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First Niagara Bank / Terrible bank

1 Comrie AveJohnstown, NY, United States Review updated:
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I had my banking accounts with a local bank for years without a single problem until several years ago these rip-off artist came in our towns and bought out all the banks. Now we have Niagara Bank, NBT Bank, Bank America, and Citizens! All big banks with big dreams of screwing the public over and becoming the BIGGEST! I had a balance of $116 in my account when I noticed I had sent out all my bills but forgot to deposit my check. Keep in mind, the bank gives every single person that walks through their door a $500 overdraft protection!

The next day I go to the post office and I have several overdraft notices each for $30! My online bank payments came to $530! When I went to school $500 over draft protection plus $116 account balance came to $616! Someone tell me if my addition is incorrect please???

Needless to say, these crooks took all of my account balance as fees and then turned off my message communication line so I could not dispute the issue! I am closing my account with these money thieves and taking my business to the credit union! Not only have I had better experiences with credit unions in general, these 'BIG BANKERS-LIKE THE FOUR I MENTIONED ABOVE (and by the way there are many more) HATE CREDIT UNIONS!!! My suggestion to folks is STAY CLEAR OF THE MEGA BANKS. THEY'RE WALL ST IN DISGUISE--RIPPING OFF THE POOR!!!

The credit unions are much more customer friendly and I'll guarantee you they will give you your loan request over the MEGA BANKS any day! MEGA BANKS are for the 'millionaires and billionaires' and they are not interested in you and I other than our money! (just to make their corrupt port folios look better than they really are) Just look at California just several weeks ago with the MEGA BANKS!!

I also believe you should not keep all of your eggs in one basket! Self explanatory! And keep in mind these MEGA BANKS are still making the 25% and 30% plus interest rates and giving you 2%-3%! How's that for GREED!!! My savings is not in banks at that rate! They are not in Wall St either because they're more corrupt than the banks!

Hope this sheds some insight for folks before you end up like the folks in the 30's depression! We are already there just the government is giving us a line of 'BS' as always!

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  • Sa
      27th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I had made a deposit through an ATM in the early evening to cover a check that was due. The next day, I see a $33.00 nsf fee and the check on my account, but no deposit. When I called First Niagara Bank, I was told that, when I made the deposit, I didn't deposit to my account but to the ATM and they don't open the ATM's until noon. Well if I make a withdrawal, then why is this hitting my account immediately, when technically, I'm making a withdrawal from the ATM and not my account!! So shouldn't these also not hit until they 'open' the ATM. What a ripoff. I am going to file a formal complaint against this bank. If this was National City, the deposit would have been there.

  • Jo
      29th of Oct, 2009
    +1 Votes

    These banks are horrible! They are making security questions up on their online-faulty service that is WRONG! They are miserable! They send you these pin numbers through the mail that do not even work, have to fight with them on my lunch break to correct the problem. YOU CANNOT CHECK YOUR ACCOUNT OVER THE PHONE WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 9-4 TO TALK TO SOMEONE! I have PNC, and they may not be the "best", but they sure are a hell of a lot better. I have my business accounts with First Niagara, and I promise you I am taking all of my money out. I tried to make a purchase online through my business account, and it will not go through! I have over 6k in there!!! I am far as banks go F-

  • Gy
      10th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I'll admit I've had some issues similar to those above but everything has been taken care of and the people at my local First Niagara branch are wonderful and really care about their customers. They were National City and are going through a big change that they didn't ask for either.. Don't waste your time waiting to get someone on the phone at an 800 number, call or go in person to your local bank and let them know any issues you're having.. if they are as helpful as my branch, they will take care of everything! I'm just glad my bank isn't being run by the government.. Good luck everyone!

