A good experience with Associated Bank

I have an account in the United States with Associated Bank. The story is my former girlfriend (who is now apparently married to an extremely jealous dude) used to work at First Federal Bank in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A number of years later Associated Bank bought First Federal. The first thing I lost was the ability to use internet banking to check my accounts and stuff like that – because Associated Bank’s system used only Social Security numbers, and as I’m not an American resident I don’t have a SS number.

When the account was originally set up I was told that I would only be allowed to spend what I had in my account (no overdraft). I was given a Debit card with a MasterCard symbol on it. Turns out this is a very handy card to have as I can use it at Tim Horton’s to get coffee.

So anyway to cut a long story short… I called up yesterday to get a new card and found out I had USD$798 in overdraft fees. I was obviously livid which was made even worse to find out that the fees all stemmed from four transactions totalling USD$13. I told the guy on the phone to cancel the charges or close the account, and then I asked to speak to a supervisor. I got through to a nice lady who took all the information and sent it up the corporate ladder to a splendid lady called Jennifer Fox who is (I think) the Vice-President of Customer Service for Associated Bank.

Ms Fox zeroed my balance, removed those late fees and gave me back the deposit I’d made a few weeks earlier. She said that she’d looked at the account, saw the charges were small and knew right away I’d never have made those tiny transactions knowing it would cost $35 a time. Ms Fox also removed the ability to go overdrawn so now if I have a balance of $10 and try to swipe $11… the transaction will be refused (which is how I always figured my account functioned).

Ms Fox also had a web banking specialist in her office at the time and they set me up with web banking so now I can check my balance online.

Suffice to say I am very happy with the outcome. I’m very pleasantly surprised that Associated Bank cared enough about their customers to come to an agreeable ending. No doubt I’ll be referring customers whenever possible.

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