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Citizen's Bank-Customer Service-Overdraft fee scam
Posted by on
NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I have also had problems with Citizens Bank. On October 2, 2009 I received my Social Security Direct Deposit. Also on that date there was a check from 7 months ago that was cashed by the bank. This check was to an old landlord that I used to have, and way back he told me that he never received this check, so I stopped payment on the check and got a bank check for the money and sent that on to him. Now after 7 months he managed to cash the check. The bank never called me to tell me that a “stale Check” was being cashed, and I didn’t know that “stop payments” were only good for 6 months, so the bank paid out this “old check”. Now because this happened and I didn’t know about it, it overdrew my account and I bounced a bunch of other checks. It was only after calling customer service that I found out that “stop payments” were only good for six months and that the bank shouldn’t have cashed this “stale check”, but I was told that it was up to the bans descretion.
Now the fees that came in due to this amounted to more than $900. I was frantic. I got hit with fees on top of fees. My wife’s direct deposit ended up going into our account before we could stop it, and it paid all of their fees off and left us very little money for food to feed our family of 5.
Also during this time I was running out of Insulin (I am a type 1 diabetic) and I also have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Well I needed Insulin for my pump and the bank refused to free up any of the charges that they had on our account. I ended up have an MS flair twice and ended up in the ER. I also received 2 perscriptions that needed to be filled in order to get over this flair.
I called the bank and a very nice customer service representative named Madona helped me out and freed up $78. so that I could get the prescriptions filled, and then when I went to the bank I was told that I could not take the money out because citizens had put a hold on my account and the one person who could take the hold off was not in that day. I was then escourted out of the bank and was told that Corporate Security was going to be I would not get back any of the fees that I have paid if she had anything to do with it.
I then contacted customer service and lodged a complaint with them. Nest thing I know the claims department is sending me another affidavit in the mail, and this time they want me to try to locate my old landlord so that he can sign it saying that he did in fact take money from our account. Can you believe that? I’m sure he’ll sign that?? right?
I was told by Citizens Bank that I can not close my account at this point because it is now back to being negative again, and when I tried to open another account with a different bank I was notified that because of Citizens Bank I would have to wait for that account to be settled before I can open another account anywhere else. So now my wife is stopping her direct deposit and I have to call Social Security in order for them to stop their direct deposit.
I’m thinking about not having a bank account at all, I’m thinking about getting a safe, and then just getting money orders for all of my bills.

Thank you CITIZEN’S BANK for encourgaing me to not trust banks!
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tnchuck100 on 10/25/2009:
That 6-month stop payment crap is in the account agreement. You can renew it for another 6 months but that has to be in writing. Not that that is going to help you now.

It sounds like this unscrupulous landlord knows how the system works and intentionally waited out the 6 month time frame and the cashed the check.

What you can do now is file a small claims case against the landlord. If you can prove you gave him a "bank check" that covers the same rental period as the stop payment check you should prevail. Sue him for the amount of the check, all of the resulting bank fees, and court costs. If you can convince the judge he deliberately held this check in order to accomplish this double-dip you may even get punitive damages.

It's a hassle but it sounds like you have a good case.
i_am_canadian on 10/25/2009:
Chuck, BA.
Fufu487 on 10/25/2009:
I agree, sue the idiot
BobJohn on 10/25/2009:
And, I thought checks over 6 months old could not be cashed. Maybe that is business checks. Any comments? If this is true then the bank messed up. Try small claims court.
tnchuck100 on 10/25/2009:
It is completely up to the bank to either accept or deny a check over 6 months old. There is no law or regulation that defines how long a check must remain valid or must expire. As a matter of fact when checks are electronically processed the date on the check is not even a factor. Most business checks will have a "VOID AFTER 90 DAYS" or similar indicator on the check.
Eloise on 10/25/2009:
Your problem isn't with the Bank, it's with your former landlord. No bank is going to call you up because your account was overdrawn. I'd love to hear the Banks point of view. Youn not escorted out of the bank unless the OP made a huge scene.
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Citizens Bank PA - illegal practices and customer ripoff scams
Posted by on
I worked for Citizens in PA for almost 2 years. Fran, the Bucks County Regional Manager, pushes OD fees EXACTLY as described in many posts.

We were forced to open checking accounts that had excessive overdraft fees and monthly charges in order to ripoff the customers. Here's how:

We had to open accounts, lying to the customers that the account has "no fees" and put specifically designed waivers on the accounts so that the customer doesn't realize the scam (the maximum waiver you could use was for 1 year...)

