• Report: #204390
Complaint Review:

Suntrust Bank

  • Submitted: Thu, August 03, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, March 16, 2008

  • Reported By:altamonte springs Florida
Suntrust Bank
Altamonte Springs, Florida U.S.A.
  • Phone:
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Suntrust Bank Ripoff Bank Reps misinformation cost me 444.00 in fees!! Altamonte Springs Florida

*Consumer Comment: I am customer of the same branch of this bank

*Consumer Suggestion: Funds Availability

*Author of original report: Got a letter of apology saying there was an error

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I'm glad situation resolved - next time reference the terms and conditions

*Author of original report: Update, issued resolved

*Author of original report: Recent change in policies & cut off times

*Consumer Comment: Read through your account terms and conditions.

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This all started when an unauthorized charge came through my account for 50.00. This was a service I had signed up for, but over a month prior had called that company & canceled their service. I had 618.00 in the bank & had 17 items totaling 88.58 from where I had used my debit card over that previous weekend, so that left me with 529.42 in my account which would cover the rent check I had also paid for 510.00 over the weekend, but that 50.00 came out unauthorized & unexpectedly, so that dropped my balnce down to 479.42, not enough to cover my 510.00 check.

In a panic I called Suntrust, spoke to a girl & explained my situation. She explained I had to fill out a fraud packet for them to research. I reiterated that my account was now going to be short because of this transaction. She apologized and said there was nothing she could do until I filled the paperwork out, notarized it & sent it back. She said the only thing I could do to prevent my account from being overdrawn was to make a deposit to cover what I was going to be short. I wasn't happy about this as I used to bank with Bank of America & if you disputed a check card transaction, they'd put a temporary credit into your account to avoid this type of thing, but she said they wouldn't do that. I explained to her that I knew my brother would loan me some money until I got this straightened out & told her that I knew a WAlmart that had a Suntrust inside it that was open till 7pm. I told her that we both got off work at 5pm & would head right over to the bank & deposit the money. I mentioned this to her several times about us going there AFTER 5pm. I know from previous transactions with the bank, if you deposit CASH, it shows up right away. Just to make sure I had no problems, I reconfirmed this information back to her & said, "So if I go into the branch when we get off work & if I deposit cash, it'll show up right away & I will be ok, right?" she replied "Yes, cash always shows up right away"

My brother & I went to the bank, deposited 70.00 cash & just to make sure there was no problem, I explained to the teller everything & I wanted to make sure my balance reflected the deposit, she said, yes your balance shows your available balance is now 549.00 (that was taking the 88.58 in transactions out) so if your check is for 510.00, you'll be fine. I went home, just because I am a worrywart, checked online & sure enough, my new balance was 549.00 so I was relieved.

Went to bed, woke up checked my account expecting to see 39.00 in there & I was now negative 249.00, they had charged me 288.00 in fees, 9 of the 17 items posted so 32.00 x 9= 288.00. I called the local branch immediately & she sd that it appeared that the 70.00 deposit was still "pending" & did not post last night so of course the bank put the items through largest to smallest & so that is where I incurred the fees from. I explained that I had done everything in my power to make sure my account had enough money to cover all items. She seemed baffled as well. I told her I deposited cash & that I verified with the teller my available balance reflected enough funds. She said she'd have to reseach it and call me back.

About 3 hours go by & she returns my call and says that because I deposited it after 5, it didn't post that night. I explained to her that the rep over the phone was well aware that I'd be making the deposit after 5 & was aware that I knew I'd be short, why didn't she stop me and warn me of the policy. Why when I asked if cash shows up right away, she didn't say, well cash still has to be made by 5pm. She never said a word! This rep said she could only refund back 100.00 of the 288.00 I was charged. I was so enraged, I spoke with her manager & no help there either. They said, well since it wasn't a banking error, that's all we can do. I explained that the misinformation or lack of information WAS a banking error. I am at the mercy of the bank & if the rep tells me making a cash deposit is ok & the teller tells me my AVAILABLE balance is 549.00 & the online system says AVAILABLE balance, 549.00, why I am being punished. It gets worse.. I accepted the 100.00 & was told I could try getting the rest by the customer service dept.

My account still sat negative and no one else I could borrow money from, 5 more of the 17 items posted that night, so another 160.00 in fees , the next night 2 more items, 64.00 in fees & the following night the final item came through for 32.00 fee. A grand total of 544.00 in unavailable fees when my account had enough "Available" funds to cover everything. They did credit back 100.00 so I still had 444.00 in fees sitting on my account & my account sat negative. My paycheck was direct deposited on that Friday for 522.00 & guess what, almost the whole thing went to these erroneous fees. I tried to stop the direct deposit, but I didn't do it in time so I was left with about 100.00 out of a 500.00 check!

