Credit union switch nothing but stress and wasted time so far

UPDATE 8:45 a.m.: A quick call to customer service resulted in the following: a bank employee has to manually “push a button” to  make the direct deposits actually go into the accounts. Which doesn’t happen till 8:30 a.m. or so, when a person gets there. I’ll have to change my habit of waking up on payday and being able to get all the bills paid before work, but okay, only a minor inconvenience. (I’m still nervous Bobby’ll go to use the debit card on this trip and it won’t work, and still waiting for the online fix, but at least one problem is seemingly solved.)

UPDATE: 2:37 p.m.: Debit cards now working. Hooray!

Look, Chase is awful. Besides all your typical Wall Street bad behavior, they support Massey Energy’s mountaintop removal, and did away with WaMu’s free checking and user-friendly online banking. The overdraft fees are evil. But the bank’s Arcata and Eureka locations are as convenient as it gets, and the folks who work there have always been nice.

That said, when the Bank Transfer Day idea gained momentum, I decided to make the switch. I don’t have enough money that leaving Chase delivers much of a blow, but maybe on a local level, I could do a little good. So I went over to Coast Central’s Arcata branch and stood in line with another dozen Transfer participants. The place buzzed with a shared sense of doing something positive. We were taking action! So, that part was great.

What I knew was going to be a pain and has been, is changing over my direct deposit, student loan, car insurance, SallieMae transfer and other automatic payments. I couldn’t close the Chase account right away because I needed time to make all those changes. Well, it’s a good thing I left it open, because since moving to CCCU, I can’t get my debit card to work and haven’t been able to access the online banking. Essentially, I’ve had $50 sitting in a savings account at Coast Central while continuing to use my Chase account for all practical purposes. One more piece of unused plastic taking up space in my wallet.

But I finally worked out the direct deposit with my employer and even received confirmation that things were in place from Coast Central. Nearly three months later, I was poised to utilize my credit union checking account.

However, I was still unable to access the online banking, so I drove over to the Eureka branch to sort out the problem. Unfortunately, the very polite teller couldn’t help me resolve things in a timely fashion — like, now — so I had to fill out a form to change the PIN, which would be submitted to some other department, after which I’d hear back, probably at least a couple days.

So that sucks. Because like most working parent types, I do 99 percent of my banking online.

What’s worse is, I drove into town this morning to use the ATM (after having to reactivate my debit card so it would work), my balance is still at $0 instead of reflecting the direct deposit I expected. (It’s payday!) This is a real problem since my husband and son are leaving for UCSF Medical Center for a diabetes check up in an hour and need money for gas and food. Luckily we have some rent money set aside to “borrow” from, but jeez, the amount of stress added and time lost — and I still have to resolve the problems!

I don’t exactly regret leaving Chase — oh, wait, I haven’t actually left them yet. In fact, I couldn’t change my Sallie Mae transfer until mid-February, so if I don’t get the money from my direct deposit in the CCCU, then I can’t make a deposit at Chase to cover this one last payment, which means I’ll be overdrawn at Chase and incur that horrible $34 charge.

Wow, my head hurts. I did send CCCU an email this morning and am about to call customer service (which didn’t open till 8:30 p.m.).

Hoping for a speedy resolve.


12 thoughts on “Credit union switch nothing but stress and wasted time so far”

  1. Hey Jen (best radio voice in Humboldt!)

    In my opinion, I don’t think you really had any alterntive choices here locally when all banking IS THE SAME – For Profit.

    CCCU = locals who rip-off locals ( many have personal horror stories with CCCU, but hey. local sounds so virginesque.

    Fannie Mae = Hopefully, you’l keep your home afloat. Question: would you rather have a home to keep you warm as opposed to a home that is over-valuated and makes the owner-classes feel they are worth more than they really are? That is the housing market as I have said all along. Some builders/developers are not rip-off con artists either; but, don’t let the county or state tax collectors know that or they will get very mad and attempt other schemes to extract one’s time, energy and wealth.

    It also can be said that those who will still USE the financial system will live to regret it. This country will go deeper into the abyss before it can advance toward any positive future…….2012 elections are meaningless as the mathematics proves.


      1. Thanks for the clarification…Freddie, Fannie, Sallie, etc…. so many “real people” names….. and renting for now, you are much the wiser as purchases don’t seem to be at the bottom of the de-valuation curve just yet…..have you thought of investing your savings instead of letting it sit in a savings account that will earn you less over time so long as you protect what you invest?

