Bank Fees: TD Bank (In)Convenience Checking

A little more than a year ago I was looking for a convenient way to get rid of spare change.  A TD Bank branch near where I live had a machine in the lobby that a person could just dump change into and deposit into an account.  Not expecting to use this account for much more than a place to put spare change, I signed up for a Convenience Checking account.  It was a perfect account for what I wanted to use it for.  There was no initial deposit fee,  no minimum balance ever, and the bank had very convenient hours.  The account wouldn’t begin to accrue any interest unless I reached some limit that was too high to ever reach by depositing change.  What did I care?  It was just a place to put money and let it sit.  And let it sit I did.

Recently, I checked my account balance.  I didn’t expect it to be much, but was shocked when I saw that it was -$5.  Apparently for a few months, I had been charged a minimum balance service fee of $15 a month (since my account had been under the minimum balance of $100).  I called up to get an explanation.

The terms of the Convenience Checking account had been changed a few months back to where it now included a minimum balance.  And unlike the new terms on the TD Bank web page which state that the Convenience Checking account has no minimum balance for the first year, the changed terms on existing accounts applied immediately after the change in the account terms was made (with the bank graciously waiving the first month’s fee for any confusion).

TD Bank took me for $45.  They cleaned out my account and then some!  How is this not theft?  How is this legal?  The lesson I’ve learned is to keep my spare change where it is safe: in a jar in my own home.  Also, any terms or agreements made with a bank aren’t worth squat.  And always read whatever junk mail the bank sends you, because in that pile credit card offers and better account offers might be the only notification that the bank is giving before they start robbing you.

Related: TD Bank hit with overdraft suit

About Patrick

Sometime political guy.

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    She would take any money she had and hide it under a cow flap in the back yard.  She figured nobody was ever going to look under cow dung for money and it was a whole lot safer than the banks.

    Time to buy a cow Patrick…….

  • They took 600 bucks from my girlfriend before she found out her deposits weren’t being saved but stolen from her, when she couldn’t withdraw rent money.  The bank credited her for one $35 fee and acted as though they were doing her a favor.  The ripple effects of taking people’s rent money from them are not “ripples” at all, but tsunamis that wipe out families and whole neighborhoods.

  • Festus Garvey

    The “free-market” line would be that you have plenty of options and you are responsible for your own actions and should have been reading all the notices they send you.  In an unfettered market place, making this illegal will deprive you of the personal freedom of doing what you choose with your money (even if in hindsight, you equate what happened to you are being robbed.)

    Now as a liberal (with Eabo and others here like to call “Marxist/Leninist Communist) I have a different perspective.  For individuals to truly be “free” they most have some level of protection against agents in society that are bigger and far more powerful than mere individuals.  Despite the idealized conservative theories about “personal freedom/responsibility” the TRUTH is all banks use similar marketing techniques to rip people off and unless you want to hide you money in a mattress (so common thieves can steal it and not the corporate thieves we’re talking about here), you–we need protection from the immoral practices of large institutions.  (Yes, and I include the government themselves in this category.)  

    In our society there needs to be a balance between “freedom”  and “protection”.  Many small c conservatives around here (and elsewhere) defend the “freedom” of TD North rip people off and would dismiss your position that you were a victim (of an illegal robbery of $45) as whining from a nanny-state wimp.  

  • nomad943

    TDs has a proud heritage. About ten years ago they were a brokerage firm called TD Waterhouse after the TD part bought out the Waterhouse online brokerage firm. this was around the time that 8 of my 9 diversified sector leading stock holdings (Enron, Worldcom, HealthSouth, NextCard ect) filed for bankruptcy leaving me with very little of my savings …

    In discust I turned off my computer vowing to take a long break from trading my account.

    Of course TD saw it differently, so they sold my 9th holding to cover some apparently implied inactivity fee and then proceeded to gobble up the procedes of the sale for themselves in neat monthly installments.

    Needless to say, when I checked back a year or so later, i had nothing and the dig was a tad worse than your 45$ … but the sentiment was exactly the same. You cant turn your back on TD for a minute .. and is that realy the kind of people anyone should leave theri money with?

    Granted most banks are cut from the same cloth but there are some that actualy have good customer relations and clear unchanging rules. Personaly I like Citizens …

  • signed that contract, didja miss the part that say “we can change anything we damned well please”?

    Hbow many here don’t read every bit of bank mail they get?