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I've had to set up a savings account twice to avoid monthly fee charges at US Bank (after being a customer for over 10 years) because of employee error with signature cards. After more than half a year of screw-ups and finally getting a Silver account in place, the bank assigned me a wrong home location at a totally different branch than my checking account that's been in existence for a decade. The phone line and physical locations are two different arms of U.S. Bank - there's no good communication and employees give totally different information out.
This place can't get it together. Last July I got a letter that says a new nine dollar charge would be going in place for anyone without a savings or second account that has either a monthly deposit or withdrawal. The basics are the bank wants activity or charges a new monthly fee. When I call a representative tells me, no problem, I can have what's called a Silver Account in order to bypass being charged each month. Perfect. So I spend 15 minutes on the phone and think everything is all set up. That was near June 2011 the first time I set up a new bank account (keeping in mind I've had accounts with the exact location for over a decade and through three name changes or acquisitions, with a healthy amount that's passed through).
I started the process ahead of time so there wouldn't be any problems with a crossover when the fee was supposed to be charged in July, plenty of time (or or so I thought). I called to check in July after returning the paperwork and, no, no fee had been charged. I didn't know that was because U.S. Bank had delayed charging customers the fee, not because my account hadn't actually been set up right - or at all.
Months later, when I see an $8.95 fee and get suspicious, I find out U.S. Bank claimed it never got my signature card. After going around and around a customer service rep finally figure out the problem. It turns out the bank did actually get MY signature card but didn't get the other signature card - so it was showing up in their system as paperwork not returned. Other signature card? Screw-up number one. The employee on the phone forgot (or didn't know) that both signers on a checking account (where the funds are coming out of) have to be signature/signers for the new savings account. Only one of us had signed because that's how the paperwork was made out. Strike one. In the meantime US Bank had accrued about 5 months of fees to the account because no one had told me, either, that the account never got set up right.
I call the phone line again. They tell me to go into a branch because it's so much easier to set up the savings account - it will only take minutes. A branch tells me (after 30 minutes of insane lack of communication) to call the phone line, it's so much easier. The phone line sets up an account again - this time with both signers. That's the only potential problem I know to make sure of. And the rep says go directly into any US Bank branch to take the signature cards personally because it's way faster than mailing them back. I follow all instructions. The branch manager reads the same paperwork I've read, only to fax the paperwork. After all that it takes 10 days for the account to show up - after I personally delivered the cards for 'fast' service. But thankfully the account is finally in place. US Bank will credit the fees because of its errors - after phone calls to two places. Turns out the phone line can only credit up to 3 because the bank phone employees can only SEE three statements. Yes, it's a bank that only has access to three months of records - seriously. I'm told I have to call the home branch on top of it, to get the other 2 months of fees credited. They take care of it after hours of wasted time but finally everything is in place. Or so I think. Instead, during the phone call to have fees put back in the checking account, the teller first tells me she's not sure she can do it - that my home branch is the only branch that's authorized to credit those fees. I think she must be confused. I am calling my home branch - of a decade. But, no. It turns out I now have TWO home branches.
The employee at my home branch told me my savings "home" location was at the branch where I physically opened the account. It was by phone so obviously I didn't open the account physically. That confused her. In fact I've never even been into the branch EVER that is now my additional home location.
As the nice supervisor explained to me finally after going around and around with four previous phone employees, there's a glitch with the computer system. I suggested someone might want to tell their phone staff about the 'glitch' that affects customers of years. My assumption was that my home branch would obviously be the same for the savings account as my existing checking. After all, why would there be any change. I had the same address, and no other changes. The US Bank supervisor claims I'm one of the only ones he's seen it happen to but that there's a known glitch with the computers that uses the mailing address and closest US Bank branch. It doesn't take into account things like bodies of water or actual roads required for physical travel - just exact distance. And U.S. Bank has been acquiring lots of banks in the neighborhood so another branch (that lies only about one mile from my real home branch) showed up as closer by a fraction of a mile from the mailing address. Really? The phone operators at the bank are not instructed to notify customers of this potential problem before setting up an account over the phone. In fact the employee I'd talked to had told me everything would remain the same and even gone further to state it didn't matter what branch I dropped off the signature cards at (which, btw, was NOT the branch either that was assigned as my second home branch).
Customers need to be aware - the phone arm of US Bank has no idea what the physical location arm is doing and each gives customers totally different responses. Opening a savings account by phone can have you end up with a 'home' branch that isn't yours at all. Management now says the ONLY way to bypass the problem is to physically walk into the branch where you want your account - even if you've had a home location for years already. The only way to fix an account being opened at the wrong place (I notified US Bank within 72 hours and it claims there is nothing it can do to correct the error or switch the paperwork to the right place, a mile away) is to CLOSE a newly opened account and start over. A complete joke. I was so frustrated and vented with the bank's phone supervisor - who really did sound sincere when telling me how sorry he was - but it doesn't make up for all the lost hours and stress. I'm not starting over because I can't deal with having two separate arms have to do separate fee credits, etc, and it's just not worth the stress but when I have the time I'm looking into a switch. It seems unreal that a bank's phone line is in such disconnect from its actual functioning/physical locations but that is how US Bank works.