Charter One Bank / the worst bank ever
My husband has been a customer with Charter One for nearly 5 years, and 4 months ago I was added as a joint account holder.
I have been a customer of several banks, as well as worked at the corporate headquarters of a very large midwestern bank for some time. Through my experiences as both a bank customer, and a bank employee, I can honestly say that my short 4 months with Charter One has proven to me that it is the worst banking institution I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. Every staff member I've ever spoken to, at several different branches and the telephone banking service, has displayed consistent and flagrant negligence, poor customer service, a complete ineptitude for simple tasks, and an unwillingness to resolve issues (most of which were generated by them in the first place).
In the past month alone, my husband and I have been the victims of these so-called "trained" bank personnel. Gabrielle at the Mack Ave., Saint Clair Shores branch 'helped' us more than once, and each time the process was ridiculously drawn out as she took several customer calls while we were at her desk, interrupting her focus from us. This resulted in a mistake that I now cannot fix. She entered my social security number wrong, despite me reminding her twice to correct it before I left the branch! Now, I cannot use the telephone banking service because I have no idea what number sequence she mistakenly put in, therefore cannot "accurately verify" my identity (hah!) and apparently I have to go to a branch in person to have this corrected. That would be a little difficult, as I now live in England, and at the time of her mistake, Gabrielle knew we were moving overseas just days after this visit.
On another occasion, at the same branch, a young man at the counter first told my husband he could not apply a credit card payment to our credit card without the card itself. Now, we both know this isn't true. After telling him this, he insisted that he had never applied a payment without the card before but that he would 'try to do it without the card'. After 20 minutes of standing at the counter dealing with his poor attitude, the payment was finally applied.
In a Grosse Pointe branch, we attempted to purchase British pounds in preparation for our move to England. The woman behind the counter appeared to know what she was doing, only to call us several hours later saying she had mistakenly charged us for Euros, not Pounds, and that we'd have to come back in to pay the remaining amount, as she had undercharged us by nearly $1, 000. Not only did she call us, complaining about her mistake, but her poor attitude in general throughout the course of the telephone conversation earned her a reprimand from the branch manager, whom we had to speak to several times to correct this mistake.
Most recently, I signed on to our online account to monitor our activity, and noticed over $300 in exchange fees. Outraged at these fees, I emailed Charter One requesting to be contacted. No one has contacted me yet regarding this matter. I also called the telephone banking system to resolve this, was then put on hold for several minutes, only to have the young man come back on the line to tell me these charges are from MasterCard, not the bank.
The call was dropped by my cell phone before he was able to help me further, so I immediately called back and spoke to a woman who informed me of the aforementioned social security number error. After bypassing her and speaking to her supervisor, my husband and I got the same run-around as the first time; the fees were from MasterCard, and Charter One would be taking absolutely no responsibility for them, even though the card used is a bank issued debit card.
My husband patiently and calmly explained to this woman that he's visited Europe on several occasions and each time these fees have not been an issue. She remained adamant that she could not resolve this issue for us, and advised us to contact MasterCard. I question why no one, at any branch, thought to mention this fee to us? We sat with Gabrielle for nearly an hour on two separate occasions and talked about our impending move to Europe. She said she would have to note on our cards that we were planning to use them in Europe, so as not to falsely alert the fraud protection feature on our account.
At no time in this discussion did she mention that using said card would result in a fee. We were assured by her that using our cards over here was completely safe; obviously she was mistaken. I hardly call $300 in ridiculous fees being 'safe'.
I sent Charter One a complaint outlining all these issues, and in response I got a very generic "We're sorry you feel that way" email. Not only that, but since lodging my complaint, our Online Banking Bill Pay feature mysteriously has been disabled. This is fantastic news, as we have no way of issuing checks from this account now!! Now we have to spend yet another 20GBP on an international phone call to their customer service line which will probably result in nothing!
Charter One is untrustworthy, unreliable, unhelpful, and is a stunning example of appalling customer service. Henceforth, we plan to do whatever we can to undermine this bank and ensure no one else need have an experience like we have.
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