Turns Out Our Bank Was Not Being Completely Up Front

Recently I wrote about how our bank (Fifth Third) charged us for what appeared to be inactivity.  I was surprised by this.

Unfortunately, it turns out it wasn’t completely true.

To summarize the previous post, I had two $5 service fees show up on our savings account, which truthfully, we don’t use.  I was told that it was because we hadn’t made any transactions in twelve months.  All that was needed, I was told, was to make sure to make at least one transaction in a twelve month period.  They waived the fees, I transferred a little money, and I thought all was well.

Except I got hit with another fee.

I inquired about why, asked them to once again reverse the fee, and waited for a response.  It was not quite the response I was looking for.  First, they would not waive the fee after having done so in the past.  Second, they said that in addition to needing activity, the minimum average balance had to be at least $500.

At the time, it was around $250.  When I asked why this was not provided to me originally, they apologized (still saying they wouldn’t reverse the fee), and gave me all of the requirements that were needed.

I am more than a little angry and disappointed, because I felt that this element should have been provided to me up front.  I’m likely not going to close all of our accounts, but I’m also not going to go out of my way to recommend Fifth Third to anybody I know.  They’ve taken a step back from ‘A company I really enjoyed doing business with’ and are now thought of more along the lines of ‘A company that is no better or worse than their competitors.’

For the record, we will not be meeting the $500 requirement.  So, before our next statement cycle, one of us will be going in to close the Savings account, leaving just our checking account.

Too bad, because I thought Fifth Third was really above all the silly and petty fees that seem to be the norm, but I guess they really weren’t above it after all.

For now, our checking does remain free and so they’ll keep that business, but if they go after that with any fees, I guarantee we’ll be done as Fifth Third customers.  Fair warning.

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12 thoughts on “Turns Out Our Bank Was Not Being Completely Up Front

    • I’m not going to go there for three reasons: 1) They probably did send out notification that they were changing the terms, in which case it’s on me to not have noticed, 2) Their fees and such are actually still better than a lot of the other banks, 3) They still have good customer service at the location I go to. So, I’ll just complain and close the account to prevent the fee from kicking in again.

    • The only issue there is that most banks have fees along the same line, and most are actually higher. It’s just a matter of staying on top of it.

  1. There’s something in our WF accounts where we have to make regular deposits into the savings account there to waive fees, so we just set up a small recurring automatic transfer from checking. I’ve even been told by bankers that you can set the automated transfer to go out and back within a couple of days and it still counts and your fees are waived. Does 5/3 have anything like that for you? At WF the bankers totally knew about it and were like “this is the best set up to avoid fees…”
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    • They also have a minimum average daily balance requirement, which is over double what I have in there now. There’s really no point for us to have it, so it’s a matter of principle plus simplification to close the account.

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