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06 November, 2013

US Bank is not fit to manage your money

This story started over 3 years ago, and continues to this moment. It's a string of ineptitudes and inefficiencies that can only make one wonder "Why would I put my money in the hands of US Bank, when they repeatedly demonstrate they are not able to deal with even simple matters?"

A few years ago, I decided to get a car loan through US Bank because they happened to have a very good rate. When I completed the loan paperwork, we need to have multiple meetings because the loan officer was new to doing car loans, and forgot to have me sign all the necessary papers. That is fine. Mistakes happen. It didn't bother me much at all, because he was a nice guy. When I was finishing up the loan, they told me that US Bank would be happy to file the paperwork for registering my vehicle, so that I didn't need to deal with it. "Wow," I thought. "This seems awfully nice of them!" So I left the transaction feeling like maybe it was a good decision to do business with them.

A couple of months passed. One day, I left my house to go to work, and discovered a ticket on my vehicle. The ticket was a citation for an unregistered vehicle. "Oh, no!!!" It immediately came back to me that I guess I never received the license plate or registration for the new vehicle. I contacted the bank and discovered that they had failed to submit the paperwork for the registration. They promised to take care of it immediately, and some sort of paperwork was submitted that was supposed to prevent me from receiving further citations. Unfortunately, that didn't pan out, and I got another citation the next day. Over the course of a couple of weeks, and many phone calls to the bank, who assured me that they were on the case, the finally got the paperwork submitted. It was a show of good customer support that they took care of the citations, and I attribute that to having had a good contact in the branch office.

Nonetheless, I decided, after completing payment of my loan, that I wanted to terminate my account with US Bank because I really didn't want to do business with them anymore. When the loan closed, I requested that my account be closed and withdrew my remaining funds. To the best of my knowledge, it had been closed. Once in awhile, I would receive a letter from US Bank, which I would routinely toss in the garbage because I "knew" I no longer had an account with US Bank, so they could only be sending me junk mail (a mistake I acknowledge, in hindsight). After some months, I start receiving a phone call every day with a missed call, and no voice mail, from a phone number I did not recognize. No message. I ignored them, until they eventually became annoying. I figured it was telemarketing. So I looked up the phone number online and discovered in one of those forums that it was someone claiming to be US Bank but that it was most likely a scam. Great. So I continue to ignore. More time passes, and now, they start leaving voice mails, telling me that they needed to speak to me urgently about my "account" (but I don't have an account, I am thinking). Finally, I get in touch with them, and discover two things. (1) My account was never closed, and (2) The terms of my unclosed account had changed such that I was now being charged a monthly fee. But since I had no balance in this (un)closed account, the monthly fee was drawing on my cash reserve, and now they were threatening to send the account into collections for the $20-$30 of fees that had been assessed. I had a very unfruitful discussion with a very unhelpful representative who informed me that my account was not closed, and that she could not reverse any fees, and that I would need to go into a branch office to close the account. Over the course of a couple of days, I tried speaking with other representatives to try to resolve the matter, hoping I would find "The Right Person" but to no avail.

Finally, I went to a branch office, where I was greeted with kindness. They closed my account, zeroed out the amount owed, and even issued me a check for $10 for money I didn't know I even had in the account. They said everything should be all set. Phew.

Two days later, I receive a call from the 1-800 telling me about the collections again.

Really?

I tell them the account is closed, and they say they have no record of this, but they will annotate the account, and maybe it just hasn't propagated through the system yet. If they have further issues, they will get back to me (this, I believe). They also told me that they need to make me aware that my delinquency *may* or *may not* have been reported to credit agencies. They are required by law to tell me this, but they are unable to tell me if it actually was reported. They suggest I contact all three credit agencies. Seriously?

So, I never heard back from them. I assumed all was good. I checked all three credit agencies, and nothing seemed to have been reported. Maybe it's over.

A few weeks later, I receive a letter in the mail from US Bank that shows that my account is closed, and that I STILL OWE THEM (NOW) $40 IN FEES FOR CASH RESERVE OVERDRAWS. They did not zero out the balance, and they did not close the cash reserve.

This time, I am not even bothering to call the 1-800 number, because that is useless.

I will go into the branch office again, hopefully resolve it. And if not, I will just pay the goddamned $40 and tell everyone I know to NEVER do business with US Bank again.

I think I'll start with everyone on my Facebook. News travels fast over the social networks.

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