1. I Hate Overdraft Whiners

    I simply cannot convey the level of contempt I hold for 99% of Overdraft Whiners. Seriously.

    Who are Overdraft Whiners? Well, these are the hapless, woe-is-me folks you see commenting IN DROVES on articles like these two:

    Red Tape Chrons.: “Bank Overdraft Fees: Help May Be on the Way”

    Red Tape Chrons.: “Double Trouble for ID Theft Victim”

    Rarely will a card-carrying, finger-pointing Overdraft Whiner miss an opportunity to lament how “ridiculous” or “unfair” or “egregious” his or her bank’s overdraft policies are. The astounding number of comments attached to the butt ends of those two articles will attest to this undying truth.

    For about ten or fifteen seconds there, as I read through way too many of those comments, I considered leaving a comment of my own. But then I realized I’d have lots more space to piss off the Overdraft Whiners by simply creating a blog post about them. So here goes.

    Sympathy? Sorry. I’m Already Overdrawn.

    Let me state here, early and unequivocally, that I have ZERO sympathy for folks who endure overdraft charges in circumstances where:

    • …the bank processed a high-amount transaction first so that the deluge of smaller-amount transactions behind it would all garner overdraft fees. Whiners love to trumpet this one. You know what? It sounds fine to me. Check your bank’s charter and what you’ll find is that they don’t exist to give you a blankee, back rub, and hold your cuddly little hand while you muddle through Financial Life. The Overdraft Whiners here were, no matter how you slice it, spending money they didn’t have. And now they have even less. Those red numbers in your account? They’re the marks left by Reality when it smacked you across the face. Were you paying attention?Balancing a checkbook properly, coupled with not spending money that isn’t there, would fix this.
    • …an overdraft of $.07 resulted in “ridiculous” bank charges in excess of $35. Excellent news. I’m all for it. Sure, if you were to figure what a fee like this equates to in, say, APR terms, then you’d have a calculator that’d probably run out of spaces for all the zeros. But I’ll conveniently disregard this fact since Overdraft Whiners so often (apparently) conveniently forget to use their calculators to see what their real-life account balances are.Again: This is easy to fix with a properly-maintained check register and some attention to detail. Of course, not everyone’s willing to undertake this sort of slave labor.
    • …the Overdraft Whiner thought the balance the [ATM machine / phone teller / online-account screen] showed them was the REAL balance. No, silly. You can find your REAL account balance in only one place: your diligently-utilized check register. Have I mentioned how much I adore Quicken and programs of that ilk? Avoiding overdraft charges FOREVER is just one of the many things your computer can help you accomplish.
    • …the bank “should have” denied the debit-card charge because it was beyond the available balance. Nope. You screwed the pooch first. You should’ve known your real-life balance and then NOT swiped or handed your debit card to the cashier.
    • …your bank didn’t “warn” you that you were already overdrawn, and continued to let purchases go through. Blankee, back rub, hold cuddly little hand, and so on. Not the bank’s responsibility. Knowing your account’s true balance, and not spending money you don’t have? Your responsibility.
    • …the bank’s service charge caused you to overdraft. Then you’re just not good at paying attention, are you? Or at finding a bank or credit union that doesn’t suck?
    • …the Whiner deposited a check from a known perpetually-broke friend. The check bounced, and overdraft charges ensued. Surprise, surprise, surprise. The Whiner rolled the dice, and he lost. Time to pay the house.
    • …the only excuse left is the hallowed one: “I can’t help it. I live paycheck-to-paycheck.” If this is the case, then those thirty-plus-dollar fees are truly a financial head-wound for you. Even more reason to pay attention to what you’re doing and not count on someone else to pick up the slack. I was a broke college student once, too. And after that, a broke young adult. Know how many times I overdrafted? Zero. Even then, I knew how to use a paper check register (and later, Quicken).

