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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 03/13/2013

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Phone: (800) 322-7228Fax: (651) 312-6252

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Customer Complaints Summary

15 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Billing / Collection Issues4
Delivery Issues1
Problems with Product / Service9
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints15

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (15)BBB Closure Definitions
02/06/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Took 2 Affinity Plus bank drafted checks to the Fergus Falls location to cash. Presented ID, but AP refused to cash unless allowed to copy my ID.
copy of: FTC Complaint Filed Online 01/07/2015 OMB Control # XXXX-XXXX

I'm a landlord and received two checks drawn on an Affinity Plus checking account. I usually cash checks at the bank they are drawn on as it eliminates bank fees because if there is a problem with a check I find out immediately. Today I tried to cash two checks at Affinity Plus in Fergus Falls, MN. I asked if they needed ID, and was told "yes" and "you will have to remove it from your wallet" even though it was readable in my wallet. After I gave my ID to the employee and she verified my identity I expected to get my driver's license back, receive my cash, and be on my way. Instead she started to walk away with my driver's license. When I asked her where she was going with my ID she said "to make a copy of it to send in with the paperwork." I then refused to allow Affinity Plus to make a hard copy of my MN driver's license as they had no right to possess my personal information, which included my name, address, picture, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, donor information, medical alerts, etc... I have no affiliation or ongoing relationship with Affinity Plus. I'm not their customer, I'm not a consumer of any of their services, yet they insisted on making hard copies of my personal information. I simply wanted to cash two checks drawn on an Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union account in good standing after having presented a valid and current Minnesota driver's license to verify that I was the payee on the check. They refused to cash the checks unless I allowed my data to be copied, filed, and used, apparently, in any manner chosen by Affinity Plus. "To be sent in with the paperwork" is a direct quote from the Affinity Plus' employee as to why they needed to copy my driver's license. This was done without any mention or offer of a copy of Affinity Plus' Data Privacy Polcies. My ID was only presented to verify my identity for the purpose of cashing two checks issued to me by one of their checking account holders/customers. I believe their checking account customers are unwittingly being used as pawns in a data mining scheme. Affinity Plus' account holders are being defrauded if they are led to believe their checks are being honored when presented to Affinity Plus for cash. Affinity Plus refused to honor the checks and their supervisor refused to come out of his office to speak with me. Instead he waited until I left and called the police and made a false and slanderous police report as about an hour later I received a call from the Fergus Falls Police Dept. informing me that I and had been "trespassed" from Affinity Plus' property, because I had threatened the people working there. That's rich, data extortion and then a false police report intended to intimidate me. In the past year I've been subjected to both the Target and Home Depot data breaches, and now its seems Affinity Plus is insisting that I open up yet another avenue for data thieves to use. My faith in our banking system was already at an all time low, and this situation made it even worse. The only thing which holds our monetary and banking system together is faith in the system as we're not on the gold standard anymore. I know now that Affinity Plus' checks are not worth the paper they are printed on, they are just a data mining tool because when I refused to relinquish control of my data they refused to give me my cash. I had to inform two prospective tenants a couple hours later that I would not accept their Affinity Plus checks.

Desired Settlement
A formal company wide change of policy regarding copying of Identification for any reason.

A formal written apology from each member of the B.O.D. to signify that "they get it.", and that the policy has been changed.

In addition, if the B.O.D. is willing to admit a mistake and eat a bit of crow by writing those letters of apology, then I would also like them to lift the trespass order against me, as this might just be an outfit I could do business with in the future.

Business Response
Affinity Plus has received the complaint issued by ******* *****, non-member of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

It is the policy of Affinity Plus to properly identify every member and non-member conducting business at the credit union. This policy is in place, in part, to safe-guard our members from fraudulent or unauthorized activity. Related to Mr. *****'s concern, this policy directs Affinity Plus employees to capture the identification method they use when cashing a check for a non-member. When Mr. ***** was unwilling to allow the credit union employee to photo copy his ID, the employee offered an alternative solution which was to document his driver's license number on the check. We regret that Mr. ***** was unwilling to accept either option. Both options offered to Mr. ***** are acceptable practices for a credit union to employ under the presentment rules of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Regarding the matter of the trespass ****** Affinity Plus stands behind the decision to execute on the trespass ****** Affinity Plus does not tolerate behavior that could be viewed as threatening.

