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Nightmare - Jumping Ship!
Posted by Mbadger259 on 09/23/2011
I will start by saying that I NEVER write reviews. Good, bad or indifferent, I never write them. I have no good reason or excuse, I just don't take the time. However, this time I have pushed to the point that I think people need to know before they sign on with this bank.

I opened a car loan with M&T this past June and have had nothing but headaches since. The first month's payment was made at my local branch. I had to wait in line for almost 30 minutes to make this payment (with no apologies for the wait) so I decided I would make the payments through my banks online bill pay.

I sent the September payment out a few days before it was due and did not think about it again. I received a past due notice yesterday and immediately called M&T. The customer service representative was shockingly rude and totally unwilling to help. I told her my story and she said, "Well, the payment is not here." I asked her to investigate a little to make sure that there were no errors made. She just kept repeating that the payment wasn't there. Infuriated, I hung up. I called my bank this morning and they confirmed that payment in the form of a bank check was sent out on the 8th. I called M&T back and explained again the situation. This woman told me the same thing the lady last night did, "Gee, the payment isn't here." I told her that I understand that but I am looking for some basic customer service help. I asked her if my bank sends proof of payment can they waive the $49(!!) late fee. She said proof of payment does not mean anything to them because the payment has not been received. I then asked if they would waive the outrageous fee if, when the payment arrives, they see that it is dated 9/8/11. Her response was that a machine processes the incoming payments and nobody will see or note the check date. I suggested that there is a possibility of an error on their end and maybe my payment was mishandled by "the machine." She told me that was not possible and that she was not able to go to Maryland from Delaware to hand check all the mail to find my payment (yes, she really said this to me). I have not been this furious or disgusted with "customer service" in a long time. I reminded her that this debacle is affecting my credit rating. She assured me that this issue would not be reported for another 14 days. I am speechless.

Customer service 101 would suggest that you tell the customer you will notate the account that payment is on the way and when it arrives we will verify the payment date and adjust the fee accordingly. I have worked in CS for many years and treating customers that are spending their hard earned money with you like they are liars is the fastest way to lose respect and their business. So, this weekend I am moving my business to a different bank.

STAY AWAY FROM M&T!

     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-09-24:
You can make a complaint via http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov
You've all ready taken the most effective action: getting rid of M&T Bank.
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Policy Change?
Posted by Kris10 on 09/22/2011
When I opened my account last year, the way things were explained to me, and the way it appears in the papers that came with my account is that if I accidentally over draw my account by less than $10 I won't be charged a fee. However I accidentally over drew my account by $3.80 because 2 checks I had written months ago and forgotten about finally came out of my account.

But the checks were for $15 each. that's what over drew my account by $3.80.

Then I saw the Overdraft Fee of $37.

So I called to ask why that was applied and see what they could do about it. I don't have a problem paying a fee for ODing my account, but $37 on $3.80 seems a bit extreme and it was a mistake and I admit that. Hell I offered because of how my paper work is to pay half of the fee for my mistake, even though my paper work makes it seem like I have a $10 grace.

It's now been explained to me that no, that's not how it is. If the purchase that over drew your account was less than $10 you won't be charged. (again, this is NOT what is in my paperwork. It can't even be twisted that way in the paperwork I have from when I opened my account) So as long as you have $.01 in your account you can still make a $9.99 purchase and be fine. How is that fair?

Anyway, I thought that everyone else that banks with M&T and has a "My Choice" Checking account should know this.

It was a nasty surprise for me and yes, I know, I made a mistake and I know this is how they make their money. But I'd be so much better if they'd only charge a fee of whatever you overdrew your account by. Because $37 on $3.80 means I'm going to go without grocery shopping for 2weeks until I get paid again.
     
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Posted by leet60 on 2011-09-22:
M&T bank, like almost every bank I have seen, puts a caveat into their terms for checking accounts: "Unless otherwise specified, all advertised offers and terms and conditions of accounts and services are subject to change at any time without notice. "

It sounds like they changed the terms, which is not suprising considering the recent uproar regarding overdrafts in the banking industry.

In reality, the issue comes down to entering all transactions into a checkbook register and balancing it monthly.
Posted by Kris10 on 2011-09-22:
leet, while I understand your view, I respectfully disagree. I have a spreadsheet on my computer that I use, and yes, I forgot to enter one of my transactions into it and that's one thing that contributed to the OD. But Actually using a register is not viable for me as I use my card more than my check book.

