About six weeks ago, I received my first paycheck from my job and took it to open a new bank account. I chose a local credit union that I had used for about 13 years in the past before I moved out of the area, since my experience with them was good and they were about to open a new branch two blocks from my apartment. The employee I was working with told me about a new account they were offering that gave a higher interest rate for people who opted out of paper statements and did their banking online instead. I told him it sounded perfect and he went ahead and set it up for me. Supposedly.
When the employee had finished setting up my account, he told me that with the type of account I had opened, I would need a special online banking login and password that would be sent to me in an e-mail later that day. The e-mail never showed up in my inbox, so the next day I went in to see what was up. I talked to the same guy, who said "Oh, it looks like you don't have an e-mail address on file with us, I can add one for you if you like." I thought this was kind of weird since both my boyfriend and I had heard him read it back to me twice the day before, but I figured it just didn't get saved in their system or something, no big deal. He puts in my email address and tells me I should get the e-mail shortly.
Again, no e-mail. I tried to go online to see if I could set up online banking through the website, but I get an error message something along the lines of "Due to an error made when your account was set up, you are ineligible to sign up for online banking at this time." Confused, I go in the next day and go through pretty much the same song and dance with a different employee. He tells me that I will not be able to sign up through the website, but that he has fixed my e-mail address in their system and the email will arrive that night.
Surprise, surprise! Still no e-mail the next morning, but being that it was Saturday, I was going to wait until Monday to go back in and talk to them again. That day, I took my temporary ATM card to an ATM near my work (before someone asks, it was an ATM from my credit union), but it wouldn't let me withdraw any cash. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I checked my balance and my accounts are all at zero! There had been several hundred dollars in my checking account alone the day before that, so naturally I panicked. My immediate thought was that the e-mail they were supposed to be sending me might have gone to someone else, who was able to use my online banking info to clean out my account and I called customer service right away.
I spent an hour and a half on the phone with their automated system (there were no people working at that hour) only to have it reject all three of my account numbers, my social security number, and the answers to all of my security questions over and over again. I tried the general customer service number, a local customer service number, and the number on the back of my debit card and all of them connected me to that same system. When I got home from work my boyfriend and I decided to swing by the actual bank just in case someone was there (no one was), and when I double checked my balance on the ATM there, all of my accounts had the correct balances (to date the bank has not been able to explain this to me, nor have I been able to use their phone banking system).
Monday morning came around and I decided to try calling again instead of going in. The first woman I talked to was rude and unhelpful, and I ended up hanging up out of frustration. I called back a few minutes later and got a much nicer woman who told me that this e-mail I had been waiting for to set up my online banking did not exist, and she didn't know why I was even told that. She told me that I could just sign up online, and after she looked at my account she found that the guy who had set it up had disabled the online banking feature. That's right, he signed me up for an account that required me to use online banking, and then disabled that feature for the account. The customer service rep had to walk me through setting up online banking since I got an error message on every single page, but after about 20 minutes we did get it fixed.
A couple minutes later I checked the mail and found two debit cards had come for me. Both were for my account, both had my name on them, and each had it's own pin. I called customer service back and somehow got the same woman who had just helped me and she pulled up my account. She said "I don't know how to say this...it's really bizarre, but the person who set up your account set it up as a joint account with you as both parties. It even has your SSN here twice. They even charged you for a second debit card." She was able to correct it with no problem, but seriously? I don't even know how someone could make that mistake in the first place.
The frustration hasn't ended yet! Apparently this credit union is now putting 10-day holds on all payroll checks regardless of when it clears, or so they tell me. So far this has meant that by the time the hold is lifted off of my check, it is payday again. I could understand holding a personal check for that long, or even a payroll check for 3 business days, but a 10-day hold on a payroll check from an internationally known company worth hundreds of billions of dollars seems really excessive to me. I was also told today that when my direct deposit kicks in (next pay period), they will be holding those funds for 3-5 business days as well, and the person I spoke with could not offer me an explanation as to why. I am...just baffled.