here

*UPDATE Employee: And...

*UPDATE Employee: And...

*UPDATE Employee: And...

*Author of original report: Gartner Survey: Why Customers Leave Banks

*Author of original report: Pay-back is a b-word ...

*UPDATE Employee: Answer for Jim...

*Consumer Comment: Re: Striderq - Here Is the Real Question...?

*Author of original report: Does Wachovia process transactions differently based on "available balance" ?

*Author of original report: An exercept from an online complaint ...

*Author of original report: And more relevant to my situation ...

*Consumer Comment: Striderq - Here Is the Real Question...?

*UPDATE Employee: As Edward is proved wrong one more time...

*Consumer Comment: Wrong About What?

*UPDATE Employee: Gee, Edward don't you get tired of being wrong?...

*Consumer Comment: Striderq Says Blame First Union - Not Wachovia

*UPDATE Employee: Wow, Edward you're really something...

*Consumer Comment: I Would Love To Take The Credit

*UPDATE Employee: Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

*UPDATE Employee: Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

*UPDATE Employee: Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

*UPDATE Employee: Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

*Author of original report: It gets worse ... Wachovia has instituted a new savings account called: Way-2-Save

*Consumer Comment: Not Relevant

*Author of original report: Thanx you for the clarification, Edward

*Consumer Suggestion: The Clear Ripoff Here

*Author of original report: Hypothetical situation ...

*Consumer Comment: You FINALLY See the Ripoff Jim!

*Consumer Comment: Responses

*Consumer Comment: Responses

*Consumer Comment: Responses

*Consumer Comment: Responses

*Consumer Comment: Question For Jim

*Consumer Comment: I have to disagree with you Jim on one point

*Consumer Comment: The Employee Has Admitted It

*Consumer Suggestion: It's The Deposit Agreement

*Consumer Comment: Not Convinced About the Fee

*Author of original report: Clarification re: Factors

*Consumer Comment: Let's Discuss Those Terms and Conditions

*Consumer Comment: In Your Situation - Debit Cards Are The ONLY Factor

*Author of original report: If you can read then you would know ..

*Author of original report: Do you not comprehend ?

*Consumer Comment: Not A Predatory Practice

*Author of original report: The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

*Author of original report: The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

*Author of original report: The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

*Author of original report: The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

*Consumer Comment: You Overestimate The Situation - and the Corresponding Reaction

*Author of original report: Very Informative U-Tube Presentation: 3 Reasons to Never Carry a Debit Card

*Author of original report: Much as I am tempted ...

*Consumer Comment: The NEW Unavailable Funds Fee

*Consumer Comment: Not Certain That's the Issue

*Author of original report: READ THIS IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE

*Consumer Comment: This is a NEW FEE - Unavailable Funds Fee

*Consumer Comment: Jim is absolutely right. Customers ALLOW this to happen!

*UPDATE Employee: Clev, there are ways to avoid this...

*Consumer Comment: Let's Not Overstate Things

*Consumer Comment: The UK is ahead of the US in holding banks accountable

*Consumer Comment: Wachovia Customers take their beef to U-TUBE

*UPDATE Employee: Yeah, yeah, yeah...

*Author of original report: What you fail to realize ...

*UPDATE Employee: Another swing and a miss for Edward...

*Consumer Comment: Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

*Consumer Comment: Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

*Consumer Comment: Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

*Consumer Comment: Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

*UPDATE Employee: To Ashleigh...

*Consumer Comment: Question For Jim and Faron

*Consumer Comment: It's NOT always the customer's fault!

*Consumer Comment: Clev and I know Edward sure like to beat a dead horse

*Consumer Comment: Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

*Consumer Comment: Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

*Consumer Comment: Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

*Consumer Comment: ok .. reality check ...

*Author of original report: From another insider re: customer loyalty and OD fees ....

*Consumer Comment: Avoiding and Dodging The Issue

*Consumer Comment: It Is Good To Clarify

*Author of original report: There is an intentional disconnect from certain parties ....

*Consumer Comment: When filing a complaint with a bank's regulator agency...

*UPDATE Employee: Yes completely avoidable...

*Author of original report: INFORMATION: Where to file a complaint against a financial institution (from Federal Reserve brochure)

*Consumer Suggestion: Check Cards

*Author of original report: Yes .. completely avoidable ...

*Consumer Comment: That Doesn't Address The Issue

*Consumer Comment: And what about...

*Author of original report: It's not just a matter of education ...

*Consumer Comment: There Hasn't Been a Big Spotlight on This Yet

*Consumer Comment: Just Goes to Show You

*Author of original report: A whole litany of complaint is available here:

*Author of original report: In good company ...

*UPDATE Employee: The hotel hold...

*UPDATE Employee: The hotel hold...

*UPDATE Employee: The hotel hold...

*Consumer Comment: More Good Points

*Author of original report: Actually .. you're wrong

*UPDATE Employee: A swing and a miss...

*UPDATE Employee: A swing and a miss...

*Consumer Comment: Great Point Striderq

*UPDATE Employee: Again, Edward you're wrong...

*UPDATE Employee: Again, Edward you're wrong...

*Consumer Comment: Admission of Guilt By The Employee

*UPDATE Employee: The other side of the coin...

*Author of original report: The gap between what a bank can "legally" do and what they "should" do ...

*Consumer Suggestion: The Deposit Agreement Caused the RIPOFF

*UPDATE Employee: As Edward continues to beat his drum...

*Consumer Suggestion: Check-Clearing Policies

*Consumer Suggestion: The Deposit Agreement

*Consumer Comment: Still no answer

*Author of original report: Don't post to this thread unless you want to make a specific comment re: bank overdraft fees

*Consumer Comment: Answer For Bart

*Consumer Comment: The last thing you are doing is innocently sitting around.

*Consumer Suggestion: This OP is a Perfect Example!

*Consumer Comment: It is certainly far less

*Author of original report: Try reading the totality of the report ..

*Consumer Comment: Where are these numbers coming from?

*Consumer Comment: Poor Guy

*Author of original report: Projected 50+ billion profit from OD charges this coming year ...

*Author of original report: Projected 50+ billion profit from OD charges this coming year ...

*Consumer Comment: Hmm... Priorities...

*Author of original report: From one of your own ...

*Author of original report: In response ...

*Author of original report: In response ...

*Author of original report: In response ...

*Author of original report: In response ...

*UPDATE Employee: Here's for Clev...

*Consumer Comment: There is Nothing to Do

*Author of original report: More of the same ...

*Author of original report: More of the same ...

*Author of original report: More of the same ...

*Author of original report: More of the same ...

*Consumer Comment: Response for Clev...

*Consumer Comment: Bank Holds for overdraft justification

*Consumer Suggestion: Always have merchant run the charge, then run a credit.

*Author of original report: FYI

*Consumer Suggestion: Did you read HR 946?

*UPDATE Employee: Sounds like what happened was...

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I had $490 in overdraft charges assessed against my Wachovia checking account. I had $287 in my account and had transactions that did not exceed $250 post against my account. I had NO NSFs but because of a few check card holds that were cancelled by the vendor, Wachovia generated one $35 OD charge after another. Note: my account was never actually OVERDRAWN. After pressing my case the bank reimbursed $150 of the $490 in OD charges which is appreciate but completely inadequate. I have a copy of my checking account online statement that I saved as a "screen save" so I can substantiate my claim. (I recommend all bank customers do the same)

Note: Wachovia's paper statements have debits and credits listed separately which I believe is one tactic they use to make it difficult for customers to reconcile their accounts and the assessed fees. The "captured" screen save of my online statement shows the OD charges being applied against my account BEFORE the items they claim triggered the OD charges. As noted above it was a check card HOLD that triggered the "phantom" overdraft charges. Wachovia does not provide FULL TRANSPARENCY in their accounting.

To the banking person who claimed that it's the customer's fault. It's time to revisit the meaning of CUSTOMER SERVICE. If you create a system that is difficult and non-transparent customers (especially those who are vulnerable) will inevitably be caught. The question is .. is it ETHICAL to set up a system that is DESIGNED to take advantage of customers ? The answer is of course: NO

This is a WIDESPREAD problem that could be addressed by the proposed bill HR 946 (see info below).

The Center for Responsible Lending's website has a form that you can submit to send email to your member of Congress (see their automatic feature at the right of the screen), asking them to support HR 946, a new bill that will make bank's accountable regarding their outrageous "overdraft lending practices".

Center for Responsible Lending:

responsiblelending.org/issues/overdraft/


MSN Money article about "EVIL" banking policies (it mentions Wachovia):

articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banki...ksTurnEvil.aspx


Please share these information resources with your friends and family. Congress may not act quickly enough and every day people are being swindled by these banks with their greed-driven, socially irresponsible, profit-mongering agenda.


You CAN make a difference and these are some of your options (DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert - please do your homework before making any decision relating to your finances.)

1. Stop using your check card
2. Consider using a debit card that does NOT assess OD charges
3. If you do have a check card and want the bank to stop assessing "phantom overdraft charges" (as described above), ask them to remove the automatic overdraft protection but consider replacing it with a more conventional overdraft protection from linkage to a savings account or a personal line of credit (ask for FULL dislcosure re: fees for any option you consider - Note: even linking your savings account to your checking account to cover ODs may have a fee associated with each OD charge - they charge you to lend money to yourself!)
4. Change banks if a bank refuses to reimburse unjustified OD charges
5. Contact your local congress person and ask them to support HR 946 (see Center for Responsible Lending URL above)
6. Organize locally to spread the word about these banking practices and how consumers can avoid these charges.

If enough consumers take action the banks profits will plummet and they will be forced to return to a true model of "customer service".

Clev
Durham, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/21/2007 10:27 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Wachovia-Bank/Durham-North-Carolina-27705/Wachovia-Bank-Excessive-overdraft-charges-deceptive-practices-Durham-North-Carolina-285936. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

AUTHOR: Sandy, Emt Student (tx) - (U.S.A.)

I DO NOT , and WOULD NOT use, nor would I continue to use any financial institution that has the word "bank" as its classification. They are highly notorious for stealing peoples money in the form of "hidden fees" theat you will never know anything about. I will gladly explain to all who still do not understand why. A Bank is where people go to "safely" place ther money whice is better that under a mattress, but still a banks #1 job is to make money. You are NOT involved in any of their decision making processes. Just a regular old customer. A Credit Union is differen than that of a "bank" in that is lets the customers become true members and does NOT charge any "hidden fees". I used to have an account with Washington Mutual and they opened another account without WITHOUT MY CONSENT. They did not tell me, and later when I decided that I would rather go back to Texans Credit Union, I found out that I had an overdrawn account that I didn't even know that I had !! I was so mad! This is what happens when people place their money in "banks". Either "hidden fees" or terrible customer service.

I also know that the way they will treat you is most likely according to how much you have in your account. They don't see you as a person, just an opportunity.

I may not have as much money as some right now, but Texans Credit Union treats me like a person because I am a member, NOT just another customer with money to make a bank more rich. At Texans, as a member I am there to make ME more rich... and that is the difference.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

AUTHOR: Sandy, Emt Student (tx) - (U.S.A.)

I DO NOT , and WOULD NOT use, nor would I continue to use any financial institution that has the word "bank" as its classification. They are highly notorious for stealing peoples money in the form of "hidden fees" theat you will never know anything about. I will gladly explain to all who still do not understand why. A Bank is where people go to "safely" place ther money whice is better that under a mattress, but still a banks #1 job is to make money. You are NOT involved in any of their decision making processes. Just a regular old customer. A Credit Union is differen than that of a "bank" in that is lets the customers become true members and does NOT charge any "hidden fees". I used to have an account with Washington Mutual and they opened another account without WITHOUT MY CONSENT. They did not tell me, and later when I decided that I would rather go back to Texans Credit Union, I found out that I had an overdrawn account that I didn't even know that I had !! I was so mad! This is what happens when people place their money in "banks". Either "hidden fees" or terrible customer service.

I also know that the way they will treat you is most likely according to how much you have in your account. They don't see you as a person, just an opportunity.

I may not have as much money as some right now, but Texans Credit Union treats me like a person because I am a member, NOT just another customer with money to make a bank more rich. At Texans, as a member I am there to make ME more rich... and that is the difference.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

AUTHOR: Sandy, Emt Student (tx) - (U.S.A.)

I DO NOT , and WOULD NOT use, nor would I continue to use any financial institution that has the word "bank" as its classification. They are highly notorious for stealing peoples money in the form of "hidden fees" theat you will never know anything about. I will gladly explain to all who still do not understand why. A Bank is where people go to "safely" place ther money whice is better that under a mattress, but still a banks #1 job is to make money. You are NOT involved in any of their decision making processes. Just a regular old customer. A Credit Union is differen than that of a "bank" in that is lets the customers become true members and does NOT charge any "hidden fees". I used to have an account with Washington Mutual and they opened another account without WITHOUT MY CONSENT. They did not tell me, and later when I decided that I would rather go back to Texans Credit Union, I found out that I had an overdrawn account that I didn't even know that I had !! I was so mad! This is what happens when people place their money in "banks". Either "hidden fees" or terrible customer service.

I also know that the way they will treat you is most likely according to how much you have in your account. They don't see you as a person, just an opportunity.

I may not have as much money as some right now, but Texans Credit Union treats me like a person because I am a member, NOT just another customer with money to make a bank more rich. At Texans, as a member I am there to make ME more rich... and that is the difference.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Wachovia Bank Ripping Customers Off with "Phantom Fees"

AUTHOR: Sandy, Emt Student (tx) - (U.S.A.)

I DO NOT , and WOULD NOT use, nor would I continue to use any financial institution that has the word "bank" as its classification. They are highly notorious for stealing peoples money in the form of "hidden fees" theat you will never know anything about. I will gladly explain to all who still do not understand why. A Bank is where people go to "safely" place ther money whice is better that under a mattress, but still a banks #1 job is to make money. You are NOT involved in any of their decision making processes. Just a regular old customer. A Credit Union is differen than that of a "bank" in that is lets the customers become true members and does NOT charge any "hidden fees". I used to have an account with Washington Mutual and they opened another account without WITHOUT MY CONSENT. They did not tell me, and later when I decided that I would rather go back to Texans Credit Union, I found out that I had an overdrawn account that I didn't even know that I had !! I was so mad! This is what happens when people place their money in "banks". Either "hidden fees" or terrible customer service.

I also know that the way they will treat you is most likely according to how much you have in your account. They don't see you as a person, just an opportunity.

I may not have as much money as some right now, but Texans Credit Union treats me like a person because I am a member, NOT just another customer with money to make a bank more rich. At Texans, as a member I am there to make ME more rich... and that is the difference.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Charter One does the same thing Wachovia does...

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

I had the same thing happen to me with Charter One....they merged with a mom and pop bank that I had been with for six years. Never had a problem EVER with the mom and pop bank. The mom and pop bank (Great Bank) was kind enough to hold my statements at the bank, and I would pick them up monthly, as I was sequestering my whereabouts from a stalking ex-husband. I did not want any of my financial mail going to my address, because I did not want him to have any access to my life...

Charter One took over the mom and pop bank. They are a subsidiary of Citizen's Banking system. They alleged that they sent me a 'welcome' packet....which would have been impossible, because they had no record on file of my address....the mom and pop bank had no record of my address for the above mentioned reasons.
In this welcome packet, allegedly, they were changing my account number, my access codes, everything to MY MONEY, which went into this account direct deposit from my place of employment.

They never bothered to tell me any of this. They just ASSUMED I got this packet. My old mom and pop bank did not inform me either...
So, on memorial day weekend, I go to use my debit card, and it was refused.
I knew that my employer had deposited my whole check into my account, so I knew there had to be funds there...

I went to the nearest mom and pop bank, only to discover the name had changed.
It took them FOUR HOURS to find my old account, and find my money.

I sat there freaking out, worrying how I was going to pay bills, rent, and food....
They assigned me a new checking account number, and signed me up for a new debit card....

But here's what I DIDN"T SIGN UP FOR:
They didn't mention that they were changing the terms and conditions of my original account. They no longer would allow overdrafts up to $1000 like the mom and pop bank....and refused to even give me a line of credit or a savings account with adequate money to transfer should an overdraft occur....

"our policy does not allow for those privileges", the customer service rep, told me.
They sent me a debit card ten days later....
I could not pay my rent on the first, because I had no access or way to write a check, since my 'new checks' had not arrived yet. So I ended up paying late fees on everything I usually paid on time at the first of the month.
Charter One never acknowledged their fault in any of this.

They claimed they sent a packet explaining everything....

That was a lie....because I DID NOT HAVE AN ADDRESS...I was completely off the map....I was living with a friend whom they had no knowledge of, until I was 'safe'....

All I can say is, I know that many banks do this stuff to make alot of money...
When I overdrafted with Charter One the first time, it was then that I learned that they didn't honor the old account terms and conditions...

They charged me nearly $700 just in fees....it was one of those fees...and then a fee to cover the debt the first fee created!!
They reversed one half of the fees....I had no idea any of this had happened, because I had no access to my account!! I had no way of looking on line, because THEY had not sent me anything in the mail yet....

I had to pay my bills...but they charged me for PENDING merchant charges THAT NEVER HAPPENED, just like this poster said.

As soon as I paid everything off with them, I went directly to xxxxxxxx....
THEY HAVE BEEEN AWESOME!!
THey don't hassle me....they are sooooo nice....and recently, I was ripped off by an online company who made charges on my account without authorization, and they went after them on my behalf!

I recommend xxxxxxx...
They also give me a little reward money back every month, too...
they are all about the customer, in my book...
not a single time, have they been rude or condescending...
go to xxxxxxxx.
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#6 Author of original report

UPDATE: Federal Reserve Proposed Rules on OD/NSF charges due to HOLDS

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

It is heartening to see that the Federal Reserve is taking some action on the issue of OD charges associated with bank "holds", the crux of why I was assessed such an outrageously large number of fees as described in this complaint.

Google on the following: "Highlights of Proposed Rules Regarding Credit Cards and Overdraft Services" (Subtitled: Regulation AA (Unfair Acts or Practices))

The Federal Reserve "gets it". There is hope after all, my friends.
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#7 Author of original report

How to get your money back every time

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

If you have been ripped off by your bank you can take them to small claims court to get your money back:

I have previously made mention of the documentary OVERDRAWN which has now seen a very limited release. That documentary tells the story of Karney Hatch (the filmmaker) who took Wells Fargo to small claims court over excessive overdraft charges based on a recommendation by Ralph Nader (interviewed in his film). Not only did Wells Fargo return all his money, they also paid his court costs.

The story has been recently published in the Chicago Tribune: Google on the following terms separated by an '&' symbol - 'chicago tribune', 'overdraft fees' & hatch.

Quoting Karney Hatch: 'They get a million complaints a day from people calling the 800-number line, but Small claims court tends to get their attention.'



If you have been ripped off by your bank, know that you are not alone and that you don't have to accept the situation. There IS something you can do.
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#8 Author of original report

Speaking of disclosure ...

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

An upfront disclosure of each person's association/affiliation/renumeration in relation to the financial industry would be very helpful in assessing whether that individual had a "conflict of interest" or other inherent bias as it relates to this discussion.

I am a customer, I own no individual banking or financial services industry stock. I do own mutual funds as part of my retirement savings. Those funds may or may not contain financial services industry stock. If that is the case clearly my position on this issue has not been influenced by my own holdings because I think ultimately that "doing the right thing" is good for both a bank and it's customers.
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#9 Author of original report

Speaking of disclosure ...

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

An upfront disclosure of each person's association/affiliation/renumeration in relation to the financial industry would be very helpful in assessing whether that individual had a "conflict of interest" or other inherent bias as it relates to this discussion.

I am a customer, I own no individual banking or financial services industry stock. I do own mutual funds as part of my retirement savings. Those funds may or may not contain financial services industry stock. If that is the case clearly my position on this issue has not been influenced by my own holdings because I think ultimately that "doing the right thing" is good for both a bank and it's customers.
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#10 Author of original report

Speaking of disclosure ...

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

An upfront disclosure of each person's association/affiliation/renumeration in relation to the financial industry would be very helpful in assessing whether that individual had a "conflict of interest" or other inherent bias as it relates to this discussion.

I am a customer, I own no individual banking or financial services industry stock. I do own mutual funds as part of my retirement savings. Those funds may or may not contain financial services industry stock. If that is the case clearly my position on this issue has not been influenced by my own holdings because I think ultimately that "doing the right thing" is good for both a bank and it's customers.
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#11 Author of original report

Speaking of disclosure ...

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

An upfront disclosure of each person's association/affiliation/renumeration in relation to the financial industry would be very helpful in assessing whether that individual had a "conflict of interest" or other inherent bias as it relates to this discussion.

I am a customer, I own no individual banking or financial services industry stock. I do own mutual funds as part of my retirement savings. Those funds may or may not contain financial services industry stock. If that is the case clearly my position on this issue has not been influenced by my own holdings because I think ultimately that "doing the right thing" is good for both a bank and it's customers.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Wachovia-First Union and Bank of America-LaSalle

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

To Truth Detector, yes you and I have butted heads on many occasions. But unlike you, I never take these personal and always try to remain calm and courteous. Notice I said I TRY to. And I give credit where it's due, no matter if it's friend or foe. It seems you have realized this now also. It shouldn't 'pain you' to agree with me, because if it makes you feel any better, it's not me you're agreeing with really. You're simply agreeing with rock solid, sound logic which cannot be disputed regarding the difference between LaSalle's Deposit Agreement wording and Wachovia's. But as I've LEARNED to do long ago, I give you credit for having the COURAGE and INTEGRITY to admit it. See? That wasn't so hard. And I'm sure you and I will continue to butt heads in the future, but disagreements aren't a bad thing. Debate is always productive, as long as it doesn't turn personal and insulting.

Regarding LaSalle and Bank of America, you have stated the precedent that has been set by BofA regarding disclosures in the past. So it will be very interesting to see how BofA handles the LaSalle acquisition in comparison with Wachovia and First Union. First it will be interesting to see if Bank of America inherits some of LaSalle's polices, mainly the Unavailable Funds Fee which LaSalle openly uses, and one which BofA has NOT used in the past. If BofA DOES adopt this policy, next it will be interesting to see if BofA HOLDS TRUE to those past disclosure habits, or whether BofA does like Wachovia.

And this brings me back on subject and Wachovia. Basically Wachovia today is nothing more than First Union with a new name. When these two merged, the executives took Wachovia lipstick and slapped it on the First Union pig, and deemed it beautiful, or at least they tried to. But now customers are WISELY starting to see past that lipstick (the stellar Wachovia name) , right back at the ugly ole pig (First Union). Of course, prior to that Wachovia had great customer ratings compared to First Union's horrible customer ratings, for obvious reasons. So time it will be interesting to see if BofA does the same thing - though I doubt they will. First of all, it's my opinion that BofA will NOT maintain LaSalle's RIPOFF unavailable funds fee, though I could be wrong. But if BofA does inherit LaSalle's Unavailable Funds Fee, then I'm sure BofA will also inherit the LaSalle's CLEAR, CONCISE, UP FRONT explanation, and proper disclosure of that fee also.

Only time will tell, but it's my OPINION that BofA will not try to pull one over, or slide one by it's customers, like Wachovia has tried to do to its customers like Clev here.
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#13 Consumer Comment

As much as it pains me to agree with him...

AUTHOR: Truth Detector - (U.S.A.)

I have to back Edward on this particular point.

Edward wrote:

'The reason I continue to 'bark about LaSalle' is because, UNLIKE Wachovia, LaSalle properly EXPLAINS how the Unavailable Funds Fee will be charged, and LaSalle does this with CLEAR, CONCISE, easy to understand language, UP FRONT in it's Deposit Agreement.'

LaSalle, like its Bank of America umbrella company, CLEARLY states what all the fees will be BEFORE those fees have been assessed. I know this because I am a long-time BOA customer - and I am forever inundated with disclosure packets whenever a policy is amended or changed. Wachovia does not adhere to this principle - which, ironically enough, is the central tenet of H.R. 946. That legislation does not address the actual assessment of fees - but rather the manner by which banks disclose fee assessment.

As many of you know, Edward and I have butted heads on more than one occasion. I want to commend his concession moving forward that a consumer must manage his account responsibly in order to avoid fees.

I also want to back his claim that Wachovia's lack of explication regarding its Unavailable Funds Fee is, at a minimum, a terrible disservice to its customers. In my estimation, that would indeed make it a rip-off.
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#14 Consumer Comment

More Information for Plaintruth

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

Your quote - 'I can't speak for Faron of Houston only to say that the fact that he initiated the transaction caused him to be charged a fee for HIS TRANSACTION after, being charged fees for the OTHER ITEMS which attempted to post when HIS TRANSACTION was on hold the first day.'

Please help me and everyone understand how you cannot be referring to ANYONE else but Faron in this sentence. As I informed you earlier, Faron has NOT filed any Ripoff Report, nor has Faron POSTED any rebuttal about any fees HE received because of HIS actions. All of Faron's rebuttals have only been related to what happened with fees charged to OTHERS, not HIMSELF. But Faron ACKNOWLEDGES what these OTHER customers are complaining about at Wachovia. It has NOTHING to do with him.

The reason I continue to 'bark about LaSalle' is because I said Wachovia was the LONE bank that charged this fee. Then your colleague Striderq enlightened me to the fact that Wachovia was NOT alone and it was Striderq who brought it to my attention that LaSalle and OTHER banks charge the Unavailable Funds Fee. The reason I continue to 'bark about LaSalle' is because, UNLIKE Wachovia, LaSalle properly EXPLAINS how the Unavailable Funds Fee will be charged, and LaSalle does this with CLEAR, CONCISE, easy to understand language, UP FRONT in it's Deposit Agreement. That's the reason I continue to 'bark about LaSalle' to show how Wachovia DOES NOT do this - the reason you want me to STOP 'barking about LaSalle' because this only EXPOSES the truth about Wachovia's Deposit Agreement.

That's the Ripoff here.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

TROLL ALERT!

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

Edward, I wrote nothing negative directed TOWARD Faron. The sentence following the explanation of his transaction was directed toward you, as I referred to him in 3rd person at the beginning of that paragraph. I have not been debating with him the role that VISA plays either (that should have been another clue for you).

As for your BofA customer status... I will admit that I was evidently under the wrong impression that you are a LaSalle bank customer. Why? Because I admit that I have not read every single thread, because to be quite frank, the majority of what I have seen posted by you and some others has been more assumption, fabrication, and incorrect information than anything. Since you repeatedly tout LaSalle, I thought maybe you were a customer. What I don't understand is why you continue to mention them, when, in fact, they are now BANK OF AMERICA. Are you a bank employee?

I am NOT a FRAUD. I have done nothing but posted accurate facts on this board regarding how banks process items. I have repeatedly posted information to HELP CUSTOMERS. Each time I mention HELPING the CUSTOMER, you NEVER reply with the same intent. I can assure you that people have noticed.
I am also not a bank executive. Are you implying that because I am intelligent that I couldn't possibly be a working "middle class" individual? That assumption in itself is offensive to millions of hard working people in this country. There... you are so intent on twisting words to fit your agenda. Enjoy!

One thing you really need to put into perspective is what I have stated before. The majority of customers completely understand how they incur the fees once someone explains it to them or show them how it happened. You seem to be one of the handful of consumers that does not comprehend it.

I can take comfort in knowing that at least the more you post to my replies, that you can help the customer without trying. Each time you post, you are unconsciously assisting me in helping the customer because they are able to view my corrections of your inaccurate information.

Have you even bothered to try and understand how the customer feels? When they realize and understand how they overdrew their account and caused legitimate fees, they are in an uncomfortable position. They realize that they did not take the time to read their Deposit Agreement and Schedule of Fees. You only continue to argue that it is the bank's fault.

I am beginning to wonder if you are a Troll on these boards though? You know what a Troll is, don't you? You are beginning to resemble one who continuously and intentially posts incorrect information on a message board just to keep threads going, in an attempt to increase traffic on the site, thus increasing advertising revenue. I am beginning to wonder...
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#16 Consumer Comment

Here's What I Want

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

To expose FRAUDS like yourself and others whose ONLY objective on all of these threads is to adopt a new motto - The consumer is always WRONG, no matter what. I can tell by your posting language that you are very intelligent, probably pretty high up in the Wachovia chain. But since you obviously haven't been briefed and obviously haven't taken the time to read these threads on your own, let me enlighten you on a few things.

1. Had you been briefed or studied up on any past threads you would know like EVERYONE ELSE that I am NOT currently a Bank of America customer. I had an acount with Bank of America for over ten years, but that was in the past and I have long since closed the account with them. But let me take the time here to repeat to everyone else my fairness and unbiasedness as I use BofA as example in these threads to claim their innocence. Unlike the many rants I have AGAINST BofA on many of its threads. Something else you're apparently not up to speed on.

2. Had you been briefed or studied up on any past threads you would know that Faron of Houston is on YOUR SIDE. He too suggests that customers are USUALLY to blame for these fees by their own actions. Faron himself is NOT the source of any of these complaints and he's probably offended, as he should be, by your WRONG assertion of him. However, even though Faron is on your side and may not agree with my conclusions, he has the INTEGRITY to acknowledge that he NOW recognizes what Wachovia customers are complaining about. He, like many others in the past, including myself, DID NOT understand this issue until now.

3. Had you been briefed or studied up on any past threads you would have seen posts from me that also informed the customer that when you overdraft your account you will be and should be charged a fee. However, that is NOT the issue on these Wachovia threads. Many customers on these threads ACKNOWLEDGE that they overdrew their account and they agree they should be charged a fee for the transaction that CAUSED it. What they DO NOT agree with, and neither do I, is being charged fees for OTHER transactions which POST and CLEAR the account balance. Although Clev is not in this category. His problem was solely caused by the Merchant.

So when you add all of this up, one has to ask the question - Have you read ANY of these recent threads? How can someone like yourself who is obviously very intelligent, shown in your writing style, reach all of these WRONG conclusions with the evidence right in front of you? And from the obvious answer to this question, this casts skepticism on your claims about SUPPOSEDLY reading Reports against BofA for this very issue. Yeah right! I still have yet to see any. Maybe you would be so kind to post direct links or Report numbers. Just ask everyone else, if you do post evidence that backs up your claim, I will acknowledge it and give you credit - trust me. But, had you studied up on some of these past threads, you would have already seen evidence of my pattern of doing this also.

It's no surprise that someone so intelligent and high up the chain hasn't bothered to read any of these threads. That's a job for the peons at the lower levels to do, right? Oh well. Back to the Wachovia executive suite for you in Charlotte. You tried, and did your best. Send out the next one in line. Until then:

That's still the ripoff here.
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#17 UPDATE Employee

So what is it you truly want Edward?

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

First of all, I don't recall stating that I am not a bank employee.
I submitted previously under the heading: I have a Consumer Suggestion or a constructive solution on how to resolve or avoid this Rip-off in the future. Any other nonsense will be ignored

I submitted a SUGGESTION for CONSUMERS that included a CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTION on how to avoid fees in the future. The only reason I switched to posting under Employee was in the hopes of trying to reach you and help you understand. I assumed, that upon you seeing policy from a valid subject matter expert, that I would observe some faint glimmer resembling an indication of understanding on your part. I was evidently aiming way too high. I will definitely and without hesitation admit that it was wrong of me to assume that you possessed the basic problem solving skills necessary to process the information presented before you.

What bothers you more... that I am a Wachovia employee, or that I am a Wachovia employee that has consistently posted accurate information SOLELY as an attempt to help customers?

I am very concerned that the only motive you have displayed on these threads is to repeatedly post incorrect information that seems to fit your agenda. Did you not consider posting ANY information whatsoever that would HELP THESE PEOPLE AVOID FEES?
Do you even care if someone reads the incorrect information that you continue to post about how both WACHOVIA and BANK OF AMERICA process their items? Do you even care if YOUR INCORRECT INFORMATION influences a consumer and gives them a false sense of security at BofA and they subsequently incur fees. Have you bothered to read any of the Bank of America threads? Their customers are incurring THE SAME FEES for the same reason... they do not use a checkbook register.

Just SOME of your incorrect info:
1. only a handful of banks have this issue ---Have you researched the info? BofA, SunTrust, Wachovia, BB&T, PNC (all found in the last 5 minutes online) charge a fee if an item posts to your account and you do not have AVAILABLE funds to pay the item. PNC even refers to the UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEE on it's schedule of fees.
2. Your numbers match mine--- I would encourage you to look again. Your numbers do not match mine. Just because one number is the same, you are assuming that our calculations match. That is a desperate reach on your part. Anyone reading the post can look at my calculations and compute them in accordance with how both BofA and Wachovia process items (the SAME) and see that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.
3. Diversionary essays--- My "essays" are not diversionary in nature. I simply must explain the process to such a granular extent due to the fact that you do not understand how banks process items, yet you continue to post innaccuracies. All I have done is continue to attempt to provide you with accurate information that I do not believe you wish to acknowledge because at this point you are attempting to save face.
4. Stop barking about LaSalle--- Hey Edward. LaSalle is now owned by Bank of America. (you conveniently omitted your response to that fact each time you responded to my posts-- geesh, talk about DIVERSIONARY TACTICS, POT KETTLE. HELLO!)

You have continued to demonstrate repeatedly that you appear to be concerned only with being right, yet the only thing you have proven is that you do not comprehend the process.
The customer can only benefit if they are equipped with the knowledge which will enable them to AVOID THE FEES. I have only stated in my posts that overdraft fees are legitimate, not that they seem fair, or pleasant, or that I even agree with the concept; HOWEVER, they are part of the LEGAL AGREEMENT between the customer and their bank. I believe that we as CONSUMERS should live up to our end of a legally binding agreement. Your posts are not constructive, offer no help or advice, but only communicate your disagreement accompanied by a desire to be heard.

I can't speak for Faron of Houston only to say that the fact that he initiated the transaction caused him to be charged a fee for HIS TRANSACTION after, being charged fees for the OTHER ITEMS which attempted to post when HIS TRANSACTION was on hold the first day. It's the whole VISA factor, you just don't get it, unfortunately, it does not appear that you ever will.

The good news is that even though any hope I have that you will finally look at what is right in front of you and be able to understand it is fading fast, is that there is one thing I can tell SNAPPY that might help him. There is actually one SOLUTION IDEA that will GUARANTEE his avoidance of these fees in the future...

USING A CHECKBOOK REGISTER AND NEVER SPENDING MORE THAN THAT ACCURATE REGISTER RECORD REFLECTS WILL OUTSMART THE "ILL-INTENTIONED SCOUNDREL'S" PROGRAMMING CODE EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Edward, you are not alone in your obvious anger toward the way banks process items and the fees they charge. You should know that you ARE alone in being the only person, who I have presented with documented policy and procedure, that lacks the aptitude and reasoning to comprehend a simple concept.

You can take comfort in knowing that I am not going to attempt to help you any further. No more "essays" from me. Sink or swim, you are on your own.

Take care, and best of luck to you!
Plaintruth
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#18 Consumer Comment

More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

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

For the record, the OTHER POST that you're referring to, and which I corrected, for the record is Ripoff Report # 316812. No need for me to buy a calculator. Why? Because you have responded on that other thread, as an EMPLOYEE now, and guess what? Your numbers MATCH mine! So do we BOTH need calculators? I'll pick one up for you while I'm at it if their not standard issued equipment at Wachovia. The reason your one line sentence in your previous post HERE only addressed the OTHER THREAD is because there was NOTHING that could be said to directly address my previous post HERE on this thread. It's obvious.

Now let me take the time to address some previous points that didn't go unnoticed before. I just didn't want to get into unnecessary diversions earlier. Regarding your long winded, DIVERSIONARY ESSAYS on Visa earlier and the role it plays in this, guess what? Hundreds of banks use VISA, yet only a HANDFUL have this issue. Why? Because the issue is NOT VISA. Only those handful use the Unavailable Funds Fee. That's the common thread.

Next, I'll confirm that Clev's most recent post hit the nail on the head with the interchangeable terms. And as I've stated many times before, it's these interchangeable terms that Wachovia is trying to shove down everyone's throat to convince everyone that they do DISCLOSE and EXPLAIN how this fee works in their Deposit Agreement. Unlike LaSalle where it is so CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Now, do you still care to incorrectly state that all I do is post incorrect info, as you stated in your previous post on 3/18/2008, 6:20:02 PM? If I'm posting incorrect info, like on the OTHER thread, then how is it you're confirming this incorrect info, when your numbers match mine? If I'm posting incorrect info, how is that guys like Faron of Houston now understand and ACKNOWLEDGE that Wachovia will quote - 'pop you twice for the same charge', to use Faron's on words, when guys like Faron didn't understand as evidenced by his previous posts on other threads. He didn't understand, that is, until I found a way to show him DIFFERENTLY, what Wachovia is doing.

In other words - how Wachovia is ripping off customers here.
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#19 Consumer Comment

More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

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

For the record, the OTHER POST that you're referring to, and which I corrected, for the record is Ripoff Report # 316812. No need for me to buy a calculator. Why? Because you have responded on that other thread, as an EMPLOYEE now, and guess what? Your numbers MATCH mine! So do we BOTH need calculators? I'll pick one up for you while I'm at it if their not standard issued equipment at Wachovia. The reason your one line sentence in your previous post HERE only addressed the OTHER THREAD is because there was NOTHING that could be said to directly address my previous post HERE on this thread. It's obvious.

Now let me take the time to address some previous points that didn't go unnoticed before. I just didn't want to get into unnecessary diversions earlier. Regarding your long winded, DIVERSIONARY ESSAYS on Visa earlier and the role it plays in this, guess what? Hundreds of banks use VISA, yet only a HANDFUL have this issue. Why? Because the issue is NOT VISA. Only those handful use the Unavailable Funds Fee. That's the common thread.

Next, I'll confirm that Clev's most recent post hit the nail on the head with the interchangeable terms. And as I've stated many times before, it's these interchangeable terms that Wachovia is trying to shove down everyone's throat to convince everyone that they do DISCLOSE and EXPLAIN how this fee works in their Deposit Agreement. Unlike LaSalle where it is so CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Now, do you still care to incorrectly state that all I do is post incorrect info, as you stated in your previous post on 3/18/2008, 6:20:02 PM? If I'm posting incorrect info, like on the OTHER thread, then how is it you're confirming this incorrect info, when your numbers match mine? If I'm posting incorrect info, how is that guys like Faron of Houston now understand and ACKNOWLEDGE that Wachovia will quote - 'pop you twice for the same charge', to use Faron's on words, when guys like Faron didn't understand as evidenced by his previous posts on other threads. He didn't understand, that is, until I found a way to show him DIFFERENTLY, what Wachovia is doing.

In other words - how Wachovia is ripping off customers here.
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#20 Consumer Comment

More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

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

For the record, the OTHER POST that you're referring to, and which I corrected, for the record is Ripoff Report # 316812. No need for me to buy a calculator. Why? Because you have responded on that other thread, as an EMPLOYEE now, and guess what? Your numbers MATCH mine! So do we BOTH need calculators? I'll pick one up for you while I'm at it if their not standard issued equipment at Wachovia. The reason your one line sentence in your previous post HERE only addressed the OTHER THREAD is because there was NOTHING that could be said to directly address my previous post HERE on this thread. It's obvious.

