washington Mutual Bank

hi there everyone:

Today was quite a day, if I knew what was facing me I would have stayed in bed. I received a notice from Washington Mutual Bank that enclosed a new Visa Card with a new account number. The letter told me that my former card had been compromised, and that there was some fradulent activity. Naturally i went down
to my bank branch when I have been a customer for nearly 6years. They told me that someone broke into their data base and downloaded all the Visa cardholders info, and that there was
a security breach at one of their branches. Then the topic of my
overdraft protection came up. For the past five years I had an
overdraft protection which I used freely. Each and every month
the overdraft charges were paid in full. I have a monthly direct
deposit five or six times the amount of the overdraft. over a five year period I have paid Washington Mutual Bank $12,000. 00 in
overdraft fees. This does not include the charge for online banking and the package plus fees that were paid each month.
The final payout for these banking services which I rarely used
was in the amount of $600.00 for five years, a total waste of money and my time. As of today, I no longer have the overdraft
protection due to the fact that there were so many people that
did not repay their overdraft fees, and I waas thrown in with this
group even thoough I was a loyal and responsible customer.
Is washington Mutual being somewhat irrational? I would appreciate an answer to this question. Thank you so much

Are you saying you floated charges (or otherwise went over your limit) every month for five years?

You’ve spent $12,000 in overdraft fees, and you’re angry that they’ve taken this service away from you? You should be thankful! IMHO, of course.

“Overdraft protection” at my bank was having a savings account as well as a checking account, and attatching them. You would be required to have a minimum balance in your savings account ($100, usually). If you overdrew on your checking account, the balance would be covered from your savings account. Then you would avoid the $30 overdraft fee, as long as the balance could be covered by your savings.

Hopefully I am misunderstanding, but it sounds like you bounced 400 checks in the past 6 years. If this is the case, I’d say you’re pretty lucky to even have an account at that bank. You’re even luckier you haven’t been arrested for habitually passing bad checks.

Casey1505 - I used to be a Washington Mutual customer, and it does (or at least, did) work as Dr. Dawn says. It’s basically a float, or a small line of credit, I guess. You still get charged an overdraft fee, but you’re guaranteed checks will clear – up to a certain point. I recall mine being $500, but I’m not sure that was standard; it could have varied from customer to customer. It came in handy when used from time to time in an emergency – I know there were times I absolutely had to pay rent and I wasn’t expecting a paycheck for a week or so, and my account was a few hundred short of rent. I could pay rent and not have to worry about it bouncing, and taking the overdraft fee was worth it, under the circumstances. I can’t even imagine needing to use the service so many times as to rack up $12,000 in fees.

In answer to Dr. Dawn’s question, IMHO, Washington Mutual is NOT being irrational. I don’t know all your circumstances, of course, but it does sound like you were abusing something that was never meant to be a credit card-type system. IMHO, of course.

How can you assume she wrote bad checks? If the bank tells you when you open an account that you have $400 in overdraft protection, you assume you can use it. What else is it for? The bank basically told her, “Here, you can go $400.00 into a debit balance and we’ll cover you”. Naturally the implication is that she had to make good the overdrafts, which she always does, and paying a very high fee to do so. But it also implies that the service is available to her. IMHO the bank should be glad she tolerates it.
Incidentally, I bank at WM too and their fees* are ridiculous. I have my savings account linked for overdraft protection and they charge $10 or $15 dollars to transfer my money from my savings account to my checking account.

*probably not just WM, I imagine they’re all the same.

I didn’t mean to imply that she walked into Best Buy knowing full well she only has $5 in her account and writing a check for a new TV. But, that does happen, and it is fraud. The overdraft protection should be used for instances where, say, you write a check 2 days before you get paid, knowing that when your paycheck posts, your personal check will clear. You are gambling that the check you just wrote doesn’t get to your bank before your paycheck. I do it all the time, and have been lucky so far. But to pay $12,000 in fees when maybe $300 in overdraft fees would cover it, is nuts. If you don’t have the money coming in in the next 2 days, you shouldn’t be writing the check, IMHO.

Many banks today are attaching this service to checking accounts without even checking with the customer first. It is a “creative” way of making more money for the bank. There has been quite a bit of talk of it on the news here lately.
I personally think the bank should award you a brand new TV set or something. You did nothing except play the game by the rules that they sat down. The bank made a bunch of money, you had the flexibility you desired. No losers.

I dumped WMB a year of two ago because they charged me fees for everything. Time to go bank shopping for you.

Washington Mutual charged you fees for everything? Maybe I’m not paying too much attention, but when we were looking for a new bank WaMu was the only one who didn’t charge us checking fees or teller fees, or atm fees (Hey jus tlike the commercial said…) or expect us to keep a minimum balance, etc etc.
Also, our over-draft protection started at $300 and is not up to like $900 or something…I think it’s because in the 4 years we’ve been banking there, we’ve never, ever used it.