Overdraft Fees — I Was Mad They Were High, Now I’m Mad About Rejection
What’s going to happen now that some percentage of checking account customers has failed to opt-in to continue their overdraft protection coverage? Many of these folks discovered yesterday that their purchases were denied at the point-of-sale and while attempting to withdraw cash at their favorite ATM.
What are they likely to do Monday morning?
As a cynic, I suspect that the small group of whiners who complained about the huge overdraft fees assessed them over the past couple of years will be the same group of whiners complaining this week that they were denied at the ATM or point-of-sale.
Even though this small group of heavy overdraft users was undoubtedly contacted multiple times over the past several months, some percentage of them ignored the repeated contacts and failed to opt-in by the Saturday deadline.
Perhaps having their debit card denied yesterday is a giant wake-up call to go online or visit their local bank or credit union branch and immediately opt-in for overdraft protection. I wonder how many of them will be major complainers about being denied while finally opting-in?
Having been denied at the point-of-sale or ATM, these folks now have a new perspective on the value of overdraft protection coverage – no matter the cost. Imagine spending 45 minutes grocery shopping on Sunday only to have your debit card payment rejected by the cashier at your favorite grocery store?
What about the thousands of shoppers waiting in long checkout lines at Walmart, only to be rejected when trying to pay with their debit card? Not only are they embarrassed in front of lots of other shoppers, the other shoppers are seething over the delay in removing bags of unpaid merchandise from the line.
Perhaps this will be a non-story on the early Monday morning news and in the Monday newspapers. Then again, it might be a major story. I’m hoping it’s a major story featuring lots of animated, disgruntled shoppers.
If I were a newspaper columnist or reporter, I’d have spent all day Sunday visiting area discount and grocery stores, standing at the ends of the checkout aisles waiting to see what happens when shoppers are turned down attempting to use their debit cards.
Beginning Sunday and continuing for the next several days will be days of reckoning for the group of fee complainers who are now being rejected at the point of sale for failing to opt-in. Now it’s trade-off time.
Sign-up for some overdraft protection program, pay closer attention to your daily account balance, or continue being rejected at the ATM and point-of-sale.
As my father would most likely say if he were here to witness this day of reckoning, “The chickens have finally come home to roost.”