Now let me take the time to address some previous points that didn't go unnoticed before. I just didn't want to get into unnecessary diversions earlier. Regarding your long winded, DIVERSIONARY ESSAYS on Visa earlier and the role it plays in this, guess what? Hundreds of banks use VISA, yet only a HANDFUL have this issue. Why? Because the issue is NOT VISA. Only those handful use the Unavailable Funds Fee. That's the common thread.

Next, I'll confirm that Clev's most recent post hit the nail on the head with the interchangeable terms. And as I've stated many times before, it's these interchangeable terms that Wachovia is trying to shove down everyone's throat to convince everyone that they do DISCLOSE and EXPLAIN how this fee works in their Deposit Agreement. Unlike LaSalle where it is so CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Now, do you still care to incorrectly state that all I do is post incorrect info, as you stated in your previous post on 3/18/2008, 6:20:02 PM? If I'm posting incorrect info, like on the OTHER thread, then how is it you're confirming this incorrect info, when your numbers match mine? If I'm posting incorrect info, how is that guys like Faron of Houston now understand and ACKNOWLEDGE that Wachovia will quote - 'pop you twice for the same charge', to use Faron's on words, when guys like Faron didn't understand as evidenced by his previous posts on other threads. He didn't understand, that is, until I found a way to show him DIFFERENTLY, what Wachovia is doing.

In other words - how Wachovia is ripping off customers here.
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#21 Consumer Comment

More Corrections for the EMPLOYEE

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

For the record, the OTHER POST that you're referring to, and which I corrected, for the record is Ripoff Report # 316812. No need for me to buy a calculator. Why? Because you have responded on that other thread, as an EMPLOYEE now, and guess what? Your numbers MATCH mine! So do we BOTH need calculators? I'll pick one up for you while I'm at it if their not standard issued equipment at Wachovia. The reason your one line sentence in your previous post HERE only addressed the OTHER THREAD is because there was NOTHING that could be said to directly address my previous post HERE on this thread. It's obvious.

Now let me take the time to address some previous points that didn't go unnoticed before. I just didn't want to get into unnecessary diversions earlier. Regarding your long winded, DIVERSIONARY ESSAYS on Visa earlier and the role it plays in this, guess what? Hundreds of banks use VISA, yet only a HANDFUL have this issue. Why? Because the issue is NOT VISA. Only those handful use the Unavailable Funds Fee. That's the common thread.

Next, I'll confirm that Clev's most recent post hit the nail on the head with the interchangeable terms. And as I've stated many times before, it's these interchangeable terms that Wachovia is trying to shove down everyone's throat to convince everyone that they do DISCLOSE and EXPLAIN how this fee works in their Deposit Agreement. Unlike LaSalle where it is so CRYSTAL CLEAR.

Now, do you still care to incorrectly state that all I do is post incorrect info, as you stated in your previous post on 3/18/2008, 6:20:02 PM? If I'm posting incorrect info, like on the OTHER thread, then how is it you're confirming this incorrect info, when your numbers match mine? If I'm posting incorrect info, how is that guys like Faron of Houston now understand and ACKNOWLEDGE that Wachovia will quote - 'pop you twice for the same charge', to use Faron's on words, when guys like Faron didn't understand as evidenced by his previous posts on other threads. He didn't understand, that is, until I found a way to show him DIFFERENTLY, what Wachovia is doing.

In other words - how Wachovia is ripping off customers here.
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#22 Consumer Comment

Solution Idea!

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

There is no human that can keep up with the programming that the Banks have perfected! The only solution is to either expose the code that is causing this new form of robbery, or come up with an algorithm that will interface with the banks programming. I would call it Einstein because it's a mathematical thing. The programmers of our time can create algorithms that are so much faster than any human can calculate and can manipulate numbers to benefit the owner of this code. If one exposes the code, then we can fix this. Currently the Banks have an unfair advantage in that the servers are faster than we are (obviously).

If you're on a tight budget and can't keep extra funds in your account then you are doomed with respect to the faster programming. You simply cannot sit at the bank with a laptop and watch your account in real time so that you do not go negative! You could run your account tight if you had a program that could keep track of things like the banks program does. IE: when the banks program determines that it will take your new check charge out after a few other transactions so that you're a few cents short and the bank can charge you a fee, your program will transfer that amount automatically to your account to avoid the fees. In this hypothetical example, there is no one at fault. It's the programming that is doing the dirty deed for the Banks. Maybe this is happening purely by accident, maybe it is intentional. Who cares anymore! We need to do something to counter act the billions of dollars that are wrongfully obtained. It might seem farfetched but if you know what we can to with current technology, then you know that this is more than likely what is happening and the code simply needs to modified so that it is fair. It also could be that this code was written by scoundrels with ill intention of making an extra 17 billion a year from poor people! Who knows!
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

and yet again...

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

Your other post is still incorrect. Please do us all a favor and buy a calculator before posting again.
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#24 Consumer Comment

The Never Ending Goose Chase

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

First a correction to the quote - 'No one claims every thing is in the Depositor's Agreement.' To the contrary. I refer you back to the thousands of past Ripoff reports where many a bank supporter has made that very statement, HYPOCRITICALLY as they tried to demean and ridicule the OP. Many of these hypocritical rebuttals have stated many times - 'Read your Deposit Agreement. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING there is to know about your account can be found in it'.

But as you have ACKNOWLEDGED, in the case of Wachovia, EVERYTHING CANNOT be found in it. That's the reason for the reference to the Schedule of Fees. No problem. The customer reads the Deposit Agreement, it refers him the Schedule of Fees. The Schedule of Fees lists the fees (1) NSF Fee, (2) Overdraft Fee, and (3) Unavailable Funds Fee - all $35 each. The customer is ALREADY familiar with the first two as ALL banks use these. The customer has NEVER heard of the Unavailable Funds Fee. The only thing the Schedule of Fees gives him is the NAME and AMOUNT. So the customer goes back to the Deposit Agreement for the description and explanation of the fee. He finds NONE and it refers him back to the Schedule of Fees. Back and forth. Back and forth.

I've already corrected the other post you're referring to. Guess what? The result is STILL the same. No inaccuracies, just facts like this: LaSalle charges the Unavailable Funds Fee. LaSalle CLEARLY and CONCISELY describes how this fee works in its Deposit Agreement:

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If an item is initiated as a POS transaction, you agree that the Bank may immediately charge the amount of the item to your Account or place a 'hold' on the available balance in your Account in the amount of the authorized item. This could result in an overdraft if sufficient funds are not available in your Account to cover both the hold and any items posting to your Account
----------

There's your example of CLEAR and CONCISE. Now finally and more importantly, as I've mentioned before, MANY customers dislike the posting order by largest amounts first. Many Ripoff Reports galore to show for it. How is it that these Wachovia Reports are at every turn regarding Unavailable Funds Fees. Yet, so very few for OTHER banks, if indeed they ALSO charge this fee like Wachovia. You mean to tell me that Bank of America customers are not angry enough to file these reports for this SAME practice as Wachovia customers? Yet there are hundreds of Bank of America reports from angry customers regarding posting order?

How is that?
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

Hi Clev

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

Thanks for your comment.

Here is some clarification:
BofA:
Available balance: Posted/Ledger Balance minus any holds=available balance.
If a check attempts to post when there are not enough available funds to pay the item, the item is either paid or returned. If the check is paid, then the customer incurs an Overdraft Fee. If the check is returned unpaid, the customer is charged an NSF fee.
If no holds are on any funds in the account, and a check is presented for collection, and not enough funds are available (posted and available are the same since there are no active holds), if the check is paid= Overdraft Fee. If the check is returned unpaid= NSF fee.

Causes were different, yet the names are the same because it is dependent simply whether or not the item was paid or returned.

Wachovia:

Available Balance: Posted/Ledger Balance minus any holds=available balance.
If no holds are on the account, then the available and posted balance are the same. If a check attempts to post, and it overdraws the available balance (same as posted- no active holds), if the check is paid= overdraft fee. If the check is returned unpaid=NSF fee.

If the check being presented for collection overdraws the available balance, and the available balance reflected active holds, Wachovia actually identifies that fee as an Unavailable funds fee (it is the same as BofAs Overdraft fee) if the check is paid, and an NSF due to unavailable funds if the check is returned unpaid.

Here's the difference. With BofA, if the overdraft or NSF is assessed because the available balance was overdrawn but not the posted balance, they still call it an Overdraft or NSF fee, depending only on whether or not the check being presented for collection was paid or returned.

Edward is so caught up in the fact that it appears to be a "third fee" when, in fact, it was simply the same fee that BofA categorizes under their OD/NSF fees, and subsequently labeled "Unavailable Funds Fee" to help the customer identify how he/she incurred the fee.
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#26 Consumer Suggestion

Being clear and concise???

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

Dejavu. Yet again if you would have done a little background reading on these threads, you would have seen that I have already acknowledged that yes indeed the Unavailable Funds Fee is listed in Wachovia's Schedule of Fees, the document you get AFTER reading and signing the Deposit Agreement opening your account.

The customer reads the Deposit Agreement, where there's NO MENTION of the Unavailable Funds Fee or explanation of how it works. They read and sign this Deposit Agreement where the section title for fees is CONVENIENTLY titled 'NSF/Overdraft Fees'. They read the discrete, vague wording and don't see anything unusual, so they sign and agree to it. Then Wachovia says GOTCHA and AFTER opening the account for the customer, THEN they hand them the Schedule of Fees. Yes indeed, NOW the customer sees the difference. The fees are now listed (1) NSF, (2) Overdraft and (3) Unavailable Funds Fee, when before, the Deposit Agreement simply stated NSF/Overdraft. Huh?

Yes indeed, this THIRD fee is now listed by name and amount in the Schedule of fees. Having never seen this third fee before the customer is OBVIOUSLY confused by it and clueless as to how it works and when it's applied. Since only the NAME and amount is printed on the Schedule of Fees, the customer refers back to the Deposit Agreement for the EXPLANATION. And now we are once again at the beginning of this full circle saga. No mention by name and no explanation in CLEAR, PRECISE, UNEQUIVOCAL language. You mean like that used in LaSalle's Deposit Agreement? Yeah. Like that!

That's still the Ripoff Here.
-----------------------------------------------
The only Ripoff being committed here is your doing.

What do most, if not all, Deposit Agreements say?

This Deposit Agreement and Disclosures, the applicable Schedule of Fees, the signature card and other account opening documents for your account are part of the binding contract between you and us (this "Agreement") for your deposit relationship with us. They contain the terms of our agreement with you for your account and other important information about your account. You can find the accounts we offer and the fees applicable to them in the Schedule of Fees. Please read all of the documents carefully.

No one claims every thing is in the Depositor's Agreement. The reason some refer to it is because of the statement above. It is a document which encompasses DEPOSIT accounts. It clearly states to read all of your documents, including the Schedule of fees.

Again, why on earth do you keep asking me to read your previous posts when you have an obvious history of posting incorrect info?
What is so "legalese" about the paragraph above? Do you require a legal interpreter to translate the following?: "You can find the accounts we offer and the fees applicable to them in the Schedule of Fees. Please read all of the documents carefully."

Now feel free to run back to the other post and try and correct that one too. I am starting to see Striderq's side of it. Maybe you do understand, but at this point, you have dug yourself so deep in inaccuracies that you would just assume stay there and defend them.
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#27 Consumer Comment

Redundant Answers for Plaintruth

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

Dejavu. Yet again if you would have done a little background reading on these threads, you would have seen that I have already acknowledged that yes indeed the Unavailable Funds Fee is listed in Wachovia's Schedule of Fees, the document you get AFTER reading and signing the Deposit Agreement opening your account.

The customer reads the Deposit Agreement, where there's NO MENTION of the Unavailable Funds Fee or explanation of how it works. They read and sign this Deposit Agreement where the section title for fees is CONVENIENTLY titled 'NSF/Overdraft Fees'. They read the discrete, vague wording and don't see anything unusual, so they sign and agree to it. Then Wachovia says GOTCHA and AFTER opening the account for the customer, THEN they hand them the Schedule of Fees. Yes indeed, NOW the customer sees the difference. The fees are now listed (1) NSF, (2) Overdraft and (3) Unavailable Funds Fee, when before, the Deposit Agreement simply stated NSF/Overdraft. Huh?

Yes indeed, this THIRD fee is now listed by name and amount in the Schedule of fees. Having never seen this third fee before the customer is OBVIOUSLY confused by it and clueless as to how it works and when it's applied. Since only the NAME and amount is printed on the Schedule of Fees, the customer refers back to the Deposit Agreement for the EXPLANATION. And now we are once again at the beginning of this full circle saga. No mention by name and no explanation in CLEAR, PRECISE, UNEQUIVOCAL language. You mean like that used in LaSalle's Deposit Agreement? Yeah. Like that!

That's still the Ripoff Here.
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#28 Author of original report

Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

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

NSF and OD fees are assessed when there are "unavailable funds", thus one could think of them as being inclusive of the set of "unavailable funds fees" which is separate and distinct from Wachovia's new improperly disclosed "Unavailable Funds" fee.
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#29 Author of original report

Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

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

NSF and OD fees are assessed when there are "unavailable funds", thus one could think of them as being inclusive of the set of "unavailable funds fees" which is separate and distinct from Wachovia's new improperly disclosed "Unavailable Funds" fee.
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#30 Author of original report

Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

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

NSF and OD fees are assessed when there are "unavailable funds", thus one could think of them as being inclusive of the set of "unavailable funds fees" which is separate and distinct from Wachovia's new improperly disclosed "Unavailable Funds" fee.
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#31 Author of original report

Perhaps the issue is reference to fees associated with "unavailable funds" and Unavailable Funds (UF) fee are two different things.

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

NSF and OD fees are assessed when there are "unavailable funds", thus one could think of them as being inclusive of the set of "unavailable funds fees" which is separate and distinct from Wachovia's new improperly disclosed "Unavailable Funds" fee.
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#32 Consumer Suggestion

And...?

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

Like I keep telling you... the other banks charge the unavailable funds fees, they just don't refer to them as such.

Did you conveniently ignore the reference to the Schedule of Fees?

The argument that customers don't know that some debits can go on hold is ridiculous. You cannot tell me that you haven't seen the original reports on this site. Even though I have not read every single ORIGINAL complaint, the ones I have read all refer to the customer knowing what was on hold, or even in some cases, ASSUMING the item was on hold.

The point is, as much as you disagree with the fees, they are legitimate.
Just because people don't like paying them does not make it a rip off. How can you continue to say the issue is what is "missing" in the disclosures and schedule of fees when I showed you the "unavailable funds" fee plainly listed in the schedule of fees, and I can bet that until you had to pay a fee, that you never even read a depositor agreement before. THAT is the problem. People start ranting about it not being in their account paperwork, yet they can actually find the information in the paperwork... once they actually READ their disclosures.

I can tell you without any doubt whatsoever that at least Wachovia representatives will attempt to advise the customer to ensure the customer is aware of the ONLY WAY TO AVOID FEES. If, however, the customer refuses to listen, that is the customer's choice.

Personally, I think that the only way everyone will be happy is if the banks switch from unavailable funds fees, to an account where no checks can be written from the account, no auto debits authorized, and the customer is charged $50-$100 per overdraft fee against the posted balance for each item, and a fee for a DECLINED POS card swipe due to the lack of available funds in the account can be charged as $10.00 per decline, and for all other debit card purchases which are paid without overdrawing the account, the banks can charge $0.25 per transaction.

Some banks have already started charging a fee per decline, and some have started charging for just making PIN based purchases. I told you before... be careful what you wish for.
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#33 Consumer Comment

Just an F.Y.I.

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

"so many of Wachovia's own employees and Branch Managers are confused. How can SO MANY different people from SO MANY different groups, including the BRANCH MANAGERS, all be confused when apparently it's so obvious, according to Plaintruth."

I was referring to a specific branch manager at my old bank, which was not Wachovia. I really can't speak for the rest of them..

Understanding how the fee works is the easy part, but it gets tricky when trying to explain it to a victim of the fee with stone age systems and multiple screen prints. You'd think since the bank is raking in the dough with these fees that they would upgrade their systems!
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#34 Consumer Comment

Round and Round We Go

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

Plaintruth, you obviously haven't bothered to take the time to read some of these threads in their ENTIRETY where the answers to your questions and suggestions have already been addressed. My apologies to those who have already heard and understood this before but for the benefit of Plaintruth.....Here goes....again:.....'If that determination reveals insufficient available funds'....That is the play on words that Wachovia is CLEVERLY HIDING BEHIND. This is NOT a new statement. A statement to this effect has been in Wachovia's Deposit Agreement FOREVER. A statement like this is used in the Deposit Agreement of NEARLY ALL banks and has been for FOREVER. But only a handful use the Unavailable Funds Fee.

Before the merger with First Union and before Wachovia adopted the Unavailable Funds Fee, when Wachovia charged fees based on the POSTED/ACCOUNT balance, the Deposit Agreement used this same wording - 'If that determination reveals insufficient available funds'. The original INTERPRETATION of this meant if you didn't have enough money in your POSTED/ACCOUNT balance - the ONE and ONLY account balance. Now the NEW INTERPRETATION means if you don't have enough money in your Available Balance. The wording of the Deposit Agreement is the same, but NOW it has a NEW meaning and EXISTING customers were supposed to MAGICALLY read the minds of the bank and know this. And NEW customers are supposed to MAGICALLY conclude this from the confusing wording. Yeah Right! Now let's take a look at LaSalle's Deposit Agreement wording:

'If an item is initiated as a POS transaction, you agree that the Bank may immediately charge the amount of the item to your Account or place a 'hold' on the available balance in your Account in the amount of the authorized item. This could result in an overdraft if sufficient funds are not available in your Account to cover both the hold and any items posting to your Account'.

Now isn't this SO obvious? Look at the wording LaSalle uses - POS (Point of Sale) transaction, and 'hold'. EXACT phrases like 'available balance', not VAGUE phrases like 'available funds' or 'sufficient funds' which can refer to different things and in Wachovia's case these phrases DID refer to different things in the past - the Posted Balance. But most importantly is the last sentence from LaSalle. Very PRECISE. Very CLEAR. Very OBVIOUS. Plaintruth, if you were to read these threads in their ENTIRETY you would have known this OBSERVATION has already been pointed out NUMEROUS times.

Is it just me or does ANYONE else see the CORRELATION that so many EXISTING customers are confused, so many NEW customers are confused and.....get this.....so many of Wachovia's own employees and Branch Managers are confused. How can SO MANY different people from SO MANY different groups, including the BRANCH MANAGERS, all be confused when apparently it's so obvious, according to Plaintruth.

And yet again - That's the ripoff here. Still.
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#35 Consumer Suggestion

Re: Incorrect Statements...

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

It is so interesting to see you attempt to explain how the "transaction" caused the Double fee.

Those "transactions" can SO have a mind of their own. I'm sure your opinion would completely change if the customer was the one who actually initiated the transactions in the first place.... ummmm.....wait a second.

You just don't get the whole VISA connection, do you?

You also mentioned the customer "accepting" the fee. Gee, how nice of the customer to be willing to accept the terms of the account until they actually cause a fee on their account, and don't like the consequences.

Yet again another example of how some people want to get out of what they agreed to in writing. If you truly had any idea of how many people end up with fees in the first place because they either a) signed a contract for a recurring charge and decide they don't want to live up to their end of the contract and the merchant enforces it by continuing to debit their account, or b) click online that they Accept the Terms of Service without so much as taking the time to read the first sentence of it, then you might begin to understand. I am sure that by now you have seen in the other thread where I posted the line item in the schedule of fees which shows that the Unavailable Funds term is used.
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#36 Consumer Suggestion

Re: Delayed response to Plaintruth

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

I apologize if my previous post was confusing. Let me clarify for you...

1. Located in the Schedule of Fees for Personal Deposit Accounts:

Insufficient Funds/Unavailable Funds/Overdrafts
These per item charges apply to: checks, in-person withdrawals, ATM
withdrawals, point-of-sale transactions, or other paper or electronic transactions.
First Occurrence .......................................................................... $22.00 per item
Additional Occurrences ............................................................... $35.00 per item

...yes, that is the term "UNAVAILABLE FUNDS" you see disclosed to the customer from the get go, when they open the account in their Schedule of Fees.


2. You might want to actually look at your cardholder agreement. VISA is a third party, which is what I have been trying to get you to understand all along. VISA affects how your purchases are processed for payment. For a bank to offer the VISA Checkcard, they must agree to the conditions set forth by VISA. Feel free to visit VISA's website. There is a FAQ section regarding CheckCards.

3. Located in the Deposit Agreement:

If that determination reveals insufficient available funds to pay the
check or other item, or in person withdrawal, authorize the
point-of-sale transaction, or process the ATM withdrawal,
or other electronic transaction you agree to pay a service
charge, and we are not required to honor the check or other
item, or in person withdrawal, authorize the point-of-sale
transaction, or ATM withdrawal, or process the other
electronic transaction and may return and/or decline it.
Alternatively, we may honor the check, other item, or in
person withdrawal, authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or
ATM withdrawal, or process the other electronic transaction
and create an overdraft and impose a service charge for
paying the overdraft.

Just to ensure you saw it... the first part of the first sentence in the paragraph above reads:
If that determination reveals insufficient AVAILABLE funds to pay the
check or other item...

4. For the benefit of those who claim there is no mention of the bank maximizing the fees in which the customer causes in their Deposit Agreement:

We may pay checks or other items drawn upon your
account (including those payable to us or on which we may be
liable) in any order determined by us, even if (1) paying a
particular check or item results in an insufficient balance in your
account to pay one or more other checks or other items that
otherwise could have been paid out of your account; or (2) using
a particular order results in the payment of fewer checks or
other items or the imposition of additional fees. Although we
generally pay larger items first, we are not obligated to do so
and, without prior notice to you, we may change the order in
which we generally pay items.


My question to you is...now that you have the correct information, what are you going to do with it???

While everyone is perfectly content blaming the banks, VISA is laughing their way right down Wall Street to go celebrate their IPO.
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#37 Consumer Comment

Delayed Response To Plaintruth

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

This is in response to your earlier post to me titled 'To Edward', which was just posted earlier this morning, very late, nearly 24 hours later. Regarding Ripoff Report # 303778, you say that thread is incomplete. How so? Maybe you're having technical difficulties with your internet connection or computer.

You asked - 'Why did you choose to leave out all mentions of the fees for Wachovia's Depositor's Agreement, or did you only use the VISA Cardholder's Agreement'

Answer - What? I used THE EXACT WORDING from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement, confirmed by the Wachovia employee Striderq and available online on Wachovia's own website. I did not use nor am I not even thinking about the Visa Cardholder's Agreement.

It's no wonder your rebuttal posted nearly 24 hours later. The ROR editors probably couln't make sense of it themselves to understand what the heck you're talking about. But nevertheless, they gave up and posted it anyway, giving you the benefit of the doubt, but still confused by it. As I am also.

Have you even read ANY of these recent Wachovia threads discussing Unavailable Funds Fees?
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#38 Consumer Comment

Delayed Response To Plaintruth

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

This is in response to your earlier post to me titled 'To Edward', which was just posted earlier this morning, very late, nearly 24 hours later. Regarding Ripoff Report # 303778, you say that thread is incomplete. How so? Maybe you're having technical difficulties with your internet connection or computer.

You asked - 'Why did you choose to leave out all mentions of the fees for Wachovia's Depositor's Agreement, or did you only use the VISA Cardholder's Agreement'

Answer - What? I used THE EXACT WORDING from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement, confirmed by the Wachovia employee Striderq and available online on Wachovia's own website. I did not use nor am I not even thinking about the Visa Cardholder's Agreement.

It's no wonder your rebuttal posted nearly 24 hours later. The ROR editors probably couln't make sense of it themselves to understand what the heck you're talking about. But nevertheless, they gave up and posted it anyway, giving you the benefit of the doubt, but still confused by it. As I am also.

Have you even read ANY of these recent Wachovia threads discussing Unavailable Funds Fees?
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#39 Consumer Comment

Delayed Response To Plaintruth

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

This is in response to your earlier post to me titled 'To Edward', which was just posted earlier this morning, very late, nearly 24 hours later. Regarding Ripoff Report # 303778, you say that thread is incomplete. How so? Maybe you're having technical difficulties with your internet connection or computer.

You asked - 'Why did you choose to leave out all mentions of the fees for Wachovia's Depositor's Agreement, or did you only use the VISA Cardholder's Agreement'

Answer - What? I used THE EXACT WORDING from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement, confirmed by the Wachovia employee Striderq and available online on Wachovia's own website. I did not use nor am I not even thinking about the Visa Cardholder's Agreement.

It's no wonder your rebuttal posted nearly 24 hours later. The ROR editors probably couln't make sense of it themselves to understand what the heck you're talking about. But nevertheless, they gave up and posted it anyway, giving you the benefit of the doubt, but still confused by it. As I am also.

Have you even read ANY of these recent Wachovia threads discussing Unavailable Funds Fees?
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#40 Consumer Comment

Delayed Response To Plaintruth

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

This is in response to your earlier post to me titled 'To Edward', which was just posted earlier this morning, very late, nearly 24 hours later. Regarding Ripoff Report # 303778, you say that thread is incomplete. How so? Maybe you're having technical difficulties with your internet connection or computer.

You asked - 'Why did you choose to leave out all mentions of the fees for Wachovia's Depositor's Agreement, or did you only use the VISA Cardholder's Agreement'

Answer - What? I used THE EXACT WORDING from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement, confirmed by the Wachovia employee Striderq and available online on Wachovia's own website. I did not use nor am I not even thinking about the Visa Cardholder's Agreement.

It's no wonder your rebuttal posted nearly 24 hours later. The ROR editors probably couln't make sense of it themselves to understand what the heck you're talking about. But nevertheless, they gave up and posted it anyway, giving you the benefit of the doubt, but still confused by it. As I am also.

Have you even read ANY of these recent Wachovia threads discussing Unavailable Funds Fees?
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#41 Author of original report

Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

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

I would love to be a fly on the wall during a congressional subcomittee hearing to see the response when a president of a top 10 bank would say to the assembled congressmen, witnesses and press ... "It's simply a matter of customer's overspending their accounts".

That is like saying .. "Anyone with a sub-prime mortgage who is unable to pay their (now astronomical) mortgage has only themselves to blame."

Provocative sound-byte but intrinsically one-dimensional and simple-minded.
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#42 Author of original report

Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

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

I would love to be a fly on the wall during a congressional subcomittee hearing to see the response when a president of a top 10 bank would say to the assembled congressmen, witnesses and press ... "It's simply a matter of customer's overspending their accounts".

That is like saying .. "Anyone with a sub-prime mortgage who is unable to pay their (now astronomical) mortgage has only themselves to blame."

Provocative sound-byte but intrinsically one-dimensional and simple-minded.
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#43 Author of original report

Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

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

I would love to be a fly on the wall during a congressional subcomittee hearing to see the response when a president of a top 10 bank would say to the assembled congressmen, witnesses and press ... "It's simply a matter of customer's overspending their accounts".

That is like saying .. "Anyone with a sub-prime mortgage who is unable to pay their (now astronomical) mortgage has only themselves to blame."

Provocative sound-byte but intrinsically one-dimensional and simple-minded.
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#44 Author of original report

Simplistic arguments by banking personnel

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

I would love to be a fly on the wall during a congressional subcomittee hearing to see the response when a president of a top 10 bank would say to the assembled congressmen, witnesses and press ... "It's simply a matter of customer's overspending their accounts".

That is like saying .. "Anyone with a sub-prime mortgage who is unable to pay their (now astronomical) mortgage has only themselves to blame."

Provocative sound-byte but intrinsically one-dimensional and simple-minded.
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#45 Consumer Comment

The Problem with Merchant Holds

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

Faron, first my SINCERE apologies to you for the gender mixup. The name has always been a question for me as evidenced in my previous responses to you on other threads. I've always tried to cleverly dance around the uncertainty by always using your name. But because this can become cumbersome and wordy after a while, I finally got brave enough to take a guess and got it wrong. No harm intended.

Here's what I'm stating regarding merchant holds. I will grant you the fact that some customers do not use check registers, by their own admissions. And they have no idea what their real time balance is at any given moment. So no matter whether the Merchant places a HOLD or not, the customer overdraws their account, and it's by their own doing for not keeping a check register. No problem! The customer did not keep a check register. They overdrew their account. Charge them a fee for the transaction that overdrew their account.

On the other hand, of course you have customers who DO use check registers. They know their balance to THE PENNY at any split second. You can have a customer like this, and knowing their balance, they CHOOSE to swipe that card, KNOWING they will overdraw their account. They CHOOSE to do so knowing there will be a fee for their actions. No problem! They accept THE FEE. The problem is after all processing is completed and they see where they were charged TWO, THREE or MORE fees for that SINGLE transaction.

Two different customers. One who didn't keep a check register and didn't know his balance. One who DID keep a check register and DID know his balance. Both get hit with MULTIPLE fees for ONE transaction (something you understand now, where you didn't before). The one who DID keep a check register and DID know his balance willingly CHOSE to overdraw his account EXPECTING to be hit with ONE FEE.......based on the CLEVER and INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING wording of the Wachovia's Deposit Agreement.

Now let's take that SAME customer who keeps a check register and move him to LaSalle bank. This customer wants to purchase something. He knows this SWIPE will overdraw his account. He refers back to LaSalle's Deposit Agreement which CLEARLY tells him - Careful! Watch out! You will NOT ONLY be charged fees for HOLDS that CAUSE the overdraft, you will ALSO be charged additional fees for OTHER transactions that post while the Available Balance is negative because of the HOLD. Knowing this, the customer says THE HECK with that and doesn't make the purchase. But with Wachovia, the customer is BLIND SIDED and HAS NO IDEA this will happen based on the Deposit Agreement.

That's the Ripoff here.
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#46 Consumer Comment

Merchant holds on the account

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

Back to Faron again, who is, by the way a male.

Edward, you stated >>If swiped as credit, then some merchants don't submit an authorization for a hold at all. Then customers who don't balance their checkbook look at online banking and ASSUME that the available balance they see is how much they have to spend. Then, they go and swipe their card again, except the next merchat places a HOLD on the funds, then the PREVIOUS transaction comes in for collection, and the funds are not available to pay it.

The problem I have with this is many merchant will only put a $1 hold just to ensure whether or not the account is valid. So a checkbook register, if properly accounted for, will reflect the balance minus the charge made with the merchant and comparing that to the bank statement, assuming no other holds or deposits, will be off by the $1 hold. You're saying the customer does not know about the hold and goes and buys something else and then that merchant places a hold on that purchase. The charge comes in and voila, gets popped with NSF plus an extra charge for the unavailable fee on the second purchase (is what I assume you see is a problem). The checkbook register would have detected this and not allowed this induvidual to make the additional charge.
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#47 Consumer Comment

I agree, Plaintruth.

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

"People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control."

Exactly.
The customer, and ONLY the customer is in charge of his / her finances. The bank's role is to house the funds, which the customer agreed to by signing a deposit agreement. By signing, the customer agrees to the terms and conditions of the bank regarding cut-off times, holds, and withdrawals (Visa / MC debit, point of sale, in branch withdrawal or cheque). Balances provided by the bank -- whether online, ATM, automated, or in person -- should be seen as a service, as the bank has no idea whether or not the customer has outstanding cheques.
This is why it is vital the customers keep adequate record of all debits and credits, especially since it is THEIR money.
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#48 Consumer Comment

I agree, Plaintruth.

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

"People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control."

Exactly.
The customer, and ONLY the customer is in charge of his / her finances. The bank's role is to house the funds, which the customer agreed to by signing a deposit agreement. By signing, the customer agrees to the terms and conditions of the bank regarding cut-off times, holds, and withdrawals (Visa / MC debit, point of sale, in branch withdrawal or cheque). Balances provided by the bank -- whether online, ATM, automated, or in person -- should be seen as a service, as the bank has no idea whether or not the customer has outstanding cheques.
This is why it is vital the customers keep adequate record of all debits and credits, especially since it is THEIR money.
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#49 Consumer Comment

I agree, Plaintruth.

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

"People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control."

Exactly.
The customer, and ONLY the customer is in charge of his / her finances. The bank's role is to house the funds, which the customer agreed to by signing a deposit agreement. By signing, the customer agrees to the terms and conditions of the bank regarding cut-off times, holds, and withdrawals (Visa / MC debit, point of sale, in branch withdrawal or cheque). Balances provided by the bank -- whether online, ATM, automated, or in person -- should be seen as a service, as the bank has no idea whether or not the customer has outstanding cheques.
This is why it is vital the customers keep adequate record of all debits and credits, especially since it is THEIR money.
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#50 Consumer Comment

Explanation

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

"Back to Chloe again. It's very strange that at your previous bank after 3 years, some EMPLOYEES and even the BANK MANAGERS still don't understand how it works, but it's the CUSTOMERS who are called idiots and 'brick walls' for not understanding."

I can 100% blame this on the stone age system we used (and most likely still use). As I've stated, not only did we have 2 brand new screens come into play as soon as our unavailable funds fee was implemented, we had to coincide those screens WITH our 2 regular screens that showed transaction / balance information. Yes, many employees still don't understand how to use them because they haven't bothered figuring it out, as it's quite complex. Yes, even the branch manager.

Despite our VERY user-unfriendly systems, the customers should still know that they should not spend money they don't have. And yes, Edward, I agree that it is the responsibility of bank employees to state how this fee works; we even went as far as having our customers sign completely separate agreements (that went over our fees), and ALL our new accounts reps have personally gone out of our way to explain to every single customer BEFORE they opened their account about this fee. But still, even with this knowledge, do they take responsibility? No. I can't even begin to tell you how many customers called / walked in and raised hell, "I did not know about this fee! You stole my money!" when I know I PERSONALLY opened their account and told them about it. *sigh*
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#51 Consumer Comment

More Incorrect Statements by Plaintruth

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

It's ironic that you say I don't get it. You need to check with Chloe again, who has enlightened me to the fact that she DOES get the complaint, whether she agrees with it or not. And also check out Faron's post who also NOW gets it whether she agrees or not. I respect the opinions of Chloe and Faron. But at least they have the integrity and decency to ADMIT that they UNDERSTAND what the complaint is about! Many in the past HAVE NOT understood and STILL DON'T understand.

In your previous post you stated - 'it is up to the MERCHANT whether or not the funds go on hold. If swiped as credit, then some merchants don't submit an authorization for a hold at all. Then customers who don't balance their checkbook look at online banking and ASSUME that the available balance they see is how much they have to spend. Then, they go and swipe their card again, except the next merchat places a HOLD on the funds, then the PREVIOUS transaction comes in for collection, and the funds are not available to pay it.'

Yes, it is up to the merchant whether to place the funds on hold or not. Using your example, if things in fact happen as you state and a HOLD is not placed for transaction #1, and the customer goes and swipes the card for transaction #2 after checking the Available Balance, it is ONLY transaction #2 that overdraws the Available balance. The customer realizes their mistake and ACCEPT the SINLGLE FEE for transaction #2. However, transaction #1 did not overdraw the Available balance when it was MADE and transaction did not overdraw the POSTED/ACCOUNT balance when it posted. But a fee will be charged for transaction #1 BECAUSE OF transaction #2. Then transaction #2 will receive a fee, when it posts. DOUBLE FEES caused by ONLY ONE TRANSACTION - transaction #2.

So irregardless of what you say, as you have taken the baton from Striderq, EVERYONE GETS IT. Yes it is still difficult to explain and to understand as evidenced by Chloe's own admission from her experience at her old bank.

Still the ripoff here.
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#52 Consumer Suggestion

So Edward....

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

I had never heard of this "LaSalle Bank" you kept raving about. I went online and looked at their website. I noticed that they are now part of BofA.
You might want to keep a close eye on your deposit agreements as they are updated. It probably won't be long until they change theirs to match the BofA standard one.
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#53 Consumer Comment

Additional Answers for Plaintruth and Chloe

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

First to Chloe, you have my apologies. Yes indeed you do understand. I labeled you incorrectly. But it was the wording of your previous post that caused me to reach this wrong conclusion. When you use the phrase 'Available Balance' and 'that money is gone', I wrongly assumed that you thought customers were complaining about fees if they went on to make ADDITIONAL purchases AFTER the Available Balance went negative. I now see that you're referring to transactions that POST while the Available Balance is negative.

And here's where I bring in Plaintruth. I didn't directly answer your question earlier. In your previous post, you asked me if given the following information in writing, what would my complaint be? Then you went on to list specific terms. Here's my answer. I wouldn't have any complaint at all! Unlike Wachovia, you have PLAINLY laid out what the terms would be and after reading these OBVIOUS terms, I would say THE HECK with that and take my business elsewhere. I would take my business to one of the other 99.99% of banks which do not charge fees against transactions that CLEAR the POSTED balance when they POST. I would take my business to one of the other 99.99% of banks that do not charge fees for POSTING transactions based on the Available balance instead of the POSTED/ACCOUNT balance.

So I wouldn't have any complaint because my business would not be at this bank. And I would thank you for letting me know this UP FRONT so I COULD CHOOSE to take my business elsewhere. That's the whole point! LaSalle also uses the Unavailable Funds Fee and they clearly DISCLOSE it and EXPLAIN how it works UP FRONT in the Deposit Agreement. Wachovia also charges the Unavailabe Funds Fee but customers would never know it from reading Wachovia's Deposit Agreement. This is the basis for the complaint and the additional answer to your question regarding the complaint.

Back to Chloe again. It's very strange that at your previous bank after 3 years, some EMPLOYEES and even the BANK MANAGERS still don't understand how it works, but it's the CUSTOMERS who are called idiots and 'brick walls' for not understanding. And isn't it coincidental that after who knows how many years of this fee at Wachovia, many customers still aren't even AWARE of it, thanks to the Deposit Agreement. And don't even mention understanding it. How can they understand it when it's not MENTIONED or EXPLAINED? What's to understand?

That's the ripoff here.
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#54 Consumer Suggestion

Don't worry Chloe

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

Edward said:

First to Chloe since this one is very easy. Oh, if I only had a dollar for every person who submits a rebuttal that says it's not 'rocket science' when their posts reveal that they themselves are the ones who don't get it. That is so funny! Chloe, Chloe, Chloe. The issue is NOT transactions made AFTER the Available is negative. The issue is transactions that were ALREADY made PRIOR to the OFFENDING transaction and PRIOR to the Available balance going negative. These PREVIOUS transactions cleared the Available balance when they were made. And these PREVIOUS transactions cleared the POSTED balance when they posted. The complaint here is fees charged for these PREVIOUS transactions that CLEARED BOTH BALANCES.

Chloe, on this very thread please go back and read my previous post titled - 'The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here'. Then come back and talk to me.