    Now that I think about it, this post goes keyboard-in-keyboard with my previous post about the stuff you hear from people who suck with money. So here’s #13: “Can you believe what my bank charged me for this three-cent overdraft?”

    But There Are Times When…

    In what situations might I exhibit a wee bit of compassion? If you deposited a paycheck, it bounced, and you then incurred overdrafts because of it, I’d echo the chorus: “Yeah, that sucks.”

    Hmmm. There are probably other scenarios, but I can’t come up with them just now.

    Public Service Message to Overdraft Whiners:
    Get A Free Excel Check Register

    That’s right. I said free.

    I’m quite aware that not everyone has the cash to run out and purchase Quicken or MS Money. So what we have — yeah, I’m reaching here — is a vicious circle: You could avoid all those nasty overdraft charges if only you had Quicken to help you do it. But you need money to buy Quicken. And of course you’ll never have any money, because The Nasty Bank makes you keep paying Nasty Overdraft Charges. Sounds good, right? (We’re still deflecting at least some of the fault.)

    Tough situation. Someone Really Should Do Something.

    So please — allow me to intervene. Today, right now, I will help folks take that monumental first step toward Overdraft Whiner recovery. This is where I point you toward my 100% free Check Register spreadsheet.

    All you have to do is log your transactions when you make them. All that troublesome math afterward? Figuring your current balance? The spreadsheet handles it. You’re golden.

    What’s that you say? You don’t have Excel, nor the financial resources to acquire it? Okay. That’s understandable. So here’s what you do. Right now, once and for all, you are going to finally stick it to The Man:

    1. Download my free Check Register spreadsheet.
    2. Get your free (there’s that word again) office suite at OpenOffice.org. This suite will include Calc, a free (every time I use this word, see, an Overdraft Whiner excuse bites the proverbial dust) spreadsheeting program which somehow, some way, manages to run my free Check Register spreadsheet pretty much every time I fire it up. Weird, ain’t it?
    3. Use the spreadsheet diligently. Enter all transactions when you make them. Pound it through your head that “float,” where checks and debit cards are concerned, does not exist. Forget about any “account balance” that you found anywhere other than what’s in your register.
    4. Spend less than you make.

    No more $35 bank overdraft fees for you. Just imagine, Mr. Overdraft Whiner, how much it’s going to piss off your banker when he figures out that you can suddenly go more than a week without dropping $30 or $40 in pure-profit fees in his lap. I bet it makes him so mad he drops his morning raspberry danish on the floor. And then, just to vent a little frustration, he’ll fire the first teller he sees.

    There. Someone else is out of a job, and you’re all the happier for it. And all without the slightest need for government intervention. (Which is what that first article above pointed toward, by the way.)

    Okay, I’m done.

    Money Musings: Overdrafting Again (Related Post)


  2. 49 Responses to "I Hate Overdraft Whiners" ...

    1. On June 4, 2007 @ 12:15 pm,
      broknowrchlatr wrote:
      #1
       



      One time I did get an inappropriate overdraft fee. I had it set up to move $500 every paycheck to a savings account. I went down and cancelled that feature because I wanted to send it to my emmigrant direct acocunt. But, the next month there was 1 $500 transfter to emmigrant and 1 $500 transfer to savings, causing 4 checks to bounce. That caused the balance to drop below 0 and they charged me daily overdraft fees.

      They sent me a letter stating that I had to pay it off immediately.

      After yelling at the bank for a while, they finally figured out it was there fault and fixed it.

       

       

    2. On June 4, 2007 @ 12:25 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #2
       



      Funny. I’ve had overdraft protection (a credit card attatched to my checking account) for years and it was my own mistakes causing me charges that made me pull my finances together. I didn’t blame the bank.

      Recently, however, my checks were stolen and I incurred fourty dollers in overdraft/transfer fees when my overdraft protection kicked in. I spotted it the day after it happened, since I check my accounts regularly, and the bank reimbursed the fee as it really wasn’t my fault (except for the responsibility I hold for having my checks delivered to an unsecured mailbox.)

