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Associated Bank

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Associated Bank - Unethical Business Practices
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I have been a customer of Wells Fargo for well over 30 years. Never an overdraft or anything. When I moved to a rural area about 3 years ago, Wells Fargo was no longer handy for me to make deposits so I opened an account in our little town of 1,200 with Associated Bank. BIG MISTAKE! Right off the bat I started having problems. One morning I checked my balance on line. I write very few checks. Something told me to print out this report and I did. I then made a deposit and increased my balance even more. I knew I had one outstanding check and it never cleared for 2 months. Then one day I needed gas to go into town and pick up my paycheck, so I wrote a check at our little local C-Store. Now mind you I can tell you EXACTLY how long it will take a check written to them to clear. It never falters. So I picked up my check, made my deposit and went home. A week later I checked my account again and low and behold, that missing check was posted as well as the check I wrote at the C-Store and the clearing date was the date I wrote the check. (Yes I did use the money from the older check since it was outstanding for so long at this point I figured it was lost) But the posting date of the C-Store check is SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE! Of course, my depsoit was considered UNCOLLECTED FUNDS so they overdrew my account. I asked the bookeeper at the store and she showed me her deposit ticket with my check listed. She deposited it in their bank the DAY AFTER I wrote the check. So I was armed with my documentation and stormed into the bank here in town. The branch manager was totally useless. She showed me her screen that showed the checks did in fact clear when they said they did and she dismissed any of my paperwork that showed the dates printed, etc. I showed her where on the day in question the online banking showed nothing had cleared, the same the following day and the day after that. She said she had no authority to reverse any fees except one, which she never did. I was now up to over $200 in fees at this point. I'm disabled now and work only about 3 hours a week so $200 to me is a lot of money. I sent a letter protesting the charges and vowed to never deposit another dime until they resolved their error and reversed the overdraft fees. They declined and closed my account.

My story doesn't end here. My Social Security Disability was pending and I had set it up to deposit into this account so I logged in to SS and changed the direct deposit info to my old Wells Fargo account, which I might add is still flawless. Well Social Security sent out their stimulus payments 3 days after I changed my deposit information and it wasn't caught and they deposited my $250 stimulus at Associated Bank. Associated Bank re-opened the account, took their $220 and change, re-closed the account and mailed me a check for the difference. I called their legal department to challenge their activity because Social Security funds can not be touched/attached etc by anyone. I was told to go ahead a file a lawsuit and Good Luck with it and the phone was hung up. I'm also going to add that my retired significant other still has an account with them and has his pensions direct deposited. He's never had a problem until just the past few months with charges and deposits appearing out of order so it overdraws the account. Even if he has a deposit to cover the charges the same day, they post the charges first, then the overdraft fees then the deposit. He transferred his largest pension to another bank, but he still have the smaller one deposited there but is seriously thinking of yanking it also. They are an awful and possibly unlawful bank. Stay clear. I'll stay with Wells Fargo and drive the extra 15 miles to make a deposit when I need to. Good thing I kept my account open so I still have my excellent standing with them.
     
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Slagathorn on 2010-04-23:
This is why you never make assumptions when it comes to your money. There's always a chance that something could go wrong... and it did.
Obsfucation on 2010-04-23:
Two things: first you wrote a check when you technically did not have funds to cover it, and checks can now (and many do) clear on the day you write them, so there was no bank error here.

As far as the stimulus money goes, it was deposited into an account with a negative balance. They didn't take anything from the check that wasn't proper, sorry to say but you have no legal grounds. That's why they can be so flippant and tell you to go ahead and sue them.

