Citizens Bank Complaint - Excessive Fees
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.