Lastly, Affinity Plus has confirmed the checks in Mr. *****'s possession have cleared our account.

01/12/2015Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
For the past several months, I receive our monthly mortgage payment statement in a timeline that doesn't allow it to be mailed in on time for payment.
Approximately five months ago, I brought the above concern to the attention of the Affinity Plus staff at the CSU in Mankato. I shared that when I receive the statement only one or two days before it is due, my only option is to make a payment in person or if I happen to be out of town that day, make a late payments. I was told by the staff there "was nothing they could do" because the "main office" has adjusted their mailing cycle and it would sort itself out.

This morning I needed to go to the Affinity Plus office in Mankato to make my mortgage payment (it is due on January 1) because I STILL HAVE NOT received my monthly statement to pay via mail. Last month, I needed to pay one day late because I DID NOT receive the monthly mortgage billing statement in time to make a payment by mail.

This practice is unacceptable. I'm not sure if their goal is for me to default on my loan or if there is some other goal with sending payment statements late. Why did they make this change? What will it take for the statement to be sent on time?

Desired Settlement
I expect to receive my monthly billing statement at least one week prior to it being due. This was the previous practice by Affinity Plus with a previous mortgage and with the beginning of this mortgage.

04/04/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Affinity Plus FCU in Faribault, MN is unwilling to protect any costumer against any fraudulent act that happens for any reason.
I unknowingly cashed two cashiers checks that ended up being fraudulent. I have always put my faith in the banks I deal with to be the first line of defense to protect me against fraud. My bank has informed me that all of their costumers including me are personally responsible to pay for all fraudulent funds. I asked, "isn't there fraud insurance to help take care of these types of problems?",and they would not respond. They just stated that I was responsible. They also have frozen my account leaving me penniless until I get payed again from my job. When I was talking to them they told me this was not the first time in the last year that this incident had happened. During our phone conversation they also stated that they would not be filing a police report regarding this incident and that I needed to fill out a loan application to pay all fraud charges back. When I went into bank to talk to them they kept changing their story. Now I could file a police report and after that they would also. I told them I would not sign a loan document when I do not believe I was at fault and I am looking into my rights first.

Desired Settlement
The settlement I am seeking is for my bank account to be reactivated and all funds that were taken from my account to cover the fraud restored to my account. And for them to go after the people that are at fault.

Business Response
Mr. ********, it is Affinity Plus' intent to provide you with information so that you understand what check fraud is and our role in assisting members who are victim to a check fraud scam.

We understand that you cashed two cashier's checks that were fraudulent, and we also understand that it is frustrating to learn you have become a victim of check fraud.

Our employees who informed you that we act only as your agent in collecting payment on the check are correct, and this information is stated in our Terms and Conditions you receive upon becoming a member of Affinity Plus. This information can be found on page three under Collection of Items and it explains, "We act only as your agent and we are not responsible for handling items for deposit or collection beyond the exercise of ordinary care."

We understand that your desired resolution is to have all of the funds we made available to you when you deposited the fraudulent checks returned to your account. Please understand that we made these funds available to you immediately because it is a benefit of your membership and we trust that checks our members deposit are honest checks from which we will be able to collect funds. In this situation, we were not able to collect funds from the party who provided you with the cashier's check which is why we withdrew the funds from your account.

We understand you spent the funds we made available to you which resulted in your account balance going negative. Affinity Plus is committed to helping our members recover from fraud if they become victims. Mr. ********, we would like to work with you to develop a plan that would help restore your account at Affinity Plus. If this is of interest to you, please contact us at (800) ******** or affinityplus@affinityplus.org.

To help you further understand the nature of check fraud scams, we encourage you to visit the consumer information page about fake checks on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0159-fake-checks. There is also a section on the bottom of this page that will direct you to a page on which you can report your check fraud experience with the FTC.



