If you have a National City account, cancel immediatly. If you are thinking about doing business with them: DON'T.
I've never had as poor a customer service experience -- not only because my requests were unsuccessful -- but because of the length of time I was put on hold, the difficulty I experienced in getting in touch with supervisors, and the general hostility of their representatives.
I left Chicago about two months ago, to be with my family in Massachusetts. When I left I didn't close my account, because I expected to move back to Chicago in December.
That was my mistake.
Within a month, I received a letter explaining an overdraft fee of $34. News to me, as I hadn't touched the account in weeks.
It turns out the auto-transfer of checking funds into my savings account was unsuccessfully cancelled. So $25 was taken out of my checking (with a $20 balance) and put into my savings for the month. As a result, I was immediately slapped with an overdraft fee.
I called the branch in Chicago and spoke to a rep. He refused to give me a main number to call but said he could handle it. Then I told him, please make sure I'm not getting charged $8 (the fee on top of the overdraft, for every day an account is negative balance) for the days it's taking to clear up the matter.
Now, I've never worked at a bank, but I have worked in customer service and know, however much a hassle it is to do a write-off or refund a fine, it's still always an option. I really couldn't imagine how someone, knowing the details of this fine, could not return my money.
Not hearing from him, I assumed the matter was corrected (big mistake, I know now.) I am home for family issues that take up enough of my money and time. But to be safe, I checked my account online-- my balance is now negative almost $100, -- $8 for every day it wasn't corrected.
So I called the guy at the bank and he admit he basically forgot to do anything. So then he said he'd take care of it again. About an hour later, I got a hostile call from him, telling me there is no possible way to cancel auto-transfers to savings using the online services.
"Well, I made the transfer amount $0.00. Nothing said, I can't do that." "Well, you can't do that!"
From there, I finally get a number to a main customer service rep who tells me: "We can only return the overdraft fee if it's an error of ours." "Well, it was an error if it didn't go through" "No it's not"
and so began a Kafka-esque struggle of trying to explain myself that after several different calls, still ended up with nothing.
To clarify again: I didn't just write a bad check at the Gap, this is money going from one of my accounts into another --automatically. And I cancelled that automatic transaction (or thought I did.)
I got the overdraft the second the transfer went out of my checking into savings. And that overdraft fee is what made my bank account balance zero.
To make matters worse, there's no way for me to pay this fine over the phone or internet. For a company so committed to automatic transactions, it's ironic they will only accept my payment in the mail (as there are no National City branches in Massachusetts.) So, basically, I'm fined $8 for every day that check goes through the mail.
I'm sure I could have handled it better, but the fact remains is: it's a terrible company policy. And it's a new policy: apparently up until last month, even the tellers had the ability to refund overdraft fees.