Balance and overdraft (un)explained

Christy writes:

“After a few years as a customer of Washington Mutual, it was finally explained to me how they operate. This information would have been useful as I sat down to open the account.

They say that as long as your account is positive by the end of the day, there is no overdraft charge.
After knowing that a deposit was being put into the my account same day, my account was showing negative for a few transactions. After the deposit was added to the account, the account showed a positive balance when checked at 11:00 pm. I have also signed up for an e-mail alert that will notify me when my account is below a specified amount.

Apparently, they process their books between 11pm and 6am and THEN send out the e-mail notification of account balance. (I’m still not sure how that helps me, the customer, in regards to the activity that took place between 11pm and 12am that caused Washington Mutual to charge $130 in overdraft charges.

They informed me that although my account was positive at 11pm, they process outstanding transactions after 11pm, which caused them to charge an overdraft fee on the $10 subway (DEBIT transaction from a week ago) and they also charge an overdraft fee on any transaction during that day that had a negative balance, regardless of whether my account was positive prior to the last transaction.

Imagine my surprise when I received and e-mail notification at 9am THIS MORNING for a negative balance of $140 (4 x $32 in overdraft, plus my subway).

I don’t see how any of this protects the customer.”

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