Woodforest Bank (ie, Bank At/of Wal-Mart) Also victom of fraudulent banking practices Waynesboro Virginia
I was also a victom of this bank, and before you nay-sayers start in about that's how banks work, let me tell you I am an educated, detail oriented person who is VERY precise with my financial situations. I opened an account when I moved into a new area simply because my former bank did not have a local branch and, being at Wal-Mart, the hours at Woodforest Bank were very convienant. (open 7 days/week, etc.). After about two months, I started seeing transactions pending until larger ones (such as on-line bill pays) come through, then numerous OD fees applied to my account. Many times I called customer service (lol, crooks, actually), only to get a huge, non-sensical speech trying to explain what happened, which never actually made any sense in a logistical manner. This whole time I banked at Woodforest, I worked for the same company, got paid every two weeks from the same bank, which was a local large bank, and generally deposited 75% of my check and took the rest in cash.
My payroll checks never bounced, and usually had no problems with my deposits not posting the next business day. One Friday, I did my deposit as usual, and spent money over the weekend and about 12 places, mostly ATM using my Woodforest Visa Debit card, and wrote three checks to pay bills. All of these transactions would have easily cleared with my deposit, and I KNEW that I had no outstanding or pending checks or transactions out. About 4-5 days later I received 5 OD fee notices from Woodforest, and I immediatley called the bank to see what in the heck was going on. Well, the Branch Manager at Woodforest put a 10 day hold on my deposit, without my knowledge or consent, and all 15 transactions then proceeded to bounce. Several of them twice. When I flipped out at the bank, they told me that since my paycheck was a large amount (since when is $1500.00 a large amount?) they had the right to hold the check until it cleared the originating bank. Keep in mind, this was the same paycheck from the same company for the same amount for months now, and they had never felt the need to put a hold on it before. At the time of deposit, my account was not overdrawn nor were there any pending transactions. As far as I am concerned this is THEFT.
I got a lovely little letter from Woodforest the other day letting me know that if I pay the over $1000.00 I owe them in overdraft fees, they won't sue me or report me to the credit bureaus! What recourse do I have? Technically, they had the right to do this, and technically, I made these transactions, so am I now just screwed? It's not right and it's not fair. We as consumers should have some sort of protection from companies that have bad business practices that end up costing the consumer more than they can affors to deal with. If I don't pay them will my credit be ruined? Will they take me to court and I'd have to pay there attorneys' fees (which I am sure would be excessive) and court costs? So BUYER BEWARE should be the motto at this bank. I will do everything in my power to my sure as many people as possible are warned about the practices of the bank. Sorry this was long and drawn out, but people need to know the full story.