Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FHB Fiasco Update

An update on the fiasco that has been The Key Guy's experience with First Hawaiian Bank.

After hours of perturbedness, both in person and on the phone, I finally got someone from The Bank Card Center to say that she would refund the finance charges incurred on the credit card we never received and never knew we had. FINALLY, some decent news.

This was after a week of not being able to talk on the phone with them, because apparently, even though I am a signature authority on the account AND the majority owner of the business, I "didn't have permission" to speak with them over the phone. My signature is on the signature card, my name is on all the accounts. BUT I had to have Guy confirm his name and social security number to them, which I could have done easily. I had to go into First Hawaiian Bank, in person, to have them fax the signature card to their own Bank Card Center. Even AFTER the signature card had been received, I had to wait additional days for the thing to "process." The rep still refused to speak to me even though she had personally received the signature card fax. Flabbergasting. Next time I should just lie and impersonate him.

Anyway, the rep on the phone told me I had to pay off the entire bill (without ever having received a bill) before she could credit me back the finance charges. Oh, and the payment had to clear, which would take several days. Fine. So I blindly paid off the entire bill without even having the privilege of seeing what the charges were for. I was told to call back in three days. Fine. Unreasonable, but I did it. She said she would put the charges back. Okay, all good, right?

No.

I received a call from one of First Hawaiian Bank's Vice Presidents, telling me he was sorry for my bad experience. He said the finance charges they had faultily charged me would be put back into my checking account. My old checking account which is no longer in use. I gave him the new checking account number and he said he would take care of it. He also asked if I was sure I wanted to cancel my credit card. Um, YES I'm sure. This was about a month ago.

Fast forward to a month later. I looked over all the transactions in every account we have, and still no credit for the finance charges. Seriously? After reassurance from 2 different reps AND the VP? Seriously. I called, and apparently they STILL haven't cancelled the credit card, and they STILL left the finance charge funds on the card. SERIOUSLY??? This is beyond incompetent and inept.

3 comments:

  1. Hi, I came across your original posting when I was searching Google to see if anyone else had complaints about being able to signon to FHB Banking Online (so I started looking for FHB problems and saw your previous blog posting).

    Just letting you know that you are not alone. I remember their first screw up with my car loan in the early 90s when I paid my bill through the Otto Machine. To make a long story short, I received my next statement which had a late fee assessed since they thought I missed my last bill. I went in the next day with my previous bill and Otto printout showing the transaction. After around an hour, everything was righted but I received no apologies of any sort. Plus back then, FHB used to have this thing where they would refund you $50 for mistakes (I received no such courtesy).

    Fast forward a few years. My father setup a mutual fund portfolio with FHB after retiring and rolled over his profit sharing into the account. However, the funds were added to my checking account. Talk about a major screw up. The only commonality was that back when I started college in the 80's, I had a joint savings account under my dads name. Somehow in their system, there is still a link (more on this later). The issue was fixed and again, they didn't offer any sort of apologies for their mistake.

    Interesting enough, one of my friends ended up working in their IT department in the late 90s and the stories he had were one of the Peter Principle at work. Left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing, lack of communication, pointy-haired bosses, programming snafus, etc.

    Fast forward to around 3 years ago. I was forced to change my checking account due to a possible security breach because I had accidently clicked on a phishing link (I was dead tired and accidently filled out the form and right after clicked the submit button, knew it was a mistake). After immediately calling customer service, they put a hold on my account. I was called by one of their security personnel and informed that I would need to go into the bank the next day since they would need to close the previous account, and open a new one. What is interesting is the customer consultant showed me a printout with a list of accounts. One of them was this really old Otto account which I had no idea about and the customer consultant asked me if I wanted to have a new card issued for it. It seems FHB doesn't necessary delete accounts. They are just flagged as inactive but are still tied together which might explain the screwup with my dads mutual fund rollover being mistakingly credited to my previous checking account.

    After spending around an hour signing paperwork, the service rep said I would receive my new checks and my new Mastercard which would be linked to my new account. Around a week later, I received my new card and attempted to use it on their ATM one evening. Boom, I get some cryptic error message saying that this card was not authorized to access my checking account. And this was after signing all the forms and paperwork which would link my Mastercard to just my checking account. I called the bank the next morning and was told that the only way they could fix it is I had to go back in to the branch again. Geez. Incompetence and fail is right. Wasted another hour sorting this out. The customer consultant had no explanation why this had occurred except that I ended up filling out and signing the same forms again. Got no apologies for their mess up. Yes, it finally did work and while I contemplated moving to another bank, just stayed put.

    Recently (within the past 2 months), my mom had some sort of problem where a check that she deposited to her checking ended up showing as a negative balance on her Mastercard. I swear, this is really unsurprising. The ineptitude is likely pervasive throughout their organization. Ironically, my finance professor at UH was Don Horner who is FHB's current CEO. I recall he was a smart guy so maybe a letter to the top guy is in order.

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