Multiple bank fee WTFs



  • My coworker just related the most outrageous story to me regarding his bank and some of its fees.  He forgot his PIN the other day when trying to get cash from an ATM, and tried to get cash 9 times, even though he was sure he had remembered his PIN at some point.

    The first 5 incorrect attempts resulted in a $1 fee each time.  His card was then deactivated, and the next 4 attempts resulted in a further $1 fee each time.  Of course, the ATM didn't say exactly why it wasn't working at that point, so he just gave up.

    $9 is no big deal, and the bank did refund him when he complained... but seriously!  When someone steals your debit card, they don't try to use the PIN to access your money.  They either know it... or they just don't try.  And, there is a financial burden on YOU if you either forget your PIN or someone tries to use the wrong one?  WTF?!
     



  • I'm glad extortionate cashpoint charges got banned in the UK a few years ago. It used to be that using a cashpoint other than that of your own bank would commonly incur a fee from BOTH the cashpoint owner AND your bank. Now your bank can't charge you, and the cashpoint owner has to be upfront about it (and only stand-alone cashpoints charge, not those owned by banks)



  • @m0ffx said:

    I'm glad extortionate cashpoint charges got banned in the UK a few years ago. It used to be that using a cashpoint other than that of your own bank would commonly incur a fee from BOTH the cashpoint owner AND your bank. Now your bank can't charge you, and the cashpoint owner has to be upfront about it (and only stand-alone cashpoints charge, not those owned by banks)

    Oh yeah.  At an ATM at the school my wife goes to, combined with my bank's fees, it costs $4.00 to get money out.  That's FOUR BUCKS in ATM fees.



  • @djork said:

    @m0ffx said:

    I'm glad extortionate cashpoint charges got banned in the UK a few years ago. It used to be that using a cashpoint other than that of your own bank would commonly incur a fee from BOTH the cashpoint owner AND your bank. Now your bank can't charge you, and the cashpoint owner has to be upfront about it (and only stand-alone cashpoints charge, not those owned by banks)

    Oh yeah.  At an ATM at the school my wife goes to, combined with my bank's fees, it costs $4.00 to get money out.  That's FOUR BUCKS in ATM fees.


    It's up to the owner of the building for the fee, afaik. Some places will charge you 10$, those are the places that only take cash.



  • There are places in America that only take cash? Dear me, how positively 19th-century! I'd heard that the place was becoming a bit of a tech backwater, but that's really taking things a bit far.



  • The bank might not charge you any more (unless you pay credit of course) but the charges are still ridiculous. Its pointless getting less than £40 out. Most private machines near me (no actual cashpoints...) charge £2-2.50. Get a tenner out and thats 20%+

    I wouldn't mind but it seems like real cashpoints are on the decline and these things are popping up everywhere. 

    On a side note, I'm also getting pissed off with shops that take visa, but not for cigs / other stolen card classics. I thought when you were a visa merchant you had to accept it for any payment you would accept cash for.

    On another side note slightly more related, a while back My Bank(tm) made some changes to their systems. Around this time I incurred an overdraft exceed fee whilst doing a payment online (fair enough, happens sometimes). Their limit is overdraft + £9.99, and the fee for going over was £15ish. Every time you go another £9.99 overdrawn after the first time, its a new charge. This is the WTF bit, previously bank charges were exempt from your balance, but whilst tweaking the new system....well someone fucked up. I do a refresh a while later. Can you see it?

    Infinite loop bank charges.

    My online statement was truly a thing to behold. Somewhere around 99,999 pages of transactions. All Identical amounts, 100s per second. It was fixed in a matter of hours and all charges were cancelled, im assuming some alarm went off somewhere.

    Something to do with the -£9,999,999 balance I guess. And im assuming it wasnt just me.




  • Which bank is this, that doesn't stop a card after the 3rd incorrect attempt?



  • @djork said:

    The first 5 incorrect attempts resulted in a $1 fee each time. His card was then deactivated, and the next 4 attempts resulted in a further $1 fee each time.

    4 attempts with a deactivated card? 



