Sovereign Bank / avoid it at all costs
As a foolish, optimistic computer programmer, I decided to open an account online, thinking it would be fast, easy, and I wouldn't have to go into the cold boston december to do it.
So I called an opened up an account. The first person who was assisting me told me I could get the account funded by having my father do an electronic check. I told her I would call him to make sure he was available and call her back.
When I did call back: she had gone on vacation, and wouldn't return for a week!
So I talked to somebody else and repeated the entire process. That person put me on a three-way call with my father so he could verify the funds. He told me that I was done, my account was open, and that I should be getting a card in the mail in the next few days.
A week later, when it hadn't shown up, I went to the bank to ask what the state of my account was. I was greeted with a blank stare and the insistence that "we can't find you in the system.. Come back tomorrow."
Panicked, I called my father to find out what had happened? He checked his account - they had certainly taken my $5, 000 - or at least, he no longer had it.
The next day I went to the bank, as they had told me to do. This time, the story changed slightly. "it can take 5-7 business days, come back then."
So, 5 business days later, they still had no record of my transaction. "come back tomorrow" they said.
So, 6 business days later, still no money. "come back tommorow."
So, 7 business days later, still no money. "come back tommorow."
8 days later I walked into a branch and demanded they open my account immediately. I told them I wasn't leaving without information. Now, magically, their system told them something different: "the account is frozen, because it is a new account. Talk to a manager."
So I did. He took all my information and assured me that he could now see my account, and that it was frozen, but that was just because it was a new account.
"come back tomorrow, you won't have an atm card but you can withdraw money at the tellers desk."
So I did.
This time I was told "your account has a freeze on it because the paying bank could not verify the transaction, the freeze will be removed tommorow. Come back then." - odd, since my father was $5, 000 poorer and my online banking account at sovereign said I had $5, 000 in my accounts.
When I got home, there was a letter from sovereign that said basically the same thing - it said the paying bank will not verify sufficient funds. Odd, as they already taken the money from his account. The letter also said the freeze would be removed in five business days. Seeing as how that was the next day, I waited yet another day.
Of course, when I got to the branch the next day, I got a completely different story. The freeze was not removed. The blank-faced tellers shrugged - they don't know anything! Millions of dollars in it infrastructure and all they can tell me is that they don't know.
I refused to leave, demanding to speak to somebody.
Them: "we can't do anything. You should leave and come back later."
Me: "that's what you said the previous 8 or 9 times I was in here. I'm not leaving. You stole my money."
Them: "what do you mean you're not leaving?"
Me: "you have my money, and won't tell me why you won't give it to me - not only that, I have a letter from you that says the funds will be available today for a specific reason that is not true. I am not going anywhere until I have my money."
Them: "in that case, hold on. We'll call you back in five minutes."
After apologizing to the tellers for swearing (not their fault!) I sat down and waited, noting very loudly that it was amazing how they decided they could try and help me when I threatened to make a scene.
Twenty minutes later they called me back and told me they couldn't get in touch with my father (working at the time, didn't answer the phone, not part of the cellphone generation) and wouldn't give me my money until they could. I was baffled, annoyed, and frustrated, but I was also bluffing about being able to stay there all day - I had to leave.
The story isn't over. They have my money. They won't give it back. They have lied to me consistently throughout the process. Avoid this bank. They've been treating me like a criminal since I signed up, and they won't even tell me why.
During this time I was able to open and use a bank account at a neighboring bank quite successfully - I can assure you it has nothing to do with my credit history or whatever else might stop someone from opening an account - these people are corrupt liars working with an outdated system and had the nerve to tell me to control my temper - while denying me my own money and lying about it.
Avoid sovereign bank! Avoid santander bank!
I'm very happy with td bank - they were friendly, informative, and no #. Use them instead. I can't wait to move the 5, 000 sovereign stole from me into that account.
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