I also think they should be required to give notification of changes as that affects their customers. I know they're not 'required' to, but it would be customer friendly if they did. So far, I've been very happy with M&T. This is the first major snag I've found.
Posted by leet60 on 2011-09-22:
Kris10. My comment was not meant to be a personal attack, rather a general comment that few people use any tracking whatsoever on checking accounts with the advent of debit cards. I can understand missing a single transaction, the resulting overdrafts.

I also agree that changes should not be made without notification, the fact that they are, however, is an unfortunate reality of the current banking system. High profit from overdrafts has led to these practices.
Posted by bcd on 2011-09-22:
"using a register is not viable for me as I use my card more than my check book"

Why are you unable to enter debit card transactions in your checkbook?
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-09-22:
I don't use a debit card but have local friends who do. They keep a paper check register handy and write down each transaction just as they would if they wrote a check. They do not rely on the online bank balance. Anyone who ever wrote checks and didn't log or balance the register might not be willing to give it a try. I think the real problem might be for those with a really close balance and a deposit might not be recorded at the bank for a number of days. Many banks seem to change their policies from day to day and YES, the customer is often unaware of the change until he is hit with a fee he didn't expect.
Posted by Kris10 on 2011-09-23:
bcd, I had an experience once that because I don't use my check book that often, I actually lost it in a store and there were then fraudulent transactions made with my account number. So, i don't carry it unless I know I'm going to need it.
Posted by Kris10 on 2011-09-23:
leet, I understand that. I didn't mean to make it seem like you were attacking me or anything. I didn't even take it that way.
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Bought my bank, and it was so bad that I closed all accounts
Posted by Fire4511 on 03/24/2011
I had both business and personal accounts with a local bank, and was very happy with both the service and the lack of fees (free checking) that I had. My bank was purchased by M&T (or as I pronounce it "empty") and everything went downhill fast. The second time that I went to the "new" bank (they actually closed the branch that I had been dealing with because they had an existing one nearby) to make deposits into both my personal and business accounts, they messed it up. They put money into my personal account that should have been put into the business account. The lead to overdrafts on my business account which they paid, but charged a fee to do.

When I went back to the bank to find out where my deposit was they told me that it was my error, and I had deposited the funds into the wrong account, even though I gave them copies of the deposit slip. They agreed to give me a "courtesy credit" on my account for the fees. I had to write a personal check to the business account to cover the money that was supposed to have been originally deposited into the business account.

When I asked for the copies of the deposit slips back, the woman mysteriously could not find them. They wanted to destroy the evidence of their error.

I am not stupid enough to bring my only copy of anything to a dispute, and I told her that it was not a big deal, I had additional copies that I would be sending to the corporate headquarters. Her face dropped, which told me that I could not trust the employees there.

I went the same day and opened a new business account at a different local bank. As soon as that was done, I wrote a business check on the M&T account, leaving a balance of under $5.00. I also went to my credit union, and opened a checking account there for personal use. (They do not offer business accounts)

Before the end of the statement cycle, I went into the "empty" bank and closed my accounts. Three weeks later I got a notice that I owe fees on my business account, that they had not posted when I had closed the account. For six months I got letters and phone calls demanding payment. A letter from my lawyer seems to have gotten it straight, but in any case they will never see another dime of my money.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-24:
If I read this correctly, this was over a deposit that was credited to the wrong account, in your name. A fairly understandable mistake, perhaps one wrong keystroke by the CSR, if she had both your accounts on one screen.

If you had copies of your deposit slip, I am surprised you didn't present these to the bank so that they could refund any fee they may have charged you to correct the alleged error.

Bank mergers are tough. I had MBNA, which I loved, and then they were bought by BoA.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-03-24:
trmn8r, you did not read it correctly. Try again. You missed some MAJOR points.

The deposit slips WERE presented. And mysteriously lost.
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Never Open Safe Deposit Box at M&T
Posted by Raleigh60 on 03/10/2011
TOPTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- Do not open a safe deposit box at any M&T Bank.

If you do or already have one, make sure that you never close out a safe deposit box before your paid up year / annual fee is up. While most other banks will prorate a refund for the portion of the year that remains. M & T Bank does NO refund. I had a safe deposit box with them for many years. The $125 annual box fee was paid in full in January. This fee is also quite large for the non-metro location. The box was closed out in mid-March --- approximately $90 they keep. The "theft" of this is that they can still rent the box during the time that remains of my $90 and make an additional $90. The "customer service" staff just kept repeating the "company line." What a convenient way to make a substantial profit. This is true double dipping.