Edward clearly doesn't get it. He doesn't realize that it is up to the MERCHANT whether or not the funds go on hold. If swiped as credit, then some merchants don't submit an authorization for a hold at all. Then customers who don't balance their checkbook look at online banking and ASSUME that the available balance they see is how much they have to spend. Then, they go and swipe their card again, except the next merchat places a HOLD on the funds, then the PREVIOUS transaction comes in for collection, and the funds are not available to pay it.

Wachovia has to pay it, it is guaranteed to be paid because it is a VISA checkcard purchase. Then, a day or two later, when the merchant submits proof for collection of the LATTER purchase, the funds are gone. WHY? Because the bank had to pay the first merchant, when the funds weren't available, then the customer was charged a fee.

What to do now? Well, just like the first transaction, it was VISA, and the bank has to pay it even though there is not enough money in the account, and the customer is charged another fee.

People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control.

The gap in the system is that the reps attempt to tell the customer to use a check register to avoid fees, and the MAJORITY of customers don't want to hear it. They don't want to waste the time to do the ONLY thing that will keep them from incurring the fees.

How much of a sympathetic ear do you think the Government is going to have once someone proves to them that the customers can avoid the fees simply by not overspending their accounts?
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#55 Consumer Suggestion

Don't worry Chloe

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

Edward said:

First to Chloe since this one is very easy. Oh, if I only had a dollar for every person who submits a rebuttal that says it's not 'rocket science' when their posts reveal that they themselves are the ones who don't get it. That is so funny! Chloe, Chloe, Chloe. The issue is NOT transactions made AFTER the Available is negative. The issue is transactions that were ALREADY made PRIOR to the OFFENDING transaction and PRIOR to the Available balance going negative. These PREVIOUS transactions cleared the Available balance when they were made. And these PREVIOUS transactions cleared the POSTED balance when they posted. The complaint here is fees charged for these PREVIOUS transactions that CLEARED BOTH BALANCES.

Chloe, on this very thread please go back and read my previous post titled - 'The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here'. Then come back and talk to me.


Edward clearly doesn't get it. He doesn't realize that it is up to the MERCHANT whether or not the funds go on hold. If swiped as credit, then some merchants don't submit an authorization for a hold at all. Then customers who don't balance their checkbook look at online banking and ASSUME that the available balance they see is how much they have to spend. Then, they go and swipe their card again, except the next merchat places a HOLD on the funds, then the PREVIOUS transaction comes in for collection, and the funds are not available to pay it.

Wachovia has to pay it, it is guaranteed to be paid because it is a VISA checkcard purchase. Then, a day or two later, when the merchant submits proof for collection of the LATTER purchase, the funds are gone. WHY? Because the bank had to pay the first merchant, when the funds weren't available, then the customer was charged a fee.

What to do now? Well, just like the first transaction, it was VISA, and the bank has to pay it even though there is not enough money in the account, and the customer is charged another fee.

People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control.

The gap in the system is that the reps attempt to tell the customer to use a check register to avoid fees, and the MAJORITY of customers don't want to hear it. They don't want to waste the time to do the ONLY thing that will keep them from incurring the fees.

How much of a sympathetic ear do you think the Government is going to have once someone proves to them that the customers can avoid the fees simply by not overspending their accounts?
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#56 Consumer Suggestion

Don't worry Chloe

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

Edward said:

First to Chloe since this one is very easy. Oh, if I only had a dollar for every person who submits a rebuttal that says it's not 'rocket science' when their posts reveal that they themselves are the ones who don't get it. That is so funny! Chloe, Chloe, Chloe. The issue is NOT transactions made AFTER the Available is negative. The issue is transactions that were ALREADY made PRIOR to the OFFENDING transaction and PRIOR to the Available balance going negative. These PREVIOUS transactions cleared the Available balance when they were made. And these PREVIOUS transactions cleared the POSTED balance when they posted. The complaint here is fees charged for these PREVIOUS transactions that CLEARED BOTH BALANCES.

Chloe, on this very thread please go back and read my previous post titled - 'The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here'. Then come back and talk to me.


Edward clearly doesn't get it. He doesn't realize that it is up to the MERCHANT whether or not the funds go on hold. If swiped as credit, then some merchants don't submit an authorization for a hold at all. Then customers who don't balance their checkbook look at online banking and ASSUME that the available balance they see is how much they have to spend. Then, they go and swipe their card again, except the next merchat places a HOLD on the funds, then the PREVIOUS transaction comes in for collection, and the funds are not available to pay it.

Wachovia has to pay it, it is guaranteed to be paid because it is a VISA checkcard purchase. Then, a day or two later, when the merchant submits proof for collection of the LATTER purchase, the funds are gone. WHY? Because the bank had to pay the first merchant, when the funds weren't available, then the customer was charged a fee.

What to do now? Well, just like the first transaction, it was VISA, and the bank has to pay it even though there is not enough money in the account, and the customer is charged another fee.

People are throwing such a fit over this, but they don't realize that the ONLY reason that it is still legal to charge the fees in the first place is because the CUSTOMER is the one that is in control.

The gap in the system is that the reps attempt to tell the customer to use a check register to avoid fees, and the MAJORITY of customers don't want to hear it. They don't want to waste the time to do the ONLY thing that will keep them from incurring the fees.

How much of a sympathetic ear do you think the Government is going to have once someone proves to them that the customers can avoid the fees simply by not overspending their accounts?
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#57 Consumer Comment

But Edward....... I DO understand.

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

The bank I worked for posted items the EXACT same way. Regarding this scenario:

The Customer's Check Register:

Date.....Trans.......Posted Balance
01-15...Prv Bal......$100
01-16...Chk $67....$ 33
01-16...Chk $ 5.....$ 28
01-16...Chk $ 2.....$ 26
01-16...Debit $10...$16
01-16...Debit $10...$ 6
01-16...Debit $10...($ 4)

The Posted Bank Ledger:

Date.....Trans .....Post Bal....Avail Bal
01-15....Prv Bal....$100........$100
01-16....Prv Bal....$100........$ 70 (from the 3 holds below)
01-17....Chk $67...$ 33........$ 3
01-17....Chk $ 5... $ 28...... ($ 2) Unavail fee for THIS CHECK!
01-17....Chk $ 2....$ 26...... ($ 4) Unavail fee for THIS CHECK!
01-17....Fees $70..($44)......($74)
01-18....$10.........($54)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$10.........($64)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$10.........($74)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$105.......($179).....($179)

Like I've said before, as soon as you swipe your card.. which in this instance were 3 $10 debit purchases, that $30 is GONE -- it's automatically deducted from the AVAILABLE balance; therefore, when items POST, such as cheques, they can not go over the available balance or they will incur a fee.

Yes, I admit, at my old bank (not Wachovia) this caused a lot of confusion for even bank employees, as we got 2 brand new screens we had to navigate in order to explain these fees. Even after implementing this new process over 3 years ago, there were still some employees, including our branch manager who did not understand this process and even told the customers "the bank is wrong, you should not have gotten these fees." I admit, it was a pain trying to explain this to customers when even we didn't know what was going on! It took me over a year to be able to explain this to customers, and even then I had to whip out my highlighter and calculator, along with THREE different screen prints just to explain why they were charged so many fees.

This still brings me to my point that customers should know exactly how much money they have available before they spend it! If they did not exceed their available balance, they would not incur any fees.
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#58 Consumer Suggestion

To Edward

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

Yes, I did ask you that for a reason, and yes I did read #303778...

1. The thread you referred to is incomplete. Why did you choose to leave out all mentions of the fees for Wachovia's Depositor's Agreement, or did you only use the VISA Cardholder's Agreement. Why people don't look at both, I have no idea.

2. Both Wachvoia's and BofA's Depositor Agreements contain the information which I asked you if you would be satisfied with. The difference is, the banks' documentation explains it greater detail.

I still for the life of me cannot fathom why no one is upset with or complaining to the Fed about VISA at this point???

Talk about misleading. Just take a look at VISA's website.
http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/debit/index.html

Definition of Automatic: Acting or operating in a manner essentially independent of external influence or control.
Here's the Real Ripoff, but I guarantee you that neither you, nor anyone else will do anything about it.
VISA states that : Visa check card purchases are automatically deducted from your checking account, so there's no interest to pay.

That statement is not true, and is false advertising giving customers the false impression that the money immediately comes out of their account. That is the root of the problem.

All merchants do not place a hold, nor do they immediately submit certain purchases for collection. Like I keep saying in my other posts, you are "writing a check" when you use your VISA card.

Also... it is NOT AUTOMATIC as VISA states it is. The merchant controls how the purchase is collected. The merchant has to have it processed, and must submit it in the first place to even get it processed. Since it is obvious that people see how holds work on here from the various posts, why would anyone in their right mind think that it instantaneously and automatically comes out of their account?

You know, depositor agreements might seem like Legalese Hogwash, with hidden fees, and secret code, but I can assure you that the information is all there.

Ask anyone on here who has posted about Wachovia if when they called in their angry rant demanding fees back if the rep mentioned a checkbook register. I GUARANTEE you they did, and either the customer was not truthful about keeping one, or they did not want to hear it. Period.

Bank of America does not even mention it. (I chatted with them last night online to see if they truly were interested in helping me, instead, they just wanted to sell me another account).
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#59 Consumer Comment

Answers for Plaintruth and Chloe

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

First to Chloe since this one is very easy. Oh, if I only had a dollar for every person who submits a rebuttal that says it's not 'rocket science' when their posts reveal that they themselves are the ones who don't get it. That is so funny! Chloe, Chloe, Chloe. The issue is NOT transactions made AFTER the Available is negative. The issue is transactions that were ALREADY made PRIOR to the OFFENDING transaction and PRIOR to the Available balance going negative. These PREVIOUS transactions cleared the Available balance when they were made. And these PREVIOUS transactions cleared the POSTED balance when they posted. The complaint here is fees charged for these PREVIOUS transactions that CLEARED BOTH BALANCES. Chloe, on this very thread please go back and read my previous post titled - 'The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here'. Then come back and talk to me.

And now to Plaintruth. It's obvious you understand the issue and complaint, so no need to further explain for you. Regarding your post , you answered your own question for me with your quote - 'if given the following information in writing'. That's it! You got it! With Wachovia, you're not given the information in writing! Duh! LaSalle is another bank that uses this Unavailable Funds Fee. With LaSalle, they CLEARLY tell you about it and explain how it works UP FRONT in their Deposit Agreement. So if I'm a customer seeking a bank, I read LaSalle's Deposit Agreement where they discuss the Unavailable Funds Fee and I say THE HECK with that! So I move on. Then I read Wachovia's Deposit Agreement. No mention of the Unavailable Funds Fee and you can forget about any explanation. So I say, cool, I'll open my account with Wachovia, only to be blind sided with the Unavailable Funds Fee not disclosed in the Deposit Agreement.

Now to both of you. I'll repeat since NEITHER of you appear to have followed my suggestion earlier. Once again, I ENCOURAGE you to go view Ripoff Report # 303778. You don't have to read the entire thread. Just focus on the post titled 'The Games We Play'. In that post, I have answered both of your posts here already. Once you go and read THAT POST on THAT THREAD, then come back here and let's talk.

Until then....that's STILL the Ripoff Here!
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#60 Consumer Comment

I think the complaint really boils to Wachovia will pop you twice for the same charge

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

First, they will hit you with the unavailable fee for uncleared amounts which throw you over your balance. This could be problematic if you use your card (as a credit card) at the gas pump (or anywhere for that matter) and the gas station places a larger hold than the amount you pumped and stays until the hold gets released. I am not sure if any other bank does this unavailable fee arrangement and the NSF. I never go over because I keep adequate records, so I can't address BofA.

The second charge can occur after your amounts are posted if have extended yourself, then you get popped again for NSF fee.

So, the same transaction can cause you to be hit twice. I get that. , but I still go back to keeping good records and keeping enough to allow for issues that cause the unavailable fee to appear. Sometimes merchants will make an error by double billing for the same item. That problem has to be taken up with the merchant and Wachovia can and should waive their fee if it is the error of the merchant.
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#61 Consumer Comment

Unavailable funds

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

"The issue here is Wachovia's Unavailable Funds Fee. Wachovia has been charging this NEW FEE ever since their merger with First Union YEARS ago. Yet to this very day, hundreds of thousands of customers don't know it even exists, not to mention how it works."

This is not a new phantom fee that appeared out of nowhere, and knowing how it works is not rocket science.
The second you authorise a transaction (swipe your debit card), those funds are UNAVAILABLE; thus, any transactions presented that exceed your available balance will incur a charge. In other words, that money is gone, so don't spend it.
All these "hundreds of thousands of customers" sure must be stupid if they need this spelled out; it should be common knowledge.
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#62 Consumer Suggestion

Question for Edward

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

Just curious...

Regardless of whether or not you have, in the past, ever incurred any of the fees discussed in these posts, to help me understand what you are seeking as a customer, if given the following information in writing, at the time you open your account... what would be your complaint, if any? :
______________


Wachovia (just using the same bank mentioned in this post) will attempt to pay items presented for payment against the available balance in your account. If you do not have available funds in your account to pay an item, you will be charged a penalty (fee) for each item which meets the same criteria.

Wachovia may pay items for the same business day in any order chosen, changing the order when ever we choose, without notice, even if changing the order maximizes the amount of penalty fees you will pay as a result of your initiation of a transaction which enables your available balance in your account to fall below zero when any other item is presented for payment during the same business day.

It is Wachovia's (or any bank) discretion whether or not to pay an item presented for payment on your account, even if paying the item overdraws your account, if the amount of item exceeds the available balance in your account, with the exception of the following items which once presented for collection, MUST be paid:

1. VISA CheckCard purchases - these items are guaranteed payable under the terms and conditions required by VISA if an authorization was made at the time the card was used. Some merchants only verify if the card is valid.

2. Withdrawals which cash was dispersed to you, even though you may have, without Wachovia's knowledge, allocated the same funds from your account elsewhere by writing a check, using your debit card, or authorizing an automatic debit on your checking account or even a reoccuring check card charge in which you authorized a "membership" or repeating charge for services on a monthly, or other basis.


Wachovia (you know the drill with the bank name thing by now) will provide various ways to provide you, at no charge, access to the available balance reflected in our records on your account. Barring any technical difficulties, Wachovia will work diligently to provide you access to that same information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

_______________

What is missing from that information?

The impression I am getting as I read all of these posts isn't that people are unhappy about being charged a fee if they overdraw. It appears that people are unhappy because they thought they could overdraw, and just pay "a fee", as opposed to paying multiple fees.

So would it not appear that the angry customers know they overdrew their account, but are mad because their bank penalized them, and they don't like it?

Prior to the implementation of the dreaded "unavailable funds fee", customers overdrew their accounts repeatedly, over and over again, without hesitation. Then the banks charged larger penalties, which still, are only charged as a result of the same actions by the customer as before (overspending their account).

What you and many others seem to never comment on is that the bank is only able to charge the fees if the customer initiates the transactions that causes the fee to begin with.


So, in the same sense, you are saying that a business should not be allowed to recover the amount of money they choose for a customer violating their contract with them, right?

Same goes for any contracts between any people, or entities whatsoever, correct?

for argument's sake, lets create a plain, simple hypothetical example:

Let's say there is a theme park located directly behind my property. There are many routes people could take to get to it, but traveling across my property is more convenient. I, as the owner, can allow people to travel across my property to the theme park, for a fee.
I list the rules that my "customers" must follow while traveling across my property. I place a sign in my yard that states the rule.
Then I find litter on my property and I see people who are traveling across my property in the act of littereing. I then impose a $5.00 fee per incident when a traveler using my property is littering.

A year passes, and now customers are starting to use "Segways" to travel across my property. They pay the fee, and then zoom across my property. They are now littering even more, as it is less likely to get caught since they are moving so much faster.

I then list new rules on my sign, stating that I may charge them additional penalties determined by not only the amount of litter they discard on my property, but also by how they were traveling, and the speed in which they were doing so.

The customers are now racing across my property so fast, that I am unable to catch them in person. So I install some video cameras. I add the notification to my sign that I installed the video camera. I also print on the same sign, that if they are caught littering on video camera (which can identify who they are, and their method of payment was a checkcard), and BY PAYING AND TRAVELING ACROSS MY PROPERTY, they AGREED that if caught on video camera violating these rules, that they authorize that I take a fine, per item discarded when littering and by speed, automatically from them, without further notification.


Are you then one of the customers that flew by the sign at the entrance, never bothering to read it, who is now angry that I charged you a fee? Are you saying that my fee is not legitimate because it is too much?
or
Are you upset with yourself for not paying closer attention to my sign?

My yard is your checking account...
The sign is your Deposit Agreement/disclosures/schedule of fees...
Your Segway is your Check Card...
The litter is your purchases that overdraw your account....
and the littering penalty is your "Unavailable funds fee"

Customers are giving the appearance that when the fees were less, they gladly paid them as "convenience fees" and now that the fees are maximized, and actually resemble a penaltiy, everyone wants to get upset about it.

No offense, but it sure appears that way.
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#63 Consumer Comment

Your points all all irrelevant, Clev

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

Balance your checkbook; you have no fees. Works for me! This isn't rocket science. Your statement about the GAO study is also unsubstantiated. Did they specifically point out Wachovia? Consumers who properly balance their checkbooks are not up in arms about banks because they, like me, don't incur overdraft fees. The bellyaching only comes from individuals who accept no responsibility and that, obviously is a minority.
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#64 Author of original report

Rebuttal to those who claim overdrafts are associated with financial irresponsibility

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

I will not repeat what I have previously posted but frankly if not for individuals like yourself who are dismissive of the problem this thread would have stopped some time ago.

The facts are such:

1. The GAO (GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE) just came out with a report that indicates that a substantial fraction of banks are not providing adequate advance disclosure of their rates to prospective customers. That fact flies in the face of those who claim that customers agree to the banks terms when they initiate an account. Yes, nominally the customer does but in many cases that agreement is conferred without appropriate disclosure and without understanding the true ramifications of the fee terms. Furthermore, Wachovia's UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEE is clearly not disclosed in their checking account agreement otherwise most customers would opt to bank elsewhere. It is only AFTER a situation involving excessive overdraft fees occurs that most customers realize what it is that the banks are doing.

2. Banks enable and in fact increase the number of UF/OD/NSF charges based on their policy of processing largest debit transactions first, etc .... all cited in prior posts. The reason is not very hard to discern. Banks made $17.5 BILLION dollars in OVERDRAFT FEES alone last year. That is a significant motivator to keep a broken system, broken.

3. According to the Gartner Survey (see prior posting): "nearly one out of four surveyed consumers were charged an overdraft fee by their bank in the past year, and 63 percent believe the fee was unfair, mainly because it was too large". You may be in the other 75% but clearly a substantial fraction of bank customers ARE incurring these fees. The Gartner Survey goes further to state: " Consumers report overdraft fees of $30 to $40 for an overdraft in the pennies or single dollars range .... Consumers also complain that banks take too long to process deposits, or fail to alert customers that accounts are in overdraft. Banks charge overdraft fees on debit card purchases they authorize, even if the account balances can't cover it, and even when funds arrive in the account before settlement.

4. The Center for Responsible Lending and other consumer advocacy groups are working with lawmakers on these issues. Representative Carolyn Maloney is sponsoring HR 946 which is meant to partially address some of the most egregious practices associated with overdraft fees.

5. Other government and regulatory agencies are looking into these issues. I have every confidence that there will be action on these issues EVENTUALLY. However, due to other distracting financial and other circumstances (recession, sub-prime mortgage fiasco, elections, etc...) and the fact that certain regulatory surveys are still "in process" it will be some time before data collection is completed and the results are known. Understanding the magnitude of this problem and how to best fix it is something that lawmakers and regulators will be grappling with for some years to come, but you can count on consumers to DEMAND that this remain on the radar and that corrective action be undertaken SOONER rather than LATER.

6. A number of influential banking consultants have come out with a clear message that these excessive fee policies are short-sighted and likely to ultimately undermine the relationship between the bank and consumers. TRUST is the single most important metric of the strength of a bank's BRAND. You can't have it both ways: by 1. establishing excessive fees and policies likely to precipitate fees (and thus unrepentantly raiding the accounts of your customers) and by 2. expecting prospective (and existing clients) to continue to have confidence and TRUST in your institution as a place where they would like to deposit their hard-earned monies. Each person who is impacted by these fees has friends and relatives. The "marginal" customer of today may be the successful entrepreneur/businessman/professional of tomorrow (especially true of students who have yet to enter the workplace). Excessive banking fees and associated policies intended to enable them, maximize them, and be unresponsive to customer complaints will, in the fullness of time, have been demonstrated to have been one of the most self-defeating tactics of banks in the early 21st century.
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#65 Consumer Comment

No Chloe. The REAL Problem is - The Deposit Agreement

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

The issue here is Wachovia's Unavailable Funds Fee. Wachovia has been charging this NEW FEE ever since their merger with First Union YEARS ago. Yet to this very day, hundreds of thousands of customers don't know it even exists, not to mention how it works.

To contradict your point, customers actually do wish to understand. The problem is there is NOTHING to understand, according to Wachovia's Deposit Agreement. This fee is not MENTIONED nor EXPLAINED in it at all. This revelation has been thoroughly discussed on MANY recent threads, and obviously you've missed it. I'll simply refer you to one report for reference. Go check out Report # 303778. It thoroughly explains the issue with the Deposit Agreement and the TRUE reason customers don't understand. Specifically focus on the post titled 'The Games We Play', where the issue is CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY revealed.

Oh yeah. In that OTHER report you'll notice that the Government Accountability Office workers had the same problems finding out or understanding information as well. I guess they're 'brick walls' as well.

That's the ripoff here.
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#66 Consumer Comment

It's very interesting I have had a BofA account for over 20 years

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

and not once have I overdrawn. I wonder if it IS because I keep very accurate detailed records of my transactions. It's not like I have tons of money in my bank account. I get close to the 0.00 balance but I still have managed and do manage without incurring any overcharges.

It's time to accept responsibility and stop your moaning and groaning. lf it were such a huge issue with everybody doing it, there WOULD be legislation concerning how the banks are fleecing American bank customers, but I wonder why I don't see that? Hmmm could it be there are just a few who can't budget their money properly and then when they go over that line, can only point fingers instead of accepting their actions.

You're really not gaining any support in this thread, so why keep it going?
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#67 Consumer Suggestion

The problem is..

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

Most customers don't want to, nor care to understand; it's like talking to a brick wall. All they see is "they've been wronged" even though they're the ones who messed up. Always blame someone else (the bank) because they don't want to take responsibility for their actions. In the end, they are the ones paying. Literally.
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#68 Consumer Suggestion

I almost forgot...

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

"Also you forgot to mention that a consumer should minimize their use of the debit card but perhaps not so interesting since I sense that you somehow are not a disinterested third party in all this."

I did not mention minimizing the use of debit cards because if customers keep accurate records of all transactions, and are accurate in their calculations, then they can "write" as many "checks" (debit card purchases) as they choose... as long as they don't spend more than they have in their account.

If I were a disinterested third party, I would not have taken the time to write the article, or to submit my comments here. If I were only acting in the best interests of anyone other than the consumer, why would I post accurate information completely explaining to the best of my knowledge how to avoid the fees?

The unfortunate truth is that even some who attempt to explain it to angry customers (who feel betrayed and taken advantage of), often don't approach the explanation in a way that helps the customer come to a true understanding of what really happened, versus what that customer thinks happened.

I assure you, if I could fix that problem, I would. Here and now, I can only try and help you understand.

I wish you nothing but to be well, and hope you have a great day, and many more to come!
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#69 Consumer Suggestion

Re: Interesting article ... but it is again one-sided and it does not recognize the true culpability of banks in maximizing these fees

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

I would like to address your comments.

"No one said the banks will not be allowed to charge legitimate overdraft charges. What is at issue is UPFRONT DISCLOSURE and FAIRNESS. Some individuals are reporting overdraft fees of over $100 when their account was overdrawn by a few cents. In my case I was charged fees based on 'potential' overdrafts that never occurred which caused a spiral of fees. If the fees had been assessed based on the POSTED BALANCE then I would not have incurred ANY fees.
(Wachovia in essence charged me fees twice, one for the 'potential' overdraft and then again for the overdraft triggered by their fees.)"


The point that you seem to be missing is that if I swipe my check card, I am stating that I have the funds available in my account that very second to cover it. If a merchant chooses to place the funds for that purchase "on hold" (marking them unavailable as long as the hold is active to pay any other hard posting items), and I have another item presented against my account for payment, if I literally had enough money for all items, there would be no fee. I am simply trying to convey what people don't seem to realize... that a check card is the same as writing an electronic check. Either the money is in the account or it isn't. It all boils down to the following: If we keep accurate records of our transactions, and we don't initiate transactions when there is not the funds in the account to cover it, then we won't incur any fees whatsoever. What seems to be happening, unfortunately, is that what is supposed to be a penalty, and deterrent (a fee), has been viewed by many consumers as a short term loan.

Subsequently, when we overdraw by just one transaction (with some it is intentional, there is no way everyone is miscalculating their checkbooks), we get upset because we did not read the disclosures we were provided with when we opened the account, which state that we can incur multiple fees due to funds not being available in the account. Every disclosure I have ever gotten, and even ones I have read online also state that my bank can change the order in which they post items to my account at their discretion, even for the purpose of causing more fees.

The only reason why it is legal for them to do so is: 1. the fact that if I keep accurate records, and never authorize transactions which total more than what is in my account, it literally is mathematically impossible for overdraft fees to be assessed, and 2. I signed an agreement to all terms and conditions of the account.
I have had my account open for years, and disclosures change, and when they do, I receive an updated one in the mail. When I get one, I read it.

Regarding Upfront Disclosure and Fairness... How could anyone not be more Upfront and Fair than providing all the information in writing before a check card is even issued? I am not stating this to insult, or provoke anyone. It is what it is. It is our choice as consumers to read what we sign. If we choose not to read it, then how can we hold someone else responsible?


"Yes many of the recommendations outlined in that article are helpful to the consumer. It is not just the banks that are at fault it is the overall payments system. However, realize that the bank is the consumer's interface to a complex financial system and the consumer EXPECTS the bank to treat them fairly and to act in their best interests. Clearly banks have not been doing that when employing tactics that would maximize the likelihood and magnitude of fees. PERIOD."

A bank does seem to be the consumer's interface to a complex financial system; however, a consumer has choices... they always have. A bank is a business, it is not a government agency which was created for consumers to receive free services paid for with taxpayer dollars. The service that banks provide is to store a customer's money for them, not manage it, and to disperse funds from the customer's account when it receives the proper verification that said customer initiated a transaction. I fully expect my bank to maximize the magnitude of fees I incur, but for me to say that banks maximize the likelihood of fees would be unjustified. In my opinion, banks capitalize when I CAUSE my account to become overdrawn. Swiping my check card when I am the only one that could possibly know that I have already initiated a transaction somewhere else with the same funds (writing a check, paying for gas at the pump as credit, etc.) is my responsibility and no one else's. I have never known a business to act in my best interest, I would only expect them to act in their own best interest.

After all, I pay them to provide a service, and they do. Using my checking account as a line of credit is not part of the intended scope of my account. Maximizing penalties for using the account for other than the intended purposes is supposed to be a deterrent from doing so repeatedly. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. Whether or not we agree as to why the banks maximize on their penalty fees, all that matters is that it is legal to do so, because they notified us of the policy in writing from the very beginning.

I am wondering at this point no one has spoken up for consumers to address abusive practices initiated by businesses which accept check cards for payment. Why is there no legislation stating that any merchant which offers a "free trial" of services must allow a customer to receive a "free trial" without requiring the customer to submit their bank account/check card information? Why is there no legislation which makes it illegal for a merchant to offer "free" magazines in the checkout line, then share their check card number with a third party merchant if the customer doesn't cancel the subscription within a certain period of time, or even require the owner of the establishment where the "free" magazine was offered to the customer to disclose that accepting the magazine constitutes a trial subscription?

Even worse, why is there no legislation regulating the payment processing which VISA offers it's merchant customers? Why is a gas station allowed to collect the info from card swipes in its gas pumps, then only send them for collection every few days, without requiring them to report the amounts of the transactions to the customers' banks immediately upon the completion of the customer pumping their gas?

One could reasonably believe that one reason why the above practices are not illegal is because a check card is exactly as such... a CHECK in the form of a CARD. I do remember what it was like when check cards did not exist. We wrote checks, and had to keep track of them. Now that we are able to "write" checks by swiping a card, what gave anyone the idea that we no longer need to keep track of them? The only real difference is that when these "checks" are cashed by the payee, they are guaranteed payment by VISA. If they weren't guaranteed payment, then who would accept them. If you think about it, we, as consumers are paying for convenience.

We are the same consumers who pay twice as much to have someone prepare our food, rather than make it ourselves. Some would rather pay $3.00 MORE for a gallon of milk, rather than drive 1 mile further to get it on sale. That is the choice we have as consumers. I know of no NECESSITIES which are ONLY available to those who have a check card... LUXURIES, maybe, but not necessities. Food, Shelter, Utilities... most I have ever heard of take checks and money orders. Some even take checks over the phone.

I would be eager to see the results if we all used a checkbook register.

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#70 Author of original report

Interesting article ... but it is again one-sided and it does not recognize the true culpability of banks in maximizing these fees

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

Also you forgot to mention that a consumer should minimize their use of the debit card but perhaps not so interesting since I sense that you somehow are not a disinterested third party in all this.

No one said the banks will not be allowed to charge legitimate overdraft charges. What is at issue is UPFRONT DISCLOSURE and FAIRNESS. Some individuals are reporting overdraft fees of over $100 when their account was overdrawn by a few cents. In my case I was charged fees based on "potential" overdrafts that never occurred which caused a spiral of fees. If the fees had been assessed based on the POSTED BALANCE then I would not have incurred ANY fees.
(Wachovia in essence charged me fees twice, one for the "potential" overdraft and then again for the overdraft triggered by their fees.)

Yes many of the recommendations outlined in that article are helpful to the consumer. It is not just the banks that are at fault it is the overall payments system. However, realize that the bank is the consumer's interface to a complex financial system and the consumer EXPECTS the bank to treat them fairly and to act in their best interests. Clearly banks have not been doing that when employing tactics that would maximize the likelihood and magnitude of fees. PERIOD.
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#71 Consumer Suggestion

Is that what you really want?

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

This article spells it all out for you:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2227731_nsf-unavailable-fees-simple-truth.html

As the author of the above article wrote about the current legislation and GAO report, we should be careful what we wish for.

What do you think is going to happen if the law changes, and banks can no longer charge legitimate Overdraft fees? (You do understand that every single ripoff report I have read on here has been a case where the customer caused their fees). Banks, even though regulated by the Federal Reserve, are not government agencies who have to provide banking services for all. Their services are not free. If they are guilty of anything, it is capitalizing on the fact that most of us don't bother to read what we sign (fee disclosures, etc.), and that the majority of us don't manage our money. Banks hold our money. That's it. We are supposed to manage it. I would rather people get mad about what I'm saying, and at least get the correct information that will help them save money than make it all "soft and fuzzy" so everyone likes what they see. So when people tell me that overdraft fees are a rip off, I have to assume that those people want an account where they aren't allowed to write checks, and they want to be charged a fee for every check card purchase as well as a fee for every time they swipe their card and it is declined as well. My guess is that the banks could make even more money from doing it that way.
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#72 Author of original report

The GAO Report on Disclosure of Banking Fees is now online + CNN article on same

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

The GAO report can be found at the website for the Government Accountability Office: Google same or go to www.gao.gov.

CNN also has an article on the report, google: 'Americans in the dark over bank fees & CNN"

The crux of the issue was hit on by Ed Mierzwinski who is quoted as saying "The banks aren't following the law, and regulators aren't enforcing the law, One result is that bank fees keep going up and consumers don't know what to do about it."

If you are a consumer impacted by these bank fees there is something you can do about it.

1. Contact your local congressperson and educate them about how unreasonable and often undisclosed banking fees are impacting you, the consumer. You can do this easily by going to the website of the Center for Responsible Lending (see prior posts in this thread). Ask them to sponsor HR 946 which "partially" addresses these issues in requiring reform of overdraft lending policies.
2. Spread the word within your social networks to raise awareness of these issues.
3. If you have been assessed excessive overdraft charges, unavailable funds fees or NSF fees in particular, submit a complaint to the appropriate banking regulatory agency (see prior posts in this thread).

This is democracy in action people. You have the ability to influence the outcome on the issue of unreasonable banking fees if you speak out.
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#73 Author of original report

GAO Survey finds banks violate regulations by not disclosing banking fees.

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

A recent Washington Post article disclosed that the GAO undertook a survey that found that a substantial fraction of banks violate regulations by not disclosing fees upfront to consumers.

This is TIMELY and RELEVANT to the issue of UNAVAILABLE FUNDS fees.

The office of government accountability published a report today that disclosed findings of an undercover survey of banks across the nation. The primary finding was that a substantial fraction do not properly disclose fees. (Big surprise there.)

I am monitoring this story closely to see what the outcome will be but it is VERY ENCOURAGING to see the government acting on this issue finally. You can expect more media attention once the details of the GAO report become public.

Perform a google search on: 'Banking Fees Are Rising And Often Undisclosed'


And here is a new find on why USE OF DEBIT CARDS ARE STRONGLY CORRELATED WITH OVERDRAFT FEES.

Perform a google search on: 'Why You Should Never Own A Debit Card'
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#74 Consumer Comment

FINALLY - A Fair and Honest Employee Response

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

To the Wachovia Bank Employee of Oregon, you have my admiration and respect. Your last post was fair and honest. Let me say that I don't agree with all of it and I'll explain why momentarily. But even though I disagree with some points, it's clear you UNDERSTAND what all of the uproar is about and you're not simply playing dumb like OTHER employees who say 'What on earth can everyone be talking or complaining about?'.

In your post, when you say 'It is important to understand the difference between overdraft fees and unavailable funds fee', you're EXACTLY right. And it's clear that MANY people DO NOT understand the Unavailable Funds Fee even exists, not to mention the difference. So where else do you turn to find out the DIFFERENCE between the overdraft fee and the Unavailable Funds Fee? Remember you said yourself it's important to understand the difference, right?. Well, where is that DIFFERENCE explained? Certainly not in the Deposit Agreement. And why isn't it?

Now to the Schedule of Fees. After you have signed and agreed to the terms of the Deposit Agreement and AFTER they have opened your new account, that's when you're handed the Schedule of Fees. The Unavailable Funds Fee is listed on this document, but just the name and amount, as you mentioned. So after you read the Schedule of Fees and notice the Unavailable Funds Fee, you have a question about it. So where do you turn for a description of WHAT IT IS and HOW IT WORKS?

You go back to the Deposit Agreement, supposedly THE BIBLE for any and everything there is to know about your account. Good Luck with finding out that DIFFERENCE. Then to make matters MORE CONFUSING you correctly indicate that all fees have the same description when posted to your account. So the customer still can't see or understand the DIFFERENCE. And to top it off, you call the Call Center or local branch for assistance. You don't reach one of the knowledgeable employees like yourself. You reach one of the NUMEROUS other Wachovia employees who are just as CONFUSED by this fee as are the customers, for obvious reasons.

Now to where I disagree with you. When customers complain about posting items in descending order of amount, you can argue the case that it's not a ripoff because it's CLEARLY disclosed to them in the Deposit Agreement. If Wachovia were to make the same effort with their Unavailable Funds Fee, THEN and ONLY THEN can you argue it's not a ripoff and I might be inclined to agree. But as it has been shown, it's not OBVIOUSLY and CLEARLY documented in the Deposit Agreement. And this gives the impression that it's done INTENTIONALLY and PURPOSELY. And can you blame Wachovia? If they were to CLEARLY disclose it UP FRONT, what customer in their RIGHT MIND would AGREE to terms that state they will be charged a fee for items that clear their Available and Posted Balance?

To me, that lack of Up Front disclosure, whether intentional or not makes it a ripoff.
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#75 UPDATE Employee

Responding to Original Post

AUTHOR: Wachovia Bank Employee - (U.S.A.)

First, I'd just like to say I work at a Wachovia Call Center. It is important to understand the difference between "overdraft fees" and "unavailable funds fee", I really wish the fees had a different description when it posted to an account. Instead all fees have the same description, that alone is confusing.

The account was charged an Unavailable Funds Fee, not an Overdraft Fee. It is correct to say the account was not "overdrawn" but items did post to the account and the money was not "available" for those items. I think that has already been covered in depth. There's no need to go over it again.

Okay, now about the fees caused by a merchant error. This is not considered (by me at least) a "customer error" or "bank error". A hold from the merchant caused the fees. Yes, if Wachovia based fees only on the posted balance there might no be a problem. But we know Wachovia uses the available balance... If you called in and I answered and if I could clearly see the fees were caused by a merchant hold that never posted, I would have gladly gave a full refund for the fees. Our policies say that if a merchant error caused the fees we can process a full refund. Sometimes it's not obvious and we would need to speak the merchant to verify it was their error and to ask if the hold can be deleted early to prevent further fees. This is something that I do daily.

Now, about the Deposit Agreement. Anyone can view the full Deposit Agreement and Disclosures for Personal Accounts by going to www.wachovia.com/customerforms and clicking on the appropriate link. It does state Wachovia may determine whether or not your account contains sufficient funds ... if that determination reveals "insufficient available funds" to pay the check or other item ... you agree to pay a service charge. (page 10 section 13) It does not mention anything about specific fees because when you open an account you're given the Deposit Agreement and a Schedule of Fees (for your state). In the Schedule of Fees you will see each fee name and amount. I don't know if that's viewable online but it does vary by state, you can call Wachovia 24 hours a day and request a copy.

Personally, I disagree with charging an Unavailable Funds Fee, but I do not think it's a "rip off". I don't have to worry about being charged that fee or an Overdraft Fee because I don't spend more than I have. I also choose to use my credit card and not debit card because I know merchant's can cause errors - But mostly I hate keeping a register and I'm worried about overdrafting my account. I use my credit card for my transactions and pay the bill monthly. I completely understand why people would feel it's unfair, but if you open an account with Wachovia you agreed to the terms and fees. I've been with my Credit Union for over 20 years (I'm 24) - I can't talk about other banks and how they do things but I do know my Credit Union posts smallest to largest and apply fees based on the posted balance. I believe the fee is around $25 (not completely sure) and I have overdraft protection with my Savings Account and it costs $5 each occurrence.

(This next section is not directed to anyone specifically - just thought I'd add it)

If you are unhappy with Wachovia or don't like the way they process/post items or anything else, I suggest you search around for another financial institution that would be better for you. I strongly suggest a credit union, only because I'm so happy with mine.
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#76 UPDATE Employee

Responding to Original Post

AUTHOR: Wachovia Bank Employee - (U.S.A.)

First, I'd just like to say I work at a Wachovia Call Center. It is important to understand the difference between "overdraft fees" and "unavailable funds fee", I really wish the fees had a different description when it posted to an account. Instead all fees have the same description, that alone is confusing.

The account was charged an Unavailable Funds Fee, not an Overdraft Fee. It is correct to say the account was not "overdrawn" but items did post to the account and the money was not "available" for those items. I think that has already been covered in depth. There's no need to go over it again.

