Complaints from consumeraffairs for Dec. 2009

Marie of Pittsburgh, PA December 17, 2009

On 12/7/09 5/3 stated they paid a check for 570 which overdrew my account charging me 330 in fees BUT the next day the recinded payment of the check AFTER they assessed 10 33 fees for small debt card transaction. The account did not have enought funds on 12/7/09 to clear the 570 check, thus, had they returned the check NSF, ALL of my debt card transaction would have cleared and left me with a positive balance of 212. This is FRAUD..either they paid the check and I am legitimately overdrawn or they return the check and collect ONE fee. This is a scam that is evident and has resulted in 600 in assessed fees from the bank.

Also, the bank is charging fees for 1 pre-authorization which are NEVER charged by the merchant, holding deposits from unemployment checks, and delaying debt card credits to the account even when the merchant returned the amount to the debt card within 5 minutes of debiting it! The bank also does not give an account of how they derive the fees and REFUSED to close my account on 12/14/09 so that I didn’t continue to incurr a daily 8 overdraft charge. They are the WORST and are flagrant in their total disregard for the law. I have not filed a small claims civil action against them to recover the fees. Maybe if we all start suing them in small claims court someone will take notice and stop their blantant theft from hardworking americians!

Marcus of Dundee , MI December 11, 2009

On 12/7 I had used my Fifth Third checking account to go to a doctors appointment and do some Christmas Shopping for my daughter. When I returned home early that evening I realized I would need more money in my checking account to insure all of my expenditures where covered and therefore made a transfer from my savings into my checking that same day. The transfer was done online, and applied immediately to my available balance. I retired for the evening assuming all was well.

The next morning on the 8th the money that I transferred over from my savings was still listed as a pending transaction while the expeditures I hade made on the 7th were now applied to the account. This left my ledger balance in the negatives. The items were arranged inorder to maxamize the amount of overdrafts incurred. By the 9th there were over 500 dollars in overdraft fees resulting from several minor purchases.

What gets me is that I had transferred money over from my savings to cover this, I had made absolutely sure that my expenditures would be completely covered. Fifth third bank did not apply my transfer until the 8th, even though it was made on the the 7th, the same day as my purchases.

Fifth Third withheld my legitimate transfer in order to Insure that I incurred overdraft fees. When I complained I was told that online transfers only apply to the following day when they are completed before 7pm.

First off, I thought this was 24hour banking. There is absolutely no reason for that policy except to maximize profit at the consumer’s expense. Its simply unfair to the customer. I was never made aware of this, and since I was left with the implication that this was 24 hour banking I never even thought it would be a problem.

Anyone I spoke to at the bank was completely unsympathetic to my situation. There is no way I can pay for 500 (and rising) overdraft fees. I just cant afford it, its Christmas time and with the current economy things are bad enough. It’s common knowledge that Fifth Third arranges your transactions from largest expenditure to smallest to insure that they can apply as many overdraft fees as possible. I knew this, so I do whatever I can to avoid overdrafting my account. Yet I had NO IDEA there was a cut off point for the application of online transfers?

24 HOUR BANKING? There is no honest reason to have such a cut off time. It’s not like I’m interrupting some employeess dinner, or a service rep has to get out of bed to complete my transfer, its all online and automated.

If Fifth Third had just applied the transfer instead of purposely withholding it I could have avoided 500+ of overdraft fees. It dishonest and completely unfair. No I am in some serious financial trouble just in time for the holiday. Seriously, its not like I spent more money than I had, I transferred money from savings to checking ON THE SAME DAY I MADE PURCHASES.

I hope there is a class action law suit against these thieves one day. They way they treat there customer’s is atrocious and I am starting to believe some serious federal regulations are required to protect consumers from horrible policies that serve no purpose but maximize Fifth Third’s profits at my expense.

Now its going to be very difficult if not impossible to afford gifts for my family and my three year old daughter. She wont understand why we cant get her the dollhouse she wanted and because our checks are direct deposit we have no money for the holiday and are forced to borrow money from friends and family. This all could have been avoided if fifth third had not manipulated our account to get overdraft fees applied.

Laura of Kalamazoo, MI December 8, 2009

I used my debit card to make purchases and went into the negative. No charges were ever denied nor was I informed that I was overdrafting. I ended up accumulating over 600 in fees for being less than 300 overdrawn. If my card had been declined, that would have solved the problem immediately. Instead, you can only make debit card purchases as credit or you will get charged fees at the end of the month. A charge does not go through immediately as a debit purchase does, so you can keep on charging.

I went to the bank to see if I could get some fees reversed, as I have been a customer for 6 years. They had to send my request to the branch where I opened my account (for no apparent reason). While I waited the four days it took the other bank to respond, I was charged even more fees. They decided to only reverse 100, like that made much of a difference.

I was forced to apply for early account access to borrow money from my next paycheck. Of course, this cost me another 50 in fees. All of this is happening in the the few weeks leading up to Christmas! I hope all of that extra money lining their pockets keeps their greedy hands warm. I am a graduate student living on a very limited budget and there is no opportunities for overtime as a teacher. I’ve basically ruined Christmas, my birthday, and my 8 year anniversary over a couple hundred dollars!

Debbie of Glenwood, GA December 5, 2009

I just opened account with 5/3 bank and got a debit card for the first time in my life. I take responsibilty for not understanding how 5/3 works. I still want to complain. On November 25th I deposited a check in my account and then I went to the store to get food for Thanksgiving. Unknown to me they did not clear all my money till that night so when I went to the two stores and used my debit card they charge me for 2 o/draft fees, total of 50.00 Iwas not aware of this on sat nov 28 I looked at my statement and saw it so I went into the bank to speck to someone she advised me I had to call the 800 number, she could do nothing so I di call the number they said I had 3 more charges of 33 each so now I am up to 149.00 so I had to go pawn a item to get money to put into my bank, they said they used the highest amount first and so on so that is why the large amount of charges if they would have used the smallest one I would have had only one charge they did give me back 25 but that is all. We are on unemployment and shoud have direst deposit but it did not go through as it was supose to so now I have 3 more charges another 99 so to date I have had STOLEN from me by the bank 223 in overdraft fees because they can and if they would have paid lowest to highest as morally they should I would only have been charged 50 total. I know I can do nothing about this but if our goverment is ever going to fix this mess it has allowed by the banks and credit card companys etc. they will change the rules they have allowed the banks to do. Also I might add we had owned our own business for 32 years up until this past July when we had to close. We used to employ 25 to 100 people (Construction) now we have nothing.

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