Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Regions Bank Sucks

That title should drive Google search results high. I hope that someone at Regions customer service finds this post and is able to make some changes at the bank. I cannot believe how hard it was to change one piece of information on my loan account.

Back in 2004 I bought a car in Marietta, GA. I financed the car and the financial department at the dealership offered me 3 different loans. One was from a bank I had never heard of, but its interest rate was really high. The second one was through Audi Financing. But the best interest rate came from another bank I had never heard of called AmSouth. I thought, "well, it's just the car loan. who cares what bank has it?" I went with AmSouth at 5.9% interest.

Shortly after, I received an envelope in the mail from AmSouth that included a bunch of paperwork as well as a loan coupon book to start paying back this loan. Each month, I would write a check and tear out the coupon and mail it to a PO Box in Birmingham, Alabama.

In the front of the coupon book was a slip of paper that had this text on it (or close to it):
Want to save a stamp?

Fill out this form and include it with your next payment to set up automatic draft payments from your checking account. Your loan payments will come out on the due date and you won't have to worry about mailing it in each time.

Routing Number:___________________________
Account Number:___________________________
So I filled it out and sent it in with the next payment. Each month on the 17th, they draft my account for the loan payment amount and I don't have to worry about it. This little form was all they wanted to set up the automatic monthly draft payment.

Sometime after setting this up, AmSouth was acquired or merged with Regions Bank and became the new Regions Bank. My automatic payments come from REGIONS now instead of AMSOUTH when I look at my statements.

Skip to now. I have been moving my checking account over to ING Direct, which means updating things that are automatically paid from my account. The most important thing is the car payment, but it's been the most difficult thing to take care of.

Last week I called Regions customer service and was greeted by a recording that said they are closed. Call back between 5 AM and 7 PM Central time to speak with a representative.

I called back the next day and got a representative. I explained that I was moving my checking account and needed to change the account they were drafting from for my loan payment. Looking back on the call now, I think the guy was confused because he was probably thinking my checking account had been at Regions (I've never had anything at their bank, except this car loan). He told me he can't do that on the phone, I would have to come in to a branch. I said I live in Hawaii and that's not really possible so he then asked why I was living in Hawaii. Way to stay focused. He said he would have to mail me a form that I could fill out and send back to Regions to change the draft authorization. I asked if there was a faster way and he said he could fax m the form, so I gave him my fax number.

After waiting two days, nothing showed up. I was expecting the fax, but even now, more than a week later, nothing has arrived via mail. I called back.

I had to explain the entire situation again, the representative apologized and put in another request for the form to be faxed and mailed. I asked if there was any way to verify that it had been sent. She said, "no, you'll just have to wait."

Waiting a day, no fax. I call back and say this is now my third time calling asking for this form. The guy apologizes and says he'll make sure the request goes through. I'm on hold for a while and he comes back and says it went through.

Waited until today and nothing has shown up. I call back, this is now the fourth time. I get some lady in the Memphis call center. She is totally confused by this request. She first tells me I have to change it with my bank. What? No, you guys are the ones who are taking money from my account. You are who I sent the form to anyway. I explain it again and she gets it (I think). She does say that the form has to be sent to me by mail or fax. I explain that I've requested that three times now over the past week and nothing has arrived. She apologizes and says she will verify it went through. OK, sure. She does that and then tells me that if it doesn't arrive in 20 minutes to call back and ask for her and she'll see what's up. OK, I can do that.

30 minutes later, I call back. I get some lady and ask to speak to who I was speaking to before. The new lady kindly informs me that Regions has NO WAY to transfer calls between call centers or operators. Huhwha? Why did the Memphis lady tell me that? The new lady also goes on to tell me that a form request like that takes 24 hours, not 20 minutes. Is the Memphis lady or the new lady correct? What's going on here? New lady also empathizes with me telling me she used to live in St. Something and knows how difficult it is when you live outside of the states (NEWS FLASH 1959: HAWAII IS NOW A STATE!). I say that Hawaii is a state and she says, "I know, and I lived in a territory." But I think you missed my point.

Basically this call goes nowhere. While on hold at some point, I look up Regions branches that might be close to my parents because I will be visiting them in a couple of weeks. There is one a few miles away. I ask if I can take care of this request at a branch (remember on calls 1, 2, and 3, they told me to go to a branch) and she tells me that the branches have the same level of authority as the phone bankers and they won't be able to do any more for me. So basically I'm stuck. There's no way for me to update the account on the draft.

