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Huntington Bank / overdraft protection - opting in

Columbus, OH, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I opened a new checking account last May at Huntington Bank. I have liked the account and never had any fees, problems, or issues.

I have heard about the new legislation where consumers now have to "opt-in" for "overdraft protection" for transactions on their ATM/debit card. I didn’t really know what that meant. I just always figured if you didn’t have the money in your checking account, the transaction would just be declined. Made sense to me. Well I was called last week asking if I wanted to “opt-in” to the overdraft protection which means that I won’t have those “embarrassing situations” when a charge is declined due to no available funds and the “bank is there to protect me” and I have “24 hours to put the money back into my account” to cover any negative balance and I will “never be assessed a fee.”

Well here is what happened. I rarely use this card/checking account but set it up last May because they sent me one of those free $100 offers if I signed up for a new checking account and put money in it every month by direct deposit. So I put in $100 a month and don’t really use this account much.

Last Friday I had a balance in the account of $45.55. Over the weekend I made a few purchases:

$10.00 – entrance fee (for 2) to a bar/club – balance now = $35.55
$7.80 – late night Taco Bell (bad, I know) – balance now = $27.75
$8.59 – gas station, don’t remember what – balance now = $19.16

Now here is where it gets interesting. I went to the drive-thru for beer (yes, we have drive-thrus for beer in Ohio) at Macadoo’s, where I have been going for well over 8 years now for beer. The beer after tax was $6.59. She ran my card and came to me with the little clip board to sign and the receipt showed $65.90. She obviously mis-keyed the transaction amount and added a zero at the end. Now in the old world, this would have just been declined, she would have noticed and then ran it for the correct amount, which would have been approved and brought my balance down to $12.57. But because I now have this amazing protection from the bank, it ran through and made my account negative (pending transactions only, nothing has posted to my account yet – it’s the weekend). I noticed the amount was wrong on the receipt and I told her so she cancelled the transaction and printed me a receipt for the right amount, $6.59.

On Monday I still showed an account balance of $45.55. However I had 5 pending transactions:

Bar/club - $10.00
Taco Bell - $7.80
Speedway - $8.59
Macadoo’s - $65.90
Macadoo’s - $6.59

So on Monday night/Tuesday evening, even though only the four legitimate transactions were presented for payment, they still deducted that $65.90 from my available balance, which I guess is now what they are using to determine if you overdrew your account.

So they took the largest amount first (even though it was a cancelled transaction, I never signed for it, Macadoo’s never presented the amount for payment) and deducted it from my account. So my balance now equals ($45.55 - $65.90 = -$20.35)

So then they charge me $37.50 each for the other 4 transactions totaling $150.00 saying my account was overdrawn when the 4 items were presented for payment, even though ONLY the 4 legitimate charges were – the $65.90 was NOT. They assess these fees on 2/15/11, however if you look at my account ending on 2/14/11 (actual balance – ignoring that pending/incorrect transaction), it shows they paid all 4 VALID transactions and my true/real/posted account balance never went negative. It did not go negative until after they posted the $150 in fees on 2/15/11.

So my question is this… how can a bank say you overdrew your account on a transaction that will never be presented for payment, was never presented for payment, was cancelled by the merchant, and never posted to my account?

Had I never opted in to the “overdraft protection” they would not have allowed my balance to go negative when she accidentally overcharged me and I wouldn’t have been charged $150 on 4 charges totaling around $30. The transaction would have been declined and the merchant would have noticed – keyed in the right amount – end of story.

The overdraft protection is a scam. It is just a way for the banks to now be able to legally assess you fees. Think about this if you are thinking about opting into this service. It is just a way for banks to make money by bypassing the law Obama signed in July, 2010 to protect consumers from this very thing. By now “opting-in” you are really just allowing banks to manipulate your account as best they can to get more money out of you in outrageous fees.

Oh, and about getting those fees back (the erroneous $65.90 did drop off my account and was never presented for payment), the bank is telling me that it is the merchant’s fault and I have to take it up with them. I doubt Macadoo’s is going to give me $150 for an honest mistake/transaction that she did cancel on their credit card machine and they never presented to the bank for payment. It just still (to the bank’s benefit) sat on my account as a pending charge that they used to deduct from my available balance even thought it was never a valid charge so they could say I overdrew my account – which I never did.

Please pass this on so others are aware of what the banks are up to….


Todd Eckstein
Battelle Memorial Institute
Information Management
505 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43201
[protected]@battelle.org
[protected] ph / [protected] fax


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Comments

  • Di
      Apr 08, 2012

    Credit card (Visa orMastercard debit cards) refunds may take 3-5 business days to post back to your account. Preauthorizations (gas or restaurants) fall off after 3 days or when the merchant submits the receipt, whichever is sooner. Too bad the beer store screwed up. What is their name?

    +1 Votes
  • Li
      Jul 19, 2012
    Huntington Bank - calls of all hours of the day
    huntington bank mcdonald pa
    McDonald
    Pennsylvania
    United States

    they call me 3 times a day on my cell wail at work to harras me for money that i don't have untill payday i told them before they are harrasing me they just won't stop even after i get payied will like a new back butt with my cerdit score stuck with this crap hole unless i can sue them for harrasment