Okay, now about the fees caused by a merchant error. This is not considered (by me at least) a "customer error" or "bank error". A hold from the merchant caused the fees. Yes, if Wachovia based fees only on the posted balance there might no be a problem. But we know Wachovia uses the available balance... If you called in and I answered and if I could clearly see the fees were caused by a merchant hold that never posted, I would have gladly gave a full refund for the fees. Our policies say that if a merchant error caused the fees we can process a full refund. Sometimes it's not obvious and we would need to speak the merchant to verify it was their error and to ask if the hold can be deleted early to prevent further fees. This is something that I do daily.

Now, about the Deposit Agreement. Anyone can view the full Deposit Agreement and Disclosures for Personal Accounts by going to www.wachovia.com/customerforms and clicking on the appropriate link. It does state Wachovia may determine whether or not your account contains sufficient funds ... if that determination reveals "insufficient available funds" to pay the check or other item ... you agree to pay a service charge. (page 10 section 13) It does not mention anything about specific fees because when you open an account you're given the Deposit Agreement and a Schedule of Fees (for your state). In the Schedule of Fees you will see each fee name and amount. I don't know if that's viewable online but it does vary by state, you can call Wachovia 24 hours a day and request a copy.

Personally, I disagree with charging an Unavailable Funds Fee, but I do not think it's a "rip off". I don't have to worry about being charged that fee or an Overdraft Fee because I don't spend more than I have. I also choose to use my credit card and not debit card because I know merchant's can cause errors - But mostly I hate keeping a register and I'm worried about overdrafting my account. I use my credit card for my transactions and pay the bill monthly. I completely understand why people would feel it's unfair, but if you open an account with Wachovia you agreed to the terms and fees. I've been with my Credit Union for over 20 years (I'm 24) - I can't talk about other banks and how they do things but I do know my Credit Union posts smallest to largest and apply fees based on the posted balance. I believe the fee is around $25 (not completely sure) and I have overdraft protection with my Savings Account and it costs $5 each occurrence.

(This next section is not directed to anyone specifically - just thought I'd add it)

If you are unhappy with Wachovia or don't like the way they process/post items or anything else, I suggest you search around for another financial institution that would be better for you. I strongly suggest a credit union, only because I'm so happy with mine.
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#77 UPDATE Employee

Responding to Original Post

AUTHOR: Wachovia Bank Employee - (U.S.A.)

First, I'd just like to say I work at a Wachovia Call Center. It is important to understand the difference between "overdraft fees" and "unavailable funds fee", I really wish the fees had a different description when it posted to an account. Instead all fees have the same description, that alone is confusing.

The account was charged an Unavailable Funds Fee, not an Overdraft Fee. It is correct to say the account was not "overdrawn" but items did post to the account and the money was not "available" for those items. I think that has already been covered in depth. There's no need to go over it again.

Okay, now about the fees caused by a merchant error. This is not considered (by me at least) a "customer error" or "bank error". A hold from the merchant caused the fees. Yes, if Wachovia based fees only on the posted balance there might no be a problem. But we know Wachovia uses the available balance... If you called in and I answered and if I could clearly see the fees were caused by a merchant hold that never posted, I would have gladly gave a full refund for the fees. Our policies say that if a merchant error caused the fees we can process a full refund. Sometimes it's not obvious and we would need to speak the merchant to verify it was their error and to ask if the hold can be deleted early to prevent further fees. This is something that I do daily.

Now, about the Deposit Agreement. Anyone can view the full Deposit Agreement and Disclosures for Personal Accounts by going to www.wachovia.com/customerforms and clicking on the appropriate link. It does state Wachovia may determine whether or not your account contains sufficient funds ... if that determination reveals "insufficient available funds" to pay the check or other item ... you agree to pay a service charge. (page 10 section 13) It does not mention anything about specific fees because when you open an account you're given the Deposit Agreement and a Schedule of Fees (for your state). In the Schedule of Fees you will see each fee name and amount. I don't know if that's viewable online but it does vary by state, you can call Wachovia 24 hours a day and request a copy.

Personally, I disagree with charging an Unavailable Funds Fee, but I do not think it's a "rip off". I don't have to worry about being charged that fee or an Overdraft Fee because I don't spend more than I have. I also choose to use my credit card and not debit card because I know merchant's can cause errors - But mostly I hate keeping a register and I'm worried about overdrafting my account. I use my credit card for my transactions and pay the bill monthly. I completely understand why people would feel it's unfair, but if you open an account with Wachovia you agreed to the terms and fees. I've been with my Credit Union for over 20 years (I'm 24) - I can't talk about other banks and how they do things but I do know my Credit Union posts smallest to largest and apply fees based on the posted balance. I believe the fee is around $25 (not completely sure) and I have overdraft protection with my Savings Account and it costs $5 each occurrence.

(This next section is not directed to anyone specifically - just thought I'd add it)

If you are unhappy with Wachovia or don't like the way they process/post items or anything else, I suggest you search around for another financial institution that would be better for you. I strongly suggest a credit union, only because I'm so happy with mine.
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#78 Consumer Comment

Another Tip for the Bankworker

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

The irony here is so overwhelming. I will not waste the ROR's space re-explaining. The examples are ALL OVER the place on OTHER Wachovia threads, and even on this very thread. Simply review this thread where we give you sample ledgers. None of these examples involve deposits, yet UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEE are still charged.

Not only the examples from myself but the example from the REAL 'bank worker', Striderq, the Wachovia BANK EMPLOYEE. All of HIS examples where he CORRECTLY explains how the Unavailable Funds Fee works - none of these examples involve deposits.

How ironic that you would question how this is so hard to understand when you don't even understand it yourself.

Even more ironic - the fact that you post under the name of 'Bankworker'. It's bank workers like you that give employees like Striderq a bad name.
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#79 Consumer Comment

Really how hard is it to understand!

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

Unavailable funds are normally in reference to a deposit that has had items drawn against it while it's not immediately available. Thus the deposit funds are "not available" or UNAVAILABLE.

let me explain it like this:

Ledger balance 2/12/08 100.00
2/12/08 300.00 cash deposit -current balance 400 avail bal 200
2/12/08 20.00 atm withdrawal
2/12/08 200.00 check withdrawal
2/12/08 5.79 McDonalds
2/12/08 $103.00 Target


this is the way it comes through the system (if deposit is made @ atm during business hours)

100 balance before deposit
+100 available from deposit (200.00 waiting for verification)=
200 available balance, 400 overall balance
-200.00 check withdrawal =
0 AVAILABLE BALANCE
-103.00 target
-20.00 atm
-5.79 mcdonalds =
-128.79 (unavailable funds)
-36.00 nsf * 3 items =
-236.79

but wait

there's still $200.00 from the deposit that hasn't cleared making the overall balance
-36.79

now do you understand? the funds have to be made available for your use before you can have items post against it. even cash envelopes have to be verified to make sure there's no empty envelope i.e. fraud. you cannot deposit funds to cover pending items, you should already have the money there before you spend it otherwise expect fees. geez, it's not rocket science.
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#80 UPDATE Employee

You're right, it can't be explained...

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

without all of the information. She says that she had $2000 in the account and 16 items totalling $239 came through. Without anymore information than that I would think that the majority of that $2000 probably was on a deposit hold and therefore not available for anything posting. But with the scarecity of information I can't say for sure.
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#81 Consumer Comment

It Cannot Be Explained

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

That's the whole point Shannon. That's why it's taken so long for a lot of people to realize this RIPOFF practice. Even the innocent Wachovia tellers and customer service reps cannot explain it in many of these cases. It's because of the unique way it's done. It can't be explained, not even by the trained bank employees.

At 99.99% of the other banks, when you overdraft your account, you're charged only ONE fee for each transaction that created the overdraft. When you call the 800 number or go into the branch, 99.99% of the OTHER banks can EASILY go back over your account history and EASILY show to you and explain to you what happened.

Wachovia is one of the 0.001% of banks using this unique Unavailable Funds Fee, and Wachhovia's reps usually CANNOT explain it themselves, as has been documented in many of these reports. Think of all the customers who have overdrafted their accounts and were certain the bank made a mistake. But when they called or visited their bank, they were quickly and easily shown their own mistake and how they overdrafted their account.

Whoever heard of this response from a bank - 'We cannot explain why we charged you this LUMP SUM of a Fee'. 'But oh well, just accept it, even though we can't explain it'.

That's the ripoff here and ALL of these Wachovia reports about Unavailable Funds Fees.
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#82 Consumer Comment

I need to better manage my money to keep from being charged unavailale funds fees???

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

I can understand the frustration here. I was ripped off by Wachovia myself, and my account was NEVER overdrawn, even with the $560 in "unavailable funds fees". The bank cannot explain why I was charged these fees, but would only refund $160 of them, leaving me with $400 basically stolen from my account. Yes I call it theft, because thats exactly what it is.

The facts are simple. I had over $2000 in my checking, and an additional $500 in savings, with overdraft protection at Wachovia. I made a cash deposit on Friday, which Wachovia, for some reason, decided to put a hold on, after telling us that cash deposits are available immediately when made before 2 pm. Irrelevant, because I still had more than enough in the bank to cover the $239 in 16 different debits. My account was in no way overdrawn, nor was there an unavailable balance when those debits were presented for payment. They still charged me $560 in unavailable funds fees.

I went to my local branch, who refunded $70...only two of the sixteen fees. I came home and called the customer service line, where the employee was extremely rude, and told me she was "more than capable of handling the situation and didnt not see a need to transfer me to a supervisor", after I requested a supervisor because of her attitude and tone. When I finally got through to a supervisor, he passed me off to the escalation department, who refunded another $90 of the fees, but said that was all the bank would refund, and I would be responsible for the other $400 in fees, even though they couldnt show where my account did not have available funds.


Now, my husband and I never allow our checking balance to go under $1000, so the idea of them charging us unavailable funds fees is unthinkable, yet thats exactly what they did. no remorse, no apologies, no sympathy. Most of all, no desire to correct the problem. We immediately removed all funds from wachovia, and opened a new account at another bank, and are still battling with Wachovia Corporate to get that $400 back. It needs noting that since opening our account with BOA, our account has never once been charged any type of fee, other than the monthly maintainance fees.

So those arguing that its the consumers fault, not the bank, and its simply because we "cant keep track of our money", how do you explain my situation? Its the banks bad practices...unethical, immoral, and should be illegal...that have caused this mess, and they should be held accountable for all funds they have STOLEN from peoples accounts.
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#83 Consumer Comment

Actually.....Sa and Jim

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

In this example mentioned in the earlier posts, when the checks post, they clear the ACCOUNT balance, the POSTED Balance that 99.99% percent of OTHER banks use to PAY and POST items from, and determine overdraft and NSF fees.

When these checks post, it's only the Available Balance that is negative and it's negative only because of a PENDING transaction still ON HOLD which will post LATER, after these checks. Two written checks which clear the Posted balance and DO NOT overdraw the account are charged fees because of a transaction which will post AFTER, AFTER, AFTER, AFTER them. The account WILL BECOME overdrawn LATER when this PENDING, ON HOLD transaction POSTS. But TWO FEES have already been charged AHEAD of time for two written checks that cleared.

Everyone else review the procedures used by YOUR OWN banks now or YOUR PAST banks, the 99.99% of OTHER banks. How many OTHER banks would have charged fees for the checks in this example when the checks cleared the POSTED Account balance?

That's STILL the ripoff here!
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#84 UPDATE Employee

Actually Edward...

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

Since the money is spent when you run your card at the store and the cecks posted leaving less in the account than needed to cover the card purchases, the account was overdrawn when they posted.
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#85 Consumer Comment

To Sa and Jim - Double Check Your Facts

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

First to Jim, it seems you may have missed a few posts that clarifies the ripoff here. Clev is angry about being ripped off. Because of that anger, he is venting frustrations about OTHER practices used by Wachovia - like posting order in desending amount. This practice is widely rejected by many customers, but it's a documented practice. But descending order amount posting is NOT the issue here. You have now gotten OFF SUBJECT. The issue is getting charged fees for transactions that DID NOT overdraw the account.

And this is where I invite Sa to join in. Since you both seemed to miss it, let me ask you both to go back on this same thread on 1/24/2008 to the post titled 'Answer for Jim...'. This is the explanation DIRECTLY from the EMPLOYEE which Jim asked for. Please read this post and review what the employee says about how these UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEES are determined and charged.

Then continue on this same thread to 1/25/2008 and the post titled 'The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here'. This is where I give you a different way of looking at the employee's explanation. But I DO NOT change the employee's example.

Here's the IMPORTANT PART. In the employee's explanation, notice the FIRST TWO fees are charged against written CHECKS that posted! These checks DID NOT overdraw the account. Pay attention to the Balance when these CHECKS posted. But they were charged fees.

That's the ripoff here and on all of the other reports about UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEES.
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#86 Author of original report

CLARIFICATION

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

I blame Wachovia for a number of things but in my instance the issue was that they generated a HUGE unavailable funds fee from transactions that never posted. That fee overdrafted my account and caused subsequent posts to generate an avalanche of overdraft charges. IF they had used the POSTED BALANCE instead of the AVAILABLE BALANCE I would have incurred ZERO fees.

As Edward has pointed out the UNAVAILABLE FUNDS fee is a NEW FEE and is not properly disclosed in the Wachovia Customer Agreement.

To anyone reading this I suggest you read the Original Post and my updates over the last month as I discovered more information about how widespread *some* of these practices are (transaction ordering) and how *others* are limited to only a few banks including Wachovia (using the "Available Balance", not the "Posted Balance" to assess fees).

And furthermore .. based on the survey quoted previously, which disclosed that it takes banks approximately $0.50 to reverse an electronic transaction, anyone posting complaining about a >$30 NSF fee (no matter the circumstances under which it was obtained) is JUSTIFIED in claiming a RIP OFF.
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#87 Author of original report

To reiterate my previous statement ...

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

only a complete bureaucrat or a white collar sociopath would not grasp the ethical ramifications of these usurious fees and their impact on both Americans and the American economy.

So I suggest that you give "a rest" to making patronizing comments when it is clear that you may grasp the accounting mechanics of these situations but fail to truly grasp the public policy and business ethics issues.

I wonder how you can explain away the case currently in the UK courts ? That case obviously had to pass a "prima facie" test to even make it to the courts. Or how about HR946 ? Or the fact that there are HUNDREDS (if not THOUSANDS) of complaints online. One only has to google: " 'overdraft fees' & complaints " to see the evidence. Yet you find nothing "immoral", "unethical" or "deceptive" about these practices. Currently the deck is stacked against consumers because the banks have not had any meaningful oversight in the area of fee assessment. That is going to change. Dismissive comments by you and your banking bretheren are not going to change that.

And if you think I am overstating the level of consumer activism and awareness that is taking off, think about how the turn-out of younger voters has reached all new highs (mostly due to the war in Iraq). Young people are also being disproportionately impacted by these fees and at the same time are becoming a more important constituency for politicians. When you consider that they are also the "most connected" generation ever you can see how likely it is that there is going to be an ever-increasing "push back" from consumers on the issue of banking fees in general and UF/OD/NSF fees specifically.

I stand by all my prior statements.

I suggest you also watch for the documentary - OVERDRAWN: The Movie which should be released sometime in 2008.

It reminds me of another little documentary ... SUPER-SIZE ME which some considered a fringe film. Well .. that is until public awareness was heightened and before you knew it every MacDonalds and Burger King was suddenly offering "healthier" menu options.

It seems to me there must be two category of high-level employees in the banking industry. Those who follow the status quo and those who are truly visionary and forward-thinking. I don't see much "forward-thinking" in the excuses and responses here from those of you in the banking industry.
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#88 Consumer Comment

Save it Clev

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

Save it for someone who was really ripped off. You were not.

You blame Wachovia because they put your transactions in descending dollar order, except that there is nothing wrong with that. That is their choice and AGAIN they have that right to post transactions in ANY order they wish to. You don't think it's fair? You don't get to define fair. Fairness is determined by the bank. If you don't think it's fair, you have the right not to open an account there. However, expect all banks to do EXACTLY as Wachovia does - because they do. Your move to a credit union is a good start, but it doesn't end there.

You blame banks for their ability to earn $17.5 Billion in fees off of consumers? It goes to show you the relative ignorance of consumers, not the greed of banks. Everytime someone tells us of the hundreds of ROR reports regarding this subject, I can point to hundreds of uninformed and ignorant consumers. The unintelligent use of debit cards (as you know) is the primary reason this happens. Greed has nothing to do with it. If a bank tells you the use of their debit card is free - no one should accept this. Your OD fees were the cost of using that card.

All of us have the ability to keep banks from earning that amount of money; it's a matter of being intelligent in managing your money. You've started down this path... at long last. because you were mismanaging your finances before this. And stay away from journalists who pretend to know what's good for consumers...they don't. Read articles written by Certified Financial Analysts on the subject - you'll be far better informed and better educated.
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#89 Author of original report

If your are UNINFORMED ABOUT THE ISSUE (Individual from Flagstaff, AZ) do not post your NAIVE endorsement here.

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

Regarding the last issue about removing "Courtesy Overdraft Protection" as one way of avoiding these fees, you are right and thank you for bringing this up.

It is worth noting that TRUE overdraft protection linked to a conventional line of credit is another option, as is linking your savings account to the checking account to cover overdrafts (Wachovia charges $10/transaction for this service - you pay to lend money to yourself!).

Also note that per the Federal Reserve Board Regulation D, there is a maximum limit of 6 ACH transfers per statement cycle for a savings account. Bottom Line: If your savings account is used to cover overdrafts of your checking account and the bank processes >6 overdrafts per month the savings account will be closed for violation of this regulation.

Excerpt from Section 204.2(d)(2) of Regulation D follows:

'the depositor is permitted or authorized to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per calendar month or statement cycle . . . to another account (including a transaction account) of the depositor at the same institution or to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic transfer, or telephonic (including data transmission) agreement, order, or instruction, and no more than three of the six such transfers may be made by check, draft, debit card, or similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties.' Original source: google search on "Limit of 6 ACH Transfers on Savings Accounts"
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#90 UPDATE Employee

I probably missed this, but I'll ask anyway

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

Have you asked the bank to discontinue authorizing your debit card purchases into an overdraft state? You would be declined at the point the purchase was attempted and possibly avoid a lot of the fees that you encounter. I don't believe enough people take advantage of this option. This doesn't address responsibility, ethics, morals, God, country or politics but may help.
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#91 Consumer Suggestion

Striderq is trying to help - This in my opinion is NOT a ripoff

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

To everyone who thinks they're getting ripped off by Wachovia. You are not! Read the deposit agreement and disclosures for personal accounts.
I thought I got ripped off too, but I was told otherwise. I realized I have to BE responsible or pay.

Don't ever spend money you DON'T have! PERIOD!

Date.....Item.....Amt....Posted Bal.... Available balance
12-17....Prv Bal..$00....$100............$100
12-19....Check...$30....$ 70.............$ 70
12-19....Check...$25....$ 45.............$ 45
12-20....Debit....$10....$ 35.............$ 35
12-20....Debit....$02....$ 33.............$ 33
12-21....Debit....$20....$ 13.............$ 13
12-21....Debit....$20....($ 7)............($ 7)
12-21....Fees.....$140..($147)..........($147)


You were't responsible so the bank Unavailable Funds Fees Come FIRST! And Wachovia is entitled to their funds beacuse you spent money you didn't have. If all transactions posted on the 21st according to the agreement it would be -179.

70....100....30 (UF FEES)
30.....30......0
25....-25...-25 (UF included)
20....-45...-45 (UF included)
20....-65..-100 (35 OD)
10...-110..-145 (35 OD)
2....-147..-179 (35 OD)

So don't debit that last $20 when you only have $13 with all those pending transactions or you will pay for the service.

Also Way 2 Save is the best program I have ever seen. I just signed up for it because it's a 3yr long term goal to save lots of money and I will get rewarded for it.

Thank you Striderq for all your helpful posts. I will stay a Wachovia customer for life.
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#92 Author of original report

Recession, consumer confidence & "17.5 Billion in OD fees earned by banks last year"

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

Cori,

I am sorry you had a problem with your bank and I do understand how it could be so off-putting that it would completely undermine your confidence in ALL banks. That is the intangible that the banking community is not grasping. In the UK they are further along in the debate on these issues and one theme that keeps emerging is the "rules based" approach versus the "customer fairness" approach. Obviously customers expect the latter and the banks (pardon the personalization), gleefully reeling in the fee income hand over fist, are adamantly maintaining that the "rules based" must be maintained. Nevermind that they constructed the rules to create artificial circumstances that would increase the likelihood of consumers generating "potential" or "real" overdrafts of their accounts.

It takes a pure act of cognitive dissonance by banking personnel to both believe that 1. it is ethical to manipulate transaction order and institute other policies that increase the LIKELIHOOD of overdrafts occurring and 2. that the resulting fees are punitive in order to get consumers to NOT overdraft their accounts.

But let me approach this issue from a different stance.

Let me use the R-word ... RECESSION

At a time when consumer confidence is at an all-time low am I the only one who is wondering whether the fleecing of American consumers to the tune of 17.5 BILLION annually might be a contributing factor ? That 17.5 BILLION that would otherwise be available for consumer discretionary spending is obviously not being spent because guess what ? The banks squeezed it from the working class to benefit (primarily) their majority stockholders who presumably are ANYTHING BUT the working class.
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#93 Consumer Comment

RE: Clev

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

Is Wachovia associated with National City Bank? When I pulled up additional reports on National City Bank, your report came up. I have had this same problem with overdraft charges from NCB. My online statement was never the same screen as theirs, so when I would call about overdrafts, they didn't know what I was talking about. Also, deposits, transactions, etc. would appear on my online statement one day & then disappear the next leaving me totally confused & with unexplained overdraft charges. I will no longer deal with any bank.

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#94 UPDATE Employee

Again...

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

The vendor is the one that made the mistake by running your DBC twice. The bank has no way of knowing the two holds are not valid. True one of the holds did not post because the vendor did not put through the request for that money. However the vendor could have requested that money.

When the vendor runs your card and it's approved, that creates the hold and until we hear differently from the customer we have to believe that you have authorized those charges. Again I understand you're upset at the bank for our policy, but you should also be upset at the vendor for creating the situation for our policy to be followed. I guess you'd rather rail at the bank then at your favorite store.

Of course if you had monitored your account and seen the double hold early enough, we could have done something about it before hand.
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#95 Author of original report

It is Wachovia's own policies that created the circumstance of the "potential overdraft" using their UNDOCUMENTED NEW FEE, the UNAVAILABLE FUNDS fee

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

The vendor merely provided an "opportunity" for Wachovia to take advantage of circumstances.

The vendor charge disappeared before posting (as it should have) but that didn't stop Wachovia from charging a fee based on a transaction that did not post and (based on how routinely transactions do not post) had a non-zero probability of not posting.

In a finger-pointing contest between Wachovia and the vendor excuse me if I assign blame to the party who is in possession of my hard-earned monies.

You make the policies, you "create" the fees, you take the cash - you're the accountable party.
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#96 UPDATE Employee

You've been hanging around Edward too long...

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

I did not engage in the "blame game". I've tried to educate you as to why these fees were charged and how to avoid them in the future.

It's surprising to me though, in rereading your OP, you blame Wachovia solely for this err, when the merchant was the one who generated the "few check card holds that were canceller". I understand that you're upset at the bank for charging you the fees. But where is your indignation for the merchant that created this situation?
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#97 Author of original report

Primary sources for information on excessive overdraft fees

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

1. The Center for Responsible Lending - google search on "The Center for Responsible Lending" or "Overdraft Loans Trap Borrowers in Debt"

2. The website of Congresswoman Maloney who is sponsoring HR946 "Overdraft Protection: Fair Practices for Consumers" - google search on "Prepared Remarks of Congresswoman Maloney, Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chair"

3. MSN Money articles (various) - google search on "When Banks Turn Evil" , "Bank fees are more outrageous than ever", "Don't be duped by bounced-check 'protection'" & "Why is my bank bouncing my checks?"

4. Consumer Reports (various) - google search on "The dark secrets of debit"

5. Consumer Affairs - google search on "Banks Levy Big Overdraft Loan Fees Without Permission, Study Finds"

6. Boston Globe - google search on "Bank gets tough on overdraft fee refunds"

7. Bankrate.com - google search on "Disputing an incorrect bank account fee"



So NO I did not glean "catch phrases" from RIP OFF REPORTS. I went to the original sources and educated myself on this issue. WHY ? Because your bank went too far and I was 1. FLABBERGASTED that they could get away with it (for now) and 2. INCENSED that you tried to play the "blame game" by attributing the problem to customer financial irresponsibility.

Yes customers should save more and keep a cash buffer in their account. Realistically there will always be customers who due to a low or fixed income are not able to be as "financially proactive" as they should be. I do not fall into that income category but given the out-of-the-blue magnitude of fee that I incurred it doesn't take much for me to imagine how that would impact someone who is truly living hand to mouth.
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#98 UPDATE Employee

Basically then...

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

Unfortunately, you're going to be one of those customers that is never satisfied because your complaint is ever changing. Things that didn't bother you are now a problem because you got hit with an OD fee. Since posting here your complaint has evolved to use the catch phrases from postings. I'm sure that as you'r thread continues your reasons for being unhappy will continue to change. Will any company keep 100% of it's customers completely happy? No, it'll never happen. The best the company can do is say this is how we do business and if the customer can't accept that then the customer should find another company to do business with.

As for your list of desires:
1. Probably won't happen. The reason for this is that the available balance reflects more truely the cash that is left since it includes the DBC holds. Just as when you write a check, record it in your register and consider the money spent; you need to do the same thing when you use your DBC. It's just that the DBC transaction comes to us for approval (generating the hold) and the check doesn't. When your available balance goes into the negative you have overspent your account.
2. It's provided for all customers, but any customer can request to opt out and only be able to charge upto the available balance of their account. Won't completely eliminate ODs, but I agree that it would reduce the number of ODs. But keeping an accurate register would do the same thing.
3. It's not the use of the DBC itself that's the problem. It's the overuse and not keeping a register.
4. If you keep an accurate register and don't overspend it doesn't matter what order the transactions post in since you would not be accessed a fee.
5. If the cash deposit is made before the cutoff time, it is available and reflected in the account upon completion of the transaction with the teller. If after cutoff it's not available for use until the next day after processing.
6. Check deposits are done in a timely fashion. If made before cutoff they are credited that business night at midnight. If after cutoff they are credited the next business night at midnight. Unless there is a deposit hold placed with major factors for decision to place a hold being: amount of check; check source (government, business, individual); number of ODs in your account in last 12 months; and number of federal reserve banks the checks needs to go through between us and the bank the check is drawn on. Since this is controlled by federal regulations, this is common to all banks. You may find banks that have shorter deposit hold times but they are choosing to give the funds availability before they know the check is honored. If the check is not honored they reverse it out of the account, usually after the customer has spent it.
7. The only transaction that you won't see, either on your statement or with online banking, is the date that an item is returned unpaid. You will see the fee accessed the next business day after processing, whereas I would be able to see it the next business day before processing.
8. A reasonable request. I'm not sure why the statements are printed as they are, but if you use online banking you will see the transactions as they posted to your account. You can only see upto the last ninety days though. I'll put in a customer listening form for you on this.
9. It's called sending registers and supporting basic math skills.
10. As has been posted many times here the fees are punitive in nature. The reason for this is the fees are supposed to help the customer decide hey, I can't afford a $35 fee for the McDonalds I bought, maybe I need to keep my register and not overspend my account . It's amazing the number of times that I have talked to customers that say they are living paycheck to paycheck and they can't afford these fees when the charges are for using fast food everyday, the liquor store or something else that is really not essential. Do the customers have a right to spend their money they way they want to? Yes they do, however it's kind of hard to find a lot of compassion for someone that is overspending their account this way versus someone who is just buying groceries, paying rent, etc.
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#99 Consumer Comment

Answer For Jim

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

Jim, I totally agree with you regarding the use of debit cards and how overuse and abuse of them will only lead to trouble for consumers who are fast and loose with their finances without being careful. I've never disputed that. What I've been trying to get to realize all along is this practice by Wachovia is not the sole outcome of debit cards misuse. The answer from the employee that you asked for should make that perfectly clear now, especially since it shows how these fees in question are charged to written CHECKS in this latest example.

I'm certain it's clear what we have all missed up to now, what these Wachovia customers have been trying to explain in these reports. Following your very good advice, there is no need for me to continue going back and forth with Striderq because nothing is new. This only leads to unnecessary diversions that solve nothing, as you stated. Heeding your advice, I have refrained from falling into this trap of continuing the POINTLESS back and forth redundancy, even after his last post which offers NOTHING but the comment, that you can avoid these ripoff fees simply by not overdrawing the account.

No need for me to fall into the trap and respond. The pointless statement speaks for itself. The only reason for my persistence up to now was to get you realize what has evaded all of us before now. Because you simply weren't getting it. But now I think you finally do, as do MANY OTHERS I'm sure. Remember, simply contemplate how your bank does things for comparison.
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#100 Author of original report

I stand by my statement ... It's the FEE MAGNITUDE, the MANIPULATION of TRANSACTION ORDER to maximize FEES, the lack of TRANSPARENCY and TIMELINESS

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

of TRANSACTION POSTING and specifically in Wachovia's case,

the use of the AVAILABLE FUNDS balance and not the POSTED BALANCE to assess whether to charge the new "undocumented" UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEE or the conventional OVERDRAFT (OD) AND INSUFFICIENT FUNDS (NSF) fees.

This demonstrates how the banks greed and "over-reaching" has back-fired. Most banking customers who were used to the traditional "paper-based" NSF fee structure didn't like the magnitude of fees but basically accepted the situation. Then banks got VERY GREEDY and CLEVER about ways in which to increase FEE INCOME by 1. introducing check cards 2. extending "COURTESY" overdraft protection (knowing full well that increased use of the cards would inevitably lead to overdrafts (ie. even the most conscientious customer was likely to forget how many lattes they paid for with their card) 3. manipulating account transaction order in their favor to maximize the likelihood of overdrafts and garner the maximum possible fees 4. getting Check 21 enacted so that customer-written checks were debited in a more timely manner but 5. customer deposited checks and other deposits were not subject to the same "timely" handling.

The result of all of the above ?

Customers have educated themselves and have achieved a new "awareness" and knowledge of the tactics used by banks and the actual "overhead" associated with the services for which the banks are charging fees. As the "Survey Says": typically, $0.50 is the bank's cost when reversing an electronic transaction due to insufficient funds yet the bank charges $35 (a hold-over from paper-based processing). Let's see, that translates to a profit of approx. 7000%. So surprise, surprise, surprise .... now armed with that information (which I wouldn't have been motivated to search for if my bank hadn't taken advantage of me), I am no longer of the opinion that $35 for an NSF fee based on a 100% electronic transaction is acceptable.

Now that I am more fully informed about the issues this is what I Wachovia should do to fix the "excessive overdraft fee" problem:

1. Stop using the AVAILABLE BALANCE to assess fees; use the POSTED BALANCE instead
2. Stop signing customers up for COURTESY overdraft protection when you know full-well that it is more likely to cause them significant fees
3. Stop encouraging use of the check card which has been linked to the problem
4. Post transactions in the order they are received, not in an order that yields maximum fees for the bank
5. Post cash deposits in bank (where you can verify the transaction) in "real-time" or "same-day"
6. Post check deposits in as timely fashion as you debit checking transactions from the account.
7. Be 100% transparent in how you process transactions so that a customer can see the same info that the bank sees when they review their transaction history.
8. Change your paper (or PDF) statements so that the account transactions are sequential and debits and credits are not posted separately.
9. Be proactive in finding ways to protect vulnerable customers on a low or fixed income
10. Revise your fee structure - bring it into line with the actual service provided

once you've addressed all of the above and remove the "traps" designed to take advantage of consumers then and only then can you with any degree of moral authority make the statement that "overdrafts happen because a customer is financially irresponsible and is over-spending their account".
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#101 UPDATE Employee

And once again...

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

Edward, what contributes to these fees being accessed is the customer overspending their account. No overspending = no fees. But you seem to want to ignore that fact. And again Edward there are other banks that charge this fee. ROR has posts on Lasalle and BB&T that specifically mention this, and there are posts on other banks that mention "fees when my balance was positive". I understand you don't like the fees, but it's astounding that you continue to posts things you know are incorrect.

To Clev:
It's funny how your first post complained about the fees period, but now it's because the fee is too high. As for the manipulation of transactions, the transactions are posted the same every day, it's not as if when you overdraw your account we post in adifferent order. And again if you don't oversoend you don't get fees accessed. Transparent? Gee, overspend, get fees accessed seems pretty transparent to me.
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#102 Author of original report

The primary issues are 1. the MAGNITUDE of the fees and the 2. MANIPULATION of TRANSACTIONS to increase LIKELIHOOD of fees and 3. LACK of TRANSPARENCY

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

In Wachovia's case there is an additional issue and that is use of the AVAILABLE BALANCE to assess whether an UB/OD/NSF occurred. I will not repeat the reasons why this is problematic but will reiterate that the article "When Banks Turn Evil" outlines the issue fairly clearly.
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#103 Consumer Comment

The Employee's Answer for Jim and the CLEAR RIPOFF Here

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

Remember this is Directly from Striderq's OWN EXPLANATION first hand. And this example is the BEST ONE yet because it shows you how this practice is not TOTALLY related to or dependant on Debit Card transactions. This example shows how CHECKS can also contribute to this RIPOFF. Here's how, using THE EMPLOYEE'S own example that he has just given:

The Customer's Check Register:

Date.....Trans.......Posted Balance
01-15...Prv Bal......$100
01-16...Chk $67....$ 33
01-16...Chk $ 5.....$ 28
01-16...Chk $ 2.....$ 26
01-16...Debit $10...$16
01-16...Debit $10...$ 6
01-16...Debit $10...($ 4)

The Posted Bank Ledger:

Date.....Trans .....Post Bal....Avail Bal
01-15....Prv Bal....$100........$100
01-16....Prv Bal....$100........$ 70 (from the 3 holds below)
01-17....Chk $67...$ 33........$ 3
01-17....Chk $ 5... $ 28...... ($ 2) Unavail fee for THIS CHECK!
01-17....Chk $ 2....$ 26...... ($ 4) Unavail fee for THIS CHECK!
01-17....Fees $70..($44)......($74)
01-18....$10.........($54)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$10.........($64)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$10.........($74)......($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18....$105.......($179).....($179)

Ok Jim. Now do you see the CLEAR RIPOFF? When the $5 and $2 CHECKS come in and post they are BOTH charged fees. Remember these are CHECKS! Are these checks charged NSF fees? No, because they are not returned. They are not returned because they didn't overdraw the account (Posted Balance). Are these checks charged overdraft fees? No, because when they posted, they didn't overdraft the account (Posted Balance). Therefore they are not charged overdraft fees.

These two CHECKS (remember), are charged Unavailable Funds Fees. These fees are because when these checks posted, they did not leave enough remaining money to cover debits which are still ON HOLD. Is it CRYSTAL CLEAR now? For the THIRD TIME, we're talking about CHECKS! The CHECKS themselves are the recipients of these FEES even though they CLEARED!

After these fees are posted for the CLEARED CHECKS, this causes the FIRST TWO debits to post to a negative Posted Balance, so THEY TOO are charged a fee each. So, if not for those Unavailable Funds Fees for THE CHECKS, the first two debits would have also POSTED and CLEARED the Posted Balance with no fees charged. Then finally, that VERY LAST debit, the ONLY one that overdrew the account, it comes in and posts and RIGHTFULLY receives its own fee. What more evidence do you need Jim, or anyone else?

That's not all, here's more. When the customer sees this result. They are obviously OUTRAGED, as Clev is here. So they pull out the ole handy dandy Deposit Agreement to find out how this happened to them. After they read the ENTIRE Deposit Agreement from cover to cover, they do not find the Unavailabe Funds Fee mentioned or explained ANYWHERE! This is the SECOND ripoff in addition to the FIRST ripoff, which is the practice itself.

As I said earlier, I invite ALL OF YOU, especially you Jim, to review how your current bank does things. Then think back to how ANY of your previous banks did things. You will find that NONE OF THEM do things this way.

There you have it Jim. You now see the explanation DIRECTLY from the BANK EMPLOYEE as you asked for, with a different explanation from me that shows you a different way of looking at it, using the EMPLOYEE'S own example and explanation.
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#104 UPDATE Employee

And...

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

when they get to their new bank and their practices cause them to have OD fees accessed then what? Do they keep going to other banks and have fees accessed every time? Or are you now saying you don't mind the fees, you just don't think they should be so much per occurrance?
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#105 UPDATE Employee

And...

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

when they get to their new bank and their practices cause them to have OD fees accessed then what? Do they keep going to other banks and have fees accessed every time? Or are you now saying you don't mind the fees, you just don't think they should be so much per occurrance?
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#106 UPDATE Employee

And...

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

when they get to their new bank and their practices cause them to have OD fees accessed then what? Do they keep going to other banks and have fees accessed every time? Or are you now saying you don't mind the fees, you just don't think they should be so much per occurrance?
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#107 Author of original report

Gartner Survey: Why Customers Leave Banks

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

It won't surprise anyone here that according to the Gartner Survey conducted in August 2007 and released in late 2007, that "Consumers switch banks more because of excessive fees than because of security" and "Banks spend considerable marketing dollars touting security features as a reason to do business with their institutions, but if their primary goals are customer acquisition and retention, they should simply lower or eliminate overdraft fees. Banks would be better off marketing low fee structures rather than security features if their business plans can indeed support such a strategy"

stated more succinctly:

"One out of five U.S. consumers switch banks because of fees they consider excessive, while just one out of 25 consumers switch banks because of security concerns"

and

For those who claim it is the serially financially irresponsible who incur these fees - WRONG AGAIN

According to the article describing the survey results, in "the Gartner survey of 5,000 online U.S. adults in August 2007, nearly one out of four surveyed consumers were charged an overdraft fee by their bank in the past year, and 63 percent believe the fee was unfair, mainly because it was too large."

and ...

"The highest net worth "private banking" customers typically don't pay any fees at all, no matter how large a check they bounce."

and

"About 54 percent of low-income earners paid overdraft fees over $30 ... Gartner estimates it costs banks less than 50 cents to electronically return a payment request because of insufficient funds."

The article is available online - perform a google search using: "Gartner Survey Shows More U.S. Consumers Concerned About Excessive Bank Fees Than Security Issues When Leaving a Financial Institution"
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#108 Author of original report

Pay-back is a b-word ...

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

In my monitoring of the situation regarding excessive banking fees in the UK and the current "test case" in the high court I came across this very amusing news story. It concerns an angry customer who filed a claim against his bank and had bailiffs seize bank property against the owed debt.

Perform a google search on "Customer sends bailiffs in to seize bank's computers".

Those Brits are onto something.
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#109 UPDATE Employee

Answer for Jim...