11/11/2013Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint

Please help correct an erroneous loan of $10,000.00 given to a mentally disabled individual on a fixed income.
In September 2012, my mentally disabled son,************, purchased a used, 2000 GMC, half-ton pick-up from ********** Ford in Baxter, MN. The Vehicle cost $10,000.00 and **** was directed to Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, in Brainerd, MN for an auto loan. Affinity approved a loan to this vulnerable adult on a fixed income. ****'s monthly income is $900, yet he Was approved a five year loan with monthly payments of $260.00. **** was also required to carry full-coverage insurance which cost an additional $200.00 a month It seems reasonable that a loan officer should know these figures don't add up. By March 2013 **** Was no longer able to make his auto payment. The truck was repossessed in August 2013 and sold at auction for approximately $3000.00, leaving him responsible for the remaining balance of $6000.00. **** is now suffering since he no longer has a Vehicle and has little hopes of getting another one. He lives 25 miles away from his doctor, and 12 miles away from the nearest grocery store.

Desired Settlement
I hope you will be able to rectify this wrong and hold **** not liable for the balance of his loan.
Clearly this loan was predatory in nature. Thank you for your attention concerning this important matter and I look forward to receiving a response Within 10 business days.

Business Response
This letter is in response to the complaint Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union received on 10/21/2013 from the Better Business Bureau regarding a membership and auto loan for ***********.

In the letter, Ms. **************** states that her son, ***********, applied for and was granted a loan from Affinity Plus to purchase a vehicle he could not afford. Affinity Plus looks at every member's situation individually and based on the application, applicable supporting documentation as well as the conversations we have with our members will only approve a loan for an individual when it is right for them and in their best interest. We regret that ultimately **** was unable to meet the monthly payment obligations for this vehicle.

At Affinity Plus, it is our goal to have long term relationships with our members whenever possible. That being said, we appreciate the ongoing conversations we have had with **** regarding this particular situation. **** has been in regular contact with Affinity Plus as recent as 10/28/2013 and we hope to continue the productive conversations about what is right for both **** and Affinity Plus.

Ms. ********, we appreciate your letter and with ****'s permission we are more than willing to bring you into our ongoing dialogs. Please feel free to contact me directly and I would be happy to meet with both you and **** regarding this situation.

10/23/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
opening new account
I attempted to open a new account at affinity plus via their website. I deposited 20 dollars but never received my bank card. When i contacted the bank they said it was my fault because i did not sign the application. They also said they need a copy of my drivers license. I sent that stuff in via email and was told the the address i put on the application does not match my DL which was true as i had just moved. When i received my new DL i send it in via email to the same email address as before but received no response. so i called in and was told the will send me the application again as it was still wrong and to send it back signed. I never received another email from them. I contacted them again via chat and requested my money back. They said they are mailing me a check.

Desired Settlement
I did not send them a check to deposit the money so i feel the money should be return via the same method as it was deposited which was a bank to bank transfer. Also I would like interest on my money as they have now held my money for over a month. The chat representative disconnected before i could make that request. Very bad customer service. Below is the chat transcript.


9:04:38 AM : *****: Initial Question/Comment: help

9:04:44 AM : Looking for a loan? Get an instant decision by applying online, then hop back into chat to finalize the details!

9:04:49 AM : Sometimes waiting is a bore. While you are waiting, maybe you can find a good joke to share with us!

9:04:49 AM : ***** G has joined this session!

9:04:49 AM : Connected with ***** G. Your Reference Number for this chat is 94110.

9:04:53 AM : ***** G: Hi *****. How are you today?

9:04:57 AM : *****: good

9:05:03 AM : *****: you?

9:05:19 AM : ***** G: Pretty good this morning. What can I help you with?

9:06:15 AM : *****: I set up an account online and was told I need to resign the application and send in a copy of my DL. I spoke with someone yesterday who said she would email me the application to print and sign but I never recived it

9:08:34 AM : ***** G: Yeah, depending on the work volume, Rachel may have not been able to get to that. That is ok as I can help you with that. Did you receive a member#?

9:09:37 AM : *****: i don't think so

9:09:42 AM : *****: i could have

9:09:51 AM : *****: i just check my email and did not see one

9:10:37 AM : ***** G: Did you check the junk folders as well?

9:10:47 AM : *****: yes

9:10:55 AM : *****: can i just have my money back

9:10:56 AM : *****: ???

