Bank of America: Horrible, horrible bank.
It’s called “biggest-first” in the banking world. The rest of us call it anything between robbery and plunder. If you’ve ever used a big American bank, you’re probably familiar with it too.
July 2008, I mailed 5 checks into various places — Cable, Power, Gas, Credit Card, and Car Payments. Off they went, all to be processed the same night, July 8th, somewhere between me going to bed and waking up the next morning. That night of the 7th, I decided I better put 350 dollars into the checking account. Logging into the Bank of America website, I found that my balance was still quite positive, but needing a quick transfer. I simply moved 350 from my savings account into my checking account. The website verified the transfer and I was on my way to bed.
I woke up the next morning to find that 10 dollars had been deducted from my account for overdraft protection. That didn’t make much sense at the time. Bank of America zeroed out what was left in my savings account for emergency overdraft protection into my checking account. It then sequentially applied the five withdrawals, in order of descending amount. Everything seemed O.K. when I looked again around lunchtime today, which is the 8th. Later on in the day, I got a very regular looking email from Bank of America, indicating that I had a headache coming…
Five $25 dollar overdraft fees were applied against my account, about a half of a full day after the original withdrawals went through. Five! Not one or two or three or four, but FIVE times they charged me 25 dollars, plus the original ten!
Bank of America applied all my withdrawals first, and then applied the transfer. $135 of my dollars, because of their crappy algorithm! This is an outrage! It’s hours later, and I am still very worked up.
Now I am stressed out. It was just payday a short while ago, and not another for some bit — I have 19 dollars, hopefully not less! Maybe they have a queue of more overdraft fees waiting! But 19 dollars, for over a week? It’s easy to see how poor people stay poor!
If you’re smug, congratulations on the advice you want to give me so bad — “Just have more money in the bank! Plan your spending earlier!” Yes yes, good, good for you. In the meantime, I will be over here, stressing out over where my next meal is coming from, all because their math, executing in the same milliseconds, processed my deposit LAST instead of FIRST. A second semester Computer Science moron can (and does) write better software!