• Report: #165167

Complaint Review: Banner Bank

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  • Submitted: Fri, November 18, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, February 09, 2006

  • Reported By:Renton Washington
Banner Bank
10 S First Avenue Walla Walla,, Washington U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-2729933
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Banner Bank charge 1200% in fees to pay a $2.00 check ripoff Walla Walla, Washington

*Author of original report: You just gotta laugh sometimes

*Consumer Comment: Therein lies the problem.

*Author of original report: $1.85 costs $50.00

*Consumer Suggestion: Come on now

*Author of original report: Additional fees

*Consumer Comment: Enlightenment on customer resposnsibilty.

*Author of original report: Letter to Banner Bank

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My checking account has been on the positive side the past several months, but due to my domestic partner's unemployment this month, my balance got down to $.85

I forgot about a check I wrote several weeks ago, and it cleared yesterday. The bank paid it, but because I only had 85 cents in my account. They charged me a whopping $25.00 for paying the check. They never contacted me to suggest I deposit a buck or two in my account to avoid these charges, they simply fined me about 1200% to pay around $2.00.

This is the email I sent the Branch President. I am still awaiting a response. I have had similar problems with Banner Bank in the past. They fine my account overwhelming fees for paying out amounts less than a few bucks.

I know, I KNOW, I need to switch banks. I'm just lazy. I have three separate direct deposits accounts per month with this bank and two separate automatic withdrawls from this bank. It would be a major pain in the ass to switch all that, but I know I really need to do it. I have accounts at three other banks so I don't need to open any new accounts, just do the paperwork to do all the switching.

I have asked Banner Bank in the past to review my account and refund the huge fines when I make a large deposit (usually over $1400 to $2300) within a day or two of their fining my account. I ask this when the amount they have to pay out is only a few bucks and the deposit is made the same day (YES,THE SAME DAY) or within just a day or two of their fining my account. They did this one time over a year ago. It's happened about four or five times now. They are completely rigid and unforgiving about their imposing their fines. Regardless if they only had to pay few bucks or a deposit is made the same day or within a day or two.

If you live in Washington State, and you're shopping around for a new bank, I strongly recommend you avoid Banner Bank. They have a few nice tellers at the Kent Branch, but most other Branches (Downtown Kennewick, Columbia Center, Bellevue, Madison Street, Everett) are unhelpful, sometimes rude and unprofessional (particularly downtown Kennewick) and will not go "that extra mile" to provide outstanding customer service, or, in the case of the downtown Kennewick Branch, any customer service whatsoever.

Last year I traded a few emails with the Branch Manager at the downtown Kennewick Branch and made an unsuccessful attempt to enlighten him as to what constitutes "customer service". Unfortunately, my honest efforts fell on deaf ears and he justified the unprofessional and rude behavior of his employees. He felt that no changes were necessary and basically brushed me off.

Again, stay away from Banner Bank. I have great experiences with Washington Mutual and the Boeing Employees Credit Union (available to everyone who resides in Washington State). So, I know it's not the banking industry in general who treats their long-term customers like crap. It's Banner Bank who doesn't appreciate their customers.

Ron
Renton, Washington
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/18/2005 09:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Banner-Bank/Walla-Walla-Washington-99362/Banner-Bank-charge-1200-in-fees-to-pay-a-200-check-ripoff-Walla-Walla-Washington-165167. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

You just gotta laugh sometimes

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

After I closed my account with Banner Bank I still had a large balance. Because I moved from the area where I opened the account, the "home branch" had to mail me a check.

I don't know if they were just being passive-aggressive or just plain stupid, but they wrote the check out to "Robert" instead of my actual name "Ronald".

The check was worseless. I had an Uncle "Robert" who could have cashed the check for me, but he died in the Korean War before I was born.

I called Banner Bank, and because my account was closed, they couldn't help me by phone. I sent the check back to them asking them to return a check with the correct name. Weeks pass...I get a correct version of the check. No letter of apology, no offers to compensate me for not having access to my money.

This bank is unique. I am not asking or expecting anything out of the ordinary...common sense, competence, customer service. Banner Bank just doesn't get it. They're trying so hard to be a big bank, but they remain the little bank from Walla Walla who just doesn't give a s***.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Therein lies the problem.

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

Some people spend more time deciding on a resturaunt than which bank they will do business with. You are entrusting them with your money.

Whichever bank you chose to move your accounts to, disgregard all those glossy pamphlets and get a copy of their account agreement before opening an account. If you cannot find one online, go to a branch and ask for a copy. Read through it and see what their policies are and if they meet your needs. If not, move on to another bank. Most banks have similar policies but it is the small policy differences that sometimes matter.

