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Friday, January 23, 2009


I hate it when someone gives good advice and it gets ignored. Worse yet is when it is me ignoring that good advice and it comes back to bite me!

Any blog, report, book or anything else you read about financial advice warns you not to give your bank account information to your creditors for payment. It makes sense, but I foolishly didn't see the harm in it. For years now I have been giving various creditors my account information either for a one time payment or for regular monthly payments to avoid having to write a check or like I am known to do, forget about the bill and not pay it on time.

Today, I found out the hard way why that advice is often given! I have two separate credit accounts with the same company that also owns the bank I keep two checking accounts and a small savings, who I will let remain nameless for now, but I'll give you a hint:

This morning I logged on to my account so I can balance my checking account and noticed a rather large withdrawal made to my husbands credit card from this company. This was just three days after another large payment had been authorized by us. This second large payment was not authorized by us and we certainly don't have the money to cover it!

So we quickly call the credit card and they tell us they made no such withdrawal. We had them look on our account and sure enough they had to admit that it said it was them, but that amount had never been credited to our account. So not only is money we can't afford to lose missing from our checking, but supposedly it isn't even credited to the account that it shows took it!

So now we're fuming mad and call the banks customer service and were told what we already knew, that it shows it went to the credit card. After we went rounds explaining not only was this charge not authorized, but the card is claiming they don't show a credit to our account. So where is our money and how do we get it back before my electric bill, phone bill, and cable bill checks all bounce later today?

It appears no one can tell us where the money is. They don't know?? And, here's the good part, it will take 10 business days to post to our account. So what about our checks that are about to bounce? To bad, so sad...

So, please, please people, listen to those financial advisers, NEVER, NEVER give out your account information for payment to a creditor! Do things the good old fashioned way and write out a check each month! Once these crooks have your account information you're screwed if they decide to access it without your authorization.

What are we going to do? Hope and pray they replace that money, or at the very least credit the card it was supposedly taken for(even though they already received one hefty payment this month!) Second, we are switching bank accounts ASAP. First, just about every creditor I owe has my account information and I don't want this to happen again. Second, this bank who also owns the mentioned credit account is being less than friendly or easy to work with, I will no longer do business with them!

Common sense...guess it was I who lacked it this time?


Jen said...

Two words: Credit Union.

I gave up doing business with banks long ago and will only work with Credit Unions now. Our mortgage is through your bank, but that's only because we didn't really have a choice. Everything else we do is through a credit union. Their customer service is so much better - as are their rates!

JanuaryLove said...

I've had some really terrible experiences with Wells Fargo in the past. I think they're unscrupulous. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now.

Since it's your bank and it's their fault, you should demand they wave all bounced check fees that might occur as a result.