I will give you guys a little inside information as a former bank employee on this post. In my days as a bank manager, I made a few overdraft fee refunds. I never had any sympathy for people who overdrew, but I their accounts, but I helped them out.
To get a refund, all you have to do is ask. But you have to ask the right way. If you go in there yelling and blaming the bank for the fee, you will get nothing.
When you go in, do not throw a fit. If you make a scene, you will be asked to leave. If you call on the phone and start yelling or crying or raise your voice, you will be told that there is nothing that can be done.
When you call or show up, admit fault. Say that you made a mistake and it is a rare event. You were in a tough spot. It will not happen again. Please refund my fee.
That last part is the most important. You have to specifically ask for what you want. If people asked “is there any way you can help me out?” I would say “yes, I can cut the fee in half.” If they asked for a refund, I usually did it.
Something else to keep in mind: this does not work regularly. Banks keep records of every time you call. There are records of every overdraft you have had. There are records of every fee refund you have ever been given. When I saw a first time overdraft, I gave a refund. When I saw a repeat offender, we usually kept to the one time per year rule.
The moral of this story: DO NOT SPEND MONEY YOU DO NOT HAVE. It is the tough truth, but all overdrafts are your fault. The only good way to really know what you have to spend in your account, especially if you use a bank debit card, is the old fashion paper check register.