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

No, it's not for the same transaction. The fee that is accessed for the available funds is for the transaction that put the available balance into the negative. Then if the items that were on hold post to the negative, there is/are OD fees accessed on that.
Example You have a balance of $100. You write a checks for $67, $5 and $2. You then use your DBC to make 3 $10 purchases. Your register, which shows overspending would look like:
Date Trans Posted Bal
01-15 $100
01-16 $67 $ 33
01-16 $ 5 $ 28
01-16 $ 2 $ 26
01-16 $10 $16
01-16 $10 $ 6
01-16 $10 ($ 4)

Since the bank doen't know of the checks until they post, your account would look like this:
Date Trans Post Bal Avail Bal
01-15 $100 $100
01-16 $100 $ 70 (from the 3 holds)
01-17 $67 $ 33 $ 3
01-17 $ 5 $ 28 ($ 2) Unavail fee on this trans posting
01-17 $ 2 $ 26 ($ 4) Unavail fee on this trans posting
01-17 $70 ($44) ($74)
01-18 $10 ($54) ($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18 $10 ($64) ($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18 $10 ($74) ($74) OD fee for this trans posting neg
01-18 $105 ($179) ($179)

The unavailable funds fees are when something posts leaving less in your account than what you need to cover the total amount you have on hold. But it is accessed on the transaction that puts your available balance into the negative.
Unfortunately, it most cases that does put the posted balance into the negative and then fees are accessed when those items that were on hold post.
I hope this makes sense, if not let me know and try to explain better.

For Clev...Gee Congress is looking into baseball, does that mean we should all stop playing & watching baseball? I understand the fees can and do have a big impact and a rapid impact. However these fees are completely avoidable. As far as working for a bank that has a modicum of business ethics? Gee which one would that be since all the banks have complaints on here. But as I've said before the fees are legal, so until/unless the laws/regulations are changed, I'm sure that the banks will continue to access them. As far as the fees being indefensible, how do you defend your overspnding your account? Gee that's simple mathematics, shouldn't be too hard.
As for when the DBC holds become posted, that is upto the company the purchase was made at. When the DBC is approved for purchase the hold is generated. For Wachovia the hold is for that day and the next two business days (Saturday & Sunday are Monday business). When the business runs their batch and requests their money that is when it will post to your account. If they do it the next business day it will post then. If they do it a week later, it will post then. Just put it in your register and don't spend the money on anything else, even if the company is slow and the hold expires, letting that amount go back into your available balance. We still have to pay the company when they request the money.

For Edward Again with the insinuations that because it takes awhile to answer that he must be right and the other party has left the battlefield. But gee, that takes some assuming (which he preaches not to do) just because the response is not in his timeframe. Actually Edward, some of us have a life and don't wait by our keyboards to pounce on the latest post.
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#110 Consumer Comment

Re: Striderq - Here Is the Real Question...?

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

Jim, Since the OP, Clev himself has come back with updates after your question, I guess the coast is clear? I was following your advice and waiting patiently, but how long must we wait? I agree with Striderq, he doesn't have to answer anything. We CANNOT dictate when, where, and how he contributes or responds. He's right. But my question to you is, what does that tell you?

Getting back to this practice, Jim, you're partially right. Two fees are charged for ONE transaction. But both fees are not charged to that SAME transaction. So technically it's incorrect to say one transaction is charged two fees. One fee is charged to the transaction that overdrew the account. The OTHER fee is charged to OTHER transactions that had NOTHING to do with overdrawing the account and these OTHER transactions CLEARED both balances. If any of you will contemplate how your bank determines fees, I would bet you would agree with the following statements:

Fee determination used by MOST banks since the beginning of time:
1) During Nightly POSTING Use ONLY the Posted Balance to determine overdraft fees, per each transaction.
2) When MAKING Purchases Use ONLY the Available Balance to determine overdraft fees, per each transaction.

Fee determination used by Wachovia:
1) During Nightly POSTING Check the Posted Balance, and also check Available Balance. Use EITHER/OR to determine overdraft fees, per each transaction.
2) When Making Purchases Use the Available Balance to determine fees. (It's unclear whether they also use the Posted Balance here, but I wouldn't doubit it.)

Wachovia is one of VERY FEW banks that mixes and matches balances to determine fees. Most other banks ONLY use one balance or the other. When you MAKE transaction #1, at the Point of Sale, no fee is charged for it because the Available balance is positive when it's made. Then when transaction #1 comes in and posts, it also clears the Posted balance. With MOST other banks, NO FEE is charged for transaction #1. It cleared the Available balance when it was MADE, and it cleared the Posted balanced when it POSTED.

With Wachovia, when transaction #1 comes in and POSTS, they first check the Available balance when it's made and it's positive so no fee. Then when transaction #1 comes in and POSTS, Wachovia checks the Posted balance, it's also positive so no fee. Then Wachovia goes back one last time and checks the Available balance AGAIN. Whoops! The Available balance is NOW negative so therefore a fee is now charged for transaction #1 even though it CLEARED the Available Balance when it was MADE and it also CLEARED the Posted balance when it POSTED. With Wachovia, the fee for transaction #1 is because when it posts, the Available balance is NOW negative because of a LATER transaction, #2 made afterwards, which is still ON HOLD. Then, when transaction #2 comes in, it will receive it's own overdraft fees.

So the end result two fees, because of ONE transaction. But here's the play on words. Both fees are not charged TO the same transaction, but both fees are charged BECAUSE OF the same, ONE transaction that overdrew the account.

But, Striderq (THE BANK EMPLOYEE) can clarify for you as you asked in you previous post. As we continue to wait..........
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#111 Author of original report

Does Wachovia process transactions differently based on "available balance" ?

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

There have been a few assertions online that Wachovia seemingly holds transactions longer when an account is within a certain range of zero balance, i.e. that Wachovia's software anticipates an overdraft situation and rather than processing the transactions and thereby allow the customer to address the overdraft by making a modest deposit to cover the overdraft, they process the "delayed" transactions in a grouping, generating a large account overdraft (the largest portion of which is composed of fees).

So my question is specifically this:

Does Wachovia manipulate the timeliness of transaction posting based on account balance ?
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#112 Author of original report

An exercept from an online complaint ...

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

The author sent this letter to Mr. Ken Thompson of Wachovia in July of 2006 ....

this lends more credence to my supposition that these business practices are designed to drive away "marginal" customers. Didn't AIG get in trouble for trying to do something like that recently? This might just be a sneakier way of attempting to do the same thing.



EXCERPT FOLLOWS:


From: Message Author
Date: Sunday, 23-Jul-06 00:00:00 CDT
Business Info



Wachovia Bank - Order of processing charges leads to excessive overdraft fees

July 22, 2006

Mr. Ken Thompson, CEO

Wachovia Corporation

301 South College Street

Charlotte, NC 28288 Sunday, July 23, 2006 My account has been charged three times the correct amount for an overdraft thanks to a policy by Wachovia to ensure profits through usury disguised as a consumer protection. In light of the amount of money your company handles daily, I trust you will not find my complaint too petty to resolve. Wachovia has unrepentantly stolen $70 from my account thanks to an anomaly in the way your corporation chooses to process payments. Rather than in the order in which they were performed, as with cash or any other bank, Wachovia processes charges to an account in the order of highest to lowest. The most recent transaction on my account should be an ATM withdrawal of $160. I admit that it was made in advance of a check for $170 that was due to clear. I deserve one single overdraft fee of $35. Wachovia acknowledges the financial struggles of its customers by its policy of covering the cost of the first transaction to overdraw, and by offering Overdraft Protection. This does not however give you license to triple-dip into my account, or warrant having your CSR Natalie Dunn and her service manager Jenica Hobson -- who informed me there is NO "customer satisfaction" at Wachovia -- lecture me on maintaining my register. It is useless to do so if I cannot count on when your bank decides it is convenient enough to process my charges. Commerce Bank across the street from me is capable of doing the math at any hour of any night of the week. This is clearly an effort by the bank to ensure its profits through its borderline-low balance customers, simply because you likely find them too stupid to dispute the way you do business. It is regretful that your company is too large or your agents too inept to refund $70 of the $105 overdraft fees charged to my account. $70 back is all I ask. I am not asking for free money, I am asking your bank to steal just slightly less from me. This will bring me closer to the zero-balance I need to close my account due to complete and total dissatisfaction. And this is a win-win for all involved, since every agent I spoke to seemed all too happy to lose my business. Your agents told me that I have already had "courtesy refunds" in the past, but I find no favor in asking for money back that should never have been taken. I have already removed my bi-weekly payroll from direct deposit into your bank. If you can do nothing to refund $70 of the $105 USURY leveled against me, I will close my account, and you will have one less unsuspecting low-income individual to arbitrarily derive your black ink from. I will have my grandmother, brother, and sister do the same, and I will tell everyone I know of the terrible experience I had in getting a multi-million dollar corporation to refund the less-than $100 it unethically took from me. If my trust in financial institutions isn't totally shattered by then, I plan to open an account with a small enough community bank that DOES offer "customer satisfaction;" that CAN recognize where its strange policies cause problems for the customer, and that CAN correct them when they do. Please refund $70 of the $105 overdraft fee. It is regretful that you have likely spent this much alone in wages for the time spent by your agents keeping me from having it.
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#113 Author of original report

And more relevant to my situation ...

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

if the "pending" transaction(s) that caused the "available balance" to go negative disappear before posting but the unavailable funds fee(s) triggers overdrafts do you count all subsequent transactions as overdrafts ?

Answer YES

That is what happened to me. And it happened FAST. That is another aspect of this situation that we are not addressing. The rapidity with which the balance swings negative. It does so so quickly that most customers don't have a prayer of taking corrective action.

Computing "overdraft" based on posted balance is in the customer's best interests. If you're rated #1 in customer satisfaction and "customer satisfaction" is part of your mission statement shouldn't that be something your bank should consider? (Sometimes I crack myself up. Removing tongue from cheek with crowbar.)


Strider, if your position were completely justifiable then congress would not be looking at enacting legislation to prevent Wachovia and other banks from making money hand over fist using these practices.


I commend your attempts to defend the indefensible but wouldn't it just be easier to go work for a bank that displayed a modicum of business ethics ?
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#114 Consumer Comment

Striderq - Here Is the Real Question...?

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

This is what we need to make clear here:

1. Does the OD fee get charged to the account when the AVAILABLE balance goes into the negative? The answer is YES.

2. Does the OD fee get also charged to the account when the POSTED balance goes into the negative for the same transaction? Edward is intimating the answer to this is also YES and I have not seen anything from you denying this.


In other words, can an account holder get 2 overdrafts for the same transaction? If the answer is YES, this is a problem. If the answer is NO, then please explain why it looks like account holders are getting charged twice. I don't want to hear that other banks do it - I don't care other banks are doing it (for now).

Edward, with all due respect and admiration, I want to hear the answers to these questions from a Wachovia employee so that we can get this issue settled. All of this back and forth isn't getting this clarified and I think we all need this resolved.
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#115 UPDATE Employee

As Edward is proved wrong one more time...

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

Edward it says in the terms & conditions that you will be accessed a fee if your available balance goes into the negative. Does it use the exact term unavailable balance? No, but it clearly tells you that the fee will be accessed if you overspend. So whether it is called unavailable fee, overdraft fee, or Sue is really unimportant. However the inportant part of these posts, that you don't seem to want to accept, is that these fees are completely avoidable by the customer using a little bit of personal responsibilty and using a register.

And I see that you're still trying to insinuate that I lack credibility because I don't post where you want me to. Again Edward, I decide where & when I post and you have nothing to do with that. However, I'm completely confident that you will as always try to twist and warp my words for your crusade. As for the "wrong" part in the last post, in case you didn't understand, it was directly aimed at "blame". Again this is one of your twists. I never blamed any company. You can only blame when something is wrong. I was letting you know that this is not a new fee, it's been around awhile. As far as recent posts seeming to use the "unavailable fee" as a complaint, gee it seems to me no one (including yourself) used Terms & Conditions until I mentioned them. Some of the posters are being accessed unavailable funds fees, some are just being parrots and reusing the latest catch phrases from these posts.
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#116 Consumer Comment

Wrong About What?

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

Let's see. Am I tired of being wrong? I'm not even going to bring up the WAMU thing and posting order in descending order by amount. I'm going to ignore that and not bring it up here because it's irrelevant to Clev's OP.

So let's see. Am I tired of being wrong? Let's ask Jim of Anaheim and Faron of Houston. They, like MANY others, including myself probably passed off these complaints as nothing more than the same ole complaints about overdraft fees like all other customers at other banks. Jim and Faron, thought they understood, that is until I clarified for them. But I'm NOT claiming to be any expert. I was merely passing on to them, what had finally become apparent to me. Something ALL OF US had missed until now. I would bet there are many others out there like Jim and Faron. The others simply don't have the integrity to post confirmation.

Speaking of integrity and credibility that you questioned about me in your last post, I find that ironic coming from you, as you continue to CHERRY PICK the posts FROM ME that you DO choose to respond to.

Hey everyone else. Watch me perform a MAGIC TRICK. I'm going to make Striderq DISAPPEAR.

Hey Striderq. We're ALL still awaiting the official response to the question asked NUMEROUS times on ALL threads. Wachovia customers signed and agreed to Wachovia's Deposit Agreement. How is it that Wachovia is charging customers the Unavailable Funds Fee which is never MENTIONED, let alone EXPLAINED in the Deposit Agreement?

Hey everyone else again. Say bye bye to Striderq after that last question.
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#117 UPDATE Employee

Gee, Edward don't you get tired of being wrong?...

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

I didn't say to blame anyone. I was just informimg you that this is not a new fee that has just started. I educated you that First Union was using it and Wachovia decided to continue. There can be no blame when there's not something wrong. So quit trying to twist the information.
Well gee since Wachovia has been rated number 1 in customer service BY THE CUSTOMERS for 6 years in a row now, what exactly do you think this fee has to do with the rating? Do people like it when they hit with any fee? No. But one more time, the fees are completely avoidable.
And if the complaints I mentioned are not clear to you that they are talking about the unavailable funds fee, then what little credibility you had left just died. You say don't assume, take the OP at their word. Well the OPs I mentioned used wording to the effect of fees when the account balance was positve. Gee, that can only be an unavailable funds fee. However I have noticed that since this has become your latest crusade that you attempt to take every thread (especially those for Wachovia) into this fee. Yes, Wachovia is receiving complaints here, but not the droves that you claim and not all complaints are about this fee. But that's okay, I realize that you live in your own world and that none of the facts are going to sway you, so "Crusade on Edward" you're good for a laugh if nothing else.
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#118 Consumer Comment

Striderq Says Blame First Union - Not Wachovia

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

According to Striderq, if anyone doesn't like the way a company does business, they are free to take their business elsewhere. Yes indeed. Case in point - First Union Bank.

Since you brought it up let's discuss that merger between First Union and Wachovia. First Union is that 'certain company' with unhappy customers. Following your advice, these unhappy customers started leaving in droves. Then along comes the idea of a merger with Wachovia. Once the merger is approved, the executives are faced with a decision. What to name the new bank. The decision wasn't hard at all! They simply looked at First Union's customer satisfaction rating, then looked at Wachovia's customer satisfaction rating and the decision was made - Wachovia. Excellent, sound business decision!

So, First Union is where these Unavailable Funds Fees came from and look at it's customer satisfaction rating before the merger. Coincidence? Hardly! So the execs think they can slide one by the customers. They think they can simply change the name to Wachovia, which had excellent customer ratings up to that point, but the execs felt they could keep the same UNFRIENDLY customer practices such as Unavailable Funds Fees. Is the result not surprising?

And now you have Wachovia, enduring the same customer disatisfaction as First Union. Coincidence? Hardly! Now you have DOUBLE the customer disatisfaction. You have the original First Union customers complaining as they always have, and now you have Wachovia customers like Clev compaining? Before 2001, these complaints against Wachovia were nonexistent!

Sure you can find a few reports against Lasalle and BB&T that appear to be similar complaints but to me it's not entirely obvious based on the wording in the OP. But if we make the assumption these reports against these other banks are the same complaint, you have to search LONG and HARD to find them against these other banks. Yet the complaints against Wachovia are flooding in by the day. And the Wachovia reports LEAVE NO DOUBT what they're complaining about. Whereas the HANDFUL of complaints against Lasalle and BB&T have wording that's open to intrepetration. If in fact these OTHER banks are using this same practice, why are the complaints coming droves like they are from Wachovia customers?
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#119 UPDATE Employee

Wow, Edward you're really something...

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

Under my skin? Logical facts? You could not be farther from the truth.
Indisputable facts? And yet you want to gloss over the most basic of indisputable facts here. That the customer is able to avoid these fees (be they ripoff or not) completely by keeping a register and not overspending. Wow all the heat? Again any company doing business is going to get complaints. If anyone does not like the way a certain company does business, they are free to find another company. Is America great or what? However, as far as the unavailable fee goes, more banks are going to it. I know I've mentioned Lasalle before, but it now appears that BB&T in report #3006333 is using it. The clue is in the phrase fee when balance still in the positive (or words to that affect).
But the interesting thing Edward, these fees actually were from First Union and Wachovia chose to incorporate them. So they are nothing new. But then again neither is keeping a register properly and it seems a lot of people can't do that either.
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#120 Consumer Comment

I Would Love To Take The Credit

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

Striderq, it was Clev who revealed the information about the new program offering not me. I can tell I have gotten under your skin with my logical facts that hopefully are now clear enough for everyone to understand and facts that you cannot dispute. But I give you credit for sticking around. You have lasted FAR longer than other employees who vanished into thin air after being confronted with indisputable facts.

And to echo what Jim has stated, you have been nothing but upfront and forth coming with the information you give regarding Wachovia's practices and policies. I give you that. After all, it was your clear and concise explanation of this Unavailable Funds Fee that FINALLY made the light come on for me. So you can take credit for the spotlight and all of the HEAT that is now on Wachovia, now that everyone TRULY understands what's happening here and what Wachovia customers have been complaining about all this time, only to deaf ears. Way to go Striderq - I think.

As I said in my earlier post. There's nothing else for me to add on ANY of these threads regarding the new Unavailable Funds Fee......unless and until you bring forth new information that corrects or contradicts what has already been laid out.

Good luck to Clev and all other Wachovia customers.....you'll need it!
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#121 UPDATE Employee

Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

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

That we screen the accounts of customers who request this and if they have several overdrafts on their record we educate them that this is not a good program for them. If they insist on participation they can open the account, but we are no marketting the program to people who can't balance their budget.
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#122 UPDATE Employee

Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

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

That we screen the accounts of customers who request this and if they have several overdrafts on their record we educate them that this is not a good program for them. If they insist on participation they can open the account, but we are no marketting the program to people who can't balance their budget.
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#123 UPDATE Employee

Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

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

That we screen the accounts of customers who request this and if they have several overdrafts on their record we educate them that this is not a good program for them. If they insist on participation they can open the account, but we are no marketting the program to people who can't balance their budget.
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#124 UPDATE Employee

Yes Edward, but what you didn't get was...

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

That we screen the accounts of customers who request this and if they have several overdrafts on their record we educate them that this is not a good program for them. If they insist on participation they can open the account, but we are no marketting the program to people who can't balance their budget.
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#125 Author of original report

It gets worse ... Wachovia has instituted a new savings account called: Way-2-Save

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

More info follows ...

What is problematic is that Wachovia is ENCOURAGING use of the check card by linking its use to savings cash rewards which are small in proportion to the possible fee income that would be generated by increased use of the check card.





Excerpt of description of program follows:

Wachovia has just started a new savings program called Way-2-Save that's similar to Bank of America's Keep The Change program and WaMu's Savings for Success program (see post). It's so new that it's not yet advertised or listed on their website. I just spoke with a Wachovia service rep who said she just received training in this program yesterday. In a few weeks, we should start seeing this be advertised nationwide. Like Keep the Change program, it's intended to help the average person save. It's not much of a deal for those with large savings.

Here are the details of this new Way-2-Save savings account:
Current yield is 5.00% APYAt the end of the first year, there's a 5% bonus on the balance (up to $300)At the end of the second and third year, there's a 2% bonusMaximum $100 per month transfer is allowed into the accountAdditional $1 deposits into the account happen for every debit card purchase, online bill pay or automated debit transactionOnly available for personal accounts, not business accounts
So let's say you do 20 of these debit card and online bill payments a month and you do the maximum $100 per month transfer, you'll have $1440 in the account at the end of the year ($240 + $1200). So the first year bonus will be $72. This would be on top of the 5% APY that you would be earning during this time.

I was told that their Free Checking does qualify for this account, and you don't have to open a new one to sign up for this Way-2-Save program. If you don't already have this checking account, don't forget about their $50 sign-up bonus (see post). That bonus ends 1/31/08. Some things to keep in mind regarding Wachovia's Free Checking:
No monthly fees or minimum balance requirementsReaders have reported a hard credit pull during the applicationWachovia also does a ChexSystem verificationChecks are not free but are optional. Prices vary by state.Overdraft fee is $35A savings account (including Way-2-Save) can be used for overdraft protection
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#126 Consumer Comment

Not Relevant

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

Clev, it doesn't matter whether YOU care for the idea it was the merchant's fault for swiping the card twice, or not. Contractually, it is his responsibility to record a proper transaction and if he swipes the card twice - it is the merchant's fault. As I said earlier, the bank is only administrating the money transfer between the merchant and yourself, and the preponderance of evidence will ALWAYS be on the merchant's side because merchants do not knowingly create false transactions for fear of losing their ability to accept debit cards under their merchant agreement. It is up to the customer at that point to make the necessary corrections.

As I have also said on many occasions, there are only 2 reasons to ever check online for your account activity: (1) for bank fees, and (2) for fraudulent transactions. Swiping a card twice would be part of (2) because it is not a valid transaction to your account. Insofar as it relates to checking every 15 minutes for your balance; while that is clearly an overexaggeration on your part - the truth is many people who have complained on ROR about an issue like this, check 2-3 times per day per their own ROR. Again, another intangible price placed on the use of the debit card.

Consider the credit card dispute process: If you have a charge with a credit card company for something placed on the card, the cardholder has the right to dispute the charge on the account. The credit card company goes back to the merchant for additional evidence. If the evidence suggests the charge was invalid, the CC company removes the charge - if the charge is deemed valid with cardholder signatures for goods purchased/services rendered, then the dispute is denied. In that process, the CC company is administering the transaction - bottom line. It is the exact same process with a debit card - the bank administers the transaction in a civil agreement between merchant and account holder for the purchase of goods. The bank has no idea there is an error because it has a legit transaction on hold from the merchant, and only a lack of evidence from the merchant can direct the bank to remove the hold. This is REALLY important if others continue using a debit card and if people don't accept this reality and continue to use a debit card - this WILL happen a lot.


Edward, I am waiting for either (1) the other banks to catch on to what Wachovia is doing because it is pretty sneaky, or (2) a determination that what they're doing is wrong and needs to be changed. Expect the account agreement, either way, to be updated soon with this other fee. I mean I have to applaud Wachovia on one point, and that is basing the OD fee on the Available Balance - they're the only bank doing that part of it right because anyone basing the OD fee on Posted Balance is allowing account holders to OD an account without penalty. The other part of assessing fees on Posted Balance is problematic and the truth is - they don't need to. That part is just sheer greed. As far as Liz's article - her ID of Wachovia reminds me of the saying, "even a broken clock is right twice a day."
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#127 Author of original report

Thanx you for the clarification, Edward

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

Even though I have been experiencing this firsthand, I didn't have the "broader perspective" to put this into context with the practices of other banks.

What I and other Wachovia customers were experiencing were "dynamic" representations of our "Posted Balance" statement online. That is why I suggested performing a screen capture in my OP. When I "captured" my online statement I then had evidence of how the transactions are manipulated. This had been going on for some time but until this latest situation and the knowledge I gained from performing research, I thought I was mistaken. The fact that Wachovia sends out paper statements with debits and credits listed separately did not help either. What I have really gained from posting here and doing research is an understanding of the magnitude and breadth of this problem. This isn't only an experience happening to chronically financially irresponsible people, it is happening to a lot of people. A great majority of them do not have the wherewithal to communicate the circumstances in a clear way or to advocate for themselves. An even greater majority are not speaking up because of the "shame" associated with incurring overdraft fees. That is why I have been so vocal in speaking out against those who were dismissive of my complaint. To them I would say "suspend your disbelief when someone posts until you know (and understand) all the details".
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#128 Consumer Suggestion

The Clear Ripoff Here

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

It's now my opinion that everyone, including myself has FALSELY assumed up to now that when Wachovia customers complained about being charged fees for overdrawing their account, we thought they were complaining about being charged fees for the transactions beginning where the balance goes negative and for transactions after it, or below it, when reading or viewing the transaction sequence on screen or printed page. This is NOT the case. We misunderstood what they were complaining about, all this time.

Ripoff #1:
Whenever you're viewing a printed bank ledger, statement, or pending debit transactions, on screen or paper in sequence from top to bottom, ALL banks START charging overdraft fees beginning with the transaction that first takes the balance negative and all transactions MADE AFTER it or that POST AFTER it. These would be transactions BELOW it, as shown on the printed page or screen. With Wachovia, they also begin charging you overdraft fees for that transaction and all transactions made AFTER it or tht POST AFTER it, same as all other banks.

But what's unique about Wachovia is they will also go BACK IN TIME and charge fees for transactions made PRIOR to the balance ever going negative - transactions above where the balance first goes negative on the printed page or screen. These are their new Unavailable Funds Fees. No other banks do this.

Ripoff #2:
Regarding this new Unavailable Funds Fee that Wachovia is charging for transactions that DO NOT overdraw the account, you WILL NOT find it printed ANYWHERE in their Deposit Agreement, which customers have read, signed and agreed to. There is a section that discusses overdrafts. In this section, only two types of fees are mentioned, discussed and explained. The Insufficient Funds Fee (NSF), and the overdraft fee. No mention AT ALL about the Unavailable Funds Fee.

Striderq can continue to go back and forth with myself and Clev. Our posititions have been stated over and over again. No need to keep going in circles. No need for me to coninue posting redundant facts going back and forth with needless repititions. The facts are there and the evidence is clear. You can review any of the previous posts on this thread or others. No need to continue....unless and until something NEW is brought forth.

To Clev and all other Wachovia customers, let me go on record and say when any customer overdrafts their account, yes they should be charged overdraft fees. But in this report, Clev did not overdraft his account - by his own doing. But at any rate, ALL customers should pay A FEE for each transaction that overdraws their account.

With ALL other banks, you do pay the overdraft fee. With Wachovia, you pay an ADDITIONAL FEE, not mentioned in the Deposit Agreement, and this additional fee is for transactions that DID NOT overdraw the account. Wachovia's defense? If you don't overdraw your account, you never give us a chance to RIP YOU OFF with these ADDITIONAL, BOGUS, and UNDOCUMENTED fees.

I agree with Clev, if this is the attitude of the bank, and if this is their lame defense, for me it's obvious what you Wachovia customers should do.
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#129 Author of original report

Hypothetical situation ...

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

You have a $500 balance and some vendor either swipes your card twice or fails to reverse an incorrect transaction and there are as a result $450 in "holds" against an account. The customer is not at home and is under the impression there are $200 in holds against the account leaving a $300 balance. The customer then makes a purchase for $100 which is honored despite the fact that according to Wachovia's accounting the "available fund" balance is in the negative, because as we know that is what Wachovia does.

The customer has no way of knowing this unless they are neurotic and call to check their balance every 15 minutes, so they and go to Starbucks, buy a coffee, stop and buy a magazine, pick up a few amenities at the mall, all small transactions each not greater than $10 but all transactions including the coffee do not exceed $100. Do you see where this is going ? Each of those innocent transactions ends up trigger an avalanche of fees ? Why ? Because Wachovia uses the "available funds" to assess the account balance. If they didn't the customer might have a chance to check their balance online and take corrective action to get the holds reversed or at least realize they were there and not use their card. So in this example it is not an exaggeration to say that this scenario could leave an account that should have had $100 in it now has probably >$300 in overdraft and unavailable funds fees.

I don't care for the explanation that the merchant who swiped the card twice is at fault. This happens all too frequently that banks realize it happens and their customers (to whom they should show some accountability) are the ones who suffer.

Add to this scenario the fact that Wachovia (and most banks) time and order transactions to maximize fees and you can see why the FEE situation is OUT OF CONTROL.
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#130 Consumer Comment

You FINALLY See the Ripoff Jim!

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

Wachovia is charging overdraft fees when either your Available or Posted balance goes negative. But that's not the complete story. At face value this is misleading and there's something that all of us, including myself have missed up to now.

Many of you will be quick to point out that other banks charge overdraft fees when your Available balance goes negative also. Yes indeed they do. The misleading part is this - The OTHER BANKS only charge overdraft fees STARTING with the FIRST transaction that caused the Available Balance to go negative and any transactions made AFTER that. No OTHER banks go BACK IN TIME and charge overdraft fees for previous transactions already made BEFORE the Available balance went negative. That's what Wachovia is doing. That's what all of my examples have shown, if you review them on any thread.

Let's say a customer begins the day with a positive Available balance and the customer makes four separate transactions. After all four transactions the Available balance is positive. Then at the end of the day, the customer makes a fifth transaction and it causes the Available balance to go negative. With ALL OTHER banks, they will start charging overdraft fees AT THIS POINT, beginning with a fee for THIS transaction and fees for any other transactions made AFTER it. But Wachovia uses this as an opportunity to GO BACK IN TIME and charge fees for the previous four transactions already made BEFORE the Available Balance EVER WENT NEGATIVE. No OTHER banks do this.

Back to all of us missing this and being misled, when you learn that a customer has overdrawn their account they should receive an OD fee, right? Of course. This is why we have brushed off these complaints up to now. We all assumed that this was no different than the usual overdraft fee practices used by every other bank. What's unique about Wachovia is they will go BACK IN TIME and charge fees for transactions that have already been made PRIOR TO the Available Balance going negative. NO OTHER banks do this.

Where are the complaints from Bank of America customers about this? Where are the complaints from Wells Fargo customers about this? Where are the complaints from WAMU customers about this? Where are the complaints from Chase customers about this? Shall I go on?

And yes, you can take issues with some pieces of the msn.com 'When banks turn evil article'. But isn't it funny that the author Liz singled out Wachovia for this? Where was the accusation against BofA for this? Where was the accusation against Wells Fargo? Where was the accusation against WAMU? Where was the accusation against Chase? Shall I go on?

That's the ripoff here.
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#131 Consumer Comment

Responses

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

Edward, I went back to the other post, and if I understand what Wachovia is doing now - what they're saying is that if the Available Funds falls below $0, then the account holder is charged an Unavailable Funds Fee. So in other words, the account holder has now generated an NSF from the available balance. The only way this could have been done is to then use the debit card (or even withdraw cash) from money already spent.

If I understand what you're saying - the bank then hits the account holder when the available balance goes negative, and then hits the holder again when the posted balance goes negative. I'll be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for people who allow balances to go negative Edward - I suspect you've gathered that much. However, somewhere along the line, the bank needs to choose one or the other balance to base OD fees.... I would rather they choose Available Balance than Posted Balance because of (1) people's use of debit cards, and (2) elimination of float to the greatest extent possible. I would love to hear an explanation then from Striderq (in case I missed it - please repeat) why they would need to charge OD fees on both Posted and Available Balance?

I would enjoy it for this reason; I don't use a debit card and I write a check that overdraws the account. That would mean both the Available and Posted Balance in my account would be negative. Under Wachovia's theory, I would be charged 2 OD's for one check.


Faron, other than I don't like the fact that the bank is taking 5-7 days to reverse the transaction, the bank acknowledged the error and is making the reversal. I'm not implying banks are perfect; they are far from perfect. However, they deal in documented evidence and when the evidence is insufficient (as it was in your case), they implemented a reversal. In Clev's case, it would have been far more expedient for him to meet the merchant and have them reverse the hold against the funds more timely than to sit and allow the bank to wait and wait until the mistake was found because bank's aren't always known for their expediency when it comes to giving money back.

Edward, let me end with this: one of the things mentioned in an article on bankrate I read recently is when a CFA commented on the fact that there is no service a bank offers that is TRULY free, despite what a bank says. Banks mislead people into believing the use of a debit card is free - I would counter that through the experience you are pointing out.
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#132 Consumer Comment

Responses

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

Edward, I went back to the other post, and if I understand what Wachovia is doing now - what they're saying is that if the Available Funds falls below $0, then the account holder is charged an Unavailable Funds Fee. So in other words, the account holder has now generated an NSF from the available balance. The only way this could have been done is to then use the debit card (or even withdraw cash) from money already spent.

If I understand what you're saying - the bank then hits the account holder when the available balance goes negative, and then hits the holder again when the posted balance goes negative. I'll be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for people who allow balances to go negative Edward - I suspect you've gathered that much. However, somewhere along the line, the bank needs to choose one or the other balance to base OD fees.... I would rather they choose Available Balance than Posted Balance because of (1) people's use of debit cards, and (2) elimination of float to the greatest extent possible. I would love to hear an explanation then from Striderq (in case I missed it - please repeat) why they would need to charge OD fees on both Posted and Available Balance?

I would enjoy it for this reason; I don't use a debit card and I write a check that overdraws the account. That would mean both the Available and Posted Balance in my account would be negative. Under Wachovia's theory, I would be charged 2 OD's for one check.


Faron, other than I don't like the fact that the bank is taking 5-7 days to reverse the transaction, the bank acknowledged the error and is making the reversal. I'm not implying banks are perfect; they are far from perfect. However, they deal in documented evidence and when the evidence is insufficient (as it was in your case), they implemented a reversal. In Clev's case, it would have been far more expedient for him to meet the merchant and have them reverse the hold against the funds more timely than to sit and allow the bank to wait and wait until the mistake was found because bank's aren't always known for their expediency when it comes to giving money back.

Edward, let me end with this: one of the things mentioned in an article on bankrate I read recently is when a CFA commented on the fact that there is no service a bank offers that is TRULY free, despite what a bank says. Banks mislead people into believing the use of a debit card is free - I would counter that through the experience you are pointing out.
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#133 Consumer Comment

Responses

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

Edward, I went back to the other post, and if I understand what Wachovia is doing now - what they're saying is that if the Available Funds falls below $0, then the account holder is charged an Unavailable Funds Fee. So in other words, the account holder has now generated an NSF from the available balance. The only way this could have been done is to then use the debit card (or even withdraw cash) from money already spent.

If I understand what you're saying - the bank then hits the account holder when the available balance goes negative, and then hits the holder again when the posted balance goes negative. I'll be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for people who allow balances to go negative Edward - I suspect you've gathered that much. However, somewhere along the line, the bank needs to choose one or the other balance to base OD fees.... I would rather they choose Available Balance than Posted Balance because of (1) people's use of debit cards, and (2) elimination of float to the greatest extent possible. I would love to hear an explanation then from Striderq (in case I missed it - please repeat) why they would need to charge OD fees on both Posted and Available Balance?

I would enjoy it for this reason; I don't use a debit card and I write a check that overdraws the account. That would mean both the Available and Posted Balance in my account would be negative. Under Wachovia's theory, I would be charged 2 OD's for one check.


Faron, other than I don't like the fact that the bank is taking 5-7 days to reverse the transaction, the bank acknowledged the error and is making the reversal. I'm not implying banks are perfect; they are far from perfect. However, they deal in documented evidence and when the evidence is insufficient (as it was in your case), they implemented a reversal. In Clev's case, it would have been far more expedient for him to meet the merchant and have them reverse the hold against the funds more timely than to sit and allow the bank to wait and wait until the mistake was found because bank's aren't always known for their expediency when it comes to giving money back.

Edward, let me end with this: one of the things mentioned in an article on bankrate I read recently is when a CFA commented on the fact that there is no service a bank offers that is TRULY free, despite what a bank says. Banks mislead people into believing the use of a debit card is free - I would counter that through the experience you are pointing out.
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#134 Consumer Comment

Responses

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

Edward, I went back to the other post, and if I understand what Wachovia is doing now - what they're saying is that if the Available Funds falls below $0, then the account holder is charged an Unavailable Funds Fee. So in other words, the account holder has now generated an NSF from the available balance. The only way this could have been done is to then use the debit card (or even withdraw cash) from money already spent.

If I understand what you're saying - the bank then hits the account holder when the available balance goes negative, and then hits the holder again when the posted balance goes negative. I'll be honest, I don't have that much sympathy for people who allow balances to go negative Edward - I suspect you've gathered that much. However, somewhere along the line, the bank needs to choose one or the other balance to base OD fees.... I would rather they choose Available Balance than Posted Balance because of (1) people's use of debit cards, and (2) elimination of float to the greatest extent possible. I would love to hear an explanation then from Striderq (in case I missed it - please repeat) why they would need to charge OD fees on both Posted and Available Balance?

I would enjoy it for this reason; I don't use a debit card and I write a check that overdraws the account. That would mean both the Available and Posted Balance in my account would be negative. Under Wachovia's theory, I would be charged 2 OD's for one check.


Faron, other than I don't like the fact that the bank is taking 5-7 days to reverse the transaction, the bank acknowledged the error and is making the reversal. I'm not implying banks are perfect; they are far from perfect. However, they deal in documented evidence and when the evidence is insufficient (as it was in your case), they implemented a reversal. In Clev's case, it would have been far more expedient for him to meet the merchant and have them reverse the hold against the funds more timely than to sit and allow the bank to wait and wait until the mistake was found because bank's aren't always known for their expediency when it comes to giving money back.

Edward, let me end with this: one of the things mentioned in an article on bankrate I read recently is when a CFA commented on the fact that there is no service a bank offers that is TRULY free, despite what a bank says. Banks mislead people into believing the use of a debit card is free - I would counter that through the experience you are pointing out.
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#135 Consumer Comment

Question For Jim

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

Jim, from your last post, you say you're highly skeptical about this additional fee. To me this implies, YOU FINALLY understand the claim. But now that you FINALLY understand the claim, your reaction - You don't believe it. You just don't believe that Wachovia could be doing this.

Believe It! What else do you think the Wachovia customers are complaining about? That's the whole point.
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#136 Consumer Comment

I have to disagree with you Jim on one point

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

You said it was the customer and the merchant's fault and not necessarily the bank's fault. I had a situation not too long ago when I sent money via Western Union (not to any individual in Canada or Nigeria...snicker)and I looked at the transaction online and ithe same amount had been debited twice. I called BofA and they said, if it's not a legitimate charge it would be reversed in 5-7 days. I called Western Union and they swore that they only withdrew the funds once. I can't in any way, comfortably say it was Western Union's fault. It could have been the bank's fault.

The charge did reverse, like BofA stated, but not every single time could it be the merchant's responsibility.
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#137 Consumer Comment

The Employee Has Admitted It

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

Jim, I'm not sure how you've been reading Striderq's posts, but on ALL of the Wachovia threads he has OPENLY confirmed the new Unavailable Funds Fee. I'm not sure how you misread his statements.

For the record, everything you're saying about debit cards is totally true. No one is disputing that. But as soon as you get hung up on the debit cards you immediately lose focus on the Unavailable Funds Fee and the ripoff here. The debit card is BLINDING you to what everyone is trying to explain about this NEW fee.

