FirstMerit is a great bank. Take ownership of your accounts! If you were charged a service fee, find out why. It can most likely be avoided. Read the material that is given to you. Ask questions. Balance your own checkbook! I've banked with FirstMerit for over 10 years and have never been charged a service fee. Some limitations on accounts (like no more than 6 withdrawals from a savings) are federally regulated- meaning all banks follow those rules. Some of these reviews have been ridicuously inaccurate and clearly written by people that are speaking from anger about a situation that could have been avoided.
The employees are kind, courteous, and capable. They are willing to go the extra mile to help with almost any problem you might have with the bank. Even so far as to give up personal time to help in the community.
I have been with this Bank for almost 4 years now. The customer service with the reps is outstanding, they are so caring and listen to you and try to help you in every way possible. They are a cut above the rest when it comes to the numerous banks I have been to around the country. The counter service personnel really are mostly unfriendly a crew, some of them do not seem to speak English, but even if you don't you can still gracefully smile, because that job is customer service. However, there are gems in this group, some of them are friendly and smile. There are also those who don't realize that their job is customer service, they need to socialize without repercussions. Hopefully in 2014 they would all be retrained on how to smile and be helpful and speak English as well.
I recently applied for a mortgage with First Merit Bank. I was accustomed to dealing with Citizens Bank and First Merit has purchased them so I didn't have much choice. The loan officer (Joe) was incredibly nice and very competent. This guy knows what he's doing and also knows how to deal with people. In the end, I ended up going with another lender (got a better offer) but I have to say the people I dealt with at First Merit were the best I've ever encountered in the banking business. All were professional, courteous and patient. they certainly have the right people working there. I no longer have any concerns about my "new" bank. Good job, First Merit!
I have experienced the same problem that other posters have listed. They try any method possible to attach fees to your account. I'm on a fixed income and they collected a significant amount of money from me in the past year. They change the date that a check has been received so that you can be over drawn for that check in the next few days. They do credits after withdrawals. They take the largest check and deposit it first to maximize the overdrafts. They have charged me over drafts for being $0.49 over. I can have money deposited on the day a charge comes in and they will still charge you for overdrafts. I have even deposited cash and later that day purchased something and they will charge me an overdraft fee.
FirstMerit was one of the worst employers I have ever had. They had promised me a position in their technical department and all I had to do was get my foot in the door and start as a teller. After working 10 months as a teller, I found out they gave the position to someone else behind my back. Needless to say a 2 weeks notice was promptly given. Their products are aweful (interest rates high for credit and low for checking/savings accounts). I had an "employee checking" account with them. After I quit, they changed it to a checking account that required $2000 in it and started charging me fees without letting me know. I had an auto loan with them b/c of special rates for being an employee. I made my last payment and thought everything was ok. Instead of them picking up the phone and letting me know that I actually owe them more money, they applied late fees and allowed the account to go delinquint. Now I have 2 late payments on my credit still haunting me.
Let me put it this way, you will find fantastic tellers there b/c they all care about employees and customers. But as far as being a good or bad bank, they are just as bad as Chase in my opinion. I don't know how the tellers do it. I couldn't last a year under their management and system. Kudos to the tellers for putting up with so much crap. Best phrase for management/ corporate would be: Fettucini Full of Lies.
The attitude of this bank has changed over the years. I have been with them over 15 years. It just seems they charge too much for the overdraft fees. I had money in my savings and just missed an automatic draft by a day. (Actually I was there that day to transfer into the checking, but they said it came through overnight, so technically the money was not there). They still charged me 31 dollars.
Some banks give you 24 hours to get your funds into your account. They told me also even tough I had a substantial amount in the savings they are not tied and so no luck. This has happened one other time as well when a payment went through a day or two earlier than usual. I came to the bank as soon as I got off work. They still charged me. I don't like to give banks my money. I work way too hard for it. ATM fees are excessive if you don't use their bank. IRA rate was a joke. .86% as I recall. Thinking about moving our accounts.
We are not new to mortgages by any means. As we enjoy our local branch of First Merit Bank, we were curious to see about refinancing our mortgage.
Our mortgage contact in Bolingbrook, IL was the worst from the start. She would rarely return our calls, (but needed everything on her end "right away!") didn't show up for the closing. They didn't let us know that the title company wasn't coming either, so we showed up and waited for more than an hour for nothing. She even lied about our numbers to "get the load through". I wrote to the President and he actually sent me back an insulting, 3 page letter defending her! Yes, the President of the Mortgage Company!
