Unpredictable Online Bill Pay Withdrawals
I use LFCUs online bill pay service to pay all of my regular monthly bills. My husband is paid on the 1st and 15th of the month, so on these days, I have recurring online transfers schedule to automatically transfer a fixed amount from his individual account to our joint bill pay account. I then have bill payments scheduled to be withdrawn on the 2nd and 16th of the month to allow time for that transfer to occur prior to the bill pay funds being withdrawn.
Usually this process is fine. However, in *************, the 2nd and 16th of the month fell on Saturdays. Without any advance notice to me, my reoccurring monthly payments were made on the 1st and 15th instead of 2nd and 16th as they are scheduled to be. The funds were withdrawn from our joint account before the funds from my husband's individual account were deposited. This resulted in over draft fees against our joint account, a block on my online bill pay service, and a delay in some of my bills being paid.
This is the most severe, but only one of several issues I have with LFCU's online bill pay service. Additionally, I cannot look ahead to future payments beyond the 13 payments presented in the "Pending Payments" section of the site. (For example, I can schedule a payment for **** of next year, but once I submit that payment, I cannot pull it up again to view or cancel it until it is one of the next 13 payments to be made.) I cannot edit a pending payment, only cancel it. (So when LFCU's system changes my payment date to the 15th, instead of the 16th, I cannot manually change it to the 18th or later without canceling the payment and setting up a new reoccurring payment to take place on the 18th.
Further, when attempted to call and seek resolution to these issues, when I finally reached someone via the toll-free 855 number, as the ************ number was not working; I was disconnected mid-sentence from their IT person who was supposed to help me.
I continue, from the day they implemented their new online system, to be disappointed by the limitation of features and functionality. I'm tire of having to manage the quirks in their system.
I want my overdraft fee refunded and the issue of premature funds withdrawal remedied immediately.
We appreciate the opportunity to respond to this complaint as we are concerned with our member's experiences and feedback.
Liberty First visited with this member on ********** about the online bill pay issue that she was experiencing. At that time it was explained to the member by our IT department that on non-processing days (weekends and Holidays) the funds are taken from the account on the day prior to ensure that the funds get to the payee on or before the due date rather than reflecting a late payment for the member with the payee. It is important to note that we offer this information to our bill pay participants during the process of bill payment in the form of a "learn more" button adjacent to the date to schedule payments when setting up a bill payment. We do not have the ability to change the manner in which items are remitted.
As we understood our member's initial confusion with the process, we took steps to ensure that she wasn't punitively impacted by the occurrence. All overdraft fees were waived on the member's account the day she called. Any fees from the occurrence on ************* were refunded on ********. At that time, the member was very appreciative of the assistance and we were under the understanding the member was happy with the resolution and understood the how Liberty First's Online Bill Pay process functioned.
Liberty First has many options for advanced notification and alerts that allow our members to know exactly when their bill pay items will occur and this was discussed with the member during the same phone call. At that time the member indicated that she didn't want the notifications and, therefore, turned them off as much as possible.
We explained to the member that there are several ways for our participants to manage bill payment, including the timing of the payments if they desire results different form our standard process. Some of the options include: pending and scheduled bill pay payments can be edited any time prior to the payment being sent by our bill pay provider, including the due date (whether it is a one-time transaction or recurring payment). The payment can also be edited on the day it is scheduled until Liberty First's third party vendor receives payment and the payment in the member's bill pay system shows "in-process".
The next payment to a payee is listed under the payee within the bill pay section of the web site as well as in the pending payment section. If recurring payments are scheduled, only the next one due will be displayed for editing in the pending payments section however all payees that are set up on recurring payments say "autopay" under the payee name and that recurring payment can be edited there no matter how far out the scheduled payment date is. There is a simple way to edit the scheduled payment to change the date without cancelling the existing scheduled payment and setting up a new one by clicking on the autopay button for the payee.
Liberty First was not and is not aware of any phone issues on the day the member called and Liberty First visited with her about the bill pay issues they were experiencing.
Liberty First always encourages members to call or stop by anytime they have a question or concern on their accounts, services or the credit union in general.
Liberty First Credit Union