caitie (asaintedsinner) wrote in bad_service,

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citizens bank bad service

So nearly 5 years ago when I turned 18 and was about to go off to college, I got my first checking account with CB. We went there because they had the free checking account (meaning I didn't have to keep a certain amount of money in there to not be fined, yay!) plus it's my parents bank and they'd be able to put funds into my account should I need them. Thus far, I haven't had any issues with CB. I've overdrawn my account a few times, as a lot of us have done, I'm sure, but nothing major.

At the moment, I am not working, I'm in school full time plus doing an externship and the only money I have is what I get back from my tuition refund at school. This quarter's checks are not being mailed until tomorrow so I've had about 8 dollars in my account since roughly the end of March. No big deal, any money I've gotten from babysitting or from my parents when they're being nice stays as cash in my wallet. As soon as I get my refund check, I'll put it into my account.

I'm a paranoid person at times when it comes to funds, so I try and make sure to check my bank account at least once a week online. On April 13, I logged into my account and nearly had a shit hemorrhage when I saw that my account was overdrawn! I couldn't believe my eyes. I hadn't used my debit card or my account in WEEKS because I only had 8 dollars in there! I click on the link to show me what my recent activity is and find out that somehow, an unauthorized charge for 12 dollars was deducted from my account. I still cannot figure out where this came from or why it's there, but I called up the 1800 number and the girl explains that I'll need to fill out an affidavit and then they'll look into it and if it turns out that I really did not authorize it, they'll give me the funds back. Great!

The girl offers to mail me an affidavit or says that I can stop by a local branch to do it. I ask her about the overdraft fees and I explain that it will be about two weeks before I get any money to put in there. She says that there is a 39.00 fee for the first overdraft and then after the account sits overdrawn for a certain length of time (11 days, I believe is what she said) there is another 35.00 fee that gets taxed on. She assures me, however, that if it turns out this is an unauthorized charge, I will get the 12.00 PLUS both overdraft fees back since it wasn't my fault the account was overdrawn. I agree to go to a branch because NORMALLY it would be faster than waiting for the mail. However, the local branches around here close by 3 and with my class and externship schedule, I couldn't get there in time.

I finally managed to go this past Tuesday. We got out of class early so I literally went to the bank as soon as I got out. I sit down with the assistant manager who immediately gives me attitude, questions me over and over again about the charge that came out of my account, sounding very disbelieving when I tell her that "No, ma'am, I really do NOT know what that charge is for or where it came from!" and takes FOREVER to print out the affidavit, looking at me four or five times and making me repeat my story of how I found my account over drawn and what the charge is that I didn't authorize.

I then ask her, to clarify what the girl on the phone said, if it takes 10 days for it to be investigated and that at the end of the 10 days, when it's shown that I really didn't authorize this, they'll put the 12.00, 39.00, and 35.00 back into my account. She SNEERS at me and tells me that "No, only the 12.00 and the 39.00 will be put back in. You are responsible for the 35.00." I raised my eyebrow and stared at her. I asked her WHY I was responsible for the 35.00 when it wasn't my fault the account got over drawn in the first place and she says "Well, you knew it was overdrawn. You could've put money into it at any time and rectified this problem." I go on to explain that I'm not working, full time student, refund check not being sent until April 27, blah blah blah. She then says "Well, you could've come in sooner so we could freeze the account. If you'd come in last week, the 35.00 fee wouldn't have been added, so no. You are responsible for it."

At this point, I'm trying very hard not to cry because I'm completely frustrated, not to mention that I don't really have an extra 35.00! I have a cell phone bill to pay, a thousand dollars owed for a medical deductible that didn't get paid, a new textbook that's gonna cost 135.00 PLUS this money has to last me until July, when I get my next refund check.

To make matters worse, she then takes my debit card and CUTS IT UP! My mouth dropped open in shock and I asked her why she did that. She explained that it wasn't good anyway and since the account was frozen to any withdrawals, there was no reason I needed it anymore. I told her that as soon as I put money in the account, yes, I very much needed my debit card and I went on to explain that I had over drawn my account before and they'd NEVER cut up my card! She just shrugged and rolled her eyes, telling me that as soon as my account was unfrozen, I could order a new card. I don't have time to wait!

Needless to say, when I got home, I called customer service who informed me that the assistant manager was way out of line and moreover, that she was wrong. The customer service rep explained that yes, I would get ALL the fees back because it wasn't my fault that the account was overdrawn, that she'd order me a new card ASAP because there was no reason for her to cut up my card at all, and she also explained that it wouldn't have mattered if I'd gone in to the bank the week before, it still takes 10 days for the affidavit to process and that freezing the account means crap, the bank can still add whatever fees they'd like, it's technically "their" account.

I'm hoping this will all be rectified this week. I should have my refund check by Tuesday or Wednesday and the funds from the affidavit should be in my the end of the week, next Monday at the latest. Sometimes I hate money so much. :(
Tags: *banking/finance

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