Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why my bank sucks, a love story

So, I know that a few of my readers are banking VPs, and I love you dearly.

But I hate my bank.

For the purposes of this post, I won't name them EXPRESSLY, but I'll just say ... they're headquartered in Pittsburgh and in the past few months bought out my lovely bank that I had been doing business with FOR YEARS with absolutely no problems.

And then THIS BANK came along and ruined all that.

Let's chat, shall we?

So, Bank 2 buys Bank 1. And I get NO notices about the change-over, how I should be doing things, when I should expect a debit card in the mail, nada. Months go by. Still nada. The website changes. My account number changes. I'm told to "keep using my card until one comes to me" every time I call.

Then, 12/9 comes around. They cancelled my old card and didn't tell me. I found out while trying to buy a pre-finals bagel. Luckily I have a credit card and debit card issued by Bank #3 where I have also done business FOR YEARS with no problems. I can still pay for things.

So, I call the customer service hotline. AGAIN. The woman on the phone has a nice Southern drawl. She tells me that oh honey they tried to send it to you and your address wasn't right or something and do you live in an apartment? Why, yes, mystery woman, I do. Oh sweetheart they sometimes can't deliver to the apartments on the first try, because the landlords have them chopped up into so many units and not all of them are registered with the post office!

I swear to the gods that the italics aren't ironic. That's how she talked.

Anyway, she was very helpful. She verified my address. She tried to process my card and have it sent to me. Turns out that the computer wouldn't let her, because it takes 3 to 5 calendar days for the address to verify. Uh, excuse me?

But it's not her fault, and I tell her this as I'm asking to speak to her manager. I indicate that I'm less than pleased that they evidently tried to send me a card, then realized my address was somehow unacceptable, then NEVER CONTACTED ME about the problem. I indicate that I know this isn't the manager's fault either, but that there's got to be a better way to do this than allowing me to realize the problem only when my previous card is inactivated.

And so on, and so forth.

So, I called back today, and got a very nice Indian woman, who processed my card order. Let's see if it gets to me.

However, Indian woman refused to order checks for me (I would do it myself, but the website for some reason HATES everything about me and won't let me order them -- I kept getting error messages). She insisted that I could continue using my Bank 1 checks, even though I now had a different account number with Bank 2. I call shenanigans. I don't want to get called in for check fraud. That's a felony, you know.

I'll be going to my local branch and speaking to a representative in person tomorrow.

Or, I'll be closing out my account and taking my business down the street. It just kind of depends on how things go.


  1. Credit Union, go to a credit union. They are way more awesome than banks.

  2. I looked at one of the credit unions here in Pgh, and they wanted to charge me like, 10 cents per check that I write. Ridic.

  3. As one of your Banking VP readers, I agree. Banks suck. I recently made a switch with my move and my debit card has been blocked (for my protection) no less than 5 times, because my bank doesn't really believe I moved. I hate them.

    Having been through 3 mergers in 3 years, here are some facts.

    Mass customer mailings that are merger-related do use the Post Office for some reason rather than just straight bank records. Every merger mailing gets effed up because of this. It happens. It sucks. Sorry that you're one of the victims.

    Your old checks should still work fine. The banks work with the Federal Clearing Houses during mergers and basically they set up a bridge between the old bank numbers and the new numbers.

    That being said - mistakes are made and sometimes customers are severely impacted. You are probably part of a small percentage that got their stuff messed up, but that doesn't make it insignificant. I think most of the Targets and Home Depots in Nevada now believe I have no money since my card has been declined so many times. I feel your pain.