Boycott Sovereign Bank. Or Sovereign Bank sucks.

They’ve jerked me around quite a bit already, this is the staw that tore it for me. Me and my wife are probably going to Wachovia (ATMs everywhere) or Citibank (rave reviews, no ATMs).

Me and my wife knew we were going to overdraft the checking account this pay period when the jeep broke down. She ended up spending a bit more than she should have buying food and whatnot while I tried to get out of work and drive the hour and a half needed to perform the rescue.

I ended up calling the insurance company along the way and our agent said he couldn’t wait another week to cash the check or it would count as nonpayment, but he would wait to drop the check into the accounts receivable box until after EOB on Friday so it would run Monday. It would be marked paid as Friday, he explained, but wouldn’t be scanned until Saturday, then it would be cashed Monday. My wife gets paid Wednesday, we figured we would eat the overdraft fee ($30) and chalk it up to taking it out of God’s face when we get to heaven over the jeep breaking down on the furthest trip she had to make that day.

I pull up the statement today and instead of the -$40 I expected to see, I see I have -$300. Identity theft? Moon phase? Secret Jewish conspiracy against Ron Paul supporters?

I call up the bank.

The first lady I talked to was polite and patient, but “these are legitimate charges” was her script. (I swear to god she was reading something, I wondered if they were prompted by computers). I asked to speak to her supervisor.

Her supervisor was less polite, but patient, and insisted they were legit charges. Her boss was “out of the office” until I started cursing at her after about 15 minutes. Then suddenly her boss came back.

Her boss was neither polite nor patient and insisted that the charges were legitimate and anything else was chalked up to “everyone can have their opinion”. Which, I reminded her, all business works on the opinion of what’s a good deal, and my opinion currently is I’m going to take my mortgage and bank accounts somewhere else. What could she do for me? Jack. But she asked, “Why do you feel you should get the money back?”

“Well, it’s really simple. I knew I was going to overdraft the account and I did the responsible thing and tried to get the check cashing date done later for the check that was going to break it. My insurance company was nice enough to delay cashing the check because they want to keep their customers. The odd man out here is Sovereign, who not only isn’t willing to help, but also reconciles checks in the wrong order.”
“What do you mean?”
“I made these charges…” (there’s 10 charges to autozone while I bought plugs, batteries, etc) “…before State Farm cashed the check expecting them to clear in the same order. When you cash checks out of order, you destroy the budget. God forbid I was a business or these were medical expenses.”
“Well, everyone else does it that way too -”
“and to top it off, two months ago you did this to me again and told me you run deposits last. You took probably 30% of a deposit check for my consulting because the expenses for equipment got rolled into a different account before the deposits to cover it did.”
“We do deposits last, and we cash the biggest check first. It’s bank policy for your protection…”
“Know what? Don’t worry about it. My policy for my protection is to take my business somewhere else that understands the financial crisis and basic concepts like a budget.”

I realize I spent most of the time talking over their district manager. I ended up hanging up the phone, but if you’re wondering why the world is screwed up for the everyman, it starts at the banks policies.

Now, I need a new bank. And the requirements are that the bank does check processing in chronological order. Post your suggestions.

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17 thoughts on “Boycott Sovereign Bank. Or Sovereign Bank sucks.

  1. Good on you! I quit soverign bank years ago. I would recommend Citizens. I’ve had Citizens for 7 years and everytime I’ve mistakenly had an overdraft charge, they’ve refunded it to me. TD may be good too since they’re open all day Sunday. If you’re willing to settle for a bank without branches, but ton notch customer service, go to ING Direct. I’ve had them for 5 years too and love the experience.

    • Ugh. I work at Sovereign Bank, I HATE IT especially now that Santander bought them over. Its so corporate almost like they don’t even care for their customers.

  2. I just screamed at them in the branch this morning. I deposited a local check and an out of state check on 6/9/09. I deposited a check which would barely dip into that deposit, on the evening of 6/10/09. Sovereign debited the account on 6/11/09 a good two days after the deposit. They charged me a $35 “Unavailable Funds” fee on that and ANOTHER on a $4.69 electronic funds transaction. To make matters worse, other money I had deposited in British pounds several days earlier were not available because they say it takes two months on foreign currencies. Two months? What, are they sending it via 18th Century sailing ships?

    I am being held hostage by Sovereign Bank for that foreign check, otherwise I would have closed my account this morning. I will be moving all of my business to another bank, probably Chase, with whom I have my personal checking and savings and with which I have NEVER had this sort of B.S. problem.

  3. I agree that Sovereign Bank’s policies are ridiculous! I had to laugh when I see that Sovereign posted a return on dividends to it’s shareholders – that was all of the money they extorted out of our accounts through bank fees. I checked this morning and I now owe them $135 in overdraft fees for funds that had cleared on Friday. After my next paycheck posts to this account, I am closing the account and will open an account at TD Bank. Sovereign had made their last $ off of me. Boycott Sovereign Bank! They are the worst…or at least one of the worst as there are many out there lately….