     
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Posted by saj80 on 2011-03-10:
I bank at a local community bank, and they do not prorate safety deposit box rents. If you pay for a year and cancel early, no refund, so this is not an isolated incident involving large, commercial banks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-10:
I pay $30 a year for my safe deposit box at my local credit union. There is no refund once you pay the yearly fee.
Posted by BEJ on 2011-03-10:
My bank does not offer a refund or pro-rated refund for cancellation of term early. I think that this is pretty standard everywhere.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-10:
I have never heard of a bank prorating safe deposit box fees on a closed box (though it makes sense that they should).

Safe deposit box fees skyrocketed around 5 years ago. Now I deposit my valuables in the Mattress Bank LLC.
Posted by wwabc on 2013-10-04:
M and T offers a free safe deposit box with their checking (as of this comment 2013) - may be a moot point.
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Let me save you some money.. don't deal with M&T's irresponsible and unorthodox methods
Posted by Learnthehardway33 on 11/27/2010
I don't recommend M&T at all. I called in for a stop loan payment on my checking account that is automatically withdrawn 2 weeks in advance and to have some kind of payment book or mail delivered to me so I can get them the money. This is all due to the fact that I'm vacationing in California for awhile and M&T doesn't exist out here. so the customer service gentleman told me everything was cool after I gave him the information he asked for to complete the task. Down the road I hadn't received any mail and went on-line to check. Sure enough there's a overdraft of $81.92 and the loan payment normally of $45.71. So I called their very rude customer service and explained things very rationally and calmly tho no lie I was extremely pissed when they were telling me there was no record of anything and there was nothing they could do. I spoke to the woman very nicely even tho she was a very rude customer service representative about the situation and I just wanted to reverse the charge that was made and have the paperwork that I needed to make the payments sent to me to California from Pennsylvania so they could get their money. I just didn't want the overdraft charge due to MAYBE SOMEONE POSSIBLY HADN'T DONE THEIR JOB???? I eventually spoke to a supervisor and explained it to her. She was even more nasty. I talked to her about the gentleman who possible hadn't done his job but she would not have any of my side of the story. Throwing bank regulations and policies at me raising her voice every-time I would try to get a word in. As there was no proof except the time I called it in which should be proof enough that I DID speak to this gentleman. There are many things they could have done for me and we couldve worked it out but M&T throws a fit over a small $37 overdraft fee that they lost my business once I pay them the $81 I "owe" them. Most customer service centers and bank personnel respect those customers who try to understand the banks side and not scream at employees when something goes wrong. Most Bank employees will try to help you and do what they can if you present your case nicely... Not M&T My advice I was being responsible with the knowledge I was given. I was respectful and courteous to the staff because if I was them I wouldn't want someone screaming at me either. In the end you just get stepped on by M&T. Worst Bank experience but its just my opinion.

aside from the above statment.
Very nasty customer service, tons of hidden fees and fine print, takes forever for a check or transaction to clear, employees don't have any compassion or common sense; they are a slave to the bank and will spew the regulations at you till they pass out.

M&T is by far the worst bank I've ever dealt with and this experience is just one of many problems m&t has given me. Save the trouble and go elsewhere.
     
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Terrible Service, Horrible Consumer Relations
Posted by RBorek on 09/27/2010
SINKING SPRING, PENNSYLVANIA -- M&T Bank (4830 Penn Ave, Sinking Spring, PA 19608-8601, Contact Mark Katkovcin 610-776-6424) has joined the masses of banks forcing exorbitant overdraw fees on consumers, even when the overdraw is their own fault. In one case, mine, the phone representative--who is apparently held to no responsibility--said my account was fine, and I intended on closing the account entirely. When I attempted to close the account, I was instead informed I owed them hundreds of dollars. Their manager promised to fix it, then disappeared for six months. Every subsequent attempt to contact was rebuffed until I received a collections letter for almost $1100! That's over a thousand dollars in overdraw fees when the bank was at fault.

