Why Wachovia Doesn’t Make Any Sense

Okay, that title’s wrong. It’s not really about why Wachovia doesn’t make any sense (although it’s true, they don’t)… I don’t know the answer to why they don’t make sense. I *do* however have a shining example of the Zen of Banking. Someone really ought to figure this out.
If you make a deposit into your account (let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it’s a checking account) after 2pm on Monday, then your account will not be credited with the deposit until after 2pm the following day (Tuesday, in this example.) It’s true, I’ve tested it. And I have the NSF fees to prove it.
If you make a deposit at 9am on Tuesday, that deposit will post before 2pm on that *same* day! This is also true – I’ve tested it.
So what this means is: if it’s after 2pm on Monday, it’s actually faster to wait until the morning of the next day (Tuesday) to deposit your money. Amazing? Yes! True? Yes! Logical? I suppose so, in a way… but the question remains: why? What banking genius dreamed up this Machiavellian plan to milk us of every last dollar through interminable and unlimited NSF fees when you think you’ve deposited money into your account, and you’re running around, living life as always, never thinking for one moment that you might be overdrawn.
Here’s the kicker, the real boot in the teeth. By the time you realize what’s happening… by the time your card finally sputters and dies in your hand… you’re suddenly $500 in the hole (or worse!) In desperation, you look at your statement, trying to figure out where you might’ve spent that much money. You can’t for the life of you figure out why that pack of gum at the gas station cost $36. Lunch at Taco Bell? $50. The list goes on. By the time you sort it all out, you realize that $350 of that is simply bank fees for insufficient funds.
“But I have a debit card!” you say, thinking that such a toy might protect you… not so! In theory, a debit card will only withdraw the amount in your account. It’s like having cash, only so much more convenient, right? Well, the Bank’s policy (Wachovia, anyway) is to continue to accept and approve all attempts at using the card, even after it’s been overdrawn. And then they smack you with 16 or 17 NSF fees at $35 each all in one hit. Sound familiar? It’s happened to a lot of us (me included).
Oh, but it gets better. More research into Wachovia policy revealed this: if you bounce a cheque, they won’t cover it the first time it comes in, but they *will* charge you their NSF fee. Hold on! The cheque payee has a second opportunity to attempt to cash the cheque, which results in the bank covering the cheque (for however much it might be) and charging you yet *another* NSF fee! That’s $70 in fees alone, for one cheque that, had it been covered the first time, would’ve only garnered a single $35 fee.
It’s robbery. It should be illegal. It’s incredible that the banks get away with this. Yet somehow, they do. Never a more shining example of how money talks.

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