This past Friday, on the Fox News show “On the Record,” Greta Van Susteren revealed that the Obama administration contacted her to ask her to have reporter Jennifer Griffin drop running a report on Obama giving the order “to stand down” the tragic night the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
She brings this up now?! Did the hush money run out?
Apparently TD Bank decided it’s okay to hit customers with overdraft fees without regard to whether there is an actual overdraft.1 Or whether the account balance ever goes close to zero.
It’s no surprise that a bank would reorder transactions to reap extra fees—but this one is a new one. Here’s how it seems to work.
- Your account has $800 in it to begin with.
- You deposit a check for $2,000. This triggers an automatic hold for all but the first $100.
- TD structures this hold as a $2,000 deposit and a (presumably temporary) $1,900 debit.
- TD orders these transactions so the debit goes first. So for a moment your account is $1,100 overdrawn.
- You are then charged a $35 overdraft fee because your account dipped below zero.2
On the upside, if you don’t mind waiting on hold for a while TD has lovely customer service reps available at all hours. The representative was, of course, unable to determine why the fee had been assessed. I was told the fee would be reversed as a “one time courtesy.” Then I was given advice on how to avoid “overdrawing my account in the future.” I was not amused.
How many people wouldn’t have challenged the bogus fee? Is this negligence or something more deliberate?
When making appropriately tagged posts about large companies on the Internet, I assume there’s likely a social media intern or something who reads it. If TD Bank tells me that I’ve gotten something wrong, I will promptly update this post here. Or retract it or something if I got it really wrong. But I did my diligence on this one. ↩
Edit: I’m sort of a stickler for accuracy if I’m going to go making accusations of potentially criminal behavior—so I wanted to update this post because I think something (very) slightly different happens. It looks like all check-related deposits are processed simultaneously. See, e.g.. But they are reordered. So if you’d written three checks for $25 in addition to making your deposit, you could be assessed with three overdraft fees for each of the three checks, which could somehow be processed between the $1,900 hold and the $2,000 deposit. But you would not be charged a fee on the $1,900 hold. ↩
Wow, thanks, TD Ameritrade! [Makes a note to: 1) Check account balance, and; 2) research other firms].