  4. Today, I recieved $600 in insufficient funds fees because I was in the red from a charge I DIDN’T want and specifically called and asked them to remove (which they said they couldn’t, but that it would just get bounced and I might get changed a bounced check fee), and they never declined my credit card over the holiday weekend. When I called, they basically said “too bad.”

    I have always had trouble with them, but this is too far. I am switching banks at the earliest opportunity, and will spend my dying breath shouting at people to switch banks.

  5. I had 300 in a reserve account. I had $325. in checks, they covered them but wouldn’t use the “ovedraft protection” because they all arrived at the same day and there wasn’t enough money in the bank to cover them. 350 in bounced check charges. When I ask for a little lenience,(my 43 old sister in lawa had died and I was out of town) sorry my obligations is to the stockholders, Im done, hello Citizens or Middlesex Bank.

  6. I’m in the same boat. I’ve been a customer for over 10 years and never had an issue untill this week. A check had been deposited which I thought could float until my direct deposit would come in. I had money in the account and made debit card purchases throughout the weekend… Monday comes and the money is still in my account, minus the available total I spent over the weekend. Tuesday a large check cashes and despite the order…. They processed the transactions from largest to smallest forcing me to pay 11 overdraft charges. I got no help whatsoever. As soon as I can change my direct deposit and automatic bill payments, I’m closing the account and transfering to a credit union account I opened today. Sovereign are nothing but thieves and vile to the core.

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  8. I have been a sovereign customer for almost 9 years. I deposited a check for $800 from a customer of mine (im a handyman). Several days later I was charged over SEVEN H?UNDRED DOLLARS in overdraft fees!!!!! Turns out the check folded as it was scanned into the system, the money was removed from my account!!!! I almost threw up when I logged into my online account. I freaked the heck out!!! I was so upset, I let work early and marched right into my branch. They agreed to refund the charges, but not for a few days. To add insult to injury, I had to return to my customer(who was several hours round trip) and explain that the check was lost by my bank. WOW I had to jump through hoops for days to get my money!!!! I am never going to forgive them for that. And just for the record, my customer went to another handyman service after this happened because they were not happy about what the way this all went down.

    So this brings me to today. I deposited several thousand dollars on friday before 3pm. saturday, the first part was available. Monday morning, I had a negative balance!!! I checked online, and the available bal was negative, but my ledger balance was over 3000.! I was charged 4 over draft fees to the tune ov 140$. The fees are more than I “dipped into the red”. I am completely outraged by the practice of restacking outgoing money from largest to smallest. If at all, I should have paid one overdraft fee. Not four of them. I simply cant afford to bank with sovereign bank any more. I lost one of my best customers a few years back, and now this. A big BOOOOOOOOOOoooooo to Sovereign Bank for being a preditorial bank that charges outrageous fees to its customers.

    Oh, and lastly… I am switching to Lakeland bank. And im taking my buisness account, my personal account and my joint account with my wife. Not to mention all of the other $$ I have there. CD’s and such. I am able to do this with principle. So screw you sovereign!!! im done playing with a bunch of script reading jerks!

    • That just happen to me! I called and talk to them and they didn’t care to help and said “It’s a legitimate fee”. I had bills going through on tues after the holiday. I deposit a check on the sat. But because of “the practice of restacking outgoing money from largest to smallest” It cause me to not have enough fund even though the Check cleared that same day. I check my account later that day and my acct. was in the positive only to become charge w/ FEES 3x because of that Restacking shit.

  9. I to, like everyone else on here, am so fed up with sovereign. I can’t tell you how many times they have screwed me over. this last one just happened today. I electronically pay my morgage. $1200, I am getting paid tonight/tomorrow $1900. So I dated that my payment be made on the 12th, tomorrow, and the transaction went through YESTERDAY! I looked at the electronic image of the check that was cashed to pay my morgage…it is even dated for 11/12 on the check. And to top ot all off. purchases that were made at the beginning of the week are only going through now and after my mortgage so I am hit with $140 in insufficient funds fees, the banks are closed today for veterans day, my account is negative and my card is being declined and I need to get gas to get home from work. I am STEAMING right now. This is criminal if you ask me. For the last three years my mortgage is scheduled to come out on the 12th. They pay the mortgage the payment comes out of the account a day or two later. I can’t WAIT to hear the explanation for this one. UGH! I am pulling all of my accounts out and going to strictly use my USAA and Wachovia. Screw sovereign. I hope they burn.

