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Check your bank account for unexpected charges | FOX43 Finds Out

A Chambersburg woman says her bank charged her for a new service without her permission, but the bank says that's not what happened.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — How often do you take a good look at all of the charges in your checking account?

A Chambersburg woman found a charge on her account for a new service she never signed up for, but the bank says it followed the rules when it comes to notifying customers about changes.

FOX43 Finds Out what to do if you're hit with a new fee and no explanation.

A charge for $6.95 had Kim Clark of Chambersburg on the search for answers.

 "It's not a matter of how much it is," she said. "It's a matter of taking it without my permission."

The money was taken out of her checking account with F&M Trust Bank. 

After a few phone calls, she discovered it's for a service called BaZing, which offers discounts and things like roadside assistance and identity theft protection.

Clark wasn't interested and wanted to know why the bank signed her up for this account. 

"I called them and they said, "Oh, well we sent you a stack of papers some time ago and in those papers, there was a choice of what kind of checking account you wanted to have,'" she said.

F&M Trust's Chief Marketing Officer, Matt Weaver, says all 28,000 checking account customers were sent the letters.

"We're actually required through the consumer federal protection bureau, the CFPB, to provide a minimum of a 30-day notification any time we make a change to any of our accounts," he said.

Clark told a bank employee she never got the letter that was sent.

"I never received a pack of papers," she said. "And they said, 'We sent them out to everybody.'

"I said, 'Well, you know how the mail is late, I never received it.'"

B&M Trust isn't the only bank that uses BaZing.

Banks all over the country are doing the same for different prices.

The Chief Marketing Officer at F&M Trust said $6.95 felt like a fair price for customers. 

"There's certainly a lot of opportunities for us to make money on our checking accounts and all the products that we offer," he said.

Clark says the whole thing makes her feel uneasy about banking.

"It's just not fair to take money out of someone's account, without my permission," she said. "It's almost like stealing."

FOX43 Finds Out asked Weaver to respond to Clark's claim that it feels like stealing.

"We really think that is something that can benefit a customer," he said. "It is an incredible value at a very reasonable cost."

F&M Trust did allow Clark to go back to her standard checking account with no added fees and also refunded her the original $6.95 charge after FOX43 Finds Out contacted them.

"We're not trying to force our customers into anything they're not comfortable with," Weaver said.

Both F&M Trust and Clark believe this should serve as a reminder to always be checking your accounts for extra fees and to ask questions. 

FOX43 Finds Out that yes, for the most part, banks can charge you extra fees or change your account as long as they let you know within a certain time period.

Here's what the PA Department of Banking and Securities had to say about bank fees: 

"There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Bank accounts are governed by agreements that can vary from financial institution to financial institution. The department would encourage any Pennsylvanians who have questions about financial transactions or institutions to contact the department at 1-800-PA-BANKS to discuss the specifics of their situation and concerns. In cases where the department is not the primary regulator for a particular bank, our Consumer Services Office can help set the consumer in the appropriate direction, even if we are not able to directly intervene."

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.

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