This all began on June 19, 2012 with a call from a company contracted with Bank of the West to make as Bank of the West calls "a courtesy call" to inform me I was in overdraft. At first I was fine, very nice, was more than happy to take care of the problem and get everything back to normal until i heard the total, $225. I had received what i thought were note cards informing me how much i was in overdraft, i realized hey i need to take care of this believing it was only $75 dollars. i had received these cards in the mail 1 week before i got the call, well i thought i had just recently gone into overdraft. Nope wrong again. I called my bank and they so nicely (sarcasm) decided to tell me i had been in overdraft since May 11. it was now 38 days later and i had only known about this for maybe 5 days, once again thinking it was only $75 and more than willing to go pay for it that friday as soon as i received my paycheck. well i started asking questions. the first over draft fee of $35 was issued may 15 i believed and done to cover my Netflix account, i said okay i understand i should have watched more closely i will be more than happy to pay that charge but no of course they have these little things in small print that every person who signs up for an account should memorize except its all a way to walk around the overdraft law that was put into effect a couple years ago allowing a bank to charge only so much in overdraft fees. i battled back and forth going from Netflix and the Bank of the West customer service.
Well turns out someone had opened another Netflix account with my card number and my other email, something easily done by me accidently entering the wrong email and them hacking the computer. i thought back and made sure i didn't open another one and i swore i had not. so i informed Bank of the West they would not take the overdraft charge for that account off. Now getting very mad because i do not have overdraft protection, so after the first overdraft charge any charge or as they classify netflix "automatic withdrawl" to go through. they not only allowed one charge in may to process but two additional charges in June! oh and charge me $5 a day from the day my account went into overdraft. I asked why in the world it took them over a month to inform me, they said they sent letters and the note cards which actually are date in june but should have been sent way back in May. Now the letters i NEVER received and the notecards only arrived about 5 days before the call. I told them that and they said well thats not our fault thats the USPS fault take it up with them. I am now very very mad. I am $225 in overdraft, it has taken them a month to inform with the excuse that they do not have to inform me its my fault i didn't pay attention, and 3 $35 charges (which one lady actually told me there were 5 but she couldn't prove it) they will not remove. So i called my branch the customer service lady took off one $35 charge and 3 $5 charges. which is still you know great but there is $191 remaining, why i do not know. I spoke to 4 differnent customer service reps and 2 supervisors. In the end this is what they said, after the first overdraft you have 24 hrs to bring it back to positive or a $35 fee is charged, letter is sent after 3 days and they $5 fees begin. Where i live no letter from conneticut will arrive in 3 days even when overnighted or much less arrive at all. very small town. i was told that because it was not a debit card transaction but an automatic withdrawl that there is no limit to how many times they are allowed to charge me and they will not remove the two $35 dollars they should have called and asked permission to make sure i was willing to pay the two additional fees and i knew of the amount of overdraft i was in. This is the first sign of them walking around the overdraft fee law, second i have no overdraft protection so after the first overdraft charge they should have denied the later charges, third they said it was my branches responsibility to inform me well my branch just did a major turnover because the previous crew was not doing their jobs correctly. Thats another red flag.
After the disagreement with the customer service people i asked to freeze my account so they will stop the $5 fees so i can catch everything up, Denied. i asked to close it with the outstanding balance and pay it, denied. i asked to make payments and they stop the $5 fee, denied. i was told by my branch to dispute but with this become a wait and once again more $5 daily charges. they told me i can either pay it off in full or wait till it goes to collections so the $5 fees stop. i was informed on day 38 i was in overdraft, according to my bank they send you to collections at 46 days. seems real fair to give me 8 days to get myself out of it. I work a good job but i don't make alot of money, im young, working through college. i can't just randomly come up with $225. so after cooling off and thinking i started wondering that though Netflix is an automatic withdrawl they don't have my account number, but my debit card number therefor making it a debit card transaction and all $5 fees after the first letter was sent and the 2 $35 charges should not have been allowed. I know yes i should have been more responsible about this account and i will from now on be, but this situation just seems like a scam one from a bank trying to walk around the overdraft fee law.