Charter One Bank has been a nightmare for the past 2 years, but the past 6 weeks have been unreal. I will be closing my account by Saturday, but maybe this story will help someone else avoid the pains I have had to endure.
Beginning of June, 2008 I checked my account and to my horror, it was negative. I watch my balance very carefully and called immediately to find out what had happened. It turned out that my gym's billing company had run my debit mastercard through three times and had taken $80 and placed it on hold, causing a cascade of NSF charges to be assessed to my account. I had no gas in my car, no food in my house, and was in need of med refill, so you can imagine my panic when I discovered this. The Charter One rep told me that the gym would have to call back and void the other two charges off my account. Of course, that would NOT put the NSF money back, but I figured we'd cross that bridge later. I called the gym and gave them the information. They called me back and told me that the bank would not remove the charges unless I was on the phone WITH him (information I could have used during the first call). So, I set up a conference call with Citzen's Bank and the gym and FINALLY get the charges dropped. Now, how to handle the NSF fees? The bank reverses one as a 'courtesy' (forget the fact that I have spent all day on the phone and have a stomach ache now), but I am still out $74 bucks. The gym immediately ran a credit through for the other two fees, but as you know, charges post right away, credits take 3-5 days, so I was scrounging for several days waiting for everything to settle down. It was a nightmare.
Fast forward 2 weeks to the middle of June, next pay period. I decide to use my debit mastercard again (I just will never learn...) at Tim Hortons because I have a hankering for a combo meal and I grab one for my son too. Total charge? 11.66, but the lady fat fingers it and runs through the charge for 116.66. Realizing her mistake, she immediately runs through a void charge for the same 116.66 and hands me all three receipts. I think nothing of it until I realize that my account is really off. I call the bank and lo and behold, my money is locked up again to the tune of 116.66. I tell the cust service rep that I have the void receipt in my hand and I can give her time of day, authorization code, etc and she gives me some kind of lame excuse, "well these charges post in batches." I say, "Ma'am, the three receipts have the same batch number, and the 11.66 has already posted to my account. Why haven't you handled the other two yet?" I even offer to scan the receipts and email them to her. "I'm sorry we don't have email." Yeah, that's a lie. I go to the Charter One local branch and end up in a screaming match with the local branch manager who calls one of the Citizen's managers who FINALLY acknowledges that yes, it is a mistake, and removes the hold. I yank my money out of the bank before they change their mind, but heh, stupid me, I leave the accounts open.
Here we are again, beginning of July, and history repeats itself. Billing company double charges my gym fee, I call and set up a conference call to get the charge removed... but wait! What's this? They hang up on me... 2x! The first person didn't want to wait while I conferenced in the gym person, the second person got mad when I asked for a manager. I tried a third time and just asked for manager right off the bat. Now this guy gives me a totally DIFFERENT story... he says, "I am sorry, but the gym has to call us, you can't, that's our policy." I tell him we went through this last month already. We tried that. The manager says, nope that's the policy, and I don't know why you are having problems with it we have people call in all the time, yadda yadda. I call the gym back and give them my bank account number, the bank phone number and ask them to call please. The gym tries again. No good, she didn't have the exact time of the day that the charge posted. By this time we have been on the phone all day again and the billing company is closed, so we are going to have to call tomorrow and see if we can get the time of day and maybe THEN they will get rid of the dup charge.
So, here I sit waiting till tomorrow to see if I can get this dup charge removed or not. And I am sure that there are some out there who will say, hey, it's the billing company's problem. Well, they are the ones who ran the charge through multiple times. But my problem is that Charter One doesn't want to fix the problem, doesn't care that my money is stuck, and really doesn't care about me as a customer. My customer experience has been horrible. Of the 4 reps I talked to today only the manger wasn't rude, 2 of them hung up on me, and this isn't the first time I have had bad experiences with their main reps. They are USUALLY rude. I hate calling in, it is horrible! They don't fix mistakes without tons of pain and agony, and they don't want to make the customer experience a positive one. I trusted Charter One with my money, my livelihood, and I can't have that tied up by someone else's mistakes. If Charter One can't manage those mistakes in a timely and POLITE manner, then I am not going to do business with them, and I would advise others to follow suit.
The saddest part of all of this is I LOVE my local branch, they are very nice. But Citizen's Bank gives them NO power to fix anything. They can't even see what is going on in my account.
My accounts, all 3 of them, 2 checking, 1 savings, will be closed by Saturday.