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TD Banknorth Checking Account / Outrageous Fees and Bad Privacy Practice

1 Barre, VT, United States Review updated:

I have been a customer of TD banknorth for about four years, and I am making the change!
In June of this year, I found I was unable to pay my bills with my joint checking/debit card, as the bill holders were telling me that my billing address did not match.
So, as i was concerned, I took at trip down to the main branch of TD Banknorth here in Barre. I explained what was goin on, and the teller asked me for my Zip code. I told her what it was, 05641, and she said that the one the bank had on file was 05663.
Let me note for the record that I had held a different joint account with this bank during my previous marrage, and that my ex-husband was at this time still a customer at this bank.
I asked the teller what the address she had listed was, and she gave me my ex-husband's address. I asked how it could be that, as my ex-husband was not and never had been on this account, how had his address come to be linked to my account?
The teller did not know, except to say that a "change of address" had been requested, and that my (and my fiancee's) private financial and bank statements had been sent to my ex-husband for the past three months.

Customer service "assisted" me, although they were quite rude, and continually told me that they could not find out how the information had been changed, except to say that only an account holder could have made the request, leading me to believe that my ex-husband had stolen my identity.

Eventually, it was admitted by TD Banknorth that a teller had mistakenly "checked a box" at the time that I had made a transaction that linked my address to that of my ex-husband, as it was in their records that we had once held an account together.

I asked customer service what steps were being made to assure me that this would not happen again, as my partner and I were VERY upset that our personal banking information had been given to my Ex- and what the bank was prepared to do to make amends for their greivous error.

they said "sorry".

About a month later, I had, over the course of a weekend, made several debit purchases (about 10), and on that following monday, a check that had being held by the party to whom it was written was deposited and debited, causing an overdraft.

Rather than debit the purchases from my account in the order of which they were received, Banknorth debited them in order of largest (purchase) to smallest, debiting the check deposited Monday before debiting the puchaces made on the preceeding Friday, Saturday and Sunday, creating an overdraft log of ten items, creating a fee of $35.00 each, so that, by the time I deposiset my paycheck in the amount of $384.11, my total fees were $350.00!!!

I am a mother of two small children, and I only get paid twice a month at a salaried amound, so every paycheck is the same, and I was financially ruined for the next fifteen days, forced to live off of the $34.11 that TD banknorth "generously allowed me to deposit" from my paycheck.

I have now begun the process of changing my bank to the Vermont State Employees Credit Union, and I will never, ever, suggest that anyone be an account holder at TD Banknorth Vermont!!

~Sara Routhier

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  • Ti
      10th of Oct, 2008

    A bank has to make a decision for their nightly processing to either debit largest to smallest or smallest to largest. From a customer stand point you can either agree that it's more important that the largest debits go through first (mortgage/rent, car payment, etc) or deicde that the smallest first. Of course then you have to find a bank that agrees. Obviously smallest to largest would avoid the most fees, but it could potentially result in important bounced checks (which means MORE fees). As long as a check register is kept, the only way to overdraft an account is by a mathematical error by the customer, or purposely overdrafting to make a purchase because you 'really, really want/need something'. Some banks are more willing to waive overdraft fees, so it's always worth asking. You can also set up overdraft protection to avoid costly fees. Overdraft fees are a huge source of income for banks, but they're also easy to avoid. Leaving a bank or overdraft fees is useless, leaving a bank because of continued poor customer service is more understandable.

    0 Votes
  • Er
      17th of Oct, 2008

    I am filing alawsuit against TD Banknorth (headquartered in Portland ME) in an attempt to retrieve money which was unlawfully deducted from my accounts. TD Banknorth attempts to justify these deductions by stating existing policies which I believe were created for the sole purpose of generating revenue for the bank by encouraging accidental overdrafts. I also believe that TD Banknorth’s business practices are deceptive because they intentionally provide account holders with misinformation. I have identified four deceptive practices which I believe have been implemented by TD Banknorth with an intent to defraud the consumer.

