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Shameful Bank Practices. Commerce Bank edition.

New banking rules implemented by President Obama are designed to keep banks from ass-raping customers with overdraft fees on Atm and debit card purchases.  It’s a really good idea, since banks were notorious for charging the largest items first, and then hitting you with a 35 dollar fee for every single small transaction.  So now, by law, the card will just say declined if you have insufficient funds.  Great, grand, wonderful.  Problem solved.  Our everyday lives a little better.  I would much rather have someone tell me my debit card was declined so I could pay with another card then have a bank offer me the “Convenience” of having them pay it and charging me 35 bucks for it.

Only problem is apparently banks don’t like this, and who can really blame them, it costs them money.  Here is an example, one I get EVERY TIME I log into my online banking for Commerce Bank:

» Understanding How The New Overdraft Rules Impact Your Account

Previously, under our discretionary courtesy overdraft practice, Commerce Bank may have authorized ATM withdrawals and everyday debit card purchases* on your checking account even if you did not have sufficient available funds*. The authorization of these transactions is at the Bank’s discretion, and we reserve the right not to authorize an overdraft on your account. For each transaction that overdraws your account you are charged a $35 fee, up to a maximum daily fee of $240.

Due to federal regulatory changes we are no longer able to authorize overdrafts for ATM withdrawals and everyday debit card purchases in accordance with our courtesy overdraft practice unless you provide your consent.

If you don´t provide your consent, and you attempt to make an ATM withdrawal or everyday debit card purchase but do not have sufficient available funds, the transaction will be declined and you will not incur a fee.

Other items presented to your account such as checks, automatic bill payments, ACH debits and scheduled recurring debit card transactions were not affected by this regulation. These other debits presented to your account will still be subject to our courtesy overdraft practice. We reserve the right not to authorize or pay an overdraft on your account. For example, we generally do not pay overdrafts if your account is not in good standing, you are not making regular deposits or you have too many overdrafts.

To continue to have Commerce authorize and pay overdrafts on your ATM withdrawals and everyday debit card purchases under our discretionary courtesy overdraft practice, please select the “Yes! Continue” button below.
* An everyday debit card purchase is a one-time purchase or transaction paid with your debit card. Examples would include a trip to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, or discount store.

* Our Deposit Agreement requires that you repay us on demand for the amount of the overdraft and the overdraft fee. Typically we debit your next deposit for the amount owing.

If you read through all that non-sense you would see that basically all it says is that they are no longer allowed to charge you exorbitant fees, but if you click YES!Continue, they can keep charging you for overdrafts.  Now, I know better than to fall for this ridiculous little game and actually authorize them to f$^# me, but how many people do you think have unwillingly agreed to this?  Is that an ethical business practice?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself." John Kerry

    by Jhawk320 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:01:17 PM PDT

  •  wow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    There is a standard form that the FFIEC sent out back when this rule was implemented in July 2010. last year FDIC ordered its regulated banks to further disclose overdraft practices.

    Customers have the ability to Opt In/opt Out at any time but this is almost harassment. I'm surprsied their Compliance Officer allows this.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:06:35 PM PDT

    •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

      I understand this is a service that some people may appreciate, but I agree that this borders on excessive.

      "Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself." John Kerry

      by Jhawk320 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:32:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 words: Credit Union (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamar, ladybug53, kurt, chimene

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:42:38 PM PDT

    •  I was charged overdraft fees at my credit union (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, kurt, chimene

      recently, went in to talk to them and they immediately removed them and the manager set me up with a system that automatically pulls from my savings account if I get overdrawn. He seemed genuinely perplexed that someone hadn't done that for me already. I think when I joined the credit union (about 5 or 6 months ago) they were having such an influx of new members that things got overlooked.
      and the overdraft charge was $25 (but there were 2 of them) but now they're gone gone gone.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure what the problem is. Before the new (4+ / 0-)

    law, everyone was automatically opted in to "overdraft protection" whereby an overdraft would automatically be paid, and a fee would be charged. The reason this was a problem was because if people weren't sure if they had money or not, the charge would go through just as if they did, even if they didn't. But it would incur a cost.

    After the law, banks could not make overdraft protection an automatic option. If someone makes a purchase for which they don't have sufficient funds, it would be declined.

    The bank has, as the law allows, set it up so that if you wanted overdraft protection, you could still opt in, but they can't do it unless you sign something.

    There are people out there who are okay with the overdraft protection.

    They've also changed how they order purchases now. They pay by what your account will cover, not highest to lowest.

    I don't see that this is a problem. No one is being charged OD Fees unsuspectingly. And if one wants this benefit, one can have it, but they have to pay for it.

    I also take exception to your term "ass-raping". Rape metaphors often get you HRd around here, and well they should.

    North Carolina: Where you can marry your cousin. Just not your gay cousin.

    by second gen on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:16:26 PM PDT

    •  The problem isn't the change in rule. (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that the bank seems to be trying to trick people into giving the authorization.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:25:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is they are tricking people into believing that this is in their best interest when it may or, more likely, not be.  I have people who work for me who still don't know they can opt out of overdraft protection and get hammered with hundreds in fees.

        "Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself." John Kerry

        by Jhawk320 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:30:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the people who work for you (0+ / 0-)

          who believe they can't opt out are more ignorant than most. It's not an opt out program anymore, it's an opt IN. Doing nothing doesn't not force them to pay overdraft protection fees.

          North Carolina: Where you can marry your cousin. Just not your gay cousin.

          by second gen on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:57:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see any tricks. I see them marketing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nuclear winter solstice

        a service, but they can't trick you into it. Before, they could, now it requires an affirmative response. Without that, they can't do it. If people don't want the fees, they don't have to do anything.

        North Carolina: Where you can marry your cousin. Just not your gay cousin.

        by second gen on Fri May 25, 2012 at 06:59:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's just how the affirmative response (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HarpboyAK

          is presented.  Lots of small print, and two buttons at the bottom.  One says "remind me later" and the other says "YES! Continue".  It reminds me at of when you agree to the terms of use for a program.  You scroll down and hit accept.  To me, that's what this is.  My whole point was that I feel this is at least a shady business practice targeted at people who aren't paying attention or are unaware of the laws governing banks and overdraft fees.

          "Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself." John Kerry

          by Jhawk320 on Fri May 25, 2012 at 07:36:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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