February 25, 2010 by admncc
Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about. I’d like to welcome Steve back with a new Guest Post. He’s been away for six months, but is back with a complaint about the banking industry. It’s a fascinating look at the don’t-care attitude many banks have today. And I’m sure it’s a story that many people will be able to relate to. Enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Steve…
The bank I was using for one of our business accounts finally ticked me off enough to take action and close that account. I really didn’t want to because this branch is close to our home and is open until 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, which is convenient for me. My wife had recently opened a business account at another bank and her bank treats her like a queen. They bend over backwards to help and assist her, and they have a special Merchant window for business accounts that helps speed up things like deposits and transfers. They also have special networking events for small business customers every month and my wife has made some great connections at those events. My bank used to be almost that good; at least I thought so, until recently.
I received a fairly large check from a local company, drawn on a different local bank for a large project I recently completed. As usual, I deposited the check into my business account and assumed that my bank would put the normal 5-business-days hold on the check until I could access the funds. My bank put a 2-week hold on the check, why, I don’t know. Did they tell me that they were going to do this, NO, did they send me an email alert, NO. The company who wrote the check and the bank where the check was drawn from have been in business many years and have no financial problems.
After checking my account online to see if the funds were available, I found out they were still holding the funds. I called my bank and couldn’t get an answer from their help desk. I asked my wife to go to the bank and see if she could find out what the problem was. At first, they refused to give her any information because she wasn’t the “primary” signer on the account. She told them that she was in fact a signer on the account and had me call the bank to verify that information. They finally told her that the other bank hadn’t told them that they could release the funds yet. That sounded really suspicious to me and so I called the other bank and they said that wasn’t true – the check was good and there should be no problem with my bank releasing the funds to me.
During my wife’s visit to this bank, I had asked her to make two cash deposits into that business account for some small jobs I had been paid for. The cashier only gave her a deposit slip for one of the deposits and tried to pocket the other one. When my wife got home, she realized that she only had one deposit receipt and called the bank. They told her that they only had a record of the first deposit and would have to have their cashier total their drawer to see if there was any “extra cash” there. They also told her that they would call her right back about this problem. Well, they never called back. So when I got home, I went down to the bank and asked for the manager. After about 5 minutes, she came out of her office and gave me a look like, why are you bothering me? I told her what the problem was and that they didn’t give us a receipt for the second cash deposit. She said, oh yes, that cashier went home and we did find the extra cash. I said, okay, you were supposed to call us and let us know; why didn’t you call? I got no answer, I said, “Can I have a receipt to show that the cash was deposited into my business account?” With a look of, are you really going to make me do this – she quite reluctantly went over to a terminal and printed out a receipt for me. I didn’t receive an apology or explanation for why they didn’t make the second deposit, nada, nothing. It was almost like they were mad that they had been caught doing this. I told her that I used to enjoy banking at that branch but that their customer service skills were severely lacking. I didn’t get a response from the branch manager or the bank teller; they just turned away and went into another part of the bank, totally ignoring me.
So, I decided yesterday to close the account. I called their 800-number and asked if there would be any problem with closing the account and would they have enough cash on hand. I didn’t even want to take a chance on getting a bank check from them with all of the problems I have had with them. They told me, no problem. So I went to the branch to close the account – guess what…they didn’t have enough cash on hand to cash out my account. I told them, I called your help line and they assured me that you had enough cash on hand, and now you say you don’t. She said, the help line doesn’t know anything about the local branches. I was really fuming now, I said, “Is there another branch in the area that does have enough cash on hand to close my account?” With a totally disgusted look, she said, I’ll have to call to find out. I said, “Would you do that?” So she gets on the phone and calls another branch about five miles away and asks them. Yes – they have enough on hand to close the account. While she was still on the phone with the other branch, I told her – tell them I am on the way and to have the cash ready. With that, I walked out of the bank and went to the other branch, got my cash and closed the account. I have to admit that the young lady at the other branch was very nice and closed my account with no problem – but didn’t ask why I was closing it.
At these two branches, no one ever asked me: Why are you closing your account? Is there anything we can do for you? Would you like to speak to a customer representative or manager?
You would think that banks today would want to keep any business they had, I guess not. I will be opening a new business account at my wife’s bank today – and you can be sure that they will welcome my business.