Upon contact with M&T phone representative around 05/1/2010, was told that all current balances were okay and explicitly told that no charges would come out of my account. One week later, received $250 in charges. Upon speaking with the supervisor for previous phone representative around 05/10/2010, was told that clearly that I was either lying or wrong. Contacted local bank and district managers to clear up the situation. Their phone representative caused the issue with an inaccurate misrepresentation. Was told by Mark Katkovcin, Administrative Vice President, around 05/14/2010 that he understood and this issue would be cleared up. He passed it on to Sonia Torres at the local bank. A month later around 06/07/2010, I sent an email to Mark Katkovcin asking for an update. I did not receive any response. Around 09/23/2010 I received a collections bureau notice that I now owed approximately $1100. This consists mostly of overdraft fees, extended overdraft fees, and late fees. The actual overcharge is unknown. I had offered to pay the amount overdrawn, and was rebuffed and told to pay the overdraft. I asked for a courtesy refund, and was told that they could refund less than half of the fees. I refused. Around 9/24/2010 I was contacted by the bank vice president stating that since I refused to accept a partial refund they consider the case closed.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2010-09-28:
What caused the intial over draft?
Posted by RBorek on 2010-09-29:
The original overdraft was caused when I called saying that a purchase was Xoming through but a deposit hadn't cleared yet. I was assured the deposit would clear before the purchase. However, when I checked afterwards they charged me because the purchase--credit--was made prior to the deposit.
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Was is the limit for over drafting your account
Posted by Jbullock501 on 09/08/2010
What is the limit for overdrafting your account?
     
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Posted by Slimjim on 2010-09-08:
If you mean, how many times you can be charged for each unique dishonored check/item presented, I doubt there is one. If someone bounces 20 checks, most banks I know will charge for 20 returned items.
Posted by NickL11354 on 2010-09-08:
There should be 3 strikes rule. If you overdraft your account 3 times, your account gets closed and you get reported to chexsystems.

I am appalled by the arrogance and lack of personal responsibility that people think they can willy nilly overdraft their checking account for something as important as Starbucks Latte or McDonalds
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-08:
Or, if you're asking what the maximum dollar amount is that you can overdraft, I think it varies by customer and by bank. Why not just check with M&T Bank?

Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-09-08:
Ask here and you get opinions. Ask the bank if you want the facts. If you will read their terms it is probably spelled out in there.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-08:
I recommend everyone opting OUT of the OD protection. OD protection is nothing more than a way for banks to take advantage of people. Just get rid of it. that way if you are a HUMAN BEING and make a MISTAKE, you won't have to dish out hundreds of dollars to the fat man. I get sick and tired of hearing people bashing people about OD charges. Not only is it annoying to have to read, but people make mistakes. So get off your high horse and stop degrading people.
Posted by skelly39 on 2010-09-09:
Thank you, Prince. You said exactly what I was thinking and in a much nicer way than I was thinking it. NickL11354, that is not even close to an answer to the question, and you don't know the circumstances of the overdraft or why the person is even asking. Perhaps it would be wise to reserve those kind of judgments for the people that actually deserve it.
Posted by Connoisseur on 2010-09-25:
Hey, with our Treasury Czar Tim Geithner being a tax cheat along with Pelosis husband, Sent. Rangle and a whole host of criminals running the country, there is no such a thing as "irresponsible" anymore, it is the NORM. Let's face it Andrew Cuomo gave HUD approval loans HE KNEW could never pay back..........so hey nobody is irresponsible anymore. Right?

The truth is banks LOVE irresponsible people, they make money off of them.
The truth is it is hard to be responsible when TAXES are going through the roof and the wages are going into the basement. ..so to say.

I used to have a very high 'credit score', and was totally neurotic if i didn't have all my "ducks" in a row. Then I realized the politicians are so irresponsible DELIBERATELY stealing my wealth and redistributing it, while they themselves live high of the tax hog(us the taxpayers) while contributing nothing worthwhile..........in fact destroying the country, that I don't give a PH******K about credit score. Hey, all I have to do is whine to a credit lawyer and he will get it lowered............NOT. Technically though that is the sick state of affairs that theses lowlifes in public office reduced this once great nation to. Banks be d*****

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Bad Customer Service
Posted by Monc on 08/04/2010
I called M & T bank to discuss some over draft fees I was charged with. I spoke to a customer services supervisor who began to raise her voice at me. I told her I did not like the way she was talking to me, and she said "well I'm trying to explain to you" When I asked for her managers name she sacastically answered that she could give me the name of the CEO. Completely unprofessional!


