I should start off by saying that this is the first time I have done this. I am a prior combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq currently on 30-day leave following a rough 12-month tour in the mountains of Afghanistan.
On my first day back in the United States, my card was locked up for "Unusual spending" - according to the polite young lady on the phone. This is significant not only because I sent my orders to the bank in regards to the deployment and redeployment dates, but in addition the card was used less then 5 times in a 24-hour period. It was denied at a bar after several drinks, which made for quite an embarrassing evening with my men.
This issue was squared away within 72 hours. In other words, I returned to a bare, empty house, had over $25,000 in an account...but, no way to access it. My checks were with my family on the other side of the country, otherwise I would have been able to use my time off of work to take care of that. 2 weeks after this issue, my unit was collectively sent on "Block leave" - vacation. I used this time to see friends of mine in my hometown.
During a layover, I received a call from a teller at my bank. I was told that well over $10K from my account was drained in less then 3 hours. This is remarkable, because I was on a plane with my family during that time. Because of this issue, my account was obviously locked up - my card was completely useless, and I had roughly $120 of cash in my wallet.
I was thrilled that my bank took care of me in this way. This was mid-Saturday afternoon, I naturally assumed that nobody would be tracking these types of things at a small, local bank. I was told that they were very sorry for any problems caused by this, and that my money was refunded and I would receive a new card on Monday.
Monday - no card! I'm mildly shocked, however since I was staying with an old friend and his family, it really wasn't a big deal. I called the bank, verified all information with a nice and helpful young lady named "Katina", and simply went about my day under the impression that somebody made a slight mistake, and that I would receive my card the following day.
Tuesday - I am now out of cash, and my wife didn't bring checks. My card did not arrive, and I am starting to get a little upset at the circumstances. Thankfully, I am staying with some outstanding people who in spite of being in dire financial situation allow my family to go out to dinner with them and pick up the tab for food and for recreational supplies. The people at the bank are being extremely nice and helpful, verify all information, and inform me that the card will be sent to my vacation address that I am staying at. I am now under the impression that my card will arrive the following day between 9 and 5 the next day, with the next-day airfare charge being waved.
Wednesday (current date). No arrival of said card. The people I am staying with are very nice and helpful, but I'm in the starting stage of wearing out my welcome. I cannot reserve a hotel room or a rental car without a card that can be charged as collateral. I called the bank, and they were completely unaware of any replacement card being issued, and once again apologized for the circumstances. After waiting until late in the afternoon for the card, I once again call CB&T. I was informed that the card was indeed sent out, but to my home of record with the bank, which is between 800 and 1,000 miles from my location.
My extended family picked up the card for me at my home of record many miles away, and are currently sending it to my location. While this is not only a large hassle for them, they have been kind enough to send some cash via western union.
All personal who enter initial entry training ("Boot camp") in Ft. Benning, GA and do not file the proper paperwork beforehand are required to set up an account with this small, localized bank. While I am probably not writing this in the most correct fashion, I would rather not see my fellow Soldiers end up dealing with this issue like I have - I have lost time with family (staying home awaiting a package), money (I have been charged $25 three times for next-day airfare), and have been unable to actually sit back and relax with friends and family, which is all I wanted after a tour of getting shot at and blown up.
This is unacceptable in my mind, especially for a bank that supposedly prides themselves on honesty and treating their military service members right.