2.02.2009

South Carolina Federal Credit Union


I've noticed this morning that there's a story in the P & C about South Carolina Federal Credit Union.     This is--or, hopefully, more accurately was-- the place the place Alison and me did our banking.  We chose a credit union purposefully because we like them politically, they're ostensibly for the underdog, and we adored our credit union in Nashville.

Evidently, SCFCU is wanting to attract a younger, hipper demographic.  That's what their little write up in the paper is about today.  They're offering to pay $29,000 for someone to do a year's worth of internet play for them.  They want the person to blog, vlog and talk while they jog about how cool South Carolina Federal Credit Union is. 

Now if you're interested in this gig, or looking at SCFCU as your bank then let me help you out: I'm through with them.  If it wasn't their impenetrable computer telephone directory, or their long, slow lines, of the fact that one must own an amphibious vehicle to access the downtown branch--you can forget it at high tide--i'd have to say the final reason i've had it with South Carolina Federal Credit Union is their predatory overdraft fees.   

Recently Alison and i screwed up.  A payment was made thinking it was the other's debit card and 6 (SIX) , again i say, 6-6-6 overdraft charges of $33 were leveled against us.  It happened over the course of a one weekend.  It was our fault.  But did our credit union--all pullin' for the little guy and stuff--offer to help us out?  No.  Sorry.  Nothing i can do.  

(after 12 minutes of wait time...)

Nothing?  Okay, i said, I really don't need to be losing $200 right now.  Can't you just drop some of them?  

No. 

Is there no further recourse for me here?  No one else to ask?

No.

Well, we have a car loan with y'all.  I'm gonna ask my dad to loan me the money to pay you off, and then close my accounts.  That's gonna cost you a lot more than $200.  Do you still want to stick with those charges?

I'm sorry, sir.  Is there anything else i can do for you today?  

I hope to be finitoed with them as soon as possible.  


here's my job app as a cool blog and vlog flak for SCFCU.  Watch it soon before i get embarrassed and take it off of YouTube.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Michelle and I had the same thing happen to us when we first moved to Knoxville. We were broke, with our balance perpetually on the edge of positive. We made a similar series of mistakes, and were smacked with over $300 in overdraft fees- more than $100 of those $33 fees were leveled against overdrafts of less than $5. I groveled, begged, and otherwise generally humiliated myself in front of the branch mgr/automaton. I was heartily rebuffed. I asked if there was any sort of backup program in case this happened again. She offered me the chance to connect a credit card to my account so that any overdraft was charged. The minimum charge? $100. We are doing better now, and we have discovered that if you have some savings, those pigs are your best friend- selflessly offering to upgrade the account and sign us up for rebates and other free shit. I'd like to offer them the chance to get bent. That's a long-winded way of saying that we feel your frustration. Our bank will remain unnamed, mainly because it doesn't matter, because they are all predatory in their practices. After all- they've got to find a way to make as much money off the poor as they do the rich, don't they?

Matt S.

JanetLee said...

Charleston Area Federal Credit Union. I've been with them for over 20 years and LOVE them!

nashvillemidwife said...

Ah. The same thing happened to us last month when Ouida was born. You may want to try Bank of America. I was able to get ours removed by mentioning that I'd just had a baby the week before. It helped that I went to the bank in person with 6 day old baby in tow (our first pubic outing). Yes, I shamelessly exploited my child for a $245 refund of overdraft fees. The best part was when the lady said she wanted to give me a break because she knew how much I needed that money for formula and (disposable) diapers; I didn't think it necessary to volunteer that my baby needs neither of those things.

mary said...

arrrg. i remember feeling so angry when that happened to us. we were already struggling and those charges made everything feel impossible. fortunately, the bank took away some of the charges (because of our big fat business loan) but didn't hesitate to charge often. the thing we figured out was that it depended on what time of day we deposited money vs. what time it was taken out (rent checks etc). just a few hours of difference between the transactions would have made all the difference... they didn't care how much we deposited.

Biffle said...

M: I'm willing to bet that one of the reasons many banks have been glad to supply customers with those handy debit cards is because they're able to post withdrawal transactions in real time, whereas deposits still happen in bank time.

This was one of the ways we got screwed. It happened over the weekend--i saw where the charges got racked up over the course of a friday night, saturday day at costco, etc. and would have been unable to deposit a thing in order to arrest the decline.

J. L: We'll give 'em a look, Janet. Thanks.

nashvillemidwife said...

When you've got a list of debits to hit your account they always draft the largest amount first and go from there. So all your outstanding debit total may only be a few dollars more than what you have in the account but when they take out the largest chunks first you end up overdrafted on a bunch of little stuff, each with its own fee. It's not like they don't know the chronological order in which you made the purchases, its just a big scam.

Anonymous said...

Michigan State Federal Credit Union too... from my postdoc years. Exactly what I thought at first too- a banking system for the little guy. Well- $33 dollar (what is it with 33?) overdraft charges appeared if you were even 1 cent overdrawn- in the course of transferring money from one account to another! No recourse, no possibility of reversal.

My wife and I have since discovered the value of the family-owned community bank. These banks do tend to be locally-minded with their investments, and have, on the whole, weathered the current financial crisis very well. There is also something to be said for them having withstood the temptation to be swallowed by an international Bankasaurus.

I have $300 overdraft protection now... and they, and not Citibank, hold my mortgage.

-Erich O
Marquette, MI