Refusal of a Branch Manager to assist in VISA Fraud inquiry, lack of assistance in the midst of a crisis, then lying about it later. Incompetence.
Aug 6, 2014: Before traveling to England, my wife and I paid for our stay with our VISA credit/debit card (ending in *****) This aroused VISA fraud. So, my wife visited our local branch (************ IN) on Aug 8 where we've been banking for several years. We already had experienced numerous customer service gaffs and problems prior to this, but this would top them all. We wanted to insure that our business credit card would be working and available. My wife asked the bank manager (********* *******) to contact VISA fraud about this matter with her (as requested by Visa Fraud) in the banka conference call. Ms. ******* assured my wife that this was unnecessary and all would be well. So in England, we learned that our card had indeed already been shut down over the very matter my wife went to the bank about. In fact, on Aug 10, while in ****** and trying to pay for a meal, we learned that it had been shut down even before she had gone to the bank on the 8th. (The manager told us on the 8th that it was not blocked.) So, we tried calling the long distance number on the back of the card which promised we could "call the bank collect." It did not work. Even the Said Business College of ****** tried calling the number and could not get it to work. So, after messing with this for a day, I tried contacting the Bank via the online email system inside of our password protected online banking system. However, this was only answered very slowly. The emails I sent were urgent and stated extremely clearly as to the urgency. And when it was answered, it was with robot like sound-bites from a basic primer on "how to reply to customer questions." There was no urgency on the part of the bank, no effort to help us resolve the problem, not one show of concern about our situation. All they did was send the number again despite our telling them it did not work. The result? A cascade of denied charges to our business card for automatic services for our business which shut down portions of our business (e.g., web hosting, our web cart system, our email system, and other similar services). We had to scramble, spending hours finding other means to pay these denied charges. Upon returning to the states, several phone calls revealed a cavalcade of indifferent "supervisors" who were very adept at denying any concern or responsibility for anything at all. The branch manager denied that she had advised us in a particular direction. Not only did this branch manager deny doing exactly what she did, she started blaming my wife of not being responsible and taking care of the matter in a proper way. This treatment by a so-called "branch manager" is outrageous, unprofessional, and unbefitting of the station of this office, it is personally insulting. She is unfit for this station.
When I announced that I was charging a fee of $35 per denied automatic charges to our card (a total of $315)simply as fees--the very same fee that this bank would charge if we were to write nine $1 checks over limit: $315--the fee was dismissed as frivolous. We demand satisfaction. ONB deserves a very low customer service rating. It also owes us the same amount they would charge us for far less injury to them personally. We demand appropriate satisfaction for ruining our stay in England.
Mrs. ******* visited our banking center prior to their trip and stated that Visa had called to verify transactions on her husband's card but that Visa would not discuss the matter with her. The banking center manager explained to her that since this was a card owned solely by her husband, he was the only one authorized to verify his transactions with Visa and that he would need to verify the transactions before he left the Country if he needed to use the card. Mrs. ******* stated that he was too busy to do that. The branch manager reiterated that Mr. ******* would need to call Visa before their trip if he wanted to use his card.
When they returned from their trip Mrs. ******* visited the banking center again and was very upset that the card did not work during their vacation. When asked if Mr. ******* had called Visa to verify his transactions before he left as we had instructed, Mrs. ******* stated he had not. Mrs. ******* became upset and stated that we were putting the blame on her when it was the bank's fault that the card didn't work. The banking center manager apologized for the misunderstanding and again reiterated that she had informed Mrs. ******* that her husband was the only one authorized to verify his transactions and that she had instructed him to do that before leaving the Country.
We did receive messages from Mr. ******* through online banking regarding his card not working while he was out of the Country. His message was responded to promptly explaining that he would need to call in and speak with Visa to resolve the card issue. Once a card is blocked by Visa for suspicious activity, only Visa is authorized to unblock it.
If we can provide additional information, please advise. Thank you.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This is not only an incomplete and inaccurate response by the bank, it comes close to a fraudulent reply on several levels. The manager of the bank (********* *******) absolutely did not do as described in the response. In fact, she looked at the account right in front of Mrs ******* and said there should be no problem, the account was fine. Here is the main issue: Mrs ******* explained that she had been instructed by Visa fraud to come to the bank in person and to have the bank call Visa fraud to verify Mrs *******'s identity. Although the card is only in Mr *******'s name, the account itself is in both names. Mrs ******* expressly asked Ms ******* to call Visa Fraud as instructed by Visa Fraud, and Ms ******* stated something to the effect of "We never do that." She refused to call Visa Fraud when she was specifically asked to do so. She then commented that Mr ******* should just call himself and that it only takes a couple of minutes. Ms ******* was dismissive in demeanor and unhelpful as the "branch manager."
After the return from the trip, Mrs ******* went into the bank again to voice her disapproval. Ms ******* was again dismissive and began passing blame in a very unprofessional manner. At no time did she apologize for the problem or take any responsibility for her refusal to call Visa Fraud. She specifically told Mrs. ******* that it was "your fault for not doing what I told you to do." Again she was dismissive and derisive, beneath the dignity of her station as a manager.
In addition to the incidents at the branch (above), the banking center replies were not at all timely, despite the fact that the messages were marked "urgent." They were answered in the normal time (I don't know exactly, 12-24 hours or so apart I'm guessingwe were very busy and were not on the computer but once or twice a day) and with nothing helpful as replies, only "call us." Even though we explained in writing that we had tried to call and could not get through on several occasions (even having Said Business College of ****** ********** attempt the call to no avail), the banking center showed no urgency, offered no assistance, and eventually did nothing.
We don't know who has written the above "official response" from the bank, but this is not a response worthy of any consideration for a professional organization. It is a clear attempt to whitewash and dismiss the problem. The bank has not one time taken any responsibility for its failure to aid a customer. They have not contacted us in any manner to see how amends can be made. They have not reached out to us in any manner of any kind.
The reply also completely ignores the fees now assessed by us towards the bank of $315 (9x$35, a fee equal to the amount the bank itself would assess in the event of bounced checks). There were 9 "bounced" (rejected) items on our card directly as a result of the bank's refusal to help.) This effectively shut down our business.
This is a total and complete failure of ONB customer service, not only in the two visits to the branch, but also the banking center itself, and finally in the above official reply.
Finally, in the last several weeks, we have heard from numerous parties within the banking industry in the *********** area that this is not the first report they have heard that Ms. ******* has treated customers in such a manner, and that ONB has become a very "customer unfriendly" place to bank. We have every confidence that ONB is aware of this and that such unprofessional behavior is systemic from within the organization. The BBB grade on this organization should be immediately downgraded to reflect its reprehensible behavior, its failure to discipline one of its branch managers, and its general lack of customer concern. And it has an outstanding debt of $315 to us.
Although we are moving our accounts, it is not a simple overnight matter, and we have a fear that ONB will intentionally reach out to damage our accounts in the process as a retaliation for this justifiable complaint.
Final Business Response
Rebuttal given via phone by: ****** ********
rebuttal taken via phone by: *** ******
We had tried to contact Mr. ******* several times to no avail. We have credited his business account $315 for for the fees.