With 99% of banks there are two TYPES of fees charged when you overdraw your account: (1) Overdraft Fee and (2) Insufficient Funds Fee, NSF.

With Wachovia there are the same two fees above but they have added a new THIRD fee, (3) Unavailable Funds Fee.

When you overdraw your account at Wachovia you're charged the same ole overdraft fee - this applies to THE transaction that overdrafted the account. At the same time you are charged the new Unavailable Funds Fee. This fee is charged to the previous transaction that didn't leave enough money to cover that transaction that overdrafted the account, for which you will be charged the overdraft fee anyway.

Striderq has already confirmed this MANY times on ALL threads. On don't see how you misread his statements.
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#138 Consumer Suggestion

It's The Deposit Agreement

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

Clev, You give me way too much credit. I'm not revealing any new and shocking information. I'm simply pointing out the obvious. And what I'm pointing out is available for EVERYONE. It's called the Deposit Agreement. You no doubt have heard it preached over and over again by bank supporters to every customer complaining about fees. Well, I'm simply following their advice. And you and all other Wachovia customers have this same ability.

You are, a Wachovia customer. You therefore have a copy of your Deposit Agreement. If you dont' have a current copy, simply take a trip to your local branch and get a current copy. Then YOU TOO can answer the question yourself. I never suggest someone simply take my word for it.

Once you obtain a copy of the Deposit Agreement, try and locate the mere MENTION of 'Unavailable Funds Fee', let alone a breakdown and description of how it works.

This is what you signed and agreed to. You can read it for yourself.
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#139 Consumer Comment

Not Convinced About the Fee

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

Edward, first of all I am highly skeptical of this additional fee; Striderq maintains there is no such fee, and I am more likely to believe an employee who has been upfront about the bank's practice than anything else at this point. Accordingly, I am reserving judgment on a fee I am not convinced exists.

Secondly, no bank is going to disclose within the terms of the agreement the process in which Debit Cards are accounted for - this is an improper place for such a discussion to take place. The agreement is intended to spell out the rights each party to the account has to the other, which includes discussions of fees. It is the reason why I am in favor of education by the banks of things such as debit card processes.

Clearly, Clev doesn't get it, and may never understand. He doesn't understand that his action should be against the vendor who posted an improper charge - not the bank. In fact, this situation is an excellent example of why holds exist - so that widespread fraud isn't perpetrated against thousands of account holders on a daily basis. I'd love to see Clev try and get money returned from a merchant who charged his card inappropriately without a hold process in place - though I doubt that would happen because he would blame the bank for their apparent lack of clairvoyance.

Any transaction that looks suspicious, or is on hold, is the responsibility of the ACCOUNT HOLDER to investigate and clear, not the bank's. WHY? Because the agreement for payment is between merchant and buyer - not between account holder and the bank. The bank only acts as a party administering the transaction between merchant and buyer, and the merchant initiates the transaction with the apparent approval of the buyer. Clev wants the bank to invalidate the NSF fees because he (Clev) didn't take the appropriate action to invalidate the charge with the merchant quickly enough.

BTW, the article 'When Banks Turn Evil' (as I'v already explained) is a terrible one because it is likely account holders will incur more fees and get into trouble faster by reading what it says and believing everything in it. It is incredibly misleading in more ways than you could imagine. You would be better suited by reading a few articles on bankrate.com written by Certified Financial Planners who are far more qualified to speak on banks and processes since they deal with these institutions on a daily basis than a journalist who doesn't. I would not depend on a journalist who misstated several points so serious that it would likely cost consumers more money than what they're already spending.
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#140 Author of original report

Clarification re: Factors

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

1. Yes I signed AN agreement. (Edward is continuing to argue the point re: what the agreement actually says and I'll leave that in his capable hands.) Yes the agreement is written in a deliberately obfuscating manner so that the VAST majority of account holders have no real idea what they are agreeing to. Yes it is POSSIBLE (if Edward's arguments are refuted) that what the bank is doing is in line with what they have disclosed and that would NOMINALLY indicate that it is LEGAL (though arguably UNETHICAL).

IF it is currently LEGAL (debatable) then the laws need to change and that is why I am directing people to the web site of The Center for Responsible Lending and HR946 which is being sponsored by CONGRESS WOMAN Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Clearly I am not the only individual who believes that new laws to protect consumers need to be put into place. NO I am not naive and realize that because of the fear of the "R-word" (no I don't mean Republicans) congress is likely to DELAY enacting any law that would "burden" financial institutions that are still reeling from the fallout of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. While that is unfortunate, it is reality. I am also not naive about the degree to which the financial industry employs LOBBYISTS to influence law-makers and that is why a grass roots effort by consumers is necessary.


2. When I say BANK I mean all of the systems the bank has put into place to process transactions and that includes the computers, software (designed by mere humans contracted or employed by the bank to write software to the bank's specifications). The chips fall where the bank wants them to fall. They know from their software validation during development where the chips will be falling because they would never roll out software that would negatively impact their "bottom line".


3. Watch that U-tube video of the woman showing her online statement showing NO OD, NO NSFs, but a hefty UNAVAILABLE FUNDS FEE. That is what happened to me. NO OVERDRAFT, NO NSF, NO INCLUSION OF AN ITEM TRIGGERING THE FEES BECAUSE GUESS WHAT ? THE HOLD WAS CANCELLED. The $150 was reimbursed because I dealt with a particularly compassionate and decent individual at that branch who would have if she were able to, have reimbursed more. Her hands were tied. The bank has established software that the employees are forced to use when assessing whether to reimburse a fee. I have encountered many descriptions of incidents where Wachovia employees have said "It is telling me to do this and I can't over-ride it". So clearly while the actual customer service representative that I was dealing with WAS highly competent and her instincts were right, the bank's policy tied her hands. That still equals POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

4. I did not say any bank should "screen" or "profile" customers. However, you bring up an important point. Perhaps these policies are deliberate and designed to drive away customers that aren't perceived as being profitable (with the exclusion of the fee income they are good for but that only works until they figure out the scam). But returning to the original issue. The point I was making was that CLEARLY your Customer Service Representatives IN BRANCH are aware of the impact of these policies and the MAGNITUDE of the problem. That is why I included an excerpt from the Wachovia bank employee describing how she was giving "two weeks notice" because she was tired of working for "satan" (a bit of an over-statement but I can identify with her frustration). That kind of feedback is undoubtedly making it's way up the chain of command to .. what ? .. bureaucrats who have no sense of social responsibility. Preying upon the uninformed, the uneducated, those living on the margins is PREDATORY. Make honest profits through honest banking practices.
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#141 Consumer Comment

Let's Discuss Those Terms and Conditions

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

Jim, Now that you finally see what's happening (I think), let's discuss those Terms and Conditions that Clev signed and agreed to. NOWHERE is the phrase 'Unavailable Funds Fee' even mentioned.

On page 30 of the Deposit Agreement in section 13 it discusses overdrafts and the fees charged. You know what the title of this Section is? - 'Insufficient Funds/Overdrafts'. Translation - Overdraft Fees/NSF Fees. No mention of this NEW Unavailable Funds Fee ANYWHERE in the ENTIRE Agreement.

Furthermore, the Deposit Agreement that Clev signed and agreed to IN NO WAY discloses this new MAGICAL way of calculating the balance by taking the posted balance then subtracting the HOLDS, then taking that the difference and that's what you use as the beginning balance to start deducting from when POSTING transactions. NOWHERE is this disclosed, especially the way Striderq is now explaining.

This is what Clev signed and agreed to.
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#142 Consumer Comment

In Your Situation - Debit Cards Are The ONLY Factor

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

It is your use of your debit card that single-handedly caused this situation; the other causal factors you cite have no bearing for the following reasons:

1. The agreement you signed with the bank gives the bank the right to post transactions in any order they choose to - this affects both debits and drafts. This is virtually universal, across the board, throughout the industry. It would be a rip-off if it were never disclosed. But it is disclosed, so no I don't consider it a rip-off; it's SOP. Yes, almost every bank out there maximizes fees for the benefit of its shareholders, not its account holders. And yes, I fully expect a for-profit company with shareholders to maximize its profit in every legal way imaginable, just as I would expect IBM, Apple, Real Estate, Airlines, and any other company to. That why I recommend credit unions because shareholders in a credit union = account holders.

2. The bank doesn't assess any balance - everything is processed by computer. The program puts the transactions in descending dollar order and allows the chips to fall where they fall. It's all pretty simple and clear cut. No emotion. No evaluating. If a computer did what you suggested, it would cost more than the $35 OD fee to assess the account situation.

3. You received $150 back of your OD fees they didn't have to give back to you. Sounds responsive to me. You want a bank them to look at this on a big picture level I suspect. That isn't going to happen. If you want to look big picture, you need to address it on a bigger stage - in other words, you need to address this to the industry and they aren't listening. Let's face facts - again - you spent money that was already spent, didn't keep a register, and didn't reconcile the account. It's not like you had $5000 in your account and you got assessed $490 in OD fees when you only used your card to spend $100. You would have every right to gripe if they never made the correction. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

4. No bank assesses the wealth or income condition of its customers - that would be income profiling, and profiling of any type is frowned upon by all levels of society. On top of it, banks don't have the time to profile customers for income.


In the end, you want the bank to look at this from an ethical and emotional view, (trying to draw the fixed income/old people argument into this). You are not going to get anywhere on that point because the bank's focus is the legal aspect FIRST and then what is right for the bank. Ethics falls in there somewhere, but it's the bank's ethics (not the customer's ethics) that is paramount. If the customer's ethics and desire happen to match the bank's - good for both - and the bank will likely tell you it looks out for the customer. I think that's just a line. Emotion has no place in this entire conversation.
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#143 Author of original report

If you can read then you would know ..

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

that I already cited the recommendation to leave a "buffer" in one's account to deny Wachovia any OPPORTUNITY to assess fees.

It was only after I "educated" myself on how Wachovia manipulates transactions that I realized the extent to which a CUSTOMER cannot predict the actual balance of their account to any reasonable degree of accuracy. [You will interject here that if they record all transactions in a register they can - NAY NOT SO - there are INNUMERABLY instances (cited in the UTUBE video cited above) where businesses establish check card holds IN EXCESS of the charge the customer signs for or nominally swipes their card to cover (restaurants, gas stations, etc...)

THEREFORE, customers SHOULD (as the author of "When Banks Turn Evil" suggested) keep a minimum balance of $500 in their account.] HOWEVER - if Wachovia charged fees based on POSTED BALANCE, did not manipulate transaction order AND processed transactions (especially those occurring over a weekend) in a more timely fashion, their customers could avoid many fees and would not have to maintain a cash buffer in their account.

So the bottom line is that one has to keep a buffer of cash in one's account (not for emergency cash reserve) but to ensure their bank does not RIP THEM OFF with excessive fees. Since the fees charged go into the bank's coffers it is disingenuous of you to argue that it isn't the bank's fault and that the bank is blameless. It is also disingenuous to argue that banks don't have a vested interest in maximizing the number of overdrafts ... I'd say 17.5 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR is more than sufficient motivation for them to continue playing the BLAME GAME.

Yes the debit cards contribute SIGNIFICANTLY to the problem but they are not the SOURCE of the problem.

AGAIN I ask - who wants to do business with a bank they can't trust ?
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#144 Author of original report

Do you not comprehend ?

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

A vendor processed a transaction they should not have. I was not aware of the check card holds. Are we clear yet ?
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#145 Consumer Comment

Not A Predatory Practice

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

It is not a predatory practice to take overdraft fees out of someone's account for spending more than what is in your account; that's just a rationalization for people who believe they're innocent. You are not an innocent party. If you read any of the articles you asked everyone else to read (but I guess you just cherry-picked portions to your liking) all recommended to keep additional money in your account for an emergency - this again is a way to offset any potential overdraft situation.

You didn't do any of the things recommended in the article, you spent more money than you had, and you call the penalties for mismanaging your account a predatory practice?? If you want to see a predatory practice, go back to when lenders were handing out ARM's to people who could not afford a mortgage and then lose the house to foreclosure 2-3 years later. Those were innocent people who were preyed upon by lenders looking for the quick buck. You made all of the decisions to spend money you didn't have and you have to live with those decisions. You were not preyed upon, nor are you a victim of anything other than your own circumstance and cause. I guess denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
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#146 Author of original report

The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

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

The problem is (and this is specific to Wachovia though some of these point may apply to other banks:

1. How Wachovia manipulates transactions to maximize fees
2. How Wachovia assesses the account balance to assess whether an OD or NSF situation occurs
3. How Wachovia is not responsive to customer complaints
4. How even in the light of the magnitude of the fees incurred by customers (and the easily inferred impact, especially to those living on a low fixed income), Wachovia (and other banks) did not voluntarily attempt to reign in this problem

Clearly the debit card exacerbates the problem but it is not the UNDERLYING problem.
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#147 Author of original report

The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

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

The problem is (and this is specific to Wachovia though some of these point may apply to other banks:

1. How Wachovia manipulates transactions to maximize fees
2. How Wachovia assesses the account balance to assess whether an OD or NSF situation occurs
3. How Wachovia is not responsive to customer complaints
4. How even in the light of the magnitude of the fees incurred by customers (and the easily inferred impact, especially to those living on a low fixed income), Wachovia (and other banks) did not voluntarily attempt to reign in this problem

Clearly the debit card exacerbates the problem but it is not the UNDERLYING problem.
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#148 Author of original report

The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

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

The problem is (and this is specific to Wachovia though some of these point may apply to other banks:

1. How Wachovia manipulates transactions to maximize fees
2. How Wachovia assesses the account balance to assess whether an OD or NSF situation occurs
3. How Wachovia is not responsive to customer complaints
4. How even in the light of the magnitude of the fees incurred by customers (and the easily inferred impact, especially to those living on a low fixed income), Wachovia (and other banks) did not voluntarily attempt to reign in this problem

Clearly the debit card exacerbates the problem but it is not the UNDERLYING problem.
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#149 Author of original report

The debit card is a significant contributing factor but is not the source of the problem

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

The problem is (and this is specific to Wachovia though some of these point may apply to other banks:

1. How Wachovia manipulates transactions to maximize fees
2. How Wachovia assesses the account balance to assess whether an OD or NSF situation occurs
3. How Wachovia is not responsive to customer complaints
4. How even in the light of the magnitude of the fees incurred by customers (and the easily inferred impact, especially to those living on a low fixed income), Wachovia (and other banks) did not voluntarily attempt to reign in this problem

Clearly the debit card exacerbates the problem but it is not the UNDERLYING problem.
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#150 Consumer Comment

You Overestimate The Situation - and the Corresponding Reaction

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

Clev, you overspent your account by spending money you had already spent and concentrating more on the posted balance than the available balance - you're simply in denial about the situation; you have yet to pony up to the bar and admit the error. Available Balance is what you have AVAILABLE to spend. Posted Balance means nothing when you have a debit card. Anyone who denies this definition and how you look at an account is in need of an education. There is no one in a governmental role that will care about this situation and the first question they will ask you is - did you take the safeguards you needed to protect yourself first? Clev, if anyone asked you that, the answer you would be forced to give is "NO, I DID NOT." Case closed and end of story.

That is all anyone should know and learn from your situation. There isn't an upswell of consumer feeling about this - one way or the other. Believe me when I tell you - the government is more interested in the mortgage crisis in this country that will affect people who actually took some level of protection and were scammed by the industry, than those like you who took no protection at all to limit the amount of fees you would incur and are now complaining and wanting someone to do something about it. If the banking industry makes billions of $$ on people OD their account - it sure isn't the bank's fault. The blame for that lies in the mirror of every account holder who has suffered an overdraft; look in the mirror and see for yourself.... If you live by the debit card, you will certainly pay for its use.

There are plenty of articles out there and all of then say the same thing - don't spend money you don't have and take responsibility for your situation. The only articles out there on msn (and the others you cited) do more harm to consumers than help them, and lead them down a path of financial ruin - as I've already pointed out to you.
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#151 Author of original report

Very Informative U-Tube Presentation: 3 Reasons to Never Carry a Debit Card

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

This is a very fair account of the problems associated with debit cards and includes a commentary regarding bank overdraft fees.

Do a Google search on: "3 Reasons to Never Carry a Debit Card"
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#152 Author of original report

Much as I am tempted ...

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

to point out that it is moronic to say there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of individuals while denying this is a predatory practice ....

I will refrain.
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#153 Consumer Comment

The NEW Unavailable Funds Fee

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

I'm glad Steve chimed in with his $.02. The Wachovia customers accept FULL responsibity for their mistakes and the OVERDRAFT fees that go with those mistakes. What their complaining about is a NEW FEE concocted by Wachovia.

Here's another REPRESENTATION of the ripoff.

Date.....Item.....Amt....Posted Balance Available balance
12-20....Debit....$20....$ 45..................$ 13
12-20....Debit....$20....$ 45.................($ 7)

After the customer overdraws their account by THEIR OWN mistake, here's the conversation between them and the bank:

BANK: We're going to charge you an Unvavailable Funds fee for the 1st $20 debit.
CUSTOMER: Why? Both balances were positive after the 1st transaction.

BANK: The 1st $20 debit only left $13.
CUSTOMER: So what?

BANK: $13 is not enough to cover the next transaction.
CUSTOMER: What does that have to do with ANYTHING?

BANK: This is our new Unavailable Funds Fee
CUSTOMER: [no reply] and starts to head out the door, dumbfounded!

At the last minute the bank yells to the customer on the way out the door - 'By the way, we're still going to charge you the REGULAR overdraft fee for the 2ND transaction that ACTUALLY overdrafted the account'. This is in ADDITION TO the Unavailable Funds Fee.

That's the ripoff!
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#154 Consumer Comment

Not Certain That's the Issue

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

The Unavailable Funds Fee from my understanding (my bank had that fee - that is of course when I used to bank there) is where the account is in a negative amount for an entire day; if the account had a balance of anything less than $0, and the customer allowed the balance to sit at that amount for the entire day, the account holder got an additional "unavailable funds" fee. The bank can't and doesn't charge an unavailable funds fee if the account had any money in it at any point in the day. It certainly has not happened with any Wachovia account holder from what I've read and it certainly has not happened with Clev.

What Clev did was spent money that was on hold because he didn't get the fact that he needed to base his spending on the available balance in the account (if you're going to run without a check register, which I don't recommend), not on the posted balance. All of this was due to the debit card - plain and simple. I will reinterate the point again (which Clev has already done and rightly so) that the debit card has allowed banks to capitalize on the ability to fee a customer to the point that they would rather switch banks without understanding it's the debit card that is really doing this to them - accordingly, don't use a debit card. In a world with paper drafts, posted and available balance only differed when there were deposits in transit or pending. Now they differ for a whole host of reasons.

The msn article Clev cited that was written by Liz, who is either really naive, or edited for people to purposely misunderstand, needs to be put into proper context. It deliberately mislead people into believing that Wachovia would do this whether people have or use debit cards, or not. I think the key point is that the situation described could ONLY happen with debit cards, yet the article led people to believe it happens all of the time using paper drafts (checks) only and cash. It also misleads people into believing all they have to do is link their checking and savings accounts together and they will avoid fees - it does not, since the bank charges a fee for allowing the transaction between savings and checking to occur.

Banks stink - but let's not get completely carried away with assigning them faults they don't do.
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#155 Author of original report

READ THIS IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE

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

I did not overspend my account. A merchant charged a check card hold that they shouldn't have. As I have stated ad-infinitum, there are INNUMERABLE circumstances where this occurs and therefore banks should charged NSF and OD charges based on ACTUAL POSTED BALANCE. I'm not even touching all the various under-handed tricks established to maximize the OD fees but shall refer you to the original poster by "haberschmidt" which I extracted and posted under "Apparently I'm in good company".

You are completely in denial about the magnitude of this problem and the consumer activism and awareness that is just now really taking off.

And for clarification purposes to those who think that I am desperately trying to recoup my monies. Let me be clear. I have no hope of recouping those funds. I realized that once I did research and saw the sheer magnitude of the problem and realized that those funds were culled as part of a deliberate and strategic attempt by Wachovia to increase their fee income. I am posting here not to recoup my fees. I am posting here to raise awareness of the magnitude of this problem and reassure those who post similar stories that they should not succumb to the "pile-on" bullies trying to convince them they are financially irresponsible whilst trying to shame them into silence. It is those of you in the banking community who are exploiting your customers who should be ashamed.

Let us be clear - those customers who mismanage their finances and incur REAL overdrafts are responsible for their situation. But even those customers deserve to be charged fees that are fair and commensurate with the "financial risk" the bank assumes when covering the overdraft. Those customers who experience "creative manipulation of transactions by their bank in the attempt to generate artificial circumstances of REAL or POTENTIAL overdrafts are not irresponsible, they are VICTIMS of banking institutions that have run amok.

17.5 Billion in overdraft fees were earned by US banks last year and it is projected to increase as banks become more desperate to offset their losses as a result of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco.

Every customer who experiences these problems should contact their Congressperson to complain and to urge them to support H.R. 946: Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act, a bill (still in committee), being sponsored by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). There is a link at the website for the Center for Responsible Lending (www.responsiblelending.org). Under ISSUES at right, click on OVERDRAFT LOANS and then SEND A LETTER.
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#156 Consumer Comment

This is a NEW FEE - Unavailable Funds Fee

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

Jim, You are still missing the point. It appears that you and a lot of others are under a false impression. I'll admit, I used to be as well. Wachovia customers have been complaining about this for a long time. I used to read these reports and just pass them off also. I too ASSUMED that these were nothing more than overdraft fees where the customer overdrafted their accounts. I have since learned that's not the case.

These are BRAND NEW FEES. They're called Unavailable Funds Fees. Customers like Clev do take responsibility. They understand that when you overdraft your account there's a penalty for that. They don't disagree with that. That penalty, with MOST banks is an OVERDRAFT fee.

Well, now with Wachovia, the customer is still charged the overdraft fee for the transaction that ACTUALLY overdrafts the account. But in ADDITION TO, ON TOP OF, ALONG WITH the overdraft fee, Wachovia customers are also charged ANOTHER fee. It's the Unavailable Funds Fee. What's this fee for? It's for the transaction that posted IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the overdrafting transaction. The Unavailable Funds Fee is because the previous transaction didn't leave enough money to cover the NEXT transaction that ACTUALLY overdrafts the account.

This is a BRAND NEW FEE. Many of you are under the false impression like I was that this is simply the OVERDRAFT fee itself. That's wrong.
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#157 Consumer Comment

Jim is absolutely right. Customers ALLOW this to happen!

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

NO RIPPOFF HERE!

Just irresponsible customers.

If people would keep an ACCURATE checkbook register, AND spend ONLY what is posted AND available, there would NEVER be an NSF fee! Guaranteed!!

I have NEVER paid an NSF fee in 30 years of banking!

In almost every case of NSF fees, the customer DOES NOT maintain an accurate checkbook register. Some don't even know what one is or how to maintain it! And, people need to actually read and understand the bank's funds availability policy!

The problem is that we have raised a generation of morons, and our schools do not teach this stuff anymore.

To the bank employee above:
If the customer would keep an accurate checkbook register, what the bank allows to be spent would be irrelevant!

The bank simply capitalizes on stupid and irresponsible people. No law against that!
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#158 UPDATE Employee

Clev, there are ways to avoid this...

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

The simplest as stated by many is not to overspend your account. You can have a code put on your account that will only allow you to be approved up to the available balance in your account. If you have $24.99 available and try to buy $25 or more at the store the card is declined. But then we get complaints about the customer being embarrassed because their card was declined. So there's people on all sides of this issue. But the bottom line is, as Jim and others have stated, don't overspend and no fees accessed.

As for the individual you posted about, I'm sure you were glad to find that article to support your side. However, there's no lying involved. The fees are generated because the customer used their debit card to spend more money than the had available. And the items are paid largest to smallest, which IS the way they actually posted. She may have meant not how they were actually done, but we've all been through the chronilogical versus presented & placed largest to smallest posting before.

Again, even with largest to smallest, if the customer does not overspend their account then they are not accessed any fees.
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#159 Consumer Comment

Let's Not Overstate Things

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

Clev, you are asking the bank to assume responsibility, but fail to assume any on your own. Sorry, but that isn't going to fly here. It is difficult to have us (let alone faceless and compassionless people like those in government) hold any sympathy for you when you caused the majority of the problems yourself. Banking reform begins with the individual.

If you personally want banks to stop raking in the fees, then you personally need to take the necessary steps not to mismanage your account. When you can do that and the bank doesn't rake in fees, then you personally have reformed your own situation and you've done it without changing one thing about the industry.

If you want to talk about the power of the people, there it is - encapsulated into one simple idea: managing your own accounts by yourself, and multiplying that by thousands. It has always been about education and proper management - and nothing else. When thousands of people begin to deny banks the NSF fees they're normally accustomed to get, then consumers will have more in their pocket to show for it.

It goes back to the simple idea of not spending money that is already spent; it is a simple idea, yet no one can explain why people don't understand this.
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#160 Consumer Comment

The UK is ahead of the US in holding banks accountable

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

Search on UTUBE using "OVERDRAFT CHARGES" which gives an informative account of how Britain is holding banks accountable for their overdraft fees.

and while you're at it .. there is a new documentary coming out, the trailer is also available on UTUBE: search on "Overdrawn! The Movie Trailer"

You can run your "Rated #1 in Customer Satisfaction" commercials 24/7 but that isn't going to maintain the charade for very long.
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#161 Consumer Comment

Wachovia Customers take their beef to U-TUBE

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

I love this ...

perform a google search on "BANK RIPOFF Wachovia August 3, 2007 Pt 1" (use the quotation marks)

And from one of your own employees on another site ...

Excerpt follows:

"Maria of White Plaines MD (12/31/07)
I am currently a Wachovia employee. I have just given my two week notice; all the complaints on this site are so very true. It's like I am employed by Satan, and I have to sell my soul (lie everyday) just to get a paycheck! I am tired of having to explain that YOU MADE A CHECK CARD PURCHASE, WE PUT THE FUNDS ON HOLD, HOWEVER, WE ALSO LET YOU MAKE ADDITIONAL PURCHASES, STILL USING THE FUNDS ON HOLD, AND IN THE END CHARGED YOU ALL THESE FEES, HOLDING THE TRANSACTIONS, AND PAY THEM FROM LARGEST TO SMALLEST, (NOT HOW THEY ACTUALLY POSTED), JUST TO GET $35 FOR EACH ITEM PAID! "


It's good to know that at least a few Wachovia employees still have a well-calibrated moral compass.
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#162 UPDATE Employee

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

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

Perception is everything. but each person's perception is different. You perceive this to be a rip off. Others who have responded to you perceive it to be you can't balance your register. So which is the real truth? I guess that depends on who'se looking at the situation.
All I've done is try to explain what happened. It that has helped galvanize you into a bank reform crusader, so be it. But I think your numbers are still a little off. Even looking at all the posts here there's not tens of thousands behind you.
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#163 Author of original report

What you fail to realize ...

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

is that the customer's perspective is EVERYTHING and it is a very dangerous thing to blatantly disregard the legitimate anger of customers that you have taken advantage of simply because of the new world we live in where each individual DOES have a voice.

In my particular case you have transformed an angry customer into an advocate for banking reform.

CONGRATULATIONS

Multiple that phenomenon a few tens of thousands of times and see how long you can continue this practice.
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#164 UPDATE Employee

Another swing and a miss for Edward...

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

Edward, the merchant takes full responsibility when they run your card through the machine. When a merchant runs it through two or three times, or they run it for $81 insteand of $51 that's all the merchant's fault and responsibility. The bank doesn't know if you made two purchases for the same amount or if you paid fro two meals at the restaurant, but it knows that the merchant is saying you did. The bank has the obligation of checking the request and seeing if it can be approved based on the information from the merchant and the available balance in your account at that moment. If it is approved it creates a hold and that money is spent and you get a lower available balance.

What you're thinking is when they items are batched the merchant is requesting the payment. That's when the item will post to your account. The information for the hold is processed when the merchant runs the card and is given an approval number.

As for your example, WRONG. The money is spent when you write the check and it is accepted. If the merchant chooses to not collect the money then it's not paid out of your account. But guess what? If your check fell behind the cash drawer and is found two months later and processed the merchant gets paid and you get fees if you didn't leave enough money in your account to cover that check. So if you don't leave enough money in your account to cover your debit card purchases you get fees also.

Again the difference being the use of the card with the credit card logo is guaranteed money for the merchant. So the money MUST be considered spent as soon as the approval is given.
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#165 Consumer Comment

Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

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

Yes indeed Ashleigh is exactly right. And now the employee Striderq has agreed. There are circumstances in which errors are made where the customer isn't at fault. Double holds by the merchant. Incorrect amounts. Tips, etc...

Duh! Can you say BATCH? Isn't this PRECISELY the reason that merchants send batches? When the merchant sends the batch in, that is when the merchant is verifying and confirming that this is a valid purchase for a valid amount and the merchant now wants their money. The merchant is NOW taking FULL responsibility for taking money from this cusotmer's account. But Wachovia seems to think they can charge overdraft fees BEFORE these HOLDS are sent in (batched).

If I write a check to a merchant, that money is spent the minute I write the check and hand it to the merchant, right? WRONG! Yes I can write a check, sign it and hand it to the merchant. The merchant can then proceed immediately to my bank or their bank, walk right up to the teller, show them my signed check and TEAR IT UP in the teller's face. Guess what? No money changed hands. It's just as if I had never writtend the check. No money was spent.

The same is true with HOLDS. The merchant places a HOLD on a card. Unless and until that merchant sends in the BATCH, no money has changed hands. Now, Striderq tells Clev and other customers to go after the merchant. Good Luck! You know why? The merchant is going to say 'What are you coming after me for? I DID NOT receive any of your money! The transaction was CANCELLED and I DID NOT request and demand your bank send me ONE DIME!'.

Once again, no money changed hands, yet Wachovia has already reaped the benefits of FRAUDULENT overdraft fees.
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#166 Consumer Comment

Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

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

Yes indeed Ashleigh is exactly right. And now the employee Striderq has agreed. There are circumstances in which errors are made where the customer isn't at fault. Double holds by the merchant. Incorrect amounts. Tips, etc...

Duh! Can you say BATCH? Isn't this PRECISELY the reason that merchants send batches? When the merchant sends the batch in, that is when the merchant is verifying and confirming that this is a valid purchase for a valid amount and the merchant now wants their money. The merchant is NOW taking FULL responsibility for taking money from this cusotmer's account. But Wachovia seems to think they can charge overdraft fees BEFORE these HOLDS are sent in (batched).

If I write a check to a merchant, that money is spent the minute I write the check and hand it to the merchant, right? WRONG! Yes I can write a check, sign it and hand it to the merchant. The merchant can then proceed immediately to my bank or their bank, walk right up to the teller, show them my signed check and TEAR IT UP in the teller's face. Guess what? No money changed hands. It's just as if I had never writtend the check. No money was spent.

The same is true with HOLDS. The merchant places a HOLD on a card. Unless and until that merchant sends in the BATCH, no money has changed hands. Now, Striderq tells Clev and other customers to go after the merchant. Good Luck! You know why? The merchant is going to say 'What are you coming after me for? I DID NOT receive any of your money! The transaction was CANCELLED and I DID NOT request and demand your bank send me ONE DIME!'.

Once again, no money changed hands, yet Wachovia has already reaped the benefits of FRAUDULENT overdraft fees.
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#167 Consumer Comment

Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

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

Yes indeed Ashleigh is exactly right. And now the employee Striderq has agreed. There are circumstances in which errors are made where the customer isn't at fault. Double holds by the merchant. Incorrect amounts. Tips, etc...

Duh! Can you say BATCH? Isn't this PRECISELY the reason that merchants send batches? When the merchant sends the batch in, that is when the merchant is verifying and confirming that this is a valid purchase for a valid amount and the merchant now wants their money. The merchant is NOW taking FULL responsibility for taking money from this cusotmer's account. But Wachovia seems to think they can charge overdraft fees BEFORE these HOLDS are sent in (batched).

If I write a check to a merchant, that money is spent the minute I write the check and hand it to the merchant, right? WRONG! Yes I can write a check, sign it and hand it to the merchant. The merchant can then proceed immediately to my bank or their bank, walk right up to the teller, show them my signed check and TEAR IT UP in the teller's face. Guess what? No money changed hands. It's just as if I had never writtend the check. No money was spent.

The same is true with HOLDS. The merchant places a HOLD on a card. Unless and until that merchant sends in the BATCH, no money has changed hands. Now, Striderq tells Clev and other customers to go after the merchant. Good Luck! You know why? The merchant is going to say 'What are you coming after me for? I DID NOT receive any of your money! The transaction was CANCELLED and I DID NOT request and demand your bank send me ONE DIME!'.

Once again, no money changed hands, yet Wachovia has already reaped the benefits of FRAUDULENT overdraft fees.
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#168 Consumer Comment

Yet Another Reason This is Wrong

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

Yes indeed Ashleigh is exactly right. And now the employee Striderq has agreed. There are circumstances in which errors are made where the customer isn't at fault. Double holds by the merchant. Incorrect amounts. Tips, etc...

Duh! Can you say BATCH? Isn't this PRECISELY the reason that merchants send batches? When the merchant sends the batch in, that is when the merchant is verifying and confirming that this is a valid purchase for a valid amount and the merchant now wants their money. The merchant is NOW taking FULL responsibility for taking money from this cusotmer's account. But Wachovia seems to think they can charge overdraft fees BEFORE these HOLDS are sent in (batched).

If I write a check to a merchant, that money is spent the minute I write the check and hand it to the merchant, right? WRONG! Yes I can write a check, sign it and hand it to the merchant. The merchant can then proceed immediately to my bank or their bank, walk right up to the teller, show them my signed check and TEAR IT UP in the teller's face. Guess what? No money changed hands. It's just as if I had never writtend the check. No money was spent.

The same is true with HOLDS. The merchant places a HOLD on a card. Unless and until that merchant sends in the BATCH, no money has changed hands. Now, Striderq tells Clev and other customers to go after the merchant. Good Luck! You know why? The merchant is going to say 'What are you coming after me for? I DID NOT receive any of your money! The transaction was CANCELLED and I DID NOT request and demand your bank send me ONE DIME!'.

Once again, no money changed hands, yet Wachovia has already reaped the benefits of FRAUDULENT overdraft fees.
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#169 UPDATE Employee

To Ashleigh...

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

You are correct, sometimes it is not the customers fault. That's why there are ways to find out what holds are on your account and ways to remove the holds.

Perfect world: the company that made the mistake would make it right for the customer, but we all know that's not going to happen. So about erroneous holds:

The easiest to fix is the double or triple swipe. Where the company says oh it didn't go through, let me run that again. If there are two or more holds for the same company and same amount, please call customer service and we can delete all but one of them. Please realize that if there were multiple purchases or the company sends through multiple pay requests that the company will be paid.

The wrong amount charged (as in your example) can be fixed. If a company representative tells us #1 they are not going to charge that amount ($81.98) and #2 gives us the approval code they received when they ran the card, the hold can be deleted.

This type of activity is why everyone should check online or automated phone system, to check for holds not to get their balance. The sooner that a hold like this is detected, the sooner it can be corrected and the less likely to cause fees.

However, there's actually one aspect of restaurant charges that wasn't mentioned that I'd like to bring up. A lot of restaurants, hair stylists, barbers, etc where people normally tip often have their machines preset to add an extra percentage to the approval request in case you leave a tip on your card. The item will post at the amount that you sign your receipt for, but if the machine is set at 20% and your bill is $100, the hold will be for $120. A lot of restaurant employees may not know this. It's basically an agreement between the card verifier and management. So if you eat out often, please learn the hold pattern of your favorite restaurant.

But in most cases the holds are created by valid purchases by the customer, and the money is spent as soon as the hold is approved. So keeping the accurate register is the best way to not have these fees accessed.
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#170 Consumer Comment

Question For Jim and Faron

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

DAY ONE:

Date.....Item.....Amt....Posted Bal.... Available balance
12-17....Prv Bal..$00....$100............$100
12-19....Check...$30....$ 70.............$ 70
12-19....Check...$25....$ 45.............$ 45
12-19....HOLD....$10....$ 45.............$ 35
12-19....HOLD....$02....$ 45.............$ 33
12-20....HOLD....$20....$ 45.............$ 13
12-20....HOLD....$20....$ 45............($ 7)

Stop and look at this ledger on day one. How many times did the customer overdraw their account? ONE. How many fees should the customer be charged based on this ledger on day one? ONE FEE. The customer knows they overdrew their account with ONE transaction, the LAST transaction and the customer UNDERSTANDS and ACCEPTS the ONE overdraft fee they will be charged. No problem.

After all processing, the customer EXPECTS the final ledger to look like this:

Date.....Item.....Amt....Posted Bal.... Available balance
12-17....Prv Bal..$00....$100............$100
12-19....Check...$30....$ 70.............$ 70
12-19....Check...$25....$ 45.............$ 45
12-20....Debit....$10....$ 35.............$ 35
12-20....Debit....$02....$ 33.............$ 33
12-21....Debit....$20....$ 13.............$ 13
12-21....Debit....$20....($ 7)............($ 7)
12-21....Fee......$35....($42)...........($42)

But instead, the final ledger looks like this:

Date.....Item.....Amt....Posted Bal.... Available balance
12-17....Prv Bal..$00....$100............$100
12-19....Check...$30....$ 70.............$ 70
12-19....Check...$25....$ 45.............$ 45
12-20....Debit....$10....$ 35.............$ 35
12-20....Debit....$02....$ 33.............$ 33
12-21....Debit....$20....$ 13.............$ 13
12-21....Debit....$20....($ 7)............($ 7)
12-21....Fees.....$140..($147)..........($147)

So what happened? I refer you back to the original ledger on day one, remember? Please explain how Wachovia charged FOUR overdraft fees when the ledger SHOWS only ONE transaction overdrew the account. The balance only goes negative after the ONE, FINAL, LAST transaction. Yet FOUR fees. How is that?

I already know the answer and I've explained how they do it NUMEROUS times. I'm just trying to point it out to you because you still don't get the complaint. So I'll explain it yet again. The customer is not disputing or complaining about overdraft fees in general. They know they overdrew their account. They expect and accept the ONE overdraft fee. But how does ONE fee magically turn into FOUR fees? Refer back to the day one ledger.

Many of you keep blindly going back to generic answers. 'If you overdraw your account you should be charged overdraft fees'. That's not the complaint. You're giving an answer that is correct IN GENERAL, but you're answering the WRONG question. The question is how can you be charged FOUR fees, when only ONE transaction overdrew the account, CLEARLY displayed in the ledger.
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#171 Consumer Comment

It's NOT always the customer's fault!

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

I work as a waitress at a very busy restraunt. There were occurrences when I first started (and was just learning) where I would accidently run the card for the wrong amount, the wrong tab, etc. When I told my manager, he said that it was no big deal and to just re-run the card for the correct amount, then have the customer sign the correct slip and throw away the wrong slip. Then they only collect the right amount and the hold drops off the customer's account after "X" number of days. The same thing has happened to me at other places, but I've always been lucky enough to have more than enough money in my account (and I use an amazing and fair credit union, not a chain bank).

