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Monday, December 18 2017

Why I'll Never Again Do Business with ING

BusinessFor a while (more than 10 years, I think), I've had a Netbank account.  Why?  Well, they were the first ones to really roll out Internet banking (online bill pay, etc.)  And I really, really advocate online bill pay.  ING bought Netbank, recently, and I have this to report:

They're dishonest, unhelpful, unethical, and---some might argue---criminal. You see...ING did warn me that changes were afoot, and that I'd get more information in the next 60 days.  I did get additional information...a few rounds of it, in fact.  And I read that information, took whatever actions I was advised to do (canceling future payments past 12/8.)

On November 28, I went to an ATM to get some cash.  It wouldn't dispense.  I went to another ATM.  Couldn't get a dime.  Went home, confirmed that my balances were significantly above $0, reread my e-mails and their online FAQ (and printed a time/date stamped version).  It said I would lose some functionality, but would still be able to use my ATM card.

Next day, I called them.  "Oh, we've sent you plenty of information to prepare you, sir.  Did you read it?"  "Yes, I'm looking at the current version, online, RIGHT NOW."  "Then you know, we disabled ATM access on November 23rd."  "Uh, no, ...no, you didn't say you'd do that.  Current website says you won't do that."  "Well, we told you of our plans on November 24th...are you looking at that letter?"

Seriously...not only were they lying about sending me this communication.  But they claimed I had received fair warning in this fictional letter, after the card was disabled.  I mean, if you're going to lie, can't you do it better than that?

"Ok, so how do you want to get me some of my cash?  Are you going to courier it to me, overnight mail it?  How?"

"Do you have an account at another institution?"

Net outcome:  they disabled cards on 11/23.  You can't even apply for a new ATM card until 12/8.  And the only way to get cash out in the interim?  Close your account or pay for wire service to another institution that's not as screwed up.

Yeah, I called the FDIC, who referred me to the Bureau of Thrift Services (who regulates ING).  Yeah, they confirmed that they're getting lots of calls, and that, when they checked with ING, ING admitted to pretty much all of it.  But they're not resolving it.

So, yeah, I am closing my account (and opening a cool online account at WaMu).  But sheesh, if you understand the banking laws, and can figure out any laws that happened to have been broken, and need someone in the class, let me know.
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Why I'll Never Again Do Business with ING
Authored by: dbsmall onTuesday, January 01 2008
This seems to never end.

I got the Netbank routing and account numbers from the ING folks, went to WaMu, and opened an account, using an electronic transfer.
While it took longer than I'd like (it took ING about 3 business days to even start to transfer he money), it opened the online savings account at Washington Mutual, just fine.

I figured I was on the right path, and attempted to transfer a larger amount, BETWEEN THE SAME NETBANK ACCOUNT AND THE SAME WAMU ACCOUNT.   3 Business days later, I noticed a charge in my WaMu account (later refunded), and a rejected transfer due to insufficient funds.  Insufficient funds?!  I was trying to transfer about $800 more than my mortgage (so that I could pay my mortgage.)  And I assure you I had more than sufficient funds.

A phone call to the ING call center confirmed what happened.  In transferring things to ING accounts, they mapped my checking account at NetBank to my Electric Orange account at ING, and my Netbank Money Market to some other ING account.  Oh, and they switched my Netbank account numbers.  (The number that pointed to my money market before, now pointed to my checking, and vice versa.)  So while my transfer to open account went through, I was supposed to intuitively know they'd switched things.

"Switch them back, or promise me they'll stay there," I demanded.  They could do neither, and said the only way they could keep from messing things up was if I set up a link in the opposite direction (so that transfers are initiated by ING).  I explained that I wanted to pay my mortgage, and they said this was the best way, and walked me through setting up the link.  "If there's any problem, you can still pay your mortgage with your Electric Orange account!"

Two days later, the link still hadn't been set up.  Ok, I tried to pay with my Electric Orange.  But, lo! and behold!    When you try to set up a link, your account is frozen until the link is set up.  I called and asked to have the link shut off so that I could pay my mortgage, according to the contingency plan.

Nope, they said at the 24 Hr. help line, nobody could do that.  It was getting late (Eastern) on a Friday, and everyone had gone home.  I guess someone will always answer the phone, but they may not be able to provide you help.  I even escalated to the manager, but nobody could help me.

My direct deposit is now going to WaMu.  Once my Life Insurance deduction is there, I'm soooo closing my ING account.

Let's review:
  1. They discontinued my ATM access two weeks prior to the guidance they gave me in writing.
  2. They switched my Netbank account numbers without warning, thereby causing my intended transfer to fail.
  3. They advised me to do something which "froze" my account, against my goals.
  4. They were unable to help on the 24 hour help line for over 48 hours, because operations doesn't work evenings or weekends.
In all, they kept me from having ATM, bill pay, or electronic funds transfer access to MY MONEY for over a month.  I just can't believe there isn't a lawyer who had an account at NetBank.

(And I'm disappointed that the Office of Thrift Supervision didn't really do anything about any of this.)
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