  • @Iago said:

    There are places in America that only take cash? Dear me, how positively 19th-century! I'd heard that the place was becoming a bit of a tech backwater, but that's really taking things a bit far.

    I dunno about a tech backwater, but there are some places you go where you know ahead of time to have cash.  Stadiums for one.  The Renaissance Fair for another. 

    Most places (in Ohio) will not allow you to pay for liquor with a credit or debit card.  The reason is that the store really doesn't own all the liquor (as in anything above 21% alcohol) in the store.  It's owned by the state of Ohio, and for every bottle of liquor they sell one day, they have to pay the state for it the next.  So in order to actually do that, they require cash on liquor purchases, but can accept credit on beer and wine purchases. 



  • @m0ffx said:

    I'm glad extortionate cashpoint charges got banned in the UK a few years ago. It used to be that using a cashpoint other than that of your own bank would commonly incur a fee from BOTH the cashpoint owner AND your bank. Now your bank can't charge you, and the cashpoint owner has to be upfront about it (and only stand-alone cashpoints charge, not those owned by banks)

    It's probably good that the charges have gone, but it's got more to do with simple buying power than any moral issue.  There was a big campaign claiming that such charges were "unfair", the banks recognised the chance to make themselves look good and abolished the charges - fine, market forces, etc etc.  I don't agree that the charges were ever unfair though...  they're providing an extremely useful service, why shouldn't they charge for it?  The TV adverts had your standard ISO1234 pissed-off bank customer saying "£1.50 to get *my* money out?  WTF?!?!?"... why should the banks run a massive network of cash machines for free?  Of course, they don't and never will - we're all still paying for the cash machine service,  only now it's hidden in other charges and reduced interest rates, and people who don't use cash machines are subsidising those who do.

    It makes my blood boil.



  • @Crispy Duck said:

    The TV adverts had your standard ISO1234 pissed-off bank customer saying "£1.50 to get my money out?  WTF?!?!?"... why should the banks run a massive network of cash machines for free?  Of course, they don't and never will - we're all still paying for the cash machine service,  only now it's hidden in other charges and reduced interest rates, and people who don't use cash machines are subsidising those who do.

    It makes my blood boil.

    You have no comprehension of how modern finance works. The banks are skimming about 5% off the entire economy - it's basically a tax that goes directly into their pockets. The 'interest rates' are them giving you a very small cut of the proceeds so that you can delude yourself into thinking that you're benefiting from this arrangement (you aren't). Bank charges? Reduced interest rates? None of this stuff matters. It doesn't even register on their balance sheets, the figures are so tiny. They ignore more losses per year from outright theft. Maybe they did redistribute the load so as not to lose out in the 5th significant figure, but you sure as hell won't be able to tell the difference, since we're talking about a tiny fraction of a percent change in the amount they're taking.



  • @dhromed said:

    @djork said:

    The first 5 incorrect attempts resulted in a $1 fee each time. His card was then deactivated, and the next 4 attempts resulted in a further $1 fee each time.

    4 attempts with a deactivated card? 

    Note that the ATM didn't say why it was failing, so he couldn't tell that it was deactivated.

    We've all seen this pattern before:

    catch (Exception ex)
      {
         throw;
      }


  • @Krenn said:

    @dhromed said:
    4 attempts with a deactivated card?

    Note that the ATM didn't say why it was failing, so he couldn't tell that it was deactivated.

    We've all seen this pattern before:

    catch (Exception ex)
    {
    throw;
    }

    Ah. 



  • @Krenn said:

    @dhromed said:

    @djork said:

    The first 5 incorrect attempts resulted in a $1 fee each time. His card was then deactivated, and the next 4 attempts resulted in a further $1 fee each time.

    4 attempts with a deactivated card? 

    Note that the ATM didn't say why it was failing, so he couldn't tell that it was deactivated.

    Here in Germany, it's common that the ATM machine swallows your card after the 3rd attempt. It may be a nice idea security-wise, but it's quite inconvenient if it happens to you while you're far from home, in the middle of the night, when you cannot ask the people in the bank to kindly return it to you after an ID check.

    So here, 4 more tries would be really impossible.

