This post may contain many bad words, so if that offends you, please do not proceed. I am too infuriated to pretend.
I want to preface this by saying, any time I have called ING Bank, the people there have been unfailingly nice to me. Pleasant. Helpful. Even charming. Even today when I was so angry and upset I thought my head was going to explode. Even today when I was asked if there was anything she could do to explain the situation to me, and why they do what they do and how they do it (because obviously I cannot figure it all out on my own), and to persuade me to not give up on ING, and my voice was raised and I finally responded by yelling into the phone that
I have never in my life had a bank make me feel so stupid and inept with my money as ING Bank.
I am still so upset. I am shaking. I want to scream some more and throw things at them.
This was not just one incident. It was a series of things that I just kept putting up with, and ING's stance is always the same: It's not US it's YOU.
For example: ING advertises that you can have up to 25 savings accounts with them, for free. True.
However: They tell you "by law" (what law? I don't know) you cannot make more than 6 transfers from any savings account in a month. But you can make unlimited from a checking account.
Actually means: Unless you want to be making a series of transfers, by hand, to each and every savings account, manually, and then also waiting for the money to clear, you need to open a checking account. You cannot just open one main savings account and disperse funds into numerous sub-accounts, which is what I had been led to believe.
Then there was me opening an account and making my first deposit, and how I had to wait almost three weeks for the funds to be available to me. Not to withdraw, but just to open up my multiple sinking accounts and move money around. I couldn't withdraw it, use it, spend it, transfer it, nothing. For weeks.
And this time period was extended because I was opening up my accounts right before payday and talking to their representative on the phone, and he said I had to still go online and "finalize" my account. Which seems like a small thing, but it the first example of all the steps and hoops and fuckwittery you have to deal with. If I want something done with MY bank, I call them, and it's done. If it's a bit more elaborate, I actually go to one of their branches and they talk to me in person. And whatever time they tell me it will take? It always takes less. With ING - it always takes MORE.
I didn't even want a checking account. I just wanted savings. But I was pretty much forced into that choice if I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Then they said they would send me an ATM/Debit card. Ok fine. And they told me, if I used the darn thing just 3 times, I would get $50 in cash. Which sounded like a great deal to me! And how hard could it be to use a debit card 3 times?
Well there was the waiting for funds to clear. Always, always. Then last Thursday I had this bright idea. I knew I had to make a very early morning purchase on Tuesday. So I went to ING and I authorized a withdrawal/transfer from my regular bank (I heart them so very much) to cover it, to my ING checking.
See this was THURSDAY. And I was making my purchase TUESDAY. To me, that is pretty much a whole week there. And ING takes 2 days to transfer funds.
Except Monday was a bank holiday.
And there is also a time difference.
Which meant I walked into a jam packed bakery in Chicago before dawn on Tuesday (Paczki Day, it's a whole big Chicago Polish thing) to pick up my order, I handed over my ING card and... it was declined. In front of everyone. With a line of impatient people all trying to get their stuff and get going.
That's when I made my mistake. Because I was not planning on paying cash, so I didn't have it. I was flustered and embarrassed. I rarely swipe anything any more. So I took out my regular ATM card, from MY bank, and paid, and got out of there.
See here's the other thing: when I opened a checking account at ING, they ran a credit check, because, as they said, their overdraft protection is a line of credit. They "don't charge fees." No, you get a line of credit, so they just charge you interest on your overdraft amount, as it is a loan.
So I had to - unexpectedly - apply for credit, which I did not know and might have said "No thanks" to, if I'd been prepared. But I wasn't, so I applied, and I was "approved."
Now I am sure some ING minion could explain to me, in great detail, how this was all my own fault, How somehow I misunderstood their terms. How I misunderstood why I had to apply for and be approved for a line of credit with their bank in order to have a debit card on my own bank account.
Here's what I, the customer understood: I had over $300 in their bank, tied up in various savings accounts. And my card was declined for lack of funds. (That $300 does NOT include the transfer I authorized on Thursday prior.)
I had pre-planned and transferred money into ING on Thursday for a purchase on Tuesday. And my card was declined for lack of funds.
