More Problems with Chevy Chase Bank

If you get a slip like this in the mail with your bill, call 1-800-937-5000 right away and ask to be on the "no-call list", otherwise be prepared to be telemarketed back to the stone age by Chevy Chase Bank. They are only allowed under federal law to call you once in any 12 month period.
Phil Rice has a telemarketing complaint/lawsuit against Chevy Chase Bank. To get the technical scoop, jump to Phil's homepage.

What's in a name? Well Chevy Chase Bank tried suing this guy for his name!

Deposition: Chevy Chase Bank Customers
--In Their Own Words Part 2--

Subject: Chevy Chase Problems
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 22:49:18 -0500
From: name with-held by request


I was having so many problems with Chevy Chase in December that I am so happy that I found your page and get to tell my story. I opened a Chevy Chase checking account in October '97 since their ATM machines are everyewhere in the DC area and they offered a $50 signing bonus! (the branch rep said they were losing so much money by doing that). No problem, everything was fine until November. My roommate gave me a $500 chevy chase check for rent and I deposited it. Next thing I know my account is frozen. I call up to the "customer service" rep. and they tell me my account is going to be closed because someone else bounced a check on me! I could not beleive this. They said that since the account was so new this could be an indication of fraud. I have been a great Citibank customer for years and I couldn't believe that Chevy Chase was now accusing me of fraud (how could I possibly be stealing money from them when the check is bounced!) After some investigation on my roommate's part who was puzzled because he had enough money to clear in his account, he found out that Chevy Chase made an unauthorized withdrawal from his check card. It was later reversed -- but my account was going to be closed even though it was chevy chase's fault to begin with! And they withdrew the $50 they gave me. I didn't know who to turn to. I called the customer service line but they said they didn't know anything and I should call the branch manager. I had a talk with the branch manager and he said it should be okay and he would get back to me --but he never did. Then I got a letter that my account would be closed in 3 days since a non-chevy chase check was bounced (which made no sense since it was a chevy chase check that was bounced). I then wrote an email to the president via their web site and got a call from a rude service rep again who said she would get back to me then never did. After many many headaches and a month of calling the branch manager he agreed to open my account again and refund me the money. I am relieved it was resolved but still very upset at the bank. Not only that, but after re-requesting my atm card to reinstate my account, I realized that they had my address wrong-- after months of the address being right!! So now my pin numbers and atm cards were going to my same address in NE and not NW. How easy someone could have used this card!! I am lucky. They tend to bumble eveything and their policies change with every person I talk to.

When I opened my ATM account (which offers unlimited ATM useage -- but you cannot use the inside of the bank) the rep. said that I could use the deposit window for the first 3 months without a charge. The very first statement I get, I have a $10 charge. The second statement I get, a $10 charge. I get these both reversed, but I wonder why the rep. would claim a grace period if they charge you anyway -- do they hope that the charges will get by unnoticed?

I am keeping very little money in Chevy Chase and use it now just for the ATM conveinance. Otherwise if I have another incident I am going to close it in a heartbeat. It is a shame that a bank such as this has such a great presence in the city.

****Please withhold my name*****

Thank You!

Subject: problems with chevy chase bank
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 11:16:01 -0500
From: js
To: <>
Wednesday, October 22, 1997

Dear Steve and Lynn:

You all haven't seen anything yet. This bank has walked the fine legal line for so long it has no idea what the law really is. Since I have had an account with them (since 1966) they have since 1987 gone down hill.


1. 1994 - I reported a stolen checkbook as a result of theft action, they closed the wrong account and after three months of overseas phone calls (I was stationed in Korea the time) and severe liquidity problems (whole pay check was going to closed account), they refused to reimburse me for any and all of my expenses informing me that their letter to the check recipients of bounced checks was their fault. Nice ??

2, 1995 - improper debiting of account. Credit card payment using their check made out for $7735 and they only gave the credit card company $735.00. After sixteen phonecalls long distance (by this time I was assigned in Texas) coordinating between the two parties, this bank all of a sudden debited my account for $7000 without any prior notice causing again liquidity problems and other costs. Bank Action: suddenly debit my account and refused to do anything else.

2. 1996 - They cashed a $10000 check that was almost two years old. Their explanation was that a mailbag had been located and a lot of bank mail discovered. This caused a severe problem for the check writer and a lot of embarrassment and explanations by me to the check writer. Bank Action - a letter saying that it was the mail (US Postal System) fault.

3. 1997 - honored a check that was over one year old for $1800, then when I complained advised me to since them the check back and they would take action to get the money back, then when I did this they refused to do anything. Bank Action: first they deceived me, second they required me to take an actions which me a lot of time and effort to no avail, and advised me in the future that all outstanding checks made required $25 per month for each if I desired to adequately protect myself.

