A little over a year ago I was shopping around for a new bank and I went into Charter One. I sat down with one of the employees asking questions about their bank as I had done at a few others as well. I had mentioned that I had previously been with 5/3rd bank and was charged a $2.00 monthly fee. That was when the employee told me that Charter One Bank does not charge any fees, no monthly, no overdraft... nothing. That sold me, I signed up that day.
The first couple months went great, I got my free checks and signed up for the online banking. I deposited three checks totaling about $250, which the bank held for a little over three weeks. I, of course, couldn't wait three weeks to buy groceries.
I waited a week and a half, then decided that that was long enough for me to have to wait for the checks to go through. I went shopping and was then charged $132.00 by Charter One. As soon as I saw that I went into the local branch where I opened my account. I let them know that I was told they don't charge any fees, and they just about laughed in my face. I pointed out the lady who told me that and she, of course, denied everything. They told me the only thing I could do was to write a letter and hope they refund my money. To date I have written five letters and have yet to get a response or a refund.
I tried calling their 1-800 number, but it was a complete waste of time being on hold for a half hour the explaining the whole situation to a rude employee. So I tried emailing them next. Every single email that I sent had the exact same automated reply, some bank jibberish about how they can hold checks as long as they deem necessary.
My next bank statement after that included a $5.00 monthly fee. Again, I called the 1-800 number, waited 20 minutes on hold, then was met by yet another rude employee. She informed me that everytime I call that number I get charged and then hung up on me.
I have a few more horror stories about charges that I did not make and more fees that I seemed to have accumulated on a "totaly free checking" account which total $237.00. I have never ever had such horrible customer service, like they will do anything just to make a dime. Being a single mom, full time college student and working part time is hard enough without people scamming me out of money.
North Olmsted, Ohio