I have called, emailed, written letters to no avail. This bank will not accept responsibility for the fact that their rep was either too lazy to take the 5 seconds to explain I needed to deposit it by 5 or wasn't trained & maybe didn't know herself!! In the meantime I am disputing the original fee that triggered this whole nightmare, but I have a feeling they are going to come back and say it is valid, they don't want to lose any money. The other factor is how misleading their balance descriptions are, if online, it said my AVAILABLE balance was a certain amount, doesn't AVAILABLE mean it is there, it can be taken. If any one knows of any class action lawsuits, I would be so very willing to see this bank change their deceptive ways. Although I don't make much money & I work hard for my money, I know there are people worse off than me & it kills me that this bank gets away with doing this to people, I am a single guy who can eat cheap, but what about single mothers who have mouths to feed? During the days when my account was negative, my brother bought me food so I could eat & I scrounged up change for gas, but it is the point that I had enough money & they still pulled one over one me!! Suntrust definitely ripped me off!

Altamonte Springs, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/03/2006 02:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/suntrust-bank/altamonte-springs-florida/suntrust-bank-ripoff-bank-reps-misinformation-cost-me-44400-in-fees-altamonte-springs-f-204390. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I am customer of the same branch of this bank

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

IF you will notice in this persons report, he DID read the terms and he told his bank that cash should be available immediately. We are also customers of this bank, and I have my paperwork right in front of me and it states the same. But, being human, we all like to ask the Professional who assists us in a bank. The tellers, of all people should know this. We have dealt with this exact same branch that Ronald discussed when he made this $70 deposit, and they too, have given us erroneous information. If we had not consulted our terms and conditions folder, we could have been in trouble as well.

I prefer not to even have a bank, to be quite honest. Sometimes banks are more headaches than they are worth.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Funds Availability

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

Please make sure you READ the funds availability wether you choose to stay with this bank or go to another bank. There is a cut of time, even for cash deposits. And the cut off time for a in store branch is not 5pm it's 6pm. Also when you make ATM deposits theres also a different cut off time for that aswell witch is 12pm, anything after 12pm will be deposited the next business day. Stop asking and start reading for yourself.
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#3 Author of original report

Got a letter of apology saying there was an error

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

Well, interesting enough about 3 days ago I received a letter from the corporate office is Richmond, VA apologizing for "the inconvenience and frustration caused by your $70 cash deposit not being processed on the same day of deposit. We understand that you made the deposit to ensure there were available funds for all the outstanding items you had authorized for payment, we have agreed to refund the full $576.00 in fees; you should see the credit on your next monthly statement."

So, they did credit the rest. I am very happy with the outcome as this shouldn't have had to go as far as it did or take as long as it did. It did cost me more than this because my power got turned off & I had a reconnect fee, late charges & was late on my cell phone bill as well which were more late fees.

I just still think of the people who are not as persistent and who may be in a worse off situation than me who I feel get taken advantage of because they don't read their terms and conditions. The funny thing is, I keep all that kind of stuff and their own terms and conditions proved my case!! :) Oh well, I am still shopping around for a different bank after this mess.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I'm glad situation resolved - next time reference the terms and conditions

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

I'm glad with persistance you situation. Next time, I would reference the terms and conditions while you are on the phone with a representative. Always record an employee's identity and keep all paperwork.
As an ex-employee, I remember getting changes in policy weekly via internal email. These changes don't always reach the consumer in a timely fashion.
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#5 Author of original report

Update, issued resolved

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

I just wanted to update that after locating the business card of the woman who actually opened my account & sent a direct email to her & explained everything, she credited back all 444.00 of the fees. It did take several emails to get my point across that their own policy states cash is available immediately & was not made available immediately in my case. She did correct it and I am pleased with the outcome. I only wish it would have been done from day 1 and I hope that anyone else in this situation with cash deposits, fights for the right thing to be done.
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#6 Author of original report

Recent change in policies & cut off times

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

Well explain this.. I have a copy of Suntrust's Funds Availability Policy Disclosure for Deposit Accounts & it says

"Immediate Availability"
Funds from the following deposits are considered collected immediately & available for withdrawal on the DAY WE RECEIVE THE DEPOSIT;

Cash deposits
wire transfer deposits
Electronic Direct Deposits

and nowhere after that does it say anything about a cut off time period! So that couldn't be any more plainer to me, I made a CASH deposit & it did show up right away, it showed that my available balance was enough to cover all the items. It can't be any clearer than that!

I have worked in customer service for 14 years & have held the position of manager at times & part of customer service is always providing your customers "A complete & accurate solution" the information she provided was neither of these two things. Even the teller where I made my deposit said I'd be ok, that my balance reflected the deposit & I had nothing to worry about!

You have to put yourself in my shoes. If you did everything you were told to do to avoid overdrawing your account, the teller confirmed you had sufficient funds & your online banking verified you had sufficient funds, and your bank charged you 544.00 in fees for insufficient funds when you HAD SUFFICIENT funds, you too would be upset, I don't care who you are, even if you are an employee of that bank, you'd be upset.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Read through your account terms and conditions.

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

There should be a section in there that details your banks funds availability policies and deposit cutoff times.

There should be no further need to ask and possibly be misinformed. You will already know the banks policies.

There should also be a section in there about the banks disbute policies. Could you have file the disbute paperwork at the branch instead of waiting for them to send the forms to you? Some banks you can so you can't.

Good luck.
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