    0 Votes
  • Cl
      Apr 01, 2017

    @Link2390 I understand this was years ago but number one was the bank calling about overdraft fees? In 2010 there were some new rules passed and one of them if you dont opt-in for overdraft protection for a one time ATM or check transaction the bank can pay an overdraft but they can't charge you any fees. Huntington bank may be responsible for millions or tens of millions of dollars for charging overdraft fees on ATM transaction or a non recurring check transaction if the costumer did not knowingly and willingly opt-in for overdraft protection. There are also rules and and laws regarding collections of any kind such as hours of the day they can call you, excessive calling or harassment and they can't call you at work. It was years ago but at the time with the proper documentation and evidence you could have likely received a settlement including possibly punitive damages. The first step would be to file a complaint with the BBB in order to get documentation such as a lie in writing from the bank. If you told them you are at work and your work hours but continued to call a response to your complaint denying it would be a great start. Also file a complaint with the consumer financial protection bureau for additional documentation. With documentation of lies or even admission and being able to prove your work hours along with your logs of when they called you could certainly sue and likely win. The law doesn't care about what you say only what you can prove so documentation is everything. Whether you owe money or not is irrelevant its about breaking the rules or laws that collector have to obey. Every consumer and individual has rights, the reason these companies do what they do is because most people wont or dont know how to stand up for their rights. Im looking for people who's rights were violated by HUNTINGTON BANK if you believe they have contact me at [protected]@gmail.com mine where and I can prove it and have an attorney who may be able to help others with consumer rights issues with HUNTINGTON BANK ONLY. Without sounding too dramatic i want to go after HUNTINGTON BANK in the biggest way possible. I believe there is a statute of limitations so it may be too late unfortunately but i'm not an attorney so I can't say for sure.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      Jul 20, 2012

    You can't sue someone for calling when you don't pay your bills. Not paying bills = bad credit score.

    0 Votes
  • Cl
      Apr 01, 2017

    @Tired_of_Stupid Im also tired of stupid so i understand how you feel but perhaps i can explain it to you. What you say is true but its not that simple. There are rules and and laws regarding collections, one of them is they can't call you at work. It was years ago but at the time with the proper documentation and evidence he could have likely received a settlement including possibly punitive damages. The first step would be to file a complaint with the BBB in order to get documentation such as a lie in writing from the bank. Also file a complaint with the consumer financial protection bureau for additional documentation. With documentation of lies or admission and being able to prove your work hours along with your logs of when they called he could certainly sue and win. The law doesn't care about what you say only what you can prove so documentation is everything. Whether he owes money or not is irrelevant its about breaking the rules or laws that collector have to obey. Every consumer and individual has rights, the reason these companies do what they do is because most people wont or dont know how to stand up for their rights. Im looking for people who's rights were violated by HUNTINGTON BANK if you believe they have contact me at [protected]@gmail.com mine where and I can prove it and have an attorney who may be able to help others. Without sounding too dramatic i want to go after HUNTINGTON BANK in the biggest way possible.

    0 Votes
  • Oo
      Feb 11, 2013

    I used to get a lot of overdraft fees when I didn't understand how they charged them. While posted items matter, it took my banker sitting me down to look at my transactions to realize that pending charges count against me. Also, it's not the bank that send the money out, they have to wait for merchants to claim the funds. Pending does not mean that they have claimed it.

    Sorry about the beer store messing things up. Honest mistake or not, it wasn't the banks fault either.

    0 Votes
  • Cl
      Apr 01, 2017

    @Oona123 According to the story the last charge which was also erroneous was posted first. Pending or not banks need to post by date not when they say a transaction went through. What they did was against a statute passed in 2010 but many banks dont care its more profitable to collect the fees by any means possible and pay a fine or a lawsuit. The bank post as they do intentionally to overdraw the account and charge fees on multiple transactions rather than the one that overdrew the account and they will even charge fees on fees. The bank can immediately see the transaction (its not like the old days when a merchant had to manually send the transactions) and the date and even if they couldn't why do you think the highest transaction is always posted first? Banks used to be fine financial institutions but these days they are more like a fast food restaurant with the same type of employees, not that there is anything wrong with working at a fast food place but calling the clerk at a bank a banker isn't an accurate description of the people working in banks these days. Also did you know that bank managers get paid on overdraft fees so of course that person will try to legitimize overdrafts. In most cases if you call the home office about an overdraft they will tell you to go talk to your bank branch because that person has the ability to reverse a fee but will loose money and good standing with the bank because fees are good and a branch manager who collects the most fees is a good manager for the bank. This is true with most banks I suppose that after many lawsuits and regulatory actions some banks may have changed their policies but not Huntington they will try to get away with anything whether its legal or not and most consumers will just take it because they dont want to deal with it or dont know how to deal with it. I have been in the financial services industry for 35 years and have crossed paths with banks many times i have a fair idea what i'm talking about. Go to a facebook page i created called (Bank Complaints and Opinions. Former Employees Welcome) and watch some of the videos i posted about the banking system and how it works and read some of the complaints posted from various websites including from the financial consumer protection bureau where there are something like 4000 pages of complaints just against Huntington.

    0 Votes
  • Cl
      Apr 01, 2017

    I know this was years ago dont know if you resolved it in your favor but there seem to be a number of issues with what the bank did. what they did i believe is called stacking and a law was passed in 2010 that i believe should have prevented posting the highest one first to intentional overdraw your account besides the amount was erroneous. I had 3 diferent/separate issues with huntington and have an attorney who took the case on a contingency basis because i provided proof they were wrong. The attorney works for a large law firm in chicago and is licensed in ohio, of course a large firm is always looking for a class action suit but unless people come forward it cant be done. If you read this or anyone reads this who had a legitimate problem with Huntington as many people have i would like to try to help, i hate seeing consumers taken advantage of by large companies and feel helpless to do anything as the little guy against a bully which is what Huntington bank is. I can be contacted at this email address ([protected]@gmail.com) be sure to capitalize HUNTINGTON COMPLAINT HELP in the subject line. Im an insurance agent with 35 years of business experience im not an attorney however im very good at helping people and i love doing so.

    0 Votes

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