It's an expensive life lesson, but will maybe save you in the long run.
Soaring Consumer on 2010-04-24:
Sounds like what happened was that the check was deposited and cashed but was not reflected on the OP's account, then it showed up two months later with the original date it was processed on. It seems as if they didn't actually post it to the account until they knew there was a situation where if they removed the amount of money, then they could trigger an overdraft. This seems like a sleazy tactic to take advantage of customers. File a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
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Associated Banks Scam!!!!
Posted by on
ROCKFORD -- I've realize that Associated Bank is a scam, the online services has a glitch to where it only takes out large withdraws, until you have no money in your account causing you to overdraft. EX, me and my mom went to the bank to withdraw money, on the same exact day and time, she took 200, and I took 700, when we got home that night, it showed she withdrew 200 dollars, and for me it didn't say anything, not even a pending for 700 for my account, I thought that was weird, so I dind't touch my account till Monday, Monday being the day all deposits and withdraws come out. SO on Monday, my account said I had 700 in my account still. and there was still no pending for 700, or no signs they were going to pull 700 dollars. so I tested the account, this isn't the FIRST time this has happened to me, I spent 10 dollars on Monday, I went home the account said I had 690. no overdrafts or anything, I woke up TUESDAY morning(remember all withdraws or deposits are supposed to show up MONDAY morning, as I was told by 3 of the employees on customer service). The 690 was still in my account, in the middle of the AFTERNOON, they decided to pull 700 dollars(which should have been taken out on Saturday!) NOW since they never the 700 dollars out by morning, I'm ASSUMING the bank made an error in my favor(which they did). Now when I called the bank to ask what just happened( I knew exactly what happen, I wanted to hear the banks excuse for pulling the money out so late. The first employee told me the online system had an error, I recorded that on my phone, he soon took it back and said, it was POSSIBLY an error, the 2nd told me it was IMPOSSIBLE to pull money out on Saturday and for it to come out TUESDAY, the third told me the exact same thing, Now heres the Messed up part, I was checking my account from Saturday till when they pulled the 700 out, and there was nothing saying PENDING or I had withdrew 700, BUT somehow when they pulled up he online record, it said that the 700 was pending the WHOLE TIME. I wish I had printed out the transactions. So after I had HORRIBLE customer service, they finally let me talk to the supervisor, she told me I should have known the 700 was coming out, I replied yes, I did, but sense it didn't come out by Monday, that ment the money was mine, her only reply was, our records show the money was coming out sense you pulled it ou on Saturday morning, when I checked the online banking again, it was "MAgically" a $700 withdraw on the transaction sheets, lol, which wasn't there an there before. I thought it was sorta funny. So what this all comes down to is, the Banks online system is a fraud, like I said this wasn't the first this had happen to me, I've lerned how to play the same game the bank plays with me. Now what I should have done was print the transaction on Monday. next time I know. The way the BAnks system works is if you pull 500 out your account and say you only have 501 dollars in you account, its not going to pull the 500 out your account until you spend a dollar, personal I think this should be illegal. 1 the Banks went into my account and CHANGED my transaction, I saw them do it as I was on the phone telling them about the problem. I only wish I would have had a video camera to film all of this.
     
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bcd on 2009-10-06:
You’re complaining that they didn’t take the money out immediately? So what? Why is that something to complain about? It appears as though you intentionally overdraft the account.

What is the scam?
Anonymous on 2009-10-06:
Whether or not they post it on your online balance, the money is not in your account. If you do a withdrawal, make a purchase, pay a bill... once you do that transaction, you should consider that money spent and not spend the money that's not there regardless of what it tells you online. That's how overdrafts are created. If you *know* you've spent that money and it doesn't show online that you've spent it; you do your little "tests" and then all that posts, of course you're going to have overdrafts. You know that money is not there and yet you went and spent it anyway. And, then you're surprised when you have overdrafts.
My Time Warner bill and bealls bill payments never show on my online banking. They don't even show up as pending. But, I know I made the payments, the merchant just hasn't collected the money yet. So, if I go spend that money and the merchant goes to collect the money, I'm going to find myself up a poo creek without a paddle because all those purchases I made are going to overdraft when those bill payments come out.
The whole point is... if you know the money's not there, regardless of what it says online... don't spend the money. Because when it *does* post, you'll find yourself in hot water.
MaggieMcT on 2009-10-07:
Doesn't matter what it says online -- what did your check register say after you deducted the $200 and $700?
PepperElf on 2009-10-07:
maybe it's time to not use banks?

you can never overdraft when you use the "bank of locked box"
JR in Orlando on 2009-10-07:
I agree this should be illegal - a person knows they have no money in an account, and then spends more for a test, wasting everyone's time. I am going to start this with my creditors. When I give them a check and they don't cash it that day, I am going to assume they don't want the money and it is now mine again.

