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Getting held up by the bank

I've been a customer of my bank for several years, and I rather like them. They've been good to me, and they haven't hosed me like a couple of other banks have.

But they just messed up my account for the second time in a majorly inconvenient way.

Last year, on Superbowl Weekend, I deposited my tax refund on a Friday. Saturday night, I went shopping (yes, Building 19) and my debit card was declined. I had over $1,000 in that account, and they were saying "no" to $60.00. Luckily, I had my receipt, and it took some time, but I got my money back.

Then, recently, I went to take some money out of my savings account. They wouldn't let me -- it turns out the last time I withdrew money, they listed it as a deposit instead of a withdrawal and my passbook was out of whack. They wanted me to go back to the branch that made the mistake and have them fix it. I was already running late to work, so that was NOT an option.

I asked if it would simplify matters if I simply closed all my accounts with them and took my business elsewhere. At that point, the teller asked, "look, can't we just give him his money and fix it later? He can pick up his book later." The supervisor saw the wisdom of that move, and I got to work only a few minutes late.

When I picked up the book, the supervisor was very apologetic. I pointed out that when I mess up my account, the bank charges me an overdraft fee. Does the bank do something similar when the error is on their part?

Apparently not. He mollified me with more apologies and an L. L. Bean fleece blanket (the current prize for opening an account).

So, while I'm generally very happy with my bank, these two instances have me wondering if I should move on. The most convenient option would be to go to Bank Of America, but I still have bad tastes from them -- they bought out Fleet, and I have bad feelings about them. But as I understand it, when they screw up, they pay you $10.00.

Again, though, Bank of New Hampshire has been pretty good to me, the above two examples notwithstanding. Anyone want to share banking horror stories (ones about Fleet/Bank of America especially) to convince me to stay?


Comments (41)

You can't win - switching b... (Below threshold)
Bruce Larrabee:

You can't win - switching banks does no good. My bank (First Chicago - then Bank One - then Chase) twice lost a deposit. Once, they actually lost the master computer tape of all deposits. The only thing that save me was that I had a teller receipt - I never use ATMs for significant deposits.

I don't even want to talk a... (Below threshold)

I don't even want to talk about Fleet. Loan sharks that they are.

I've also made the mistake ... (Below threshold)

I've also made the mistake of battling with banks and you've got to realize that banks stopped being for people years ago. Banks are for businesses - credit unions are for people. In my neck of the woods, that's Arrowhead Credit Union. A really excellent organization, they've got everything except safe deposit boxes. Excellent people and policies, I've never been happier!

I agree Jay, a credit union... (Below threshold)

I agree Jay, a credit union is what you should be looking for. Ours is a local one with about 10 branches in three counties. They have online banking, billpay, home mortgages, the works. when you call, you speak to a real person who actually cares about your problem. Once, where there was a weird transaction hanging onto some funds (only about $10), the person spent a good hour tracking down some IT folks and getting the whole thing corrected, then she called me back at work to make sure I was satisfied it was corrected.

In a credit union, you are part owner, and the employees recognize and appreciate it.

My $.02 worth

I am shocked by this story.... (Below threshold)
Michael Angier:

I am shocked by this story. You have a savings account that still uses an actual PASSBOOK? I have not seen one of those in over twenty years.

We had our home mortgage wi... (Below threshold)

We had our home mortgage with 5th3rd and also a 2 year-old CLOSED commercial loan. 3 times in 2 years we got the lovely phone call, "your mortgage payment is overdue." Each time they had applied the payment to the CLOSED commercial loan. It took numerous phone calls to fix it each time and each time I had to fight like hell to get them to take off the LATE FEE!! They would finally say, "We'll give you a courtesy credit." Translation: "we're tired of messing with you so we will just give in and GIVE you the money out of the goodness of our hearts." I think that made me the maddest of all. It was their mistake dammit!
No, we don't bank there anymore.

If you live in or around Ma... (Below threshold)

If you live in or around Manchester, you may want to try St. Mary's Bank. They've got a pretty good customer service record(well, except the time they put a tax lien on my savings account that had only $5.00 in it, but i blame the IRS for that). They've also got the best looking tellers.

Stay away from B of A! The... (Below threshold)

Stay away from B of A! They will nickle & dime you to death. Go with a credit union if you can. I used to have the same problems with Wells Fargo. I would get mad at them and switch to another bank. Then Wells Fargo would buy that bank and I would be right back with them. That happened 3 times to me.