I decide to try a different angle. I ask if I can discontinue the automatic draft payments. Can she do that for me over the phone? She tells me that doing that will require mailing or faxing me a form that I will need to fill out and get notarized. WHAT? She tells me it's for security reasons. But the form I used to start the draft was nothing like that. Why all these hoops now?

She does tell me she can put a stop on the draft payments for 6 months, but that will cost me $36. WHAT? What are you even talking about now?

She puts me on hold again and somehow the call gets dropped. Ooops. I guess she was getting tired of talking to me.

I call back, now the sixth time. I get a guy this time and explain the entire situation over again. I decide to skip the part about changing the account they are drafting from. I just want to stop the draft payments. Just let me mail in paper checks from now on. Is that even possible? To my surprise he says yes. He has the form, fills it out, asks what effective date I want, and puts in an order for a new loan coupon book to be mailed to me (but, as previously established, Regions is incapable of mailing things).

It took six calls and hours of wasted time. What you just read was the summary. I do not understand why Regions is this way. I have only ever dealt with the telephone bankers and I have only ever had this loan account with them, but if the branches are anything like the phone service, I can't imagine ever considering banking there.


rockharddog said...

I HATE Regions Bank too! I used to have a checking account with Regions until... One Saturday I tried to DEPOSIT (not cash) a check for $10,000 into my checking account and I was told "No". I said why not? The teller said because your name in our computer is Bill L. Smith III and your check says Trey B. L. Smith III. I said I know; I'm the third, and most people named Trey, are called Trey because they are the third. (Keep in mind I was trying to deposi, not cash the check!)

So Regions idiot teller and I argued back and forth for a while until I gave up and went down the street to my wifes bank, where I was not even on her account, and they CASHED the check for me.

First thing Monday I went in and spoke to the branch manager and told her how ridiculous I felt the entire situation was... she was standoffish and backed her tellers decision. I was irate by this point. I pointed out the fact that my account had 6 figures deposited in it. It didn't phase her.

I went home and wrote one of the Sr. VP's and told her my situation and she too was rude and unapologetic. I terminated my account and moved my money elsewhere.

I'm also a real estate broker. I no longer send Regions any business - not really because they made me mad, but more for the reason that I can't have my clients working with ignorant people.

SLake2000 said...

You folks have no idea how bad Regions Bank is now that Amsouth took them over. They literarily stole a $200,000+ house from me. I am currently fighting with the Alabama banking commission to try to get them to enforce the laws. We had to move due to my husbands work. Since I had tried several times to mail payments to them I knew this wouldn't work. Every time I tried they would not credit the checks to my account. Therefore they would charge me a $75.00 late fee and it would cost over $100 to get a stop payment put on the check to issue a new one. So every month I had to physically go to the bank and hand them the payment. Since we were moving almost 1,000 miles away this was no longer going to be possible so we did all the paperwork for the payment to be automatic drafted from the bank that we were using in the city we were moving to. Since they don't pay attention to anything that is mailed I physically went to the bank and delivered everything they said they needed so the Equity Line of Credit payment was taken care of.

Fast forward to almost nine months later. I received a letter from an attorney telling me that I had 10 days to get out of my house because Regions had foreclosed on it. On the same day I received a billing statement from them stating they wanted over $11,395.47 for the short fall. They put the house up for auction and purchased it for themselves for less than the mortgages. Of course by the time the letter was forwarded to me it was the 10th day and I was 1,000 miles away so I was not even able to get my possessions out of the house that I had in it for staging purposes. Yes I had this house on the market and had just spent right at $10,000 to get it in pristine condition. They paid off my 1st mortgage, foreclosed on my house, put it up for auction and purchased it for themselves with the first contact I have from them that there is even a problem at all is a bill for the shortfall they created.

I just got a letter from the banking commission claiming that Regions had provided them documentation that they had mailed 2 letters and attempted to make one phone call that was unsuccessful. Yea right and I've got some swamp land in Florida for sale to. Regions claimed that the letter about the automatic draft did not specify a date on which the draft was to be made which is the customers responsibility as the reason as their reason for not automatic drafting the payments. I really want to see a copy of what they are referring to because what I turned in had a date. There supposed attempt at a phone call and the first letter wasn't until over three months after the automatic draft documents had been hand delivered to them. Bottom line is that they back dated and forged documents to try to cover their tracks.

I can't tell you how the story ends yet but keep an eye out because this may be one you hear on CNN about the corruption in the banks.

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Fletch said...

