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cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

[Rant] Banks...

I encountered my first bad experience with a bank.

Citizen's Bank.

I received a check (drawn on Citizen's Bank) from someone I helped move their stuff (LAN, computer, printer) from one house to another and they paid me for it.
Rather than deposit it, I needed some cash for upcoming graduation gifts.
(I've done this at a few other banks without issue in my area...go to bank on check, give license/ID, cash it).

Well, this was first for me. They required $7 fee, DLicense, SS# and fingerprint.

I was like, ok, you give me your SS#, your DL#, $7 and your fingerprint in return. No?
Give me back my check.

I get it. They don't want fraud. But really, fingerprint? they couldn't answer how it is stored, who has access, how long before destroyed,. ...

So, searching the net, I came across some useful info and will write my congressman. Apparently there are no laws protecting you, the patron.
Banks did us in on mortgages, on credit cards, on ID theft, on poor ATM software, pathetic interest (savings) rates, ... now they will have your fingerprint. Next up, Biometric gene sample!
--
Splat


michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL
All banks are like this now and I never cash in a check anymore. I just scan the check on my phone and have it placed inside my bank account. The first $200 are for immediate use. I assume the check was over $200 for the entire job correct?


Stunned

@commspeed.net

1 recommendation

reply to cableties
I'm puzzled by your actions. You would rather go out of your way to someone elses' bank, who don't know you from Adam, instead of depositing the check in your own bank and getting the necessary cash. Very strange indeed!


Thespis
I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.
Premium
join:2004-08-03
Keller, TX

3 recommendations

Not strange at all. If I cash a check drawn on your bank, at your bank and it bounces they tell me. If I deposit your check and it bounces, I get charged a fee.
Who said the bank was out of his way?
--
Fast. Cheap. Safe.
Pick two...

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
reply to cableties
Banks have been screwing people over ever since banks came into existence.

I don't even have a checkbook anymore.


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to cableties
I have a Citizens Bank (actually a subsidiary, Charter One) story, as well.

I overdrew my account once on a Friday and went into a branch, with cash, that Saturday, enough to cover the overdraft amount, fee, and my spending for the weekend. When I left, both my actual and available balance were positive by at least $30 (the actual was positive by more, the available being reduced by pending transactions); available balance was $33 and some change.

I spent $20 that weekend, 3 separate transactions.

Come Monday, a transaction that, on Saturday, had not yet gone through was showing that it had gone through on Friday, which meant another $35 overdraft fee, backdated to Friday, meaning my available balance was negative after the fee, leading to 3 additional overdraft fees, one for each transaction I performed over the weekend.

That's $140, all because the bank back-dated a transaction. Would they fix it? Nope! I even had the receipt and transaction history from the Friday overdraft and Saturday cash deposit, but they just threw out excuses, insisting that the transaction in question *had* actually gone through on Friday and that I must have printed the **DATED** transaction history (which was actually printed in the branch at the time of the deposit) on Thursday, or that there was a hold on the check (neigh, it was cash, my friend) I deposited.

All of this while I was preparing for a cross-country move and already strapped for cash.

Months later, after I had moved, after another $200 in fees had been attached to the account, Citizens Bank collections department contacted me. Upon reciting the story to them, they asked if I had documentation. When I informed the rep that I did, they told me I could come into any branch with the documentation and a reference number she so uselessly gave to me and speak with the branch manager, who would then contact her for a resolution.

Lovely. I just moved over 2000 miles from your nearest branch. Can we do this via fax or mail?

No, you must visit a branch.

Well, we're talking about less than the cost of a round trip flight to your nearest branch, so how about we just agree to keep this off my credit report and out of court?

Agreed.

Since then, 4 years, the debt has grown to over $500, when in reality the account should have been closed out at at the time of the move (I couldn't close it because of the negative balance) with a balance of $13 and some change. I have been contacted by no less than 4 debt collectors, the most recent of whom (about a year ago) did report the debt to Equifax, but promptly removed it once they reviewed the account notes and history, after I relayed the sequence of events to them. They not only removed it, but sent me a letter stating their intent to retain the account until the statute of limitations on the debt runs out, rather than selling it to another collector.

I'll have to dig up the letter if anyone wants the name of the collector, but it's proof that there are some honest collectors out there who will do the right thing when given the opportunity. They could just as easily have left this on my credit report, sold the account on down the line, or sued me over this invalid debt, any or all of which I'm sure Citizens would have rather enjoyed, but they filed it away as noncollectable and are letting it die.

In the end, Citizens made a couple grand off of me in overdraft fees during the 3 years in which I was actively using the account (I wasn't making nearly as much as I am now, barely enough to cover a low-rent apartment, utilities, and food -- and I was never overdrawn for more than one business day, it typically came the day before payday, which was by direct deposit) and I never disputed a single one of them because they were all legitimate, until the last 4 they slapped me with. Oh, that couple grand and the $13 and change that should have been in my account that fateful Monday.

They've gotten their pound of flesh and then some, to the point where the companies they contract to collect their outstanding debts are willing to let a debt die solely based on the customer's word. What's that say about their reputation in the financial industry?

