I went to Suntrust today after I was done with my classes. I arrived around 11:40ish with my mother in tow. (We were going to lunch afterward and she had to do banking too, so I picked her up on my way.) My mother did her thing with the teller while I waited for a customer service rep. The girl I spoke with was very nice throughout the entire ordeal.
I gave her the information I had: the letter I received saying I owed them money (postdated 2/22) and my Closing Withdrawal Ticket (date: 2/10). She compared the information with her screen and was confused. I explained my side of the story: I closed my account on 2/10 with an available balance was $268.79. The teller gave me all of that money and closed the account, but Suntrust had not yet “collected” the money and sent my direct deposit back to my employer’s bank because at the end of the day, my account looked closed. Now I get a letter saying I owe Suntrust that money plus an additional fee for having “Insufficient Funds”.
After giving my story she was still confused about what to do. The rep contacted someone by phone to find out what to do and was told to call “Loss Prevention” to find out if the direct deposit check was still in Suntrust’s “possession”. She called and was on hold for a handful of minutes. My mother came and sat down with me at this point. The rep offered to take my number and call me when she finally reached someone. (Thank you Ms. Rep!) I thanked her for the courtesy, but didn’t take her up on the offer. While on hold, she fills out a courtesy refund form for the $32 fee Suntrust added to the account for “insufficient funds” . . . . (I didn’t even have to ask.)
She finally speaks with someone who pulls up my account info and says that the money has been transferred back to my employer’s bank. The rep then tells me that I have to get my employer to write me a check for the amount and come back to pay off the negative account balance.
For reference, this is not the rep’s fault. Suntrust does not have the money, they obviously do not have policy in place to get this money from the other bank, and they want me to get it for them. I realize this is not the rep’s fault and is probably the only reason I keep my voice and temper under control.
I told her that I did not want to try and get a check from my employer and then come back and pay my “negative balance” – which, by the way, is negative from no fault of mine. She agreed and said she wasn’t sure what else could be done. I also stressed that I did not want my account to look like I was paying a negative balance when I came in to write the check . . . I do NOT want it to look like I’m closing an account in negative standing by paying them what I “owe” them – because that is NOT what happened by a longshot. That’s why I wanted them to contact the bank and get their money back. She says that since it has already been sent back and my account is seemingly closed they cannot just ask for the money back.
One hole in that: Suntrust –charged- me after my account was closed so, at the moment, it looks very open to me . . . just with a negative balance of nearly $300. Why can they not make it work the other way around and –credit- my account for that same number?
My mother at this point speaks up and asks the rep what would happen if it took me several weeks to get the money back from my employer. Like, what if they could not just write me a check for the money (which in their books might look like they’d already given me) until they balanced their books, etc . . . Would Suntrust turn me in to collections or continue adding Insufficient Fund Penalties? What would happen if it took me 6 weeks to just get the money from my employer? The rep kind of look bewildered.
We sat for a few seconds and my mother pulled out her checkbook and said that she’d just like to pay off the “negative” balance and I could work out everything else with my employer later. She wrote a check out to me (in the amount the rep gave her), I filled out a deposit slip and all that goodness and glory.
The rep assured me that this fiasco would not affect my credit, that my account was now closed, and that the Courtesy Refund for the “Insufficient Funds” penalty would show up on the account.
Okay – so now it’s OVER with Suntrust. If they contact me again about this account my next visit to a branch will involve a raised voice and red face. To me, this entire ordeal was a piece of shit. Suntrust’s refusal to accept the fact that they screwed up and instead make me get money from my employer and deposit that IN MY NAME under my negative account balance pisses me off. They make the end look like I did something wrong and made restitution by paying it off – which is NOT what happened. I understand that maybe “government policies” or whatever won’t let them get the direct deposit check back from my employer’s bank, but to make me still do the running around for their mistake makes my temper flare.
If my mother had not been there and paid off the balance for me, I would have told the rep that Suntrust better figure out some way to get their fudging money back themselves because there is no way in hell I would have attempted to wrestle my company’s finance department, then gone to a branch X-number of weeks later and made sure everything went through okay with no more penalty charges from Suntrust.
I now simply need to get money from my employer to pay back my mother. If they give me any lip about it I am going to snap like a day-old cookie.
I am writing to Suntrust about this because, plain and simple, I want them to know that they blatantly suck. (The letter will sound less offensive than that.) How people can trust them with things like mortgages and loans when they can’t even get my less than $1,000 a month checking account correct, is completely beyond me. Or wait, maybe that’s just it – because I’m 19, make less than $800 a month, and have nothing beyond a free checking account they figure they can fuck with me and my money all they want. My pea-sized account obviously doesn’t mean shit to them . . . why should it – they are evidently a huge corporation who can afford minions like me hating their guts.
I hate Suntrust. Watch – I’ll hear from them again. I am keeping all the paperwork just in case because they hate me back. And, I'll be checking my credit reports just to make sure.