Boycott Sovereign Bank Part Two

Interestingly enough despite tracking search terms on the blog, Boycott Sovereign Bank remains one of the most linked to articles on this site.

It’s not hard to see why, people hate Sovereign Bank and most of the comments are filled with people fed up with the abuse. Weirdly enough no-one mentioned that cashing checks out of temporal order is something which other banks did. Not only that but the bank I jumped to, Wachovia, was purchased by Wells Fargo. Wachovia, for the record, never did this to us. If anything they were incredibly lenient on their policies for overdrafts, etc and often would refund you the money if you complained. (I only complained once, about ATM fees, not overdrafts, but the point stands that they were flexible). Turns out the bank which bought out Wachovia, Wells Fargo, not only did this but was sued for it as a class action. The class action won and Wells has to pay $203m to it’s customers. That’s good news to me, anyway, since I’m in Wells if I want to be or not. However, all of you with Sovereign accounts, you’re probably SOL and they’ll continue to do this. It’s likely going to court since now the lawyers know that there’s money to be made, but as far as pulling it off when you’re suing a foreign company, I’m not so sure it’ll work out. American banks have to play by American rules. You play with banks owned by Mexicans (Sovereign) and all they have to do is meet banking regulations, they don’t have to play nice.

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.