They are now Amscam regardless of what they call themselves..this info told to me by a current employee. She said between the 2, Amscam had even a worse rep so they call themselves Regions. Yes they seem to go out of their way to make it hard to do business with. Their web site design is one big security risk. Even if you know your correct username and password it will lock you out from time to time. They then ask to to enter your ATM, Social, and pin number which is a big no-no. Someday someone with a compromised computer will enter this info as requested then when their account is drained they will sue the hell out of them. When this happens I don't want to enter this info so I have to call them at their &&^% conveince during their "bankers hours" if I want access to my account.

Yet they never try to lock out 3rd parties to my account like quicken..go figure.

Best advice is to move on to someone with better customer service. Good luck!

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collin said...

It's really very annoying with these banks if we take any loan. They will treat like as if we will never repay the amount. The banks should understand that they do not lend loan for nothing.

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okflipok said...

Regions is like a bad marriage, even though you finally realize you made a big mistake, the other half will not let you go and will keep making you pay for the experience. I have been getting screwed by regions and they are still able to do it even after I thought the house was sold. They have managed to drag a 1 month process of selling a house to 3 months and they still are able to keep having sex and I don't even have to get naked and still get screwed. Oh Regions is one of many whores that get our money and just like the Government keep screwing us even after the marriage is over. Oh Please look out for yourself if you decide to do business with Regions because they will be like the Pro on the street late at night you may get a short time feeling of feeling good but you may end up a lifetime of ill feelings and needing medications to get over the experience. They are very bad medicine.

Breaking Dawn said...

For me, it is a very difficult decision to change any term in the loan items. Every move will have a domino effect. The Promo has given good coupons that will surely not affect your financial status. This is a wonderful post.

Ginnis1 said...

Had my first dealing with Regions today my tenant paid me with a check from them we live in a small town so i ran by the bank. the drivethru lady asked if i had cashed a check before i told her no and she said i had to come in to get fingered or fingerprinted whatever so i parked and went in a 30 second deal now is 5 min so i went in and the cashier took the check and my drivers license brought up the checking account and then asked if i had cashied a check here before i replied no she then informed me it would be 10.00 to cash their own freaking check i then informed her no effing way grabbed my check and license and proceeded to tell them no wonder the government is going to take over the bank so now 15 min later went to my bank and cashed their check in about 15 sec and i didn't even have to show any id or get my lazy ass out of my truck oh and doing the math they wanted three % to cash their own freaking check

Phan said...

Bank of America is going to drop their $5 debit card usage fee based on outrage from everyone. Their statement reads: In response to customer concerns and the changing competitive marketplace, Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee.

Phan said...

So I get a personal check from another person today. Her check was written from Regions Bank where she banks. So Regions Bank is close to me and I drive there to cash the check… of course, I park and walk inside to do my deed because I know I’ll get ugly stares from the teller at the drive thru if I try to cash the check being a non-Regions Bank account holder along with being told to come inside anyways. For the record, I used to have my accounts at Regions Bank but they nickel and dimed me to death and I swear every employee of theirs goes through “How to Piss Off Customers” training while riding those stupid green bikes.

Djonni Smith said...

It's sad to hear how bad your experience is with this bank. You may want to chat with an authority and get help in this situation. I'll recommend talking to a loan modification attorney at once.

Jessie said...

2 words. Eff Regions.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a pretty annoying situation. I don't know why the ivr software (the one you first talked to and told you to call again within such specific time) didn't help much in your case. It's supposed to route you to correct agents according to your concern. And by the story you have here, I bet they got a wrong tool.


Anonymous said...

It most probably because of the merging. You know the old saying, new Lord means new rules. There might be some people who used to take care of that aspect, especially for the car payment, but because of the merger may have been promoted.

Kimberly Turner

Nicole Heath said...

If there’s any changes in their rules and regulations I think it wouldn’t be that much especially if the bank wants to maintain the old clients of the bank they’ve partnered with. Rest assured, the loaners and borrowers shouldn’t worry too much, I think they will not change the policies in car loans, mortgage and etc just because they change the management. -Heath N.

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CarrieLeigh_ said...

If someone who works at Region's corporate tells you about shadiness... then you better believe it. I use a credit union and I love it. At work, I have to deal with Region's Customer Service. It is almost as bad as AT&T's, which is saying a lot!

Milo said...

Regions Bank is a bunch of crooks and liars. They have lied and cheated on several loans I have with them. I would love to find their capital markets policy manual from circa 2006-2008. I know it's out there on the web, but I can't find it. First slide says, "Greed is good"
Let me know if you find it. Milo