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Hot Bank Deals When Banks Make Ad Mistakes

Have you been able to get good deals at banks due to their ad mistakes? Every once in a while a bank will advertise a deal with a mistake. Often this is a newspaper ad. A recent example is an ad that First Republic Bank published in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle. The ad listed a 2% CD with a 2-year term. When I called the bank on Monday I was told that the 2-year term was suppose to be listed as a 5-year term. One branch that I called refused to honor the ad, but another one that I called said they would honor it but only for Monday.

Bank ad mistakes like the one described above occur every now and then. I remember back in the early 80's a bank made a mistake in their newspaper ad. They listed a 16% CD with a term of 10 years. It was suppose to be a much shorter term. Fortunately, they honored the ad for my parents, and this CD turned out to be a very good investment.

Have you received a good deal due to a bank making a mistake in their ad? Do you have any tips to share?

I thought of a few tips that may help you receive an advertised deal that has mistakes.

First, go directly to a branch manager, and if possible, go in person with a copy of the ad. A branch manager often has the authority to offer you more than what’s officially available.

Act quickly. Banks are more likely to honor a bank ad mistake if you visit a branch soon after the ad is published.

Check multiple branches. Some branch managers may be more open to honoring the mistaken ad.

Don’t be greedy. The bank may change their mind in honoring the ad mistake if your deposit is too large.

Finally, it’s important to remember that what you see on the web may not be an ad. For example, it could be an old blog post that doesn’t have a date. The bank shouldn’t be expected to honor a rate that’s listed like that. If the mistake is on the bank’s website, take a snapshot of the bank’s website to prove it’s the bank’s fault.

If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I have never been a beneficiary of such a mistake by a financial institution. Assuming that an incorrect advertised certificate of deposit yield or maturity is truly an error, rather than an attempt to deceive, banks are only obligated to honor it if a customer makes an offer at that yield and maturity and the bank accepts it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I believe that the Bank makes the offer (ie:sets) at a yield and maturity and the customer either accepts or declines it.  If the Bank does otherwise IMO it's "bait and switch".
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
If it was an error, the bank must rectify it at once, otherwise it is a binding offer.
They can put a memo in few seconds on their web site or will advice the client the moment they walk in the bank.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Those that called or came to a First Republic Bank on Monday to open the subject CD account were notified that it was a mistake.  I'm sure the ad was pulled from Monday's SF Chronicle. If the local branch manager at the Presidio Branch in SF wanted to honor it, just for customers who came in with the ad to open the account, that was his/her decision. A few got lucky on Monday. End of story.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I wish I was that lucky.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Why settle for 2% with a CD when you can get 3% or more with a reward checking account?  For this time and era it is a good alternative. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
a reward checking account is too much work!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
I don't know about too much work.  But I don't have more checking accounts than I absolutely need. And that's two, business and personal.  Needless financial accounts of any kind only leave yourself open for the potential of more fraud.     
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
There is a threshold question...when is a mistake really a mistake?  Only if you or me say so?  No!  Look at the facts:  This was posted by a sophisticated bank which has overhead people to ensure good practices.  If a mistake, where else is a purported mistake(s) being made or going on?...this could be a "red flag!"  It usually is for auditors!   Specifically, 2% for 2 years is NOT anything out of the ordinary, thus it is not a mistake to the reader...the person that posted the example of (as I recall) 200% for 2 years as being equivalent is off-base.  The reader is on notice of something wrong in the latter case, not the former.   Finally, where is the retraction?  Was a notice posted on the website, newspaper in the following issue?  It was not a mistake!  I acknowledge and honor my mistakes and I'm not a bank!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
note: Tuesday's Chronicle did have a retraction and the correct ad stating 5 years.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #7
I was able to get a 90 day EWP on some CDs I purchased from a local bank due to an error on the rep's part.  They honored it on our CDs and then I went to their competition and got them to do the same for CDs I got there once I told them what the other bank had done.  That was when banks really wanted our deposits and they were in small towns.  I don't think any larger bank in a big city would have honored a 90 day EWP for a 5 year CD.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Didn't Pended make a mistake in 2011 (not sure the exact year) with a 10 year CD that paid 5%?
pjaskate   |     |   Comment #12
Yes, they did. I was very fortunate that they honored their mistake when I invested $230,000 in that 10 year CD offer.
lou   |     |   Comment #14
"They listed a 16% CD with a term of 10 years."

