This is me calling out my lifetime bank, PNC Bank, for a shady fee practice because I want you to know so you can be careful to not get hit with ridiculous charges like I was.
I needed to provide to a mortgage broker a breakdown of some recent deposit tickets to my account.
So I entered PNC Bank’s online system. I clicked on the deposit ticket link for each deposit I needed to show the checks from.
It displayed for me a picture of my deposit ticket. Here’s a snippet:
But I needed to show what those checks were, so I clicked “View Details.”
This came up. Again a snippet. Trying not to reveal important personal info here!
“View now.” GREAT. Click.
I can print or download the image at no additional charge? But I may be charged a fee? That’s confusing. So I clicked on “click here to review applicable fees.”
This came up:
Okay. So you can display the DEPOSIT TICKET for free. (Thanks, PNC!), but to display the images of the checks associated with the deposit ticket? “CLICK HERE.”
I clicked here. ANOTHER window pops up. What are we on now? Four?
Whew. Okay. I don’t use Virtual Wallet. I click on “ACCOUNT PRICING CENTER” and hey! It displays a FOUR PAGE PDF OF FEES. I first went to the Online Banking section, but there wasn’t anything there about displaying checks. Then I went to the correct section of the FOUR PAGE PDF:
“Self-service requests through online banking for items within a deposit ticket detail list.” I don’t see “display fee” anywhere. So clearly under “Images and Photocopy Requests” they mean if I ask them to email or print for me the image I display. Right? Great. I just want to bring the image up on my screen. Too bad I didn’t read down further to see there’s a separate section for mailing and faxing. They’ll mail you the deposit ticket copy for a dollar. But it will cost you $3 for them to mail you the check copy. Because they have to get on a camel and ride it across the desert to go into the vault to manually pull it out and copy it, I guess. But they keep the deposit tickets right on site, so it’s cheaper. Again, I’m guessing.
So I went back and clicked on the link to display the check image. And of course, each image came right up and ready to go for me to print or save to PDF.
But then a few days later:
WHOA! I was charged three dollars a pop to DISPLAY a check on my computer screen.
DISPLAY. DISPLAY FEE.
Is this my fault? Technically yes. I get it. My bad for not catching it properly.
Is PNC Bank ridiculous? Oh, yes. Because …
1. DISPLAY FEE? You charged me three dollars to bring an image of my check up on my screen?
2. If I had instead deposited these checks one by one, without a deposit ticket, I would not have been charged to display the images. It would have been free. But because I had to click one extra step to get to the check, it cost me $3 a pop.
3. I actually only displayed eight checks, but I got charged for ten, because I DISPLAYED two of the checks twice. ELL. OH. ELL. Gosh darn displayin’.
4. This is 2014. Are you telling me, PNC, that the only way for a consumer to know what this particular transaction is going to cost them, is to have them click through five different windows to download a four-page PDF? Don’t you have the capability to have your website bring up ONE window that says, “This will cost you $3, Virginia. Continue?”
Did I just blow your minds, PNC?
Either way, I called and expressed my displeasure at not only their practices to make it hard to figure out what you’ll be charged, but at flat-out charging people $3 to DISPLAY a check. They refunded half the charges.
Sure I screwed up by looking at the fee schedule and thinking if I don’t see “display fee” then they can’t charge me a “display fee.” I can’t help feeling though, that this is kind of screwed up.
Display fee. A fee to display a picture of your check. For three dollars.
WHOEVER HEARD OF SUCH MADNESS, MILEY CYRUS?!
Clearly I need to upgrade to Performance Checking. Or a different bank.