• Report: #1108303

Complaint Review: First American Bank

  • Submitted: Thu, December 19, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, April 07, 2014

  • Reported By: kaori — Round Lake Beach Illinois
First American Bank
1650 Louis Ave, Elk Grove Village, Illinois USA

First American Bank deceptive marketing, dishonest practices Elk Grove Village Illinois

*Consumer Comment: From my opinion

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First American bank is offering its Rewards Checking products in bad faith. 

 

In November 2014 I have assisted my wife with opening of rewards checking account with the bank at their Lake Villa, IL location. When I opened my account in May I was told that the rewards checking account were limited as one per person. During the account opening I did not hide I had an existing relationship with the bank and account opening went on smoothly. Shortly I set up an online account for my wife so she could get a hold of her statements (online only), and do her banking accordingly. In November I also noticed that the bank has changed everyone's passwords due to the security upgrades so it requested its consumers to re-log again with new data. I have completed the set up  and since I had initial problem with account sign in I complained to the bank about this. The account was properly functioning. However on Dec 7th 2013 I noticed that the account password is no longer valid. I attempted to change it using the bank's own "forgot password" link but the process is being stymied by error reading after putting all of the necessary data for reference. (I have all available screen shots for review such as (the webpage has a redirect loop). When I contacted the bank's online dept , Mark of their dept refused to address the issue stating only that my wife is not entitled to have the account opened at the bank due to account's limitation. In both contacts in November and December I simply served as representative of my wife since she is not a fluent English speaker and the bank refused to provide an interpreter. Since I got no resolution I brought this issue up with the bank's president John Ward who at the time was a 9th person I spoke to about this issue at the bank. Mr Ward assured me that the issue will be addressed the same day and I will be contacted by a VP level person from his bank in regard online access.  Later that afternoon I was contacted by Ms Larsen, a manager of the branch where the account was opened. Unfortunately I was on teleconference call so I couldn't discuss the matter. During the call next day, however, I came to realization that the issue was not even brought up at all and Ms Larsen has a completely different purpose for the call. 

 

1) I was told that I'm (although my wife is a sole account holder) not entitled to have two rewards checking account as there is a limit of one per household. She also stated that my wife opened an account first in May and then I took advantage of the situation and opened it in November which is not true. For the record, I opened the account first and then my wife. Ms Larsen also stated that she will be happy to switch my wife's account to a to the free checking product( an essentially free money for the bank ) which carries very minimal amount of interest paid to the customer at the end of the statement period. If it is not done, she stated that I better close the account. When I brought the issue up with her that I didn't make a fact of secret that I had an existing account with the bank during my wife's account opening,  I was told that it doesn't matter what was said by bank's representative during an account opening. What matters is that my wife signed a disclosure and the account's conditions are on them. 

 

As online access issue was not addressed I contacted Mr Ward again. In response I received a call from his assistant who informed who once again reiterated the need for me to get a different account, a zero or close to zero interest bearing account. I was also told that the my wife's account was opened "in error" and he apologized for the trouble. He also stated that at this point he would like my wife to switch to other product aka very low interest bearing account regardless if the existing accounts requirements were met or not.  One again the issue of password activation and not having access to funds remained un-addressed. When I brought this issue up with Ms Larsen I was told that she will not talk about this and the president's assistant stated that this is not his dept to deal with. He also stated that at this point he would like my wife to switch to free checking account.  At this point I cannot confirm whether my wife's account also has had a "free checking" account like in my case set up that could lead me to the conclusion that the bank is steering its revenue costing customers to revenue producing or revenue neutral accounts contrary to the rewards checking conditions. Although the debit card transactions went through as recently as 12/10/2013 we have no idea whether there were an other charges or credits or changes posted to her account. We also have no way to verify whether the conditions of Rewards Checking have been met except of counting receipts.  As I checked my paperwork I do no see any consent given to for Free Checking account opening, only a Rewards Checking one. Both issues indicate a pattern where the bank is offering its rewards checking account in bad faith.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/19/2013 10:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/First-American-Bank/Elk-Grove-Village-Illinois-60007/First-American-Bank-deceptive-marketing-dishonest-practices-Elk-Grove-Village-Illinois-1108303. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

From my opinion

AUTHOR: MochaG - ()

After I read your report, I believe your issue -- cannot access your account online -- is from the mistaken authorized account creation. Because they finally found out that the account type was not supposed to be Reward Checking, they blocked/deleted the online account which is used to access. What they want you to do is to switch the account type to a valid type that they are offering. Once you properly switch the account's type, you should be able to use the online account access again (could be to create a new account related to the new account type or reuse the same, I do not know). It is a simple technical issue.

To me, the issue you are having actually is from the lower interest rate; however, the your wife account should not get the rate at all in the first place. I understand that this is the bank's fault that allows you to open the account for your wife with Rewarding account type. They actually tried to fix the problem/mistake by asking your wife to switch the account type. Did they take back whatever your wife has gotten for her account (i.e. retroactive the interest charge)? If not, they prefectly and legally did the right thing to correct their error. If they charge your wife for switching the account type (condition of account type is irrelevant), then it is a rip off.

All in all, your report is a rant from you because you are being taken away something you accidentally exploit because of the bank mistake. I believe you still keep whatever you have gained (the bank does not deduct back the interest you gained). You need to give up the exploitation and simply go back to the formal that others are given.

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