Kenneth Gosselin for the the Hartford Courant reported in May 2010, that the West Hartford firm of Izard Nobel was filing a suit against Webster Bank for their practices involving overdraft fees.
In the beginning of October 2010, my husband and I received a letter from Webster Bank stating that their free checking would no longer be free. Starting on November 15th, we would be charged an $8.95 a month fee unless we had at least 10 debit card transactions within a month, or unless we kept a minimum average daily balance of $1,000. We usually have well over the $1,000 minimum, but not on every day of the month and we don’t want to have to worry about it either.
New Federal regulations now prohibit priority posting, a practice in which some banks process the largest outgoing checks first, and then process incoming checks last. This now illegal practice has been a thorn in my side for several years with Webster, because each time it would happen, my husband would say to me, “You deal better with people than I do. If I go over there I’m going to kill someone. You go talk to them and get them to waive the fees that they shouldn’t be charging us because we have money in the account if they would just process the checks first in first out. But no, instead they clear our outgoing checks in two days and make the incoming checks wait seven days causing our balance to be skewed and under funded.”
While I am not fond of conflict, I work hard for my money and would dutifully go and talk to the bank representative. Most of the time they would waive at least one of the fees, but inevitably it would happen where there were several bounced checks at once because of the way they processed the checks, and we would still end up paying something that we had not anticipated paying. You might call it bank rape, because that was what it felt like.
Apparently, this law has changed to protect the consumer from unethical business practices but unfortunately it seems that Webster cannot operate profitably enough without these extra fees. While the $8.95 a month is still less than the $37.00 per check fee we were unfairly charged over the years, it still seems like too much to pay so we did some investigating and found that Rockville Bank has free checking.
Not only do they offer Free checking but they also offer a break-up kit so you can make the switch from Webster to Rockville, easily. It took us about a half hour to meet with our new Rockville bank representative and get our accounts switched over.
After doing business with Webster both with my personal and business accounts for about twenty years, I admit there was a tug at my heart strings but just like a jilted lover, I felt used and abused, and I was glad to finally get out.