Answering the Question "Is BB&T a Good Bank?" Part 2
About a year ago, I answered a random Googler who somehow landed on JDA trying to find out if BB&T (based in Winston-Salem, NC and all over the place out here in the Capital Wasteland) is a good bank, actually asking the Internet "Is BB&T a good bank?" At the time, I still lived in San Francisco and was quite happy with the evil bastards at Chase, who to this day have never committed the egregious sin of fucking with my money. Once Chase even rearranged my credits and debits to avoid overdrafting me, how sweet is that? I don't agree with how they post a $2 non-Chase ATM fee as a separate line item (dinging you twice if you overdraft, which I generally don't since I'm somewhat able to add and subtract) but whatever, they need to make their money.
Anyway, when I moved here to the DC metro, I learned there was no Chase within at least 200 miles if not more, and certainly no Chase bank in Maryland. Bummer. So I opened an account with BB&T. They were not quite TBTF and I was attracted to the libertarian ideals of former CEO John Allison. There was a branch just down the street from my house and with ATMs all over the place, no need to worry about ATM fees.
Up until now, I've had no major problems with BB&T. Their ATMs are antiques and while they installed a new, "modern" ATM at my local branch that can take check deposits a few months back, you still have to use an envelope. Unlike Chase, which uses advanced TBTF check-scanning technology to scan the check, credit as much as it wants to your account (the longer I was with them, the more it would be and checks would always clear the following morning), and even print a copy of the check on your receipt. BB&T is in the dark ages but hey, they didn't buy Bear Stearns at a firesale discount either.
Their online banking sucks (it will make you have AOL circa 1995 flashbacks), so I have to watch my balance more carefully than I did at Chase (Jamie Dimon must personally count my money himself or something, debits are posted just seconds after I make them). If I make several transactions in a day through BB&T, I just see a big chunk of money as "pending" and can never really trust my balance as they're slow to actually post transactions. Posted balance and available balance are two different things, and the formula never really makes sense. But that's where being a responsible adult and balancing my own checkbook comes in, can't blame it all on the big evil bank.
As of this morning, however, I'm a dissatisfied (soon to be former) BB&T customer. Let me tell you why.
On Wednesday, I deposited a (large) check at the ATM after the daily cutoff (something like 3pm). I expected BB&T to hold this check (if for no reason than I'm usually fabulously broke and the check was not from my employer, which they are familiar with, so it was an unusual transaction all around) but was delighted the next day when I checked my balance and saw the entirety had been posted to my account. Posted as in there it is, I can see it, I can cash it out and swim around in dirty piles of FRNs if I want, awesome!
Two days later, I deposited a second (not as large but still large by my broke ass standards) check at the ATM, again after the cutoff. $100 was credited to my account as usual and as this was a Friday, I expected them to hold it until at least Tuesday (given that Monday is a holiday) and was totally OK with that. Meanwhile, the big check money was still there, charming me with its pretty zeros. Hello, beautiful, wanna go buy some stuff?
So you can imagine my horror when I texted BB&T for my balance this morning (just for kicks) and saw several thousand dollars VANISHED from my account.
Apparently two days after the check made its way into the ATM, the BB&T teller at my branch who processed it decided to put a hold on the funds that they already credited to me. I would have been fine with an automatic hold but this money went INTO my account and THEN was taken away. Here I've been spending money assuming it is there only to discover on a Saturday that my money (MY MONEY, not theirs) is now being held hostage over the holiday weekend. And that doesn't take into account the additional amount they decided to hold until next week. Just for kicks I guess.
I'm in the process of moving to a new condo, thank God I don't meet with the owners until later next week to pay my security deposit and first month's rent. And here I almost went and picked out my furniture, thinking (mistakenly) that the money my bank told me was there was there. The nerve!
It's funny because looking back, the Bank Tracker comment I reposted last year about BB&T describes my issue perfectly, minus the part about the overdrafts:
I have been a customer with BB&T for over three years now and I must say that I have never been treated as poorly as I have lately by them. I entered a deposit. A deposit cleared the same day as an automatic payment that I set up. The funny thing is that despite the deposit having posted in full to my account, I was told that the check had a hold on it and the payment therefore over drafted my account. Not only did they charge an overdraft fee on that transaction, they charged 9 of them. This bank is a complete rip off. Local banks definitely care about their customers far more than big banks. Give them a try instead of these scamming, conniving thieves.
Thankfully I didn't run out and buy a bunch of big screen TVs yesterday or I'd be in the same situation this morning.
Bank Tracker gives BB&T 2 out of 5 stars and I have to say I agree. I find it hard to believe that a bank actually thinks this is a reasonable way to conduct business.
As for JDA, I'll be conducting my business right the fuck out of BB&T and taking my zeros with me. Fractionally reserve this, assholes. Oh, and I'm filing a complaint with the Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and my friends at the Federal Reserve. Let's see if they earn the 4% inflation they take out of my ass every year by doing something about this bank.
Oh, and don't miss the fabulously hilarious ATM ad I took a pic of yesterday. Sure about that? This behavior tells me otherwise, BB&T.