I use Woodforest Second Chance Checking because I have to. A few weeks ago I placed a stop payment on my Woodforest National Bank account for a transaction I had made through Paypal for a purchase I made on Ebay. (I intended to use my backup funding source, not my bank, because I didn't have the money in the bank to cover the transaction.)
I called Woodforest Customer Service to place the stop pay on the transaction and gave the gentleman I spoke with the details of the transaction, EXCLUDING what would later be called a 'detailed payment description.' I'm no fool, I've been with quite a few banks, and in my personal experience, with every other bank I've ever been with, if you can give the man an accurate amount that the stop payment is for and the loose idea of what the transaction is and what it's for, the computer is going to be smart enough to pick up on it and stop the transaction.
Not Woodforest. I went to bed sleeping comfortably that night, thinking everything was going to be fine and well and I would pay for my item the following day. Nope! I woke up the next morning only to find when I checked my statement that not only was I charged for the stop pay fee (which in itself, would have left me break even in my bank funds to not overdraw), I was additionally charged for the transaction I placed a stop payment on the day before, which sent me into overdraft.
I called Customer Service that same day to inquire as to why I was charged for both stop pay and the amount I was due out to the guy I bought the item from on eBay through Paypal. The man I spoke with (which was different from the first time I called), very politely explained to me that the system apparently didn't recognize the stop payment and took the money out anyway.
I very politely asked him if I could simply post funds to my account to cover the amount of the item I paid for, and just to get my stop pay fee back since it didnt do what it was supposed to do. He informed me that since it was not a 'bank error' for the stop payment fee to not do it's job since I didn't give him a dotted-I description of the transaction, that he couldn't give me my stop pay fee back even if I posted funds to my account to recover my account to a positive balance, also reminding me that if I did not take action to recover it within seven days, that the $3 dollar a day overdraft fee would begin charging me.
But he did actually help me out a little. He told me that I could dispute the whole transaction, or speak with my local branch manager about getting the stop pay fee back. I told him I wished to dispute the transaction, and I would call my local branch manager regardless, and so I went on to ask him if I could cancel the dispute if I came to a resolution with her. He told me then yes that I could.
So I called my local branch manager when I got off the phone with him and told her my situation. She was sympathetic and agreed that the stop pay fee should never have came out if it didn't do what it was supposed to do. She credited me back the stop payment fee I was out and I went to the bank to post funds to cover the transaction and recover me to a positive balance, since at that point, it was the most I could do to save myself from having to pay overdraft fees.
I called back Woodforest Customer Service one last time to cancel the dispute against my account, and he took down my information and said he would cancel it. I figured at this point I was done. I got my stop pay fee back, the man I bought the item from had been debited his money and I posted funds to keep me positive so I would not shortfall again. But alas, I'm not out of the 'Woods' yet. No pun intended.
Once more, the following day I'm overdrawn. I get on my statement to see that someone has retracted the stop pay fee I was just credited back from my very own branch manager that previous day. Only this time, I was charged an immediate overdraft fee. With my second chance checking account, I was told by my branch I have one 'free' overdraft protection to be overdrawn from so long as I dont make the transaction WHILE the account is overdrawn. That 'free' overdraft protection was used the first time I overdrew, I fell short 15 cents by that stop payment fee being taken back from me, and in doing so, was charged an immediate overdraft fee of $34 for being negative. That placed me even farther in the whole.
I called Customer Service again and this time had a completely different person on the phone, a lady who apparently didn't comprehend enough english to actually handle my phone call, and so handed it over to another lady who told me she was the Customer Service supervisor and we began to talk out the issue. I explained to her my dillema, and she also informed me that I never should have been given that stop payment refund to begin with because it was not a 'bank error', even though a branch manager might argue otherwise. It was retracted from my account, thought to be an 'accidental' credit to my account she said and was so taken from me, forcing me back into negative.
Additionally, she informed me I had seven days to post a positive balance to my account or else I would be charged that $3 a day overdraft fee, on top of any overdraft 'surcharges' for any transactions that may go through following me having insufficient funds in my account. I demanded to speak with her supervisor immediately, and she told me she was the only person I could speak with at that point regarding the issues I was having, pretty much telling me talking to anyone else was irrelevant. I told her that her business was the worst customer service I've ever had and after I cleared the issues I would never do business with them again. At that point she hung up on me.
But that's not all folks! It gets worse. As a Second Chance customer, I have a special little fee that applies to me every month called the monthly service charge. I pay 9.95 a month and apparently that fee comes out even when my account's overdrawn, and is attached to an overdraft 'surcharge' when I'm negative. I was charged my 9.95 monthly fee as well as another overdraft fee, which put me back another $45 dollars, totaling me at almost 100 dollars in the whole.
Even better yet, apparently Woodforest's stop payment system may not only be inept, it may also be insanely delayed. That stop payment I had called for days before that didnt even do what it was supposed to do when I needed it, actually finally took effect and stop blocked Paypal, actually taking the money BACK from them they initially cleared and putting it back in my account. I called Paypal and told them I would have the matter resolved immediately, because I was out to them the amount due because Woodforest took the money from them far after the fact.
I called Customer Service one last time just to bite the bullet and to tell them to reverse that transaction and give them their money back. I told the representative I spoke with the stop payment evidently did it was supposed to only after it was approved by the bank, and so stole the money from Paypal. I told her I wanted them to debit the money back to them, and to make absolutely sure I was not charged another bloody overdraft fee for their stupid mistake. She debited the money back to them and I thought I finally had a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.
Nope! The bank did exactly what I told them NOT to do in charging me an overdraft fee for their mistake, setting me back another $34 dollars. This put me at over 100 dollars negative. I called them again and I reduced the Customer Service supervisor to tears. She put me on the phone with their 'Investigations' department and I exchanged very cruel words with him that would probably get me banned from this website if I repeated them here. He said they at that point would have to go through an entire account investigation process to resolve the matter.
That was a over a week ago. The investigation is still pending. And this is where I stand. My account is frozen, overdrafted and inaccessible so I have no idea what's going on with it.
I am a Woodforest Second Chance Banker not by choice, but because I have no choice. Woodforest knows they're the only bank in the United States that actually runs a credit check against their customers, and in doing so sticks it to those they see deserve a hard time with outrageous fees and excuses for why we're treated this way.
Woodforest shouldn't even be on the BBB. They're the worst bank I've ever banked with, and have God-awful customer service. They're rude, inconsiderate and most of all, unethical. This bank apparently thrives off charging overdraft fees at every turn and robbing their customers blind. If you don't bank with Woodforest, don't. I'd rather have no bank at all than this bank.
And so help me God, if they do not give me every penny of what I am owed back, I will have my revenge. They will never rip me off again.
Sanford, North Carolina