Sovereign Bank Complaint - Terrible, Very Very Bad Experience With Checking Account And Customer Service
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- Sovereign Bank has very bad customer service and their "unavailable funds" fees are almost fraud except for a loop-hole.
They charged me almost $300 recently (for transactions that took place more than 2 weeks ago but didn't charge fines for until 3 days ago) through a loophole in the Check 21 law.
Essentially: I deposited 2 out of state checks a couple weeks ago. The $$$ showed up as an available balance on ATM receipts so I used my debit card and didn't think twice about it. 2 weeks later, my checking account is down by almost $300 -- why? They are allowed to arbitrarily hold an out-of-state check for up to 14 days without notice to an account holder (this is how an accountant friend explained it to me). So even though the $ from the out of state checks said available on my ATM receipts, really it "arbitrarily" wasn't -- and I got charged $300 in unavailable funds fees. When I complained --because for 2 weeks, every time I went to the ATM, it said FUNDS AVAILABLE -- Sovereign refused to refund any part of the fees. Their tellers and agents at the local branch in Providence I go to were rude and so were the agents on their 1-800 customer service line.
I have been told that Citizens Bank, their local competitor, rarely holds out-of-state checks, notifies customers when they do so, and will refund fees for a first time offense.
DO NOT BANK WITH SOVEREIGN.
My accountant friend who explained the legal aspects of this to me said that after he reviewed Sovereign's over-draft and fees policies, they're one of the worst he's ever seen for personal banking.