Then, when the waiver expires months later, the customers have their guard down and they don't obsess with every line on their statements, they get hit by monthly fees that will overdraw the account (as most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks - that's why it's called a CHECKING account). The overdraft fees will overdraw the account again and again and so will the checks you write believing that your account is still good....

I routinely had customers with hundreds of dollars in fees by the time they received their statement - we were specifically instructed to hit high school kids, college students and senior citizens.

Another trick we had to use is open a "Gold" checking account to senior citizens who would come in and ask for a savings account by using a high interest rate as a carot and not disclosing the fees (using the waivers as noted above). Problem is, that "Gold" checking account had a high-balance requirement and the poor people would be hit by unnecessary monthly fees a few months later...

And to add inslult to injury we even had telemarketing days and evenings when we were forced to make telemarketing calls (disguised as "service calls" so that the bank circumvents the do-not-call registry laws). Not only these were clearly marketing calls (as suggested by the program feeding us the leads!!!) but also we had to open a number of checking accounts over the phone (the daily and weekly targets were set by Fran again, the Regional Manager).

If only homeland security new how many checking accounts Citizens Bank routinely opens over the phone without proper identification or signatures... all the auditors have to do is go to any Bucks County branch towards the end of the day and ask for the signature cards of the checking accounts opened the SAME day to uncover the illegal practice (this way there is no time to mail the signature card and obtain backdated signatures....)

Stay away from Citizens Bank in PA! I quit several years ago and I am still haunted about the things we had to do...
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Soaring Consumer on 08/03/2009:
If things are as true as you say, contact the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency right away.
Anonymous on 08/03/2009:
*rolls eyes*
Eloise on 08/03/2009:
So you are a former employee, huh?
BokiBean on 08/03/2009:
A lot of whistleblowers are former employees. It does sound like there is some inside information being imparted here.
PepperElf on 08/04/2009:
if you're overdrafting why are you still writing checks?

that's the problem with a lot (most) of these over-draft complaints.

People make no effort to keep a balanced check book. And when they overspend they blame the bank for the account being in overdraft.

it's sad but... if they took out a pen and paper and wrote down what they spend and what's in the account - including debit card and online usage - then... they would actually KNOW what's in the account and how much they can spend.

bank holds a check a little longer? No problem... you already wrote it down so you're taking that check into consideration.

the problem is people are lazy and don't want to do that.
therefore it's always the bank's fault.
yoke on 08/04/2009:
The people who do not know about the fee's are the ones who do not open up their statements and balance their checkbooks every month. If you do that you will see the fee's and you can question the bank the first month about the fee's. How can someone go months without knowing about the fee's?
Anonymous on 08/04/2009:
Wow, this isn't smart....
Fulbright Jaworski remember that name, you may need them.
Ponie on 08/04/2009:
'...most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks...' Wow, Jimmy! From where did you glean this profound fact? If people wrote checks (or used their debit cards) making sure they had 'enough money to cover' these transactions they wouldn't be subjected to these fees. I'm sorry they fired you.
Anonymous on 08/04/2009:
Ponie, I'm not sorry. I'd hate to walk into a bank and have to deal with this one.
Anonymous on 08/04/2009:
If you had to do so many crappy things, why'd you stay at that job for so long? You could have been looking for another one while still working for them. And, if you had to do all those horrible things, why'd you wait until now to say something?
You could have filed a report then.
Eloise on 08/04/2009:
I'd be glad to see you at my bank. I love my bank!
PepperElf on 08/04/2009:
ponie what's worse than that is that there are some people who actually act like this....

"How can I be overdrawn! I still have checks in my checkbook"
hopper14 on 08/18/2009:
Wait until it happens to popcorn, pepper and ponie.
Brian-Z on 08/23/2009:
I too worked for Citizens Bank, and although we were forced to do telemarketing and try to get accounts, we NEVER did these types of tactics. It sounds to me like it is this particular regional manager. I would make a call to the Alert Line about her, I know that you don't work there anymore, but if she is still there then think about all the people that still are there and have to suffer because of her deceptive practices.
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Imposing Excessive Overdraft Fees
Posted by on
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- It's beyond me how they continually get away with these practices of re-shuffling balances and postings to justify charging more fees.

Just recently they have done again. On June 1st, my balance was a positive actual and a positive available. I then proceed to make an ATM withdrawal, and even after my balances were still reflected as positive.