At the time, I thought it was no big deal. In retrospect, this could have caused someone to "overdraft" their account through no fault of their own. They wouldn't even know that I had mistakenly ran their card twice until they see the two holds on their account (someone who only keeps a register and does not use online banking would have probably no idea why there was an OD on their account).

The other problem with this is that, if I punched in an extra number when I was entering the amount to run the card for (for example, the bill was $51.95, and I swipe it for $81.98, then re-swipe it for $51.95 and only have the customer sign the correct credit slip), I highly doubt the bank would be willing to remove the incorrect hold because it's not for the same amount (although I may be wrong).

While I'm a firm believer in keeping an accurate register, this method of charging people for overdrafts before the charge actually posts is ludacris.
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#172 Consumer Comment

Clev and I know Edward sure like to beat a dead horse

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

It's real simple folks, if you have a hold from a merchant that shouldn't be there, then go back to that merchant and tell him to remove it. Otherwise, if you get an overdraft, you overspent. It doesn't matter if its pending or cleared, you OVERSPENT therefore you incur ovredraft charges. Either play by the rules or keep your money at home and use money orders.
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#173 Consumer Comment

Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

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

For this reason Edward: You cannot spend money that is already spent. The fact it is on hold means the money has been spent. There is nothing vague about that concept/principle, and I'm afraid it's a specious argument IMHO to somehow pretend in a world with debit cards that posted balances have any meaning any longer. It does not. Available balance is the ONLY thing that has any relevance today to the customer - posted balance is simply to allow the customer to try and reconcile any potential holds or deposits pending that are also not available, and then reconcile all of that (for a different reason) with the checkbook.

Clev, banks will never make things fair for a customer in their eyes; that's why no one likes dealing with them. They are all the same, with the possible exception of a credit union (No Edward, I'm not certain WAMU would treat a customer any better than a bank would).... However, the point you raise begs another question. When banks make legitimate mistakes, they will make corrections to an account. When banks record legitimate OD fees because customers don't care to track what is in their account, and spend money they've already spent, I don't understand why it's a matter of the bank being unfair?
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#174 Consumer Comment

Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

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

For this reason Edward: You cannot spend money that is already spent. The fact it is on hold means the money has been spent. There is nothing vague about that concept/principle, and I'm afraid it's a specious argument IMHO to somehow pretend in a world with debit cards that posted balances have any meaning any longer. It does not. Available balance is the ONLY thing that has any relevance today to the customer - posted balance is simply to allow the customer to try and reconcile any potential holds or deposits pending that are also not available, and then reconcile all of that (for a different reason) with the checkbook.

Clev, banks will never make things fair for a customer in their eyes; that's why no one likes dealing with them. They are all the same, with the possible exception of a credit union (No Edward, I'm not certain WAMU would treat a customer any better than a bank would).... However, the point you raise begs another question. When banks make legitimate mistakes, they will make corrections to an account. When banks record legitimate OD fees because customers don't care to track what is in their account, and spend money they've already spent, I don't understand why it's a matter of the bank being unfair?
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#175 Consumer Comment

Sufficient Balance = Available Balance

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

For this reason Edward: You cannot spend money that is already spent. The fact it is on hold means the money has been spent. There is nothing vague about that concept/principle, and I'm afraid it's a specious argument IMHO to somehow pretend in a world with debit cards that posted balances have any meaning any longer. It does not. Available balance is the ONLY thing that has any relevance today to the customer - posted balance is simply to allow the customer to try and reconcile any potential holds or deposits pending that are also not available, and then reconcile all of that (for a different reason) with the checkbook.

Clev, banks will never make things fair for a customer in their eyes; that's why no one likes dealing with them. They are all the same, with the possible exception of a credit union (No Edward, I'm not certain WAMU would treat a customer any better than a bank would).... However, the point you raise begs another question. When banks make legitimate mistakes, they will make corrections to an account. When banks record legitimate OD fees because customers don't care to track what is in their account, and spend money they've already spent, I don't understand why it's a matter of the bank being unfair?
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#176 Consumer Comment

ok .. reality check ...

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

Using accounting rules historically applied to banking transactions my account would never have been assessed the OD charges noted in the original post.

Using Wachovia's previously documented "creative accounting" allowed them to assess $490 in overdraft charges when they NEVER ACTUALLY PAID OUT ANY ITEM ASSOCIATED WITH AN OVERDRAFT. It was all VOODOO ACCOUNTING.

So let me see ... I work hard for my money. A not-insubstantial fraction of my monthly compensation disappears because of my bank's trickery regarding timing and ordering of transactions, AND definition of "true" account balance - that is - they create an artificial "POTENTIAL" OD situation which they then use to categorize a bunch of following transactions as ODs when they wouldn't otherwise have been ODs ... and you don't see anything UNETHICAL in this practice ?

I return to my previous statement ...

Only a complete bureaucrat or white collar sociopath would not recognized the ethical conflicts associated with these practices and the resulting customer exploitation.

Imagine how this would fly with potential clients. "Dear customer - please do your banking with us. We will safeguard your money .. well .. only so far as you are smart enough not to fall into any of the traps we have laid to help us increase our profits. Oh and btw if you should fall into any of these traps we will add insult to injury by infering that you are financially irresponsible and well ... just not smart enough to understand why we are perfectly justified in taking advantage of you in this way."

IT'S TIME TO HAVE A REALITY CHECK

Your OD policies and creative accounting are PREDATORY PRACTICES for which you will eventually be held accountable (hopefully sooner rather than later).
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#177 Author of original report

From another insider re: customer loyalty and OD fees ....

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

Varolii Corporation which provides customer OD notification services to banks has this blurb in it's brochure ...

Excerpt follows:

According to Forrester Research, "Of all the factors we tested, customer advocacy - doing what's right for the customer, and not just the firm's bottom line - is the most highly correlated with consumers' likelihood to consider their banks for future purchases."

or put another way ....

DOING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS IS ULTIMATELY YOUR BEST WAY TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN CUSTOMERS
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#178 Consumer Comment

Avoiding and Dodging The Issue

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

Clev, You read my mind as I was about to post the exact same response to Striderq, and I've already mentioned this to him over and over again, to use his own phrase '(to beat a dead horse)'. He is doing a GOOD job of dodging the complaint. He keeps going back to the GENERIC response, 'don't overdraft your account, no fee'.

Instead of re-posting the EXACT wording of Wachovia's overdraft section from
their Deposit Agreement, simply re-read my earlier post on this thread - 'The Deposit Agreement Caused the RIPOFF'. And I ask Striderq to clarify for everyone where it CLEARLY states in this wording that 'sufficient funds' NOW MEANS available balance, when up to now 'sufficient funds' HAS ALWAYS MEANT 'posted balance'. Still no answer to this question and this is the heart of the ripoff. And as Clev mentioned, most of the other banks charge OD fees only from the posted balance.

Now to Striderq's reference to speeding tickets. Many others have used this the very popular comparison. Well here's an idea. How about police officers start taking EVERYONE to directly to jail when they're stopped for speeding, no questions asked, no exceptions. Legally they can do this. It's called 'probable cause'. Something that's open to interpretation and fabrication. When you stare at the officer with a glare that can seem threatening, that's probable cause. When the officer doesn't like the way you're reaching into the compartment for your license and registration and he thinks you're reaching for a gun, that's called 'probable cause'.

So, in this scenario, if police officers start taking EVEYONE directly to jail for speeding, you know what my suggestion is? Don't speed and you won't go to jail. Simple. That's how ridiculous Striderq and everyone else sounds when you use the same logic concerning this obvious ripoff practice of Wachovia with it's DOUBLE overdraft fees.

With that cleared up, I repeat for the umteenth time, please explain how Clev and all other Wachovia customers missed the part of the Deposit Agreement that says 'sufficient funds' means AVAILABLE balance, not POSTED balance, when all of them read and 'thought' they understood the Deposit Agreement.
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#179 Consumer Comment

It Is Good To Clarify

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

because if Wachovia is the only bank basing OD fees on available balance - then they are the ONLY bank that is doing it correctly.

Consider this very simple and easy to understand example: If I have $200 in my account, spend $100 on a widget for which I pay with my debit card, and the transaction is placed on hold, the balance in my account is NOT $200. The correct balance is $100. If I then spend $120 on my debit card for a doodad and that transaction is not held, the balance in my account is NOT $80. The correct balance in the account is -$55 (-$20 balance - $35 OD fee).

This is a crystal clear example of why there are so many OD complaints on ROR, because so many say, "hey, I have money in my account - how can I get dinged for an NSF?" The correct answer is, NO you did not have money available in the account. The moral is you cannot spend money you've already spent, and that is what hold money is - it is spent money, and it should be a reconciling item with your checking balance. Until banks start offering education to their customers (and Clev, you need to include yourself in this) on the proper use of debit cards, and how to properly account for transactions, keeping a written transaction of every debit card use with the assumption that the charge will clear every single time (just as a check would), then you will never incur an OD fee/NSF fee or whatever we're calling it is the only way to avoid these OD fees.

I guess I'm waiting for anyone to defend their actions of spending money that is already spent.
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#180 Author of original report

There is an intentional disconnect from certain parties ....

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

It is really quite amusing how you intentionally keep overlooking the PRIMARY issue and that is how Wachovia assesses whether or not there are adequate funds in an account, the DECIDING element as to whether an NSF or OD charge will be assessed.

Wachovia, unlike the MAJORITY of BANKS, bases their assessment on the "AVAILABLE FUNDS" and not the "POSTED BALANCE". This is EXTREMELY PROBLEMATIC because as has been driven home REPEATEDLY, there are INNUMERABLE INSTANCES where a check card HOLD does not result in a COMPLETED TRANSACTION. Often enough, check card holds are established in error (I cited an online complaint of a customer to whom this happened). In that instance the merchant who made the check card hold does not profit because eventually it expires. The customer is never charged the amount of the check card hold because it expires, but that doesn't stop Wachovia from using the check card hold to trigger an avalanche of NSF and/or OD charges based on the check card hold even when there would not have otherwise been an OVERDRAFT on the account.

This point was outlined very clearly in the online MSN Money article entitled "When Banks Turn Evil".

Keep trying to muddy the waters and I will keep clarifying the situation.

I should thank you for keeping this complaint current so that more "eyeballs" will see it.
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#181 Consumer Comment

When filing a complaint with a bank's regulator agency...

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

keep in mind that the only thing that they will do is determine if the bank followed the applicable regulations. They won't actually get involved in resolving your complaint.
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#182 UPDATE Employee

Yes completely avoidable...

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

Because billpays and auto debits do not appear on the account until they post. But comsumers seem to realize that when they scedule a billpay or auto debit that the money is spent and deduct it from their account. they seem to realize when they write a check the money is spent and deduct it from their account. Why is there a disconnect when they use their debit card, they feel the money is not spent until it posts to their account? So again (to beat a dead horse) if you do not overspend you do not get charged fees.

Wachovia is not the only bank that does this. But if you're going to do business with a company it is reasonable that you should learn the company policies. If I have used NAPA for my car part purchases and then decide to use PepBoys, then I need to learn and accept Pepboys policies in things like pricing, core charges, returns, etc. If I want an account at Wachovia, BOA, WaMu or any other bank it is reasonable that I would learn their policies on things like deposit holds, funds availability and OD fees. If I feel that I can't live with the policies I can go to another bank. If I know the policies and choose to stay with the bank then I shouldn't be surprised or complain when they enforce their policies.

Every company is going to have complaints. A company can not please every single customer. But the policies are what they are. If you can keep a register and not overspend so you are not charged the fees, then you don't care what the fees are. If you do have a situation and overspend and find out the fees, there's two possible courses of action. #1: Make sure that you don't overspend and have the fees imposed again. #2: Continue overspending your account knowing the fees will be accessed. Rather like the fines for speeding. I think the fines are rather steep, but they are completely avoidable by not speeding.
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#183 Author of original report

INFORMATION: Where to file a complaint against a financial institution (from Federal Reserve brochure)

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

I found information on the Federal Reserve Board website which lists the bodies that accept consumer complaints against banks.

They are:

For state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System:
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
Mail Stop 801
20th and C Streets NW
Washington, DC 20551
(202) 452-3693
www.federalreserve.com
See "How to file a consumer complaint" on their website

For state-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System:
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Consumer ResponseCus Center
2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64108
(877) 275-3342 (toll-free)
www.fdic.gov

Federally-chartered credit unions (those with FEDERAL in their name):
National Credit Union Administration
Office of External Affairs
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
(703) 518-6330
www.ncua.org
(For state-chartered credit unions contact the state regulatory agency.)

National Banks (banks with NATIONAL in their name or "NA" AFTER their name):
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Unit
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010
(800) 613-6743 (toll-free)
www.occ.treas.gov

Federal Savings Associations and some State Savings Associations:
Office of Thrift Supervisor
Consumer Programs
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
(800) 842-6929 (toll-free)
www.ots.treas.gov
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#184 Consumer Suggestion

Check Cards

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

I don't bank with Wachovia. I will say from experience when you put your pin number (especially with gas stations) in, the money is taken out immediately and posted that night, which really helps. Granted, using a check register helps too. The merchant can't delay a debit, they can delay a credit though.

There are so many money programs out there that there is no excuse for consumers to not keep a register with everything they do. It isn't hard, if you don't want a program to use, use pen and paper. It isn't rocket science.

I know this doesn't help much with the OP but to me if he had used debit instead of credit (and I know sometimes you can't do this), it would make things easier for consumers.

Mike
Waldorf, MD
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#185 Author of original report

Yes .. completely avoidable ...

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

if you stop banking with Wachovia OR educate yourself on all the wiley strategies Wachovia uses to generate FEE INCOME and as the author of "When Banks Turn Evil" suggested, keep a deposit of $500 in one's account to remove all income-generating potential for Wachovia. Frankly, who wants to bank with a company they can't trust ?

Apparently few consumers as the innumerable complaints on my3cents.com indicate.

One in particular stood out: Perform a google search on "How to file a complaint against Wachovia - Double Overdraft Fees"

The poster points out that one can send a complaint to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau of the department of the treasury.

For anyone in the financial services industry, are there additional oversight bodies that one could contact when complaining about a financial institution ?

As a reminder for those with similar complaints against Wachovia (or other banks), the Center for Responsible Lending website has a link so you can ask your local congress person to support HR 946 which is intended to generate legislation that would force banks to reform their "overdraft lending" and fee assessment policies.
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#186 Consumer Comment

That Doesn't Address The Issue

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

I'll keep saying it in as many different ways as possible. Not that you don't understand because I already know you do. You're just doing an EXCELLENT job of defending something that otherwise can't be defended.

NO ONE is disputing the fact that you shouldn't be charged A FEE when you overdraw your account. THE RIPOFF is when you are charged FEES for transactions that DO NOT overdraw the account. Yes the fees are completely avoidable. But you're dancing around the issue.

Basically here's what Wachovia is telling all of it's customers like Clev - 'Because we see where you have some FUTURE transactions that are ON HOLD and will be posting TOMORROW, and because these FUTURE transactions will overdraw your account, we're going to go ahead and charge you overdraft fees for OTHER transactions POSTING TODAY, even though these other transactions posting today had NOTHING to do with overdrawing the account.

With that ripoff logic, why stop with debit card HOLDS? Why not continue on with things like automatic bill pay? Why not charge overdraft fees for transactions that POST and CLEAR the account balance but they don't leave enough money to cover that automatic bank draft that Wachovia knows is scheduled for next week?

Now let's talk about this punishment. The high fees are meant to be punitive in order to pursuade the customer not to overdraw the account. But HYPOCRITICALLY, let's BOMBARD the customer with things such as courtesy overdraft, or overdraft buffers and then pass out and mail out brochures basically ENCOURAGING the customer to overdraft the account. How about ABOLISHING all of these features, where the customer can't overdraw the account at all? How's that for being PUNITIVE?
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#187 Consumer Comment

And what about...

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

The bottom line is these fees are completely avoidable. It's just that people do not keep a register or they believe that they can make the purchase and then make a deposit into the account to cover everything. The fees are high as they are meant to be punitive in nature to get people to avoid them, but the control is with the account owner. And I have seen these fees on accounts of people that do not live paycheck to paycheck. They have multiple accounts with money in them, they just forgot to record a transaction or two and did not transfer money before spending it.
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#188 Author of original report

It's not just a matter of education ...

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

The reality is that there are innumerable circumstances where a check card hold is established and the transaction is never completed.

Therefore banks should assess NSF & OD charges based on actual POSTED balance. It is the right and responsible thing to do. PERIOD


I think the check card should be abolished as well. Let us not be naive in assuming that banks did not have any idea these kinds of circumstances would arise after the introduction of the check cards. I know how software is validated. The banks ran simulations based on prior transactions and "tweaked" their algorithms to maximize their profits. What is indefensible is that they persist in defending these practices in the face of the impact it is having on their customer's finances. I am well-compensated and able to ride out "glitch" in my finances. What about the family of four that is living paycheck to paycheck ? Wachovia's policy ensures their mortgage payment goes through (nominally) but what about putting food on their table the rest of the month ?


Only a complete bureaucrat or a white collar sociopath would defend these egregious policies.
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#189 Consumer Comment

There Hasn't Been a Big Spotlight on This Yet

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

Clev, I had previously read that same blog from the lawyer myself as it was referenced in the MSN article you mentioned in your OP. I found the blog both interesting and funny.

And the author of that MSN article mentions Wachovia by name and says that this practice of charging overdraft fees for HOLDS is quote - 'Where Wachovia differs from many of its banking brethren'. This is the point I was trying to make with Striderq. I would reason to guess this author is comparing Wachovia with it's 'banking brethren' meaning the other top ten banks on Wachovia's level. In other words, it's banking equals.

That's why this practice still absolutely stuns me. And the only defense from Striderq so far is customers like you signed and agreed to this. And that's where, unfortunately I have to agree with him. You signed and agreed to let Wachovia screw you over. Though it's probably apparent to everyone that the wording didn't make it clear what you were signing and agreeing to. This isn't about not having legal knowledge or not being able to translate legar jargon. This simply about the same phrase 'sufficient funds' which has always referred to ONE THING, now it refers to SOMETHING ELSE, and customers like you were supposed to be psychic and read Wachovia's mind and automatically pick up on the difference.

Who in their RIGHT MIND would knowingly sign and agree to let a bank screw them over like this?
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#190 Consumer Comment

Just Goes to Show You

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

Clev, you're right that it's not a matter of irresponsibility. It is a matter of not being adequately educated, as the poster whose testimonial you cut and pasted. That person arrogantly believed his education would serve him well and with the position this person has and the money made, I suspect this person thought he knew what he was doing. It turns out, like everything else in life, it really is a matter of how you apply the education, and this person did not. It is one of the reasons why I believe the bank should have additional responsibility toward educating users of their various cash instruments, and the number one thing they should teach people is - assume there is no float - EVER. The minute you pull that card out, you MUST assume the cash is SPENT and you record the transaction that way, even if the cash doesn't leave the account for several days. If it doesn't leave immediately, it is nothing more than a reconciling item between your register and your account balance.

I believe there are very few people in this country who have adequate education in this area - yourself included. I am not slighting you in saying it - you are just a part of the larger population that doesn't know. Certainly anyone who racks up hundreds of dollars in NSF fees and complains about it is a part of that population. I think the best way to deal with the issue is to get rid of the check card/debit card because people don't know how to properly use them, or account for the transactions properly. The bank is the biggest profiteer from the use of check card/debit card and no one else.
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#191 Author of original report

A whole litany of complaint is available here:

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

You think this is a simple problem of customer irresponsibility? Read this collection of customer horror stories (many involving Wachovia).

Read the following at Wesabe:

Perform a google search on: "USA Today on bank overdraft policies"
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#192 Author of original report

In good company ...

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

Apparently I'm in good company since this lawyer (a FORMER Wachovia customer) with $8K/month deposits also ran into Wachovia's predatory overdraft charging problem.

--------------------

Excerpt from Wesabe Smart Banking blog from "haberschmidt": (Note in particular the final paragraph.)

--------------------

Unfortunately, the practice is sleazier than simply paying the largest transactions first, as I discovered today after 1.5 hours on the phone with Wachovia. They also use the overdraft fees to create more overdrafts.

I have been sidetracked by a family funeral over the last few days, and finally logged into my Wachovia account this morning to take a peek before depositing my monthly funds. I found that I was showing a negative $235 balance. Part of that balance is comprised of $245 of overdraft charges (yes, I said $245). It does not take a rocket scientist question why the overdraft fees are larger than the negative balance, since logic suggests there would otherwise be a positive balance. It turns out the first tool they use to increase overdraft fees involves transaction timing.

Transaction Timing. Apparently, when I use my Wachovia check card as a credit card (not as a debit card putting in a pin), although the transaction takes several days to post to my account and although Wachovia also does not pay any funds to the merchant for several days, they use that transaction immediately to calculate for overdraft. Translation, they give you no float even though they pay nothing out for a while. So, several small transactions that are still pending (literally $5 to $20 each) is what they claim are creating the $245 of overdraft fees they are charging over the last two days. It doesn't matter that I was going to the bank today to deposit $8k in cash and that those funds would be there and available before the pending transactions clear. I don't know if that is the industry norm or not, but I don't like the method. It creates a situation where the bank charges an overdraft fee when, by normal industry practice, they have not paid the funds to the merchant and wouldn't have even if it was in the account. So, from a purely cash flow point of view, they are charging $245 when there was never an actual overdraft. It gets worse from there though.

Transaction Order. After working through that, I then discovered their second tool to create or increase overdraft fees, transaction arrangement. As mentioned in the USA Today article, they arrange the transactions to process the largest ones first and create a negative balance quickest. That usually leaves several smaller transactions and leades to more fees. I spoke with banker friend today who also told me that the company pitch was to do it for the benefit of the customer so that they don't bounce their mortgage. Personally, I think this is bogus, and my friend admitted the same. A clever MBA pointed out precisely what happened with me. If you account for the transactions from highest to lowest, you significantly increase the odds of creating more overdrafts. In my case, if we start with the premise that the Transaction Timing method above is the right way to calculate the balance, after adding in all current and pending transactions in the order they hit the account, there would have been four overdrafts, totaling $140. I am not even arguing that they should order it smallest to largest, which would favor the account holder from a fees perspective, in my case yielding only two fees. However, my personal point of view is that there was never an overdraft, so that is $140 too much. But, it gets even sleazier from there.

Timing of Fees. The third way that Wachovia is shafting its customers is by manipulating the overdraft fee application to the account balance. In my case, they applied the overdraft fee in such a way that it created three more overdrafts. For a simple example, assume I have $100 in my account and I have $130 in pending transactions, comprised of one transaction for $100 and three $10 transactions. Assume the three $10 transactions came first. We've already seen that the bank can create three overdrafts instead of one, by paying the $100 transaction first and then charging an overdraft fee for each of the three $10 transactions. With Wachovia, this would be $105 of fees on $30 of overdraft - that ratio enough is sickening. Here is where it gets really unscrupulous. The straightforward way to charge the customer for this would be to pay the $100 transaction out of available funds which is what decreases the balance making nothing available for the three $10 transactions. Then the bank can flag the next three charges as overdrafts, cover them and charge its overdraft fee, leaving the customer with a balance of negative $135 ($105 in fees + $30 in transactions).

This is not what Wachovia does though. Instead, once it identifies the $105 in overdraft fees (which would not occur until AFTER the original $100 transaction is paid out), it backs that out of the available balance and pays it to itself BEFORE paying the original $100 transaction that precipitated the overdraft. By doing this, there are then also no funds available to pay the $100 transaction, and it nets them another $35 overdraft fee and leaves the customer with a negative balance of $170. I am told by my banker friend that the bank says it pays itself first because that protects the bank against the customer who says "Forget this, I'm going across the street to the other bank and opening accounts there instead of paying fees." However, she also tells me that in reality, the banks report people who do not cover their negative balances to an interbank reporting agency, that each bank checks it before opening the new accounts, and that they wouldn't open the new accounts for the customer until the prior bank is paid off or removes the report. If that is the case, this argument doesn't hold water. In my circumstance, because they were all small transaction values, Wachovia was able to use this method to generate three more overdraft fees. I am absolutely appalled at this business practice.

All told, Wachovia was able to use these three methods (a) to create an "overdraft" where one didn't exist from a cash flow perspective by playing with timing; (b) manipulating the order of posting transactions to make those fees apply to four transactions instead of the two that may have been otherwise been overdrafts, assuming Wachovia's initial calculating based on transaction timing is proper; and (c) turning those four overdraft charges into seven by paying themselves overdraft fees before covering any other transaction, including those that come before there is any overdraft. As the net effect, there should have been zero fees for overdrafts, but Wachovia ratcheted it up to 7 overdrafts for $245 in fees. I am absolutely appalled, and it has nothing to do with indignation over payment, since I ended up resolving the overdraft protection issue at the branch level and getting the fees removed.

Before that ultimate resolution though, to add insult to injury, Wachovia's customer service reps told me on the phone that they were unable to transfer me to some other department to address my concerns about whether the fees should have been assessed at all since I had overdraft on the account, because (in their words) "they failed to educate me on how their fee structure works." If you don't understand it, we can send you on to those other folks. It was condescending and was said in a confrontational way. I was so torn between outrage and outright laughter. I have an undergraduate degree in accounting, an Ivy league law degree, and am a practicing corporate and securities attorney. My understanding of their fees is just fine.

Although the branch corrected the overdraft protection issue and reversed the fees, I am closing my accounts. I believe strongly in voting with my dollars and I don't want to belong to a bank that takes advantage of its customers in this way. It strikes me as a predatory practice, and the kind of thing of which Congress should be aware when it reviews regulation on the credit card companies and other financial industry practices.
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#193 UPDATE Employee

The hotel hold...

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

Yes, the authorization of the hotel charge may have stayed for weeks until it expired. But any hold on your debit card is going to expire in about 3 businees days. There are very few that last longer than that. Example: if you create the hold on Monday by making a purchase, the hold (if not claimed) will "expire" after processing Wednesday, meaning that amount goes back to your available balance.
And I find it interesting that although you "knew" the comments about the hotel hold and unavailable holds not being "unique" to Wachovia were not true, you still made them. You're usually much better in your use of language. it seems you were just trying to slam Wachovia with baseless complaints.
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#194 UPDATE Employee

The hotel hold...

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

Yes, the authorization of the hotel charge may have stayed for weeks until it expired. But any hold on your debit card is going to expire in about 3 businees days. There are very few that last longer than that. Example: if you create the hold on Monday by making a purchase, the hold (if not claimed) will "expire" after processing Wednesday, meaning that amount goes back to your available balance.
And I find it interesting that although you "knew" the comments about the hotel hold and unavailable holds not being "unique" to Wachovia were not true, you still made them. You're usually much better in your use of language. it seems you were just trying to slam Wachovia with baseless complaints.
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#195 UPDATE Employee

The hotel hold...

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

Yes, the authorization of the hotel charge may have stayed for weeks until it expired. But any hold on your debit card is going to expire in about 3 businees days. There are very few that last longer than that. Example: if you create the hold on Monday by making a purchase, the hold (if not claimed) will "expire" after processing Wednesday, meaning that amount goes back to your available balance.
And I find it interesting that although you "knew" the comments about the hotel hold and unavailable holds not being "unique" to Wachovia were not true, you still made them. You're usually much better in your use of language. it seems you were just trying to slam Wachovia with baseless complaints.
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#196 Consumer Comment

More Good Points

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

You're exactly right about the those businesses that do not create holds. However, I just chose a bad example, but I'm certain you understood the point I was trying to make. And there isn't any doubt that's what happened to Clev here.

And regarding Lasalle bank, you're also correct that it proves that Wachovia is not alone in this practice of charging OD fees for HOLDS. However, when I made the statement that this practice appears to be unique to Wachovia, it's my fault but I wasn't clear. I was only focusing on what I consider the top national banks, specifically the top ten. From those in that group, Wachovia is the only one that I know of that does this. I'm not saying the others don't. But if they do, I'm not aware of it because apparently there's not as much of an uproar about it as is evident from Wachovia customers, like Clev here.

Also, let me make it clear that there are two issues here I'm trying to point out about this practice. First I think it's a ripoff to charge OD fees for holds when they haven't posted yet. But if the bank wants to charge an OD fee for the SINGLE HOLD that caused it that's a little bit easier to accept, though I still think it's a ripoff.

However, what I cannot understand AT ALL is the bank charging OD fees for OTHER transactions, unrelated to the HOLD that caused the overdraft. Especially when those other transactions cleared the posted balance. I just don't get that at all, and I can truly understand Clev's outrage, since that's exactly what happened to him. And it's even more of a ripoff that Wachovia is doing this by using clever and crafty wording in the Deposit Agreement that doesn't clearly indicate it until customers like Clev are burned by it. Only then does it become crystal clear.
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#197 Author of original report

Actually .. you're wrong

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

Recently I stayed in a hotel with a friend and used a credit card as a "nominal" form of payment when I signed in. The card was verified and no charges were put on hold "initially". When I checked out the hotel put on hold my portion of the bill despite the fact that the total tab was paid using an alternative form of payment.

It took a few weeks for that hold to "expire" so Edward is correct. Regardless of the specific circumstances he cited, I'm sure his intention was to show that there are innumerable examples of situations where a customer is not aware of a hold.

I was not aware of the hold applied against my CC until I checked my CC statement online. If I had used my check card you can see how the hold might have triggered "potential" OD charges. Because these situations are frequent, using the "available" balance to assess fees is WRONG. Wachovia should use the posted balance. PERIOD. FULL STOP.
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#198 UPDATE Employee

A swing and a miss...

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

Edward there's four types of businesses that DO NOT create holds. They are: gas staions; airline tickets; vehicle rentals and hotels/motels. These companies will "verify" your card. If you are making a hotel reservation that will run $300, the company will verify if you have $300 available when you make the reservation. It does not go on hold. several reasons: as you mentioned how far out you make the reservation; some hotels add a "cushion" to include any possible extras (pay per view, room service, etc) and the fact that the amount due at checkout can be vastly different then the amount quoted when reserving. Maybe got a discount, upgraded room, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: I've been told that some gas staions will create a hold for $75 or $100 (whatever total amount they'll let you buy) if you use your card as a debit card. I have not seen this myself but, it is posted on some companies pumps. So please be careful where you purchase gas.
And yes I can see the correlation, but again if they don't overspend their accounts it doesn't matter what types of fees are charged for whatever.
The reason I mentioned Lasalle is you have posted a couple of times that this is unique to wachovia. It is not unique and will probably be instituted by more banks. So please folks: keep those registers and keep your money in your account for your use.
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#199 UPDATE Employee

A swing and a miss...

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

Edward there's four types of businesses that DO NOT create holds. They are: gas staions; airline tickets; vehicle rentals and hotels/motels. These companies will "verify" your card. If you are making a hotel reservation that will run $300, the company will verify if you have $300 available when you make the reservation. It does not go on hold. several reasons: as you mentioned how far out you make the reservation; some hotels add a "cushion" to include any possible extras (pay per view, room service, etc) and the fact that the amount due at checkout can be vastly different then the amount quoted when reserving. Maybe got a discount, upgraded room, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: I've been told that some gas staions will create a hold for $75 or $100 (whatever total amount they'll let you buy) if you use your card as a debit card. I have not seen this myself but, it is posted on some companies pumps. So please be careful where you purchase gas.
And yes I can see the correlation, but again if they don't overspend their accounts it doesn't matter what types of fees are charged for whatever.
The reason I mentioned Lasalle is you have posted a couple of times that this is unique to wachovia. It is not unique and will probably be instituted by more banks. So please folks: keep those registers and keep your money in your account for your use.
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#200 Consumer Comment

Great Point Striderq

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

The credit card over limit fee is a great example. That is a ripoff and you recognize this. What Wachovia customers are saying is the unavailable funds fee charge is in this same category. Can you see the correlation?

With that said. You are exactly right and I admit my mistake in my last post. What Wachovia is doing is NOT WRONG, because they have told the customers ahead of time that they were going to do it. And you also keep saying that Wachovia is not the only bank doing this and you mention Lasalle bank as an example. Just because everyone is doing something that doesn't make it right. Yes it's legal, but still this doesn't stop the customer from FEELING that it is a ripoff.

But I'll move on. You say the bottom line is if you don't overspend your account you won't have a problem. Let me give you yet another example. Let's say you make a hotel reservation, of course they're going to place a HOLD on your bank card for the entire length of your stay, but it's a month away. That HOLD causes your AVAILABLE balance to go negative, you have charges that come in a post to a POSITIVE posted balance but you're charge unavailable funds fees for them because of the Hotel HOLD. Then you cancel the Hotel reservation, remember it was a week away. You didn't receive anything and the merchant didn't give you anything. No money or merchandise changes hands, but you were still charged fees for something that never posted.

Sounds kind of like what happened to Clev in this OP.
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#201 UPDATE Employee

Again, Edward you're wrong...

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

Admitting guilt can only be done when something wrong, sinful, etc has been done. There is nothing wrong, sinful, illegal, etc with these fees so there is no GUILT to admit. But nice try.
And the last post was telling Clev and others that if they don't take their accounts below zero they don't have to worry about these fees because they won't be charged. just like if you don't drive over the speed limit you don't have to worry about the fines for speeding. They exist, but if you don't put expose yourself to them then they don't affect you.
And again this charging of unavailable funds fees is not unique to Wachovia. By searching for "overdraft" here in ROR and then looking at Lasalle bank #295070 which clearly states that they were charged for unavailable funds fees and then overdraft fees when those items posted. So since there's at least one other bank doing this, it can not be unique to Wachovia. Additionally, reading some of the other reports here indicate that other banks are using this process but it's not as clearly written as in the Lasalle post.
But in reality the bottom line is if the account is not overspend, it doesn't matter because the fees are not charged. I think it's wrong for credit cards to charge a late fee that puts you over your limit and then charge an overlimit fee, but you know what. Happens everyday at every card I know of. Solution don't be late with payments, you're not charged any fees. Seems simple to me. The solution to this is simple too.
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#202 UPDATE Employee

Again, Edward you're wrong...

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

Admitting guilt can only be done when something wrong, sinful, etc has been done. There is nothing wrong, sinful, illegal, etc with these fees so there is no GUILT to admit. But nice try.
And the last post was telling Clev and others that if they don't take their accounts below zero they don't have to worry about these fees because they won't be charged. just like if you don't drive over the speed limit you don't have to worry about the fines for speeding. They exist, but if you don't put expose yourself to them then they don't affect you.
And again this charging of unavailable funds fees is not unique to Wachovia. By searching for "overdraft" here in ROR and then looking at Lasalle bank #295070 which clearly states that they were charged for unavailable funds fees and then overdraft fees when those items posted. So since there's at least one other bank doing this, it can not be unique to Wachovia. Additionally, reading some of the other reports here indicate that other banks are using this process but it's not as clearly written as in the Lasalle post.
But in reality the bottom line is if the account is not overspend, it doesn't matter because the fees are not charged. I think it's wrong for credit cards to charge a late fee that puts you over your limit and then charge an overlimit fee, but you know what. Happens everyday at every card I know of. Solution don't be late with payments, you're not charged any fees. Seems simple to me. The solution to this is simple too.
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#203 Consumer Comment

Admission of Guilt By The Employee

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

Striderq, I have grown to respect you for your availability and your knowledge, and the information you bring forth. But come on. Your last post is simply disappointing.

You're basically admitting guilt on Wachovia's part. Something I've said on a different thread. In essence your last post is basically telling Clev and all other customers - 'Don't let your account go below zero because if you do, all bets are off and Wachovia has every right to screw you over'. And your cleverly, yet vaguely worded Deposit Agreement makes this possible.

By the way, as is mentioned in the OP, the MSN article specifically mentions Wachovia as differing from MOST OTHER banks, with this unique practice discussed on this thread and other recent threads.
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#204 UPDATE Employee

The other side of the coin...

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

What should the customer do? The customer should keep a complete register of all teansactions that they do and make sure the balance does not go below zero. At that point they are properly managing their finances and they have NO fees. Gee, what a concept. Too bad it never seems to catch on.
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#205 Author of original report

The gap between what a bank can "legally" do and what they "should" do ...

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

I do not believe that any bank would intentionally violate the law because of the legal repercussions. Having said that, it is clear from my own experience and the research I have done that many banks are operating on that thin line between what is "legal" and what is "ethical". Note: these are not equivalent. They believe they have protected themselves by including obtuse language in their depositor agreement documents that would "seemingly" justify their fees. That remains to be seen when the class action suits start hitting the courts.

Thank you for the suggestion about contacting the local branch manager. Without causing anyone difficulty, let me say that the bank employee that I dealt with initially was very sympathetic but their hands were tied. The problem is higher up in the "food chain" so-to-speak.

I have since noticed that Wachovia is likely using a blanket policy to deal with OD complaints. From a few different sources the number 15% keeps cropping up as their standard refund offer when a customer presents with a complaint, regardless of circumstances.

Let me be clear, I am not railing against all banks. When this incident occurred I was absolutely flabbergasted that Wachovia did not refund ALL the so-called OD charges because the screen capture of my online banking statement showed CLEARLY there was no overdraft or NSF situation. It was only by doing research that I discovered all of the OD-maximizing tactics employed by Wachovia and certain other banks. Intervention by congress is long overdue.
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#206 Consumer Suggestion

The Deposit Agreement Caused the RIPOFF

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

Getting back on subject again and getting back to your OP here is clarification about the RIPOFF you encountered. For reference I will re-post a snippet of the wording from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement:

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We may determine whether or not your account contains sufficient funds to (1) authorize a point-of-sale transaction or (2) process any other electronic transaction at any time between the time we receive the point-of-sale transaction authorization request or other electronic transaction and our return deadline, and only one determination of the account balance is required. If that determination reveals insufficient available funds to (1) authorize the point-of-sale transaction or (2) other electronic transaction, you agree to pay a service charge, and we are not required to authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or process the other electronic transaction and may return and/or decline it. Alternatively, we may authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or process the other electronic transaction and create an overdraft and impose a service charge for paying the overdraft. You are responsible for the full amount of any overdraft and the related service charges.
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There are two RIPOFFS here by Wachovia. Legal wording like that used above has always been used since the beginning of banking. RIPOFF #1 is where it uses the phrase 'available funds'. In the OLD DAYS before online banking, you only had ONE bank balance. So 'available funds' means your ONE and ONLY bank balance plain and simple. However, in this new day and age, 'available funds' is open to interpretation because, thanks to online banking there are now two balances - LEDGER BALANCE and AVAILABLE BALANCE. So which one is the wording referring to?

In your OP you indicate that your account was never OVERDRAWN. You are correct, with respect to your LEDGER balance. But in hindsight after numerous fees later, it's now clear that 'the wording' is referring to the AVAILABLE balance but how were you clearly supposed to know this AHEAD of time from the VAGUE wording, which in the past, has always referred to the one and only ledger balance?

