Isn't it great how our banks now allow us to pay bills online through their website? I've found it to be a great service, at least with other banks, like Chase and Bank of America.However, if you're using bill pay through Provident Bank - be prepared for trouble!In the middle of August, I closed my checking and savings accounts with Provident because they have have an unusually long check clearing time. Even though I'd had my account for some time, it often took 5-7 days to clear a Bank of America check I deposit on a biweekly basis.
So, I waited until all of my checks had cleared, and I went personally into the branch I often deal with, located in the Walmart in Abingdon, and closed my accounts.
On September 1st, I paid bills from my new account with Bank of America, which is so much easier to deal with.Imagine my surprise to receive an email from Provident on Monday, September 9, telling me that an automatic payment I set up months ago was paid on September 2, as a courtesy to me, even though my bank account was closed.
The email requested that I call them at 410-281-7111 to arrange to pay them back - yes, to pay them back for paying a bill from a closed account!When I called the number provided I spoke with Marcella in customer service. She advised me that the bill pay service was separate from the checking account service, and that it appeared I HAD NOT CLOSED THE BILL PAY ACCOUNT. (what?!) She told me she was so sorry that the teller who closed my account didn't tell me that the bill pay portion of my account had to be closed separately (in order to keep money from being deducted from a non-existent account!)
So she referred me to the internet bill pay department at 1-888-217-1264 where I spoke with Kirk, who told me that the SO helpful Marcella had closed my bill pay account service for me as of today. So nice of them to finally do their internal paperwork. He told me he was so sorry that the teller who closed my account didn't tell me that the bill pay portion of my account had to be closed separately (in order to keep money from being deducted from a non-existent account!) However, he told me that he couldn't help me, so he referred me to the collections department, where I spoke with Marilyn at 877-346-5272.
She gave the same I'm sorry story, but then proceeded to tell me that I wolud have to repay Provident the $43.00 and then get the money back from the receiving company who collects fees for my HOA.Marilyn told me that the bill pay departtment sends the money first, and then looks at the bank account to see if they have enough money to pay it, or even if the account still exists.Luckily, I had only one account set up to pay by bill pay.
For those of you dealing with Provident who may have 10, 20 or even more, this could be a very very costly experience when you close your Provident accounts.If these closely connected departments can't get their act together, I expect that the other departments, such as mortgages, loans, credit cards, CD's, money markets, IRA are in just as much disarray.Consumer beware, this is NOT a well run bank....hope your accounts are insured.