Fine. She lied. The President doesn't care because he got our business. We got a ridiculously low rate and that's what we wanted. Lesson learned.
That was in the past (2013). Now for yet another bad surprise because our First Merit Mortgage person "fudged numbers" on our loan, we just got a letter (March 2014) stating our escrow account is about $2,000 short (about 6 months of taxes she left out of the original documents which was part of the lie I wrote the President about!) and that our payment just went up by $150 a month (about a 16.5% increase in our monthly payment!).
20 years of mortgages, including 3 refinanced, and we have never been more than about $100-$200 short on escrow. But we've never dealt with this corrupt group before, either.
While I'd recommend our local branch for everyday "personal banking" because of the people there, I'd suggest running from any mortgage pitch from First Merit Bank.
If the mortgage person can lie about the numbers and the President of the Mortgage Group defends her actions without even speaking to us, and then the customer gets screwed. Why on God's green earth would you want to go with such a shady mortgage department?
Yes, find another mortgage company. No matter who else you go with, you'll be glad you did.
First merit charges you on anything you do, just to make a buck off of your account! We have direct deposit, and a small savings account, we had a friend wire to our account $500. 00 from their account, first merit charged our account $30. 00 dollars for the transfer. Deposit a check and the bank will only let $100. 00 be used until it clears, but they have no problems charging you over-draft fees. Fees, fees, fees ,fees.
FirstMerit took over my previous bank after the Reserve shut them down due to low funding. I had been with this bank for 19 years, their just got affected by the real estate problem. FirstMerit did not make changes right away until November 2010, then they started with the hidden fees charges. We had several savings and checking accounts and would move money around. FirstMerit started charging $10 each transaction without notifing us even though we used their reps, who manually did each transfer. Then I recieved mailing notifing all customer recently of their $37.50 overdraft fees. Previously we would link our accounts but after receiving a $59 fee charge for transferring money between accounts at $10 each on a kid account and told when asked about by several customer service persons, "that the information was in the book we sent you", we closed some accounts and have been moving away from them slowly to our credit union. But here's what really funny, they stated when I complained that I could have avoided the fees, if I had a "reality savings account", mind you they are the ones that transferred our accounts which included how they were setup. My kids can't afford $59 fees when they feel like charging and being told that it can only be reversed by the branch where the account was opened 19 years ago. WHAT? Though, a branch is only 15 minutes away and the original branch is 32 miles away. I hope they enjoyed that hit, because it the last one they will get from us. Please beware!
I never had a problem with online banking at Citizens. Now, I keep getting "locked out" because of their stupidity.
Yesterday I tried to transfer funds from one account to another. Their "transfer" button is gone. We had to drive to the branch to do it.
The local employees are great - all are holdovers from Citizens. If a mistake is made, it is always my fault -- never theirs.
Yeah, I got their "confidential" survey within a week, the whole town knew what I said.
My husband used first merit for an installment loan a few years ago. Years after the beginning of the installment loan my husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, fell into a coma and was left a quadriplegic who was unable to speak. For months i tried to get first merit to at least give me an address to send his monthly payments to, but because i was not on the account, they would not even tell me what his payment amount was... Even with medical reports, doctors and nurses to speak for the situation at hand. Because of the delay endless late fees, penalties and inevitably a smack to my husbands credit score ensued. Prior to my husbands trauma, he had never been delinquent in any way in paying his obligation to first merit. After speaking with melinda (or some "supervisor" with a name similar to) she showed no amount of compassion at all, stating that she sees in her notes my attempts to call but it's not first merits fault that my husband had health issues. It was rude, disrespectful and plain inhuman how she treated our situation. So much to the point that i paid off the ~$35,000 loan the next day and vowed to never do business with them again. I will speak to anyone who will listen about my experience because it was incredibly hurtful to be treated with such disregard. If you have any other options, use them before you enter a relationship with first merit. They should be ashamed.
I have banked with first merit thru 2 bank changes/buyouts. I am very disappointed with all the charges and now that over draft protection is now gone. Just dished out a ton of $$ for something that i was not aware of. Now the search begin for a new bank. That hopefully will put their customers first--beaware-this is not a bank that has ur best interest at heart!
I opened this business account years ago and had an excellent personal banker who resolved or clarified issues flawlessly. The bank downsized him out and it's been a nightmare since (for past 2 years). I stopped using this account and opened a new business account elsewhere as I didn't have the time or patience to deal with their overall incompetency. The east side Warrensville Center road branch is hopeless with a manager who creates more problems than solves. As a business owner it's a great inconvenience to close your primary bank account but 1st Merit succeeded in forcing my hand.