  10. Pingback: Boycott Sovereign Bank Part Two « CGA in a VGA World.

  11. Worst bank ever. My account was hacked into over $2000.00 and its 2 months later and this bank still hasnt giving me a dime. They are still investigating 2 months later and the obvious is on the statement. They gave my money away. No one knows what their doing there. HORRIBLE customer service. It’s like a freakin joke dealin with this bank. HORRIBLE

  12. For 6 weeks, I had been getting phone calls from Sovereign on my cell and at my house. Each time that I called back, I was told, “We don’t show you as a Sovereign customer and we don’t know why we’re calling you.” I am not a Sovereign customer – Thank God. After 6 weeks, I sent a fax stating that if I received another phone call with a rep telling me that they cannot tell me why they’re calling me – I was going to lawyer to file harrassment charges.

    A supervisor called me back to say that my mom was behind on her mortgage payment. I asked they received my contact information and – of course – she did not know. (Sensing a theme?)

    Now, I paid off my mom’s mortgage and was told that I’d receive paperwork showing that the house has been paid off.

    3 weeks later, I called today and was told that they cannot find me in the system and they cannot release that information to non-customers about accounts.

    So, you can cash my check, but you cannot provide me with proof of payment?

    After 56 minutes of being transferred to ELEVEN different reps in FIVE depmartments, a Sovereign rep actually asked me if i was sure that I didn’t “accidentally write a check to the personal account of a Sovereign employee instead of to teh bank”!

    I have never seen such inept people in my life.

  13. Sovereign is a joke – had a business, personal, and joint accounts for over 3 years now. I went to my local PA branch to withdraw about 4 thousand dollars, as I am having some major construction done on my property and needed cash deposits for the subcontractors. What does Sovereign tell me? “We don’t have that much cash on hand” – what? My bank doesn’t have MY money to give me? Not only that, but the teller was very rude and just told me to step aside, so she could help other customers. Not one bit of concern. Some manager intercepted me and tried calling the other branches, telling me I might need to drive 25 miles to a different bank, but none of them had enough cash on hand anyways.
    That was my wake-up call. I immediately opened another set of accounts with a different bank.
    But thats not all! My Sovereign accounts are still open, although not used. My wife went to take a couple hundred out of our joint account, but the computers were down. My business is in computer hardware, and has been for 25 years. In the branches I have seen, they use antiquated Compaq Evo desktops running Windows XP – I always joked with the tellers about the 10-year-old computers they had to use, and the lack of security with Windows XP in modern times. Apparently its not just the branches using old junk.
    Only 30 minutes after my wife returned from Sovereign with her hand-written withdrawal slip, we started getting calls on ALL of our phone lines from a fake Sovereign rep asking for SSN and credit card numbers (obvious scam). But I would bet Sovereign suffered at the hands of a hacker who lifted a bunch of customer info from their servers. They shut it all down to avoid further embarrassment/litigation.
    Just a horrible banking experience…they are more concerned about opening money market accounts and selling you worthless ‘perks’ to squeeze every last penny out of you they can. Yet you can’t withdraw more than a few hundred bucks at a time? Adios, Sovereign…luckily there is no shortage of competitors to choose from!

  14. I had to manually deposit my paycheck on August 30th, 2013. I have always had direct deposit for years through my employer, and this was a one time occurance…I did not realize that the paycheck would not post to my account the evening that I deposited the paycheck. I deposited the check before 2:00 in the afternoon and thought I would be fine, and I figured it was a company check from a payroll account – no problem. To my dismay, several of my recurring payments incurred unavailable funds fees to my account that totalled over $200 on September 4th. Apparently, each time something posted that evening, I got penalized for each and every one. When I realized what had happened, I felt like I was being SEVERELY punished for something I did not know or understand completely. What a shock!!! I spoke to a customer service employee and her supervisor (both were demeaning and condescending and both said “you should have known”). I was finally referred to the bank branch manager for final resolution.

    She explained the policy/procedure to me and I understood after a long conversation and many questions how this happened. I sent a very nice letter to her and asked if Sovereign Bank would please consider assisting me by reversing at least SOME of the fees that I have paid since it was quite a hardship to a single person who basically lives paycheck to paycheck. I have been good customer, and have been with Sovereign Bank for probably 15+ years. If there would be a review on my account, they would see that I have never had problems like this with my account. I have always been very mindful of my balances in my account. I have always had great service with Sovereign Bank, and have even referred this bank to others.

    I was hoping that someone would take the time to look at this situation and realize it was not something I knew would happen, or something I did on purpose. I asked for any help in this matter to make me feel like a truly valued customer. To pay a total of $200+ in bank fees is quite a hardship to me as I support myself, and have only one income. It’s been a month. No response. They’ve made it clear early on that it’s not bank error. I get it, but come on. $210??? I realize penalties, etc., and could certainly accept a “one-time-fee”. Is this how banks make money? I often wonder if it would be a different story if I had thousands and thousands of dollars in their banks with numerous accounts, etc. Maybe then I’d be considered a “valued customer”.

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