      That sort of thing is an exception, though. I haven’t gone into overdraft due to my own actions in years.

      Dancinghawk

       

       

    3. On June 4, 2007 @ 12:29 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #3
       



      Get over yourself.

       

       

    4. On June 4, 2007 @ 1:20 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #4
       



      Broknow,

      Your scenario I can handle. It was TRULY the bank’s fault, and you got them to fix it. Had they refused to do so, I’d still side with you, obviously.

       

       

    5. On June 4, 2007 @ 1:32 pm,
      Brad wrote:
      #5
       



      Wait, personal responsibility? What’s that?

       

       

    6. On June 4, 2007 @ 4:27 pm,
      Q at $1 Million to My Name wrote:
      #6
       



      YES! RANT RANT RANT!

      But seriously, you are right. Quit whining! Just perform accurate, up-to-date math in your checking account, don’t spend money that you don’t or aren’t going to have, and you’re fine.

      People think banks are some sort of community public service. “What? I have to pay a fee at an ATM, even though I’m not a customer of that bank?” Yer damn right you have to! The bank has to hire technicians to keep that machine running. Who do you think is gonna pay for that? Banks are not charities!

       

       

    7. On June 4, 2007 @ 8:53 pm,
      Daniel T. wrote:
      #7
       



      Another legitimate reason. Back in ’87 I got 3 letters in the mail in one day. Three checks bounced and I had to pay overdraft fees for all of them. My register said there was plenty of money in the account so I went to the bank to find out what gives.

      It turned out the state froze my account because (they said) I didn’t pay the sales tax due them from my business 2 years previous. Of course going down to the courthouse and getting them to look through my records where they found the photocopy of the check was all it took to unfreeze my account, but I still had to pay.

       

       

    8. On June 5, 2007 @ 11:09 am,
      HC wrote:
      #8
       



      There’s a reason I refer to my ~$500 savings account balance at my credit union as my overdraft fund.

      If I think I’m going to run down my balances before my next paycheck (it rarely happens, but rarely is not never), I transfer over $30-$50 to keep me going. All done.

      That said, I do think that $35 on a 7 cent overcharge is beyond the pale.

       

       

    9. On June 7, 2007 @ 12:28 am,
      noma wrote:
      #9
       



      A little harsh, but I concur. I guess you could just not listen or read these whiners. It sounds like it stresses you out!

       

       

    10. On June 7, 2007 @ 1:30 am,
      Michael wrote:
      #10
       



      Yeah, I kind of fell into the two stories I linked in the post, and like the proverbial train wreck, I couldn’t bring myself to NOT read the comments.

      My wife says I got pretty worked up while reading the “good” ones out loud to her.

       

       

    11. On June 7, 2007 @ 10:17 am,
      cami wrote:
      #11
       



      I once lost my pocketbook, which had my checkbook in it so I closed that account and opened a new one. Because it was a credit union and my member number was part of my account number, there was only one digit difference between my old account and my new one. Well, I deposited a check and the teller accidentally posted it to the old account. I ended up overdrafting on the new account. When I went down there they fixed everything and refunded the fees but it was a big pain. I’ve had friends that have had similar things happen at Impersonal National Bank chains and they ended up SOL. But I don’t think that it’s the banks fault if you’re bad at math.

       

       

    12. On June 8, 2007 @ 3:54 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #12
       



      Why on earth would you have bills automatically paid from your checking account, that you don’t bother keeping track of how much money is in anyway? That is just begging for an overdraft.

       

       

    13. On June 8, 2007 @ 4:21 pm,
      icup wrote:
      #13
       



      This is so sadly amusing to me. All of the people complaining about overdraft fees, never, not even once do they acknowledge that maybe, **just maybe** their mental model of how reality works needs to be adjusted. Instead, they try to adjust reality itself, a far more difficult task.

