Complaint - Complaint about misleading information and unfair charges

Review by stu on 2001-03-02

As a frequent user of your company, I feel obligated to share with you my experience.

My checking account balance was getting low, so I mailed a check on 2/16/01 to Knowing that some checks clear faster than others, I waited a few days, then began checking online every day to see if the check cleared. On 2/21/01 the balance column on my online checking register jumped, indicating a balance of $5,000. Realizing that my account was OK, I let my guard down. Had my balance remained low, I would have wired or transferred money to avoid overdrafts.

Today I received a letter indicating that I had overdrafts beginning on 2/23/01 - a total of seven at $25 each. I called Ms. Marquess in customer service who agreed to reverse one charge. I then talked to her supervisor Ms. Miranov who agreed to reverse three more. She refused to reverse the other three ($75) because technically the check had not cleared, so I did not have funds in the account. I explained that I now understood that, but I was misled by their online display which indicated that my balance was $5,000 (I have a printout of the display). The columns on the checking register in order read: DATE, DESCRIPTION, WITHDRAWAL, DEPOSIT, BALANCE. Each row of activity (withdrawal or deposit) changes the amount in the balance column. Ms Miranov explained that that had to do with the general ledger and does not reflect my actual balance. (I am a consumer, not an accountant and I do not understand general ledgers.) Ms Miranov directed me to a single line in a list of items at the top of the page titled, 'Available Balance.' That always indicates my correct balance. I explained that that was good to know for future reference, but when the 'Balance' column in my online register said that I had $5,000 balance, I was unfairly led to believe that the money was there and thought I was safe.

A total of four checks were refused payment, three of the them were posted and refused twice, which means my credit history has been damaged. Additionally I have to waste hours of my time resolving this issue (I am self-employed, so time is money). I used to use CheckFree online bill pay and the balance in their register was always accurate. I currently use Quickbooks and Quicken financial software on my computer - again the balance column exactly reflects my available funds. At, I am supposed to intuitively understand that balance does not really mean balance. I feel that I have been misled and unfairly charged by

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

I would like the three outstanding charges reversed ($75).

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident.

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