    I like VisualD's post though. That's a true WTF (you should've saved some screenshots). 😉



  • @Hans Meine said:

    I like VisualD's post though. That's a true WTF (you should've saved some screenshots). 😉

    Me too. Makes one wonder if they test their code at all. 



  • @Iago said:

    There are places in America that only take cash? Dear me, how positively 19th-century! I'd heard that the place was becoming a bit of a tech backwater, but that's really taking things a bit far.

    How's the view from the high horse?* There are plenty of little places in big cities who don't feel like taking credit cards, because doing so costs them money, and it obviously hasn't hurt their business enough to close them down or convince them to change their minds. As a matter of fact, some of the better little independent coffee-shop / deli places I know are cash only, as are a number of good little food places in Chinatown (the good ones as opposed to the purely touristy ones).


    P.S. I have discovered that Charles Schwab bank offers a checking account where it will pay the ATM fees for you. This is Very Awesome. And they pay 4% interest on it.

    *(do I need to tune my sarcasm detector to a different wavelength? its reaction to that line is fuzzy at best.)



  • @asuffield said:

    You have no comprehension of how modern finance works. The banks are skimming about 5% off the entire economy - it's basically a tax that goes directly into their pockets. The 'interest rates' are them giving you a very small cut of the proceeds so that you can delude yourself into thinking that you're benefiting from this arrangement (you aren't).

    The reason you get a lot less interest out of your bank than they get out of their clients is that your money is liquid, while the bank's assets aren't. Your money is stable and guaranteed; the bank's assets... aren't. You can take out your money at any time. Banks can't. Banks make loans and do things like Mortgages. Take a look at the mortgage crisis, now, and how many banks are scrambling. That's Risk and uncertainty. That's why they can get away with this spread in interest rates, your so-called "tax", and charging more for your money than they pay you for it: because it might not be coming back. And because there's a lot involved with turning your money into mortgages and business loans and everything like that, and the bank is doing that so you don't have to.

    Credit card transaction fees, by contrast, and ATM fees... that's selling convenience. Don't want Convenience at those prices? Take out your money the old-fashioned way. Keep a couple hundred dollars in your wallet or your sock drawer. Nobody's stopping you. As for myself, am I better off with my money in the bank or in my pocket? The bank pays for it to be there. The bank provides debit cards and ATMs to get at it, which is more convenient / safer than a wad of cash. The bank has direct deposit, which saves me cashing checks every two weeks. And I don't pay for any of this (except indirect transaction fees for using the card as a credit card, which isn't my normal modus operandi). So yeah, I think I'm benefiting from the arrangement. Don't like it? Opt out of banking, see what good it does anybody. I think that the economy and I are getting our money worth out of this so-called "5% tax".

    The real WTF is doofs like you who come on with a half-understanding of an Econ 150 course under their belts, and then claim that the entire banking system is bogus or fraudulent from the ground up. You know what? There are a couple issues around today, and you can look at the aforementioned American mortgage crunch to see some of them. (One of them is underpricing risk, which is something you're doing right now by failing to account for the banks' 5% doing anything useful). But the underlying system is fundamentally a pretty sound one.

    The WTF WTF is that I try to tag my post Banking and Banana gets in the way. stupid tag input box javascript.



  • @fennec said:

    But the underlying system is fundamentally a pretty sound one.

    Riiight.

    May I introduce you to fractional-reserve banking.



  • @fennec said:

    The reason you get a lot less interest out of your bank than they get out of their clients is that (gibbering...)

    It is because the banks get to decide who benefits, and they decide that they will benefit and you will not. There is nothing more to it than that. There are no reasons for it that are any more complicated than "I have a club, you give me that food".


    Credit card transaction fees, by contrast, and ATM fees... that's selling convenience.

    It's convincing you to keep money in your bank accounts, which is fundamentally related to the mechanism used to skim money off the economy. The banks are the ones who benefit from this. The 'charges' have no directly discernible effect on their bottom line (they make more in a single day from your money in the account than they ever will from bank charges in your entire lifetime), they exist mainly because of internal politics in the bank: it doesn't make the bank show an appreciably larger profit, but it does improve the figures for the department under one particular mid-level manager, which determines the size of his bonus.