      I know for a fact, that hot dogs can’t possibly go bad. Why then do I keep getting sick from eating hotdogs that have been left on my kitchen counter for weeks? It must be Bankers/The Government/The Russians/The Illegal Immigrants/The Terrorists sneaking into my kitchen at night and poisoning my precious hotdogs! Someone (other than me) must be held accountable, because I KNOW FOR A FACT that hotdogs don’t go bad.

       

       

    14. On June 8, 2007 @ 4:32 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #14
       



      @ icup:

      Get out of my head. Seriously.

      @ cami:

      If it’s the bank’s fault, they need to rectify the situation, regardless of whether they’re a Big Monstrous Bank or not. I know this isn’t realistic, but that’s how it *should* be.

       

       

    15. On June 9, 2007 @ 2:38 am,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #15
       



      I would add it is also the customer’s responsibility to know what the bank’s policy is. Whenever I have opened an account I usually get handed information on fees that are charged and other relevant information. if I don’t, I ask for it. Reading beforehand how much i am likely to get charged if I make a mistake in my balance calculations makes me extra vigilant. Too many people don’t bother to find out this info and then whine afterwards. That is like signing a contract you don’t understand, then complaining the judge’s decision goes against you.

      I once had a problem when a bank bounced a check of mine even tho I had funds to cover it. I was lucky because we have a lawschool in our town and the senior students run a centre where you can get free advice. I showed them the booklet with the bank’s policy, my check butts (with balance) and my monthly statement. They wrote a letter to the bank, and the fee was dropped.

      The moral always get it in writing, then you can use their own policy against them

       

       

    16. On June 10, 2007 @ 7:14 pm,
      Mindy wrote:
      #16
       



      I have to admit I used to have a terrible time with overdrafts. I would always forget to write something in my register and one would hit then there would be a snowball — a bad snowball. I was irritated that the charges were that high, but I knew it was my fault and was more ticked at myself than anyone else.

      The one time it wasn’t my fault my sister, an attorney, helped me. I was 25 and she was 29, and we were visiting our parents in FL for Christmas. I had paid my roommate for my half of the rent before I left and knew I had enough to handle some expenses I knew I’d have while there. I went to get money out of the ATM (in FL) and it said I had a negative balance. Wha? I called, they said they couldn’t do anything. My sis called and was able to get help. She didn’t do the “I’m a lawyer” thing, she just knew how to get to the right person.

      Seems they took my rent check out of my account twice, so I had $300 less than I should have. She got them to give me a temporary credit while it got worked out.

      However, that’s the ONLY time I had a problem that wasn’t my own stinkin’ fault. :)

       

       

    17. On June 17, 2007 @ 11:32 am,
      Sonja wrote:
      #17
       



      One time I was hit with a double overdraft fees because I had bought Skype credits. I accidentally got two (2x $10) in separate transactions. The overdraft was caused because Skype automatically used Paypal and I had just changed banks, but Paypal apparantly had old information and charged it to my old bank.

      Now that was uncalled for. The bank didn’t care if it was someone else mistake, I had to pay for it.

       

       

    18. On July 17, 2007 @ 10:36 am,
      teikyo30 wrote:
      #18
       



      One bank, BOA took my CASH deposit at the counter during early banking hours, which I thought was processed then and there since the receipt showed the money as being available. Later that day an overdraft appears on my account for a purchase I made using my debit card. It seems that according to them the cash deposit in the morning was processed locally, but not in their system, and they allowed my purchase to go through as a courtesy to me, then charging me the overdraft fee. So if the bank you do business with takes your cash and gives you a receipt showing that money as available then waits till after you make a purchase to enter it into the global system how exactly is that my fault. I had a proper ledger. I had a current accurate balance. They still screwed me. I closed my account after that and told them I would spread the word to avoid BOA.

       

       

    19. On July 17, 2007 @ 10:38 am,
      teikyo30 wrote:
      #19
       



      I should also mention BOA lost my girlfriend’s business when she made a counter deposit and then had her card declined later in the day. We called the bank and they said there was a 3 day hold on cash deposits made at the counter to ensure the funds weren’t counterfeit. This was like $300, not millions.