RIPOFF #2 is when the fee is charged when the available balance is overdrawn. Again I refer you back to the wording where it says - 'we may authorize the point-of-sale transaction....and create an overdraft and impose a service charge for paying the overdraft'. Since this is used in the same sentence, you can logically conclude, okay, if I swipe my card at Walmart and THAT swipe overdraws my 'available balance'. Wachovia will AUTHORIZE it but then they will charge me a service charge for THE overdraft, or THE SWIPE that caused the overdraft.

But instead, what happened is they charged you OD fees for all of the PREVIOUSLY made transactions that POSTED to your account WHILE the available balance was overdrawn. Even though THOSE SWIPES didn't create the 'overdraft' and even though THE SWIPES that DID create the overdraft were subsequently cancelled and never posted. How is this result clearly stated in the wording?

This should be your angle of questioning to no one else other than the Branch Manager to explain how all of this is CLEARLY stated in the ole hand dandy Deposit Agreement.
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#207 UPDATE Employee

As Edward continues to beat his drum...

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

The banks can't do this, it's a rip off.

When the card is used and the hold created, that money is spent. If the hold disappears and never posts due to merchant error then ask the merchant for the fees back since they created the overdraft. rarely do I see a hold that is placed that does not come in. Sometimes there are times when the merchant swipes the card more than once and creates multiple holds. As I said in other replies, call Customer Service immediately and if you have more than one hold for the same company and the same amount we can delete all but one hold. Just remember, if you did make multiple purchases for the same amount, they will all post causing an overdraft.

As for where it says you will be charged for holds, the Deposit Agreement says "we may authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or process the other electronic transaction ans create an overdraft and impose a service charge for paying the overdraft." Plain english, if YOU the customer overspend YOUR account, YOU the customer will be accessed overdraft fees. Since the money on holds is considered spent, or the merchant would not let you leave the store with the mechandise, holds can cause overdrafts.

I understand these fees are not liked, but they are legal and they are completely avoidable if the account is never overspent.
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#208 Consumer Suggestion

Check-Clearing Policies

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

Clev, I'm simply following your lead from your last post. The article you reference mentions check-clearing policies. This is precisely what I was trying to answer for Bart yet again.

So, sticking to the subject (in your last post), I'm telling you for a fact that WAMU is not one of these banks that post transactions in order of descending amount. Notice AT THE VERY TOP of the article where it says 'Eight of the nations's 10 largest banks'...then it lists them by name.....then it goes on to say 'pay checks that arrive on the same day from the largest to smallest dollar amount'

Notice how Washingont Mutual is not on this list. Next. Do your own research here on the ROR and I would love for Bart or anyone else to show me one single OP THIS YEAR against WAMU where the OP complaint is specifically posting order in descending amount.

Finally, simply call WAMU yourself and ask them. But don't ask them how they CAN legally post items, but instead ask them how their computer systems are setup to actually post items BY DEFAULT.
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#209 Consumer Suggestion

The Deposit Agreement

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

Clev, You are exactly right and I apologize for the change of subject. As I said in my first post, up to now I was simply minding my own business, only reading this thread the past few days and had not even posted to it and had no intentions to......until my name was specicifically mentioned. And I fell into that trap.

As you said, getting back on topic. You're already aware of what happened to you and this issue of OD fees for HOLDS is something that I only recently begin to understand. Here is the wording about OD fees directly from Wachovia's Deposit Agreement that you signed:

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We may determine whether or not your account contains sufficient funds to (1) authorize a point-of-sale transaction or (2) process any other electronic transaction at any time between the time we receive the point-of-sale transaction authorization request or other electronic transaction and our return deadline, and only one determination of the account balance is required. If that determination reveals insufficient available funds to (1) authorize the point-of-sale transaction or (2) other electronic transaction, you agree to pay a service charge, and we are not required to authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or process the other electronic transaction and may return and/or decline it. Alternatively, we may authorize the point-of-sale transaction, or process the other electronic transaction and create an overdraft and impose a service charge for paying the overdraft. You are responsible for the full amount of any overdraft and the related service charges.
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Now this is my suggestion to you in your effort to recover these fees. Take a copy of your Deposit Agreement to your local branch. Only dealing with the Branch Manager, I suggest you ask him/her to plainly explain where this wording states that fees will be charged for HOLDS, which is a ripoff itself. But more importantly, what about when the holds disappear and never POST, but you have now been charged an OD fee for something that never occurred. Ask him to explain where it says this in the wording. And anyone else who can explain, please feel free.
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#210 Consumer Comment

Still no answer

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

"'From my own research, I had already discovered that one WELL KNOWN national bank did not post items in order of Largest-To-Smallest"

Your "biased" excuse is bulls**t. There certainly is no need to withhold a name of a claim you made unless the claim is false. This has been pointed out by others as well.
And you still have not addressed personal money management and responsibilty, the outrage that did not exist before you got burned yet these policies were in place and why only a small amount of people are getting fees and not everyone. Why did you change something that worked if it caused you problems or have you had a money management problem your whole life? No one made you use online bill pay. No one made you not wait for checks to clear. I think it is safe to say (and is my personal guideline) that it will be a MINIMUM of 5-7 days that a check posts. It certainly can possibly post sooner. You can't spend what you don't have unless you want to pay fees.
Again, I don't pay fees....why not? I'm as much a pauper as the next guy.
You are a fraud plain and simple. You continue to argue with those who have explained the procedures to deflect from your own financial management shortcomings.
Personal responsibilty is the only answer which you refuse to abdicate as a self appointed savior of the irresponsible.
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#211 Author of original report

Don't post to this thread unless you want to make a specific comment re: bank overdraft fees

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

Letting this dissemble into personal attacks back and forth is undermining the intent of this post. Please take your personal attacks elsewhere.



Getting back on topic, this USA Today article provides further evidence:
Perform a google search on "Banks' check-clearing policies could leave you with overdrafts"
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#212 Consumer Comment

Answer For Bart

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

This is unbelievable. Did you not even READ my post that you JUST RESPONDED to. I provided you with the link to the old thread that had your answer. Are you deliberatly avoiding it? If so I will post the quote from that thread RIGHT HERE. This is such a waste of space but here goes....again.

------
'From my own research, I had already discovered that one WELL KNOWN national bank did not post items in order of Largest-To-Smallest. So I suspected there might be and probably are more banks like this. So instead of revealing the name of this ONE bank and coming across as someone with a biased agenda, that's why I was not as forthcoming. I wanted to continue researching and wait until I had other names, so whenever I made the statement that not all top tier national banks use this method, I could recommend the OP try switching to a bank that doesn't use this method and here are SOME names to choose from. Instead of directing them only to a SINGLE bank.

Well, after Jim revealed to me that Washington Mutual is NOT LIKE some of the other national banks and it doesn't have to adhere to the same regulations, this might explain how WAMU could have branches in different cities or regions that do things differently. This is precisely what I suspected, but I didn't know how to confirm this. But my point is, who's to say there aren't OTHER banks in this same category with WAMU and I suspect there are. Hopefully this information will compel others to come forth and reveal the names of other banks they know of that don't post transactions in this mannter that MANY customers detests. But rather than continuing to withhold this information and being called a LIAR and FRAUD I hope I have found a way to not appear to be biased.

So, to the OP, I can confirm that Washington Mutual here in Dallas does not post in order of Largest-To-Smallest, as your local Wachovia branch does'
------

Now what? Anything else I need to reiterate for you that you that you're avoiding?
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#213 Consumer Comment

The last thing you are doing is innocently sitting around.

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

You are a fraud, plain and simple.
You still have not answered any questioned posed to you about your bold assertions that you somehow know how every bank works or doesn't work. Because, as we know, you have no answer. Only empty accusations.

Then you continue with the tirades about how there is this big conspiracy to defraud all of America when it is indeed a very small percentage. I don't pay fees.....why not?
You continue to somehow assert that the banks make people like you spend more than you have and there is somehow no need to be personaly responsible for your own action or lack thereof.

You fail to point out time and time again that personal money management or lack thereof is the key such as keeping a register, get rid of the debit card as Jim has mentioned yet you bash him for no reason other than it doesn't fit your agenda, and getting rid of the lazy auto bill pay and write your own checks.

This is how it was done before when people like you allegedly had no problems. Why did you change what works? I guess the bank made you do that too.

And-still have yet to see this answered by anyone-where was the outrage at these policies that were in place well before it burned you personally?

There wasn't any because you couldn't have cared less and that's what makes any argument you have hollow and you a fraud as you try to proclaim yourself the savior of the irresponsible such as yourself.

Don't spend what you don't have and no fees. Bottom line.
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#214 Consumer Suggestion

This OP is a Perfect Example!

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

Even when I'm minding my own business on the sidelines I still hear someone call my name (Bart)? To Bart yet again, I find it odd that you continue to label me a fraud. Remember you already tried that once in a different thread regarding posting order when I claimed that not all banks use this practice. After I provided UNDISPUTED proof, I notice you conveniently never reappeared. For more proof I'm not a fraud simply by making these statements, here's the thread to refresh your memory:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/279/RipOff0279467.htm

Now back to regular programming and on to more important matters. Clev, you only need to visit the following link where this practice has been clearly and thoroughly debated and explained.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/291/RipOff0291202.htm

I just cannot phathom how a bank is able to get away with charging OD fees for something that hasn't POSTED yet and your OP is the EXACT reason for my continuing DISMAY at this practice.

One of your questions should be just exactly where is this documented in the Depositor Agreement because I suspect it's not..at least NOT CLEARLY as some might claim. I'm afraid it's going to be embedded in a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that's open to INTERPRETATION.
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#215 Consumer Comment

It is certainly far less

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

then you and the fraud Edward are making it out to be with your embellishments for pity. You are responsible for your own money. Bottom line.
Why am I not paying fees? That's right, I keep a register and made it a point to know how banking works after I-myself-bounced a check way back when. Were there fees then? Absolutely. A $25 bank fee AND a $25 returned check fee where I wrote the check. And that was 20 some years ago. Certainly paid the price that I KNEW I would have to pay with no complaints. Why? Because I did it to myself. After that, it was diligent register work and now I do it on the computer.
And there is no way I use online bill pay. Too easy to "forget" that a bill is due to be paid. Look what happens.
It's another element that's a common theme in these "complaints".
Quicken is actually a very easy program to use. See that, you don't even have to write.
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#216 Author of original report

Try reading the totality of the report ..

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

Go to "The Center for Responsible Lending" website and while you are at it just try a google search on "Wachovia overdraft charges". The MSN Money article entitled: "When Banks Turn Evil" will be edifying.

Your attempts to portray this as a single customer with a grudge are amusing but ill-conceived.
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#217 Consumer Comment

Where are these numbers coming from?

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

"Projected 50+ billion profit from OD charges this coming year ..."

You state this as fact. Where did you get it?

And really, if you look at the scope of this whole debate, there really are a minimal amount of people getting banged these "mystery" fees anyiong who gets them cries about. I live paycheck to paycheck like many but incur no fees. There are certainly things I have to do without but I know I have to live within my means. Why is this if the banks are indeed out to screw every customer as claimed? Why am I not "getting screwed by the big bad bank"?

The US population as of July 07 was estimated at 301,139,947.
So, I think it can be safe to say that 1/4 of that are adults with banking accounts. No? So that would be 75,284,986. The amount of actual complaints (eg: people actually overspending themselves) is miniscule to the amount of people that should be getting screwed as per your conspiracy theories. I would guess less than half a percent. Why are they not getting screwed also? They certainly aren't all millionaires as one would like you to believe. They are more then likely average joes like you and me.
And again, where was this outrage that this was the way it is before you got burned overspending available? This is what makes these rants and diatribes so transparent.

There's one complaint that the bank is getting blamed for the person having $400 A MONTH in overdraft. Do you honestly think that any institution could possibly get away with ripping customers off that much money and get away with it? Seriously, learn how to manage money.
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#218 Consumer Comment

Poor Guy

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

Clev, I am certain you do not understand.... from your last post....

'That being said, a bank's decision to employ 'creative accounting' algorithmns to maximize the potential that their customers incur said overdrafts is the BANK's IRRESPONSIBILITY.'

NO, it is the bank's terms and conditions that you have to live by. The bank posts transactions in descending order is the bank's responsibility to its SHAREHOLDERS to make the maximum amount of profit. They owe no responsibility to you as the account holder except to live by the terms of their agreement with you. They have done so and it has cost you money. There is nothing creative in what they've done - it's all pretty simple.

'banks are in a unique position and should act accordingly by employing best business practices and recognizing their responsibility in acting in their customer's best interests, by PROTECTING THEIR FINANCES and helping them build wealth, not looking for opportunities to raid their accounts by assessing excessive overdraft charges.'

OMG - The bank has no responsibility whatsoever to protect your finances - that is your responsibility as the account holder. Building wealth is not done at your bank; it is done through your own work. The only one who can allow the bank to raid their account for what you consider excessive OD fees is the account holder. That is where the burden of responsibility lies. Unless you can prove the fees were not taken out in accordance with the Terms & Conditions of the account agreement, the OD fees removed from your account are not excessive - they are what you agreed to when you signed up for the account. They gave you $150 back and I thought that might be generous.

'Lecturing your customers about their financial irresponsibility while employing deceptive business practices to ensure the maximum occurrence of real overdrafts (or pseudo overdrafts - as is Wachovia's practice) is completely duplicitous.'

The language in most agreements is small and some might argue vague because it does not necessarily say the posting is in descending order - only that the bank has the right to post in any order. Other than that, there is nothing duplicitous about their actions. More importantly, if account holders properly tracked their transactions - there would be far less OD fees. The truth is - they don't, especially those who use debit cards.

'The gig is up. Banks have made a huge blunder in assuming that the individuals impacted were for the most part marginalized and less likely to fight back. You made a further blunder in assuming that you could rely on 'shame' to silence them or make them believe the problem was a result of their own financial irresponsibility.'

Clev, if you overdrew your account, you overdrew your account - don't try to spin it into something it isn't. Your holds mean the money is gone and if the money is gone, it isn't money you can spend elsewhere. However, you have an option. You can close your account and go elsewhere. The problem with that is that all banks are virtually the same. You can go to BofA, Capital One, Citibank, Wells Fargo, 5/3 - they all post in descending order and some don't even post your deposit until the following day after your deposit. If you are that offended, you can go to a credit union, where they don't post in descending order. They have less services and less to offer sometimes - but that is an option.


Finally - let me leave this with you and this is important if you never want to have this happen again:

The reason you're in the pickle you're in is because of your debit card usage. If you stop using your debit card and spend cash for small purchases, and use more checks - you will incur far less OD fees; in fact your OD fees will go down to $0. You also avoid the whole 'hold' or 'pending' transactions - which leads to your problems in managing the account. In doing this, you return to the basics: Cash is cash. A draft is a draft. Keeping a register becomes simpler. You will never have to deal with the stupidity of OD fees unless you go out of your way to incur them. If everyone got rid of their debit cards, banks would not make the billions of dollars on OD fees they do today.

Best of luck to you.
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#219 Author of original report

Projected 50+ billion profit from OD charges this coming year ...

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

Actual overdrafts are a customer's responsibility and a customer should take personal responsibility for incurring them .. TRUE.

That being said, a bank's decision to employ "creative accounting" algorithmns to maximize the potential that their customers incur said overdrafts is the BANK's IRRESPONSIBILITY.

Banks are businesses and like all businesses they exist to make a profit for their investors and shareholders. NO ARGUMENT. HOWEVER .. because of their unique position as part of the financial infrastructure AND because of the TRUST that their customers impart to them by depositing their hard-earned monies, banks are in a unique position and should act accordingly by employing best business practices and recognizing their responsibility in acting in their customer's best interests, by PROTECTING THEIR FINANCES and helping them build wealth, not looking for opportunities to raid their accounts by assessing excessive overdraft charges.

Lecturing your customers about their financial irresponsibility while employing deceptive business practices to ensure the maximum occurrence of real overdrafts (or pseudo overdrafts - as is Wachovia's practice) is completely duplicitous.

The gig is up. Banks have made a huge blunder in assuming that the individuals impacted were for the most part marginalized and less likely to fight back. You made a further blunder in assuming that you could rely on "shame" to silence them or make them believe the problem was a result of their own financial irresponsibility.
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#220 Author of original report

Projected 50+ billion profit from OD charges this coming year ...

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

Actual overdrafts are a customer's responsibility and a customer should take personal responsibility for incurring them .. TRUE.

That being said, a bank's decision to employ "creative accounting" algorithmns to maximize the potential that their customers incur said overdrafts is the BANK's IRRESPONSIBILITY.

Banks are businesses and like all businesses they exist to make a profit for their investors and shareholders. NO ARGUMENT. HOWEVER .. because of their unique position as part of the financial infrastructure AND because of the TRUST that their customers impart to them by depositing their hard-earned monies, banks are in a unique position and should act accordingly by employing best business practices and recognizing their responsibility in acting in their customer's best interests, by PROTECTING THEIR FINANCES and helping them build wealth, not looking for opportunities to raid their accounts by assessing excessive overdraft charges.

Lecturing your customers about their financial irresponsibility while employing deceptive business practices to ensure the maximum occurrence of real overdrafts (or pseudo overdrafts - as is Wachovia's practice) is completely duplicitous.

The gig is up. Banks have made a huge blunder in assuming that the individuals impacted were for the most part marginalized and less likely to fight back. You made a further blunder in assuming that you could rely on "shame" to silence them or make them believe the problem was a result of their own financial irresponsibility.
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#221 Consumer Comment

Hmm... Priorities...

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

Being busy and not writing transactions down vs keeping your register and not getting fees.

Admitting the problem is not keeping a register vs posting complaints about fees caused by your actions.

Yeah, I guess your priorities are clear. As far as posting your opinion, yes that is your right and perogative. As it's mine to respond to your posts.

As far as the second post, yes when and if the complaints get loud enough, then something may be done. Oh but wait a minute. Something can be done right now. It's called personal responsibilty to keep track of YOUR transactions in YOUR register so that YOU don't overdraw YOUR account. If customer did this, then they wouldn't need to worry about the fees, because they would never be accessed. But then some customers don't have their priorities clear as you do.
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#222 Author of original report

From one of your own ...

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

The following recommendations are from NetBanker and outline what a banking insider recommends that the banking community should do to address the problem of "unreasonable overdraft charges". Wake up and smell the coffee. The consumer response is not going to "die down". If anything, there is going to be a groundswell of consumer outrage at these practices. Again - as an employee - as a bank - you can address this proactively or deal with it when the problem is more intractable and you are facing class action lawsuits and legislative oversight.


EXCERPT FOLLOWS (you can find this by performing a Google search on: "Blogs Bring Negative Publicity to Overdraft Charges")

By Jim Bruene

What a bank should do:

I know this is going to hurt, but if you haven't done so already, take a hard look at your NSF/overdraft fee policies and program some common sense into the fee and check processing algorithms. As this incident shows, financial institutions risk a real backlash as the fees grow relatively larger and are applied to smaller dollar amounts, especially debit card charges that the bank had a chance to decline at the point of sale. Case in point: An article in Saturday's Wall Street Journal (here) had an example of a widow charged $30 for a $0.95 cent debit card overdraft AFTER her account was frozen (see note 1).
Educate customers on the tools they can use to minimize overdrafts such as online banking, email alerts, and if possible, text-message alerts.
Make sure every creditworthy customer has an overdraft line of credit. If they are credit averse, use a savings account. In the Wachovia example, the customer apparently had an overdraft setup between two deposit accounts, but it didn't work because "Wachovia recently monkeyed around making administrative changes to my accounts and lost track of the overdraft protection feature." Had the customer, who sounds like he makes a six-figure income, been covered by a line of credit, he'd simply be paying Wachovia a few bucks in interest, instead of costing the bank thousands of dollars in lost income.
Use your CRM systems to apply logic to the overdraft fee assessment. If you know a customer deposits his/her $8000 paycheck on the 15th every month, don't ding them a $30 fee on the 14th for a debit card charge at Starbucks.
Following WaMu's approach and give customers an annual "get out of jail free" card that allows them to turn it in for a no-questions-asked fee reversal on an overdraft.
Put your chronic NSF/overdraft customers into an account with a prepaid model that does not allow them to go over the amount in their account. Access can be by debit card and good-funds bill pay, but regular paper-check access would not be allowed (sounds a bit like a certain new account named after a fruit here).
Final word:

Banks need to voluntarily reign this in before the class-action lawyers and politicians campaigning for '08 make this into a public-policy issue with a raft of new regulations. Haberschmidt closed his forum post with this chilling paragraph:

Although the branch corrected the overdraft protection issue and reversed the fees, I am closing my accounts. I believe strongly in voting with my dollars and I don't want to belong to a bank that takes advantage of its customers in this way. It strikes me as a predatory practice, and the kind of thing of which Congress should be aware when it reviews regulation on the credit card companies and other financial industry practices.
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#223 Author of original report

In response ...

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

I stand by my prior comments.

The "problem" is well-documented and widespread and while I have given up on any resolution to my individual complaint, as is my perogative, I will continue to speak out against these practices.



PS: I am writing this while eating lunch. So - yes - my priorities are clear.
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#224 Author of original report

In response ...

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

I stand by my prior comments.

The "problem" is well-documented and widespread and while I have given up on any resolution to my individual complaint, as is my perogative, I will continue to speak out against these practices.



PS: I am writing this while eating lunch. So - yes - my priorities are clear.
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#225 Author of original report

In response ...

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

I stand by my prior comments.

The "problem" is well-documented and widespread and while I have given up on any resolution to my individual complaint, as is my perogative, I will continue to speak out against these practices.



PS: I am writing this while eating lunch. So - yes - my priorities are clear.
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#226 Author of original report

In response ...

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

I stand by my prior comments.

The "problem" is well-documented and widespread and while I have given up on any resolution to my individual complaint, as is my perogative, I will continue to speak out against these practices.



PS: I am writing this while eating lunch. So - yes - my priorities are clear.
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#227 UPDATE Employee

Here's for Clev...

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

Actually there was additional information, but oh well. as far as Wachovia's "definition" of overdraft, yes it may be different than other banks. But then again I wouldn't go to sears and expect them to do everything like JC Penny. If you're going to use a bank, you should know the procedures utilized so that you don't cost yourselve money.
As far as the brochure to avoid overdraft, it's called elementary addition and subtraction. When used properly everytime it will keep you from having any OD fees accessed. As far as keeping the check register... it may take (being very generous) a minute to record your transaction when that occurs. What are the benefits, making sure you don't oversond your account and don't get a fee. The downside, OD fees at $35 dollars per item. Most people should be willing to take a minute out of their busy daily activities to keep from being charged $35. One minute of work to keep $35, I wish I had a job that paid so well.
It's not intuition that sets the times, it's called cut off times. For a teller it's 2 PM and for an ATM it's 4 PM. But again if your keep your register with all your transactions, you know before looking online as to whether you have the money to make that transaction. And then you don't have to play rush to the bank with a deposit, because sooner or later you're going to lose that game.
We even offer a register the size of your debitcard that you can keep with your card to write down your transactions when they happen. Oh but I forgot, you're to busy to write down the transactions in the rush of your daily activities, but you have planty of time to post your complaints here. I guess we can see where your priorities are.
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#228 Consumer Comment

There is Nothing to Do

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

Clev, you have nowhere to go and no situation to deal with any longer. There will be no other return of additional funds to you. Wachovia gave you $150 and that's probably more than they should have,a nd it wasn't the evidence you presented to them that convinced them - it was the merchants who released the holds.

The problem in this case is not the banks, but the merchants who had holds on the account until cancelled. If a merchant has a hold on your money, the attitude by the bank is that the money is gone and not available to use. In essence, the merchant has taken your money, without the money being gone. It is a good attitude for the bank to take.

You should have gone hard against these merchants - they essentially stole from you and I don't understand why you're excusing them. In the future, if you decide to move banks, HOLD = MONEY GONE...... even if the money isn't disbursed. Better yet - stop using debit cards.

Now, it is misleading to have the bank shown these funds as part of your balance (I would hope the bank changes this to show available balance, which would be the balance, less the holds). However, if you know of the holds, it becomes easy to determine your real balance. So what are your options? You can move your account, however your problem isn't the bank. The problem is with the use of your debit card. Debit cards make more money for financial institutions at a time where we need to hold our money - not the bank.

Having said this, please don't argue about bank ethics. Banks are entities who operate under policy, guidelines, and law - the latter being very important. What you define as ethical will not be the same to the bank, and it is the bank's ethics that govern how the bank is run, not the consumer, and it is both the policy and the law that sets the bar for the bank. The law and the courts have found their behavior regarding fees, posting order, etc... all valid and legal. Now, consumers can have a say either through (1) the political process (which is voiceless because of the bank lobby), or (2) switching to another institution like a credit union.

Best of luck to you, but it is time to move on.
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#229 Author of original report

More of the same ...

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

With all due respect, you have provided no additional information. They key point is this - the account should not have been overdrawn if Wachovia applied the same rules for "defining" overdraft status that most banks employ. Wachovia and other banks employing the same "creative accounting" are raking in 17.5 billion ANNUALLY in profits in assessing excessive overdraft charges:

redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/if-you-feel-that.html

You have a choice - address this problem voluntarily or let congress fix it for you.

A consultation with your branch personnel will demonstrate the extent of this problem. These fees are burdening individuals who can least afford to pay them. If you want to fix this problem start with writing a brochure on how to avoid overdraft charges. Don't limit it to the laughable suggestion to write all charges in a check register. That just isn't practical for most people who cannot interrupt their daily activities to be constantly writing things down. Start with REAL suggestions and disclose "insider" information that can help people avoid fees.

For instance ...

A customer looking at their online statement notices that there are 3 items totalling $150 pending against their account but because they forgot about a payment their account only has $85 in it. If they were to go to the teller and make a cash deposit of $200 at 2:05pm they would still be assessed an overdraft charge, whereas if they made the same cash deposit at the ATM outside the bank their deposit would post ahead of the pending charges.

The above bit of information I gleaned from bank personnel after having a similar circumstance happen to me.

Now I ask you .. is it INTUITIVE that making a CASH deposit to a bank employee would be handled in a LESS TIMELY FASHION than making the same deposit outside at an ATM machine ? Clearly NOT.

There is currently a business revolution underway. CONSUMERS are becoming PROSUMERS who expect and will demand more from the companies they do business with. Smart banks will act proactively to be more "customer-driven". Short-sighted, profit-driven banks will not and they will suffer the consequences.
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#230 Author of original report

More of the same ...

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

With all due respect, you have provided no additional information. They key point is this - the account should not have been overdrawn if Wachovia applied the same rules for "defining" overdraft status that most banks employ. Wachovia and other banks employing the same "creative accounting" are raking in 17.5 billion ANNUALLY in profits in assessing excessive overdraft charges:

redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/if-you-feel-that.html

You have a choice - address this problem voluntarily or let congress fix it for you.

A consultation with your branch personnel will demonstrate the extent of this problem. These fees are burdening individuals who can least afford to pay them. If you want to fix this problem start with writing a brochure on how to avoid overdraft charges. Don't limit it to the laughable suggestion to write all charges in a check register. That just isn't practical for most people who cannot interrupt their daily activities to be constantly writing things down. Start with REAL suggestions and disclose "insider" information that can help people avoid fees.

For instance ...

A customer looking at their online statement notices that there are 3 items totalling $150 pending against their account but because they forgot about a payment their account only has $85 in it. If they were to go to the teller and make a cash deposit of $200 at 2:05pm they would still be assessed an overdraft charge, whereas if they made the same cash deposit at the ATM outside the bank their deposit would post ahead of the pending charges.

The above bit of information I gleaned from bank personnel after having a similar circumstance happen to me.

Now I ask you .. is it INTUITIVE that making a CASH deposit to a bank employee would be handled in a LESS TIMELY FASHION than making the same deposit outside at an ATM machine ? Clearly NOT.

There is currently a business revolution underway. CONSUMERS are becoming PROSUMERS who expect and will demand more from the companies they do business with. Smart banks will act proactively to be more "customer-driven". Short-sighted, profit-driven banks will not and they will suffer the consequences.
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#231 Author of original report

More of the same ...

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

With all due respect, you have provided no additional information. They key point is this - the account should not have been overdrawn if Wachovia applied the same rules for "defining" overdraft status that most banks employ. Wachovia and other banks employing the same "creative accounting" are raking in 17.5 billion ANNUALLY in profits in assessing excessive overdraft charges:

redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/if-you-feel-that.html

You have a choice - address this problem voluntarily or let congress fix it for you.

A consultation with your branch personnel will demonstrate the extent of this problem. These fees are burdening individuals who can least afford to pay them. If you want to fix this problem start with writing a brochure on how to avoid overdraft charges. Don't limit it to the laughable suggestion to write all charges in a check register. That just isn't practical for most people who cannot interrupt their daily activities to be constantly writing things down. Start with REAL suggestions and disclose "insider" information that can help people avoid fees.

For instance ...

A customer looking at their online statement notices that there are 3 items totalling $150 pending against their account but because they forgot about a payment their account only has $85 in it. If they were to go to the teller and make a cash deposit of $200 at 2:05pm they would still be assessed an overdraft charge, whereas if they made the same cash deposit at the ATM outside the bank their deposit would post ahead of the pending charges.

The above bit of information I gleaned from bank personnel after having a similar circumstance happen to me.

Now I ask you .. is it INTUITIVE that making a CASH deposit to a bank employee would be handled in a LESS TIMELY FASHION than making the same deposit outside at an ATM machine ? Clearly NOT.

There is currently a business revolution underway. CONSUMERS are becoming PROSUMERS who expect and will demand more from the companies they do business with. Smart banks will act proactively to be more "customer-driven". Short-sighted, profit-driven banks will not and they will suffer the consequences.
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#232 Author of original report

More of the same ...

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

With all due respect, you have provided no additional information. They key point is this - the account should not have been overdrawn if Wachovia applied the same rules for "defining" overdraft status that most banks employ. Wachovia and other banks employing the same "creative accounting" are raking in 17.5 billion ANNUALLY in profits in assessing excessive overdraft charges:

redtape.msnbc.com/2007/07/if-you-feel-that.html

You have a choice - address this problem voluntarily or let congress fix it for you.

A consultation with your branch personnel will demonstrate the extent of this problem. These fees are burdening individuals who can least afford to pay them. If you want to fix this problem start with writing a brochure on how to avoid overdraft charges. Don't limit it to the laughable suggestion to write all charges in a check register. That just isn't practical for most people who cannot interrupt their daily activities to be constantly writing things down. Start with REAL suggestions and disclose "insider" information that can help people avoid fees.

For instance ...

A customer looking at their online statement notices that there are 3 items totalling $150 pending against their account but because they forgot about a payment their account only has $85 in it. If they were to go to the teller and make a cash deposit of $200 at 2:05pm they would still be assessed an overdraft charge, whereas if they made the same cash deposit at the ATM outside the bank their deposit would post ahead of the pending charges.

The above bit of information I gleaned from bank personnel after having a similar circumstance happen to me.

Now I ask you .. is it INTUITIVE that making a CASH deposit to a bank employee would be handled in a LESS TIMELY FASHION than making the same deposit outside at an ATM machine ? Clearly NOT.

There is currently a business revolution underway. CONSUMERS are becoming PROSUMERS who expect and will demand more from the companies they do business with. Smart banks will act proactively to be more "customer-driven". Short-sighted, profit-driven banks will not and they will suffer the consequences.
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#233 Consumer Comment

Response for Clev...

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

I agree that when the extra holds expired that the money was not sent to the merchant, however until that happens the bank does not know how many of the charges will be claimed by the merchant. Even after the hold expires the merchant can still claim the money. So by placing the hold we are trying to help you remember how much money you have spent. And if the amount on hold exceeds the amount left in your account after an item(s) have posted then you have overspent your account at that time.

In reviewing your original post there's a couple of other suggestions to be added:
1. Keep a register of ALL transactions that you make.
2. Keep the balance in your register above zero and no fees will be accessed.
3. Use the phone and online banking as the TOOL they were designed for, not as your register. When you get the balance from one of these, we don't know/have not included any checks, auto debits, etc that you have written that have not posted.

More and more banks are using this same procedure. But it is definately in the customers advantage to ask about procedures before opening an account. As far as refunding of any fees, if the fees are "unjustified" that is a bank err then the fees will be refunded. But if the fees are "unjustified", that is the customer doesn't agree with them but they are valid then the refund is a courtesy and you probably will not get all of them back.

As to your comment that "Consumers are not always in a position where they even KNOW what check card hold is being applied against their account." it's very simple. The customer is the best to KNOW because they are the one who made the hold by using the card. If you used your card to make a purchase and it has not posted to your account then there was a hold placed. If it's within two business days of the purchase and the purchase has not posted then the hold is still in effect. PLEASE NOTE: the exceptions being airline tickets; rental card; hotel/motel stays AND gas station purchases. This is because these companies just verify your card and no hold is placed. The amounts for these transactions need to be subtracted from the available balance until they post. But again, with keeping your register, you would have already subtracted them. Just don't forget them and pull the money needed to cover them for other items.

And for Phil...
The hold is there, but what the fee is for is if you soend money from your account that leaves less in your account then you need for the total of your holds. If you have a total of $25 on hold on say the 13th of the month, any item(s) that post on the 13th that leave you less than $25 in your account will be charged an unavailable funds fee. This is because at that point you have overspent your account, the merchant has not yet claimed their money that is on hold. Again, keeping your register and register balance in the positive means no fees.
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#234 Consumer Comment

Bank Holds for overdraft justification

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

Banks use creative accounting methods to put accounts into the negative on paper. When you get overdrafts against your account and ask the bank about them, the bank goes over your account and usually comes up with the reason behind the overdrafts is that there are holds against your account from charge transactions that didn't clear yet. Sound familiar (holds against your account that haven't cleared yet)
How in the world can that be true? Holds are just arbitrary figures that are out there in cyber space, if they don't get turned into transactions they get dropped off. But, during that magical 3 to 4 days that there are holds against your account the bank figures them in against your balance.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the last time I made a charge purchase with my debt card I checked my account balance and my available balance was lowered to reflect the transaction.
How can the bank have a hold on an already adjusted account balance???
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#235 Consumer Suggestion

Always have merchant run the charge, then run a credit.

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

I have found the following to work out. If a merchant makes an error when they "swipe" your card, tell them not to just void it and do a new one. Ask them to physically put through the charge, then have them credit your account, then have them run the charge again.

This is what happens. When the merchant realizes, for whatever reason, that they swiped your card for the wrong amount, then they void that transaction and run it again, the hold for the wrong "swipe" can stay on your account for 2-4 days (or however long your bank holds swipes for). Then, when no charge actually comes through for that amount, the bank releases the hold.

Here is an example. Say the merchant swipes your card for $100. Then you tell the merchant, "Hey, this item is on sale for $90". The merchant will void the $100 swipe and re-swipe for $90. Even though the merchant has voided the $100, the hold still stays against your account for 2-4 days, as well as the hold for the $90 re-swipe. When the merchant runs their batch, the $90 hold will turn into a $90 charge, but there is no charge to take the $100 off hold, so that stays on. Then, after a few days, when there is no charge to match the $100 hold, the hold comes off.

If you have the merchant actually run the wrong swipe through as an actual charge, then have them run a credit, both the charge and the credit will hard post to your account on the same day (the day the merchant runs their batch). When the merchant swipes your card, you will still have the $100 hold, and the $90 hold. However, when the merchant submits their batch, the $90 hold will turn into a $90 charge, the $100 hold will turn into a $100 charge, plus you will have a $100 credit. You may still run into the problem of the $100 credit actually posting after both the $100 charge and the $90 charge, but at least the $100 hold is not against your account for a couple of days. Plus, you then have the proof of the merchant's error if it caused any NSFs and maybe the bank will refund the fees associated with it.

Many merchants do frown against running it through as a charge rather than voiding the transaction because they have to pay the transaction fee for running the charge. However, I feel that is the price they have to pay since they made the error in the first place, and you can bring that up to them.

What really stinks is when the merchant never tells you they made an error with the swipe and re-swipes for the correct amount. Then you have no idea why there is additional money on hold. I had that happen once with a large amount of money. A $300 charge turned into a $600 hold plus the $300 hold (merchant hit the 6 instead of the 3 on the first swipe). I had a really hard time trying to figure out why $900 was on hold instead of $300. This is one reason why banks should not be allowed to charge NSF's based on available balance. They should only be allowed to charge fees due to the hard posting of the items.
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#236 Author of original report

FYI

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

While that suggestion was nominally "helpful" (Wachovia employee) it in no way addresses the circumstance where Wachovia did not actually have to "pay out" any monies against my account. The "overdraft" was assessed using Wachovia's own accounting criteria (not followed by all banks - that would be clue #1). Your "creative accounting" created $490 in overdraft charges! My account should have had $30+ in it, not be overdrawn by $490-$30+! Consumers are not always in a position where they even KNOW what check card hold is being applied against their account. I am tired of Wachovia and Wachovia employees rationalizing their method of assessing overdraft charges. It is UNETHICAL - PROFITABLE but UNETHICAL. If it were completely ETHICAL all banks would use the same criteria and clearly many are not. Clue #2 - when your own customers are of the opinion that the way you do business is UNETHICAL (even EVIL) you are clearly doing something wrong.

To the first individual - I have not had a chance to peruse the full text of HR 946 but I did skim it. Yes I find it does not address the crux of the problem. But in the absence of any other "light" being brought to bear on these outrageous practices, it gives me hope that in the course of the committee's investigation that more information will be revealed that would justify expanding the scope of HR 946 or precipitate a new bill.
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#237 Consumer Suggestion

Did you read HR 946?

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

I did, and it doesn't appear to me that it will do much of anything. This bill will require that the fees be fully disclosed with the account holder's written consent (good thing).

The only good thing I see about this bill is that it would require a notice be given at the bank's ATM or at a point of sale that there is NSF and that an overdraft fee will be imposed and the amount of the overdraft fee. If the notice isn't given, then the "overdraft fee" cannot be imposed. Although this might sound helpful, it really isn't because then the bank would simply imposed their equally famous NSF fee. That's pretty much it.

Essentially, all it does is apply the "truth in lending" act to overdraft fees. It does nothing about the order of posting, the fees themselves, andor as in your case, the placing of "holds" on funds which caused a few overdraft fees when other EFT hit the account.

It also says nothing about NSF fees, which at many banks is the SAME as their overdraft fee.

In other words, the fees and the posting orders will stay the same.

Also, sending a bill off to committee is a good way of killing the bill. This bill is "in committee" and if it is not acted upon before Congress recesses, it will be dead. It would have to be re-introduced during the next session of Congress.
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#238 UPDATE Employee

Sounds like what happened was...

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

From your report it sounds as if the holds that were cancelled by the merchant were just cancelled at their end. But that information is not given to Wachovia so that the hold can be removed. If you have a situation where a company cancells the transaction, my suggestion is to call our 1-800 number while still at the store so that we can get the information needed to allow us to remove that hold. If this is not done, the hold will still be active and can cause fees to be accessed.
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