The next day, after 3 transactions, and mind you they were all posted and still reflected positive balances....they charge me $117, for what they are saying is (3) negative transactions, because my card had been run through for authorization, which in turn caused the last three transactions to be negative available balances. Then 24 hours later, the post the transaction from the previous days authorization and charge me another $39. When I called to talk to customer service, they gave me an explanation that still has my head spinning. They said that on June 1st when the card was run through for authorization, the pull that amount of money out and hold it for that pending transaction, which in turn, cause those other (3) transactions to be negative, therefore assessing me $117 for the fees.....but yet, 24 hours later, they post the transaction that they said they pulled the money for previously, and charged another $39.....but if they pulled the money previously....and it was available at that time, why am I being charged?

They contradicted themselves when I called to inquire and they won't refund me any fees, they say it's bank policy and I am the one that should keep better track of my account. It's a rip-off and then they structure the transactions to justify it.
Steer clear of this bank.....they will rip you off every chance they get, and even when you think you've got it figured in, they will manipulate the transactions and justify they're ripping you off.
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kisa64 on 06/05/2009:
Here's what I do; I keep track of my transactions in a check register, so I know my actual balance at all times. I also do not use my debit card anywhere where a hold may be placed in addition to the purchase amount (gas stations, restaurants, hotels). I used to overdraw my account all the time when I didn't keep a check register, it has now been 18 months since I started doing this and not one overdraft since then. Just letting you know what my experience has been and what has worked for me. Hope this helps!
yoke on 06/05/2009:
kisa, isn't amazing what happens when you use a check register and not rely on the online banking amount. I use a check register also and have not had an overdraft in years. Even my 16 year old has yet to get a NSF. He also uses a check register.
tnchuck100 on 06/05/2009:
kisa and yoke your comments show you have no idea what the poster is complaining about. Read, understand, THEN comment.

His complaint is about being charged two NSF's for the same transaction and the reordering to increase the number fees.

Let's hear your ETHICAL justification for the bank charging two NSF's for a single transaction?
Anonymous on 06/05/2009:
Right on Chuck!
BokiBean on 06/05/2009:
Well said, chuck.
kisa64 on 06/05/2009:
Sounds like a hold was put on his account when the purchase was made and then the actual purchase was put through later when the merchant submitted it, so I suppose that can cause NSF fees twice for the same transaction! Sorry, but my advice still stands, a check register has solved my problem of continuous overdrafting (believe me I have lived through the overdraft nightmare). Just trying to be helpful, sorry that doesn't meet with your standards.
tnchuck100 on 06/05/2009:
Someone please give me a GOOD reason why a bank should charge an NSF fee BEFORE actually posting a transaction. THERE IS NONE!

NSF fees should NOT be charged on PENDING transactions.
kisa64 on 06/05/2009:
Also, I meant to add that I am in no way defending or trying to justify what banks are doing; I think it sucks, but I was simply trying to share my experience and let others know what has worked for me. Thanks1
BokiBean on 06/05/2009:
Chuck, looks like you made "Top Advice from the My3Cents Community"!

Well done.
yoke on 06/05/2009:
chuck, I read what she was saying. I do agree that she should not have gotten a NSF for the hold that is the only fee that should be returned. Hopefully she will find out which place put the hold and not use her debit card there again.
Anonymous on 06/05/2009:
The reason, Chuck, is that the bank is obligated to pay that transaction when it is presented, whether there are funds or not at that time. I don't necessarily agree that they need to, but they are clearly within their rights to do so. And even though you are dismissive of Yoke and Kisa, the fact is that if the poster had a clue about what was in his account, he wouldn't have incurred any of the fees. I'm just saying...
tnchuck100 on 06/05/2009:
Ken, we are not bantering about legal vs illegal. The issue is the bank will screw their customers to the MAXIMUM PERMITTED BY LAW. To hell with ethics and fair treatment.
dab1960 on 06/05/2009:
I am the original poster of this:
My point is that a pending transaction has caused (3) overdraft fees, even though no negative balances are reflected....and their answer to my questions are contradictory....they say they took the pending money out which caused the (3) negative transactions, and yet I still incurred an overdraft on the pending amount when posted. So if they took the money to cover the pending, causing the (3) overdraft charges, I shouldn't have been charged again for when they posted it. And on the other balances weren't negative for the (3) that they charged me ofr previously. I have printed the statement and it doesn't show any negative balances until the very last (1), but yet charged (4) overdraft fees totaling $156...for what I can see as (1) negative transaction.
dab1960 on 06/05/2009:
And I have since written formal complaints to the Federal Currency Commission and The Massachusetts Attorney Generals office.
Monique on 02/23/2012:
Citizens Buffalo NY I have been through hell and back being told there is nothing I could do, living day to day and all my deposits are made through electronic fuds (merchant depsit) during the two years with Citizens I paid at least 3000 per year in o/d fees. same at HSBC same at M and T I mean the way all these banks noted that this positing debits first even if there is a deposit sitting right next to the debit so I am charged $35.oo then $37.00 per trans then 6.99 per day. I mean thousands they have taken from me and this was prior to everyone one catching on to way banks were processing.. so you are not alone..
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Citizens Bank Shifting Debit And Charge Dates To Their Advantage
Posted by on
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I have had so many problems with over draft fees the past 2 years. out of the about 20 I received probably only 2 of them were my fault.

