JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Ridiculous Financial Institution

Ridiculous Financial Institution

 I write this blog today, not as a Realtor, but as a consumer. As a customer that expects a certain amount of customer service. Though, I realize that in this day and age that is far too much to expect. After all cutomer service is an oxymoron, and is usually run by morons. If you are in customer service and you do a good job, then let that last comment slide by you. If you don't do the job you should, feel free to be offended.

 Now, back to the point of this whole thing, if you ever have the opportunity to have any involvement with South Carolina Federal Credit Union, do not do so. I have had absolutely nothing trouble with this financial institution. So, while I will endorse no other bank specifically, I definatley will never in my life recomend SC Federal Credit Union.

 The first problem I had was that my pin number for my debt card never came to me. So, no big deal I just went in and got the card set up with a new pin number. Then I could not check my account on-line. So, I once again went in to solve this issue. That directly led to my next issue. The people in customer service that I dealt with were very rude and talked to me as if I was too dumb to figure out how to check my balance on-line. Come to find out that when I changed the pin number for the card, they never changed it on my on-line account and I needed it to log in and check the account.

 The next problem came when I was charged $40 dollars, because I was not receiving my mail, according to the credit union. I again went in and attempted to resolve the issue. This time I asked to speak with a manager and explained to her that I was receiving my mail and I would like to have my money refunded, because there was a mistake. She told me that it was too late for me to receive a full refund, that she could give me at most $10 back. So, I felt compelled to ask why I could not have all money back.

 She then said that since I had been receiving my mail, that I had been receiving my statements and it was my responsibility to dispute a fee within a reasonable amount of time. So, in case you totally missed what just happened, I received fees because I wasn't receiving my mail. Yet I could not get my money back, because I was receiving my mail. And by the way, this whole thing is completely my fault. I put the money in the credit union, but it's my responsibility to keep the money safe.

 Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought we put our money in the bank so we didn't have to bury it in the backyard and it would be safe. I just bought two cases of Maison jars, so I am good to go for a while.

 Needless to say, I wanted to close my account. I left some money in the account in order to cover a couple of checks that I wrote and took the rest out. Then  I went back later and told the teller I wished to completely remove any remaining money from the credit union. Today I received a letter from the credit union, that I was being charged an inactive account fee. They could not even get closing the account correctly, so now I'm being charged more fees. I will be closing the account first thing in the morning, but before I do, I will be requesting a list of names and contact information for the board of directors for the credit union and the president. Each and every one of them will get a letter and a phone call from me, so they can each hear how dissatisfied I am with their service and I will be sure to tell anyone that will listen, never ever use this credit union.

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JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 17 commentsJL Boney, III • April 02 2008 05:04PM

Comments

You might want to include a copy of your blog as well.  I congratulate you for standing up to an institution that doesn't seem to care about you, only your money.  There are plenty of other institutions out there that are a class act that will put you first.  

I went through the drive-thru at Burger King once and I gave them my empty drink cup for a refill.  The lady behind the counter filled up my cup and promptly gave it to the customer inside the store.  I asked the lady "Did you just give my cup to that customer behind the counter?"  And she sort of embarassingly giggled and said "I guess so."  Then she handed me a new drink.  I looked at her with a look of disgust and she looked at me and said "Why You Mad!?... You got a clean cup!" 

So much for customer service!  You're only as good as the employees you hire!

 

 

Posted by Jon Miller (United Country-Marshland Realty) over 10 years ago
Great Post JL: I took my money out of a big bank here as well, because they give no service and charge all service fees for nothing.
Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) over 10 years ago
Big Banks are scary - but I find small banks even more of a problem with their potential to disappear on us.
Posted by Simon Conway (Orlando Area Real Estate Services) over 10 years ago
True Simon. What to do is very troubling. But the Fedral Reserve wants more power and freedom?
Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Jon-Customer service has completely disappeared.

Nich- I've taken my money out, and now I'm telling everyone I can to take their's out too.

Simon- I try to use banks that I'm not afraid will go under, but I also like a bank that doesn't treat me like crap.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago
JL - it's clear they haven't earned your business and shouldn't get another dime from you.  Nice of you to pay for their error!   
Posted by Tchaka Owen (Galleria International Realty) over 10 years ago
Tchaka- I hope they enjoy the fees, it's the last money of mine that they will ever get.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago
Jl, I would send this blog as a letter to the editor at your local newspaper. Good Luck
Posted by Hugh Krone, Realtor, Sussex County NJ (Weichert Referral Associates) over 10 years ago
JL-Try SAFE Federal Credit Union out of Sumter with office in Columbia.  I have had them for years and never had a problem. 
Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Hugh- That is a good idea, I have already planned to send it to the ceo of the credit union.

Kim- Thank you for the suggestion, I will check them out.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago
JL: The banking system is really bad. National City was just bought out by a big European Bank. We are selling out to Europe.
Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) over 10 years ago
Nich- Banking has become as horrible as every other "service" provided to the consumers of America. We have been selling out for years now.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

JL,

I don't know how I missed this blog, but I read your next blog "Reflections" first and you seem you have calmed down! Way to take it to the man!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 10 years ago
Richard- I have calmed down, but I have also procured a list of contact numbers for every member of the credit union's board of directors. They will be hearing from me soon.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

So glad to find this. I was going to buy a domain with their name to start a blog! 
I still may! Sorry this is so long!

