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BOA overdraft tricks

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Let me just say up front, I keep a ledger seperate from my online account. I'm careful not to overdraft because my funds sometime goes down to the pennies.

My bank hit me with 5 overdraft fees even though I didn't overdraft. This is how they did it.

When you use the automated pumps at the gas station, you are "pre-authorized" up to a certain amount. Even if you only get $10 in gas, the pre-authorization may be for $35 or $75 or even more, you have no way of knowing what that amount is. It may take a few days for the actual charge of $10 to clear your account, but in the mean time, your pre-authorized amount draws your balance down and triggers overdrafts.

When this happened to me, I raised heck about it, no help. Even went into the bank With My Monthly Bank Statement that showed a $2.37 balance with the 1st overdraft fee causing the next 4. Sorry, but that is the computer programming they said. It uses the pre-authorized amount. I ended up filing a complaint with the BBB and OCC. Sent copies of my bank statement and charge receipts. BOA removed all five overdrafts.

Today, I noticed another little trick. When checking my online account, something wasn't right. I had made a $235 about three days ago that immediately showed in my pending and reduced my balance, like it was supposed to, now, this morning, that charge is no where to be found in my account. No pending, no final charge, nothing. I had to actually go to a previous screen history page to find that it had ever been on there.

The merchant, says everything is all cleared on their end.

Anyone not paying close attention to their account, may see that charge pending, mentally check it off, and assume that the balance in their account is available.

I'm now waiting to see how many days it takes to "pop back on" as cleared.

I also noticed that when making scheduled payments, that the day of the payment, it doesn't show in the scheduled payment page, the pending section, or the cleared section. It pretty much disappears for a day then shows up as paid the next day.

Yes, these could be computer programming glitches, or they could be little tricks to cause people to overdraft that carry low balances.

Even though it is my responsibility to keep my own record and go by that, so many people rely on their online screen to be their ledger, that I'm sure this creats a large amount of fee income for the bank.

These transations are electronic (almost all) there should be no reason for them not to post within a day or two. It's my personal opinion that the banks set it up this way to create confusion and get more fees.

So folks, keep your own ledger, just as if you were writing a check. It will save you a whole lot of money, time and frustration. Then if they hit you with overdrafts from their "pre-authorization" gas charges, you can prove that you didn't overdraft.

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Oh, yes the "authorization" scam!

I have had that and similar things happen with other banks as well. My favorite is the dining out issue - the server takes your card and 'authorizes' the transaction. Then you include any tip and sign for the total. They take it back to their computer and imput only the final amount.

Many banks 'authorize' for the amount plus 10-15% for a tip. If you left more - say 20%, they considered it a second transaction and both amounts were withheld on my balance until the first authorization dropped off a few days later - leaving me open to overdraw.

I had the IRS on my back at the time and if I ever left 'extra' money in my bank account, they would randomly take it (didn't matter we had a written agreement). Keeping my account so low led to a lot of misunderstandings and fees.

Don't even get me started with hotel and car rental 'authorizations'...

You're right - you have to keep up with your own money otherwise someone will take it!

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I've experienced similar issues. Then I fired the banks that play those games and use a credit union and a small corner bank. They 1) pay me much more money on my checking account balances, 2) do not play these authorization games, 3) do not charge for ATM usage at thousands of locations, and most importantly, 4) know my name when I call them.

Please fire the banks that don't care about you. Vote with your feet.

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Sorry to be a sidekick to jq again but this is something he and I both harp on incessantly:

Why do business with the big, bloated banks?

I use two banks:

Friendly little Susquehanna Bank, a bank regional to my area but with... OK, I found out they have 230 locations but they sure seem personalized with the one little branch here in my town. They have never pulled any sort of chicanery on me. There are plenty of big national banks flanking it on the main drag in my town, but on the few occasions I've gone in to those megabanks, running an errand for someone else, they have appeared to treat their customers like a number. Like, "We don't know who you are, and we don't care." The people at Susquehanna know my name and ask me how my family is doing.

