Fifth Third Bank Terrible HSA, DO NOT OPEN AN HSA ACCOUNT Internet
Here is the body of a letter sent to Fifth Third Bank describing my unfortunate and frustrating experiences with Fifth Third Bank HSA.
The most recent is the institution's mistakenly designating my account as a FAMILY
account rather than an INDIVIDUAL account. This is totally absurd because I
have never been married and I have no children, so there is absolutely no
possible way that I would have designated myself as a family account. Because
of Fifth Third Bank's error, I ended up over contributing to my account in
2011, and now face possible penalties from the IRS. I am ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS!
Fifth Third Bank's poorly constructed website makes absolutely NO INDICATION WHATSOEVER as to
whether an account is a family account or an individual account. NO INDICATION!
If Fifth Third Bank had internal checks in place, it would have noticed that I
am SINGLE with NO DEPENDENTS and NO BENEFICIARIES. Why would someone SINGLE
with NO DEPENDENTS and NO BENEFICIARIES have a FAMILY plan??!
Because of the website's poorly constructed user interface, Fifth Third Bank's lack of internal
checks, and the insufficient training of Fifth Third Bank's representatives, there was no way
for me to catch Fifth Third Bank's error. However, a Fifth Third Bank
representative had the perfect opportunity to inform me of Fifth Third Bank's
mistake in early 2011 when I called up to verify the maximum contribution
allowed. My understanding was that an individual's maximum was about $3,000 but
your website was showing that I had a maximum nearly twice that amount. When I
told the representative that I thought the maximum contribution was about
$3,000, she should have told me that the lower level was for INDIVIDUALS and
the maximum appearing on my profile was for a FAMILY. But she did not, even
though my profile clearly shows that I am SINGLE WITH NO DEPENDENTS AND NO
BENEFICIARIES. I guess she wasn't trained to put two and two together. She just
told me what was showing in my account profile was the correct maximum amount.
And again, there is NOWHERE on the website that indicates what the
family/individual status of the account is SO THERE IS NO WAY I WOULD HAVE
KNOWN THAT FIFTH THIRD BANK MISTAKENLY DESIGNATED MY ACCOUNT AS A FAMILY
It was not until AFTER I made a $6,000 contribution for 2011 that I found out my
legal contribution limit was only $4,050. When I called up to find out why my
maximum was listed as over $6,000 on Fifth Third Bank's website, I was finally told
that I had a family account. The representative has since corrected it, but
still, THERE IS NOWHERE ON THE WEBSITE THAT SHOWS WHAT MY ACCOUNT STATUS IS.
Furthermore, the damage has been done and it will cost me in IRS penalties even
though it was Fifth Third Bank's negligence.
This experience was on the heels of another bad experience with Fifth Third Bank's
customer service a year earlier when I made a deposit into my Fifth Third Bank HSA.
After the ~$3,000 deposit was transferred from my bank account to my Fifth
Third Bank HSA, I noticed about a third of the amount was not showing up on the
website. Ultimately, it turned out that my maximum transfer setting, or something
like, was set below $3,000 so part of the money went into another deposit
category. It took many months and much back and forth with Fifth Third Bank before
an HSA representative figured out what happened and how to get the funds back
in my account and available to me. It was actually a very simple fix, but more
than one of Fifth Third Bank's customer service representatives couldn't figure it out so it
dragged on for MONTHS.
Then there are other minor ways that Fifth Third Bank's customer interface is frustrating. For
example, the Contribution Correction form that I now have to fill out to
correct the Fifth Third Bank error I described at the beginning of this letter,
asks for the account number. I looked on the website for my account number, but
it is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND (sound familiar?). Turns out your website presents
the account number as the Employer Employee ID but Fifth Third Bank's forms ask
for an Account number. Please tell me how a Fifth Third Bank HSA
customer is supposed to know that the Employer Employee ID is the same as the
Account number? I didn't want to make an assumption and put an
incorrect number on the form and then fall into yet another Fifth Third Bank
morass. Then, of course, I had the displeasure, ONCE AGAIN, of sitting through
Fifth Third Bank's phone systems LONG list of automated choices before I could speak to a
representative and then give every single bit of personal ID information under
the sun before I can actually ask where to find my account number on the