Bank of America Complaint - Unethical use of NSF
I have many accounts at BOA, including several checking, credit cards, line of credit, home mortgage, etc. I have been a customer for many years.
My son authorized a debit card transaction of $150 on November 29, 2007. It showed up right away on online banking as pending. Then it disappeared from pending, and I assumed it had cleared. I depend on the online and do not keep a paper ledger of transactions.
On January 7, 2008, I checked my son's account, a college account, before the 10:45 ET cutoff to make sure that he had sufficient funds. He did not, and so I transferred enough money in to cover the pending charges and get him through the week.
The next day, I found that the debit from 11/29 had been deducted, which had not shown as pending the previous day. Due to BOA's policy of processing the largest debits first and the smallest last, I had incurred $175 in overdraft fees. My son had a paycheck that he had deposited days before (from a major retailer, not a likely source of bad checks) that was not credited. Between his check and my transfer, there should have been no overdraft. And even if they did not credit his check, if they had reversed the order in which they process debits, there would have been one overdraft fee.
The same thing happened approximately one week before, with the online banking showing the account in good standing at the cutoff time, and five overdraft fees the next day.
I have talked to local BOA representatives and to customer service at their 800 number. They gave me a small "courtesy" refund for a portion of the fees. But if they did business in good faith, there would have been no need and I would have had no complaint.
I understand that the largest to smallest processing is legal. I understand that the outrageous fees are legal. Legal does not necessarily equate with right. The banking industry must have a powerful lobby, because they are getting away with robbing their own customers to the tune of billions of dollars a year in overdraft situations that they create through policies intended solely to fatten their already bursting wallets.
I am uncomfortable with entrusting my money to an institution that is avidly intent on getting it away from me in any way they can legally get away with. I will be looking for financial alternatives. And if anyone out there knows of a bank or credit union with more reasonable business practices, I would like to know, since I intend to switch all of my business as soon as I can.
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