    Examples of these deceptive practices include:

    1. ATM printouts do not reflect the actual available balance on the account. TD calculates account balances by taking into account pending transactions that have not yet posted to an account. However, ATM printouts state an account balance that does NOT take into account these pending transactions. The result is that consumers are intentionally led to believe that their available balance for withdrawals is higher than it actually is. TD has stated that the reason for this is simply that the information is not available, but this is not the case. Until February of 2008, any account holder could view account activity online and instantly see all pending transactions without delay. As of February, 2008, pending transaction are were removed from the web view - only to be reinstated after a few months and most likely a call from the AG. In summary, TD possesses the correct information but chooses to provide the consumer with misinformation at the point of sale in an attempt to generate overdrafts.

    2. TD applies overdraft charges to accounts for transactions that have not posted to the account. For example, if a merchant places an authorization on an account which could result in a negative balance, the overdraft fee is applied even if a deposit is made to the account prior to the merchant batching out and actually applying the charges. In summary, TD applies overdraft charges in anticipation of a future negative balance which has not yet occurred – and may not occur if a deposit is made (see documentation attached for an example of this).

    3. TD does not process merchant charges to accounts in chronological order of when purchases were made. Instead, TD process charges according to the dollar amount from largest to smallest (largest purchases are applied first regardless of transaction date). This results in unjustified fees under the following scenario: On Monday a consumer purchases three five-dollar items, which their account balance easily covers at the time of purchase. On Tuesday the consumer purchases a larger item, resulting in a negative balance. On Wednesday all four transactions are applied to the account with the most recent transaction applied first for the sole reason that it is of the largest dollar amount. The result is four overdraft charges instead of one, despite the fact that the larger purchase was made after the other smaller purchases. This example would cost a consumer $120.00 or more.

    4. TD has a policy of refusing to honor requests to disallow card authorizations that would result in a negative balance. Historically, debit cards were declined if the available account balance could not cover the attempted authorization amount. TD has a policy of allowing all transactions to go through despite account balances, while providing misinformation via ATM machines so that consumers have no way of knowing that a $5.00 purchase can cost $35.00 thanks to the resultant overdraft fees. Furthermore, TD charges for overdraft protection. TD should honor requests for the card to be declined if an attempt is made to make a purchase that would result in a negative balance.

    5. TD refuses to close accounts that have a negative balance. Meanwhile, accounts with a negative balance are charged additional overdraft fees every five days ad-infinitum. For consumers who have a dispute about their negative balance, withholding deposits until the dispute is resolved is discouraged due to an ever-increasing negative balance. In my case, after repeated requests to close my account and TD Banknorth’s refusal to do so, TD eventually transferred $450 from a joint account that I share with my wife to cover the negative balance consisting solely of fees. Not one dollar of the negative balance in my account was due to a purchase I had made. After transferring the money without our consent or knowledge, TD still neglected to close the account, and overdraft charges again began to accumulate after monthly account fees were applied.

    6. Account Holder Agreements are not available online and even printed versions do not clearly state the policies outlined above.

    In bringing this lawsuit I am requesting the following:
    1. TD Banknorth is to refund me $480 for previously applied and unjustified overdraft fees
    2. TD Banknorth is to reflect actual account balances on ATM statements
    3. TD Banknorth is to cease applying overdraft fees for transactions that have not posted to accounts
    4. TD Banknorth shall honor requests to limit transaction approvals to actual account balances
    5. TD Banknorth shall honor requests to close accounts instantly – regardless of account balances

    If anyone has anything that they feel they could contribute to my cause, please feel free to contact me at erik.[protected]

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      17th of Oct, 2008

    I absolutely agree with you, and am more than happy to help in any way I can. To this day, Banknorth has yet to even so much as apologize for supplying my banking information to my Ex-Husband. Please feel free to contact me if you have need of any specific information, and i will be happy to provide any documentation, that I can get my hands on!

    0 Votes
  • Ki
      15th of Nov, 2008

    I agree with all of these complaints and I am having the same problem. I am so unhappy with the way they try to charge you fees by anyway possible. I think they never waive fees even in their own error and they don't work with the customer at all. If you bounce 4 things in an error they cover the one large thing and charge you $35 for each little thing. It is such a scam and makes you not trust banks. I think in this economy we can't afford to have banks stealing out money.

    0 Votes

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