Tuesday, May 29, 2007
TCF Bank Reviews
I'll start by saying of all of the banks I have had accounts with in the past 10 years TCF Bank is by FAR the worst. I'll start from the beginning.
Back in the early 90's I was getting to the point where I needed a bank account. I was young (under 20) and had been living paycheck to paycheck and had just been cashing them at the local currency exchange. I was starting to get some bills and figured it was time to get a checking account so I could write checks to pay the bills and start living like an adult.
My hours were all over the place - I was working nights, weekends, days...it changed from week to week. Because of that, and generally being poor, there were two things I was looking for in a bank - hours and fees. I needed a bank that had late hours, convenient ATMs and low or no fees. AT that time TCF was one of the only banks in my area offering everything I was looking for. They had a TCF Bank branch in Cub Foods which was on my way to work, late hours and an ATM or two right in my area. I though I found the perfect bank and opened my account right away.
Within the first year TCF had "lost" two of my deposits, both of which I had made in person in the bank. Everyone, banks included, makes a mistake or two from time to time. What really ticked me off about TCF was their attitude of "it must be your fault, we're perfect". Because of those "lost" deposits I ended up bouncing 4 checks - two of which were to another company where I had an auto and personal loan. Because TFC dragged their feet in getting my issue resolved (even though I had deposit receipts) I ended up paying penalties with my loan company and was just generally embarrassed when my bounced check was taped to the register at the gas station I stopped at every day. Eventually it all got sorted out but I still ended up looking bad and going through a ton of aggravation.
I moved out of state about a year later to a state that did not have any TCF Banks so I closed the account. About 5 years later, I moved back to my home state for a new job. I figured my nightmare of banking with TCF was a thing of the past...and since there was a TCF Bank almost right across the street from new job I decided to open a new account with them. I was staying in temp housing while I was looking for a new place so I used my parent's address when I opened the account.
The first big issue came up about a year ago, 4 years after opening the account. I was in the bank to get a cashiers check for the closing on my new house which was taking place the next morning at 10:00. After about 1/2 hour in line I finally made it to the counter. The guy working the counter was nice enough and took all my info and had my cashiers check ready. Since it was a large amount their policy required him to have another teller/supervisor sign off on it. After a few minutes of behind the counter conversation the supervisor came back and told me they could not give me a cashiers check because the address on my driver's licence did not the address on my account. I explained that the address on the account was my parents house and pointed out that I had not changed the address associated with the account since I opened the account. I also explained that I was closing on my house the next morning and absolutely had to have my cashiers check, no exceptions. She stated if I could show another form of photo ID she would be able to give me the cashiers check. That seemed odd to me as I didn't think my identity was in question...I knew my secret PIN, answer to secret question, last 3 deposits and withdrawals, my online access login info, had 5 credit cards + a DL with my names, etc, etc. Apparently none of that mattered so I got back into my car and drove to my house to get my state ID....which had the same address as my DL.
When I got back to TCF and gave the supervisor my state ID she said that would not be sufficient because it also had the "wrong" address. I almost went off the deep end. I told her she did not tell me the address needed to match, she just needed a second piece of photo ID. She was still pushing me back so I made myself clear. I told her I was not leaving the bank without a cashiers check or all of the money in my account. After a few minutes of basically arguing she disappeared to an office and I saw her pick up the phone. She came back about 5 minutes later and agreed to give me the cashiers check saying a regional manager had approved it.
WTF. Instead of just calling the regional manager to get a pass on their stupid policy in the first place this TCF branch supervisor decided to put the customer, me, through a few hours of aggravation. End result - I got my cashiers check and closed on my house. I was pissed but the happiness of new house made me forget about my horrible TCF experience.
I moved into my new house and then changed jobs. Now I was about 75 miles away from the closest TCF branch so I depleted the account down to about $1 using my TCF debit card. I then called TCF to close my account. I was told I had to come into an office in order to close an account. When I asked why, the TCF rep I was speaking with said I had to sign some documents. I asked if they could just be faxed to me (explaining that I lived 75 miles away) so I could sign and fax/mail back and was told no, I had to physically come into a branch. I figured the hell with it, I'll just abandon the account. It's only a dollar or so and not having to deal with TCF Bank again is worth 100 times that.
Fast forward about 4 or 5 months. An item I had purchased with my TCF card broke. I returned it via UPS. About a month past and I had not received my exchange. I called the company I sent them item to and was told they no longer carries that item so they had refunded the card I made the purchase with. Sure enough, it was the TCF card.
Fortunately I still remembered my TCF online banking info. I logged in and was greeted with a surprise. About a month after I had abandoned my TFC account a company attempted to charge my account $10.00 (it was an unauthorized charge) which overdrew my $1.00 balance. TFC hit me with $70 or so in fees, closed the account and turned it over to collections. They claim they mailed me various letters letting me know about...I've yet to see them. Anyway, when the refund (it was over $300) hit my account they reopened it, took out what I owed them, then closed the account again. Nice of them wouldn't you say?
I gave the local TCF phone number a ring and was greeted by someone who was in day 1 or 2 of training. They were reading off a script and it was painfully obvious. I went through all the verification questions and then got lay out my case. Basically it went like this;
Me - You can just mail a check for the amount in the account to the address on file with the account.
TCF Bank - I'm sorry, if you want the funds from this account you'll have to come into a TCF Branch.
Me - Why? I live 75 miles away.
TCF Bank - That's our policy sir. You have to sign some paper work.
Me - Can you fax me the paper work and I can sign & fax back then you can mail the check?
TCF Bank - No, but sometimes a manager can maker an exception since you're out of the area.
Me - Put me on with a manager.
At this point she puts me on hold and about 10 minutes later I get "Charlie" who listesn to me make my case again. I'm about 30 minutes into the call at this point. "Charlie" then proceeds to tell me that he can't mail the check, a regional manager would have to approve it. I tell him to transfer me to a regoinal manager. Of course "Charlie" says the RM is out so he can't. I ask "Charlie" if I can just reopen the account. I actually have my TCF debit card still so I could just go get my funds from an ATM. Charlie says "sure, all you have to do is come into a branch..." and I stop him right there. We've already covered the reason(s) why I don't want to come into a branch.
Charlie takes my number and assures he will call me back the next day after he's spoke with a regoinal manager. No big surprise here...that was almost a week ago and no call from "Charlie".
TCF should take a lesson in customer service from Citi Bank. I had a savings account with them that I wanted to close so I could consolidate my savings. I called them up, told them I wanted to close the account and after I verified my security questions they said no problem. Two days later a check showed up in the mail for the full amount of my savings. No run around, no hassle. Just the opposite of what I got with TCF.
So here I sit with a closed TCF Bank account that still has a few hundred dollars of my money that TFC refuses to return to me. I'll post an update if that ever changes. I guess that's what I get for banking with them on and off for the past decade. The more people I talk to, the more it seems like poor service is the norm for TCF Bank. I spoke with some friends who have banked with TFC in the past (none of them do anymore) and without exception everyone of them had at least one horror story.
I decided to set this site up so people can share their TCF Bank experience - good, bad or otherwise. How has TCF bank treated you? Post your TCF Bank review for the benefit of all.
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