As some of you know, my husband is stuck in Florida because of the monster snowstorm. He was down there to bring one of our daughters to Walt Disney World where she is going to be doing an internship. He called me late Monday night and said he had mistakenly overdrawn his checking account with a purchase that very evening. He asked me to go down to the Citizens Bank
in the morning and deposit $25.
As soon as the kids got on the school bus I was at Citizens Bank
. I deposited $25 in cash and asked the teller if that would help. She lied and said "Yes".
As of Wednesday morning, my husband had 7 overdraft fees against his account. When he tried to call Citizens Bank
they wouldn't help him, big surprise. Overdrawing his checking account isn't something that my husband does. He is usually meticulous about writing every purchase in his checkbook and keeping track of them. He's stuck in Florida, just sick about this whole thing and not able to fix it.
He's not disputing the fact that he made a mistake and did overdraw his account by his last purchase, but it's the way Citizens Bank
is handling this that is so frustrating and upsetting. Some banks and Citizens Bank
is one of them,"reorder" the way your purchases come in. They post them against your account using the largest amount first so it causes an overdraft and then they can charge fees for all of your purchases. Here is a video
of Melody Hobson from Good Morning America
explaining this nasty business practice
. If Citizens Bank
had put the purchases through in the order of when they were made, there would've been one overdraft fee, but that isn't good enough for Citizens Bank
. They want to totally rake us over the coals.
Here is another interesting article
from Providence Business News detailing how Citizens Bank
has the highest overdraft fees in the US. Citizens Bank
has 151 Billion, that's right, Billion dollars in assets and they refuse to refund a little over $200. Starting July 1, 2010, banks, including Citizens Bank
, will be barred from charging exorbitant overdraft fees for atm or debit card purchases unless the customer has signed up in advance for that service.
I'll be picking my husband up at the airport on Friday afternoon and I'm pretty sure our first stop will be our local branch of Citizens Bank
. It doesn't sound like they'll be too helpful. They've got his money and that's all they care about. It doesn't matter how they got it. I was on their website last night and found it really interesting that they have a Code of Ethics. Apparently that code of ethics doesn't extend to how they do business with ordinary people. If Citizens Bank
is your bank, you've been warned. I can't imagine that Citizens Bank
will be our bank for much longer. But you can bet I'll be telling everyone I know, facebooking and twittering to over 900 followers about Citizens Bank
and their "ethical"
business practices. It's on!