9:11:07 AM : *****: your company seems slow

9:12:19 AM : ***** G: I wouldn't say we are slow.. we just have had incredible growth in the last 6 months. What is your last name? I will look you up that way.

9:12:36 AM : *****: *****n ******

9:12:56 AM : *****: *************************************

9:13:01 AM : *****: *********

9:13:30 AM : *****: does the money get returned to the account it came from or do i get a check in the mail?

9:14:34 AM : ***** G: We would mail a check or you can stop by a branch and pick up the funds.

9:14:57 AM : *****: please mail the check asap

9:15:14 AM : *****: i have wasted enough of my time dealing with your company

9:15:23 AM : ***** G: hah ok.

9:15:51 AM : ***** G: I will mail your check out asap.

9:16:25 AM : *****: ok great

9:16:37 AM : *****: do i get any confirmation number?

9:16:44 AM : ***** G has left this session!

9:16:44 AM : The session has ended



Business Response
Affinity Plus FCU has reviewed the complaint by Mr. ******, and we take his complaint very seriously. Affinity Plus FCU opened a membership for Mr. ****** on 8/6/13. He submitted his membership application online, with an electronic signature. His address did not match his Driver's License, so on 8/26/13 we asked that he send us confirmation of his new mailing address with a bill or statement reflecting this, along with the signed membership application. It was suggested that he could stop into a branch to complete this and then sign the membership application. On 10/15/13, he sent us his updated DL with his current address, however he had still not completed the membership application. I believe there may have been some miscommunication of what needed to occur in order to get his membership completely opened. We acknowledge his frustration and understand that he may not have received some email communications sent from us, which extended the process even further.

When Mr. ****** communicated with us through our online chat on our website, he indicated that he would like his money refunded to him. We then closed out his account and mailed him a check.

We are disappointed to learn that Mr. ****** is upset about the process and that it ended up in a closed account. After a recent phone conversation, he shared his frustrations and gave suggestions about how the account opening process can be adjusted to make it easier on all parties involved.

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05/09/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Failure to open account and provide service due to accidental discrepancy
So i went into a branch to open a account and the guy helped me i have a freeze on my credit report as well as my Chex Sytems report because my identity was stolen so i raised the freeze on my Chex systems report and was told that something was showing unpaid so even though i didn't open the unpaid account i went and paid the account off in order to open the Affinity plus account i was notified that if i paid it and my credit was good that they could open the account so i unfroze my credit and they pulled it i was told that my credit score was 759 and that my credit was good and that they would open the account then they told me the next day that they are denying me membership due to me using the wrong social security number in the past. My mother gave me the wrong SSN when i turned 18. But i was applying with the correct SSN and i had provided the bank with a copy of my Social Security Card. I don't think its fair that a bank can deny me because of a mistake that was made i never even got a account when i applied last year with the wrong SSN because i didn't have a copy of the card and that's when i found out i was using the wrong SSN. So im very angry that they said they could open a account for me and are now being rude about it and now i have a inquiry on my credit from them and on my chexsystems report and it all was a big waste of time. I even advised the rep that i just wanted a membership savings account so i could apply for a auto loan i provided them with my Social Security Card, My Drivers License, My Passport and a copy of my Police Report.

Desired Settlement
I would like them to open the share savings account for me so that i can get a Auto Loan with the credit union. If they are unable to do that i would like the inquiry removed from my Transunion Credit Report because i was told that if my credit was good i could get a account and my credit was the last thing they pulled before completing my application.

Business Response
Affinity Plus has received the complaint submitted by Mr. ******** *********.

Affinity Plus is declining Mr. *********'s desired resolution of opening a membership so that he can take out an auto loan. We are unable to verify his identity due to the use of multiple social security numbers when trying to establish multiple memberships with Affinity Plus in the past. The credit union will take steps to verify the identity of the potential member at the time of application and this does include utilizing credit reports therefore the inquiry with TransUnion is valid.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Terrible response but I was able to get my auto loans with a new credit union thanks

04/22/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
We relied to our detriment on Affinity Plus's repeated assurances over many months that they could refinance our rental property.
In 2013 when our Affinity Plus contact learned that we wanted to refinance our rental property, she told us that Affinity Plus was financing commercial properties, so we should take our business to Affinity. She offered us an excellent rate. My partner ************** and I ended our pending refinancing process with Wells Fargo, giving up the good rate we were guaranteed.
Months went by. We contacted the Affinity person at the University Avenue branch repeatedly and she assured us the mortgage refinancing was proceeding. And then it wasn't: "sorry", we were told, "we can't finance commercial properties". We talked to the branch manager and told her that in the intervening months the interest rate had increased so that abandoning us would cost us a lot over the life of the loan. She shrugged and said simply: "sorry".