Here are some of the examples.

on Friday 3 small purchases went through and the money was in my account. and then on Monday a charge purchase came through. on Tuesday I saw that my account had 4 over draft fees!!! After sitting and talking with the Branch Manager for over 45 minutes still what she told me made no sense.

Apparently even though the charge did not go through until Monday citizen bank told me your money is put on hold. So on Friday even though my statement online told me the money was there they said it wasn't. So not only did I get 3 over draft fees for Friday but then on Monday for the same charge again they charged my account another overdraft fee because now there wasn't enough money to cover it!!!

That's $156 in over draft fees. Oh by the way as a courtesy they did give me back 1 fee $39

Here is another example.

I ordered Chinese food from a restaurant. The clerk put my card through twice while I was standing there she took it off my card and handed me the receipt.

Thinking this would cause a problem with the bank I personally went into the Bank and talked with the Assistant Manager. I saw that the Chines Food charge had not gone through but also Chinese food refund had not gone through either. I wanted to make sure that I would not be over drafted so the Assistant told me to make a deposit in X amount of dollars and I would be fine. Ya right!!! The next day I checked my bank and bang!!! 2 more over draft fees. I was so angry I went back down to the bank to talk to the Assistant again who was very rude!!! He told me it was not the banks fault even though he told me everything would be alright. I finally asked to talk to the Branch Manager who I could tell wanted nothing to do with it. He went into her office and she slammed the door I could hear them yelling at each other. Finally he comes out and tells me she see me in a minute. 20 minutes later she called me into her office and said that I would have to fill out an affidavit to the Chinese restaurant even though the refund was given because I had the receipt. When I started to tell her about what the Assistant and I discussed she wanted no part of it and said it wasn't a bank error so they were not going to refund my money. So again I was out $78. I also would like to mention that the dates on debits and charges change all the time so the bank got you so screwed up and that's what they want so they can take your money.

How is it fair that Citizens Bank practice this way. How can my online banking page to my account be different from theirs. Its robbery if you ask me.

I have finally had it and am switching banks. I hope something can be done about this so people don't keep getting robbed.
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yoke on 04/14/2009:
This is why you never rely on online banking. You should have gone by what was in your account register.
Anonymous on 04/14/2009:
Yoke, don't you know? Technology has relieved us of all personal responsibility.
yoke on 04/14/2009:
ken, that is what is sounds like.
grandma005 on 04/14/2009:
It sounds like you should go to your ATM once a week and withdraw enough money for the whole week. Pay for your small purchases in cash. When the cash is gone no more spending and no more NFS fees.
yoke on 04/14/2009:
grandma, if they did that then how can they blame the bank when they run out of cash?
BokiBean on 04/14/2009:
They're not blaming the bank for running out of cash. They're blaming the bank for getting royally screwed for NSF which makes recovery much more difficult.
Anonymous on 04/14/2009:
Boki, is it the bank's fault that she doesn't keep a register and has no idea of what is available in the account to spend?
Ponie on 04/14/2009:
'...the past 2 years...probably only 2 of them were my fault.' Very, very poor record. Fortunately, I've never been the victim of bank fees. It's not because I'm 'rich.' It's because I don't spend money I don't have. Boki, it's extremely rare that a bank 'screwed' someone out of NSFs. Those initials stand for a simple customer brought on situation. If the funds are not there, they're not there. Some people should really learn technology before they attempt to use it!
CrazyRedHead on 04/14/2009:
Yeah, this don't sound much like the banks fault at all.
BokiBean on 04/14/2009:
I'm glad to agree to disagree about how banks stack debits to their advantage, thus taking advantage of their customers.

