This is an account of just the most recent issue that I had with Wachovia related to my checking account. Based on this, and two previous experiences that were even more egregious, I am now certain that Wachovia has developed a systemic method for maximizing overdraft fees and squeezing thousands of dollars from its customers.
In this case, I overdrew my account by $1.17, and by rights should have been assessed a $35 overdraft fee. Unfortunately, this $1.17 miscalculation cost me $140 though, because Wachovia Bank has developed a way to place holds on certain charges when an account has a low balance, and then monitor the account in order to "bounce" as many things as they can at the right time. Even though my account had a positive balance (illustrated below), they were able to claim that the money was "on hold" and therefore unavailable, generating a $35 fee. Then, they posted the transaction that was "on hold" so that another $35 would be charged.
This past week, on 1/22, I had a positive balance of $4.65 in my account, yet an overdraft charge was applied for $35. Then, a purchase for $2.13 posted (which would have cleared if not for the $35 fee) on 1/23 and caused another $35 charge because the account went negative due to the first charge. On 1/24, ANOTHER charge was assessed over a $2.11 purchase that posted, AND THAT PURCHASE ALSO WOULD HAVE CLEARED IF NOT FOR THE OVERDRAFT CHARGES.in total, 4 overdraft charges for $140 were charged to my account, but yet there was no reason I could find for the original charge. This is the record right from my online statement (detail removed):
01/24 overdraft/unavailable funds fee $70.00 ($141.17)
01/24 purchase $1.58 ($71.17)
01/24 purchase $2.11 ($69.59)
01/23 overdraft/unavailable funds fee $35.00 ($67.48)
01/23 purchase $2.13 ($32.48)
01/22 overdraft/unavailable funds fee $35.00 ($30.35)
01/22 purchase $2.87 $4.65
After talking to 3 different people at Wachovia and having them each tell me that the bank would not refund any fees because it was not a bank error, I learned that they put each of these small purchases on hold until the "negative" condition was manufactured, and then they slammed everything on before I could get to the bank that morning to cover the lousy $1.17 mistake. I can prove that they have done this exact same thing to me twice in the last two months, costing me over $500. They are the worst bank in existence!!!