Complaint / review text:
My original account was opened with a small local bank called Bay Savings; they were purchased by Tidemark Bank, and aquired by Crestar which became Suntrust.
For the most part, I was treated well with each merger and having a small savings account with a few thousand dollars in it, a checking account, and at one time a money market account at SunTrust. It is obvious that they love you if you have money, but if you have a tough period they will the first to suck you dry.
We have had a reduced income for a couple years, higher expenses, and eventually closed the money market account, and then the savings account. My premium checking account then cost me $13.50 a month, and I didn't look into changing that for a little more than a year, unaware I was eligable for a no-fee checking account - shame on me, a couple hundred bucks for SunTrust.
Then I had a few problems where a pre-authorized debit to the account that quite frankly I didn't deduct caused an overdraft; when I called the 800 number and pointed out that several pending transactions did not post for nearly five days until the larger amount overdrew the account, the rep explained that though they were pending and not part of my availible amount, they weren't actually paid. Now, the check that caused my account to be overdrawn? It was actually paid, and SunTrust charged me an NSF fee ($35). I could live with that, except they went on to pay all the pending items too, and charged me $35 for each of those, to the tune of $175, including one that was a monthly subscription via PayPal for $1. Ridiculous. I managed to get two of these charges refunded, but I was told that the 'POLICY' was to attempt to pay the larger amounts FIRST (they did, by the way) because those presumed to be the most 'IMPORTANT.' Not the ones pending from days prior to that, oh no.
Here's how this works out. Rather than pay all the smaller balances that WOULD clear the account and charge for the ONE check that wouldn't, or heck, go ahead and return it and let the customer deal with the person they wrote it to, (by the way $35 is TOO MUCH to charge for this sort of thing) SunTrust essentially LOANSHARKS the customer by charging the MAXIMUM number of fees it can. After all, they PAID the charges I made! But they collected on ME instead of simply saying 'oh, the money isn't here, sorry it can't be paid' and decline the payment. They certainly can determine the money is or isn't there if I can come home from Walgreens and see the charge I just made in my pending transactions on line.
NO EXCUSE. I would rather pay them $35 ONCE and pay a returned fee to the company I bounced the check on (usually $25-40) and still be out HALF of what I am out because of SunTrust's self-serving policy.
The real shame is that when we were trying to refinance our house years ago, I actually asked SunTrust to call us and set up an appointment to discuss handling our mortgage. They never (well, over the course of a month) called us back, and I found another financial institution to take care of us. Maybe that's a good thing after all.