Debits should come in in the order that they are presented to the bank. It was done that way for years and nobody yelped about NSF...they knew it was the cost of doing business with a bank if they overdrew. Then someone got smart at the banks and figured out that rearranging debits, highest to the lowest would net them more money in NSF. IMO, that's a ripoff. If people don't get it, I can't explain it anymore.
Anonymous on 04/14/2009:
Well said Boki!
Anonymous on 04/14/2009:
Best answer, Boki. That's the core of nearly all the complaints we read here..rearranging debits to maximize on NSF fees.

I hate it when I read that people shouldn't rely on their online banking statement too. Why not? Banks have the ability to instantly show a transaction, in fact some have done commercials on it, showing a customer swiping their debit card, then checking online and tada the transaction is there. I'm not saying a person should rely solely on the online records but if they're not accurate, then banks shouldn't have them.
yoke on 04/14/2009:
boki, if they had the funds to cover all the debits/checks then it would not matter in which order the debit/check went in. The ones complaining are the ones who do not have enough money in their account to cover all the debits/checks they have done.
BokiBean on 04/14/2009:
Thanks ya'll!
BokiBean on 04/14/2009:
Correct yoke. Its usually people living from paycheck to paycheck. That makes it worse, IMO.
yoke on 04/15/2009:
boki, I feel bad for them, but it is getting old that there are complaints daily from people who overdraw their accounts and then blame the bank because the bank cleared them in an order that caused NSF. IMO, banks should go back to declining purchases if the funds are not there. Then we would get daily gripes about how BofA declined their $5.00 purchase.
Anonymous on 04/15/2009:
Where I used to bank, before they were bought out, I flat out asked them if the debits were taken out first and then the credits added. They told me that nothing happened until the end of the day. At that time, the credits were added and then the debits taken out, in that order, every day. It's too bad that most banks don't follow this practice.

I can easily see how if you are relying on a deposit and then make debit purchases, you could easily overdraw your account. I think it's an honest mistake by the unknowing customer, not necessarily something dishonest. If the banks did what my old bank did, there would be less disatisfield customers who probably cannot afford the high fees.
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Fraudulent Activity On Account And The Bank Is Passing The Buck...
Posted by on
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I was made aware of fraudulent activity on a joint checking account in 2007.

As soon as I found out what was happening I personally went to a local branch to discuss. I worked with the branch manager and filled out several affidavits. As a result of the fraud, the account had gone well into the overdraft line of credit that was linked to the account. The branch manager attempted to fax the affidavits but informed me that it was not going through, she said I could come back or call the next day. I made several attempts to reach her over the next few days but was told she was out. The other employees had no information about my case or account. A short time later I heard that the branch manager was "let go" and shortly after that, the local branch was closed. There were no records of the affidavits to be found, I never got copies and no one had any clue as to anything odd going on with my account.

I have been reaching out to various employees in the fraud department, phone bank department and executive office. However, each time I do I am given different kinds of bogus information and basically led down paths that lead to dead ends.

Although I have made monthly payments to the OD account, it seems that some of my payments had gone missing. At one point I was told that since the account was frozen and/or closed I couldn't make on-line bill payments. That does not make sense since some of my on-line bill payments have indeed been credited to the account. No one is able to pull up any account information. I have been transferred and hung up on by the colleagues in the phone bank and basically called a liar in a letter received from DDA Counseling.

Over a year ago I emailed several screen shots to a colleague in the fraud department which clearly showed my payments being made to the correct address, with the correct account number.
Yesterday I was told that this email was never received. The worst part is now the burden of looking for all of my old records and providing proof of payment again is put on me even though I had already done this.

Example: My September payment had gone missing and no one could find it. Then suddenly the payment was found but it wasn't credited until the beginning of October. If you look at October you will see there is a credit on 10/3 which was the September payment. There is another credit at the end of October which is the correct October payment. How many times has this happened? How many times have payments gone missing that I never even noticed! Meanwhile, even when payments are received and credited properly they keep sending 30 day lates to the credit agencies.

Last - if no one can find any of the affidavits and if some of my payments had gone missing... where is my personal information?

They refuse to do an investigation. Won't even mention the word "archives".

Everything that has gone wrong with this account is a direct result of the fraud.

Another example: I paid off the OD account in full on 8/3/08. The payment was not credited until 9/3/08. Does it really take a full month to receive the payment? or are they trying to accrue more finance charges and late fees?

Personally, I think the branch manager, who was let go at the branch that was closed down was pulling an inside job. Further more, I think the employees at Citizens Bank know this to be true and are trying to cover it up.