       

       

    20. On September 12, 2007 @ 12:52 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #20
       



      what happened? did somebody pull the silver spoon from your mouth? or perhaps you just work for a holier-than-thou financial institution…

      i’m a college student involved in a rigorous program of study as well as a part-time job. when my rent check bounces because i simply can’t afford to pay the absolutely exhorbatant price of books, tuition and rent (let alone car insurance, gas, and food) i have no choice but to take it on the chin until my next pay check. so, please don’t insult me by assuming that i am living well beyond my means. my mommy and daddy don’t feed me allowance every week.
      life isn’t fair, that’s why i will have no problem driving 6 or 7 ferrari when i graduate with a PhD in Chemical Engineering while you’re still on the street corner bitching about, of all things, other people bitching…

      i manage my nose hairs better than you manage your money. to devote an entire blog to a bullshit business practice, you must lead an exciting life.
      you suck. i rule. god bless capitalism!

       

       

    21. On December 12, 2007 @ 4:23 pm,
      Heidi at BankerGirl wrote:
      #21
       



      THANK YOU for saying what I have been thinking for YEARS! Learn to balance your checkbook and quit balancing to the ATM!

      I do feel for the peole that are charged in error – but a simple call to the bank will likely fix the situation (if you haven’t been a repeat NSF/OD offender – if that’s the case, you’re on your own).

       

       

    22. On January 16, 2008 @ 12:57 am,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #22
       



      Asshole.

       

       

    23. On January 28, 2008 @ 11:10 am,
      ted wrote:
      #23
       



      Or you could just get an account that doesn’t charge overdraft fees. I found this site a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the account.

      http://free-overdraft.com/signup/LearnMore/LearnMore.html

      It’s $19.95 a month but they don’t charge you anything when you overdraft your account.

       

       

    24. On February 23, 2008 @ 10:28 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #24
       



      you’re naive and your holier than thou attitude will catch up to you if it already hasn’t

       

       

    25. On February 23, 2008 @ 10:51 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #25
       



      I,ve devoted hours and hours to studying Bank of America’s “accounting” and this is what I’ve discovered: During the course of the week they will “recredit” monies to your account that had already been deducted leading you to believe you have more money than you really do. Then they will put those old transactions back through along with all the new charges resulting in multiple overdrafts if you have a low balance and aren’t wary of your “true” balance and are using “their” balance. They will even undo transactions that have already posted and “reshuffle the deck” so to speak to get even more overdrafts. I pay cash for everything now so I don’t pay $38.90 for a latte.

       

       

    26. On February 23, 2008 @ 10:51 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #26
       



      If “naive” means that I understand that banks will hose you every chance they get — they’re not charities, after all — and that I take necessary steps to NOT EVER give them a reason to hose me, then yeah, color me guilty.

       

       

    27. On April 22, 2008 @ 9:13 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #27
       



      way to promote bank policies! because you must make enough to not worry about it. yes one could spend every day analyzing ones pathetic excuse for a bank account or there could be good costumer service! like real life balances and stopping charges. or giving one a break here and there. how hard can that be? this is all just a reflection of the times. cooperate america, working for the people who already have money. and getting rid of the rest of us. fact is we need banks more than they need us(low income).

       

       

    28. On April 22, 2008 @ 9:33 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #28
       



      Anon said: …or there could be good customer service! like real life balances and stopping charges. or giving one a break here and there. how hard can that be?

      I dunno … how hard is it to use and reconcile a check register correctly?

      Answer: Not very. Which, after all, is the part of all this that you can control.

      Stop expecting the world to hold your hand and give you a warm blankie at every turn.

       

       

    29. On May 2, 2008 @ 4:45 pm,
      Credit Expert wrote:
      #29
       



      I understand the point that it’s your responsibility to manage your own checking account, but do you think that the punishment matches the crime as far as how high those fees are?