This is my story with SC Fed. Credit Union.   In 2005 I moved from NC to Mt. Pleasant to take a job with a local company. After a year, they dissolved my division, and so I got back into real estate.  As a single mom with 2 teens and not getting any child support, I needed some money to cover the start-up time of getting my real estate business started in a new city.  I went to SCFCU get a small home equity loan, and they gave me a $50,000 Heloc loan.  When they told me the amount, I asked where they got that number, as NO house in our subdivision had ever appraised for $383,000, and all of the houses are identical!!!  (I had bought the house for $333,000 with a 100% interest-only loan because I had also bought a lot to build on.  I was only going to live there a year while building.  So much for plans!)  They said they did a computer analysis of the surrounding 2 miles!!!! 

 I was in one of the cheapest sub-sections in a huge subdivision called Park West.  In another sub-section there are homes up to $3 million.  The Wando River winds through, so there are water front homes.  Surely, SCFCU realizes that homes on the water (which there are quite a bunch of in the Charleston area), rivers, streams, marshes, etc. all vary greatly in price?!?!?  How can they do a BLIND appraisal based on the surrounding 2 miles?!?

Move forward 6 months, to the summer of 2006. (2006 is when the real estate market really started to fall)  I decided to move back to my hometown of Raleigh, where I had been a Realtor. ( I had tried to stay in Mt. P because the kids' uncle is there and he was an important part of their lives, but I wasn't able to make a living.)  I put the house on the market Aug. 2006 and moved.  

Last summer (2007) I FINALLY got an offer, for $336,000.  However, since I had purchased my home for $333,000, and still owed $333,000, I would have to bring $50,000 to the table for the  Heloc loan.    I called SCFCU numerous times explaining the situation.  They all said: TOO BAD. "We will foreclose on the house."  I tried to explain that if I foreclose, Wachovia, who was the mortgage lender, would be paid first, and there would be no money left over for them.  I asked them to PLEASE  work with me and let me have a regular loan or work out some sort of payment.  They refused to work with me.  I was unable to sell the house since I didn't have the $50,000 to pay off the loan.  Now a year has gone by, and I have decided to file bankruptcy.  (I also still have the lot, which is also still on the market - almost 2 years later, for less than I paid for it.)  For almost 2 years I've been paying almost $4000 a month for mortgages that are not going anywhere.  I can see why people walk away from mortgages.

Today I called SCFCU to let them know what I was doing and that my lawyer had told me not to pay anymore bills while we get the paperwork done.  (Unfortunately, I have my car loan with them too.) I was treated rudely, asked irrelevant questions and she made comments as if I was an idiot. It's bad enough having to file bankruptcy, but them to have contributed (caused?) it, I didn't need that kind of treatment from them. Had they made an intelligent loan based on a real appraisal, I'd not be in this situation. Granted, I used the money, but I also would have been forced to make other decisions (moved back to NC sooner) had I not had it available, and would have been able to sell my house.  I currently have a lease purchase and my renter wants to buy it March 2009, but I see no way to climb out of this hole.  And considering there is a 5+ year supply of vacant lots currently on the market, I see no end in sight with that either, and can't keep paying $1400 a month on it.  Especially when it's going to sell for less than I paid for it 3 years ago.

Yes, these are decisions gone bad and I am a victim of buying in a hot market (Spring of 2005) and the market dropping, but SCFCU has  totally been unwilling to work with me in any way.  Wachovia, on the other hand, was quick to say that they will work with me by accepting  short sales, lowering my payments, whatever I needed. When I told SCFCU, they said, too bad, they weren't willing to work with me in any way, and they'd foreclose. NICE.

Another incident, I paid the HELOC payment and the car payment with one check, with it clearly outlined in the memo line.  They put it all in one account, then sent me notices and gave me late payment fees for the other account, and notified the credit agencies. They didn't retract it when I explained it was THEIR mistake!!!!  

 Another time, when I moved, I didn't get the bills for a couple months, and they dinged me with fees and notified the credit agencies, even when I explained.  They were rude and completely unwilling to listen or work with me in any way.  My credit had been impecable and in the 700's until I started using SCFCU.

I'd heard the big banks don't care about us, and to go to the small banks.  But, boy, this place is a disaster.  You put in your login info wrong twice and they LOCK YOU OUT!!!   If you are late with a payment, they LOCK YOU OUT of your account and you can't pay it online!  WHY??  So they can hit you with more fees?  The first time it happened I thought it was a problem with their system, so I waited and tried again.  I finally emailed them to explain, and guess what they said???  "TOO BAD".   This, I have decided, is their company motto and what they teach at their customer service meetings.         

If you don't mind being told TOO BAD by your bank, and letting them play havoc with your money and your credit rating,  go for it!  Just consider yourself warned! 

Posted by Cindy Poole Roberts (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York SImpson Underwood) about 10 years ago

I was convinced this was going to be about Bank of America.  I will tell anyone that will listen to stay away from Bank of America.

Posted by Jesse Barron, REALTOR® - Real Estate Made Easy™ in Anne Arundel County, MD (Keats & Co. Real Estate, LLC) about 10 years ago

Cindy- I'm sorry that you also have had so much trouble with these place, I tell everyone who will listen my story and how horrible SCFCU is. You should do the same. Also, you should post your story on your blog.

Jesse- Sorry Jesse, not BOA. But, feel free to leave any complaint you may have about them if you like.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

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