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EverBank Advertised Savings Rates Bait Advertising
Posted by TimHo on 09/29/2009
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- EverBank advertises 3 month teaser savings rates as well as higher than norm rates for "the entire first year". They are not bonafide offers never paid. Customer Reps refer to the notices in "fine print" justification.
Excerpt from letter to their president:
Timothy C Houghtaling
178 Vonda Kay Circle
Lexington SC 29072
EverBank Corporate Headquarters 27 September 2009
Mr. Frank O. Trotter, President
501 Riverside Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Mr. Trotter;

Last January I explored various money market/ banks wanting my business. EverBank’s advertising goal of being in the top 5% of ratepayers and the BankRate.com rating ‘four star’ quality rating lead my wife and I to your virtual doorstep.
Your advertisements were a three month 3.76% rate followed by 3.18% rate though the first year payable on up to a maximum of ten million dollars, much more money than we have.
I went through a lot of aggravation in order to set up and fund the accounts with my money and her money. I thought I could rest assured a bank with such grand presentation of goals would preclude any need for my continual oversight.
Recently I was finally able to review my financial records (life happened). I learned that the return rates on my account ending in *** for March thru June were not the 3.18% advertised but 2.17%. Today I am told the account is earning not 3.18% but 1.50%. My calendar has the ‘first year’ ending February 2010. What happened to the 3.18% first year guarantee you all put in writing? Even today the EverBank web site is advertising 1.77% first-year APY “all year long”. Too bad you all fib.
Secondly, my wife’s account ending in *** came with the same guaranteed 3.76% / 3.18% return rate “notification of deposit rates and yields”. Her statement dated 02/09/2009 reflected a 3.99% return for about twenty days. I now learned that in correcting clerical errors on your employees part, her account was converted to the account ending in *** and the return rate dropping to 2.06 for March, 1.65% March through June. Again, what happened to the 3.18% full first year you guaranteed in writing?
I asked those questions of Customer “service” representative Ms. Danielle today. Despite leaving the three month /first year rate offer valid for up to $50,000 (or ten million), EverBank (you all) now choose to claim the three month and one year enticement rate to be a “one per customer per lifetime”, the one year rate is now said to vary, that it is not as printed but “the average of the 3 month bonus rate and the current rate”. Ms. Danielle told me the rates and qualifications are all “in the fine print”. I have old eyes. I looked finding the one per household caveat but nothing about averaging returns to less than you advertise.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Bait advertising is an alluring but insincere offer to sell a product or service which the advertiser in truth does not intend or want to sell. The offer of 3.18% interest rate was not a bonafide offer. (EverBank’s) purpose is to get deposits on a basis more advantageous to EverBank by distorting reality.
The fact that, had I simply deposited our monies into one account, you would have provided the higher rate of return makes the EverBank one per household policy pure bunk, pure bait and switch.
The fact you make 90 point type bragging of “All Year Long” rates annotated by 6 point type footnote indicating “EverBank is only fooling (you)” makes your advertisement campaign unethical, improper, and perhaps illegal. I do not appreciate your grand double talking. Finding I have been “had” is not rewarding. I am forwarding a copy of this letter to those who may regulate EverBank.

Sincerely,
     
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