  • Ne
      14th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    First Niagra Bank is at best a mediocre bank. If you ask a question or try to get clarification you get multiple answers. No one tries to make an effort to get back to you or help you. You are left to fend for yourself and troubleshoot your own problems. The local former National City branches are sometimes just as misinformed although they try to smooth things over. Those of us unfortunate enough to have been divested to First Niagra definitley got the short end of the stick. Sad to say, I am shopping for another bank

  • Re
      2nd of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    First Niagra is without a doubt the most incompetent Bank I have ever dealt with. The transition from Nation City to First Niagra could have been smoother if monkeys were handling. My business acct. is with them now and they had wrong address which meant my card did not work anywhere! The access codes they gave would not work! When I called customer service they could not figure out how to rectify any of the problems and would just say they are sorry. The local branches here in Pittsburgh were tried to the point they had become ignorant and condecending to the customers where I over heard a teller inform a customer to "take their banking somewhere else". WTF !!! What happened to local friendly banking where you enjoyed your trip to the bank as to now you wish bad on all who is involved. Best case scenerio is that First Niagra leaves as fast as they came to Pittsburgh!!! We are a city of friendly helpful people and they have no business being here. I am hopeful PNC will acquire all the branches and First Niagra can go back to NY and crawl back under the rock they came out from under. I have notified all my associates and employees to get out of the bank immediately. Any employee under contract with me who does ANY business with First Niagra will be terminated on site. And yes I can do that as they sign contracts that state termination for any or no reason whatsoever!!! Sincerely distraught former Nation City Customer!!!

  • St
      2nd of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    First Niagara bought out a bank called Cortland Savings a number of years ago. From there it went downhill. Unfortunately I got unkowingly caught up in a scam and First Niagara wanted to make a repayment agreement. I made a very reasonable offer and they counter offered an extremely (and impossible for me) offer, well knowing I could not meet it. When I said so, they ceased negotiations and turned it over to their dirtbag lawyers Bulan, Chiari Horwitz and Ilecki. They filed a suit against me, tacked on a high interest rate and even got a judge in Auburn, NY to add stupid civil penalties and other ridiculous fees, sending me a subpoena which he endorsed, threatening me with jail if I didn't comply. I am already living in poverty, never having been able to recover from losing a terrific job after 9/11, with a family to support and all these ###s chase after me like I'm a murderer.

    First Niagara, their attorneys and the court system are corrupt, plain and simple. Anyone who has an account with them, behave, because they and their lawyers (who pay off judges) will bend you over and ram you hard if you don't.

  • Bu
      7th of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes
    First Niagara Bank - Scamming bank
    First Niagara Bank
    New York
    United States

    First Niagara is an institution that was designed with one thing in mind... ripping people off and only tailoring to suit the needs of the rich. they pay high proce lawyers to run poor people into the ground and pay off judges so that the judge will sign unjust forms to sue poor people. ### the judges, ### the lawyers, ### First Niagara Bank, mother###ing ###s, ALL OF YOU!!!

  • No
      27th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    WOW! I have so many little words to make up the letter of FNFG it isn't even funny. Let me say, I do personally work at a "big bank" (one of the top 5 in the US). However, I choose to have my finances separate from where I work, and although I LOVE where I work and recommend it highly to anyone, I think it best I keep a small amout there and the remainder elsewhere. Well. Freaking Nasty Filthy Greeds bought my small bank. I can't believe the crap I am seeing! The money they charge is a scam! I am hoping my bank takes them over soon! I don't have a ton of money in my account with them (actually it's $0 now as I have no interest in doing business with them), but when I did I wasn't living large, but quite comfortably. As soon as they took over my small bank I just loved, they began hitting me with fees I have never heard of!
    I am livid. Oh, and on another note - why in the world do they impact their customers during a work week, when other banks that buy do it during a weekend? Stay FAR FAR away from Finally No Friggin Good!

  • Fn
      13th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    My firm has been using First Niagara for years. Our organization has been in business since 2004 and First Niagara has always been the best bank that we have ever dealt with. Go FNFG!!!

  • Wh
      12th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I'm pissed off at First Niagara, six weeks ago I deposited my check through the ATM like I have for the past 8 years or so and it never posted to my account... Talked to a nice lady at customer service and it was taken care of quick enough after I called the bank on Monday morning and was told they had to pull all the paper work for that day and my check was deposited within hours (they pull all deposits from machine and deposit them manually?) I can understand going through the deposits and checking them for accuracy but with National City the deposits were done through the ATM and you had funds available from the deposit you just made...Not any more. Last night I went to the ATM, deposited my check and my slip said I only had and x amount of funds available (well below what I should have had). I run home get online and check my account and sure enough my last deposit wasn't showing...WTF???????????? COME ON!! Twice within two months?? Now I have to leave work early and take care of this, but this time I'm not going to be so nice!