Their online banking could not merge my payroll and checking accounts into one web session after 8 months of forms, signatures and so forth. When I needed document copies from the bank it would take 5 or 6 calls and then numerous visits as they never seemed to know what they were doing. This particular Branch had a 3rd world mentality. I couldn't afford the waste of my time and the aggravation they generated.
Banks are a service industry that benefit from your equity. Given that they already have your money it's frustrating when they can't manage it.
Although my husband and I have been with FirstMerit for about 14 years, I have been disappointed to see that they are now looking for every way possible to take advantage of their customers.
They charge overdraft fees on authorizations, even though the amount has not been actually captured by the merchant. They take charges from high to low, regardless of order, so if you are overdrawn by $20.00 with 3 transactions for $5 and one for $50, they will always take out the $50 first, leaving you a $26 fee for EACH of the other 3 charges.
Don't even think of trying to make a deposit on the same day to bring your balance up, because they hold all but $100 until the next business day. We found out the hard way when we made our FirstMerit Mortgage payment at the same time we deposited a check that would cover the payment. They had no problem cashing my check and posting it to my account the same day, but wouldn't give us the funds to cover it until the next day, leaving us with another...you guessed it...$26 overdraft charge.
Mind you, my husband and I aren't in the habit of overdrafting, but practices that stack the deck in favor of the bank are not conducive to a good business relationship.
I'm now eying other banks that care more about integrity than they do the money they can weasel out of their customers.
In July 2012, after my divorce, my mail was supposed to be forwarded to my new address, In error, the post office failed to forward some mail and my ex-husband got his hands on a check for over $2000.00 that belonged to me. He forged my name and cashed it at 1st Merit. As soon as I discovered this, I got a copy of the check, filed a police report and reported the fraud to the bank. They did all the paperwork, had me sign the documents and forwarded them to Fraud division of 1st Merit.
Month after month passed, I called over and over to the 1st bank rep that took the original complaint, and all I got was, "We'll contact Fraud and have them call you." Then a new person became the contact, but I only got the same thing.
So I did some research and found out the name and phone # of the person in Fraud assigned to the case. By now appx. 5 months have passed and I find she has never even investigated the case nor has anyone contacted me one time from there. She did not want to admit it but she doesn't even know where the file information is. She finally asked me to send her another copy of the forged check, I did. But after 5 months, if this is not resolved very soon, I will be initiating an investigation into the bank's practices. They forget somebody regulates them, too! I want him jailed and my money back.
sorry first merit since you bought my bank you do not put me first. you put yourself first with fees and not helping your customer. i had accounts with citizens for 55 years. now i am just another number.
I have a checking account strictly for household emergencies. I have had this for 10 years, adding money from time to time. There have been times I have not added to or taken from this account for 8 months to 1 year. I checked my balance yesterday and find they charged me $25 for not using the account for two months. First time this happened. I called and the "customer service' person told me this was something they 'just started to enforce' and it was in the disclosure I got 10 years ago. I realize everyone is on the take, but I'd like to know what they did with my account that cost them $25 to do. I have to go to the bank branch to 'reactivate' my now 'inactive' account. They would not offer any help on the phone. I am going to close the account today. I don't recommend this bank. I have another account here that I do use all the time but am careful to never use the debit card as a debit because there are transaction fees for doing that. You have to use their debit card as a credit card - always. Beware!
I have been a loyal first merit customer for around six years. Never before have i had overdraft issues in the past. Recently i deposited a payroll check on a weekend with a holiday following it. After i deposited my check i made several transactions. On the next available business day the bank ran through the transactions i had made before running the deposited check i had made... Even though it was deposited beforehand. Then.. Seven $35 overdraft fees arrived. Totaling $245 dollars!! I called the bank and they said they'd call corporate and they'd get back to me. Three days later my bank. Not corporate mgmt. Got a hold of me.
They said to tell me theyd take two of the seven fees off if i applied for a creditcard and overdraft protection... More ways for them to make money! I have always had enough money to cover any transactions ive made and am a financially responsible person. I feel robbed and taken advantage of from first merit bank. This is wonderful representation as to how they treat and value us as the customer. I recommend not banking with them and not letting them steal your money also.