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Fwiw, any transactions at my bank even cash on saturdays doesnt get credited until monday. Around here if a account is left in the negative for years eventually the bank gets around to placing your name on a list that keeps you from opening accounts at any bank. Its not a very nice list to be on and once on is next to impossible to get your name removed.


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET

2 edits
I left the bank with a receipt stating that the cash had hit my account (e.g. it was applied to my AVAILABLE, not just my ACTUAL), that's not what was ever in dispute. I've already been on (and removed from) that list, after contacting the ChexSystems for an audit; apparently, Citizens couldn't prove to them that it didn't go down the way I said it did, and so they (and any banks they may eventually own or be bought by) are now barred from adding my name to that list. Other banks can, still, but that's not a concern since I don't have any issues with my current bank and haven't in the 4 years I've been with them. They were even willing to open an account for me while I was in ChexSystems, based on my explanation of events, the branch manager citing that I'm not the first person to move from their market (the Ohio Valley region) and complain of the same treatment from that specific bank (he knew which bank after listening to the story, before even running my info).

The problem here is that a transaction that had *NOT* gone through as of Saturday, all of a sudden the following Monday, had gone through on Friday, taking an additional $35 overdraft fee from my $33 balance, leaving me $2 negative before Saturday and Sunday's transactions (after the deposit), leading to 3 additional overdraft fees for those transactions. $140 in fees that should not have been charged, save for the fact that they can apparently rewrite history.

It appears that their internal records, which were shared with ChexSystems and the debt collector who ended up burying the account, support my version of the story rather than theirs, so I'm walking away from this one clean.

I have had legitimate debts go to collections, back when I was barely scraping by. Those were all paid off 4 years ago when I got my current decent-paying job. I'm not a deadbeat by any means, and I've got a sparkling clean credit report (low score because I might have gone a bit crazy with new credit in the past couple years, but nothing maxed out and $200 combined monthly payments) to prove that. I just don't pay money I don't owe, especially when the people contracted to collect said debt and prevent me from opening a new account anywhere until I pay it seem to agree strongly enough that I don't owe it that they agree to just make it go away without any argument.


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
To be clear, I'd like to highlight my story as an example of the system working as intended. An abusive bank trying to extort money from a former customer they know has no reasonable recourse and being smacked down by the collection and information industries as a result.


Xioden
Premium
join:2008-06-10
Monticello, NY
kudos:1
reply to BronsCon
I got burned by my previous bank after a big charge I had forgotten about went through after some smaller charges earlier in the day. Chronologically I had one charge overdrawn. They processed them highest to lowest value, which ended up nailing me with 5 overdraft charges, and it didn't help that I didn't notice until Wednesday which resulted in 5 more daily balance overdrawn amounts.

Trying to pay it all at 10am on a Wednesday also apparently counted as being overdrawn for Wednesday. The charge that overdrew it at 11PM Saturday also counted as being overdrawn for Saturday. Gotta love everything going in the banks favor!

This was a couple months after Bank of America and a bunch of others settled a class-action suit for doing something similar. After about 20 minutes of raising hell that got me from "We'll wave one fee as a one-time courtesy" to "I can't do anything about all of it, but I can get rid of all but the original overdraft".


ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
reply to cableties
This is one of the reasons I avoid the big banks like Chase and Wells Charge-o. Fees for every little thing.


Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

1 recommendation

reply to cableties
Two words, F***k banks!!!

Go with a credit union. I've been with mine since the late 90s with very little problems. Anything I see out of the ordinary, I contact them immediately to get an explanation. They are nice enough to tell me without an attitude as some banks have.
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to Xioden
Yeah... in my case the overdraft never should have happened, and their resolution, which came several months after I had moved across the country, was for me to come in to the nearest branch (2000 miles away) with my documentation. My counter offer was for them to shove it, my $13 wasn't worth the $600 round trip and the fees would never add up to that much. Their debt collectors agreed last year.

It almost seems like bank employees are trained to never admit fault for anything (makes sense), fund legitimate fees if the customer starts to complain (makes sense, to a point), and do absolutely nothing when the customer has a legitimate complaint.

Money is power, and they control all of ours. Used to it yet? No? Get that way.


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to ilikeme
Hmm... interesting, Wells Fargo has been good to me for the past 4 years. I also bank with Capital One, who doesn't charge fees for practically anything, but also doesn't have branches. For more purposes it's very inconvenient, but some of the services they offer are just different enough from other banks that they quickly become more convenient for certain purposes (investment, savings, etc) and my Capital One *checking* account has a better interest rate than the local CU wants to offer me on my savings.


Boooost

@151.190.40.x
reply to michieru
said by michieru:

The first $200 are for immediate use.

My bank gives me immediate access to the first $10,000.


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
reply to Boricua
let it all ride on black. NO FDIC protection on credit unions!
--
Despises any post with strings.


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
reply to Boricua
said by Boricua:

Two words, F***k banks!!!

Go with a credit union. I've been with mine since the late 90s with very little problems. Anything I see out of the ordinary, I contact them immediately to get an explanation. They are nice enough to tell me without an attitude as some banks have.