     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-08-04:
You didn't like the way she was speaking to you? Or you didn't like the fact that the overdraft fees weren't waived?
Posted by yoke on 2010-08-04:
When you called were you calm or irrational? The reason I ask is it is very rare to get a supervisor when you call unless you ask to speak to one.Why the need to speak to a supervisor? Were you upset that they refused to waive the fee's?
Posted by Helpful on 2010-08-05:
Both WW and Yoke bring up good points.
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NSF Ripoff
Posted by Loutejada on 05/26/2010
MARYLAND -- So I had NSF fees in the past and I had not until recently been paying attention as to why. I always paid them thinking it was my fault. So this last week I paid attention and watched my account like a hawk. There was a charge in my account that was larger than I expected, but I made several small payments before that large one showed up on my account the next day the large payment was placed on my account late at night. So I figured I was gonna have one non sufficient funds fee. I had 8. What M&T bank does (unlike other banks that actually treat the customer right) is they placed the largest payment 1st, so all the other ones show up as if they were made in the negative when they were done the other way around. When I called about this, the manager told me that it did not matter what time the orders were placed, that it was the policy of the bank to place the large transactions first. Of course that benefits them because since they are paying all the other transactions that went through first anyway they charge you 37 bucks for each one of them. The manager on the phone refused to credit any of those fees.
So I have put a complaint with the BBB. See where that goes.
The fact is that they target fees so they can make most of the money from the low income folk, and that's why the new law that regulates fees was passed. Once that kicks in this August, the large item would have been denied so that I would have to arrange with that company what happened with the payment. So the timing does matter, of course the manager did not care.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-26:
Other banks do this too, like BoA, Key Bank, Wachovia, and others that I've read complaints here about. They do it under the guise of "helping" the customer by making sure their larger payments go through first cuz those are likely for mortgages, car payments, etc...when the reality is, if they're allowing ALL the charges to go through anyway, what's the point..other than to ding the customer as many times as possible!

It seems the only banks that don't do this are credit unions and smaller regional banks...and I think the new law goes into effect 7/1.
Posted by skelly39 on 2010-05-26:
Sorry OP, but every bank does this, and they do it precisely so they can take your money legally.
just cause is correct; a credit union won't do this to you. They post things in the order they come in-which is why I will never leave my credit union to go back to a big bank.
Posted by MaggieMcT on 2010-05-26:
BUT -- you can still avoid nsf fees entirely by keeping an accurate register and not overdrawing. Even a credit union will charge you an nsf fee if you overdraw your account.
Posted by skelly39 on 2010-05-26:
They will Maggie, but they won't reorder your transactions to maximize the fees. In an ideal world, no one would ever overdraw their account, but it happens, and the banks dive on it like vultures on a carcass.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-05-26:
just_cause, skelly: Dead on the money. You two see this for EXACTLY what is. A legal fleecing of the customer.

Most complaints are about the MULTIPLE overdraft fees, not the inadvertent single hit. Some here cannot wrap their minds around the concept that the bank is taking money (make that legalized theft) in a manner that credit unions do not do.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-05-26:
You're right loutejada. The new laws passing will not allow banks to process checks and over draft fees in this manner anymore, but as noted, it isn't currently a practice by M&T and maybe a few others. Pick any major bank and look up complaints here. I guaranty you'll see the same pattern over and over. There are a few regulations that have passed or will pass that were a long time coming.
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Hidden and all of sudden "debit fee"
Posted by Tontot on 05/24/2010
Recently I was hit with a “debit fee” when I transferred my money from M&T bank to another bank online. They never have any fees like that. And as far as I know, other banks (PNC, Bank of America,…) do not have any “debit fee” like that too. After contacting M&T bank, I was let know that they sent me a secured message in M&T system about 3 weeks before the fee started to apply.

WHY

- M&T not send me a physical letter to my address to let me know any fee structure change. I do NOT receive my statement online. What will happen to the customers that does not use M&T online banking. How do they suppose to know that?
- If M&T wants to save cost to send letter, at least M&T should call me or email an message to my email address

I am closing all of my 3 year old accounts with M&T today and switch my direct deposit to PNC bank.

     
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Posted by madconsumer on 2010-05-24:
bank of america has this fee if transfering to a bank other than bank of america. therefore the fee is correct to transfer money to another bank other than m&t.
Posted by tontot on 2010-05-24:
Thanks for your comment. I have no problem with the fee if they let me know ahead in an appropriate way, a physical letter. I will just stop using that feature.
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