I actually have (relative... (Below threshold)

I actually have (relatively) few problems with Bank of America. The worst that they have done to me was to charge me a maintenance for several months for my checking account, despite being on their OnCampus Checking, the kind of account with no fees. They were very nice to me, and the problem was solved almost immediately with a refund (they'll do it right quick if you're in the building, which I often am for desposits, but seemingly take eons on the phone). They wound up doing that screwup twice to me, but they fixed it right quick both times. Lucky for me, I haven't had the horror stories I've heard from other people happen to me - yet.

Similar issue with a local ... (Below threshold)

Similar issue with a local bank that I had about 15 years ago. They botched a deposit and wanted me to pay for them to research their mistake. I still remember the bank manager's stunned face when I said in that case I wanted all my money from all my accounts NOW. He tried to argue but I was in a real asshole mood by then.

Went across the street to the credit union and have been a happy member for 15 years and have done all my banking through them without a hitch.

I live by the magic of dire... (Below threshold)

I live by the magic of direct deposit and ATMs and debit cards. The only time I see cash is when I know I need some money for the vending machines (but if we could just be like Finland and use our mobile phones to pay, that'd be nifty too).

With online banking, it takes 2-3 minutes a few times a week to scan the transactions to make sure nothing looks out of whack; and then a few more minutes to set up all my bills to be paid.

I use Wells Fargo for most of my banking and have never had a problem with them - the only time it looked like I had an issue, it was because a restaurant gave me back the wrong ATM card (also a Wells Fargo card) and gave mine to the other person. We both discovered it when our PIN codes didn't work. So, I blame Applebee's for that.

I'll add to the chorus... "... (Below threshold)

I'll add to the chorus... "Credit Union". We told our last bank to "stick it" about 12 years ago after their last set of "checking account terms du jour" that always seemed to stick us with fees. We haven't looked back and there's no practical difference between a mega bank and a CU, other than it's tough to find a branch on the other side of the state (though the number of times I've needed that to date is "zero").

I've been with Bunch of A**... (Below threshold)

I've been with Bunch of A**sholes for 25 years...the only reason I've stayed is convenience (they were the first to offer direct deposit and I just love that). I keep thinking to change to Arrowhead CU or Washington Mutual but haven't gotten around to it. :::sigh:::

Re: Banks not responsible for their mistakes... one's bank statement has the disclaimer that any mistake YOU don't catch within 30 days is toobad/sosad. But the reverse? One day I went to the ATM and withdrew $20 bucks, gave a cursory glance to my receipt and did a double take. Somewhere in the night my balance had grown by $12,000. Now, I know I couldn't take it as "mine" but I decided not to say a thing and see how long it took for them to figure out their mistake.

45 days. And a nasty phone call from some bitchazoid who tried to make it MY fault for not coming forward and that I'd better feel lucky they weren't prosecuting me.

I laughed at her saying I hadn't touched the balance that THEY had put in my account so f**k off.

She sputtered and hung up on me.

Banks are for businesses... (Below threshold)

Banks are for businesses - credit unions are for people.

I wish. We fired our credit union and are now with Bank of America.

You'd be surprised how well you can get along with a faceless, soulless institution when you don't expect it to have a face or a soul in the first place.

That may be why I've never had trouble with the IRS. [knocks on wood]

I had a bank give me too mu... (Below threshold)

I had a bank give me too much money when I closed an account. Afterward, they sent me threatening letters. They never simply asked for it. They make a mistake and it's our problem; not theirs.

Credit Union!The D... (Below threshold)

Credit Union!

The Dutchess and I belong to two of them....one education-related and the other military.

They do it all, give us best loan rates (when needed), and we seem to never have a problem.

Left the banks years ago!

Duke of DeLand

You want a bank mess up sto... (Below threshold)

You want a bank mess up story, well you asked for it:

Years ago, I started work for a new company (AT&T, but that is only a side light.) I like direct deposit, and sign up for it, but knew enough that if I simply gave AT&T the voided check, they would use the incorrect routing number on the bottom of the check, instead of the correct routing number I wrote in on the form.

So, the stupid company clerk left it on their desk to question it for 12 weeks! Meanwhile, I was issued real checks and was mailing them into the bank.

My account number is funny and has a double double number in it (no, I won't tell you the whole number, cause I still use that account think 4466). When the deposit was made, the bank clerk typed it as a double TRIPLE number (think 44666) and deposited the my entire 2 week paycheck into someone else's account.

Now overdraft protection kicked in and protected all my payouts. We discovered the missing check at the end of the month, and AT&T issued another check, thinking it was lost in the mail.

Forward another 4 months. The original check was cashed, and in normal processing AT&T found out that the check was cashed. So, they came to me wanting the duplicate check back, rightly so.

