Brigitte Fires (brigittefires) wrote in bad_service,
Brigitte Fires

Dearborn Financial Credit Union (in Michigan)

I'm naming names and I'm not ashamed. This "credit union" made me so mad today that I'm working on leaving them as soon as I can get my auto loan switched elsewhere.

One year ago, my credit union merged with DFCU. It seemed like it would be an alright deal at the time, and well it should have been.

But then as part of the merger, they put my grandmother's name as a joint account holder on my checking and savings account. She is co-signed on my auto loan, so it's not COMPLETELY out of the blue, but at no point were we warned prior to this happening, nor was I as the legal account holder and taxpayer on the account notified or better yet ASKED before this happened. I only even discovered it because they sent my grandma's member number and account numbers to my address (yet they sent my mother's to her address, and she is also a signatory on my account).

The logic they gave me is that unlike my old credit union, DFCU has a policy that any signatories on loan accounts must be members with checking and savings accounts. I do understand that logic, but to just allow her access to my accounts without my permission? What? Why not just give her her own accounts?

In this instance, it ends up being OK. My Grandma and I are totally cool, and my parents deal with her banking. However, only a few years previously, I had a loan account with a roommate as the co-signer, and if that roommate had been given access to my accounts she would have cleaned me out in a heartbeat! Thus, I was angry and concerned about this being done without my permission.

The short version of this section is that I called 3 times and went into a branch once, only to be told that my grandma has to APPLY--pending approval--to be removed from the account. As she currently has no idea that she has this account [my parents' decision, since Dad has POA anyway], and I don't feel it should be required for us to put forth the effort to get her removed since it's DFCU's fault she was put on to begin with, we're at a stalemate. I even had one call center employee laugh at me and hang up, since I couldn't go into a branch at that time to do anything about what with me living 2400 miles away from the nearest branch.

So I kind of gave up, decided that the situation wasn't dire enough to deal with right now, and my partner's dying father was a bit more important. I figured as soon as I get that f^&!#g auto loan paid off, I'll just close my accounts.

Well, my mom uses that account to send me money, and she has an emotional attachment to it since she opened it 4 credit unions ago, 2 weeks before I was born. I'm sure she feels like it's the only legitimate physical connection she has with me. Isn't that sweet? Anyway, so it gets money put into the account at least once a month, and I either throw it at whatever my next debt is on the snowball, or in the process of moving to take care of said dying future father in law, she has sent money for gas and the like. It's not like this account is lying dormant!

Saturday I realize my account's available balance is negative, and I review my transactions. Can't find a reason for that. Sunday evening I check my account and available balance is positive again, but I call my mom to put money in the account in case of my bad math so it doesn't actually overdraft when things clear on Monday, and I'll pay her back when it's resolved--which she does, no problem, just like usual I see it in my account right away.

Monday morning I see an insufficient funds fee. Here's the funny part: the insufficient funds fee hit AFTER all known transactions, and brought my account to a POSITIVE balance of $18.

Needless to say, I called. They explained that there was a pending HOLD for a restaurant... but the charge from that restaurant had already cleared, with the tip included. Pending hold is for the pre-tip amount, and it's from a week ago already. They say they will release the hold and refund the fee, no problem, though hey behave as if they're doing me a favor. I'm not sure how it's a favor to not charge me an insufficient funds fee when my account still has $48 in it and no pending charges.

Today, on a whim, I check my account again. Another insufficient funds fee, from Monday after the reversal had cleared. I called again, and they argued with me. My phone records say I was on the phone with them for 47 minutes and 32 seconds, trying to get them to reverse this fee. Are you ready for this logic?

Balance was $114.
THEN, Charge A for $72 (except by their own data, this charge is what brought the balance to $114).
HOLD B for $62 (which should have been removed by the day after the charge above)
Charge C for $36, 4 days after the hold should have been removed. --Should leave balance of $78, but according to them this left a balance of $15 and change.
Charge D for $29, 2 days after that. This is the charge that, according to everything above, OD the account, by ~$15.

They decide that because B + C = less than D, then D ODs the account. THEN they decide that because B + D = less than C, then C ODs the account. Problem is, the actual charges that clear --C + D-- are not enough to OD. Better yet, B + C + D in any order does not OD the account by two transactions, certainly not by the time they all would have cleared due to the deposit, though they charge me two fees anyway.

And yet it still took 40 minutes for the rep to conclude that maybe he should remove the second fee. Now, I understand if there was some sort of error in the case of the restaurant double charging me that needed to be sorted out, though according to them if that had actually happened then they would have no problem refunding the fee. But since at no point did the account overdraft, at no point did the hold for the pre-tip amount of my check get sent in as an actual charge, and since they charged me two fees for one (non-existant) overdraft, it's "not [their] error" and "not [their] responsibility." Because "everything goes through according to original transaction date, not when it was sent to us." So those immediate deposits my mom sends? Won't cover any accidental overdrafts, even if they're 5 minutes apart. (I even clarified this logic with the rep, he agreed.)

I checked with my two other credit unions today [one for my joint account with my partner and one to which I want to transfer my auto loan so I can ditch DFCU]. According to their employees and the one I spoke to on Monday at DFCU, federal regulations stipulate that internal deposits clear immediately, before any pending transactions. Moreover, overdraft fees cannot be charged until the charges have CLEARED completely--as in, not pending--and holds cannot be considered in whether or not the account overdrafts. So, they violated all of these things to get two fees for one non-OD out of me, and then gave me a scolding for not keeping track of my available balance, even though I did!

Best part? He told me that if my available balance is negative, I have until the opening of the next business day to make a deposit, as deposits clear first. But if you recall, one paragraph above the same rep said it didn't work that way!!

After all that, he tried to get me signed up for a line of credit to avoid over drafting in the future. I was so mad I was literally seeing red and couldn't form words anymore, so after a little sputtering I was able to tell him that after such stupidity I had no desire to use any more of their services, and that I would be closing my account as soon as I transfer my auto loan. I was afraid if he said anything else in that not-very-politely condescending tone I might scream at him, so I just hung up after that.

Summary: Family member gets put on as joint account holder without anyone's permission, call center rep laughs at me and hangs up on me when I ask them how to fix it. Now 2 overdraft fees for one non-existent overdraft and conflicting information. BONUS, other employees in the same CU and others stating that the actions here violate federal banking regulations.
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