Bye Bye BB&T Bright Banking

Dear BB&T,

You just blew it.  I've been your customer for over 20 years, and you just let a monthly fee toss all that out the window.  For the past year and a half you've been trying to put a fee on my checking account.  I've made phone calls and emails to get these $1 charges reversed since even your Relationship Manager agreed they shouldn't be there.  It was a PITA to do this every month, but I did it.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I received written notice that my checking account was changing to the ironically named BB&T Bright Banking.  As part of Bright Banking BB&T was offering me a new benefit of a $10 charge every cycle ($120/yr for a checking account!!!!!).  Luckily there were exceptions for:

  • Direct deposit1 OR  (<—-THIS IS ME!)
  • $1,500 avg. checking balance during the cycle OR (who in the world would leave that much in a no-interest checking account!)
  • $6,000 combined in deposit or loan balances OR (sorry but your rates suck so my $ is at the credit union and in internet banks)
  • Carrying a BB&T personal mortgage loan balance (Nope)

So, I have $50 per paycheck sent to this bank account.  I've been doing it for years, and I have an automatic transfer to ING that pulls it right back out each month too 🙂  Now I'm sure by now you noticed there was some small print attached to the direct deposit.  It reads "One monthly ACH direct deposit of $100 or greater per statement cycle."  Again no problem, right?  I have more than $100 per cycle since I'm paid bi-weekly.  Wrong.  I got hit with the $10 fee.  I of course immediately called my Relationship Manager.  I pointed out my direct deposits, and she agreed to look into it.  I called her 2 days later since she didn't call me.  She said it had to be a single ACH deposit of $100.  So, two $50 deposits won't work?  That's right.  I told her this was insane, and asked to schedule a meeting with the manager.  

SIDEBAR:  Let's take this to it's absurd extreme.  I could ostensibly make a $99 deposit every day for 30 days ($2,970) during a month, and I would still be subject to a fee due to this ridiculous rule.  Contrast that with a single $100 deposit I could make and transfer out the next day and get no fee.  Absurd.

My Relationship Manager failed again and never set the meeting so I called and set one up for myself.  I pointed out all of the logical flaws in their thinking.  He didn't care.  He reversed the fee, but said I would be subject to it in the future.  Yeah, I don't think so.  I closed that account, and oh I'm sorry to say you can kiss my Mom's $50,000 IRA goodbye too. 

John Allison would have never allowed something so irrational.  He'd be turning over in his grave, but he ain't dead yet.

Bright Banking?  Not so much…

Posted in Savings Tagged with:
  • csdx

    It sounds like you're getting mad that they won't bend the rules for you. Sure take your business elsewhere if you don't like the rules, but don't get mad when they don't make special exceptions for you.
    Basically I think they clearly state they want at least 1 $100 deposit, not any number of deposits totalling $100. As long as those are their terms, any deviation is just making a special exception for you.
    To me this is like getting upset if you asked for a match of a promotional offer you weren't targeted for but got denied. Sure it can suck, but don't be mad that they didn't bend the rules in your favor.

    • I appreciate your comment csdx. I think you might be missing the point though. I don’t want them to bend rules for me. I want to have in place rules that make sense. The direct deposit rule makes no sense in its current form (as BB&T agreed in conversation).

  • csdx

    Also having the transactions broken into smaller bits may have some kind of cost to them. For example: Would you rather count 1 $100 bill, or 10,000 pennies? Or if a store offered free shipping on $25 purchases, should 99 $5 purchases qualify you as well?

    • csdx,

      The difference in transaction costs between a $100 ACH and 2 $50 ACH transfers is likely less than a penny. I would be happy for them to charge me a full penny for it if they need to.

      Speaking of pennies, I would take them to the Coinstar machine at my local credit union where there are no counting fees.

      Regarding the free shipping, yes. However, I am not the CEO of Amazon. I am but a lowly blogger 🙁

  • dwayne

    To be fair, they need to charge those nonsensical fees to employ Relationship Managers to respond to customers annoyed by nonsensical fees …
    Lewis Carroll would have approved.

  • Rob

    BBandT has basically insulted their customers by "welcoming" them to so-called bright banking. I kept my account open with them after moving out West (where BBandT doesn't have much of a presence) for a couple years because they were a well run company with good customer service. So I didn't close my account.
    Now…. my years of loyalty are rewarded with a sudden onslaught of fees.
    Thanks for insulting me BBandT.. You will never get my business again, Ever.

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