  • Wh
      2nd of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    The problem here is that the employees at First Niagra are trained to provide great customer service to those individuals and businesses that have very large amounts of money and good economic standing. They are trained to treat the average personal banker poorly in an effort to make you go away. The average person living paycheck to paycheck and keeping an average balance below $100 is what they call a "cash cow". They know that you are struggling, and they are set up to take advantage of that. For example... they will deliberately hold a deposit that comes in the same day as a check or atm withdrawal to force your account into overdrawn status, so that they can charge you fees. And they will continue to compound those fees over and over again. They essentially beat you into submission until you either put a huge sum of money into your account to cover the fees, or close your account.
    Oh, and good luck trying to dispute those fees... it is a nightmare that I would not wish upon anyone.
    They are not a bank that caters to the average personal banker. They swooped into the Lehigh Valley area and bought up many of the good hometown banks. Now we are left with a bunch of corporate fee suckers.

  • Ba
      15th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    You have NO IDEA what you are taking about. You pretend as if you know the interworkings of a financial institution. The fact is, First Niagara, and every bank for that matter, give you, the customer, every opportunity to avoid fees. I'd ask anyone that ever received an overdraft fee in their life, "do you keep a register, do you know your bank's Funds Availability Policy?" More than likely, the answer to both of those questions is, NO! This is YOUR mistake, not First Niagara's.

    Your first problem is you have no idea how the overdraft privilege works. It is Overdraft, "Privilege" NOT "Protection", two very different things. Most checking accounts come with an overdraft privilege, and you always have the option of opting out of this service. Yes, it is in place for Financial Institutions to make money, Fee Income is part of the annual revenue. The are a business, and could not survive without making money. However, they do not force you to overdraw your account, and they provide you with tools to keep you from having this happen (Checkbook registers, online banking, ATM balance inquiries, 1-800 numbers).

    You second problem is not knowing how the fee structure works. Once you overdraw your account, you will incur a fee, $30 in this case. Each transaction that clears after that also incurs a $30 fee, up to the $500 Overdraft Privilege. This is where most confusion takes place. I think you are assuming that if you try to have multiple transactions clear, totaling $530 that you are not including the Overdraft Fee after each of these come through the account. Lucky for people that do not keep track of their money, you can only incur 5 overdraft fees a day.

    A separate issue is that fact that you think that you are justified in what you did with your account. In actuality, YOU BROKE THE LAW. It is illegal to pay bills, write checks, or swipe your debit card, if you do not actually have the funds to cover it. This is a CHECKING account not a CREDIT CARD.

  • Ba
      15th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    You are an idiot

  • Ra
      20th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    this bank ###in sucks! I just checked my account and they debited my account two times for two different transactions. Then I signed up for the auto bill pay and should receive $25 exstra from them in my checking account and these brainiacs have it as a "withdrawal"...are you kidding me?! Now I have to call tomorrow and flip out... I think I will present myself in a ghetto fashion in the branch up the street! . And thanks for crediting one of the transactions back into my account, but that money will not even be available for two days now! So you make the mistake and take the money out twice and then say "Oooops, here goes your money back but you can't use it for a couple more days when it actually credits back to your account." What if I needed that money tonight or tomorrow?! I'm pissed and I'm not letting this go. It needs to be fixed ASAP. I already sent them an e-mail. WORST BANK I EVER DELT WITH. [censored]ers

  • Wh
      1st of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    First Niagara are only interested on those people who have x amount of money in their account, I work for them & you have to see the type of fees that we have waived that we shouldn't have just because of the amount of money on the customer's account; & perhaps in other not so huge account they will waive one fee & mark their account with a red flag not to waive any more fees for this customers. Unfortunately in the world that we are living the wealthy are only getting wealthier and the poor are best buried underground. It is incredible how they don't even feel any sympathy for the older folks who are retired living of off social security, no especial treatment for them & of course no waived fee because they say they are not worth it because it wouldn't make a difference if they took their business elsewhere. First Niagara is only in this game to grow & get bigger as a bank because they also treat their employees like crap, because they fail to promote from within and giving many of the tellers an opportunity to advance.