I wrote to Affinity Board Chair *************** and Vice Chair ************ on January 31, 2014. Two months have passed with no response from Affinity Plus.

Desired Settlement
1. Payment of the difference over the life of the mortgage between the originally-promised Affinity Plus re-fi rate and the higher rate we're having to pay at Spire Credit Union for the substitute re-fi deal; and,

2. Written acknowledgement of Affinity Plus's customer service failures and full apology.

Business Response
Affinity Plus has reviewed the complaint submitted by Mr. ******. We take his complaint very seriously and have completed an investigation into the events and actions that lead to his frustration.

First and foremost Affinity Plus does recognize that our communication with Mr. ****** was not handled appropriately. For that, we do apologize. We pride ourselves on having consistent contact with members and keeping them informed during any interaction. We have addressed this situation with our University branch and the individuals involved.

With regards to Mr. ******'s rental refinance application that was completed on 4/30/13: When an application is submitted, the preapproval and underwriting process begins. This process relies upon regular communication between both our members and our employees, as we are collecting and verifying required documents (i.e. income statements, bank statements, credit reports, etc.) and working together to perform the necessary services (i.e. appraisal, title, etc.). This information is gathered and reviewed in order for Affinity Plus to make lending decisions in the best interest of our members and to secure terms and conditions (including interest rate) available upon approval of the loan. Unfortunately, we did not receive all required information and did not perform all necessary services, and contact between Mr. ****** and Affinity Plus was minimal, ultimately resulting in our inability to provide such approval. As a result, on July 24, 2013, Affinity Plus was regulated to withdraw the application due to lack of contact. During the time we had limited contact with Mr. ******, as an organization Affinity Plus made the decision to discontinue our lending for investment properties which is why we weren't able to provide him with this type of lending when he tried to reinitiate the application.

Mr. ****** also states a letter was sent on 1/31/14 to the attention of two individuals on the Board of Directors at Affinity Plus regarding this situation with no response. We have no record of that letter.

Finally, Affinity Plus respectfully declines Mr. ******'s request to have us pay the difference between the amount of interest he will pay with ***** over the life of his loan.



Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The April 4th statement by Affinity is not supported by our carefully-maintained email and document record. Please consider these few samples (many more are available; all emphatically establish that the response from Affinity is not based in fact):

Email from ***** F*, 7-17-2013, 3:23 PM: "I just saw you stopped in ... you are so patient, and I truly apologize for not getting back to you. I'm currently waiting for the title report to be returned on the property and if everything is clear we should be good to close fairly soon. We can sign any extraneous forms at closing. I don't have a definitive closing date to set now, but what kind of availability do you guys have at the beginning of August to come in?"

Email from ***** F, 9-20-2013, 6:33 PM: "I got your voicemail checking in on the closing and I didn't want to tell you either way before I was absolutely sure -- it looks like we won't be able to close tomorrow morning. I will be in touch with you early next week with the status and we can talk about a realistic closing date.

"Thank you again for your patience with this process, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your understanding."

Email from ***** F, 10-9-2013, 10:24 AM:
"The guy I have doing inventory on the loan wasn't able to complete it today, can I get in touch with you Friday afternoon? He should have it completed by then."

Please note that none of the content of any of Ms. ***********'s communications suggests in any way that Affinity did not receive all required information from us. In fact, our email and document record establish quite the opposite: we provided all requested information, and closing was just a day away at one point.

Affinity made a $550 expenditure on an appraisal of the subject property in approximately May of 2013. It should be apparent to even a casual observer that Affinity would not have paid for an appraisal unless we had fully responded to their requests for documentation needed.

