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Santander Consumer USA / customer service and unexplained fees

1 TX, United States Review updated:

In february of 2010 santander consumer usa took over my loan with hsbc auto finance, as hsbc went out of business I think.
From the start we had problems with them not applying the payments received on time and adding the following months interest to the current balance.
I started sending the payments certified mail, so there would be no late fees as I did not trust the company.
Yesterday i've received my what should be last payment notice. On it i've noticed a $3.78 fee, not specified what for.
When I called customer service, the representative was not able to explain the fee. I asked to talk to the supervisor, which is almost impossible to achieve. Finally the supervisor came to the phone and told me the same thing; can't explain the fee - don't see it on my account and that's all.
Customer service at this place is absolutely horrible, not to mention that it is very hard to understand anyone as they speak very bad english. I was denied the supervisor's supervisor phone number, I was denied the corporate phone number and all I got was the po address in texas to complaint in writing.
I was told to pay what's on the invoice, even if they could not explain the charge.
I was also told that next month i'll be receiving another bill for about $5, for what I don't know and they would not explain.
My loan should be completely satisfied after this months partial payment, I have all documentation to prove it, and per my original loan agreement my final payment should be $523.87. Santander states the balance is $532.67 and can not explain the additional charges. I've never in the duration of the whole loan with hsbc been late /72 months/ or missed a payment.
I did pay the $3.78 fee, and i'll pay next month's $5 bill, as I don't want to compromise my credit, but i'll file complaints against this company and get to the bottom of their fees they're unable to explain.
If they charge every single client an extra 8-10 dollars, that's lots of money.
Dealing with this company, who is trying to hide and deny the fact that they are a collection agency was one of the most unpleasant experiences ever. It was not by my doing to end up with a collection agency, and I feel so bad for people who have to deal with them for long time.
It is for me not the $8 they trying to get from me with no explanation or reason, but the principal, and companies like this have to be stopped from overcharging people, adding on fees for nothing and poor customer service.
I'll be looking for other ways to get to the bottom of the fee charges, and do something about it.
Denial of phone number to the supervisor's or corporate office will not protect santander from complaints, it will just ignite it.

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Comments

  • Dj
      21st of Sep, 2010
    +2 Votes

    My account was recently sold from citifinancial auto- I have been trying to make a payment all week but could not log in online or make a payment on the phone. Today I finally got a rep who I gave my card number too for my payment, but she wanted me to pay a $10.95 payment processing fee. I asked to speak to supervisor- she placed me on hold and came back shortly to tell me that they can waive the fee one time only- telling me that it will be $10.95 each month when I make a payment. This equates to $131.40 a year!!! So she proceeds to process the payment telling me that my card is declined because it is asking for a PIN number which they do not require so I will have to make they payment via checking account. I have never had such a difficult time trying to pay a bill. I am not happy that they hold the cards to my auto account and need to find some other options. Any suggestion will be helpful.

    Thanks

  • He
      23rd of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE FILE A COMPLAINT WITH FTC SO THAT SANTANDER CONSUMER USA CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS GO TO: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov AND FILE YOUR COMPLAINT ASAP, IT ONLY TAKES 5 MINUTES THANK YOU!

  • Ac
      23rd of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    My loan was also acquired from Citifinancial to Santander. I have had automatic withdrawal from my account for four years with no problems. I have made repeated calls to Santander to clarify the assumption of the loan and have been instructed set up an account on line. All attempts to register on line have failed stating "invalid information." No one at their customer service can help with "on line registration." I still await a return call from Santander. I guess I'll send a check if they don't respond in the next 24 hours.

  • Ad
      24th of Sep, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Thought that this might help. Try contacting the president daily. With their names, search for their home #'s. If they are not there, bother their families. Fair is Fair. If they are not willing to make changes at the bottom, let it hail at the top.

    214-634-1110
    Thomas G. Dundon -Chief Executive Officer and President --
    Jason Kulas - Chief Financial Officer --
    Eldridge A. Burns Jr. - Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel --
    Don W. Goin - Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Information Technology --
    Jason Grubb - Senior Vice President of Servicing --
    Alexander J. Keechle - Senior Vice President of Originations --
    Steven Zemaitis - Chief Credit Officer and Senior Vice President of Decision Science

  • Ac
      5th of Oct, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Addendum to my prior entry: I did send a check as the Santander representative stated that my automatic withdrawal with Citifinancial would not carry over. As you may have guessed, my check cleared prior to my due date, and Santander made withdrawal from my account anyway. Double billed. I was on the phone over 40 minutes with service representatives who stated it would take 2-4 weeks to credit my funds back. I instructed them to immediately discontinue automatic withdrawals. My bank, First Merit, was very easy to work with and completed paperwork to have my funds reinstated immediately and investigate unauthorized withdrawal from my account. I have filed a complaint with the FTC. Additionally, I have still not be contacted regarding registration problems and have again requested contact.

