Bank won't let me use available funds

About 6 months ago, my bank adopted this policy to protect debit card users, looks good on paper but a disaster in real life.

Basically is you do ANYTHING out of the ordinary, the card is totally shut down.

What did I do today? Bought gas in a town I’ve never been to, and bam, card shut down. Being it’s a bank holiday and I can’t reactivate it, I’m totally screwed and day is wasted.

I have already decided that tomorrow I’m switching to a different bank.

Question is; can I charge the bank for screwing things up. All totaled I’m out several thousand.

Obviously I could send them a bill, but what are the odds of payment?

Odds? Pretty close to zip, I imagine.

Try a credit union - I’ve found mine to be much easier to work with than any bank.

Changing banks sounds like a good idea. But what do you mean you’re “out several thousand”? Surely you’re not saying that if you open an account elsewhere the offending bank won’t let you withdraw your money? Explain, please.

Most banks will do this if transactions show up in another state or country and you don’t travel much. Though it sounds like you weren’t very far from home? Also in my experience, the bank would send an automated call where you can acknowledge the transactions and it will reactivate the card.

Another bank may work better, I don’t know of any summary of how strict each bank/CU’s policies are. But in the future, you can call them ahead of time and let them know that transactions in a new location will be legitimate.

Here is how I came to that conclusion:

Truck gas: $200
Truck driver: $200
Load value: $13000
Margin on load: 30%
Missed gross revenue: $3900

Being I was unable to take load today, it got sold to a competitor.

So minimum I’m out $4500

This is one out of roughly 487 reasons why you should ALWAYS carry cash.

Yeah I’m not Tekashi69, not about carrying that much cash on me

Good luck pursuing that. I’m sure you accepted something in the fine print to the affect that the monies could be made unavailable if a suspect purchase was made.

I would still make a complaint. Loudly, at the main branch.

Lots of us believe in having multiple methods of payment–ranging from cash to checks to debit cards to credit cards.

This. Go to the bank with the intent to close the account. Tell the manager exactly why you’ll no longer be a customer of the bank. They either do what it takes to keep you, or you leave with your money.

Let me get this straight. You deal in $15k debit card transactions that have to be paid at the time the truck arrives or if not they’ll sell it to your competitor? No invoices, commercial checks or credit cards? That sounds like something I’d watch on the Discovery channel.

It’s confusing that your business is moving loads of goods by truck, one assumes to various locations, and they tagged your card for a gas fill up, in a new spot. I grant you it’s no doubt a larger $ amount than the average fill up, but still. Does the bank not know what you do to earn your money?

If things don’t go your way at the bank, tell them you find the whole thing laughable and you can’t wait to post it to Facebook so your friends can have a good laugh too! Give them a few minutes to let it sink in. When I did this, after my bank was being ridiculous and intractable, they changed their minds within ten minutes! Remember don’t be angry and threatening, just find it laughably ridiculous.

Care to share the name of the bank with us?

Wishing you Good Luck!

My main business is discounted trucks, mishaps, discontinued, or damaged product. Super cut throat! Today they had a truckload of name brand paper products, packaging changed and they needed the stuff in old packaging gone. The warehouses lose their ass on this product so they want cash or card or wire…being today was a bank holiday, transfer doesn’t work, can’t get to the cash…only option was card.

I always carry at least 2 credit cards in addition to my debit card. I’ve had 2 fail before when traveling.

You can also let your bank know when you’re traveling, good idea if it’s far.

Some good advice is to keep $20 in your car somewhere for such emergencies.

I’d talk to your bank about this situation and see what they say. Talk to a manager if need be, but be prepared to change banks if they don’t offer any solutions.

You can try pursuing compensation from your bank, but if your bank’s debit card doesn’t have a 24/7 Customer Service line for exactly this sort of situation, I’d change banks ASAP.

Banks being proactive in flagging suspect transactions can be a PITA - I’ve had my card blocked several times while trying to make a purchase (I’m in the “wrong” city, the vendor is in the “wrong” city, etc.). OTOH, my bank has also caught legitimate fraudulent activity on my card twice that I hadn’t noticed. So, overall, I appreciate the feature. But then, my bank has a 24/7 line to call about blocked cards. Again, I’d change banks ASAP.

A bit of a derail about your losses. If I’m understanding your situation correctly, I think you’re either out $400 or $3500, not $4300. You’ve got $400 in expenses, which you would have had even if you had been able to conduct your business, and you’ve lost foregone income of $3900. If you had been able to conduct your business, your net income for the day would only have been $3500. So, if you want to claim compensation, it seems to me like you could only claim your actual out of pocket loss of $400, or your loss of net income of $3500.

If you were notified of the policy then my guess is you’re SOL. Even if not, I doubt your agreement guarantees that the service will always work every time you want it to.

And for the like six thousandth time, never use debit cards for purchases. Use credit cards. Because when something wrong happens with the debit card, it happens to your money instead of the bank’s. This shouldn’t be news to anyone who has been awake in the past couple decades but apparently it needs constant repeating.

I hope you don’t mean cause a scene, that rarely works but does make you look trashy. And in my brief time working in banking, scammers are likely to use this tactic. Get this haircut for maximum effect.

A branch manager might have the clout to advance your claim to the right place, and I see no harm in letting them know why you’re closing an account. But the branch workers can’t actually fix this issue for you, they can only call the phone bank and maybe get better results.

This has happened to me with one of my credit cards at a gas pump. I mis-keyed in my zip code and the transaction failed. Within seconds I got a text message asking if I had tried to make the purchase, I texted back “y”, and the card was immediately re-activated.

I have never had an issue with my debit card, I have used it at ATMs around the world. Also at grocery stores when I wanted cash back. Even when I would mis-key the PIN I always get a second chance.

Time to get a bank that is actually working in the 21st century.

Okay, this may be revealing a fraud control secret, but one of the first things people do when they steal credit cards is a usually small transaction at a gas station, where if it doesn’t work they can just drive off.

If it does work they head for Best Buy.

So, if you are stepping out to make a large purchase and you need gas also, get the large purchase first. Then the gas. Because this is a flag even if you’re in your usual milieu, and even more so if not.