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Fifth Third Bank Stinks

by Andrea B. / November 20, 2004 5:22 AM PST

My son, age 13, has his own savings account at Fifth Third Bank. His pocket money gets transferred into it - the bank is in walking distance to the house - this is supposed to teach him about life and money.

Last week he called me at work - had a balance of $10.48 and wanted to get some money out. While he and I were on the phone together, I did an online transfer of $25 into his account. He then walked to the bank, asked to take out $15, but also explained to the teller that Mom had just transferred online and asked if that money was there already. The teller said: "If she did it online, it should be" and gave him his $15.

Just now I opened a letter from Fifth Third Bank - when taking out the $15 he overdrew by $4.86 - because the teller a) did not bother checking the balance even so the kid brought up the still-warm online transfer - and b) you'd think a bank teller would NOT give a child more than what's available without at least pointing out that there wasn't enough money and maybe explain the consequences?

So now the account has been assessed $6.00 each for 11-17, 11-18, 11-19 of a Daily Overdraft Fee - PLUS $30 Overdraft Fee. That's $48.00 fees for a $4.86 overdraft that should not have happened in the first place.

Somebody is getting a call from me on Monday!!!!!!

By the way, we've been with Fifth Third for about 2 years and have more trouble than it's worth - unfortunatley, mortgage and all are tied up there and changing would not be easy - but it will happen when the opportunity arises!!!!

Fifth Third Stinks!!!!

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Don't they have a 24 by 7 number for online banking issues?
by Bill Osler / November 20, 2004 5:29 AM PST

I don't know about other banks. Mine has 24x7 telephone support for online issues.

Since the problem was caused by both the teller's sloppiness and by the fact that they apparently did not properly process the online transfer you might be able to get something done before Monday.

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Re: Don't they have a 24 by 7 number for online banking issu
by Andrea B. / November 20, 2004 5:46 AM PST

Last time I tried that about a different issue, I was referred to the branch - I figure I'll save my breath until I can call them.

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I'm confused. Did the online transfer go through?
by Kiddpeat / November 20, 2004 6:11 AM PST

If so, I'm puzzled by three days of fees. I suspect that, if you scream loud enough, they'll back off the fees. They love to jack such fees up high because they don't want things like overdrafts to happen. When they do, the figure the customer will pay without squacking because the customer is in the wrong. They make a lot of money on that kind of fee.

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Re: I'm confused. Did the online transfer go through?
by Andrea B. / November 20, 2004 7:33 AM PST

Yes it went through - but didnt' post until the next day - and by then, being $4+ in the hole plus (or minus) the $30 overdraft charge - the account was still under 0 and they keep charging $6 daily for every day it's so.

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That is a bummer. I don't know about customers, but
by Kiddpeat / November 20, 2004 1:33 PM PST

employees at the bank I work/worked at are called immediately if there's an overdraft. They are expected to clear it up immediately. The penalty is loss of the checking account if they don't respond or do it too often.

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We had a similar issue
by Steven Haninger / November 20, 2004 6:14 AM PST

with my son's credit card/bank account with Fifth Third. We set it up for him when he started college for the purpose of establishing a good credit history. He was instructed to and always did pay his full credit card charge but got caught in a timing issue no knowing which day began/ended a billing cycle. His less than $2 overlimit charge was to cost him $35. He had never missed a payment. All I had to do was go in to the bank and find the right person to calmly discuss the situation with. I noted his credit history to this point and that he did not miss the payment but that it had not been credited (he mailed it....big mistake) promptly before he made another charge on the card. I stated that I wanted needed to find out just how badly they wanted his and my business as I also have an account there. I said that I appreciate that banking institutions face problems with people who are irresponsible and I want these people to be penalized so that I don't have to pay their way. I said that such penalties should be to discourage bad debt and not be "profit centers" for the banking institutions. The issue was resolved and my son's penalties were expunged. I had to let them know that I would discontinue my relationship with them if a satisfactory solution could not be found but, as I said, this needed to be done calmly. So, my recommendation is to keep your cool, walk into the facility and sit down with someone who can help, and be resolved to keep your son's credit history clean. This is most important. I wish the best for you and all honest folks who end up paying for the those less responsible.

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I have a similar tale
by Angeline Booher / November 20, 2004 8:24 AM PST

I have a similar story

My son started working at Opyland during the summers and weekends when he was 16. The money went into a pass book savings account (that included my name). These deposits continued through his junior year in college. He made withdrawals twice a year for his car insurance, and the pass book was kept at our house.

After about a year the bank announced they would be charging $1 per statement, which were only issued every 3 months. He continued to make deposits as before during the summers.

When he went to make a final withdrawal during his senior year, he had a balance of 3 cents. Turned out the bank was charging a hefty fee for "inactivity", which had eaten up his balance. No notice was ever sent. His Dad and I were livid, and promptly changed banks.

Our mortgage was changed to our new bank when the savings and Loan crumbled. The payment was set up by automatic withdrawal. So, it was a thrill when the last one was made!!! However, we got a notice from the home bank in Memphis that we were in arrears, and tacked on a fee. Our local bank was then livid!!! In our presence the manager called Memphis to straighten things out. They informed her that the last payment had to be made by personal check. Though she told them there was no such notice anywhere in the mortgage papers, and the only mention of the final payment was that it must be on time, they gave her the old "that is now our policy" bit.

