ED Magedson – Founder
Fifth Third Bank Of South Florida11511 SR 82 Internet United States of America
I discoverd I was being charged a fee for a "free checking" account. I received a call from Melissa, my friendly banking rep, asking me if I wanted identity protection. (Why is a bank selling something they should be doing in the first place?) I told her that I had this, free of charge, from AAA. She gave me some fancy excuse as to why 5/3 was superior. She said "I will just send you the information. Look it over and just sign and send it back if you want the coverage." Ok. Whatever.
Some months later, my account was overdrawn because a $7.50 "maintenance fee" was charged. What the...? I called my buddy Melissa and she said "oh, that's part of your account. We don't have free checking anymore." I said "Since when? I was told, by you, that I had free checking as long as my disability check was direct deposited. (Which it is.) She mumble-fumbled some words and said she would remove that charge and "switch me to an account where I wouldn't be charged any fees."
In the process of her reversing the charge, I got an overdraft fee. Then another. Then, $6 a day after that. I made calls everyday. Melissa was no longer available to talk to me. Messages for the branch manager went unanswered and calls unreturned. I called the national "Customer Care" center. (What a misnomer that is.) I was told that my "issue" would be reviewed by a supervsior and I would be called later that day or the next day "at the latest". Two days went by. $12 more dollars in overdraft fees.
I then went on the internet to find out who has the power over banks. It's the Federal Reserve. They have a nice section about the process of filing a complaint about a bank. I then called the help line 888-851-1920 and spoke to "Mr. Handler"- no relation to Chelsea. After reciting my tail of woe for the 40th time, he was very helpful. (and very friendly.) He suggested I call the "Customer Care" again (he said it funny, too, noting the oxymoron.) "You might mention you're going to file a complaint with the Federal Reserve if the issue isn't resolved".
I did just that. After eleven days, a phone call that lasted less than ten minutes wiped clean $108 of overdraft charges.
Is this what it takes to get someone to do their job? Making threats?
I called the branch today. I had another overdraft due to an insurance premium posting a day early and my disability check posting a day late. The branch advised me to, again, call "Customer Care". (hrumph!) I spoke to a female- she was so kind and curteous. I explained my tale of woe, saying "Customer service was SO helpful when the bank made an error last time. I know this time it isn't neccessarily the bank's fault. I was hoping that you could help me out. I'm on a fixed income and $33 is a lot of money to me. After a slight pause, she said tersely "We are not refunding ANY more fees for you, Mr. xxxxxx (my last name)"
Wow. There must be some pretty good comments about me in there system. I was very polite on every call I made. I am generally a nervous person, and it's not in my nature to argue angrily. After the rep said, saccharinly sweet, "Have a nice day!" I simply replied "Merry Christmas!"
Nothing at this bank can be done at the branch level except by some "mysterious" branch manager who is always unavailable. (Today, I was told he was out on vacation for two weeks.) So-nothnig will get done in the branch for two weeks? After their sickingly sweet greetings, the staff at the bank and the reps on the phone turn into gravly voiced demonic troglodytes with forked tongues, deaf ears and glass eyes.
I was really impressed by this bank at first. But soon found their seemingly friendly attitudes and happy greetings every time I walk in the door to be fake and disingenuous. I will be closing my account. The Evil Empire has nothing to do with geo-political rhetoric. It's reality: Banks, insurance companies and utility companies, et.al. Add your favorite to the list.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2009 02:27 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/fifth-third-bank-of-south-florida/internet/fifth-third-bank-of-south-florida-53-bank-unsympathetic-rude-and-greedy-internet-532379. 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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