The other bank is Etrade. Even though they have no branches around here, they have been nothing but polite and friendly on the phone and appear to want to go out of their way to make the customer happy when resolving any problem.

There's one more: I have set up my kids with savings accounts at Bradford Bank, a little neighborhood bank with only 9 branches. We were the only customer in there the last time we went in to sit down with a teller. Other than a man who came and went and took a handful of the free cookies off the Mothers Day table on the way out.

Contrast that with the credit union my husband just closed a small account with. He went into their brand-new branch and was shocked to find that the lobby only contains touch screens, no tellers visible except in video format as they sit in another locked room, out of sight. All transactions were done by machine. WEIRD! Glad we closed that account.

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I've experienced similar issues. Then I fired the banks that play those games and use a credit union and a small corner bank. They 1) pay me much more money on my checking account balances, 2) do not play these authorization games, 3) do not charge for ATM usage at thousands of locations, and most importantly, 4) know my name when I call them.

Please fire the banks that don't care about you. Vote with your feet.

I've run into that problem with hotel authorizations just recently. In both cases for me it seemed to be the hotel and not the bank. For an example, when I checked in, the hotel authorized $500 out of my account enough though the actual bill would be considerably less. I was okay with that because I was kind of expecting it. But after I checked out and paid the bill on Friday and the money for the bill was immediately debited they held on to that $500 authorization for another 4 days until Tuesday. I talked to both the hotel and the bank, the bank claimed that the hotel was holding it, nothing they could do. I called the hotel and they apologized, but said it was how their system works. The money is released the next business day and doesn't post until the day after. Argh!!! Well, now I know better.

Fortunately, nothing bounced though I did end up with a "insufficient funds" fee due to an ACH.

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Fortunately, nothing bounced though I did end up with a "insufficient funds" fee due to an ACH.
Mag, maybe best to use a credit card in hotel / car deposit situations? You probably don't want to link your checking account in to a reservation anyway. And credit cards tend to be $0 liability if there is fraud.

I suppose this is reason enough to have one credit card on stand by just for this purpose. :p

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Mag, maybe best to use a credit card in hotel / car deposit situations? You probably don't want to link your checking account in to a reservation anyway. And credit cards tend to be $0 liability if there is fraud.

I suppose this is reason enough to have one credit card on stand by just for this purpose. :p

Yeah, I've learned. Part of the reason I wasn't doing that is there's too much of a temptation to leave the hotel bill on the credit card. I'm trying to decrease my balances not increase 'em. I'll just have to hold the reservation with a credit card and then pay it with my debit card.

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After having problems in the past I've left my banks too. I love my credit union and I'll never look back. But, you're right, sometimes the problem is with the vendor not the bank.

I had a problem last year trying to make reservations. I didn't want to use my debit card for these exact reasons. But getting a CC with a high enough limit for my trip (which was reimbursed) was impossible. Since I wouldn't have all the money until after the trip, I couldn't do a pre-paid and the cards I had simply wouldn't give me a CLI.

So, using some creativity, I ended up having to pay for the trip over several cards and had to stop and pay a credit card bill a few times in the middle. Modern technology is great - but this was just a pain!

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Is it possible to get a hotel room or buy gas with cash these days?
Absolutely. I don't pay for either with a credit card. When you check into the hotel, use the credit card for your required deposit only but ask them not to allow any charges. Also let them know you will pay the entire bill with cash. I do this every year when I meet friends in Vegas. You can imagine what ridiculous charges would be on my card if I left the tab open for a four day weekend and my drunk friends had full access to charge away!

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Interesting...

I used to work at U-Haul, and if you've ever rented a truck, you should know that they use debit/credit cards as the deposit. I'm not sure if this is local or state law, but we were told by our corporate heads for the state that they could not authorize more than $1 on the card.

I'm not certain HOW that works, since hotels in the area still do it, but almost NO gas stations in our area do it, and if you ask at the ones that do, they immediately tell you how to get around that.

Also, have you heard of the book "Gotcha Capitalism"? It actually has details on how much the average bank spends on its software DESIGNED TO FIND THEM THE LARGEST FEES!