    It is hilarious to see the bank sending the monthly congratulation notes on the employees that have more than 5 years in the company & its hilarious to see a teller working the same position for 25 years its like come on unless they reach the maximum in that pay level they would never get promoted. First Niagara should start thinking more about the customers and satisfying their needs no matter how big their account is, because there are many factors that need to taken into consideration such as the length of years the customer has bank with them.

  • Me
      11th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    For being a smaller bank, Harleysville was great. I could check my online banking statement seconds after I made a purchase and it would show on my account. Depositing checks was a breeze. They were prompt to issue a new card when mine would no longer swipe at a card reader/ATM. My new cards always came on time when my current ones were ready to expire. It was easy to get a real human being on the phone when I had questions. No issues with Harleysville. I recently moved to New York and have had nothing but problems when Harleysville became First Niagara. They want to hold checks for 48 hours until a $100 amount clears? They issued me a new debit card and changed my pin number. What a pain in the butt trying to remember a new stupid 4-digit number when I've used the same one for the past 6 years. They recently placed a hold on my debit account for a purchase I made in NJ - when I've been using the card for the last month in NY - deemed as fraudulent. They also never notified me of this and even after I spoke to a rep in the fraud department at Prism and the hold was "released" I still can't use the damn card. Moreover, the "fraudulent purchase" was removed from my accoutn without my concent. Good thing I wasn't making any important purchases. The bank also has no record of ANY purchases made with my new First Niagara debit card, only from my old Harleysville card. Awesome. Needless to say, I would have been closing all of my accounts associated with First Niagara and moving all my funds to a bank in NY, but these recent issues are the straw that broke the camel's back. I will be switching much sooner.

  • Wi
      21st of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I recently went to the Pittsburgh First Niagra Pavillion for the Mayhem Tour in July, i saw a booth where if u apply for a credit card for First Niagra Bank u got to choose 2 tickets to either Journey or Def Leppard for just applying, so i said ok why not, i choose Def Leppard and she wrote it on the top of my application, guess what? i never saw no Def Lepperd tickets, its a bunch of ###

  • Ya
      28th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    Oh my god, this bank is a rip off, I agree with most of the comments previously mentioned. They only are out to get your money, I recently deposited money through an ATM, because had some auto withdrawals the next day and am in the process of closing my account because of other issues with the bank. They purposely put through the withdrawals prior to the deposit so account would overdraft and then put the deposit through and then charged a $35.00 bank fee. I have an account through TD Bank and another through People's bank, I have never had any issues with either of those banks. I would recommend for all First Niagara bank customers to switch soon before they find a way to take your money as well. Any other banks is better than First Niagara Bank!!!

  • Go
      2nd of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    First Niagara bankers are some of the filthiest ### on Earth. I banked at the same location for 20 years until these loathsome pigs took over. They rearrange debits and credits to intentionally overdraw accounts so they can soak the working poor with overdraft fees. I hope the First Niagara executives and board members all contract cancer and die slow, horrible, agonizing, and painful deaths.

  • Go
      2nd of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    Whythelongfeces...I'm glad you're curious. Curiosity is a trait not normally associated with the "banking classes". FYI, I don't spend more than I have in my account. If I check my balance in the morning, and it's positive, then visit a branch office and deposit CASH into my account to cover a debit that is coming in later that day, the account will not be overdrawn at a normal bank. Rearranging credits and debits is a well known scam practiced by sleazy banks. Listen up, NOT ALL BANKS clear LARGEST to SMALLEST. ALL OF THEM DON'T DO IT. This bank didn't do it until First Niagara raised their ugly head and took over. And, my new bank doesn't do it. LISTEN UP: THEY DON'T ALL DO IT. ONLY THE UNSCRUPULOUS BANKERS DO IT, despite what apologist ringers say.

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