Friday, February 23, 2007

The rich get richer.

Let me just start off by saying I do not have an overdraft on my bank account. That being said, every single month, I get OD charges on my statement.

It's usually something like a cent or two, so I pretty much ignore it but its there every month. Then I started wondering how. Below is my bank statement for the last week or so.

Again, I don't have an overdraft so I can't actually withdraw or pay bills until the money is in the bank. And believe me, before those deposits go in, the balance is almost absolute zero.

Notice the two deposits, one is my paycheck and one is the pecker check.

This is the real time-line. February 20th, the pecker check goes in, I pick up a few things at the grocery store ($18.62), on the way home I withdraw $80.00. Later that day I withdraw $140 to pay the landlord. Leaving me a balance of $3.40.

Then two days later my paycheck goes in and I start paying bills. I know from experience, if I had tried to make a purchase of even $3.41, let alone $3.42 before that paycheck went in, my card would have been rejected. Remember I have no overdraft on this account.

Notice how the bank records these transactions, putting a couple of the withdrawals 'before' the deposit, which puts me into overdraft. Then promptly charges me OD fees.

It's just a penny here and there, but that is just in my case. If this bank does this to every single customer, you begin to understand how they make billions of dollars a year.

It looks like fraud to me and I have sent them an email asking them to explain themselves.


kelly said...

sneaky sneaky! yet they'd likely bounce something if you tried to test this imaginary overdraft lol

part-time thinker said...

Please let us know what they write back! I expect some legalese banking algorithm-speak; "Well Madame, when your deposit is made the software becomes aware of it, as an idea. The deposit doesn't actually take place for 36.2 hours, at this point your deposit is a theoretical concept. The software does allow you to begin drafting against the new balance even though the deposit has not officially taken place, which causes the overdraft, which is your problem and not ours, nyah."

an old programmer said...

as a programmer.. even though the 'availble balance' is updated 'real time'.. the actual batch processing is done one daily at night.. and all the withdraws are processed first ..then deposits.. hence your OD.