Now, I get the bank involved, and they start searching, but want the cashed check so they can get the account number off the back. AT&T's bank will only send a photocopy of the original check, in which said account number is not readable.

Several iterations later, we got the original check back long enough to read the 44666. The bank credits my check back to me immediately, and I pay back AT&T.

The bank starts an audit and 6 months later, they adjust my account for the extra interest that they charged me in overdraft protect and other such corrections (about 10$ total, but it is the principal).

A whole YEAR to clean up the mess.

They have made 2 more errors over time, but have cleaned up the mess each time.

Also, when I was battling cancer, they froze my car payments for 6 months (no interest, no payments at all). When I got one mortgage payment behind, and got a surprise check in that was enough to pay the mortgage and not the late penalty, I called them and made them a quick deal. I would drive down to the bank branch TODAY and pay the mortgage payment if they would cancel the late fee. They did.

I just passed 25 years with them (a credit union) and recieved a nice notice from them. I had a choice, and chose to take the .25% off the car loan rate I was processing at the time. The car came in Saturday.

My entire work group has purchased a new car in the last 6 months, which economy was that that was in bad shape?

Credit union!! If you have... (Below threshold)

Credit union!! If you have a problem, the local branch manager can solve it on the spot.

Home Depot: Their customer service(?) SUCKS! After seven phone calls and one letter, I still do not have a $50 home delivery refund they promised on a $750 Christmas purchase. Shop Lowe's.

Jay---mistakes happen. In m... (Below threshold)

Jay---mistakes happen. In my opinion it's not reasonable to expect any institution to conduct error-free business, but it IS reasonable to expect a good response when the mistake is discovered. Prompt correction, humble apology, and maybe even a little consideration for time and trouble go a long way to making me forget their mistakes. (Like the recent time I went to a hotel and my room was unacceptable, so they bumped me to a suite and comped the first night.)

Obviously, sometimes mistakes happen so frequently you know something's royally screwed up. You can only take "I'm sorry" so much before you begin to wonder if they mean it. But you seem to be happy with them overall so I'd say my above point stands.

Damn, slow news day or what... (Below threshold)

Damn, slow news day or what??

Overall, I'm pretty happy w... (Below threshold)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with Washington Mutual now. I wanted to switch for quite a while, but just never went through with it. When you open a new account with them, they hold your deposits for a few days. This is only supposed to last a month I think. Well, 6 months later and several bs explanations later, they are still holding my deposits. Then, one day I got a survey in the mail asking what we thought of them. I let them have it. A couple days later, someone called me at work and apologized profusely. We have had wonderful service from them since then.

You might consider not usin... (Below threshold)

You might consider not using B of A. Last December they lost two tapes in transit with 1 (0ne) million accounts information on them. They still do not know how or where the tapes were lost.

I've used B of A in the past, had a mortgage through them. That part I never had a problem with. If we had a credit union locally that we could join I'd go in a heart beat.

I think B of A has done all... (Below threshold)

I think B of A has done all the can do in regards to the lost tapes. I've been with them for the better part of a decade now and I've never had a problem. I recently got a letter from them offering to pay for any damages, another free credit check, account monitering, ect. So far no crazy stuff happening with my account so I think I'm ok. With such a huge company, logistical mixups are bound to happen.

Credit Union--36 years with... (Below threshold)

Credit Union--36 years with mine. Never a penny off! Never a mistake. Happy to give you loans, never a question. All the benefits of a commercial bank and none of the headaches. I wish all businesses were as good.

HheyMike: Obviously you ha... (Below threshold)

HheyMike: Obviously you haven't read much Jay Tea. He appeals to the ADHD child in all of us.

Jay, I've had excellent experience with Bank of America. I have my checking/savings accounts, car loan and credit cards through them. Every time I've had a dispute with another company, BoA has always been more than willing to resolve it through a bank credit.

That said, if you're part of a credit union, I'd stick with it. The rates you can get usually beat the snot out of anything a normal bank can offer.