      ExpertsOnCredit

       

       

    30. On May 2, 2008 @ 5:01 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #30
       



      EOC,

      Regarding the high fees: If it keeps someone from doing it again, then yeah, it’s high enough.

      If it doesn’t, it isn’t.

      I have zero problem with a $40 charge for a $.03 overdraft. I didn’t start out with this line of thinking, but I’m darn sure there now.

       

       

    31. On May 7, 2008 @ 5:00 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #31
       



      Well what I find funny is that when someone gets a hold of your account numbers, overdrafts your bank account, and then the bank says it’s not a bank error. And I have to pay 50.00! because someone took money out of my account (which I left empty because of this!) without my approval. And last time I checked I wasn’t able to overdraft on my account since it’s a college student account, funny how I’m stuck paying it. I got this account so this wouldn’t happen and my account would be safe. I guess I was wrong. I also get where you’re coming from but sometimes things happen that aren’t your fault. I’m already broke from college and now owe the bank $100.00 (person took out 50.00 plus the 50.00 overdraft fee which wasn’t even suppose to be on my account in the first place).

       

       

    32. On June 5, 2008 @ 2:30 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #32
       



      Overdraft fees generally aren’t a problem for people who have enough money and free time to sit around writing pointless blogs like this, I guess. It’s easy to keep track of your balance when you’re not on the edge of a zero balance all the time. If you are barely making ends meet with your finances, it’s easy to overdraft. It has nothing to do with being stupid or being a whiner. Banks simply make the most money off of people who don’t have any money, and you can’t understand that unless you’re broke.

      Good for you though. Keep up the good work, champ.

       

       

    33. On June 5, 2008 @ 4:02 pm,
      Savey wrote:
      #33
       



      Sure must feel nice to go through life blaming EVERY misfortune on someone else.

      I’d say I’m amazed, but that would be a lie.

       

       

    34. On June 5, 2008 @ 4:31 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #34
       



      Anon wrote: Banks simply make the most money off of people who don’t have any money…

      Great. I can see we’re making progress here. Now that you’ve figured out How the World Works, do you have an action plan ready to go? To try to stop being a victim of the nasty bloodsucking banks, I mean?

      Or at least not spend money you don’t have?

      It’s easy to keep track of your balance when you’re not on the edge of a zero balance all the time.

      Last time I checked, the number line doesn’t change when you get close to zero. Addition and subtraction still work pretty well down there.

       

       

    35. On July 16, 2008 @ 3:41 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #35
       



      Most people miss the point of the overdraft discussion.

      It’s not about responsibility or balancing checkbooks, it’s about an obvious loophole the banking industry uses to lend people money without calling it a loan.

      An overdraft is nothing more than a bank loan, and it should be treated as such.

      The current system allows the banks to charge incredible interest rates ($35 on a $1 loan?), give these loans without the customer’s explicit approval, and tie these loans to your checking account with no period of repayment.

      Also consider that if you do borrow money and pay the inflated rates, you do not establish credit, nor are you in better standing with the bank. This is unheard of with normal lending.

      Even the most ruthless quick loan and payday lending companies are held to a higher standard.

      If overdrafts were regulated properly as lending products, the current problems would not happen, and banks would not focus so heavily on extracting these fees from consumers.

       

       

    36. On July 30, 2008 @ 3:56 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #36
       



      go fuck yourself!

       

       

    37. On July 30, 2008 @ 4:35 pm,
      Michael wrote:
      #37
       



      Anon of “Go f#*% yourself” fame,

      Comments like yours are how I know this post is spot-on.

      Thanks for the validation.