  • To
      9th of Oct, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Santabee - The $8 is probably legitamate and its probably not an overcharge. That being said they most certainly should explain it to you. You have a very valid and important question, whether its $8 or $800 they at least owe you an explanation. Their customer service and collections group is a joke...and i feel sorry for those thsy work there. I have a friend that works there and from what Ive heard they are woefully underpaid, and the place is basically a sweatshop. The reps dont get much information from their managers, and that is because upper management doesnt communicate to the middle managers! You probably couldnt get an explanation because no one there knows where to find it! Everyone financed through them should drop santander like a bad habit. FYI, theh are not a collection agency...they are an actual bank.

    Djaramillo - those fees are steep, but your complaint is really invalid. If you dont want to pay the fee, just mail a check. Phone payments are a convienience service and cost money. Your beef with their customer service is spot on though.

    Advocate4u2 - YES! Call these idiot bigwigs early and often. The problem is they are so high up they probably think everythings great. Id take it a step further by going one level down. If people contact the vice presidents at this company, vp of customer service, vp of collections, and the vp of reposessions and deficiencys. I have a feeling those are the guys formulating strategy and approach, and are failing miserably. Those are the guilty ones! Dont go bother their families though, advocate. That just brings you down to their level...and its probably illegal to boot.

  • Im
      10th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    My thanks to all of you (except for maybe "Tooz, " the apparently Supreme Judge of all complaint validity and value). My experience is essentially exactly what all of yours have been. I did follow the link shared by "HELP MAKE CHANGE, " I hope it makes a difference. I plan to also follwo the advice of "Advovcate4u2." We'll, I'll probably leave their families alone but I have no problem writing to the organization's leadership. I'm very glad that "Advovcate4u2" shared the info.

  • To
      13th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Impalex - not sure where you get off blasting me. I have a right to my opinions just as you do. I have a had a lot of experience on both sides of the complaint world and have a good idea of what is a legitimate complaint which should be pursued (sometimes legally if needed) and which complaints are invalid. I'm sorry but if a person is complaining about something a company did that is a result of said persons irresponsibility (ie by not paying their bills on time or at all) or is an overreaction to standard industry practice I am not going agree with them and I will share my opinion likewise. Not all complaints are valid, and they just detract from the legit complaints that need to be heard. In the example above, santbee has a good and reasonable issue. The second one is a complaint about a phone payment fee that may happen in the future. Sorry but if you don't want to pay a phone check fee make sure you mail the payment in plenty of time so you don't have to do a phone payment. Phone payment fees are an annoyance but are irrelevant when compared to the person who had thei r car reposessed because some numbskull at the company failed to input an amendment or payment arrangement into the system properly.

  • Ki
      28th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Absolutely ridiculous! I'm experiencing some of the problems that others have mentioned, including the inability to log in to my online account, despite the fact that the system says an account with my email address and loan number already exists. When I try to retrieve the password (even though I NEVER set up the online account), I get blank boxes asking for my answer to a security question that is also blank. I managed to MAIL a payment (they might as well have suggested I send it by pterodactyl), after which I should have 1.5 payments left. I dread to think how the loan completion will go... an unexplained fee here and there. I'm almost tempted to trade in the vehicle and let the dealership deal with these folks.