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yoke on 09/04/2008:
Why are you making payments if fraud is involved? have you contacted your local police about this?
MSCANTBEWRONG on 09/04/2008:
Has a police report been filed for the fraudulent charges? Why are you paying them if they are indeed fraudulent? Something doesn't make sense here...
Cushman68 on 09/04/2008:
I've been making regular payments to the OD in, as it turns out, a pointless attempt to keep my credit history in good standing. I figured I'd make the payments until the issue was investigated and resolved at which point they would credit the funds.
yoke on 09/04/2008:
When you filed the police report what did they say?
Anonymous on 09/04/2008:
I understand the OPs desire to protect a credit rating. But, the OP could also contact the bureaus to request a fraud report notation on any black marks from this. In a perverted sort of way, making payments can indicate the charges are not bogus. It could be a terrible, coincidental cascade of events. But, I am puzzled how everything related to this could be lost and the branch closed. If so, it has to be the ultimate in banking incompetency. I'm going to ride the fence on this one.
yoke on 09/04/2008:
I always thought that by making payments you admit you owe the money.
Anonymous on 09/04/2008:
Yoke, very good points. I would be curious to the answers too.
Anonymous on 09/04/2008:
What exactly was the fraudulent activity that occurred on this joint account?
Cushman68 on 09/05/2008:
Ghost of Doc J and others. While it may seem like making the payments indicates that I owe the money I was under the assumption that the fraud was being investigated. I was advised to make the payments until resolved at which point my account would be credited with the funds. CFG wouldn't do anything for me. I did the research and contacted all three credit reporting agencies to report fraud. I sent a consumer file request (100 words or less) to be attached to my credit file through all three agencies, explaining that the poor history with CFG is/was a result of a fraud/investigation. I sent letters with proof, asking for a goodwill gesture to remove information from my file while under investigation to three senor vice chairs and to Sir Fred Goodwin (RBS) out in Scottland. They continue to ignore my requests, pass the buck and basically call me a liar. The fraudulent activity that occurred - on-line purchases using the debit card number. The reason why I found out was because I got a call from Best Buy saying they needed additional information in order to approve the "large" on-line purchase I was trying to make. Needless to say I was not making any on-line purchase. I went directly to the bank after I got that phone call. When they say "not your typical bank" they are not kidding!
yoke on 09/05/2008:
Sounds like a mess. Good luck.
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Excessive Fees
Posted by on
BUFFALO, NEW YORK -- I was a customer of Charter One Bank for many years and never had a problem. In fact, Charter One was a GREAT bank... until it was acquired by Citizens Bank a few years ago. Since the acquisition, I have had more problems than I can enumerate. The main issue is that Citizens Bank is always coming up with innovative ways to charge excessively high fees.

For example, I went on a trip and overdrew my account by approximately $15. Because I was on vacation, I admittedly wasn't keeping a close watch on my account. However, because Citizens charges a fee for being overdrawn and then additional fees each day the account remains overdrawn, by the time I returned home a week later, my account was $800 to the negative. I was shocked that that amount of fees would be charged for a mere $15 overdraft.

On another occasion, I checked my account online and discovered that I had been charged overdraft fees even though my account was not overdrawn. I had made a deposit, and 4 or 5 days later made some purchases. The account still had a positive balance, but I had been charged $142 in overdraft fees. When I called customer service, I was given some run around about being charged the fees in anticipation that the purchases would clear before the deposit. It took insisting to speak to a manager and having to yell and scream at these people to get them to reverse (only some) of the fees.

Most recently, I went into the bank to make a payment via check on a small loan that I have. I have been making payments on this loan in this manner for 7 months without issue. However, on this most recent attempt to my bill, I was told that it is the bank's policy not to accept payment on the loan while my checking account has a $0 balance. I explained to the teller that I am trying to close the checking account [because I hate their bank and all the fees they charge!] but was told I could not close the checking account until the loan was paid off. I don't want to put money in the checking account; I want to pay on my loan! The teller told me that she would have to deposit my check into the checking account and wait for it to clear before the bank would accept a payment on my loan. Today is Thursday, July 3rd. Because tomorrow is a holiday, and then it will be the weekend, my check will not clear until Monday, July 7th. The due date on the loan payment is Sunday, July 6th, so they are basically forcing me to make the payment late so they can CHARGE MORE FEES.

Stay away from Citizens Bank! I understand a financial institution's need to protect itself; however, Citizens' "policies" are only designed to get you trapped in holding accounts with them so they can continuously rape you with fees. They're probably one of the biggest racketeering operations going.
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tnchuck100 on 07/03/2008:
"When I called customer service, I was given some run around about being charged the fees in anticipation that the purchases would clear before the deposit."

