• Report: #312743
Complaint Review:

First Merit Bank

  • Submitted: Wed, February 27, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, July 26, 2010

  • Reported By:Rittman Ohio
First Merit Bank
www.firstmerit.com Akron, Ohio U.S.A.
  • Phone:
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

First Merit Bank Rip Off with bogus overdraft charges! Akron Ohio

*Consumer Comment: The bank SHOULD have some responsibility..

*Consumer Comment: Illegal Immigrants

*Consumer Comment: You are in good company ...

*Author of original report: Not afraid of "Big Bad Bank"

*Consumer Comment: And it the bank's fault because?

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First Merit is such a ripoff! The online banking is a joke I have set it up so that they pay one of my bills on the day that I get paid. Multiple times now they have paid a day or more before my scheduled authorized payment date resulting in overdraft charges of 37.50 each. Twice they apologized and refunded the charge, however they told me that after that they were not going to refund me anymore, for it was my error not theirs. When I questioned it they said that I should make arrangements to have the money in sooner to cover the cost...what do they want me to do tell my employer that they need to pay me before everyone else so my bank doesn't screw up!

I can't change my payday and I can't change when I pay the bill..since payday and the due date are the same!!

Also I spoke with Brandi at customer service this evening after noticing that my account was suddenly nearly 200 overdrawn due to 4 overdraft charges of 37.50 each. The first of the four was charged to my account on my payday and I knew that before my recent pay I had 112.25 in my account. She claimed that I was being charged for something 2 days prior to my pay and that I only had 15 in the account and the charge which overdrew me was for 30. However I know the day I made the purchase I had more than 30 in the account and it wasn't the day she said I made the purchase!

For days the charge of 37.50 hadn't shown in my account, it wasn't there on payday or for the next nine days after. However that 37.50 charge was enough to make another purchase overdraw my account 10 days later which then sent my balance out of wack and thereby causing the last 2 charges also.

Upon speaking with Brandi she informed me that I was looking at my account online wrong and that purchases I made weren't going to show the day I made them..yet they were...and that the charges were applied after 24hrs of my account being overdrawn...both of which are not true!!! When I asked to speak to a supervisor I was told that there were none in the office and that I could leave a message for the supervisor to call me back the next day.

Awhile back I spoke with someone from the company about their policies and they informed me that they have until 2am to process purchaes for one day but that I only have until midnight to make sure the money is in there. Therefore if the account at 11:59 is $4.99 and they process at purchase from that day for $5.00 at 12:01 I will be charged the 37.50 even if my paycheck (direct deposit) is credited to me at same time they process the charge...no 24 hour period!

This is a joke the company is a ripoff and they make money off scamming people like this!!! I am moving my business. I have friends who work in banks and they have given me advice on good banks in my area to choose from!! I will be banking with one of those other banks from now on!!

Rittman, Ohio

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/27/2008 08:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/first-merit-bank/akron-ohio-44305/first-merit-bank-rip-off-with-bogus-overdraft-charges-akron-ohio-312743. 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

The bank SHOULD have some responsibility..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I agree that if someone is careless and overdrafts the account..that the bank can charge a fee..this is not the point however...

Look at what the bank has...our checking accounts, our savings accounts, our direct deposits, sometimes our mortgages, right to offset, right to change certain terms at will, insured by the FDIC, tarp funds and taxpayer bailouts when THEY default etc..well the list goes on. So yes, they should be held to higher standards then a TV infomercial, and do have some responsibility for their customers accounts and the American taxpayers.

Well here is what many of these banks did ..and why many are currently defendants in class action lawsuits..and why law changes are going into effect..

1) Automatically enrolled checking account customers into overdraft coverage on the debit card without choice or due disclosure..hence the proverbial 35 dollar cup of coffee we hear about.

2) Re-sequencing debit card transactions from highest to lowest and deceptively calling it a "courtesy" that will better protect a mortgage payment. Well maybe back in the days when people only used checks for large payments like a mortgage and cash for every day expenses..does the bank really expect anyone to believe they thought a cup of coffee or a pair of shoes was a mortgage payment? And their reasoning is flawed regardless..why?? because they covered all the transactions large or small anyhow.

3) Encouraging customers to use online banking, and promoting this as a "great" way to manage the account. What the banks did not promote however, is that it is a horrible way to manage the account (at least for the customer), and is set up using sophisticated programs with MALICE, to encourage overdrafting and compounding fees. The online statement is manipulated and changes like a fixed slot machine. Why can some banks post transactions real time, and others do not?  Hmm.. And why use the term "available" when the funds are not actually available without causing an overdraft?

4) Some may ignorantly state that this is all the customers fault or they did not keep a register etc, but then tell us..how does a register know when an authorization hold has been placed on the account? How it is legal for this to happen is beyond me but until it is illegal for a merchant to place any holds on the account without the consumers consent or knowledge, then stating a register is fool proof is a false statement and will not work as a defense in the current lawsuits.

