U S BANK / Overdraft Fees Wrongly Deducted
My US Bank experiences have been 5-Star Unsatisfactory.
Two years ago (Jan 2008)I obtained a flier at work (USBank had presented their services during a lunchtime presentation) noting special "gifts" and features for opening a USBank account. It was that I would have free checking and savings with no minimum balance, 1 box of free checks and receive a free gift card upon opening. I gave the flier to the bank employee opening my account. He created my accounts and when I asked for the gift card he stated, "Oh. I guess I missed that on the flier. This service/gift card is no longer available but you do get all the other benefits on the flier." I kept the accounts and returned to work assuming it was an easy teller mistake.
Several months later (10 or so) I noticed a monthly fee on my checking account (3.00). I called the bank and they stated they had been withdrawing that money several times because my account was below the required minimum balance. I told them that I was to have a free account w/o a minimum balance. They stated that was not the account type I had signed up for and refused to reimburse me the money they had been deducting each month. They changed my account type to one that was free w/o a minimum balance.
For the past year I have been getting overdraft fees of 37.00 each. When I first got one I called the bank and told them that I had been keeping a ledger and that the debits I saw online in my account seemed to "move dates" from when the actually initially posted to my online view. This was the cause for my first overdraft. I was told to "not worry about my ledger but to start keeping track of my spending by using the online view" of my account/transactions. So, I began doing just that. I was also told that it is ok to debit my account as long as by the end of the day IO have put enough money in to my account to cover all charges.
Intermittently I received overdraft fees of 37.00. A few times I did miscalculate but the majority of times US Bank's online view would switch original posting dates of transactions, causing me to appear over-drafted. Then they would take out the 37.00 fee causing me to be over-drafted again and again. When I would call the US Bank representative would talk circles around me each time I presented the facts and a rational explanation as to how this happened (bank error). I was also now told that my deposits must be before 2:00 pm each day (vs "end of day" I was told earlier) for it to be posted to my account for that actual day. Only once was I given back one of the overdraft fees.
Over the past week i have been in contact with US Bank due to overdraft after overdraft. This totals almost 200.00 in 4 days! I have now been told to NOT pay attention to the online screen and to keep a ledger myself. I also have been told that it doesn't matter when the bank receives the transaction from the retailer, it is the "original debit date" that calculations/withdrawals occur in my account. When I clearly detailed each days balance and that I was not actually overdrawn, the representative would first start a "canned" but unintelligible explanation and then when holes are identified in their explanation would say to me, "Its a very complicated process that even I have a hard time understanding."
During the last 3 calls (3 separate days)when viewing my account online while talking on the phone with bank representatives I would specifically ask, "Given all the charges that we can see to my account, will I receive another overdraft or shopuld I take out an "advancement" to be sure?". Each of the 3 different tellers/reps have said, "No. As long as you don't use the debit card again, you should be ok.".
Each of the 3 days after my discussions with US Bank, I have received overdraft fees the next day. I am now told that I should not believe the representatives for they can't tell what fees will or won't be posted.
In my opinion based upon the facts I have, US Bank is clearly engaging in efforts to gain income by using the following tactics:
1. Switching dates of transaction debits so that customers are charged 37.00 for each false over-draft
2. Trained employees to provide an unintelligible excuse for why they are in the right to deduct incredible fees and,
3. Trained employees to claim the calculation systems are too complex for even them to understand as a way of neglecting accountability.
I would not recommend anyone to open accounts with this bank. Banks are hurting and engaging in fraudulent and/or unethical practices seems to be their plan B for economic stimulus and recovery.
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