That being said, I'm more closely scrutinizing what I'm spending each month. I'm actually putting things onto a spreadsheet and planning out how much I need as a standard month-to-month versus "other" spending.
As I listened to all my transactions over the last two weeks, one statement caused me to pause.
August 13 - Service Fee - $8.95
A service fee? For what?
I called the customer service folks at my bank's 1-800# to get things straightened out.
Customer Service Rep: Good afternoon. Welcome to "X" Bank. What can I do for you today?Y'all? If I hadn't checked on my account, the $8.95would have just been removed from my account. Just removed. For NO. GOOD. REASON. I played by their rules and they would've still snuck money away from me.
Me: Yes. I was going through my account transactions and I found a charge that isn't valid.
Customer Service Rep: You did?
Me: Yes. August 13th shows a service fee of $8.95. I know I wasn't overdrawn this month so I'm wondering why my account was assessed the charge.
Customer Service Rep: Okay. let me take a look at your account.
Customer Service Rep: Hmm...the charge wasn't for an overdraft.
Me: Okay. So why was my account assessed the charge?
Customer Service Rep: You have a "X" checking account. A service charge won't be charged if you either have a balance above $1500 or if the account has a direct deposit associated with it.
Me: Well, if you look on 8/17 there is a direct deposit into the account.
Customer Service Rep: Oh...I see it...
Me: Right. So the $8.95?
Customer Service Rep: Okay. I'm in the process of reversing it right now.
Me: Because I have to say I'm a bit disappointed right now. In June as I was reviewing my account activity, I found the same type of bogus charge on my account. When I called up the last time, they apologized and said it would never happen again. And here we are again.
Customer Service Rep: I apologize again Ma'am. I've now reversed the charge. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Some might say that it's only $8.95, but check the math:
* 100 accounts = $895.00
* 1000 accounts = $8,950.00
* 100,000 accounts = $895,000.00 -->this can easily be done since it's a national bank
One "clerical" error could help a bank make thousands or even MILLIONS of dollars during this tough economic time.
Lesson? CHECK. YOUR. TRANSACTIONS. EVERY. MONTH.