  • Ja
      11th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have a 2003 Ford F-150 that I signed a loan agreement on with First Essex Bank in April 2003 for an 84 month loan. Since then, the loan was sold off to Sovereign Bank, then to Santander. The loan was due to mature March 2010, but extended to May 2010 due to 2 separate deferments. Well, come May 2010, expecting the loan to be paid off, Santander claimed there to still be principle balance remaining. I then paid a June and a July payment !!! ... Santander still insisted that there was STILL proncile remaining. So I began to question each rep that made the collection call..."what is my prnciple remaining: each one gave me a different figure than the other. I then requested full payment history since origination of the loan be sent to me, along with a copy of my original signed agreement with the original creditor. I asked this for two months, verbally... and never got it sent to me until I finally sent a certified letter to request this in writing.
    Upon receiving it, I discover that they are missing the entire payment history from the original creditor and only have information from Sovereign Bank to Santander... nothing from the first 11 months of payments to First Essex Bank. This payment history has 73 payments on it... adding in the 11 missing, that bring me to 84 payments made... satisfying the loan terms... as well as some of these 84 payments were MORE than the monthly installment. SO by these calculations, I have overpaid this loan by about 1K.
    I called Santander on this, they argue and insist that I still owe them 900+ dollars but cannot support why. I finally get a supervisor that said they would have accounting look at this and get back to me, then the supervisor hung up... hung up in mid sentence. I called back and their lines were closed... got a message saying the offices were closed. I heard NOTHING since then. Until today... when a repo guy shows up to my house for the truck. I was not homw, so they dont recover the car. The rocovery guy tells my wife that he can tell that this repo is not on the up and up and that it seems that this has to be a mistake.
    I called the NH state atty Generals office, who can do anything, and says I can file a complaint ( which I do). I also filed a complaint with the FTC today as well.
    I finally got to speak with the Presidents office today at Santander and they called off the repo pending investigation. THe Woman at the Presidents office stated that she brought this to her boss who said that he could make sense of this either.
    They are clearly wrong, the record keeping passed over from Bank to Bank is inaccurate and this loan is PAID OFF .
    Help... suggestions ?

  • Ez
      10th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    So, here's my story. I just found out that if my payment is not made ontime, by the due date, they will charge 10$ a day until they receive payment. After the 10 days, they tack on the late fee but continue to charge the additional fee per day. I realize I signed this contract and should be able to make the payments; however, things this year are a little different. I have also spoken with one rep who said I could defer this months payment, so I called back to have them do the deferral and was told that they were not doing that anymore. Does anyone know if it is legal for them to charge the additional 10$ per day fee. They say they are following the guide lines of my original paperwork with CitiFinancial but I have NEVER been charged this additional fee before. Also, out of the last 3 payments of 2100$, only 800$ of it has been applied to the principle. I am waiting to get in touch with my local ATG as they do not open for 30 min to see if it is legal and what can be done. I will also do as commented before and contact the FTC. Thanks everyone, hope everything works out well for you and we can get these people to follow the rules and do things right, or shut them down so they cannot screw over people anymore!

  • La
      4th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    They constantly call me at work and harrass me even when they do dont debit my account. They call when I am only 2 days late which is there fault. They need to be shut down or fined for harrassing people..

  • Aa
      11th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    My HSBC Auto Loan was purchased by Santander Consumer USA last year. I am not able to process at payment online. I can't even log in to their website. After being looped into an endless call loop for customer service, I dialed another number on my bill relating to "if you have file bankrupcy?" I was able to actually speak to a customer service representative. She was friendly but did tell me that the website was not working properly. I figured this was a temporary problem but now it is the next month and guess what? The website is still not working properly and I am once again trying to call the company to process a payment. I believe they do this so they can charge the extra service fee for telephone payments. Next month, I will mail the payment. I wonder how that will work out. I never had any trouble with HSBC. I am sad that I didn't have a choice when Santander bought my loan.
    I would set up an automatic draft but once again, that requires a phone call to their terrible, terrible telephone system. It is impossible to get in touch with these people. I bet if I were late with the payment, they would be ringing MY phone several times a day!

  • Jj
      24th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    I had purchased a 2008 Ford F-150 and had made every payment until I lost my job in March 2010. I still managed April, May, and June payments on time. In July I arranged with CitiFinancial to skip a payment, and was told that once I had made three more payments, skipping another payment would be an available option. In August, Santander took over the account, and from that moment on my every dealing with them was adversarial, and they were consistently dishonest. I had managed two more payments, but the instant the third one was due they began calling me daily with repeated mechanized calls. As bad as these were, when I called them and talked to alleged human beings, they were far less warm than the machines. During one call when they were insisting that if the payment were not made that day they would repossess the vehicle, I demanded to talk to a supervisor. This man noted that payments had been made from my checking account in the past, but I told him there were not sufficient funds in the account to cover the check. He suggested that I authorize payment for some future date, but having been burned once by a post-dated check I refused this option. I said I saw no alternative but to voluntarily surrender the vehicle, and he suggested I let them know on Monday (this was a Friday) if this was what I was going to do. I called first thing Monday morning and told them to make arrangements to pick up the vehicle. Wednesday I still hadn't heard back, but a payment had mysteriously gone missing from my account, leaving a balance below zero. I called them numerous times insisting I hadn't authorized this, but all I would get was people who insisted I had authorized it. They noted they had it on tape and offered to play it for me. I pointed out that with editing, a tape could be made to sound any way they wanted it to. But despite this unauthorized seizure of funds, they immediately resumed harassing me for another payment, despite the fact that the last one had caused numerous overdrafts. I surrendered the vehicle, which bought us a couple of weeks without harassment. However, they proceeded to sell the truck "at auction" at a price that was $6000 under the book value for a vehicle in good condition, which this certainly was, not to mention that I had added a custom cap and running boards. And of course they began immediately harassing me for the difference between the ludicrous price they'd gotten for the vehicle and what was owed (although the book value was just about what was owed, not including the added extras). I wrote them a response and sent it certified mail, which they claimed they never got as they continued to harass me. (Mind you, I had just started back to work, and hadn't even gotten caught up on utility and rent payments.) I sent a second letter, registered this time, and though someone signed for it, no one I talked to knew anything about it, and they continue to demand payment of an amount that is, at the moment, approximately 20X the sum actually in my checking account. I was out of work nearly a year, and am the sole support for a family of three, and we owe over $20, 000 in medical bills. I cannot file for bankruptcy because I did that the last time we had medical bills way beyond our ability to pay.

