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People's United Bank


1 Reviews & Complaints

Overdraft Fee
Posted by Shootingstar1284 on 06/16/2010
I have worked at a bank, and have held accounts at three banking institutions, so I feel I'm fairly reasonable with my expectations. I have always had payroll checks made immediately available, including at People's United Bank. It was under the assumption that the last payroll check I deposited would be made immediately available that I asked for cash back as part of the transaction. Before anyone wonders why my balance was so low, let me answer that. I had just paid the bills due at that time, and since I'm paid biweekly, one of the pay periods cuts it a little close.

I deposited my paycheck and asked for cash back, which required a supervisor override, the first time that has ever happened to me. When I checked my balance, I found out why: the teller did not process my check as immediately available. Furthermore, instead of reducing the amount of the deposit, it was processed as a withdrawal followed by a deposit of the full amount of the check. Neither the teller nor the supervisor who blindly punched in their override disclosed that the check would 1. be held or 2. cause a negative balance. This then caused a $34.00 overdraft fee.

Now, I understand that since I deposited a paper check, the bank is not required to make the funds available immediately. However, like I said above, I have never had payroll checks held at this bank, and if it was going to be held, I would expect to be notified of that. And that being the case, the teller should have also notified me that a cash back request would cause an overdraft. Not telling the customer is a deceitful practice.

When I asked the bank to review the overdraft fee, the canned response basically told me it was my fault (which I would take responsibility for, if not for the following) and to review my receipt for my balance. In reviewing my receipt, my current balance is positive and my available balance is negative. By the time I can "review the receipt" I am already in an overdraft situation.

     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-06-16:
You're living in a new banking world where they will do anything to get fees from you. After all they have stockholders that they need to pay dividends to.
Posted by momsey on 2010-06-16:
That's ridiculous. That's borderline criminal in my mind. Please pursue this! And I hope you move your money out ASAP!
Posted by skelly39 on 2010-06-16:
I thought banks were required to inform you if there would be a hold. This most certainly is their fault. I would pursue the he** out of it! And as far as justifying why your balance was low, you don't have to. It's nobody's business but your own.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2010-06-16:
OP made an incorrect assumption. Taking cash back does not make a check immediately available, by law the first $100 is always available. Even if the cash back amount is higher than that, the bank's funds availability policy still applies to the rest. Further, payroll checks do not get special consideration; when they are processed they are read by machine, and the machine neither knows nor cares what kind of check it is, it applies availability based on the routing number of the bank that the check is drawn on.

The bank is no more at fault for not saying there would be a hold, than the OP is for failing to ask 'when will these funds be available'? People's United is a pretty good bank, and rather than leaving for something possibly worse, ask for a copy of the Funds Availability Policy, and you'll always know when your funds will be free to draw on.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2010-06-16:
Skelly, banks are required to notify you of an EXCEPTIONAL hold. If the check is held under the bank's normal, published hold policies it is assumed that the customer is already aware of the hold. This is the reason that the law dictates that a customer get a copy of the hold policy when they open the account, and also anytime they ask for one. It is also posted in the lobby of the bank.
Posted by shootingstar1284 on 2010-06-16:
Not saying this is the case at People's, but when I worked at a bank, we had three options when entering the check--immediately available, 2 day hold and 5 day hold. I would not have assumed that the funds were immediately available had they not set that precedent for the last 7 years I've had an account there. My gripe is not so much that it was held, but that they not only didn't tell me it would be, but conveniently overrode a negative balance and caused a fee without telling me so. The first $100 wasn't actually made immediately available, because my balance would have still accomodated for the cash back if that were the case. I'm more upset that they knowingly let a transaction go through that caused a fee, while I was standing there, without confirming that I still wanted to proceed.
Posted by momsey on 2010-06-16:
Whether or not the bank is required to tell a customer of a hold, it's borderline criminal in my mind for the teller to happily hand over cash in exchange for a check deposit, and then charge the customer an overdraft fee for taking that cash.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2010-06-16:
Momsey, I wasn't there and cannot say for sure, but cash back on a deposit doesn''t cause an overdraft. If I had to guess, another transaction posted the same night, and debits post first so the overdraft occurred before the deposit posted. On a cash-back deposit, nothing but the deposit posts to the account, so generally speaking it cannot cause the account to be overdrawn.
Posted by shootingstar1284 on 2010-06-16:
Obsfucation-- the cash back did cause the overdraft. Nothing else posted that night, so I can't see where else the fee would come from. The available balance on the receipt was negative and was calculated as though I withdrew that amount from the account followed by a deposit. Once the check "cleared" they posted it as just the difference between the check amount and the cash back.
Posted by yoke on 2010-06-16:
If you had a negative balance after making the deposit it would not have been because of the $100 cash back. You would have had to have been in the negative before making the deposit.
Posted by shootingstar1284 on 2010-06-16:
yoke-- I was not negative prior to making the deposit. My negative available balance after making the deposit was my balance prior to the deposit less the cash back I requested. When I was a teller, that's something that I would have mentioned to the person standing in front of me, and had I not, my bank would have refunded those fees.
Posted by yoke on 2010-06-16:
The teller may have been wrong, but you knew you needed the entire check so all your prior transactions would clear.
Posted by momsey on 2010-06-17:
yoke - the teller and the supervisor approved the cash back, which then caused an overdraft. How is this the OP's fault??? There is no mention of prior transactions anywhere in the review, so where did you get that from?
Posted by shootingstar1284 on 2010-06-17:
Thank you momsey. I just feel that it's a reasonable expectation that if a transaction at a bank requires a supervisor override because it will cause an overdraft, then the human teller should alert the human customer standing in front of him. At People's, tellers are called "customer service representatives" and I believe that that type of communication is part of customer service.

And yoke, I did not have any prior transactions pending. As I stated, the way the cash back was processed was like a withdrawal from my current balance followed by a deposit of the check.
Posted by bdday on 2012-09-07:
I believe that banks like Peoples intentionally put people at risk so they can collect a fee because,as I was told by a bank employee, fees are what helps the bank pay their employees. Anyone that thinks any bank is on their side these days is just kidding themselves!
Posted by Frank on 2013-08-02:
People's employees have told me that The bank reorders the debits sometimes more than once a day paying the largest first. This, they said, greatly increases the overdraft fees (which it obviously does do). They said "The bank is a business out to make as much money as possible" They all say "It's not illegal" - See People's United Bank Class Action Lawsuit - Izard Nobel LLP

DETAILS‎

Apr 22, 2011 - In April of 2011, Izard Nobel brought suit on behalf of a class of persons injured by Peoples' United Bank's (PUB's) overdraft policies
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