In Which I Utter in a Bombastic Declamatory Fashion

I mentioned before that I was pissed at Charter One Bank (part of the RBS banking group). We had been with them for about 6 years with no problems and in the last few months all of a sudden we were getting hit with all kinds of insane charges. For instance, my paycheck gets direct deposited around 2 AM on Friday and I have always had several automatic payments withdrawan out of the account on payday; for 6 years this was never a problem. Apparently they recently changed their rules for deposits  so that now the direct deposit (which is available immediately for a cash withdrawal and shows up in my available funds total) is processed at the end of the business day for to pay automatic withdrawals. So when those payments were automatically withdrawn the deposit technically (by their new insane rules) wasn’t there and my account was technically overdrawn. And here is the new kicker – they charged me TWICE for each overdraw; once when the payment was initiated and AGAIN when the credit card company actually took the money (even though by that time the money was available for payments). So a $100 payment to a credit card cost $80 in fees even when the money was THERE and AVALIABLE for withdrawal (but apparently not avaliable for bill payment)!  This makes all kinds of sense to me made me batshit crazy.

So I call to complain and they tell me I have to go to a branch to get assistance. I go to a branch and the teller is just as confused as I am over all the crazy fees so she calls the “banker” from the back office up to help me. The dude who walks out is no more then 24 years old and I hate to say it but this gets me even angrier. I mean, come on – I’m sure he was well educated and all but I don’t need the Doogie Howser of banking to tell me it’s going to be okay. 

So,I explain the whole thing to him and he pulls up something on his computer that he won’t let me see and I can tell he can’t really figure the fees out either as he keeps trying to search for the same thing over and over and doesn’t get the result he wants.  He gives me a half-hearted and vague explination of the new double fee rule. When I tell him this is total crap and ask for him to waive one fee he tells me he can’t do that and I need to call the 1-800 number from the website (the same people who told me to come to a branch!).  I tell him I plan on closing this account and he tells me “if you think you want to do that I can help you with that, ma’am“.

I ask Mark to go to the branch by his office the next day to see if he can get compentet assistance.  The “banker” there looks at the account, is surprised by the all the fees and takes time to figure out what they are all for. He then apologies profusely and says HE doesn’t have the authority to waive fees but he would call the regional manger to see what he can do. I’m not sure if this is because Mark was dealing with actual adults or because of a gender-respect think but either way we were angry over all of this. The banker from Mark’s branch called back later that day and said while the manger wouldn’t approve the fee-waiver (!) we could submit a formal request to have the fees refunded and in 6-8 weeks they tell me if they will even consider it. UGHHH!!

Later that week, we opened an account at a local Credit Union and started the process of switching banks. We left $5 in the Charter One account for about 2 weeks after the last automatic payment was made, just in case. We went to close the account for good this past weekend only to discover a new fee had been charged – $35 was charged for low activity (again, I had this account for 6 years and never experienced anything like this). Then, of course, since the money I had remaining in the account was less then $35 they then charged me an overdraft fee on the fee they charged me! Apparently Charter One is not a bank so much as it is a never-ending hellish vortex of fess.

I pitched a fit, but no one would help so I ponied up the cash, closed the account and stormed out. In my view, they owe me $155 and I’m going to keep throwing tantrums until they pay up.

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