Sick, huh?

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Also, have you heard of the book "Gotcha Capitalism"? It actually has details on how much the average bank spends on its software DESIGNED TO FIND THEM THE LARGEST FEES!

Sick, huh?

Thanks Glitter, I'll be sure to check into that book. I've also enjoyed the movies "Maxed Out" and "In Debt We Trust" - I find that the more I learn, the less safe debt, especially incurred with large corporate type businesses, seems to be. Which has led to quite a change in how DH and I handle our affairs.

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An authorization is only good for 3 business days maximum. It is time-sensitive and expires. If the merchant's processor hasn't submitted your payment for settlement within the three business days, then the bank can disallow the transaction (in practice, none do, because of the fee income this creates.)

To you, this will show the item on your checking account as "pending". Then, the item will disappear after 3 business days. Then, it will appear in the posted items usually only a few days later, but sometimes 30 days later. If you're not careful, this leaves you vulnerable to spending those previously held funds on other items.

This is done to protect the merchant and to protect the bank. It protects the merchant by ensuring funds will be paid and it protects the bank by ensuring you don't overspend your account.

Travel and Entertainment holds are good for a maximum one business day. Most places will not even place the hold longer than a second and many will run a full 1-day auth hold and then run an auth adjustment several hours later.

This is just a side-effect of the Visa/MasterCard/Blackhawk/FDR/Discover Card/American Express world that we live in today.

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I used to work at U-Haul, and if you've ever rented a truck, you should know that they use debit/credit cards as the deposit. I'm not sure if this is local or state law, but we were told by our corporate heads for the state that they could not authorize more than $1 on the card.

Very few gas stations place a hold. Most place a $1.00 auth and then remove it instantly in the same transmission file. Those that do place holds, blame the bank, which is incorrect, since banks only receive authorizations from merchants and have no decision in the matter to place holds.

As for security deposits on check cards for truck rentals, an amount over $1.00 cannot be held longer than a day.

Also, have you heard of the book "Gotcha Capitalism"? It actually has details on how much the average bank spends on its software DESIGNED TO FIND THEM THE LARGEST FEES!

I haven't read that book, but I might look at it. However, there are all kinds of tricks used today to enhance fee income. I wrote a good bit about them in this thread.

Something I didn't mention in that thread is what banks do with "premium" check cards. These premium cards, also called, "Premier", "Gold", etc., are offered for top-tier accounts that require large minimum balances and/or high maintenance fees.

These check cards, which again, are only offered to good customers don't incur overdraft fees. They post to your checking account under a different transaction code/type. This specific transaction type deosn't cause an overdraft charge, even if it posts to the account while the balance is negative.

These cards are somewhat arbitrarily offered to only the bank's good customers and some would argue this is a way to shield good customers' from these types of fees, so that these customers think the whining about overdraft fees is something that only poor people complain about.

This is akin to how the CRA assign special handing to the credit files of important people, so that they think from their own anecdotal experiences that there is no problem with the automated credit bureau dispute processes.

It's also just another way banks reward good customers. Then again, most of these customers with this type of card would never overspend his/her account, anyway. But, in the event they do, they won't receive fees...

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Interesting. I've got to wonder if California laws are different.

Whenever I rent from Uhaul or from the hardware store, the full deposit is charged to my credit card, then when I bring the equipment back I'm refunded the difference between the rental charges and the deposit.

I also have BOFA and have never had an overdraft in 9 years. And I'm one of those people that runs my balance down to nearly zero every two weeks, since I move any extra money into the savings account right away (if its in the checking, my wife spends it).

Whenever I go out to the restaurant I'm charged for the food amount which shows pending for a few days, then the food plus tip eventually clears. I've never been "double authorized" as some of you have said.

Certain gas stations never authorize any payment, they just show up cleared one day. I avoid this all together by using my debit card so it clears right away.

Also, why don't you guys use overdraft protection? Its cheaper than ISF fees.