       

       

    38. On September 2, 2008 @ 12:12 am,
      AC in SoFla wrote:
      #38
       



      Wow, I respected your blog until I read this loony rant. A lesson in financial responsibility does not absolve the banks of their predatory practices. I had all these happen at to me at one time. Back in the paycheck to paycheck college days, my brother bought $35 worth of groceries the day before payday. There was $40 in the account. I had the same idea and bought just some milk, bread, and cereal for about $6. No one trying to live beyond their means, just an unlucky coincidence. Both of us acted in accordance with the check register. The $1 generated an overdraft of $35, which due to the pay-big-items-first obvious screwjob then caused a vicious cycle of more fees leading to more returned checks and so on. I believe the damage came to $180.
      If I swipe my debit card and there is not enough money in the account to cover that charge, no, the charge should not go through. If I asked you to hold $50 for me and then asked you to pay my $60 phone bill you’d tell me to bug off. This is a “feature” that banks have enabled by default on debit cards, and can be turned off by request. The bank manager said it was a courtesy feature in case “a customer was sick and needed to buy medicine, or so as not to embarrass the customer by declining a charge”. I replied that if we had that great a relationship, could I call ahead and ask for some extra cash in case that emergency ever took place? Of course not. I expressly told her those were mafia tactics and requested a pair of scissors to cut the card in half right in her face. “Paying the biggest ticket item first” is also indefensible, and she almost admitted it as much. Logic dictates the items would be processed in order of date/time, as they would if I had made the transactions in person.

      You are also exposing your ignorance when you state that the ATM fees go towards maintenance. If every bank customer avoided ATMs and headed straight for the lobby for every transaction, you would see those fees disappear. Banks need customers to use the ATM.

      While I agree handouts have become expected and bad money management originates most of this nation’s economic woes (starting with our govt), for you to completely dismiss the ruthless tactics of credit card companies and banks fine-printing their customers to death shows a remarkable lack of insight and class. No, banks are not there to “give you a blankie” (terribly idiotic analogy by you), but at the most elementary level function as a service to hold your money while they invest it for their gain. I see no such fees on the customer’s part when the bank errs in a similar fashion – I have had my checking account mistakenly frozen in the middle of a business trip, have had bogus charges assessed, and late direct deposits, and have never received any additional compensation.

      I have gone through all the major banks, taking my business elsewhere until I finally found a credit union that treats its customers as equals, partners in business. I will be doing the same with your website and blog.

      You just lost a reader/customer.

       

       

    39. On September 2, 2008 @ 9:59 am,
      Michael wrote:
      #39
       



      No one trying to live beyond their means, just an unlucky coincidence.

      Luck had nothing to do with the fees you were charged.

      Both of us acted in accordance with the check register.

      And by having two people operating out of the same account, and not communicating with each other, it meant your Register was wrong. Not the bank’s problem.

      …which due to the pay-big-items-first obvious screwjob then caused a vicious cycle of more fees leading to more returned checks…

      A screwjob which could have been avoided by you. Stop blaming the bank.

      If I asked you to hold $50 for me and then asked you to pay my $60 phone bill you’d tell me to bug off.

      I’m not a bank. This means I don’t have all a bank’s resources to recoup the $10 you want to borrow (for as close to free as is possible, apparently) in the example.

      Logic dictates the items would be processed in order of date/time, as they would if I had made the transactions in person.

      Logic also dictates that banks wouldn’t loan money to homebuyers who from Moment One were clearly incapable of repaying the loan. Yet they did it anyway, and in droves. I think we can safely say that logic does not reign supreme in the finance world. Which means caveat emptor.

      You are also exposing your ignorance when you state that the ATM fees go towards maintenance. If every bank customer avoided ATMs and headed straight for the lobby for every transaction, you would see those fees disappear. Banks need customers to use the ATM.

      So maintaining an ATM terminal/network is free to the issuing bank?

      And since banks “need” customers to use the ATMs, is that “need” not reciprocated by those customers who need 24hr access to cash?

      While I agree handouts have become expected and bad money management originates most of this nation’s economic woes (starting with our govt), for you to completely dismiss the ruthless tactics of credit card companies and banks fine-printing their customers to death shows a remarkable lack of insight and class.

