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Dear Mr.Michael [Redacted]
I had set up a custodial account for my minor child. When he turned 18 and was going off to college we wanted to change this from a custodial to a joint account. On Aug. 11, 2012 I spoke to one of their representatives and was instructed to send a “letter of instruction” along with a copy of my son’s drivers license. This was done the same evening.
No notice from Ally. I followed up and was then told that I needed to send a copy of an envelope showing my son’s home mailing address. This was done on Aug. 23rd. I was told that I would hear something in 1 week.
No response from Ally. I followed up again and was then told that I now needed to fax a copy of his SS card. This was done on Aug. 31. They couldn’t find the fax and then asked that it be resent which was done on Sept. 5th.
Today I’m told that they have the necessary documentation and now after a whole month of waiting will begin the process of making the account changes.
Be prepared for many 3-4 minutes holds over many days. It’s impossible to speak to the same person twice or get anything accomplished.
Ally’s not a bad bank as long as you don’t need to speak to anybody or have anything done!
I'm confused about the the three-star rating when most of the reviews give a glowing five-stars - maybe there were a few folks who gave one star and that dragged it down? Anyway, as most people have noted, Ally is clearly the best way to go for online banking; and for those who are put off by the lack of brick-and-mortar locations, try thinking of banking differently. If you own a smartphone and a computer, there is absolutely no reason to "go to the bank"! Everything you might ever need to do can be done online and/or on the phone. Ally's phone reps are terrific - smart and patient, knowledgable about the products, and speak clear English (and possibly Spanish as well - I haven't checked). The no fee ATM feature is for real, and it's so convenient. It's also awfully nice to get nearly 1% interest on your savings account when virtually all the other banks give you next to nothing (like .005% or some nonsense, which is effectively zero). You even earn a bit on your checking account. No minimum balances, great online and mobile banking interfaces, great customer service: a winning formula, to be sure.
Nothing but problems from day one. I should have known better when Ally screwed up the opening of my account by losing half my paperwork. I figured it was just an honest mistake. Well it's been nothing but problems and I haven't even had the account for a year. I used the smartphone app to deposit a check a few months ago. It was a little more than six months old. No good. Ally said they can't deposit checks over 6 months. Fine. Now I try to deposit a check from my sister. She didn't date the check. I deposit it and get an email a day later saying it was refused BUT it doesn't say it was because it was missing the date. So, I call Ally and ask the rep, if my check is missing the date, will it be rejected? He said no, it should not be a problem. So, I deposit it again using the app and again I get an email saying your check has been rejected because traveler checks, money orders and postal money orders have to be mailed in. Did I mention that this is a personal check from my sister for $30? So, I call up Ally, explain my story to the rep. and she's very sympathetic, but can't help me. I get transferred to Antonio in Tech support. He confirms:
1. The check was rejected because it had no date
2. Mailing it in to Ally wouldn't make a difference
3. The rejection email is very generic (no kidding!)
I've had more frustration with this Ally account in 10 months than I've had in 30 years of having a bank account.
Now back to my local bank where I get a few pennies less in interest but they do deposit my checks.
I closed my account. It's clear to me that wanting to be a great bank and being a great bank are not the same.