TCF Bank / Deceptive Practices

MN, United States Review updated:

I would like to inform everyone that TCF uses deceptive practices to increase their fee revenue. We have had a "totally free" checking account with TCF for years. In Jan TCF put a notice in our statement (written in very small font) in a section they normally reserve for advertising informing us they would start charging fees for accounts that do not maintain a min balance. We normally do not check our statements often as we have low activity in that account and were surprised to find they had charged us fees (of course our luck we were keeping a low balance at the time).
It was clear to us that TCF Bank's intent was to deceive consumers by posting the notice in a way that customers would miss the notification in an effort to increase their fee revenue. This borderlines on fraud. If a company plans to materially change the terms of an agreement, it's normal practice to inform the other party in a seperate written letter to clearly explain the change. In some industries this is the law and I'm surprised it's not in the banking industry. Customer service didn't seem to care and quoted "we receive complaints about everything all the time". That doesn't surprise me in the least bit. I'm glad they are open 7 days a week so I can close my accounts there as soon as possible.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • De
      29th of Oct, 2009

    TCF Bank - fraudulent practices

    Here's are my problems with TCF Bank:

    No Running Balance -- The online TCF accounts do not show a running balance or total. It only shows transaction amts (nothing to indicate a balance, positive or negative). The only way to determine if your paper register is accurate is to contact the TCF 1-800 number and try to reconcile/double check info from there. The 1-800 service will give you the balance minus pending transactions (debit or credit only, not checks); last five transactions/deposits and, can tell you if a check has cleared by check #.

    Overdraft Fees are Not Included in Pending Items -- The 1-800 service will give you a balance, but does not include pending overdraft fees" -- so you do not have the opportunity to make a deposit to correct a problem and avoid add'l fees (see my personal example below). You are falsely led to believe your account is in the positive thru receipt of a positive balance statement, a positive balance amount via TCF 1-800 or via the ATM balance. Reality is that you could have pending overdraft fees for transactions (leading to domino effect). If you are slightly off, you wouldn't know until the next day and after other items post, leading to exorbirant fees (@ $35 each, 4 or 5 small transactions can cost you $175 in fees). The TCF practices/policies are not transparent and fair to customers.

    People -- I'm not aware of ANY other bank that does this!! Most ethical banks show customers a running balance and whether or not you are in the negative. If you have a negative balance and have incurred overdraft fees, you know because items are in real time. No gaps or delays in getting information which makes it a guessing game, leading to minor errors and discrepancies that benefit TCF in a BIG way.

    Processing of items structured to benefit TCF in NSF fees: If you have 5 transactions and your acct balance would sufficiently cover 4 of those items, guess what. TCF puts your largest item thru first resulting in a negative balance, and then charges you multiple insufficient fund fees on all the little items that don't clear as a result -- racking up money. A service rep told me they did that at the request of customers who don't want items like their mortgage or car payment rejected. What??? Doesn't make sense because they seem to pay for all the items -- just structuring it so that it benefits the bank and costs the customer.

    TCF CAN hold local checks for up to one week for deposit. A rep told me that the written policies do not show deposits crediting automatically, so PLEASE be aware of that. (Wow, so get comfortable to deposits credited automatically -- and then BAM...a deposit doesn't clear and you are hit with fees).

    My experience has not been pleasant with TCF Bank.
    Recently, I called the 1-800 # and found out I would be -$20, after pending transactions, for the day. I made a cash deposit that afternoon to make my balance positive, cover a check that hadn't cleared, and to prevent overdraft fees. The teller gave me a receipt, showing a positive balance in my account. Nightmare averted, right?

    Wrong, two days later, I go online and see my deposit wasn't credited until the day AFTER I made it, and I had $175 in insufficient fund fees charged against my account. When I call the customer service #, she argues that I did not make the deposit on the day I said that I did. Impossible. She asks for the date on my deposit receipt -- to my shock it said the next day. Thankfully, I had a 2nd receipt because the 1st didn't show my balance and I wanted proof that my cash deposit was credited. The second one has my positive balance for the day. Now she's confused and must get her supervisor onboard ... I'm on hold for 15+ minutes while they try to figure out how this could happen.

    Finally a manager comes on to tell me that what the teller and the 1-800 and online systems didn't tell me, was that my balance for the day in question was not -$20, but actually -$195 because what didn't show online or by TCF 1-800 was that I had $175 in insufficient fund fees from the day before. Yep, you heard that right. The manager tells me there are things I should be aware of ... my balance was negative and despite my balance and receipt showing a positive balance, the "real" balance included multiple insufficient fund fees from the day before that hadn't posted I'm up the creek. There policy is to not communicate those fees to the customer in pending transactions or to reflect them in balances until next day. With no more than $20 in the hole, TCF banks almost $300 in fees.

    This does not make sense -- and the "online" list of transactions is now out of sorts with what is in my register (shows transactions posting a day earlier than what I had recorded in my register and from the 1-800 system.) CUSTOMERS BEWARE -- your money is easy money for TCF bank...

    0 Votes
  • Rm
      2nd of Nov, 2009

    I agree, just today realized the exact same thing, went in on friday did the "deposit to cover negative balance" on my son's account. Then checked it on sunday, bam...overdrawn by hidden nsf charges that showed up nowhere, not even at the tellers terminal, I deposited cash, and yes, did not notice the reciept was dated...what for today three days later???? So now they have charged him five nsf charges so far for overdrawing by a mere 75cents. thats it, the way they do it is incredible, and the branch manager tells me, oh they don't do it on purpose, it is an electronic thing and the people you use your debit card with...WHAT????Stay away from tcf bank, between mine and my son's account just in six months we have lost over $600.00(domino effect nsf fees, unreliable account balances even at the tellers terminal)

    0 Votes
  • Mn
      22nd of Jun, 2010

    I agree with the above. Plus, it's even worse if you're e-statement only. I received no notice, e-mail or snail mail, that my account of 21 years was changed. Since you don't get statements even e-mailed, you have to log in, and find your statement, something I don't do every month. Well, lo and behold, -9.95, -9.95, -9.95 and for my convenience, a -39 charge to cover that final -9.95.

    Customer service is no help, as they'll just tell you how to avoid FUTURE charges.

    The sad thing is, I would have had no problem meeting their minimum conditions...if I was only notified.

    These are NOT the actions of a company on the up and up.

    0 Votes
  • To
      6th of Aug, 2010

    We had several problems with TCF, the worst being them changing "Totally Free Checking" to $9.95 a month checking, giving us only small print notification in the space usually reserved for their annoying promotions and happy sales talk. We talked to TCF reps for hours to reverse the $130 fees, all the way up to the top of the customer service chain, and was told they could only refund $70. We closed our account, and, on principle, filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about the remaining amount they swiped. To our surprise, a few weeks later, we received a check, from TCF, for the full, heisted amount. LOVE the BBB, thank you! Will NEVER do business with TCF again. Customers should not have to work that hard on reversing sneaky charges like that.

    0 Votes
  • Cj
      15th of Oct, 2010

    I think the new minimum balances are unreasonable and immoral, like stealing from those that are less fortunate. I work hard for my money and want to keep it in my account. I am closing my acct after 6 years.

    0 Votes

Post your comment