Well, I’m an idiot for not having closed that account.
I keep it open because it’s already connected to my PayPal account, so when I make eBay sales, I just transfer to the Wells Fargo account. I always figure that keeps my PayPal account isolated from my “real” money in case anything goes wrong.
Only of course the only thing that ever goes wrong is Wells Fargo. And they just got me again. Last night I logged into that account and had a positive “available” balance with several recent transfers into the account from PayPal listed as “pending” and another few recent forms of income already credited.
I figure this balance is available to me, so I make use of about $15.00 of it. Today I log in and what do I see? The “pending” transactions were no longer listed and the transaction log had been rearranged (banks can do this, I checked with an attorney) to create a situation in which I overdrew by $13.00 or so. And for this, I have been charged nearly $180.00 in fees ($33.00 each for several small $1-2 purchases). And now, afterward, my previously present PayPal transfers are being credited again.
It’s patently deceptive. The person I consulted also tells me that it’s recent, the result of deregulation in the banking industry in the ’90s. There was a bill in 2004 called the Consumer Checking Account Fairness Act that would have prevented this kind of “we’ll ‘hold’ transactions back from posting or rearrange all the ones that already did post just to GET you” game. Note section (3).G. But the Republican congress, naturally, wouldn’t have any part of it. It’s apparently given banks record profits during the last few years, with a majority of their income coming from fees generated through these types of “gotcha” rearranging scans… which is why they won’t even discuss reversing the even if you want to run in same-day with cash. I offered to turn up in 5 minutes with $15.00 cash, but they’d have no part of it.
“Keep better records,” they said. Well I do. And, apart from the fees they charged after rearranging the order of events in time, my records are spot on.
But in the meantime, I have just lost $180 to the ether. The upside is that, like I mentioned, they have credited one of the “held” $15.00 PayPal transfers (immediately after assessing all the fees for the $13 they in overdrafts that they managed to cause), so I only have to deposit $165 to bring it current.