Below are three stories of bank deceptions
submitted by email newsletter readers. Thanks to all for your feedback about my
Chase story. However, keep in mind that we need to use the banks against each
other. That means you donít want to close your accounts. Transferring your
balances is the best revenge!
Sunday due-date raises rate to 28%
From Mona Williams
Chase was the bank. We had written a convenience
check to make an investment, with the life of loan interest at 3.99%. Our
monthly bills are paid electronically through our personal bank, with most of
the electronic transactions occurring in about 24 hours.
We were quite meticulous in making sure the date
of payment was 2-3 days in advance of the due date. After about 9 months of
payments made on time, our due date fell on a Sunday, and we had designated
Thursday as our electronic payment date. When we received the next month's
billing statement, our minimum payment had doubled, and our balance now was
listed at a 28% interest level.
I immediately called CHASE customer service,
explained that we had electronic payments each month and that we had never been
late--and that our payment was made on Thursday and should have been posted on
We argued about this, including the rep telling
me that it was my bank's fault. I asked to speak to a supervisor (who ended up
being very rude to me, BTW) to discuss the matter of when my electronic check
was posted. She informed me that "Friday's" were part of the weekend, and it
wouldn't have been posted on Friday, even if they got it on time (again, blaming
my bank). We (my bank and I) should have made sure that the payment was made in
time to meet the deadline, which in looking at past statements, 24 hours was the
time it took to be posted to the account--not 3 days.
I asked if the interest could be reduced back to
the 3.99%, since this was obviously an issue with the due date following on a
Sunday, and most businesses allow the following Monday to be the due date. She
was very rude, stating that CHASE couldn't do that since the deadline was missed,
and in accordance with our agreement, by writing the convenience check, we would
forfeit the low interest if we were late on any payment--which we knew and
After arguing about Friday being part of the weekend
when? Most banks do business on Friday and Saturday, don't they?), and that the
payment should have been posted on Friday but wasn't until Monday, and that they
were not going to budge about the interest rate reduction, I told her that this was very poor customer
service and that as soon as I could our account with CHASE would be canceled. At
that point she hung up on me. Again, poor reps being rude and not caring how the
customer is treated. Thank you for letting me vent about this matter--I was
really steamed when it happened. BTW, a couple of months later we did a
consolidation loan and canceled that account.
Cheers to you Ms. Robinson
From John Phillips
A few years back, my partner Ben, who is an
authorized user on my Bank of America Rainbow VISA card, had charged up to the
$7,500 limit. At the time, the card had been issued by MBNA, prior to their
merger with B of A. I contacted MBNA customer service, and I asked if it would be
possible to lower the interest rate, which at the time was 14.49%. I admit that
was my first mistake...talking to a customer service rep at MBNA!
The first rep I spoke with, a Ms. Robinson,
indicated that that was the lowest rate I could qualify for. (On the Rainbow
Card website, it indicated that the lowest rate available was 7.9%.) After going
back and forth with Ms Robinson, I knew I was not going to accomplish anything.
I thanked her for her time and hung up. That very day, I received an offer from
Citibank, indicating that I could balance transfer up to my credit line on my
Conoco MasterCard, with no fees, at an interest rate of 3.99%.
Armed with the offer in my hot little hand, I
contacted MBNA again and spoke with a Ms. Medley. I again asked if it would be
possible to lower the interest rate on my Rainbow card. Ms. Medley then brought
up the word "risk." I asked her if she was calling me a risk, and she
got very defensive. She said she did not call me a risk. I then inquired why she
brought up the word in the first place. She gave a really peculiar answer that
MBNA does that on accounts that have a high balance. I asked her to look over
the account to see if there were any indications that the account was not being paid each month?
She said the account was current. I then told her that I had received an offer
from Citibank with a 3.99% balance transfer offer.
I stated this was their last chance to lower my
interest rate, or I was going to be on the phone to Citibank. She declined. I
called Citibank a few minutes afterward, and the full $7,000 was transferred
over. At this point, I don't trust B of A/MBNA. They have since then up'd my
limit to $10,500 and the interest rate down to 10.49%. But do you think I am
going to use that account?? No way, Jose!
Deliberately set up to be overdrawn
From DebtSmart Reader
My check goes in automatically, and I have items
that are set to come out on the same day. I also deposit several cash
transactions throughout the month. My friend who worked at Bank One said they
will deliberately try and set you up to be overdrawn, showing a larger item to
come in first, and sending back three items, charging three fees, when the two
smaller items could have been paid, incurring one overdraft fee.
I am diligent about not putting myself in a
situation where anything will be returned. In September, I was out of town, and
my son's SSI check came. I cashed it and deposited it a day later than I
normally do. (I started to deposit it in cash because so many teenage bankers
cannot understand why I am depositing a check made out to me for my son. I have
even had them refuse it. Oh, to be so young and stupid again.)
Anyway, when I got home after a Monday holiday,
on Tuesday, they showed a check coming through on Friday night that was not
there on Saturday morning, and even though I deposited $500 cash, every time I
used my ATM card on Saturday, they were charging me $35!!! Not in this lifetime.
I called branch manager, I told him I was not paying fees when funds were
"available," and he refunded them.