    In short, while I am no stranger to financial difficulties nor to persistent creditors, I can honestly say that Santander is the most dishonest, cold, and corrupt agency I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I have initiated formal complaints, and although I am generally cynical about the likely effects of such complaints, I am literally shocked to see how many other people have had similar complaints or worse! My experience is clearly far from unique, which strongly suggests to me that this was not an isolated instance of bad service, but rather represents an intentional and malicious pattern by these low-lifes.

  • Ih
      20th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is amazing to see that this company is still in business as a professional debt collector I pride myself on "I don't need the money bad enough for you to pay something you don't owe." This company bought my loan with a 48 month loan term I started receiving letters stating that I now have a 54 month term and I cannot figure out why I called and argued that this is ridicoulous only to be called a liar I asked them to forward me a copy of a signed contract with them showing I agreed to their terms I have never received this the vehicle was repoed which I paid the charges up to date two motnhs later I get a bill for the repo fee plus the money that was "deliquient" I was told at the spot where I picked up my vehicle that they get a ton of vehicles from this company and that most have the same issue they paid and were not credited so the vehicle gets repoed. They even offered to let me stick around for about an hour and bet that at least six more like me would come in.

  • Ki
      23rd of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    My Dad is 90 years old and Santander has been charging him late fee's when he is never late with his payments. When he tries to talk to them they won't explain why the late fee's are being charged. They also are saying he still owes money when his loan should have been paid off months ago. He asked them for his statements and they informed him that they don't send them anymore. I will be reporting them to the FTC.

  • Th
      18th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    Houston’s first Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Family’s paid off family van was stolen by Santander USA on Wednesday, March 23rd 2011.
    Santander USA refused to send clear title to the Johnson’s after they made their final payment in late 2010. Santander USA wrongfully charged the Johnson’s an additional $2800 in interest for late payments during the finance companies’ so called “Ike Relief” program. Instead of waiving the payments as the consultant told Mr. Johnson, the father, the company deferred the payments instead. Mr. Johnson discovered this when his loan matured in March of 2010.
    In an effort to maintain his credit rating, Mr. Johnson paid the additional deferments, which were a total of 6 extra payments. In October, the balance was paid in full. “Not so fast”, says Santander USA. The harassing calls began in December for the imaginary $2800. Mr. Johnson made a request for his pay history to be mailed to him twice since he, mysteriously, could no longer access it from the online account. This prompted Mr. Johnson to investigate the company.
    Mr. Johnson’s investigation turned up class action lawsuit after lawsuit. It’s reported that this same bank is no Robin Hood! Just the opposite, Santander USA makes a habit of taking from the poor and giving to the rich to the likes of Bernie Madoff! It seems Santander USA is attempting to recoup the losses from its payoff to the Madoff victims.

  • Pa
      2nd of Dec, 2011
    0 Votes

    The last payment on my Car should have been November 2011. I was told that I still owed an additional $2, 111.98. They sent me print- outs with additional fees that were never on any of the other 4 cars I had purchased in the past. Granted, I had to pay an additional $300 or less for late fees but the amount and charges they sent me were unbelievable. Santander USA charges me for System Allocation Drive Collector-ACH, Miscellaneous fee payment-ACH, Late Charge Assessment System Generated Transaction (I would add the late fee when a payment was late), System Allocation Lock Box Payment, Interest Payment and another late charge, Converted Regular Payment, etc. Sometimes the payment was reduced over $100 because of what they deducted from my payments.
    Santander would send me a notice of the amount due but never sent any information that I had additional fees. Santander purchased my loan from HSBC. This was a common practice But I never expected a Santander USA to exploit a consumer’s need for a product.

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