The way the system was/is set up..was clearly to encourage overdrafting, and then multiply these fees with transaction manipulations. With the new laws the customer now has the choice whether to be opted into any kind of overdraft coverage, and the banks and financial institutions can no longer enroll a customer automatically, or require them to be enrolled.

What the banks are doing to defend this gold mine of a scheme that has ROBBED BILLIONS and BILLIONS from honest customers..is now use scare tactics to encourage customers to sign up for overdraft protection with the debit card.

And mark my works...the future generation of complaints lodged here and elsewhere against banks, is going to be regarding the tactics they are using to encourage enrolling into OD protection with the debit card, and the financial damage it causes. And it will be back to court AGAIN for the banks that pull these stunts. Not all banks are using tactics like this, but all too many are.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Illegal Immigrants

AUTHOR: Buddy - (USA)

IF I am responsible for keeping my money balanced - to the last dollar....then what do I need a bank for? I don't!!!!...or I shouldn't. Our society isn't made so we can give and recieve funds without IDs, statements, bureaucratic processes that support, employ, and perpetuate precious hot young white chicks.

I am now aware that once a person has any money, be they rich or poor, there is a threat to their financial status from almost everyone. In the digital age, one form of this threat is to never really let you know your balance. be it print outs from the ATM, online banking screens, or even outputs from the yhwc at the desk. It will not, I repeat NOT balance out to the penny if my funds are managed by a rich bank.

I have had 2 banks thus far advise me to keep track of my own balance and account transactions. I will admit 2 things : I don't have much money. I keep relative track.

Only one of those is applicable now. I don't have much money, I don't want much money either. There are other riches in life if a person is able to recognize them. In our good ol' usa this is very, very rare, and often discouraged.

I know someone on "the inside" at my bank, and they will help me when/if it were necessary. It was : once. Even still I have called tellers and talked with bankers, and they defend their scam no matter how petty in chump change. I watch them stress, and use social or math tactics to scam, I mean earning their pay for the team. Then I call my buddy to fix it quick happy I have identified one less smiling face to trust.

I will keep $1 in my bank account until I find an honest bank. The rest remains in my pocket/s****.>
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#3 Consumer Comment

You are in good company ...

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


Please refer to my post on Wachovia and "Excessive Overdraft Charges".

You should know that Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY) is sponsoring a bill, HR 946 that will "partially" address some of these issues. It doesn't go far enough but at least there is a committee working on the bill who may expand it's scope once they better understand the nature of the problem. You can send a note to your congressperson asking them to support HR 946 by going to the website for the Center for Responsible Lending. (Do a good search.) There will be a tab at the right of the screen on "overdraft lending". Go to that page and there will be a tab to click to send a message to your member of congress.

In the short term, one of the things you can do is to capture your online statement using a "screen save" utility. At least then you would have the evidence that the bank is not providing TRANSPARENCY in the accounting management and may be playing around with transaction ordering after the fact. I don't care what banking professionals would say about that but to most accountants that would qualify as "cooking the books".

Until and unless there is legislation that would force banks to reform their overdraft assessment and lending policies, I would also recommend that you keep a cash buffer in your account to protect you from "creative accounting tactics" employed by the banks.
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#4 Author of original report

Not afraid of "Big Bad Bank"

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


I have my payments set up in the FINACIALLY RESPONSIBLE manor as to make sure when they are due the money is there to pay them. Therefore it is the banks fault that they pay the bill BEFORE THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO DO SO. That is a banking error not mine. I tell them when to pay the bill; having it set up to be sure that the money will be there to pay the bill; and it so happens to be the same day as the due date. I could understand your point if the bill company was getting paid late, that I could accept as being my error. However, I'm upset that the bank is paying EARLY and charging me for THEIR error.

The first time it happened I talked to a very lovely girl at First Merit who informed me that it can happen sometimes and that not to worry I would not be charged for THEIR BANK ERROR in paying early since the dates that are I have authorized are very clear in their system and that they are recurring/non-changing dates.

It was the next time and following times that I have had the difficulty. A bank that pays a bill before it has the authority to do so is illegal and therfore a bank error not the customer.

Sir, you also can't claim that I am not being financially irresponsible for a couple of reasons. First of all I pay my bills, all my bills on time. I make sure the money is there when it is supposed to be in order to pay said bills. Second you don't know me or anything about me.

I am a well educated woman who has been financially responsible and completely independent for quite a long time.

Based on your comment to my report you sound like you are one of two things, you are either a Manager at a bank or bank affiliate who makes their money off of the overdraft charges being placed unfairly onto it's customers. Or you are an old bitter republican who likes to screw over the working class. For all I know sir you may be both.
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#5 Consumer Comment

And it the bank's fault because?

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

Yet another person that does not keep their own account register and expects the bank to be their accountant. Your bank friends would serve you better by explaining how funds availabilty works and how to keep an accurate register.

So schedule the bill payment before it's due. No wait. That would be the financially responsible thing to do. then you wouldn't be able to whine about the big bad bank not keep track of your finances.

I am looking forward to your next complaint from your new bank when you start overdrawing again.

The bank isn't ripping you off. You are doing it to yourself. I suspect you will continue no matter what bank you use.
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