I still have my account there as they provide good service. But I also have accounts at a credit union. Happy

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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I have a bank tale too!
by gearup / November 20, 2004 11:01 AM PST
In reply to: I have a similar tale

My kids grandmother (my mother) left them both bank accounts when she passed away. As the court considered me the guardian for these accounts they sent me a list of approved bnks where the money should be deposuted for them. I sent a copy of the court order and the name of the bank I wanted to use to the bank where the original deposits were made.
A month went by and no transfer. Another week went by and I called the court. They told me not to get upset. I told them the bank was refusing to transfer the funds and were demanding a death certificate for each account and wnted me to sign some papers. I explained i had sent them copies of the court order.

The court asked me the name of the manager of the bank. I told them. They then suggested that I talk to him and advise him that if they didnt realease the funds he would be held in contempt of court upon my complaint and to get back to them as to what happened.

That was on a Monday. I did what they suggested. Tuesday morning the approved bank called me to tell me the funds had been delivered to them by messenger that morning and that I should come in and set up the accounts for my kids.

The original bank was just trying to float the $$$$$'s to the end of the quarter as far as I could figure
but that bank manager got the message loud and clear!

When I called the court to tell them the judges "clerk"
just told me it was a common occurance and the "contempt" threat always worked!

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Re: I have a bank tale too!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 21, 2004 9:59 PM PST

Hi, Gearup.

It's a disgrace what the federal regulators let banks get away with. The latest outrage is the double stabdard that eliminates the holding period for customer checks, but still lets banks wait for days or even weeks (based on bank-bank distance) before crediting deposits to customer accounts -- Andrea's "hadn't yet posted" is a perfect example. And yes -- this is political; government should at least maintain a level playing field for consumers vs. corporations.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Sounds like you need a good contingency lawyer.
by Kiddpeat / November 20, 2004 1:40 PM PST
In reply to: I have a similar tale

I'll bet either bank would cough up a few sheckels to settle those. I've never heard of either one.

Inactivity in a passbook account? Wow! Sounds like thieves.

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We had one major victory!
by Angeline Booher / November 21, 2004 2:31 AM PST

Hi, KP,

The passbook event happened in the late 70's, early 80's. That was in the same time period in which the banks were encouraging their "small depositors" to use the ATM instead of making business and large depositors wait in line inside. This went over like a lead balloon in my area, but I recall news stories about customers in larger cities, like New York, being treated as if their money was not that important.

The Federal Savings and Loans were going under , so there was not the former competition. But then....

.... the credit unions started getting more serious look by more people, and the banks changed their tune.

The mortgage story was in 1997. My guess that had it been an FHA or VA mortgage, it would not have happened. But it was a conventional one.

Our victory was against TVA and our local electric company. We had a solar hot water system installed under the low interest loan available at the time. It worked fine, but the companies that serviced those were slowly going out of business. The solar tanks kept leaking. We had ours replaced 3 times. When that one leaked, there was (a)no one around to replace it (b)the manufacturer (Ford) refused to replace it. We had continued to make the payments, and saw our attorney. (He said we were doing the right thing - to always keep current on payments when there is a dispute.) The electric company told him that we owed the money regardless. So he filed a suit in Chancery Court. Shortly thereafter the utility company called and asked for a meeting. Their attorney said that they had enough money to fight us for years. Our attorney said, fine, but we would let the media know, and before long, folks like us who were in the same boat all over the state would be filing suits,, and they would be inundated. He then closed his briefcase, and said it was time to leave. They then said they would forgive the loan if we would call off the lawsuit. Happy

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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(NT) (NT) Cool!
by Kiddpeat / November 21, 2004 1:36 PM PST
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I was in banking for 10 years
by Dan McC / November 20, 2004 12:57 PM PST

The saying in the industry is:

"The customer is the enemy."

I'm glad to see they're sticking with traditional values.



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Usually, if Ive had some problem
by Dragon / November 21, 2004 8:26 AM PST

I would talk to them face to face (I feel more at ease that way than on the phone), explain the situation, and they would usually credit me for the fee they may have charged me. For example: Once upon a time I needed a bit of cash. I figured how exactly to the penny what I could get out of the machine without going over. My one oversight was not taking into account that this was a 'third party' machine, and that a fee would be charged in two places, not one. I was not only charged those fees, but a $50 charge as well, for going in the hole.

They just chalked it up to ignorance, figuring it wouldnt happen, again. Plus, I think they wanted to maintain a certain amount of goodwill. I did learn my lesson. From then on, I used the bank machines which had no fee at all.

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by Andrea B. / November 22, 2004 8:53 AM PST

I called the branch first thing this morning and explained the situation. Was told they would have to pull this up and look at it. Around 4PM I got a call from the manager. He said he did not know how this happened and it should not have, he'd look into it and refund my money.

I can live with that - mistakes happen - just make them right!!!!

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(NT) (NT) Nothing like a (finally) satisfied customer. Congrats!
by Steven Haninger / November 22, 2004 9:03 AM PST
In reply to: Conclusion
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(NT) (NT) Glad all worked out to the good!
by Cindi Haynes / November 22, 2004 9:07 AM PST
In reply to: Conclusion

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