Some are limited to certain banks due to location. In those situations the only thing a person can do is become familiar with their banks policies so that they can avoid having fees accessed. Also make a habit of keeping an account register. There are several web sites that offer freeware programs (I use Microsoft Money, it came with the computer when I bought it). Never rely on the bank's web site, ATM, or phone center to determine your balance. The only thing I use my bank's web site for is to determine what has posted in between account monthly statements or their free bill pay.

Good luck.
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#3 Author of original report

$1.85 costs $50.00

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

I scratch my head at the Rebuttal. This individual would gleefully give his bank $50.00 to cover the balance of a check that turned out to be $1.85.

Mind you, this is the same bank I have banked at for over six years. Mind you, I have two five year CDs in this bank that total roughly $22,000.00.

I guess expecting my bank to cover $1.85 until my direct deposit of over $3000.00 was made two days later is simply a customer service or extra "perk" I shouldn't expect.

Nevertheless, I closed my account with Banner Bank, and if you feel comfortable banking with a company that will charge you 50 bucks for covering a buck eighty-five, well sir, you have their address at the top of the page. I encourage you to open an account. I'm taking my money to a bank that hopefully isn't quite as "fee happpy".

So, here's my final farewell to Banner Bank.

Farewell, to the bank with absolutely NO ATMs at most of their branches in Western Washington.

Farewell, to the bank that forces me to use other banks ATMs and accrue $1.50 to $2.50 service charges every time I make a withdrawl from another bank's ATM.

Farewell, to the bank with absolutely no ability whatsoever to make deposits after hours at ATMS or secured drop boxes.

Farewell, to the bank with not one branch open on Saturdays in Western Washington.

Farewell, to the bank who only answers their 800 phone line between 9am and 5pm PST.

Farewell, to the bank who never answers their phone on the weekends (gasp!)

Farewell, to the bank who actually ARGUES with customers when a customer attempts to report receiving extraordinarily bad customer service.

Farewell, to the bank who usually only keeps one teller on-duty on lunch hours and late Friday evenings.

Farewell, to the bank who refuses to communicate in the preferred method of the customer and utilizes US Mail to communicate instead of email or other venues.

FAREWELL>> to the bank who charges 50 bucks for less that 2 bucks in overdraft protection.

Farewell, so long, adios...to the bank who just couldn't give a sh*t.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Come on now

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

First of all, regardless of how long you have been a customer, you were overdrawn. Period. 2.00 or 200 as the previous comment said. One day or 100 days before a deposit.Don't you kept a check register? Do you expect the bank to pay for your mistake? Are they not in business to make money not hand it out free for your mistake?
Why should they call you? Do you wish to be treated as an adult or a child? The bank can't call everyone that can't balance their accounts. Why should they?

You admit that you were overdrawn but you are wrong in assuming that the bank should waive the fee because you deposited the next day. How is the bank to know what your plans are? It could have been a year before any more was deposited for all they know. Rules are rules.

As far as the customer selecting the mode of communication that is just plain crapola. You were lucky that they chose to respond to begin with. If they take you to court or vice versa, emails are not as solid evidence as written and signed snail mails. Your exchanged emails as to enlightening the branch manager to 'proper customer service' is ludicrous. You are just another individual that wants something for nothing. The bank has done NOTHING WRONG and as a matter of fact gone out of its way to explain things to you

If you can't balance a check register, then deal in cash only and avoid the overdraft fees.
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#5 Author of original report

Additional fees

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

I got it wrong. I apologize. Banner Bank didn't charge me $22 to pay less than $2 in overdraft protection. They charges me $50. More than double what I wrote about before. When I emailed the bank manager (who chose to respond to my initial inquiry via email), this is her response:

I choose not to do business by email or mail. Do not email me again.


DeeLyn Purdy
Kennewick Branch Manager

****
Doesn't the customer choose their preferred method to communicate? Not the company? Doesn't the company say please?
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#6 Consumer Comment

Enlightenment on customer resposnsibilty.

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

What difference does it make if you are overdrawn by $2.00 or $200.00. Your account is still overdrawn. Your 1200% claim is a relative percentage and rather disceptive in your rip-off claim.

Actually, $22.00 for NSF is pretty cheap in comparison to what other banks charge. Some go as far as to charge a fee for each day that the account is overdrawn.

