To whom it may concern,
I am writing this complaint as an employee of the bank to lay out how extremely disappointed I am in my own company's insurance department. On 6/18/2018 the sewer of my newly purchased home backed up into my finished basement; I immediately called my insurance company to file a claim. We arranged for a restoration group to come out within a few days and plumbers followed shortly after. I collected estimates and received insurance approval, to which the insurance company sent me an initial check in the amount $19, 012.68 to pay for the first half of the planned repairs. My wife took the insurance check into a local branch on 7/12 to ensure that the funds could be deposited before we planned any of the restoration and plumbing work. She specifically asked questions about how to deposit this check so that we could use the money to pay the companies that we had lined up with estimates. At that time the teller accepted and deposited into our savings account. Without being told there were issues we verified the funds were in the account on 7/13 and we scheduled the plumbing repairs for 7/20.
On 7/16, without contacting me at any time, US Bank pulled the funds out of my savings account and started a returned check process because of the local branch's error of not endorsing the check correctly. Again, I want to make this clear that US Bank made an error, never even contacted me about the error or the return of the[removed] check, and charged me a fee for their error. I didn't realize that these funds had been removed until 7/20 when I went to pay the plumbers for the work that they had already completed on the house. I wrote a check and immediately went into my account to transfer funds only to realize that not only had US Bank removed the [removed], they also put a 15k hold on all other funds in my savings account I then had to call customer service to acquire what was going on with my account. At this point, I've bounced a check to the plumber due to the hold on our savings account (which customer service advised they had no control over) stopped me from being able to cover the check with the funds that were previously in my savings account. Despite the ordeal, customer service assured me to remediate the situation I just needed to bring my returned check (which they needed to reissue and mail) into the branch and have it endorsed by USBHM.
I received the check 3 days later. On 7/23, My wife and I took time off work to bring our insurance check into our local US Bank branch to deposit the funds into our savings to make up for the payment I made to the plumbers previously. We brought all of the appropriate paperwork (including estimates, the insurance claim from our insurance company, our mortgage information, the check, etc.) and after waiting for more than 35 minutes in the lobby, we met with Leigh Foster (Sales and Service Manager II). After several attempts with different departments Leigh connected with someone in the insurance department. The insurance agent asked us some questions, and to the complete opposite of what we were told on 7/20, informed us that we must enter an insurance program at the bank in which we had to compile a packet of information from the contractors and plumber (whoever will be working on the house) and also have an air test completed until the funds will be made available. My wife immediately stepped outside to contact our contractor and see if we already had an air test completed. He informs us that we had not previously had an air test completed due to the fact he has never had to complete one at the request of a bank. We share this with Ms. Foster and her response was "Yeah…He's definitely lying to you because all mortgage companies follow this same process". This was an incredibly inappropriate comment since Ms. Foster does not know our contractors and they have been recommended by our insurance company.
Neither Ms. Foster, nor the employer from the insurance department expressed any genuine empathy to our already stressful situation. Unfortunately, we felt that Ms. Foster was condescending and we were very disappointed with the entire local branch experience. However, we were being told that if we wanted to use these funds we had no choice but to submit the funds to US Banks insurance department so that they can send the funds back out. We attempted to express that we needed the funds to have the air test completed, so we could not documentation for a test that we did not have the funds to pay for. We were repeatedly told, "This is policy." At this point, we have bounced a check to one of our contractors, our account is frozen, and we have no way of getting the work done to fulfill the requests of the bank. Since there are no other options we enter the insurance process and have US Bank send a package to us about the documentation that we need to collect. It was then we were told insurance department could not mail out the packet through overnight mail so, we were unable save ourselves precious time in this process. The insurance department calls me the day after our visit to tell me about the documentation that I am missing on a packet that I haven't even received yet. Expecting to receive the packet 3-5 business days after our conversation on Monday, we learn several days later that it wasn't even mailed until Wednesday of that week. Each step of this process proves that our time and livelihood are of no concern to anyone assisting us from US Bank.
We were forced to use a credit card to pay the plumber, who expected payment at time of service, putting our family in an extremely unstable financial situation. We finally receive the packet on 7/31 (more than 1 week after our visit to the branch). There is no mention about any air test which was a huge reason the insurance department employee said we needed to complete the paperwork I called back on 8/2 to ask what documentation is needed to get reimbursed for the [removed] that I've already paid to the plumbing company so that they could complete their work. The only way to submit documents electronically is through a website. How is it possible that it takes 3 business days to verify that electronically submitted documents are received? Finally, on 8/6 I call back in to verify that my paid invoice to the plumbing company has been received to open an exception for our claim and have a check sent to me. The individual at that time tells me that everything looks good and an exception will be entered. After trying to be patient for the 3-5 day window for the exception review process, I called back on 8/9 to request an update only to learn that an exception was never opened on 8/6 and I would have to wait another 5 business days for the exception committee to decide whether to approve the funds be disbursed to me.
As an employee, I have heard our vision of being "customer obsessed" as a company. As a customer who has trusted this company with my mortgage, my livelihood and my family, I have experienced a process that is cumbersome, slow, frustrating, unnecessarily complicated and honestly, devoid of human compassion. Time and time again through this process, it has been my responsibility to move the process forward and ensure what has been promised to me is actually happening. It should be US Banks first priority to make sure I have what I need and actually communicate with me every step of the way. Time and time again, I am losing days and weeks to a process that, at the end of the day, is keeping my home from being fixed and my family from having the resources they need. Unfortunately, this has made me feel as though the process is more important than the people and I also feel have no other choice but to move my funds elsewhere. I am unsure of where the end to the process is and my family is suffering while US Bank attempts to figure out what is expected of us. I would appreciate any insight you have regarding this complaint and hope that this can be corrected soon.
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