Hate to swim against the cu... (Below threshold)

Hate to swim against the current, but we've had two credit unions over the years - one parish, one employer-related. Both stank, in their own ways. The parish credit union was great for their attitude, they treated us like friends, always pleasant to go in there. But it was run like a "mom & pop" corner store - sometimes didn't have cash on hand, would give you a check you could cash at...a bank! And when we bought our house, we found that in order to produce some bank records that were only a few years old (needed because we didn't get cancelled checks back, and they had changed systems and couldn't produce copies of the checks) we had to wait while someone who worked there manually LOOKED FOR THE FILES on diskettes! Second one, work-related (wife works in the county courts) ACTS like a big bank, and then holds checks for FIVE days before clearing them. As for banks, had one of them once, too. They put a hold on a local check I deposited, and "forgot" to clear the hold. Two weeks later I was shoving cash in that account repeatedly, trying to figure out how checks kept bouncing all over town. Bank finally admitted their mistake, credited me back the overdraft fees, I even got them to reimburse me fees I was charged by two credit cards where the checks bounced. I gave them a letter they agreed to send out explaining it was their fault, and a list of everyone to send it to. Two years later when I moved into a new house I had to pay a huge deposit and was placed on a "cash-only" basis with the local water utility because of the bounced checks, none of which involved them, but somebody had blacklisted me with some reporting agency... so in the end, I still had to pay for the bank's mistake.

go to zug.com and read the ... (Below threshold)

go to zug.com and read the great and funny 'credit card signature' adventure. it's amazing how far he got on some outrageous fake signatures on his card!!!

Jay I don't know anyone who... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Jay I don't know anyone who likes Bank of New Hampshire.

We had a credit union we really liked, and they never made any major screw ups, but then they decided you could only write 10 checks a month, and then pop you $2 a check. There was no way we could limit ourselves to 10 checks a month, so we changed banks.

I like the one we are at now, but admit I liked the customer service at our credit union much better-if only they hadn't gone to the screwy check limit policy.

Paul -- allow me to endorse... (Below threshold)

Paul -- allow me to endorse credit unions as well, as my credit union has treated me quite well ... and has treated my parents similarly.

As banks have adapted to a changing environment by growing larger, credit unions have evolved to fulfill a niche that banks are no longer suited for.


I work for a locally-owned ... (Below threshold)

I work for a locally-owned community bank. I will say, as someone else did, that errors do occur. However, if you find the right bank, like mine, the error will be corrected as soon as possible, and there will be an attonement given with the apology. For instance, if the drive-up is slow, a packet of chocolate my come back with the receipt. If it is a major error, not only will any costs/fees/penalties incurred by the customer be covered, but a gift card of anywhere from $5 to $25 to someplace like Target will be given as well. Being locally-owned, everyone on staff has been empowered to make those corrections and give an attonement. No need to wait for the "supervisor." That's they way a bank or business should be run.

Wow, enough stories in here... (Below threshold)

Wow, enough stories in here already. I will just say that I agree that you should go credit union. I had a horrible "falling out" with huntington bank which resulted in me talking to automated services over the phone to solve a 300 dollar problem. Not helpful at all. I moved and got into a credit union, never going back.

After banking with Wells Fa... (Below threshold)

After banking with Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, and BofA for the past 15 years -- combined with compounded errors, nickel-and-diming, and bad customer service, I moved to a credit union (Silver State Schools CU) and I've been a happy camper ever since.

Never use an ATM for a depo... (Below threshold)

Never use an ATM for a deposit.

Never write a personal check to someone you don't know, or at least have no reference for.

One mistake by any bank is workable if remedied with acceptable explanation (and compensation) later.

Two mistakes by any bank under similar can be workable IF and only if the remedies compensate the problems and the explanations make sense.

Three mistakes, you need to consider other banking if not methods. I wouldn't go with those options you mention, however.

And, stop expressing proble... (Below threshold)

And, stop expressing problems to tellers.

You need to get the Bank Manager's ear and once that's been done more than twice, write a letter. And then find another method of banking. I agree that Credit Unions are more accountable (in all senses) than banks, although I'm pretty happy with the bank I currently use for personal account (not telling).

On the other hand, I don't ... (Below threshold)

On the other hand, I don't know where "joeboo"'s bank is or what it's called, but I'd bank with his/her Bank of Utopia any day. Thanks for that story, but unfortunately, MOST banks aren't nearly, if at all, that customer friendly, nor even encouraging.

Another thing: if you don't have free online banking available, find a bank that offers that and then use it and often. You can view your actual accounts activities that way and catch possible if not proven problems and then remedy them immediately next day. Solves a lot of grief...I always call when I even so much as *sense* or perceive a possible misundertanding that *might* happen and I've always found a remedy or at least a good explanation for any problem that does occur, despite my best methods.

You can catch a bank's behaviors, both accurate and inaccurate, very often via online banking and I highly recommend it, at least so you can keep an eye on your accounts' activities.

I AM finding banks lately a bit more willing to remedy problems, however, beyond the (nearly unacceptable) acknowledgement. That many are beginning to offer renumerations and gifts and such is a good indication that they are beginning to comprehend that customer service matters. It really, really does.

