Monday, October 5, 2009

First Hawaiian Bank: Inept, Unorganized, Infuriating

The Key Guy just got royally screwed over by First Hawaiian Bank, and you can be sure that we will avoid doing business with them in the future. The nice faces of most First Hawaiian Bank customer service workers do not make up for the complete ineptness and lack of organization or communication in their system.

We opened a business credit card with FHB back in March and they managed to royally screw it up by:

1) Sending statements to the wrong address even though we had to fill out the change of address form TWICE and go in in person TWO MORE TIMES. Prior and coincident with the wrong address, they also couldn't manage to update Guy's social security number OR my name right. Each time we were reassured that it would all be taken care of. But, uh, NO it wasn't. And still isn't.

2) They somehow managed to open two accounts when we only signed up for one, one of which was "HIDDEN" from all customer service people, credit card specialists, tellers, and basically everyone at the branch level, so that when we went IN PERSON to pay off the balance MULTIPLE TIMES over the span of SEVERAL MONTHS, they kept telling us the balance was ZERO. We even went as far as having someone at the branch call the SEPARATE "credit card office" multiple times to access the balance, since we couldn't go online, or even request a statement right there INSIDE the bank. There was no other way to do it. Convoluted, yes?

We had stopped using the card months prior because of the problem with not being able to check transactions nor access the charges online, as well as the balance doing weird things unbeknownst and unexplained by customer service.

3) FHB somehow let over $2,000+ accrue in the "parent" (I would call it "evil ghost") account-- EVEN THOUGH CUST SERVE AND CREDIT CARD SPECIALISTS TOLD US THE BALANCE WAS ZERO MULTIPLE TIMES. No one ever, ever mentioned that second account to us.

Then, someone called us late Friday afternoon to say there was that huge $2,000+ balance PLUS late charges from who knows how many months ago. Now they've screwed over our credit score and made it MY fault? I called the 24-hour hotline and was told I had a "parent account." When I asked her to explain what that was, she shrugged me off and said I needed to talk to my "business banker." She transferred me to "his" voicemail, but I was magically connected to some stranger's voice message. FAIL. IT seemed that my only choice would be to go to the bank in person.

I subsequently spent over TWO HOURS at the bank on a SATURDAY (because they called late Friday) with confused staffers who couldn't even figure out why someone from the credit card department had called us about the late fees because they couldn't see this 2nd mysterious "ghost parent" account, which we had never signed up for, never received a card for, and never been made aware of because THEY, THE BANKERS, weren't even aware of it. At least two customer service reps had never even SEEN this type of account before. One of them was my business banker, who had set up the account. MYSTERIOUS????

4) After dealing with the nice customer service rep, I asked to speak to a manager so this won't happen to anyone else. I knew I was already screwed, but I wanted to bring this glitch in the system to the awareness of management. The manager approached me like she was trying to intimidate me and like I was going to attack her when I just wanted to help. I was feeling pretty calm and good about myself for doing a good deed for random strangers. She didn't even introduce herself when I shook her hand and gave her my name, and then she made the whole thing seem like my fault and like I should be apologizing to her for having screwed up credit, an incorrect address, incorrect social security number, and wasting hours and hours of time sitting inside a bank on a Saturday . . . MASSIVE FAIL.

5) The nice customer service girl in the Makiki branch told me that all the bankers in charge of credit cards would not return until Monday. It's Monday now, and I just called them to check on the balance, see if I could order duplicate statements because I never received the originals, and find out what the transactions were. I was transferred on the phone to someone who told me I didn't have access to the account, so she couldn't tell me ANYTHING. WTH. I told her I had a copy of the account signature card right in front of me, and it bore my signature. I also affirmed that I was the owner of the business. She said my only choice was to go into the bank AGAIN. I said I'd already been there for 2 hours on Saturday, and that no one there even knew my account type existed. What they did was call the exact same department and act as a third party between me and the credit card people. Ugh ugh ugh.

They had way too many chances to set things straight and DIDN'T. Therefore, First Hawaiian Bank fails majorly in my book. I am losing sleep over this. Please beware. Look what FHB employees have to say!

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