How to Get Rid of Bank Overdraft Fees

The other day I was cruising my Facebook and my friend was pouting via a grumpy status about how he had dished out a bunch of cash on gas, an alternator, and college books, and is now facing a late fee from his bank.  I told him how to call his bank and get the fee waived, and he didn’t even know you could do that.  I wondered how many other people didn’t know how to get bank fees waived, so this is my gift to you.The best way to avoid overdraft fees is not to get them in the first place.  Try to keep a buffer in your account, (approximately a few hundred dollars) that way you won’t ever spend more than you have.  Be smart and try to keep track of your spending. Some banks even offer overdraft protection that will keep you from spending hundreds of dollars on overdraft fees.  Sometimes life gets the best of us, we spend a little more than we should have, and we end up over-drafting our accounts.  In that case, here is your guide to getting out of the dreaded overdraft fee.

Tips for the Process

First things first, you have to take action.  You’re not going to get anything done if you don’t call your bank.  If you are too scared or lazy to call, a real person to get rid of the fee, then have fun giving away your money. If you want to get anything done you have to be assertive.  Don’t take no for an answer, but don’t be rude.  You will catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar, so sound sure, but don’t try to insult the operator. Don’t ask questions.  Responses like “are you sure?” and “Is there anything else I can do?” are a sure fire way for your bank to tell you NO.  Don’t call up your bank and ask if you can get your fee waived, call them, and tell them that you want your fee waived.  When you know what you want, you are likely to get it.

Basically, here is how your call to your bank will go…

You: Hello, I noticed that I’ve been charged for an overdraft fee on my account, and I’d like to have it waived. Bank Representative: Let me check…  Ahh yes, I’m sorry we are not able to remove that fee from your account.  (They like to give bogus excuses of why they can’t i.e. the system won’t let them) You: I would really like to get rid of the fee, what could you do to help me?  (Restate the problem.  Usually here is where you will get rid of the fee, but if not proceed with the following.) Rep: I’m sorry I can’t remove that fee. You: Well, I’ve been a good customer for [X amount of years] and I would like to keep banking with your establishment, so I’d really like to waive this fee?  It was a mistake, and it won’t happen again.  How can you help me?  (Make them realize that your business with them is worth more than a lousy late fee charge, and explain how it’s not going to be a frequent occurrence.) Rep: Let me see what I can do…  You have been a good customer, so I will check with my supervisor.  Give me one moment please.  Rep: I checked with my supervisor and the fee has been waived.  Is there any other way that I can help you today? All you have to do is call.  The majority of people won’t even do that, so they are stuck with all kinds of fees.  You can use this same technique to get all sorts of fees waived including ATM fees etc.…  Good luck on getting your fees waived and building your negotiation skills.

Have you ever talked your way out of something before?  If so what was it?

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