But, I CAN share that I'd n... (Below threshold)

But, I CAN share that I'd never use Washington Mutual. I tried and in my first week of a new account, they returned a check based upon THEIR (Washington Mutual's) error...actually, it was a merchant who put through one debit twice, two times, and that negatively affected the balance...BUT, it was Washington Mutual's quite nasty assumption that I wasn't capable of maintaining an account balance.

There I was, a new customer, an error not of my making (I did have an accurate account balance, just that another of their merchant accounts didn't)...it was the automatic assumption by Washington Mutual that the error was mine that really disgusted me and how they responded to me about the error altogether (never apologized, remained very nasty about the issue...)

What I did was go next door to the merchant responsible, get them to provide me with a refund for their wrongful double debit, got them to sign a statement to that effect, walked the cash back to the bank, handed them the cash as a deposit and a copy of the merchant's statement, got them to rescind their charges to me, but the bank remained quite nasty about the problem.

Not like I had anything to do with it but it spoke volumes to me about how that bank was managed. It might just be local but what it did to me is prove that I'd never want to be involved with Washington Mutual in anything, good or bad, accurate or inaccurate. I tried even to complain about that branch but got an equally denigrating response from their organization, which moreoreless proved to me that the lack of respect to me locally was organizationally established.

I'd never use Washington Mutual but I notice a lot of Spammers do.

Screw banks. Get into a cr... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Screw banks. Get into a credit union.

Jay, why is it that every t... (Below threshold)

Jay, why is it that every time I read one of your personal posts I think to myself..."This guys needs some serious lovin?"

I mean really. You think too much about the stuff that doesn't matter. No offense. Really. Just my way of thinking.....;-)

One more vote to stay the h... (Below threshold)

One more vote to stay the hell away from Bank of America. They seem to be designed to keep you out of their doors and do everything by ATM.

My brother had BoA for a year and finally got fed up with them. When he withdrew all of his funds and closed the account, BoA charged him a $1.50 for the "you bothered our tellers" fee to his closed account! BoA policy was that with no overdraft protection (the account was closed, so no protection) they would issue him a small loan to cover the $1.50 shortfall... of course, the smallest loan they would give him was $500, $498.50 of which went into his closed account.

It took months before BoA finally stopped trying to get him to make payments on the "loan" for his closed account at a bank he no longer used.

I do everything through USAA now and couldn't be happier.

Jay - you don't have to wor... (Below threshold)

Jay - you don't have to worry. Wherever you bank, BorgOfAmerica will find you, and you will be assimilated. They will add your financial and technological distinctiveness to their own. Resistance is futile.

Huntington... (Below threshold)

HuntingtonBank Sucks

06 December, 2005

Where has that world class customer service gone, Huntington Bank has simply lost this...

Jacksonville, Florida USA - If your one of those lucky people who does not have a banking problem then you has been very lucky. Thousands of people a year complain that their bank has overcharged them in Interest Rates, have charged Them for NSF Activity (None Sufficient Funds Activity) and/or have done some other illegal activity in order to harm Or get revenge against their client.Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $32 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Through its affiliated companies, Huntington has more than 139 years of serving the financial needs of its customers. Huntington provides innovative retail and commercial financial products and services through more than 300 regional banking offices in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia. Huntington also offers retail and commercial financial services online at huntington.com; through its technologically advanced, 24-hour telephone bank; and through its network of approximately 700 ATMs. Selected financial service activities are also conducted in other states including: Dealer Sales offices in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Arizona; Private Financial Group offices in Florida; and Mortgage Banking offices in Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey. International banking services are made available through the headquarters office in Columbus and an office located in the Cayman Islands and an office located in Hong Kong. As it clearly shows Huntington Bancshares Inc, (Which clearly is called Huntington Bank) is one of the biggest banks in the USA. What happened to that fine customer service that Huntington once provided, where employees treat their customers with world class customer service? What happened to those days when the customer is always right? According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) the Huntington Bank has had over 100 complaints with almost all resolved.One thirty year old resident of Florida thinks Huntington is one of the worst companies in America. During an interview with him, Jon claims that Huntington Bank is trying to make him pay a debt from 2001 for $68.00 where $56.00 of it is from NSF Charges. He says he has contacted the bank many times but has gotten so many run arounds. "They have requested payment from me thru an outside collection agency and via regular mail." he said. Jon is not the only one who has Had a problem with this financial giant - according to one website (http://ceruleanspiral.com/08-19-02.htm) Huntington Bank threatened to Repo his vehicle for accidentally missing a payment after he has done banking with them for so long?

We have found a website that has been created to protest the way Huntington bank operates; you can view this Website online:

visiting: http://www.HuntingtonBankSucks.com






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