That is a bunch of crap!

"I was told that it is the bank's policy not to accept payment on the loan while my checking account has a $0 balance."

That is also a bunch of crap!

You definitely want to get shed of these idiots as soon as possible. Even if you need to get another loan from a different source to pay off these bozos!
Anonymous on 07/03/2008:
It would be crap if it were true Chuck, but look at the OP's own words: "I was given some run around about being charged the fees in anticipation that the purchases would clear before the deposit." In other words, the OP used a debit card when there were nbot funds in the account, then tried to beat the (electronic) transaction to the bank. Can't be done.
As for the loan, if the OP is paying with their own check, we already know there is no money in the account. If they are trying to pay with a check that should be a deposit item, like a pay check or a personal check from someone else, the bank is correct in wanting ti to clear through a deposit account as intended. Loans do not have float or check holds applied to them in the manner that deposit accounts do. There is also not an easy mechanism to charge back an item which does not clear since interest must be recalculated and re-applied. This is not to say that it can't be done, it obviously can, but the bank is justified in wanting a deposit item to be deposited.
tnchuck100 on 07/03/2008:
Ken, the key word in the first sentence was "anticipation". This IS crap! As far as the payment I did assume it was not a check against the zero balance account.

In addition, fees that result in an $800 negative balance over a $15 overdraft does sound like Citizens Bank went nuts. I am not saying the OP is blameless. He admits he caused the original problem.
CrazyRedHead on 07/03/2008:
I keep a checking register and keep adequate funds in my account so I don't have to deal with fees. I haven't had any fees in 10 years.
yoke on 07/04/2008:
How many debits went NSF due to the $15 error? $800 is a lot in fee's.
old fart on 07/04/2008:
Totally fishy.... banks don't guesstimate overdraft fees...
Either there is sufficient money in the account or there is not.
Josephine124 on 03/03/2010:
KenPopcorn - I made the deposit first then made the purchases 4 or 5 days later - plenty of time for the deposit to have cleared before the purchases were made. And as for my payment on the loan, I made the payment with a check written from my M&T checking account. (I do not use my Citizens checking account, because I want to close it, and I certainly would not write a check against a $0 balance.) This is the way I had been paying on the Citizens loan consistently for many months. Most banks do accept loan payments made via check without requiring that the loan payment be deposited in a checking account first. I don't even HAVE a checking account at HSBC, and I regularly make my mortgage payment there with my M&T checks without hassle. HSBC has never required me to open a checking account, deposit my mortgage payment, wait for it to clear and then transfer the funds to pay the loan. But this is how Citizens suddenly mandated I make my loan payments. This is even how I have to pay on the loan if I pay in cash - make the cash deposit into the checking account, then get on the computer to transfer the funds to pay the loan. I've never dealt with a bank that required so many extra, and completely unnecessary steps, to do something so simple as make a loan payment.
Anonymous on 03/03/2010:
Josephine, no bank requires you to deposit into a checking account to make your payment, you can pay with a check drawn anywhere. I don't know where you are getting your facts, but someone is giving you bad information.

If you go into the branch and explain that you do not understand how you were overdrawn, they can pull a statement which will show your daily running balance, and every item as it was posted, and what caused the overdrafts. OF sums it up correctly.
I hate citizens bank on 03/06/2010:
Citizens accidentally "unlinked" my auto loan from my checking account which made my total balance drop. This caused them to charge ME $20 for THEIR MISTAKE - it took me FIVE MONTHS to get them to reverse it...countless hours of talking to a bunch of people who did not care at all- the only reason they finally reversed it is because I finally sent a complaint to the PA Banking commission. I had names dates and evidence- It became the principal of the thing - Citizens Bank does NOT care at all about their customers once they reel you in....they do not know a thing about customer service and are not willing to correct a charge even when it was clearly their error...I have NO WAY of "unlinking" an account - it happened internally and they still made me jump through hoops for 5 months to give me my money back..I am sure they figured that eventually I would go away and they would keep the lousy $20 - I guess if they do that to enough people it adds up! -
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Unethical Overdraft Practices & Contempt Towards It's Own Customers
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had three pending transactions with Citizens Bank which I notice on June 11, 2014 put my account in the negative. These transactions were still pending and the funds didn't actually leave my account yet. On June 12, 2014 my payroll check was directly deposited in my account. When I checked my account everything was fine. On June 13, 2014 I was charged $105.00 in fees.

