Downey Savings...
Getting Better, Getting Better.. Oops, Here We Go Again.

As you may recall last month we took Downey Savings and Loan to task for bad customer service.  The problem boiled down to a “Not My Fault” philosophy on the part of the folks that should have offered an apology and a remedy, to a customer who suffered due to Downey’s miscommunication.

After seeing BizNet’s article and investigating the facts, Downey offered a sincere apology and made a generous offer to set things right.  On the making-up-after-the-fact scale of 1 to 10, Downey got top marks of a solid 10.

But was anything learned.  Apparently not.  I’m seeing ATM charges on my account.  Not much, but I was told there would be none.  No Charges???  When I requested my ATM card on this account it was after taking with the “manager” at my local branch.  I told her I liked using my Credit Union, as there was never an ATM charge, but with BizNet relocating to Arizona, I needed to change my banking arrangements.  She told me I should use Downey as they had no charge for ATM usage, as long as the owner of the ATM did not impose their own fees.  I was clearly told that I could use any ATM, and Downey would not add any fee for using it.

That was a good deal, and exactly the way my credit union worked it.  If I used bank “A”s ATM and that bank did not charge for using the ATM it was free.  If they (Bank “A”) did charge, then the usage, fee would be what ever that bank charged.

With this in mind, instead of moving my account to a new credit union, I went with Downey Savings.

And I started to see ATM, charges on my account.  I went to the branch and talked to the same manager that helped me in the first place.  I explained that I was getting hit with ATM charges.  Her response was of course you are.  Were not going to let you use them for free.  I explained what I was told on getting my ATM card.  She told me I was not told that.  I asked could it be that I was misinformed, or that things were not made clear to me?  She told me that things were made very clear to me, and that I was the one that did not understand what I was told.  She stated no one at Downey would ever give out the wrong information.  (I reminded her of the last time I talked to her and the bad information I got that led to the first article).  She responded by shoving a “disclosure” statement though the window, and telling me “it’s all right in here”....

I have not read it.  I believe it is in there.  But I was told what I was told.  And once again it’s all my fault.

Downey, shame on you. You have very poor customer relations.  What would have been so bad about simply removing those charges; Apologizing for the misunderstanding, and just letting me know that in the future those ATM fees will stand?

So, now I’m going to do what I should have done in the first place.  I’m opening an account at a Credit union.  This way if I use an ATM at Washington Mutual, and they don’t charge me for using their ATM, I won’t get hit with a fee from my own bank.

For anyone doing business with Downey...  Don’t rely on what they tell you.  Read everything before doing business with them.  After all, their employees never make a mistake (that they admit to).
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Last modified: November 08, 2002