E*TRADE Bank, You Are Neither Mine Nor My Employer's Nanny

In February, my 2nd mortgage was sold to E*TRADE Bank.

In response to aan offer to have my interest rate cut by 1/4% if I had the payment taken directly from an E*TRADE account, I opened up a checking account.

In response to an offer to waive checking account service charges if I funded my checking account with a direct payroll deposit, I switched my part-time job’s direct deposit to my new E*TRADE account.

I deliver magazines for Lee Enterprises, an Iowa-based newspaper chain doing business in my part of the country as the Lincoln Journal-Star. I deliver every other Thursday meaning that twice a year, my monthly check encompasses 3
delveries instead of 2.

June’s check was to be one of my “1 1/2s”.

When I logged on to E*TRADE’s web site, I was directed to contact the 1-800 customer service line due to “system issues” which prevented the bank’s internet postings of the past week’s transactions.

When I finally got hold of a live human, I was informed that, yes, Lee had deposited money on June 27, but that only the usual paycheck amount was
available for withdrawal. The difference between my usual check and the full amount of Lee’s deposit was flagged “contact employer”.

What business is it of my bank’s when my paychecks exceed a norm? If my employer overpays me, it’s his responsibility to catch it and correct it on my next check. It’s none of MY BANK’s business.

Neither my employer nor I asked E*TRADE Bank to be a nanny to us.

If you are a commisioned salesperson, courier, cabdriver, someone whose job covers summer and Christmas vacations with overtime and rarely pays OT the rest of the year, or anyone else whose income fluctuates-- beware of Nanny E*TRADE. Access to any any check that exceeds a mythical norm will be held up until Nanny checks up with your employer to see if he really wanted to pay you that much.

This isn’t usual bank policy. Wells Fargo, who handles my full-time job’s direct deposits and handled the Lee account as well prior to February '05, has never held “oversize checks” until they can check up with the employer.

that does sound sucky, but if it’s saving you 1/4% on the mortgage payments, then personally, I’d grit my teeth and live with it. Mind you, my salary is pretty constant so I wouldn’t have the issues so much.

The person who reads complaint e-mails at E*TRADE deserves applause!

I just logged onto my account information and found that the entire check has been posted and listed as available.

I don’t even care that there wasn’t any telephoned or e-mailed apology. Most corporate apologies are empty and in the vein of “We’re sorry that YOU have a problem with US, but WE’VE been doing things this way forever and YOU are The ONLY ONE EVER TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS.”

The best apology is reversal of the act that offended me. Whether or not you say you’re sorry is irrelevant.

In fact, I had numerous apologies from Wells Fargo’s screw-up credit card operation 10 years ago, but the sorry peole took their sweet time correcting things.

Heck, I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I have a full time job and get paid a salary however I get travel allowances and also have some fluctuating outgoings which means that my pay cheque could be anywhere from $1000 to $2500 per fortnight. What would poor E*Trade Bank do? They probably would never be able to figure out a normal pay to start with.

And somehow, I doubt that if the check was a lot less than your normal pay, they’d float you the money needed to get up to that normal level while they contact your employer.