I had to apply for a line of credit for "overdraft protection" to open the checking account. My checking account had, I don't know, $15? in it? $20? The purchase was about $45. So basically a difference of maybe $25. They made me apply for a line of credit, which they assured me would cover overdrafts, and yet my card was declined for lack of funds. Over maybe $25.
Of course, the mistake was mine. That I paid with my regular debit card. As I've mentioned before, I don't carry a huge cushion in there, and this was a few days before payday so it was tight.
I paid the bill with my regular ATM card. A few hours later, ING finally showed up and transferred the money out that I had authorized the week before. I never saw it happen because my bank saw that I had $1000 in my savings, and seamlessly transferred money out to cover the transaction. And charged me a fee of course.
Then the next day I went and paid for parking using my Parkmobile app, which is attached to my regular checking account. A mere $1.85, and it came out of my savings, With another fee. And when some other small small transactions came in (that were scheduled and I knew about them), well at that point I was in the hole, so more money came out of my savings.
If my bank had just covered all the small transactions as overdrafts, they would have charged me $32 per transaction in overdraft fees, which is perfectly legal and even normal in bank-world. Instead they rolled everything into one transaction of about $100, transferred it over from my savings, and charged me the transfer fee ONCE. They could have really gouged me and they didn't. I heart them.
And then when I bought parking the next day. I never got an alert from them I was overdrawn, because... I wasn't. They had transferred money over. So I was at $0. And then I made a $1.85 parking purchase via Parkmobile. A DOLLAR AND EIGHTY FIVE CENTS. And they transferred it over,. And charged me the transfer fee. Which is much less than the overdraft fee, and I really appreciate that.
Of course, this is all ultimately my responsibility. Not ING's.
- It's my responsibility to stalk my ING account daily to see if funds are in there, and more importantly, can they be used. Because with ING, they frequently could not.
- It was my responsibility to check their website before I tried making a purchase. See, I am used to my bank, where having $300 in that bank (in any form) means I can use those funds.
- I believed ING when they told me I was getting a line of "credit" to cover "overdrafts."
- I listened when they explained in great detail why transfers take 2 solid business days. It was my fault that I did not think about a Bank Holiday on Monday (a regular work day for me), and the time difference.
- It's my responsibility to check my own regular bank account to keep up, and generally I do so daily. This time I waited 48 hours between checks. That's on me.
- No one forced me to use my regular ATM card. And if I had thought about it (which I didn't because I don't usually get up before dawn, so I was woozy), I could have checked my regular bank on my mobile app, seen the situation, and manual;ly transferred money to cover me - no fee. I did not.
The fact that they fucked with my Emergency Fund the very same day that my ING card was declined for lack of funds? I don't care how you want to spin it, I don't care what logic you want to use, I don't care how you want to point out it is, actually, all my own fault.
I AM GOING TO KICK. YOUR. ASS.
From a customer standpoint all I can see is that with ING, I feel stupid and inept with my money. I make stupid mistakes based on things like not knowing it's a bank holiday and not accounting for time zones. And yet, I know that I am not stupid OR inept with my money. I am not irresponsible with my money. I don't swipe mindlessly and wonder why I am getting so many fees.
I used to have situations like thins, earlier in my banking life. Before I found my local bank. After dealing with them for 5 years, I know I not stupid or inept. Maybe I was a little confused about money before, and occasionally that created some issues I had to deal with. But in general, I had very few problems.
And after FPU and all these months I know that I am on my money like white on rice. Pretty much every day. All the time.
that's how I know, I know where it counts that when it comes to ING... it's not me, it's them.
Yeah so I gritted my teeth and told that ING lady I wanted to close all my accounts and I wanted all my money back. Every cent. And the "auto withdrawal" I had set up for the day after payday (tomorrow)? Better not go through. I do not want ING Bank touching one red cent of my money, not now, not ever.
So this happened Thursday afternoon. Guess when I am getting my money deposited BACK into my account?
Maybe next Monday.
Possibly Wednesday. Of next week.