4. 1997 - debited my checking account for $2000 in June, I inquired into what they did and for copy of the debiting transaction, I paid $3 research fee, and after ten phone call follow-ups at the end of September I receive a letter - Bank Action : indicating they had requested the check several times implying they had mailed it along with the copy of the check.

In each and every case, the bank was the problem, had caused the problem, and placed the entire blame, remedy, and cost in time and expense on the account holder.

If I could think of a way to legally go after these guys I would. The sole reason why I maintain an account with them is that banks in TEXAS are even worst along with the applicable Texas banking laws that permit excessive clearing times (creating a legalized float of 10 days for out of state checks and five for in-state).

Any suggestions and assistance would be appreciated to figure out how to at least hold them financially liable for such acts.

Sincerely yours,

Subject: Chevy Chasse Bank Sucks!
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 97 16:42:39 UT
From: name with-held by request

Dear Steve and Lynn,
I was SO happy to come across your web page this morning! Let me tell you MY story....

I moved here from MA 4 weeks ago. Realizing that I needed a local ATM card (so as not to be charged 3.50 every time I used my Boston ATM) and checking account, I decided to go to Chevy Chase Bank. Chevy Chase was a familiar name to me, I had a Chevy Chase Credit Card while I was in college (now I remember why I closed it). After I opened my account I proceeded to pay my moving bills, rent, insurance, etc. In the meantime I was told I had to wait 2 weeks for my ATM card so I had to make trips to the bank constantly during this first week of moving & settling in. Anyway, I first realized something was very wrong with this company when I received a call from my landlord informing me that my rent check had bounced!!! Knowing that I had plenty in my account to cover this check, I called seems all out of state checks take 5 days to clear!! Knowing that the checks I deposited from my Boston account had cleared my bank in Boston the following day, this made no sense to me and no one was able to explain it to me either! Now, I haven't dealt with a human in a bank for nearly 20 years. I have had my Boston account since the late 70's where I had my mortgage and several loans...all work was done over the phone or through electronic banking. If this 5 day rule is universal I was not aware.

So that's my 1st episode! Next I find that my account has been closed..."Who closed it", I asked, no one knew. While they investigated for 5 days I was not able to use my ATM card (which finally came in 3 weeks and then the pin # came the following week) or withdraw money from my account without an "override" from the bank manager everytime I went to withdraw money. Finally, they discovered that a check that I had DEPOSITED had been returned ( it happened to be one of my out of state checks that I wrote out to myself to transfer money into my account and forgot to endorse it) , so the account deserved to be closed! In other words if you deposited a check that someone gave you and it bounced they would punish YOU by closing YOUR account. This again made no sense to me. Now get this , I was told I could still write checks on the account (I have plenty of money in there as well as a weekly dir. dept from work) but my ATM privileges were taken away! This is crazy...why didn't they take away my checks too...or give me all my $$ back and tell me to go somewhere else!

I fought this out with the branch manager who insisted on calling my Boston bank to get their opinion on my banking status over the years (as if I were a criminal). Apparently she got rave reviews and agreed to reopen my account, reinstated my ATM card and apologized profusely. Finally everything was straightened out! HAH!!!....not quite. Two days later (yesterday) I went grocery shopping on my way home from work. I went to use my ATM...declined!!! How humiliating! So, I went to the branch in the plaza, they said a hold was on my account & the account was to be closed. I explained the whole situation..they were not able to do anything because it was after 5 and the branch that put the hold on the account was closed. They wouldn't even let me make a withdrawal!! Again, I felt like a criminal. Adding to my pain...I had NO gas and had to scrounge the floor of my car for $1.50 to buy a gallon of gas to get home!! (I consider this to be "Pain & Suffering").

I went to my branch this morning and spoke to the manager...she said this was no reason at all that this should have happened the second time. She figures someone in the "account closing" dept. (they must be a very busy dept) was just doing their job but never saw her notice from last week that the account should not be closed). She did let me make a withdrawal. I would have closed the account right then and there but there is an out of state check I deposited Wednesday that will not clear until next Thursday!!!!! As soon as it does, I'm out of there.

In the meantime I would like to write to the pres. of Chevy Chase, all of the board of directors, attorney general, and all media. Can you help me with this? Do you have the name of the president? I can handle the media , my boyfriend is a journalist and will assist with local connections.

Also, what bank would you recommend using?

name with-held by request

and a short follow-on...

Do any of the other banks have this same "hate following"? I love the fact that Nader has followed up on it. How about the attorney general's office, governors, senators of MD & VA? Which bank do I switch to?
Thanks for your help.

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