Eddie

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I am here to talk about the BIG BOA SCAMs and I am fed up and this time they went too far. I was at the Pharmacy, and tried to pay for my Heart Meds, and I used my debit card, and knew I had a few hundred dollars in there, or so I thought, but the Pharmacist told me that the card came back declined. I was like, no, please try it again, and he did and it again came back declined. I was soo upset, I said I am going to call the bank to find out what is going on. To my horror, they had charged me 17 overdraft fees for a tank of gas that should have cost me $21.38 and over drew my account by $4.69. Then they continued to charge OD fees to everything else that came in that day, and I transferred over another $400.00 and I am still, now, after 26 fees, and I kid you not, I am still over drawn $302.00 I am so upset, I have gone into the bank, I have called even to the regional manager, and they feel that the charges are justified. I want to sue them in small claims, just to get my $$ back, and if it takes a Class Action Suit, so be it. I have never felt so strongly abused, after 22 years with that POS bank, I am finally done!! Anyone wishing to help me, or join me, please respond. This is predatory, this is unfair practice, and it has to be illegal.

The only good thing to come of it, was that the Pharmacist gave me a weeks worth of Heart Meds, until I get paid which unfortunately will go auto deposit into that account. Arghhhh!!! I have stopped the auto deposit but it will take at least another pay period..

Please help!!

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This exact thing happend to me a few weeks ago. I am always careful and the balcance w/ pending is always accurate. Well, I dont know what changed in the last month but WHOA!!!! I kept putting my savings in to top off my account and the rest is history.

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I felt compelled to post in this thread and haven't posted in a couple years. When I foolishly opened the BofA account, I left it @ $0. I did so to deposit my paycheck because my employer banks with them. When I deposited my second paycheck via ATM (I know direct deposit, but then have had bad experiences with that so killed it), withdrew $100 of the check (which they allow) and then BAM!, they hit me with overdraft fees.

I couldn't believe it. They also locked my account several times for suspicious activity, locked my temporary debit card after failing to send me the permanent one, sent me an invalid pin for the permanent one also. I am through with them. Back to the credit union I go....

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Back to the credit union I go....
Music to my ears. The beauty of capitalism is that you get to choose. Banks are for profit institutions who are there to maximize profit for their shareholders. They owe a duty to their shareholders, not their customers, just like every other business. This is the cornerstone of corporate law (shareholder primacy). The entity is only limited by the willingness of customers to tolerate it, which is surprisingly high for some reason. People will subject themselves to it, complain about it, and bang their fist for laws preventing it, but don't exercise their free will. Congrats on firing them. Now that you severed the ties, that's one less customer they'll draw revenue from.

Small banks and credit unions are where it is at. This week I received a birthday card from my corner bank teller. Does BOA send handwritten birthday cards to their customers????

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I think some years ago BOA or one of the smaller banks they bought out would pay the larger check you would write. Then that would wipe out your account. Then they would bounce any of the smaller checks and charge you at that time $25 for each check. They would charge some many that it would be hard to catch up. Heres how it would work. Let say you got a payroll check direct deposit and it was $500 and it hit your bank at 2AM. But you wrote 5checks of $10 each. and you have the $50 in the bank for those checks. You write a $450 check for your house note all hit the bank at 12:01 AM. They would pay the $450 and charge you $25. Now you only have -$425 in your account then they would pay all 5 checks but charge you for 5 bounced checks $25 each. Now your account is -$600. I think my math is right Now your check hits $500 but you still owe $100 to the bank . So this is how the system gets over on the working man trying to make ends meet.

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Other than a Mortgage, I never use banks, for 26+ years I have used a credit union, I never would use a bank because they are never local if you have a problem......I like a face to face,and if that dont work the boss is footsteps away.8-)

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704784904575112430638527738.html?mod=rss_Loans_and_Credit

Bank of America has just announced that it is discontinuing automatic over draft protection.

This means if you over charge the transaction will be rejected.

People can still opt-in if they do want this service.

If using an ATM and the consumer over draws, they will still be charged an over draft fee.

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i never liked over draft protection

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