First National Bank

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Excellent Customer Service
Posted by on
My husband travelled up to NY to take care of arrangements for his father, who passed away last week. He called me today from the funeral home to tell me that the credit card he tried to use to pay for the cremation was declined. We have a balance on that card, and the charge from the funeral home would've put us well over our credit limit. I called the cc company, First National Bank of Omaha, to see if they could raise our limit or at least authorize the charge. I did not have high hopes and was already trying to figure out which relative I could ask to help us out.
I got through to a representative right away. I explained the situation to Tracy, who said that she could try to get approval from her credit department and that if she put a rush on it she could probably have an answer for us within 4 hours. I thanked her for her help but I told her that we didn't have the luxury of 4 hours; my husband was going to be hitting the road this evening (back to Florida) and that I would try to find another solution. She then said that she could try one more way to help me, and did a quick income verification. She asked for my husband's cell phone # to get some info from him (since he's the primary cardholder) and asked me to hold. 5 minutes later she was back; she had raised our credit limit, the charge from the funeral home had gone through, and my husband still had available credit on the card to take care of motels, gas and other expenses for his trip home.
I was bowled over by her can-do attitude; she took control of a difficult situation and made sure that we were taken care of.
It's not often that one gets excellent customer from a credit card company but today I definitely did.
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 01/04/2011:
My condolences. Glad to hear they came through in this stressful time. Maybe later you can call corporate and let them know how Tracy helped out.
Anonymous on 01/04/2011:
Glad to hear of a bank doing the right thing in your time of need. Thank you for the uplifting post. It gives me hope that other businesses may take note.
Anonymous on 01/04/2011:
I'm glad to hear that they helped you out. Goes to show that there are businesses that still have some heart.
Venice09 on 01/05/2011:
I'm sorry you and your husband had to go through this, but it's good to know that personal service still exists, especially in the banking industry.
Alain on 01/05/2011:
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. It's nice to know there are still some businesses that care about their customers.
momsey on 01/05/2011:
Excellent review. You're right, you don't hear things like this often from credit card companies. Nice to see there are still humans working in the banking/credit industry!
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Bank overdraft charges
Posted by on
KILLEEN, TEXAS -- Banks use creative accounting methods to put accounts into the negative on paper. When you get overdrafts against your account and ask the bank about them, the bank goes over your account and usually comes up with the reason behind the overdrafts is that there are holds against your account from charge transactions that haven't cleared yet.
Sound familiar (holds against your account that haven't cleared yet)

How in the world can that be true?

Holds are just arbitrary figures that are out there in cyber space, if they don't get turned into hard transactions they get dropped off. No money changes hands.
But, during that magically 3 to 4 days after you have used your debit card as a charge card you have these magically holds on your account.

The banks computer uses these magically hold amounts, to show you how your account was overdrawn and that was the reason for the overdraft.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but every time you use your debt card for a charge purchase, if you check your account balance you will see it has been lowered to reflect that charge transaction.

How can the bank have a hold against an already adjusted account balance??? How can they use holds against your account to justify overdraft charges, before those holds turn into payments that they send out to someone? Some holds get dropped without the bank ever paying anyone.

I understand how holds should work. You make a charge for $40 the bank subtracts that amount from your available balance and place that $40 into a hold status until the bank pays that merchant his $40 for the purchase that you made.

But, that $40 in the hold status should be a positive amount, all they did was move it from your account balance to a hold status until it gets paid out.
When the bank gets that $40 charge in from the merchant the bank matches that charge with the holds, (money that they moved from your available balance) if they match up, the merchant is paid and the hold gets dropped.

I understand that there (phantom) holds placed against your account from time to time examples (gas purchases, rental cars, hotels, restaurants) some of these places put holds on your funds to check out to see if the account is valid, if they never match up or get paid there dropped off after 3 to 4 days.
But, the banks will overdraft your account for those invalid holds that never get paid, if they happen to put your account in the negative according to their computer.

Holds and reorganizing the debits and credits against your account are some of the creative accounting methods that the banks used to steal money from their customers, the banks steal and our Congress drives the get away car.
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FoggyOne on 12/11/2007:
Balance your checkbook with your checks and debit card transactions and always check Available balance at your bank. You know the bank is going to hold some or all of your deposits. They punish the customer severely for overdrafts.
steve101 on 12/11/2007:
I agree with Foggy. 99% of these problems are due to people not keeping an old fashioned paper and pencil check register.
yoke on 12/11/2007:
Problem is when you use your debit card you don't know which merchants also put a hold on the money. There are times we have put something on the debit card say for $50. That debit turns into $100 right away (the original $50 plus the $50 hold), so for 5 days your dinner might have cost $100. So even if you kept a register it is the hold that can screw you up. You have $100 in your checking account, before you use your debit card. You then think you have $50 left. You use the debit card some place else and that is when you get hit with the fee.
Ponie on 12/11/2007:
Although your argument has merit, yoke, when using your debit card for that $50 dinner, you know in advance this is how it's computed, don't you? If so, it still boils down to 'don't spend more than you have in your account.' BTW, it's for reasons such as this that I have never, ever, ever, used a debit card. And I certainly won't in the future, either.
pjhwin on 12/12/2007:
Balance your account you say???

1 + 1 doesn't = 2 when you figure in Holds against accounts.

Lets say you write a check to me for $100 and I wait till your account balance is $80, if I call the bank on the phone and tell them that you gave me a check for $100. Could the bank look at your account and see that you only had $80 and overdraft you before I got down to the bank and presented them with the check for payment? You say No?

Why not? They do the same thing with other holds, except instead of being notified by phone, they get an electronic message. Holds should have no bearing on your account until the bank has to make the payment on it.
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