In my last post, I revealed that, when a Nationwide Bank CD recently matured, I spurned the offer of a 2.25% APY 5-year CD at BBVA Compass Bank to replace it.
It was a case of an attractive CD rate being overwhelmed by terrible customer service.
BBVA currently offers certain customers having CompassLink checking accounts, including those enrolled in its so-called Preferred Client Plus program, a 0.25% bump-up on CD rates.
With a 2.00% APY posted rate on 5-year CDs, that means the anointed customer is entitled to 2.25%.
Qualifying for Preferred Client Plus status because of my existing CD balances, I decided to open a checking account and enroll in the program, solely to get the enhanced 5-year CD rate when my Nationwide CD matured.
That was a mistake.
First, the bank subjected me to a hard credit pull, even though I had substantial existing CD balances, wasn’t applying for credit and expressly declined overdraft protection.
Hard credit pulls are anathema to CD investors. Too many will negatively affect your credit scores.
Second, when I opened the new checking account, I asked the local branch rep to arrange for interest on my current CDs to be paid into it, rather than mailed to me by check.
Unfortunately, she made a “fat finger” error, and closed one of my CDs instead, with, of course, a substantial penalty payment.
I had to spend several frustrating days making sure the error had been rectified.
She repeatedly assured me it had and that corrected CD information appeared on my online banking pages.
So why, I asked, couldn’t I see it (or my new checking account, for that matter) on my computer screen?
Her response was that the folks answering BBVA’s in-house corporate assistance line assured her the two accounts were there.
I called the toll-free number dedicated to Preferred Client customers for assistance, but the customer service representative couldn’t help me because BBVA’s online banking software had just crashed.
I ultimately reached an online banking specialist who confirmed my own sanity by assuring me the branch rep was wrong and that my reinstated CD and checking account had, in fact, never been added to my online banking profile. She added them.
But I’d already decided against opening further accounts at BBVA.
At least not until it demonstrates that a “preferred” customer will really be treated as preferred, in more ways than just getting bumped-up CD rates.