Tuesday, October 01, 2013


I was up in Everett this afternoon because I checked out a very nice apartment in Mukilteo. Since I was going up to Everett, I thought I would bring along my checkbook for BECU to close my account. I had been told several times by multiple sources that I needed to go to Everett to close my account when I talked to people on the phone, in the Northgate Branch and in Lake City. I didn't think there was a rush since I had my card and checkbook locked up and wasn't using it.

I had no idea what I was going to find. I'm very surprised, shocked, and disappointed.

Well, let's start out at the beginning. I've been auditioning banks since I wanted to find a bank that I could count on and trust to give me good service and do what they said they would do. I wasn't asking for the moon. I just wanted what I think every consumer wants. I opened up an account with BECU because I like Boeing. I love Sid the Science Kid, which BECU sponsors. I thought BECU represents intelligence that I could count on. The Seattle Times highly recommended BECU at the time I started my account. My son recommended them too, although he didn't have personal experience. So I opened up an account when the Northgate Branch opened nearby. I didn't like it that that it is mainly an ATM bank. I'm not an online bank person. I told them that and that I wanted paper statements in the mail. I made that clear. I didn't apply for any kind of credit. I didn't ask for a car loan for anything requiring credit. I just wanted to check them out and see how it went. They gave me a credit card. I haven't even activated it to this day. I didn't use it once.

Well, it didn't go so well today. I haven't used my checkbook or debit card since July of 2012. No one has access to them since I have it all locked away so I thought everything was fine. I thought everything was dormant and it wasn't a rush to close my account. Boy, was I wrong. I was thinking that I should have stayed home but if I had stayed home, I still would be in the dark about what was happening. I didn't know all this was going on.

I found out that all this time my account was charged by Vimeo every month even though I had contacted Vimeo last year canceling my account. I opened up an account with Vimeo because I auditioned with Biggest Loser, the television show since I have weight to lose. I cancelled my account by calling, e-mailing, and writing a letter. I had no reason to use the account anymore. I haven't used it since. I thought it was done. All this time Vimeo has been charging my account with BECU every month. BECU has not bothered to contact me to tell me about the non-sufficient funds charges. I haven't been getting paper statements. No phone call. So I walked into a bill to close out my account of over $320 when I thought I didn't owe anything and they were supposed to give me money. I had $167. in my account. On top of this they were charging a line of credit on my account with charges in addition to the other ones and negatively reporting me to the credit reporting agency. Discover didn't tell me even though they are monitoring my account. I had no idea this was all going on. No one told me.

Yes, I have a lot to learn. My husband of over 39 years used to take care of all this. He passed away two years ago. I need to do better but I expected better from BECU. When I said that I wanted paper statements and didn't do online banking, I expected that they would have contacted me. The branch manager, Suzanne told me more than once at the conclusion of all this that I was expecting too much and I should go to another bank. She said that BECU had acted appropriately.

Shouldn't NSF alerts be brought to the attention of a branch manager and shouldn't someone check it out? What if it were an elderly person who was ill? What if someone passed away? Shouldn't BECU care? Why doesn't BECU care? I certainly don't feel cared about. It turned out worse than I even thought.

I believed in BECU and I believed in Boeing. Years ago I submitted my invention to professors at OSU to work with Boeing. I tried to get small passive exercise machines put under seats in jets, especially for long distance travel to prevent blood clots in the legs. No one helped me. I think it is a great idea since it is hard for people to sit on a 16 hour flight without exercising their legs.

I had gone to BECU a few months ago asking for a mortgage and I was disappointed that they wouldn't help me. I had walked away from my home because I couldn't get help I needed and didn't want to stay on acreage after my husband passed away. I was told to walk away by two mortgage brokers.

Not all people representing a business are professional. Sometimes people represent themselves when they are at work and they gossip and they don't always represent the business. When information that only BECU knew during the loan process got around, I shook my head in disappointment and still do.

So you ask, why hadn't I gone up to Everett to close my account. It's kind of a long way up there. It seemed longer than it really is. I hadn't been to Everett until today. It's a nice area and I really like Mukilteo. I'm trying to find a nice apartment at a lower price that I can afford.

I always pay my bills on time. I pay them every month. I care about my credit. I want to be able to buy a home or a condo. I care about doing the right thing. I'm a responsible person.

Yes, I should have closed out my account a long time ago. I guess I still wanted to believe that BECU was part of the good guy team even though I had been disappointed.

I talked to Chris and poured my heart out about all that has happened. He was nice to me. His supervisor, Sue was disappointing. She was severe and harsh and certainly didn't show that she cared. Tears were coming down my cheeks. Sue was glaring and leaning forward and I was thinking she belongs on Wall Street and she must be a Republican and I was wishing Les was taking care of all this. I saw her laughing with others in the back and they were looking my way. I wonder if the CEO of BECU saw a video of how they reacted to me, if it is the way BECU wants to be represented?

Who was the hero in all this? My son, Daniel. I called him on my cell phone. It went straight to voice mail and he called me back. Daniel cares about me. He's my CFO. He answers the phone even though he works day and night. He calls me a couple of times a week. He talked to Chris and to Suzanne on the phone. He was in my corner. He wants me to bank with Ally Bank, the online bank. Maybe I need to do this because then he could monitor the account too and I could be fixed up with the other budgeting program he uses and talks about that shows you graphs and charts of where your money is being spent.

So how is it left? They backed off NSF charges. They charged me for the charges I didn't know anything about regarding a credit line. It was actually in their best interest not to tell me about the NSF charges since they could charge this credit line to make even more money. Suzanne refuses to write a letter to right the wrong of trying to destroy my credit. She says everyone acted appropriately. She won't fix any of it even though she has the power to do so since she is the manager.

I didn't close my account because I want them to start the process with Vimeo to challenge it. I hear back from them tomorrow.

Umpqua Bank sent me flowers when they heard that my husband died. Umpqua Bank gives great coffee when you walk in the door and give you a really great cookie, the kind you give to someone who is family and that you care about. Umpqua Bank lets you sit down and read the Wall Street Journal. When I told this to the manager, she said that I should go to Umpqua Bank again. Umpqua Bank hasn't been charging me every month. They send me a statement in the mail every month. They are nice when I walk through the door.

Chase Bank helps me with any charges that need disputing. They are there to help in the process. Chase wouldn't have treated me this way. BECU says this is on me and my responsibility to get this taken care of.

I have also liked West Coast Bank, which is now Columbia Bank. I have had an account with them since high school, which was Commercial Bank in Salem, Oregon. I found through the years that I could trust them.

The Branch Manager at BECU in Everett said that I need to stay with these banks. I guess I have expected too much from BECU.

So what happened? What is the final outcome?
On October 2nd in the afternoon I received a phone call from the Branch Manager, Suzanne saying that my account would be closed and that the charges would be written off. She said I would receive an e-mail when I said twice that I wanted to receive notice in the mail or I would need to drive up to the bank to completely close out my account. I said that I have been consistent in wanting statements and notifications through the mail. She finally agreed to send me a statement in the mail saying that I have a zero balance and that my account was closed. Hopefully I will receive it in the mail or I will need to drive up again to Everett to the BECU to close my account. The manager again said that they would not deal with Vimeo and that was my responsibility. I closed my Vimeo account and contacted them again as I had a year ago so hopefully this is resolved. It is a big lesson to me to be watchful and vigilant and not assume everything is okay until I check everything out.

I must say that I thought I had left it last year with Vimeo as a free account. I think that Vimeo is a very creative website for anyone who creates film and video. I haven't spent a lot of time on the website but I think it is an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in creating film and video to be connected with this website.

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