Today I am seething over the recent treatment by Fifth Third. In two days, this crack bank charged my account $700.00 in overdraft fees. While my account was overdrawn (due to a single Quicken mistake at home) and certainly entitled to be charged a penalty, I ask you: does $700.00 seem reasonable for a two-day period?
I was charged $700.00 because Fifth Third uses predatory practices:
1. Rather than deny my debit card purchase at the store (because I was overdrawn), the bank approved it as a “courtesy” and then charged a $33.00 fee. This means the $1.00 bottle of water I bought for my daughter’s basketball game cost me $34.00. This happened seven times on the first day, costing me $264 in fees, before I was even aware my account was overdrawn.
2. Once I did realize my account was overdrawn (the next day), I could not determine how much I needed to deposit to cover things because none of my overdraft fees were visible online. I was able to view my pending purchases, but not the fees. When I went into the bank to determine exactly what was going on, I got two separate answers.
3. After I deposited what I could to cover the pending charges from the second day (until a money market transfer could go through), the bank processed their own (undisclosed) fees first, causing all subsequent purchases to require “courtesy” overdraft protection. This cost me another $330.00 in fees. In other words, charging my account fees to cover its fees allowed the bank the “opportunity” to charge more fees.
All told, these fees along with the daily overdraft fees – this all happened over a weekend — totalled $687.00. Also worth knowing: I have been a customer for ten years and have excellent credit.
Okay, so what next? Aside from yelling at the manager’s supervisor until I was shaking, inducing eczema to burn my face in two places, I am not ready to give in quietly. I’ve done research and found out that Fifth Third is being sued in a class action suit for their overdraft practices. I’ve also learned that bills have been proposed in both the Senate and House that would force banks to reform these predatory practices.
I guess I’ll start with a letter to the local paper. I will tell everyone I know: DO NOT BANK WITH FIFTH THIRD. I will rant on Facebook. I don’t know, what else? Suggestions are welcome.