Saturday, January 28, 2012

Banks Taketh, but Don’t Giveth - NYTimes.com





http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/28/opinion/banks-taketh-but-dont-giveth.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1

Nearly everyone I know has had a bank make errors in the bank's favor, but I don't know anyone whose bank made an error in their favor without somehow punishing them for the bank's mistake. What happened to the Ephrons is starting to look more like willful fraud than a mistake.

Say, for instance, they record a deposit as larger than it actually is. They are guaranteed to withdraw the amount just after you've paid a major bill while ignoring the deposit you just made that would have covered the cost. 

Then, they assess their fees.

In the nineties, I had a bank that told me they'd never charge a fee for a bill paid electronically. In fact, they charged me $10.00 every time the monthly bill was paid. Unfortunately, I wound up in the emergency room a week after the account was opened, followed by a two week stay  This was followed by a flare up of a chronic condition. I wasn't worried, I had enough in the account to cover six months, or so I thought. 

Then I got the notice that my internet access account would be closed for non-payment. The phone company gave me 10 days notice. My electronic payments were going out days late. So, late fees were charged on top of the regular bills. Instead of no fees that ten dollars was assessed on each bill and charged again when the companies sent the bills, now overdue, a second time for payment. Oh, and they would finally pay the original bill but not the late charges which added up in just three months to more than I had left in the bank.

At that point the bank added a $60 fee and froze my account. It took a month to get the bank to reverse the charges for the 'no fee' service. I paid the phone company by money order. (Remember they gave a ten day notice,)

The bank still wanted me to pay $60 to unfreeze my account. I told them what the temperature range in hell would be on the day that ever happened.

I also told them I'd sue not just the bank, but the bank manager if their mistake was placed on my credit report by that bank. 

The net result is I still have good credit, and a new and better bank.

The Ephron's bank makes mine look like child's play.


con·cept: Banks Taketh, but Don’t Giveth - NYTimes.com