    You are not the consumer here. You are the product, and the bank is the purchaser. Credit cards and ATMs are the methods of sale.

     

    But the underlying system is fundamentally a pretty sound one.

    That's hilariously wrong. You need to watch Money as Debt. The underlying system demands continuous rapid expansion, and government intervention to ensure that nothing gets in the way of the growth of profits. Note that merely making money is inadequate under our system - if we made a steady profit, the whole thing would collapse. Profits have to grow at a horrifying rate in order for the system to survive. That mortgage "crisis" (which is actually a fairly regular event, happening every few decades) is a direct consequence of this combined with the simple fact that unlimited growth is unsustainable.



  • Neither of us is qualified to play the Internet professor on the soundness of the American economy, currency, and such affairs. I won't bother, as we're both obviously aware that we're much better informed than each other on the matter. That aside, I'm still perfectly willing to call your impression of "zomg! banks are holding you down with teh fees!" and such poppycock.


    Your language about "you are the product" is quite the rhetorical grab. Help, help! I'm being exploited and dehumanized! Except that's not true; I am not the product that a bank is buying. It doesn't even make sense. Rather, my employer is renting me out for 40 hours a week, and what the banks have is not me, it's just my money. ("Help, help, my money is being exploited and dehumanized" doesn't have the same ring to it.)

    I am perfectly willing to rent out my money at 3-6%ish when I'm not using it.
    I'd rent it out myself, and cut out the middleman, but I don't want to go through the hassle of looking for people who want it, and who aren't going to abscond with it to Vegas or something and never pay it back, and establishing terms, and calculate how much they owe, and such. It's not worth it for just a few grand here and there. Especially if that's the Emergency Fund that, if something happens, you need access to pretty quickly.

    It's true that many banks are opportunistic and abuse their customers with dubious fees whenever they have a convenient excuse. It may or may not help their bottom line appreciably; I haven't checked the figures. You don't have to take it, though, because not all banks do that. You are allowed to switch to another bank, even if it's not particularly convenient. The bank with most of my money right now, for instance, doesn't charge overdraft fees, for instance. (They charge interest on the overdrafted balance, but 15% or whatever a year, on a $20-some-odd overdraft, for ~5 days at a time, is negligible - especially next to $30-a-transaction). The other bank with a fair amount of my money will, in fact, pay my ATM fees when I use an arbitrary ATM which charges a transaction fee.

    In summary, rhetoric to the contrary, The Banks do not have a club, and are not stealing money from me.



  • @asuffield said:

    It's convincing you to keep money in your bank accounts, which is fundamentally related to the mechanism used to skim money off the economy. The banks are the ones who benefit from this. The 'charges' have no directly discernible effect on their bottom line (they make more in a single day from your money in the account than they ever will from bank charges in your entire lifetime)  <snip>

    Not according to the San Fransisco Chronical...  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/10/LAZ.TMP

     

    I quote:

    BofA collected about $22.4
    billion last year from penalty and service fees, as well as other forms
    of non-interest income. Such earnings now account for more than half of
    the bank's annual revenue, and play a similarly hefty role in
    bolstering the bottom lines of other financial institutions.

     



  • @Hans Meine said:

    @Krenn said:
    @dhromed said:

    @djork said:

    The first 5 incorrect attempts resulted in a $1 fee each time. His card was then deactivated, and the next 4 attempts resulted in a further $1 fee each time.

    4 attempts with a deactivated card? 

    Note that the ATM didn't say why it was failing, so he couldn't tell that it was deactivated.

    Here in Germany, it's common that the ATM machine swallows your card after the 3rd attempt. It may be a nice idea security-wise, but it's quite inconvenient if it happens to you while you're far from home, in the middle of the night, when you cannot ask the people in the bank to kindly return it to you after an ID check.

    So here, 4 more tries would be really impossible.

    I like VisualD's post though. That's a true WTF (you should've saved some screenshots). 😉

    As far as I know, they [i]can't[/i] return the card, because it gets either immediately destroyed or otherwise permanently invalidated. If you lose it this way, you will normally have to wait until they send you a new one in the mail.
     


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