      I’m not completely dismissing the banks at all. Are their tactics “ruthless?” Perhaps. But you aren’t going to change them, and neither am I. All we can do is:

      1) Realize that ultimately we are responsible for what happens with our money; and

      2) Vote with our feet.

      Which, thankfully, we are perfectly free to do.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a well-written comment on your way out. I have much more respect for you and your argument than most of the others presented above.

       

       

    40. On October 16, 2008 @ 1:22 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #40
       



      You’re an asshole. who the hell are you to get all pissed off at overdraft fee whiners. are you sin free? if you were in front of me I would smak the shit out of you. shame on you for pointing out the splinter in someone’s eye when there’s a log in your own eye.

       

       

    41. On November 1, 2008 @ 8:59 pm,
      Jay Lee wrote:
      #41
       



      So the author is an asshole because he’s telling you what you don’t want to hear?

      Sounds about right.

      He’s calling you a whiner, and he’s being NICE about it, IMO.

      Jay

       

       

    42. On November 9, 2008 @ 9:35 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #42
       



      Best post I’ve read this year.

      Sometimes the truth’s a bi%#h.

       

       

    43. On February 7, 2009 @ 11:06 pm,
      Renee wrote:
      #43
       



      Agreed. Great post, this.

       

       

    44. On March 10, 2009 @ 11:39 am,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #44
       



      I hope your family dies in a horrible way.. and then when you go to pay the funeral bill it causes an overdraft fee… then you kill yourself

       

       

    45. On April 29, 2009 @ 9:58 pm,
      VOTM wrote:
      #45
       



      You overdrafters sure follow the script to a tee:

      1) Do nothing if possible.
      2) Follow everyone else.
      3) Blame everyone else.
      4) Complain when things go wrong.
      5) Be bitter.
      6) Shirk and deny responsibility.

      Good job, idiots……

       

       

    46. On June 6, 2009 @ 12:28 pm,
      mkummer wrote:
      #46
       



      I think you should consider a retitle of your blog to, "This is how I justify taking advantage of everyone I consider inferior."

      Even the most fiscally responsible people are bound to suffer an account overdraw at some point in time, I've seen it happen. And fact of the matter is, it's an unethical practice padding the bottom line of the suffering banks of America…but as my opening line reveals, I think you knew that already. You're obviously one adherring to a belief that those with a fiscal mind less organized and advanced than your own or possibly even those whose bank account is less engourged than yours, should be punished for their irresponsibility, lazyiness, foolishness, and the list goes on.

      But here's the bottom line: It would cost the banks NOTHING to shut down a card, just like even the big bad credit card companies don't seem to have trouble doing. That point aside, even under the pretext that overdrawing were the single-most flagrant display of irresponsibility in society for which offenders should be held fully accountable for, does this open the door for exponentially worse corporate theft of the already quite obviously endangered funds of their customers? Last time I checked, I never asked my bank for a loan, I asked them to dispense exactly what I earned and handed over to them, when I needed it.

       

       

    47. On October 7, 2009 @ 5:50 pm,
      PMic wrote:
      #47
       



      "they don't exist to give you a blankee, back rub, and hold your cuddly little hand while you muddle through Financial "

      Not asking me too… I am simply asking for them to deny the transaction when there isn't enough money in the account. Isn't too hard to do but you know they don't give you that option at the bank.

      Oh and they call it a "courtesy" getting butt raped isn't a courtesy and frankly I don't want their courtesy. I want them to deny the transaction.

       

       

    48. On October 26, 2009 @ 2:32 pm,
      Anonymous wrote:
      #48
       



      Well your right, its my fault. Maybe I should be deamed mentally incompetent and be on a cash basis the rest of my life.

       

       

    49. On July 18, 2012 @ 6:12 am,
      Gutani wrote:
      #49
       



      I pray for a painful and humiliating death for you.

       

       

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