Posts like this makes one seriously concerned about the nature of financial education students are receiving in public schools.
CrazyRedHead on 2009-10-07:
Just because Monday is the first working day of the week doesn't mean that everything will clear that day. You should wait till Tuesday to check everything. This really is not a scam but how banks work, taking largest to smallest. You should sit down and read the booklet that came when you opened your account, it details how the bank works and how they do there deposits, debits and credits. You should also keep a checking register to keep track of what goes in and goes out and you shouldn't have a problem. Don't ever rely on the online system, you will never get the full story until it is to late. Also, you should your transactions as immediate, there is no more float.
Anonymous on 2009-10-07:
The funny part is that the reason the money didn't come out immediately is likely something as mundane as not being able to read OP's handwriting, causing an error that had to be manually corrected. You'd think one would be happy to get a couple of days extra interest.
PepperElf on 2009-10-07:
handwriting - that's why I use the military style handwriting I had to adopt when I was in the navy.
Fufu487 on 2009-10-08:
what on earth would make you think that $700 would be yours again?? Maybe their system did make a mistake or take a little longer to process and transaction..You knew that money was spent. Consider yourself lucky you weren't banking with BoA, they would have hit you much harder.
BluPhoenix28 on 2010-06-06:
This is typical of Associated Bank's news policy. I go to Taco Bell about 4 times a week (don't judge, its cheap, and right by my house, like, a 3 min walk). I use my Associated Debit card there every day. Transactions go through the next day, finalized and set. I actually have screen shots depicting this whole process, just cuz I take them for my records.

Well, I go to Taco Bell on a Monday. I spend money that I have. Transaction COMPLETELY finalized by Tuesday morning. I go to Taco Bell Tuesday. Transaction not finalized. Friday that week, transaction not finalized. ?? Now, since I actually work with come CC/DC processing, I call the Taco Bell and asked if there had been any problems. Nope on their end. Well, Tuesday of the NEXT, I need to purposely overdraw (medical expense). I know that I will receive a $35 overdraft fee. Fine and dandy, price I pay for having medical issues with no money. Well, check my account online Wednesday, I have TWO overdraft fees. The first (according to my ledger) is my medical expense on Tuesday #2 finalizing and overdrawing me, and then for Taco Bell for the Tuesday the week before, now appearing like I made the purchase with no money.

The kept the damn thing pending just to up the amount of fees they can charge me. This is the new Associated Bank people.
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NEVER BANK WITH ASSOCIATED BANK
Posted by on
I have banked with Associated bank for nearly a decade and I recently had a problem with my account being overdrawn. This has NEVER happened in all of my time with Associated Bank. A transfer was supposed to come through that didn't end up posting until the following week and I was traveling on business and racking up RIDICULOUS overdraft fees with absolutely no clue. I never received a phone call (even though this was DEFINITELY outside of my normal patterns - even in a different state) and I overdrafted my account by $300, but since I was charged a $35 fee for each purchase (even a $2 bottle of water) the OD fees added up to nearly $1000.00. I immediately transferred funds from another bank that I use when I realized what was happening and 10 of the $35 fees had not yet posted...even though I transferred the money in, since the fees posted overnight they still charged me for every single one. The worst part is - there was a system glitch that kept pulling money from my savings and putting into checking to reflect that I did in fact have money to spend and when I pointed that out, that screen on my savings mysteriously disappeared (talk about unethical) good thing I had a print out of the screen. Furthermore I received AWFUL customer service, I was given the runaround and was told I would receive a call back by 3 different individuals (none of which returned my call). I have NEVER been so unsatisfied with any organization in my life. Please don't let this happen to you or your friends or family!! Protect yourself and research banks ahead of time and DON'T BANK WITH ASSOCIATED BANK!!! The worst part is I was told by the Manager in Customer Care that they cannot back up what their employees say (I was told that if my account ever hit a zero balance my card would decline - apparently this is untrue and even though this was told to me and confirmed by another employee Associated bank said they would not honor what I was told).
     
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Suusan B. on 2009-07-30:
Let me see if I've got this straight - - you were expecting a transfer of funds to be deposited in your checking account, somehow it was delayed a week, you continued to use your debit card without verifying that the transfer had completed, were hit with a ton of overdraft fees and somehow this is poor customer service on the part of the bank?
Ponie on 2009-07-30:
'..even though this was DEFINITELY outside of my normal patterns...' So is the bank supposed to monitor your spending? About two months ago I wrote a check in excess of $8,000. Is this 'outside of my normal patterns?' Yes. Did my bank contact me? No. Did I expect the bank to contact me? Also No. I don't need a babysitter to handle my bank accounts. I'm an adult and do well on my own.
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