I'm with Chase but recently moved a lot of mine and my wife's assets to a credit union. My folks have been using a credit union for decades and have loved it.
--
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates
My wife's Etsy shop: »www.laurenCball.com ; After-hours tech: »www.JLTCtech.com ; My blog: »www.johndball.com


NS4683

join:2000-08-25
South Amboy, NJ
kudos:1
reply to dvd536
said by dvd536:

let it all ride on black. NO FDIC protection on credit unions!

You're right, but most credit unions are insured by the NCUA. So having an account with a credit union isn't a gamble like you think.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to BronsCon
Bank of Oklahoma got in trouble here for some of their business practices.

Namely, they would sort deposits and withdrawals. First they processed all checks and all fees, then they would process all deposits. They processed business accounts first over personal accounts. Also, they sorted all checks received from largest to smallest, processing the largest ones first and the smallest last. That way, should the account overdraft due to processing of withdrawals first, they could maximize their revenue by bouncing multiple smaller checks instead of clearing everything but the last, larger, one check.

When I was a teenager and money was very tight they got me repeatedly; I'd get my paycheck on Friday and deposit it in the bank's after hour deposit on the way home in the evening. Any check I wrote that weekend, be it gas, or pizza, or groceries, would also be processed first thing Monday morning AND then the paycheck would be processed.

I got ripped off repeatedly from this. They would mail you a notice of overdraft which by the time it had arrived they had already reprocessed your check again a second time (After taking out the fee) and then would re-bounce it again because of their first fee, and charge you again.) I had little $8 checks cost me over $50 in their bank fees alone, and then I'd still have to go to the merchant and pay off my check plus THEIR fee. It felt then and still is I feel a crime. It's one thing to write checks when you know you don't have the money, but quite another when they play games just to steal from you.

I ditched that bank and have never done business with them since, and now they chase after my business and I tell them to screw off.

I read about a lawsuit a few years later for exactly those practices. As far as I know they still do it today. I don't care, I use a Credit Union.

--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Yeah, Citizens/Charter One does the same crap. At least they did 4 years ago. In fact, I recall hearing about B of O getting slapped for that around the time Charter One started doing it; apparently perfectly legit in Ohio.


hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:4
reply to NS4683
You also have to consider in most cases a CU is just a middle man between a major banks. You may be isolated from some of the upfront fees, but there will a lot of smaller fees, that economies of scale don't charge you at your big bank but will at the CU.

One of the credit unions I am a member of charges 5$ for a new pin number and 10$ for a new card. Really?


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to BronsCon
quote:
Come Monday, a transaction that, on Saturday, had not yet gone through was showing that it had gone through on Friday, which meant another $35 overdraft fee, backdated to Friday, meaning my available balance was negative after the fee, leading to 3 additional overdraft fees, one for each transaction I performed over the weekend.
Clark Howard has a story this week about 3 major banks using software to get the most fees out of transactions. They purposly reorder the transaction for this reason:

»www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-h ··· s/nfd7n/
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to hitachi369
I have not paid fees to our CU for years. Except for the one time in 5 years we overdraft because I forgot to add transactions into Quicken... Our CU has many free services and most if not all of the others are equal or less than other institutions. They have 20 free or no charge services

They can do this because the members are the owners - they don't make profits and that means less or cheaper fees - unless the CU is badly run. And it sounds like yours maybe badly run - vote in new directors till you get good ones.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
reply to cableties
said by cableties:

But really, fingerprint? they couldn't answer how it is stored, who has access, how long before destroyed,. ...

Seriously, you're just now noticing this? I ran into the exact same issue 12 years ago the first (and last) time I tried to "cash" a check at the issuing bank. Nowadays with "before 9pm is same day" ATM deposits and the first $100 available immediately it's a non-issue as I just deposit into my own account.

/M


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
reply to TheMG
said by TheMG:

I don't even have a checkbook anymore.

I didn't have one for several years until my landlord changed from a mailed check (I used my banks' bill pay service) to a drop box in a common area. Rent is the only thing I pay with check.

/M


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to CylonRed
I've known about reordering for years, but it's always been in terms of ordering withdrawals and debits from highest to lowest and applying deposits last, all within the same day. This was them straight-up backdating a transaction from a Monday to the previous Friday.


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to mackey
Likewise, though I do use them as loan receipts when I bum a few bucks off my buddy. He'd always rather have cash in hand, so he won't cash it, but can call me on it any time after he knows I've gotten paid. I usually repay via lunch the day after, so it's really just more of a way to burn through 200 checks with my old address on them sometime this decade.

Midniteoyl

join:2013-11-22
Knox, IN
kudos:1
reply to cableties
Had the fingerprint thing before at a different bank, and my bank still requires it if you want to cash a check, like payroll, and dont have an account. LOTs of check fraud out there.


WillRegSoon

@optonline.net
reply to hitachi369
CU's are great for everything except depositing checks. My CU gives themselves a 2-week float before the money is available.
Chase? The next day.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
Good god - ours follows what banks do...