From what you have posted it seems Banner bank has given you good customer service. The fees charged to your account where your fault and not the bank's. The fee they did refund was probably done as a coutesy and is usually a one time thing.

Read through you account's terms and conditions. That will inform you of your banks policies concerning funds availablility, debits, fees, etc. Knowing this information you will better equiped to avoid fees in the future. Keeping an account register also helps.

Whether you have had an account with them for ten years or ten seconds, applying their policies consistantly for all accounts seems like a fair way to do business.

Good luck.
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#7 Author of original report

Letter to Banner Bank

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

The following letter has been sent to the Bank Branch Manager

You probably don't remember, but you pulled this crap several times before. You fine my account for paying out a few bucks, or fine my account when a deposit is made the next day. Remember this sorry excuse for fining my account?
Mr. St. George,

A review of the recent activity on your account was conducted.

In response to your inquiry, your checking account was memo posted in the morning of 1/25/05 with a check #1145 for the amount of $104.47 that eventually overdrew your account through the nightly update on 1/25/05. The bank would have been charged for this check in the morning of 1/25/05 by the FED. Your ACH from Social Security was memo posted to your account on the morning of 1/26/05, with the credit actually being posted during the 1/26/05 evening update.

Since your account had the Banner Bank overdraft coverage, the $22.00 fee was automatically assessed to your account the night of the 1/25/05 since a deposit had not been received. You had the opportunity to make a deposit to avoid the $22.00 fee anytime during the day of the 25th even though the funds for the check had been paid to the FED in the morning of 1/25/05.

One very good thing for you, the check was not returned. A return of the check would have resulted in an NSF $22.00 fee plus a possible fee assessed by the merchant and/or their collection agency had the check been returned to them. This check was written to Winco and was dated 1/23/05.

Thank your for your inquiry.
K. Bryan Olson
AVP & Branch Manager-Kennewick Branch #02
Phone (509) 586-4141 Ext. 1900 / Fax (509) 582-8551
e-mail address: kbolson@bannerbank.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron . [mailto:bellevue_ron@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 8:54 AM
To: kbolson@bannerbank.com
Subject: RE: Customer Inquiry/Request - Ronald P St George


Please review check # 1145. I am curious what time the check posted to my account on 1/25/05. Over $1401 was direct deposited into my account on 1/26/05. If I am being penalized for only a few hours difference, I would hope you would agree that my account should be credited $22.00.

Thank you in advance for correcting this error.

Sincerely,

**********************************

And how can I forget your email dated 9-14-04 when you made excuses for providing poor customer service. Remember telling me....

"In response to your comment that "..you and your bank have no concept of how to please a customer." Banner Bank including the Kennewick Branch strives to provide excellent customer service to all customers. However, there are certain ground rules that we need to follow within the scope of the laws that we operate under and within the services that the customer wishes to utilize. All services provided may have certain fees attached to them, including checking accounts that have either overdraft fees or non-sufficient check, (return check) fees or monthly service charges"

****************************************

Then you attempted to blame me for just utilizing the services provided by your bank? I violated no law nor bank policy, yet I was reprimanded:


**********************

And, let's not forget, you told me to get lost, nicely put...but what you meant was F**K OFF! I'm not doing anything, changing anything, and your complaints regarding our customer service are FULL OF SH*T:

"In summary, you may need to decide if this account provides you with the necessary services that you need. This account does not have another account of yours attached to it to provide overdraft protection for a minimal fee. If this account did have such an overdraft protection account, the overdraft protection account would need sufficient funds in it to be able to have funds available to support your checking account needs.

We at banner Bank do care about our customers that bank with us and also we are very concerned in the way that we offer bank services to them. I would hope that you would carefully reflect on this response and make a decision to change your banking practices to ensure that your money would be utilized for your own welfare much better than it has in the past"
******************************************************

So, I need to be talked to like I'm nine years old? You never addressed my concerns, but you sure blamed me.

********************************

Why am I writing you again? Check out my account the past few months. Although I remain convinced I violated no law or bank policy, I simply took advantage of your banks "services", my account has been not overdrawn more than a few bucks for most of the past few months.

How am I to feel when I follow your lame, yes lame, advice and make an honest effort to avoid using your Overdraft "Service" 'cuz it seems to piss you guys off when I use it.

So, I maintain a positive balance, and you charge me $25.00 to pay off about $2.00???

Yes, you and your bank don't know the meaning of customer service. Never had, never will. I know this letter will not be addressed in the manner it should. I'm sure more letters blaming me will follow, but now I'm making sure other consumers know.

Sincerely,

Ron St. George
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