        There are some good investment opportunities in radio even…..



  2. It is never a waste of time to stop supporting evil companies. Every dollar is a vote. When you say your funds are of small value I hope you do not mean your influence or participation is of small value. I also have problems with Coast. I am going to try another credit union.
    I think comfort and convenience are the ‘weapons’ used against us. Chase was comfortable, Wells Fargo was convenient for me. Politicians were not addressing the harm the banking industry has done so I vote with my dollars.
    Good luck Jen.

  3. It’s a bummer that your switch has been a bit of a headache. I got my first auto loan through one of the local credit unions, and for some reason I kept my BofA checking account open until the year before last when I finally gave up on the corporate banking system and went full time to my credit union. Best decision I ever made. The CU experience has been one of ease, convenience and peace of mind.

    Sorry to hear that you were going through Chase. My fiancée went through them and we lost so much money due to her not having direct deposit and then all these hidden fees and charges. It was very unpleasant and I would never do any kind of business with anything affiliated with Chase.

    Hope your CU experience gets better. Once your dialed in, everything else should be smooth and simple!

  4. I’m still trying to make the switch. My husband and I have to both sign and he works in Eureka and our account we want to open is in Southern Humboldt. He hasn’t been to Garberville on a week day in months. Yikes, why does it have to be so hard.

  5. Some types of accounts take longer to switch over but this should have been pretty simple. I moved to CCU years ago and direct deposits, debit card and everything worked fine. I like CCU because two branches are open 7 days a week and most holidays. McKinleyville Ray’s is one of them – Bayshore Mall the other. The Ray’s branch has an indoor ATM which is handy. Usually you can go to any branch and get something fixed if it is going wrong.

    If you put $100 in your savings account it will earn interest (not much) but $50 in your savings account does not get interest. I also opened a liquid assets account which is in the same account but gets interest on a monthly basis and keep almost everything in that account until time to pay a bill and then transfer the funds to checking account which is a simple online transfer. If there are any excess funds leave in liquid assets and if you make a mistake and forget you wrote a check, the money can be taken out of liquid assets with a very small charge instead of a check bounced fee. Of course you still have to make that arrangement on where the funds will come from with CCU but I did that when I open the liquid assets part.

  6. We are in transition with them, too, still using Chase while we wait. We went in for a car loan last month and the account rep told us that there’s a big overhaul to their online banking coming soon. I said some unkind things about their current online banking, to which the employee replied “that’s why I use Chase”, and went on to espouse the great features that CCCU is lacking. !!! Wow. I was a bit stunned a that. You know it’s bad when their own employees not only use Chase, but go on and on about how much CCCU online banking (that phrase almost requires sarcastic quotes) lacks.

  7. I just can’t bring myself to switch my accounts to a credit union that pays its president well over $1 million a year while underpaying their tellers and frontline employees, does anybody have a different credit union alternative locally that doesn’t suck quite so bad?

  8. About a year ago I wrote CCCU a letter complaining about not having an atm in Old Town, and still charging me a fee to use another banks atm to get cash while in Old Town.

    They called me and recouped the years worth of transaction fees…. theres still no atm in Old Town but that was a cool gesture nevertheless.

  9. If you want to transfer money from one account at one bank branch to another account at a different bank and branch, you get charged a huge fee from both ends of the transfer……a transfer that is more digitally/electronically done today than ever before….so the cost savings on the transferor/transferee is less, but they charge the customer more….


    Federal Reserve devaluing the dollar is one reason

    Top-level pay, benefits, fancy new buildings unnecessary, better lifestyle improvements not paid for by its users specific……

    So, the customers wealth is not only going into the core costs for the business to stay afloat, but that the wealthy and lavish lifestyles for the wannabe rich, not necessarrily famous, types can take more and more….and like enough business models where money is flowing like an untapped natural spring, the laborers not at the top get kibbles and bits for pay.

    Seems to me in free market capitalism, employees should ALSO get to “write-off” their costs just to maintain a job (fuel, food for up to 8+ hours of energy, clothes, etc…) AND consumers should be able to “write-off” their costs created by business wastes that end up being charged-back to the customer in some form for the mistakes or business schemes….times is energy, energy is value, value is equated by money in today’s world….


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