I contacted customer service regarding this matter and the girl told me she was not able to refund any of the fees because I was not eligible for any refunds. So I asked to speak with her supervisor. When Dan got on the phone he was extremely rude and showed utter contempt for having to speak with me on this matter. I explained the situation and he continually told me I was ineligible to receive any refunds on any fees and that I caused Citizens Bank to lose money so I deserved to be charged these fees. I have never been treated like such a piece of garbage in my life.

This bank needs to be stopped. They are completely unethical, they do not case about customer satisfaction and they apparently believe that they are better than you.
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Obfuscation on 06/15/2014:
This is simple. You spent money that you didn't have in the account. The moment that you swiped the card, you became overdrawn. The swipe is the time of the transaction, not when the funds leave the account. This is because the bank is obligated to pay that debit whether or not you subsequently deposit funds to cover it.
When you use a debit card you have to make a decision on who is going to manage the account, you or the bank. If you manage the account (correctly), this will not happen. The bank is all too happy to do it for you if you choose, however they are going to charge you $35 aa pop to do it.
You can bank elsewhere, but the situation likely won't be any different. In this case they didn't do anything unethical, and I totally don't get the 'they are better than you' comment.
Paul on 06/16/2014:
Banks will very commonly refund only one overdraft, and after that you "aren't eligible" for any further refunds. They don't negotiate on this matter, and their computer keeps track of past infractions. I don't believe Citizen's did anything wrong here. The system was probably just catching up if "everything looked fine". You overdrafted so they charged you.
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Am I the Only One Able to Setup Such Insanity in My Life?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CONNECTICUT -- Opened 3 accounts. Real nice branch manager, he took the $.03 to open the 3 accounts and told me to set up online banking to fund the required minimum deposits.

That's where the fun begins- Citizens daily transaction limit, across all accounts, is only 2500$ for online banking.

So I call the 800-number, get a great CSR, and ask her if she can do my transfers... Nope. Ask her if she can close the accounts because they'll incur fees if there's no transfer initiated by Monday. Well, she could, except the $.03 has to come out of each account. So I tell her, 'hang on' and go to transfer the money out... Nope. Citizens minimum transaction amount is 10$.

I tell her I don't care about the $.03 (I'm laughing at this point, so is she) She just about busted a gut when I told her the $.03 came out of the branch manager's pocket.

I'll see you in the morning, Citizens. Closing accounts before we ever got started together. Thank goodness after seeing some of the awful press n' reviews. Its too bad, I really wanted a local bank, but I don't have many options. Guess I'll stick to USAA for now
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ok4now on 01/05/2013:
Try joining a credit union and avoid these headaches. Better rates, no fees and they are accountable to the customer not shareholders.
CUontheFlipSide on 01/05/2013:
I'm not sure I'd call them a local bank, they are in many states and are a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
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Invasion of privacy & Profiteering
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MASSACHUSETTS -- Recently went to a teller at the bank and attempted to cash a check that was drawn on their bank ( my paycheck) I had my I. D in hand and was ready to provide. I was told that I had to be fingerprinted and pay $7.00. I was taken aback by this request and declined the transaction. Let me get this straight, The check was drawn on their bank, they are getting paid by the account holder to provide this service. I have to be fingerprinted as if I am being assumed as anything but legitimate? and pay $7 for it ?? My drivers license was not adequate ?
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trmn8r on 08/10/2012:
You can easily research the fingerprinting policy for non-account holders - it is common, and legal.

As for the fee, several banks do this today as well, and that may also be researched readily.
oldisgood on 08/11/2012:
in today's world this is completely normal.
bob932304 on 08/11/2012:
They are providing a service to you so they charge and with so many frauds going on with checks they are protecting themselves. Just use your own credit union or bank and this won't happen.
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Home Equity Balloons
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FLINT, MICHIGAN -- Payments were always on time, the home equity note came due and the house value was below that of the mortgage amount. Citizens Bank decided to "fix the rate and term out the loan" raising the 3.25% rate to 8%. This increased my payments from $408/mo. to $1100/mo.

The amazing thing was my income was down about 70% (business closed down & I started a new job) and the bank "approved" my loan (terming the balloon note out). Citizens told me to apply for a "modification" but the bank who approved my loan restructure, denied my modification! Mr. King at Citizens told me if I wasn't happy with his decision I could take my business elsewhere, knowing fully you can't refinance a home equity underwater.....the note is past due now and they take money out of my accounts to pay late fees and bring the account current, been a nightmare for me.....
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bob932304 on 08/01/2012:
This is probably all laid out in the mortgage contract which is probably more pages than a book. I hope you can work it out. Bankers strike again.
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