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    19 Replies Latest reply on Apr 5, 2008 3:06 AM by tatiana83003

    Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges

    LUCKIEST Guide
      Bank accounts, Overdrafts, Bounced checks, Credit cards, Late payments, and Cell phones
      If you don't know how to protect yourself, you could end up paying hand over fist for fees hidden in your bills.
      Comments and suggestions.
        • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
          NatOnline Tracker
          I think if banks want to charge monthly maintenance fees on business accounts they should give interest, but charging monthly fees, and working with your credit it's no fair.

           

          As far as overdrafts, late payments I am ok with these policies.

           


          Hidden fees? please explain
            • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Hidden Fees like late fees on credit cards, Cell phones roaming charges, Comically pricey phone calls in hotels.
              Low weekly fees for
              rental cars, they get you on the insurance, car
              seats for the kids, and $6-per-gallon gas.
              Getting nailed by a
              hidden fee is one of the great annoyances of modern life. It shouldn't be possible to conceal price information
              that's important to the consumer: Competing firms will educate
              consumers about the other guy's high hidden prices in order to win
              business.
              LUCKIEST
              • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                CorpCons08 Ranger
                NatOnline,

                Banks cannot provide interest-bearing checking accounts for businesses unless you are a sole proprietor, estate trusts, or a not-for-profit.
                This is a federal regulation and not something the banks have come up with on their own.
                It is a bit ridiculous, but a regulation never-the-less.
                If you are interested in reading about it refer to:
                Regulation Q - Prohibition Against Payment of Interest on Certain Deposit Account Types

                CC08
              • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                CorpCons08 Ranger
                To comment on the other items you spoke about.

                Overdraft Fees: Just as you would pay a lender to borrow money, consider an overdraft fees the payment you are making to the lender. The bank is issuing you credit to pay on items posting to your account with out the funds being there.

                Bounced Checks: When you open an account you are given a disclosure explaining the rules of demand deposit accounts. That being said, if you bounce a check and it is a one-time mistake, banks will most of the time reverse the charge for their client. If it is more common, you deserve to be charged or more importantly have your account closed.

                Credit Cards: To this day I have no explanation for why credit card companies do some of the things that they do.

                Late Payments: This falls under the same category as bounced checks. You are aware through disclosure the rules for paying on credit. If you are late, you need to be aware that there will be a charge. You signed the agreement so you are taking responsibility of paying on that item.

                Cell Phones: Tell me what you mean by this one...

                CC08
                • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                  Ranger6r Wayfarer
                  Good topic tonight Luckiest, and thank you to the posters.

                  As for banking, I agree with the concepts of overdraft and late fees as long as they are disclosed. I also understand the regulations against interest on checking funds. But I do strongly wish banks cut us a break on business monthly fees. I have my company (c-corp ownership) set up with B of A and do 95% of my banking actions online. I even opened the account online (with some faxing of signed docs). I was informed since my personal account was also with B of A - no monthly fees. I guess now I will have to maintain some type of minimum ($3000 or $5000 I don't remember which) in the business account to have my monthly fees waived starting in Feb. Well if it is so, it is so. This is not a problem for me, I keep their minimum requirement on hand for strategic reserves. And I will maintain the minimum required in some type of interest bearing item that the bank has to put on their debit side of their balance sheet and credit side of mine for the interest.

                  The problem is going to be with our just starting members who may not be able to meet the minimum and therefore incur a monthly fee for the necessity of maintaining a business account. I for one would welcome a graduated fee scale. Free for those who cannot afford to maintain the minimum yet. Maybe limit the number of teller assisted transactions to a certain amount per month before incurring a charge but other than that - free. If we are to keep the small start ups financially viable, as we should, they need to be the priority of the banks ability to assist. I would not blink at a $20 monthly maintenance fee now. But when I first started out, that $20 was an entire days profit at times, and I doubt I would have been able to be a B of A customer.

                  I realise these are not "hidden fees" but merely "changing fees" in my case. But if I were a struggling start-up I would be upset with the change of direction. In fact I am a little upset with the change of direction considering I am very "pro" small business. I mean really - I could never get away with passing the cost of business on to my customers like they are doing. Great bank and everything in my book, but kinda harsh on the smaller businesses.
                    • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                      CorpCons08 Ranger
                      There are two things that people seem to forget.

                      (a) Earnings Credit. For those who have balances already established for their business accounts, it is like a form of interest used to eliminate any fees you are being assessed (including the monthly maintenance fee)

                      (b) Relationship Banking. Many banks eliminate the monthly maintenance fee if you have personal banking relationships with them.

                      CC08
                        • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                          NatOnline Tracker
                          b) We've got personal account as well with BoA, and other products, that's why I don't think that's fair to pay monthly fees maintenance on our business account.

                          I did know about the federal regulations on the business account interest.
                            • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                              CorpCons08 Ranger
                              NatOnline,

                              Speak to your business banker about relationship banking.
                              Bank of America has a relationship banking package.
                              You should not be paying a monthly maintenance fee.

                              CC08
                                • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                  NatOnline Tracker
                                  Thanks Corpo,

                                  I received a message in my bank statement to tell me I will have to pay monthly fees next month, I will see if is effective for my business and will contact them if I need to pay.

                                  I have an Advantage Business Account, so the word "Advantage" should talk by itself, but they can change the rule as they wish, anytime.
                                    • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                      CorpCons08 Ranger
                                      Bully them a little. :)
                                      Tell them you are tired of being charged.

                                      CC08
                                        • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                          Ed O'Gee Adventurer
                                          Banks can't hide any of their fees, they are clearly stated in the big book with the tiny type they give you when you open an account. lol!

                                          But seriously, we can't blame the banks for overdraft, over the limit, ATM, or any other type of fees. I had this same discussion (argument) with a friend/client over ATM fees. He was mad that BofA charged him $2.50 to get money from their ATM and then his bank charged him another $2.50. I don't understand why he or anyone else would get mad about this when the machine clearly tells you what they are charging before you get money out. If your bank doesn't have a lot of ATM's and you keep paying fees for getting money from other bank ATM's, guess what - it is time to switch banks. It is all personal choice people.

                                          I actually think BofA's strategy is brilliant. It is not like I am a huge fan of the bank, but their strategy makes sense. They are everywhere, their ATM's are everywhere, they are the most convenient. I bet if you bank with them, you don't cry about not being able to find an ATM. What a brilliant strategy, they almost force you to bank with them. What this site needs is to have their CEO on here to explain that approach, I want to force more small businesses to buy my sales modules :)

                                          But my point is - if you don't want to get overdraft fees, don't overdraw your account, don't want late fees, pay your bills on time, don't want ATM fees, use your bank's ATM, don't like the fees at your bank, find a bank that has less fees. It is all about choice people.
                                • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                  NatOnline Tracker
                                  I agree with you with what you just wrote.

                                  Perhaps banks should review the monthly fees concept for small business and apply it only if a business don't take other services.

                                  For example: BoA monthly fees maintenance (checking account and saving) + BoA merchant account fees + BoA credit card + Authorize.net fees cost us more than $100 per month, and I think our bank need to give us a break on the monthly fees maintenance.
                                • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                  NatOnline Tracker

                                  Post update:

                                  Business Advantage Account monthly fees are free for ONLY 3 MONTHS:
                                  http://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/promos/jump/openadvantage/

                                  keyword: Advantage 3 months only lol
                                  • Re: Hidden Fees, Hidden Charges
                                    tatiana83003 Wayfarer
                                    There are never "hidden fees" you need to actually read the disclosures you are handed before using or even accepting any credit cards. Everything needs to be disclosed to you in paper.