We ask that Affinity check its record of communications and speak both with Ms. F and the Branch manager of the University Avenue office. Errors surely can occur when crafting a response to a BBB complaint. We understand and will be happy to accept an amendment of their response after they have checked their record of communications.

Thank you.

*(***** F's full last name is available on request; we didn't include it here because of BBB's admonition not to include personally identifiable information in our response.)

Final Business Response
Affinity Plus has reviewed the response submitted by Mr. ******.

Affinity Plus sincerely apologizes for the way our communication was handled with Mr. ****** regarding his refinance application. We have addressed this situation with our University branch and the individuals involved.

Affinity Plus was unable to process the application for Mr. ******'s refinance because we did not receive all required information and did not perform all necessary services. We take responsibility for our lack of communication in this situation. Unfortunately, following the withdrawal of the application we were unable to initiate a new one because our organization is no longer offering this type of lending.

Finally, Affinity Plus stands by its decision to respectfully decline Mr. ******'s request to have us pay the difference between the amount of interest he will pay with ***** over the life of his loan.

03/18/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Refusal to let me use my points to get overdarft fees waived like I have in the past.
I have banked with Affinity Plus for almost 10 years, and through out the years I have been able to have over draft fees reimbursed using participation points that i've earned. The last fees I was ble to have waived was on Jan 16. Last week on Friday, I made a request online to have two other fees waived using my participation points. I received an email from a representative of Affinity stating that I did not qualify for a reimbursement. I called the credit union,& the representative I spoke too told me that due to the fact I have a work out loan with affinity then I dont qualify to use my participation points to have fees waived. I told her that I have used my points in the past to have numerous fees waived incluiding just last month. She said Affinity Plus changed their policy over a year ago, & members with Work Out Loans don't qualify to get fees waived. I asked how come no communication was sent to me informing me of this change, & how come just two weeks ago I was able to use the points to get fees waived, and that prior representatives had never mentioned this new policy. She said previous representatives had ignored the new policy, but that is the policy and she won't waive the fees. I then asked to speak to a supervisor, and after almost 30 minutes of holding a supervisor came on the line, and stated the same. When I asked her why no letter was sent out a year ago to inform customers of the policy change, she said the information is on there website. I informed her that I log into my account regularly online, & that i've never seen anything about this new policy. I asked her to point out to me exactly where online this policy was, and after looking for a few minutes she said they must have take it down as she couldnt't find the information either. I proceeded to ask her why when I log into my account online the following message is on my main screen verbatim:
"We've recently made some enhancements to our Participation Rewads Program! As a member, you're automatically eligible to earn Participation Rewards points for your evertday banking activity. These points can be redeemed to waive fees or reduce a consumer loan rate, and you can even donate them to one of our five charities of choice."

She of course did not have an answer for that, and as of today, Feb 6th, this message is still displayed on my screen on online banking. What Affinity plus is doing is not only highly unethical, but should be illegal. A banking location is responsible for communicating with the members about any policy changes, but from what their site is saying,i'M VERY CONFUSED!

Desired Settlement
I would like the two $ 35 fees charged on my account on 01/24/2014 to be reimbursed using my participation points.

Business Response
Affinity Plus acknowledges ******'s frustration because based on the notes in her account made by Affinity Plus member advisors, she has received different responses for her request to redeem her points to reverse a fee. However, Affinity Plus has explained to ****** that she is not eligible for the Participation Rewards Program when she has a workout loan.

On July 28, 2009, Affinity Plus funded a workout loan for ****** to consolidate her vehicle and signature loans. It is stated in our Participation Rewards Program agreement that if members have a workout loan, they're unable to earn or redeem points. This is a policy of Affinity Plus that has been in place since the program first became available to members.

On January 21, 2010, ****** was advised that she would not be able to use her points because of her workout loan: (notes from her account)

I also advised her that with a workout loan we are not able to use points to reduce interest rates, member is upset, feels as though we are not working with her even though she has been making payments on her loan, I attempted to explain to her that a work out loan is an exception that most instituions would not allow and we are working with her to rebuild her relationship with affinity plus,

Again on January 31, 2014, ****** was reminded that because of her workout loan, she is unable to use her points to reverse a fee based on the notes provided by the member advisors below:

1/31/2014 - ************
****** called in upset that she was denied use of her PRPs to refund fees. She isn't eligible to use the PRPs since she has a work out loan - she was very upset and demanded to speak with a leader - **** spoke with her

Affinity Plus recognizes why ****** is frustrated, however, according to the General Program Rules listed in the Participation Rewards User Agreement, she is not eligible to participate in the program which includes earning and redeeming points.


Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
First and foremost, I have to say that I'm not only very disappointed by Affinity Plus, but I'm disgusted by their response to my complaint. The response tried to make it seem like I had been told in 2010 that I cannot use my Rewards Points to have fees waived. In 2010, when I called about not being able to use my points, it was because of an offer they had to skip a loan payment by using points, not to waive fees.

Jan this year is the first time, I was ever told that I cannot use my points to waive fees. When I recently talked to an Affinity Plus rep, she said the policy was changed about a year ago, but now they are trying to say I was told this in 2010?

Secondly, Affinity keeps insisting that The Participation Rewards Program Agreement states that members with work out loans cannot use points, but how come I have never seen this agreement despite banking with them for almost 10 years. The supervisor I spoke with recently was not able to tell me where to find the information either.

On 2/10/2014, I submitted a request to have the fees waived online, and $ 70 was put back into my account, but after I submitted a complaint, the fees were reversed.

Below is a list of all the dates and times I have been able to use my points to waive fees in the past 2 years. I would like a clear explanation as to why I was able to have fees waived during these times, since they were all after I consolidated my debt with Affinity Plus.

7/28/2011, 12/5/2011, 01/03/2012 (twice), 12/18/2013, 01/16/2014 (twice).

I find it very upsetting that Affinity Plus is trying to twist this whole thng up, while it is their responsibility to inform customers of any changes they make to their policy. It's not fair that the only way members with Work Out Loans can redeem their points is by donating them to Affinity Plus Approved Charities. I shouldn't be forced to donate my points to Charities if I don't want to.

Lastly, I cannot emphasize enough how much I'm disappointed and disgusted by Affinity Plus, and I am being discriminated on, and lately retaliated on because of the BBB complaint I filed.

I have tried to resolve this in a civil manner, and if this doesn't work, I plan on sueing Affinity Plus for their disgraceful, unethical ways of doing business, and hopefully a judge will be able to see what they are doing. This is unacceptable, and I will not be silent, and let any institution victimize me. Thank you.

Final Business Response
Ms. ******, we regret that our first response did not satisfy your inquiry. It is our intent to provide you with the information necessary to understand the terms of our Participation Rewards Program and to resolve your concerns.
Ms. ******, you can locate a copy of our Participation Rewards User Agreement on our website or through the link provided.
https://www.affinityplus.org/Portals/0/Documents/Participation%20Rewards%20User%20Agreement%202013%20Final.pdf
The Participation Rewards Program is a benefit of membership through Affinity Plus. As a financial cooperative, it is one way we have given back to members who use, support, and advocate for us. As a general rule, the Participation Rewards Program guidelines apply to all eligible members at Affinity Plus and are subject to change at any time. Ms. ******, regarding your explicit situation, please review the agreement, specifically on page 1, under 'General Program Rules', item 4a which speaks to the right of Affinity Plus "to terminate your participation in the Program...If you have a workout loan or are a signer on a workout loan". This criterion was established because workout loans are specifically designed to provide members experiencing hardship with a very unique benefit of their membership. In your situation, your loan has provided a manageable payment along with 0% APR. That said, your eligibility to participate in this program has changed. Though this program is no longer available to you, it is our hope that your relationship with Affinity Plus will continue to be one you value.
Ms. ******, in your original inquiry your desired resolution was to have the two $35 fees refunded to your checking account. On 03/17/2014, Affinity Plus refunded the two fees and deposited $70 into your checking account. Affinity Plus refunded these fees as a courtesy to you, rather than leveraging participation rewards points to do so.
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome the opportunity to work with you regarding the many options available to help prevent a situation which results in an overdraft fee. Please contact us at (800) ******** to discuss these options in greater detail.

01/25/2013Problems with Product / Service

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