US Bank loses 5+ year customer over a penny
WASHINGTON -- My husband and I have banked with US Bank now for nearly 6 years. We have had a few minor problems over the years, ranging from our debit cards being frozen the 1st time I purchased something online (they wanted to be sure the purchase came from us) to money being taken from our personal account in error to pay someone elses car note (they returned the money immediately and of course apologized, with the explanation being that it was a miss-key error when entering the bank account info).
3 years ago, my husband started his own business (sole proprietorship) and opened a business account with US Bank. Last July, he merged with another businessman and changed his business type (S Corp) and therefore his business account type changed, which meant he had to close out the 1st business account and start a new one. He had one outstanding check that needed to go through in the amount of 8 dollars and some change, so he left that much in his account and started the new one. He was off by ONE PENNY.
On February 17th, 2007, I had our personal account pulled up online and was paying bills, when I noticed that a charge for $391 and some change had been processed on 2/13/07 with the reason "overdraft recovery" listed. I was puzzled because I have not had any overdraft fees on our personal account since we opened it. I called Customer Service and had to hang up on the first person I talked to b/c she kept telling me she couldn't even see the charge but would open a "research form" for me and someone would call me back in 3-5 business days. I called back and spoke to another CS rep who seemed to be very helpful. While she couldn't tell me why the charge was on our personal account, she could tell me that it had come from one of the local branches in our city.
I immediately called the branch address she gave me and was informed that there was no one to talk to - it was Saturday and they were closing in one hour - and the only 'banker' onsite was with a client. I asked for a call back immediately and was assured I would at least get a call that day, even if I couldn't come in to speak directly to the banker. No callback occurred that day or the following Monday or Tuesday, so I again called their nationwide Customer Service and ended up speaking to Melissa in the "research department" who asked me if I had ever had another account with US Bank. I told her I had not, but that my husband had, and explained the reason for the change to his business account. She then told me that I might want to speak to the "other authorized signer" on my personal account and that from what she could see, it appeared that there was an old account with an outstanding balance that had never been paid but she couldn't provide me with any details b/c her computer only allowed her to look back 90 days! So, I asked her if US Bank was going to keep the $400 they had charged my personal account even though she couldn't really tell me why it had occurred, and she informed me that if I wanted to pursue this investigation, that I could order bank statements and research it myself - this coming from their "research department!!"
I called my husband and let him know that we needed to make an immediate trip to the local branch that this had occurred so we both took time off work to do so. We met with a banker, who proceeded to blatantly lie to our faces, by telling us that she too could only see back 90 days and that she would have to open up a research claim and that it may take several days. By then I was angry and I told her I was not leaving until someone could tell me what happened and how dare they think they can enter my personal account -without even notifying me - and take almost $400 in fees and then they cannot explain it! I also asked her if it was even legal to take funds w/o notifying me and she would not answer my question. She asked us to give her 24 hours to research.
The next day, after we did not hear back, my husband went back to the local branch and spoke to a different banker, who immediately was able to help him (by the way, he was new) and advised him that what had happened was that when he had closed out his first business account, he had been off by one penny, so when the last check went through, it showed a negative balance. US Bank had charged him $7/day on weekdays and $21/day on weekends, EVERY DAY, until they finally closed out the account in October!! My husband asked why he had never been notified about this, we had bought a house in May, and the business account still had our old address on it, but they did have his phone #. The banker didn't know. He stated he couldn't find any record of any attempts to contact my husband. And, the real kicker is, there was over $30 in check card rewards in that account, that my husband had forgotten about, yet US Bank didn't see fit to take the penny from that OR to give him that money.
In the middle of meeting with this banker, the branch manager, Peggy Onustack, came out and interrupted, stating to the banker that our case was already being handled by someone else and that he needed to immediately cease giving my husband information. When my husband said that he already knew what had happened and that all of this mess was over a penny, Peggy stated that she was aware and working on it. He asked if she was working on it, what did that mean, and she told him to come back at 4:00.
My husband called me and I arranged to leave work early to go with him at 4:00 to meet with her. As we were walking into the bank, Peggy saw us and met us halfway to her office, shoved a piece of paper in my hand and said she had taken care of everything and that they had replaced the funds in our account and started to walk us back to the door. I let her know that I wanted details and I wanted some answers and was not leaving until I had both. We went to her office where she proceeded to tell us exactly what the banker had told my husband, and put on airs that the whole thing was ridiculous and that she was going to be giving some feedback 'up the chain of command' about what poor customer service we had received and this was not what 5 star service was all about.
When she was done, I told her I wanted 3 things in writing: 1. confirmation that this 'mishap' was not going to show on my husband's credit report, 2. a letter from US Bank stating that no overdraft ever occurred and the charge to our personal account was in error and 3. a written statement as to whether or not US Bank is legally obligated to inform its customers that funds are going to be taken from their account prior to the action.
Peggy said she would make sure that I received all of these requests. This was Friday, 2/24/07, nearly a full week since I had first noticed the funds had been taken from our personal account. I followed up by sending written notification via email of our requests on 2/24/07. I have never heard back.
At this time, we are severing our relationship with US Bank and I am filing a complaint with the BBB and will not stop until my requests are met.
I wouldn't normally take time out of my day to post a complaint here, filing a complaint with the BBB, or spend the next few weeks stopping direct deposit of my paychecks and stopping all of my online banking, but if I stop and think about the amount of time wasted over one penny, I am utterly disgusted at the thought of doing business with US Bank another day. If someone had told me that this had happened to them, I almost wouldn't even believe it, it all sounds so ridiculous!!