PNC used to be a great regional bank. I had been with PNC for 20 years. Now they are just like every other big, impersonal corporate bank. If I could do it again, I would NOT have opened a PNC Business account. Corporate representatives are very polite but ARE SHORT ON SOLUTIONS FOR MY BUSINESS.
Below is a list of basic banking issues I have run into during my business and personal relationship with PNC. These are also a list of reasons why I recommend that anyone contemplating a relationship with PNC think twice on the points outlined below.
1. PNC Bank always pays checks in the order that causes most fees to incur. A bank manager tried to tell me that PNC assumes that the largest check is the most important and therefore pays that check first. But time after time, PNC has shown me that they pay ALL the amounts presented to the account and charge for each check. I postulate that the issue is not the importance of the check, rather the amount of fees to charge. Although this is my personal experience with PNC, I have heard this complaint from dozens of individuals as well.
2. PNC Business Banking requires a minimum average monthly balance on most business accounts. Yet PNC never shows your average daily monthly balance online.PNC fails to give you the means to measure whether or not you are in compliance with their rules until the end of the month, after you are hit with yet more fees for not keeping a minimum average daily balance. I spent 10 years as a computer programmer. I know it is not a major technical undertaking to provide customers with a simple arithmetic calculation to manage their accounts.
3. I attempted to get a credit card attached to my business account to prevent NSF fees. I was rejected, probably for having an old address on the MAC card, which I could not see and could not change online or via telephone. I could not even ascertain an accurate reason for the rejection because PNC keeps that information for a short period of time, and then just deletes it.
4. PNC touts its online banking, but their system is a mess.What PNC’s own online system shows its customers is markedly different from what is actually transpiring in their accounts. When you confront an associate about it after discrepancies occur and after fees have occurred, they tell you yes, that is the case. I have seen no disclosure on the web site regarding this discrepancy. It is enough to drive an already busy small business owner to madness.
5. In these difficult economic times, it is a sin that PNC charges my customers a $10 fee to cash my check across the street from my business.For small checks (under $300), the local check cashing business on the highway charges LESS than MY BANK charges MY CUSTOMERS. In this regard, PNC treats me and my customers worse than a small check cashing company with which I have no formal relationship. The manager of a local branch told me it was due to check cashing fraud which has been on the rise. This argument does not pass the smell test. A thief is unlikely to waste his time trying to cash a bogus $60 check, but a thief won’t care if the bank takes $10 for a large check that is fraudulent. Any reasonable person can come to the conclusion the fees are simply a way to make more money. PNC also uses the fees to attempt to get potential customers to sign up for a checking account.I would suggest that they would have more luck attracting customers if they changed their policies regarding their voracious appetite for fees.[/u] Furthermore, my understanding is that there is no $10 fee if an individual tries to cash my personal check, fees only apply to business checks to customers of that business. Some time ago, my local branch manager WAIVED the check cashing fees to my customers back when they were $5 per check, only to have the PNC Corporate Main Office put the fees back AND raise the fee to $10.
6. CASH DEPOSITS after 3 pm are not necessarily credited immediately to your account and count as a deposit for the next business day, EVEN THOUGH the PNC Online Banking shows the funds as available immediately. (SEE PRIOR COMPLAINT #4 ABOVE) I have asked various tellers if the cash deposits are available immediately, they will tell you that they are, but it isn’t true. Case in point – I deposited $2000 CASH on a Friday after 3pm. That particular cash deposit counted as a Monday deposit, causing checks that were presented to my account on SUNDAY NIGHT to accrue insufficient funds fees. Yet a cash withdrawal on Saturday counted as Saturday. Come on guys!! A previous cash amount deposited after 3 PM at a Clifton branch DID indeed count as a cash deposit for the same day. How would anyone know which branches are on a 3 pm close and which is on a 5 PM close for CASH? I AM ALREADY EXTREMELY BUSY WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT INCONSISTENT DEPOSIT RULES BETWEEN PNC BRANCHES WHICH ARE LESS THAN 5 MILES APART.