I would give my firstborn to come across this ad.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #17
Lou:  You better hope your firstborn never decides to read these posts. :)  But with that kind of interest for 10 years, you could afford to send her off "in style".
cumulus   |     |   Comment #15
A couple years ago Ally made a mistake in 2 CD's I opened: they
set the interest rate equal to the advertised APY.  This of cousre
resulted in a true APY greater than the advertised APY!  To me
this was an obvious data entry error by someone, and I expected
Ally to correct things.  Ally admitted their error, but never
changed things; I (happily) accepted the higher APY :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
A reputable bank would honor their mistaken ad.  First Republic did  not honor their mistaken ad and is obviously not honorable.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
I contacted First Republic and asked to open a CD in the small amount of $20,000.  The bank said it would honor the terms of the ad and let me open a 2 year CD at 2%, but that I would have to open the CD that day.  I said fine, I will open it right now.  They said you must come to a branch and open the CD.  I told the bank I did not reside in California, so there was no way I could come to a branch.  The bank then said that unless I came to a branch, they would not let me open the CD.  I think this is very unfair.  What is your opinion?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
Nice try. We have already discussed this issue. It is not "unfair" on their part.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
I know we discussed this, but this still really bothers me.  Why am I being penalized because I do not live near one of their branches?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
There are numerous deals on this site for various types of deposit accounts, many of which are only available to residents of certain areas. Why does it surprise you that this one is similarly restricted?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
It was not geographically restricted, as is common, it was "get to the branch today or you're out of luck".  Totally different thing.
paoli2   |     |   Comment #27
Banks seem to have the right to put whatever restrictions on their CDs they want as do credit unions.  Insisting one has to buy it in person at a branch is just their way of restricting how many can buy it.  I have seen many rates I wanted at banks or cus but could not take advantage of them because they, too, were restricted to locals or people who could get to one of their branches.  This is not new.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
Was the restriction in the ad? Ad should be geographically available to the extent of subscriber base...and if that is beyond a reasonable distance from nearest branch the bank needs to accomodate the customer, not the other way around
James Barnes
James Barnes   |     |   Comment #29
I agree.  There was no restriction in the ad.  It was merely an arbitrary restriction placed in order to keep people from opening the CDs on the terms stated in the ad.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
Refer to regulatory authorities AFTER trying talking to CEO, i.e. Chief Ethics Officer
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
Contacting the Chief Ethics Officer is a joke.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
If I have a problem with any company, I frist try to resolve it with the involved parties.  If unsuccessful, then I always start at the TOP.  I may get refered to others but it brings attention to the issue and is promptly handled.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #30
So, is this what you lot have been reduced to? Hoping for typos & ad errors in order to have the chance to then capitalize & maybe make that extra percent or two? What a way to live. I haven't had a CD in 10+ years & counting..................No point in fighting the Fed, people.

But hey, it's your money. You're free to let inflation eat into it & give you a real negative return year after year, if you so wish. 
lou   |     |   Comment #31
There is no one way to live. Everyone has to make his/her own decisions on how to invest the money they earned over a lifetime. If they are more concerned with preservation of capital over return on assets, that doesn't make them any less smarter than you.

It's great things are working for you now, but there is no reason to get smug about it and exhibit a condescending attitude because you think you're so smart. Be sure to come back and post your snide remarks after the market corrects about 20 to 30%. Something tells me you won't be showing your face around here under those circumstances. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #32
If you do not invest in cd's, why are you on this website?
hoho   |     |   Comment #33
I'm sure most of the CD ads have a disclaimer that they are not responsible for typographical errors.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #34
2% for 2years? Typo? Get serious...they changed their mind and do not honor their ads! FTC has plenty of thoughts on that type of business behavior
hoho   |     |   Comment #35
You may be right but it would be hard to prove.  Most ads have disclaimers like typos or offer can be changed or the offer rescinded at anytime for any reason.  Called fine print.   

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