Pulling my hair out
Life in Guatemala

Banking Customer Service?

Never before have I walked out of a bank literally yelling “I hate this bank!” But that’s what happened a week ago.

I have been using this bank’s online banking for four years, including ACH transfers to pay individuals such as my electrician and contractor. Always, the money has been transferred by late afternoon when I’ve made the transfer in the morning.

Last week I made a transfer at 8am to be sure the funds would arrive the same day. After I set up the transfer, I checked the status and saw that the funds would be available on SATURDAY. This was Monday.

I called the bank. They said there was a problem with transfers but that the funds should be available Wednesday, in spite of what the online status said. However, I had an electrician who needed to buy parts to complete a job before my guests’ arrival on Saturday. I called the bank’s customer service to ask whether I could cancel the transfers. Sure, they said. Take a letter to the local branch telling them what I want to do.

Write a letter. Wow. Old school.

So I wrote my letter and took it to the branch. Sorry, they said. A letter only works if you initiate the transfer at the branch; because you made the transfer online, there’s no way to cancel it. The bank employees’  suggestion? Take money out of the account so that when the transaction is processed, there wouldn’t be sufficient funds and the transfer would be rejected. Huh. Three bank employees stood there giving me a stupid idea that wouldn’t work: the bank knew I’d started the transfer; they wouldn’t let me take the money out twice.

A website, a customer service call, and a visit to the branch: it turned out that ALL of them gave me the wrong information.

I could go on. This was the last straw in a series of interactions over several months that demonstrated the absolute incompetence of this bank’s employees. Time to move my money elsewhere.

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