7. I called the business banking 800 # to find out how they can help me to better run my business, and if they have any business plan that is comparable to that of one of their competitors, TD Bank. I was continually directed to one of their 4 business banking tracks. TD bank has later hours, Sunday hours, and most importantly clears most checks overnight that are deposited before 6 pm. (PNC has a cut-off of 3 PM) With TD Bank, CASH IS IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. The representative from the PNC Business Banking Center simply tried to push me into one of the four PNC Business tracks that “was best suited for me”, completely disregarding that TD Band was clearly better or equal on most comparisons. As they say, when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
8. When I ask a teller or call the 800 # for information, I often receive conflicting information, depends on who is answering the question. Trying to get accurate information from a telephone representative is a cruel joke. Call three times with the same question and you may get 3 different answers. One would figure on getting better service from a domestic call center. What kind of questions did I get conflicting information on? Is my average monthly balance high enough now to avoid fees? Is my online information accurate?
9. PNC COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND THE MANAGEMENT OF THOSE SYSTEMS APPEAR TO BE AT BEST, DYSFUNCTIONAL.
My Business VISA / MAC card had an old business address, even after I changed all online information. Therefore, when I attempted to make a business purchases online, I was continually rejected for not having an address which matched the OLD address on the MAC card. I called the 800 business banking several times explaining that I tried possible combination and permutation of my current address – uppercase, lower case, mixed upper and lower case, 5 digit zip code, 5 + 4 zip, address in the first address line / second address line. The PNC associate did NOTHING to look further into my problem. I COULD NOT SEE THE OLD ADDRESS BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE BACK END SYSTEM, yet the associates at the 800 business banking phone number did not find the problem either. I was told that the telephone representative may not have access to that information, but THAT IS NOT MY PROBLEM. This issue was finally remedied by an astute and persistent assistant manager at a local branch.
10. Inter-Bank processing (between PNC and an external bank) is often quicker than processes that are entirely within PNC. On my personal checking account, I have a line of credit attached to my checking account. When I attempt to pay that line of credit with all of the funds in my checking account, it takes 2 days to process. So my checking account balance is temporarily zero. In the mean time, if a regularly occurring charge hits my account, which would normally be covered under the line of credit, I incur insufficient funds fees. Where did the money go which was used to pay the line of credit? It disappears for 2 days during the processing. It wasn’t in my checking account and it wasn’t in my line of credit. Well then, where was it??
11. SO YOU THINK YOU WILL SIMPLY CLOSE YOUR PNC ACCOUNT… ah, but you have a regularly occurring charge – let’s say gym membership dues. After you close your account, the gym fees hit your CLOSED account. Guess what PNC does? PNC RE-OPENS YOUR ACCOUNT, PAYS THE CHARGE, THEN CHARGES NSF FEES TO YOUR CLOSED ACCOUNT.
You can’t even end the relationship if you try!!
Furthermore, AFTER YOU CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, you will fail to have access to your records online, so you MUST go in and save everything before you close your account.
Representatives of PNC have tried to explain to me how currently my fees are waived for minimum balances and how at some time in the future branches will all run on close of business being 5 pm. At this point, the damage in the relationship has already been done, through fees, lack of information and the inaccuracy of that information, rule inconsistencies, and, worst of all, the wasting of my precious time - regardless of what improvements are under way presently. Many companies have implemented quality improvements long after their reputation has been damaged. Ford Motor Company comes to mind. It is my opinion that long after PNC makes positive improvements in how they treat their customers, the effects of current and past policies will linger with the corporation for years to come. It is my prediction that no one at PNC will listen until their reputation is damaged beyond repair.
The fees are unreal. In my area, they even have an ATM charge for some of their own ATMs. How the hell? Most banks profit from loaning money and making investments. These guys thrive on fees. Employees are probably offered bonuses if they can find a reason to assess fees to a customer.