Complaints from consumeraffairs for Nov. 2010

Jennifer of Glen Ellyn, IL November 18, 2009

On Saturday November 14th at approximately 9:00 a.m. I deposited a check for 1,000.00 (which they did not clear for four days). Just a day prior to this I had transferred money to cover bank fees so I was happy to finally have a little bit of extra money. After depositing the check, 5th 3rd made 50.00 of the check available to me. Knowing that they have a tendancy to do that then hours later take it away, I didn’t touch it at first. Eight hours later the money was still available to me so I decided to treat my son to an early birthday present so we went to McDonalds, Gamestop and a small visit to the gas station to buy munchies while we played the game all night long. After I got home and throughout the rest of the weekend up until 12:15 a.m. November 17th, the bank said I had 16 and some change available to me still. Upon waking this morning, I checked my bank first thing as I always do and was shocked to see a fee for 74.00.

Now just three days prior to this I already had a fee taken out and I had no idea what this fee was for. I was also really kicking myself in the behind for not printing out the small available balance because 5th 3rd has numerous times in the past moved things around where they will post debits that occured AFTER a deposit before the deposit and nail me with a ton of fees (in the beginning of the month 5th 3rd hit me with nearly 400.00 in fees. I went to the bank several times to see a personal banker and none was ever available to speak to me. The teller filled out on the computer a request form for someone to contact me about this. No one ever did and I still to this day have no idea what the 400.00 in fees were).

I went to the bank with a print out of what was posted on the internet and I made several comments in pen to discuss with the banker. I also brought along my checkbook (which I keep up with almost a religious obsession. I recheck numbers repeatedly and for days after as well!). for the first time a banker was available to speak to me.

right from the second he sat down at the other side of the desk, his tone and attitude changed. He printed off several papers, which he threw on the desk in front of me and said “this is for this and this is for this and this is for this and this is for this. get it?” No, I did not get it. I was so confused and just wanted him to tell me what the 74.00 in fees were when they were the ones that made money available to me! He then said in a rather gleeful tone of voice, “oh, and it looks like you owe us another 111.00, which will be taken from your account over the next 24 hours.” I began to cry. I’m a single parent on disability and every cent I receive from compensation is desperately needed to care for my family.

So I attempted to show him my checkbook and the calculations I had and he didn’t even glance at it, told me that maybe I should take a refresher course on how to keep a checkbook and manage money. I informed him I’ve had a checkbook since I was 16 and I have never had so many problems with a bank as I have since I joined 5th 3rd in May of this year. He had a snicker on his face and he told me that banking hasn’t changed since I was 16 and I need to just accept the fact that the bank was removing another 111.00 in fees and he would not reverse a single one of them. I don’t understand how it can be legal that banks can not only charge such a ridiculous amount but how is it legal that they can release funds, then only to take it back and charge you when you use them???

I still don’t know why they took almost 400.00 from me at the beginning of the month. I was late paying my rent and had to borrow the money to cover it. The employees at the call center are also horrifically rude and if you talk to anyone about fees, they treat you as a criminal and as if you are stupid. They mock you and pretty much have a “too bad if you don’t like it” attitude. Since May 5th 3rd Bank has taken well over 1,000.00 in fees from me. One fee, fine. But when they just keep hitting you with more and more, well I just don’t understand that.

ed of villa hills, KY November 18, 2009

I was wrongly charged 165.00 in overdraft fees for 4 separate 3 or 4 dollar charges on a single day. We kept track of these debit charges and transferred money to make sure our balance stayed positive. Seems 5/3 likes to charge overdraft on authorizations and not posted dates that show up in internet banking. Its tough to keep up with their real-time authorizations while I have to wait on the delay in actual transactions posted to view with their online banking.

I’ve never had anyone so blatantly steal from me before. Its a new experience for me to learn that a bank that i have supported by using my debit card for over 16 years can so eagerly strong arm money out of my account without showing me factual evidence that such withdrawals of funds was justified.

Laura of Bellevue, KY November 3, 2009

I have been a customer for several years with never a late payment or a overdraft. Then recently they have been charging fees on everything. I made a deposit, which only 100 deposited immediately.. no problem, but then they charged me an overdraft fee 3 days later because they posted a debit that hadn’t even cleared yet… and then later the same day cleared the rest of the deposit. Then, more recently I deposited a check and a couple days later received a notice that the funds were on hold and that my account will not be charged any fees… and if there were fees they would be refunded. Surprise… I was charged bounce check fees… and when I called about it they said that they couldn’t remove the fees because they already posted and that it is there policy not to remove fees.

Brian of Cleveland Heights, OH November 1, 2009

On multiple occasions, I’ve made several transactions in a single day with a sufficient account balance, but an additional transaction causes my account to overdraw. Fifth Third applied an overdraft fee per item for each transaction that day – even the transactions made with sufficient account balance – simply because the last transaction caused an overdraw. This is an absurd and anti-consumer practice.

Furthermore, several years ago I requested that my account options be changed to deny funds at ATMs when attempting to overdraw instead of dispensing funds and charging an overdraft fee. This is possible, and they did change this for me. But now my account has been changed back to the old way without my approval and, surprise, I can overdraw and incur fees.

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