At the beginning of this week, I told you that I did a stupid thing. I initiated a bank to bank transfer in the wrong direction! I moved a few grand FROM Bank of America TO HSBC, but I meant to do it the other way. Part of this money was the extra money from my balance transfer to pay off our Chevy Malibu early.
-How banks sequence debit postings-
I had 5 total debits pending against the account, counting the transfer, and they were all set to post at midnight Monday. I was told I would be charged $35 for each overdraft, so I was hoping the big amount would post last (since it WAS the newest transaction). Bank of America, and most other banks, post the biggest amounts first. So, that caused FIVE overdrafts, not just one.
However, for some reason, BOA only charged me $20 per overdraft. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never had a problem with my account in the past? I don’t know why they chose to go against the $35 they kept telling me on the phone, but I won’t complain.
-How banks handle debit PLUS credit postings-
It took a full 3 days before the transfer FROM HSBC showed up as a pending transaction at BOA. Banks want to grab that money ASAP, but wait as long as they can to put it back. This morning, I saw I had 2 debits (Vonage and Bally Fitness) pending, as well as two credits.
I called this morning to ask Bank of America to reverse the overdraft charges, but I asked them whether those 2 debits would bounce. It turns out that Bank of America processes any credits before debits to your account. That means they put in any money before taking it out. Whew! Also, Bank of America didn’t reject the debits. They paid the amounts out of “their own pocket” Maybe that’s the benefit of having an account in excellent standing, even if I don’t keep much money there.
-How I got the overdraft charges reversed-
When I got through to a live person, I told the young-sounding nice lady immediately that “I did something stupid Sunday” and told her the brief rundown of what I did. I claimed responsibility for what I did, but noted that the mistake was the newest transaction, and had the amounts been processed in chronological order, the other 4 debits wouldn’t have bounced. I then asked politely if they would reverse the overdraft charges for all but one of the overdrafts. I didn’t want to be greedy.
She quickly agreed to credit the full $80 in overdraft fees from the 4 “bounced” transactions, and for some reason added $1 to make it $81. I asked why, and she said that’s what she is authorized to refund. Great! And, the money showed up in my account less than 30 minutes after the call.
So, now I have a blemish on my account and may not get such quality treatment in the future, but for now, I must commend Bank of America on their speedy response and customer service. I was expecting the worst, but I got native English speakers who were both pleasant and willing to help. Thanks BOA!