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Bank of the West - Oakland, CA / Lying to customers!

1 United States Review updated:

I have been a customer of Bank of the West located at 2127 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, since 2004. The account was on my name but never experienced any problem depositing or cashing any check, including checks payable to me and my husband, such as tax refund checks. The bank never required us to open a join account for this purpose, which was one of the reasons why I loved this bank. If only they did require us to open a join account for depositing or cashing this kind of check, we would not hesitate to open one, but they never did, so opening a join account there never crossed our minds.

In the beginning of 2005, my husband fell severely ill which caused him losing 100 lbs and almost losing his life. For 1.5 years he was fighting for his life, lying in bed (in hospital most of the time), depending on feeding tube, medicines and miracles to stay alive. His dying condition had forced me to be the sole decision maker on everything. That was why I became a payee (as advised by a Social Service agent) when we applied for SSDI.

The first SSDI check (with my name as a payee) received in November 2006 and we deposited it at the same branch of the Bank of the West. The teller didn’t inform us that we needed to open a join account for that kind of check and we experienced no problem at all since then, until...

l May 10, 2007, teller Lan (who actually was the one persuaded me to open an account in that branch) refused to deposit the same check (yes, we’re talking about deposit here, not cash in). She said we needed a join account for that kind of check. After a few minutes of arguing, we asked to speak with the Manager.

Hazim Elbgal, who according to his business card was a Customer Manager, showed up a few minutes later and informed us we couldn’t deposit the check unless we open a join account that my husband couldn’t access (how much sense does it make?). When we asked why they let us depositing that kind of checks all this time, he repeatedly answered, “I don’t know”, which is an irresponsible response considering these tellers were under his supervision. We ended up closing the account and opened a join account at another bank instead. See, if only they played nice, we would have opened a join account with them and this complaint would never been issued.

l On May 11, 2007, after consulting with a lawyer friend of ours, we sent a letter of complaint to Bank of the West demanding an explanation of the sudden change of policy on SSDI check’s acceptance (with the account holder’s name as a payee) and why we were never previously informed.

l 5 days later, May 16, 2007 at around 4:45PM, after sending multiple faxes with no response, a lady named Kim Rodriguez left a message (saying she would take care of it) and a call back number on our answering machine.

l The next day, May 17, 2007, my husband returned the call to find the phone number Kim Rodriguez gave us was disconnected and not in service. He tried twice with the same result.

l Friday, May 18, 2007, a lady named Margaret Teuysel (spelling might not be correct) who claimed to be the real Customer Manager called me at my office. Her statement as the real Customer Manager made me wonder: if she was the real Customer Manager, does that mean Hazim Elbgal was a phony one? Whatever she meant by real (she indeed emphasized this word), she acted as, if not more irresponsible as Hazim Elbgal by telling me the following lies:

She said my husband never returned their call at all (please re-read the last paragraph of page 1)
She claimed that on April 1st, 2007, we were depositing the SSDI check at their 2127 Broadway-Oakland branch and a teller named Denise helped us. During the transaction, Margaret claimed, teller Denise had informed us that it was going to be the last time they allowed us to deposit the check and we should open a join account next time.

When I told Margaret that we didn’t deposit the April’s SSDI check at Oakland branch, she immediately corrected, “oh, I mean on March 1st, 2007.” This is when I caught her lying, clumsily, insulting my intelligence. Apparently she didn’t check my records prior to making such a lie. Being an investigator’s wife for more than 6 years, I always keep records of almost everything for just in case. I found this to be helpful, particularly in this case.

Em
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Comments

  • Ca
      28th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    Margaret's last name is spelled Teufel. She is the Regional Customer Service Manager. She is responsible for the East Bay Region. This puts her in a disconnected yet superior position to Hazim.

    I will point out that Margaret probably said 'regional' not 'real' when stating she is the Customer Service Manager. In other words Regional Customer Service Manager.

  • Tm
      18th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    This sounds like Bank of the West. I opened an account at their small Montclair branch in Oakland CA, hoping to get personalized service. No way. They'll say something and when it comes to delivering, they'll forget; they'll have no recollection of what they promised.

    In defense for Bank of the West branch employees, I honestly think that there is a lack of support from upper management. Although the staff is very nice, they do not seem properly trained and customer service is not a priority. It seems that they are understaffed and the employees are overworked and stressed. They don't say it but it shows.

    The busy, crowed BofA down the block gives better service. Really.

    N

  • Mi
      3rd of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am, sorry to say I am a customer of Bank of the West, currently looking for a new "local" bank. My story starts with me paying off my boat loan. I sold my boat on June 26th, 2010 Saturday. I deposited the check on 6/27, Sunday, it posted on Monday 6/28, but they told me there is a hold on it for 10 business days. They said it would be available on 7/8, it was and I was told by my branches Loan officer Aaron I could pay it off on line, simple? I asked him several times about the "pay off", he stated what it showed is what I owed (really even I know there is interest somewhere there). So when the funds were available I paid it off on line, it showed a balance of 0, I thought oh good I guess it is really that easy. I stopped in on 7/9 to see when and where my title would be mailed to. They (the tellers who looked it up!!) told me it should be mailed directly to me. I waited a few more days and called, they told me my loan was not paid off??? What, I said, but I paid the entire amount, they said "Oh but there was interest due until this date, which was now the 20th of July, and they told me not to pay it on line because that's not the correct amount. Fine I went in and paid the $41.75, only to be told they do not have my title, it was lost some where in the Commerical Federal - Bank of the West merger. I asked them to look, they said no, if they don't have it they don't have it. They however could send me a "Release of Lien" and I could go get a duplicate title?? Duplicates cost $20, by now it is the principle of the thing, I asked who will re -imburse me the $20, the CS gal said I could fill out a request in writing and they will forward to the branch manager (who by the way is on vacation for 2 weeks). I did this on 7/21, I asked if there was anything they could do to expedite this, they said Oh no, it takes 5 business and they could not do anything about it. I should recieve the "release of lien" by 7/28. The 28th came and went, no call from; the bank, no papers. And I waited, and waited finally I called on 7/31, I was told by Aaron (the loan officer) that it was Fed Ex'd yesterday 7/30 to EXPEDITE the matter and I should receive it on Monday 8/2. (What do you say at this point?) Monday 8/2 comes and goes, I called today on my way home 8/3 talked to the CS gal Shannon, she tells me I won't be needing the re-imbursment for the duplicate because I won't need a duplicate...they found my title and mailed it out regular US mail on 8/2??? I will not hold my breath, I am however looking for a local bank.

    SP in Omaha

  • Je
      23rd of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    bank of the west is a big fraud they repo a truck from me that they didn't finance. now they want 15, 000 from me to get my truck, i have a loan with another bank ant they just dont want to givr my truck back

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