From the day I opened my account the online banking for credit card transactions NEVER worked. I could see my balance and make payments, but not see transactions. Another huge issue was if a check arrived from direct deposit and it arrived on a Monday it would not post for 3 business days. While talking to customer support they could not give us an answer to why any of this is happening. I finally just cut ties and moved our business to Chase. Amazing, the checks post on time and I can do all my banking and review everything online, like it should be. Stay away from these people unless you like headaches
The first merit bank i bank at has a newer account manager". This guy is incredibly unfriendly and his expression when approached is complete boredom. There is never a line at this particular branch. Yesterday i must have interrupted his texting when i approached the counter. When i said hello, he grumbled back a hello. When i said thank you and have a nice day he did not respond. I am so ready to take my account elsewhere.
Worst bank EVER!! I've had my account there for four years now. I originally went with them because of their free checking. Let me tell you..NOT WORTH IT!! Charges after charges after charges. My insurance company took a double payment on both my car and home by accident. I deposited the money to cover their mistake on THE SAME DAY they did it. Got hit with two overdraft fees that they will not reverse! My insurance company has since corrected their mistake but First Merit will not take back their two fees! I have been dealing with similar situations and their crappy customer service and inane rules for too long. I've graduated college now. I have a better job and I'm taking my money somewhere else. I wish I had done more research when choosing a bank because now that I'm looking around it seems majority of their customers hate them. I would NEVER recommend First Merit to anyone!...EVER!!
The people in customer serv. ( mobile banking)seem to have the attitude that they are talking to someone that knows absolutely nothing. Their attitude seems to be that they are far more superior than the customer. It should have stayed Citizens First. The local bank people are very good with customer serv. The corporate customer serv. needs an attitude adjustment.
I have been working on getting a renovation loan for nearly five months. I have had THREE different loan officers assigned to me within that time (the first one who told us we were almost done with the process quit, the next one was put on "special assignment" (which is code for he needs more training before we have to fire him), and this last one has the personality and customer service equivalent to a piece of wood and is completely disorganized. I have NEVER had a more frustrating experience with a business in my life. Instead of telling us what they needed up front, we had to do everything piece meal and finally this last guy told us that we probably wouldn't get the loan AFTER spending a huge amount of time and money getting quotes and paying for estimates. He had most of this information to apparently come to this conclusion nearly two months ago. Unbelievable. We will most likely lose the house now. Calling headquarters on Tuesday and moving my accounts elsewhere. Ask questions, demand a checklist up front detailing what they need so they are not wasting your time. Or better yet, go elsewhere...
And, we had a situation this summer with a credit card not getting to us before we had to leave the country for a few weeks. We had applied nearly a month in advance and still didn't have it when we left. Received some cavalier response from the bank manager with no apology ("oh well"). This is after she promised it would be to us well in time and I had followed up multiple times. I would have gone elsewhere had I known there would be such a huge delay.
In addition, their online banking is a pain. Just a strange set up with login's. Moving on after banking with them for over 10 years. Sad.
It's like trying to have a conversations with a puppy.
Been with Citizens for 10 years. Great bank, great service, never once had a problem. First Merit took over a month ago. What a nightmare. They place double holds on some of my transactions, but claim its not them. I have used the same vendors with other cards and have never had a problem. They just deny deny deny. can't wait to close my account with them. Unfortunately I have to wait for these phantom holds to come off my account so I can have withdraw my money and close it. Oh yea, I was already planning on closing my account with them because they took away all of my perks I had with Citizens, namely free atm use anywhere. I would avoid First Merit like the plague.
I open my account with Citizens and I had for a couple years and I loved it! Unfortunately First Merit bought it and now I have my checking account with them against my will. They closed my citizens debit card and lied to me saying they were going to send me the First Merit debit card in the mail, the first attempt from me to receive a debit card was in person at the Northville Branch on October 7th 2013, she said it would take from 3 to 5 days for me to received it, then came my second attempt (all this time without being able to buy groceries or paying my bills online) was on October 18th over the phone direct to the customer service line:888-554-4362 after waiting for over 30 min to speak with someone without counting the time I spent dialing the menu, some guy picks up the phone laughing. after telling him my problem,he very careless and showing he had absolute no interest on helping me he verified my home address and sent me the second debit card over the mail, he said it will take 3-5 days for me to get it in the mail. so I continue to ask loans from friends because I go to school in the morning and work at night I have no time to get a draft, That's why I decided to open a checking account. Today was my third attempt of the month, I called the customer service line and had me waiting for two hours I gave up and hung up, I called the Southfield branch and they said they were busy and that I had to call the Novi branch (unbelievable!) I called the Novi branch and they couldn't find my info in the system I offered twice to give her my social security number so she could find me just to make sure they had the right address, she said No, that wouldn't help me I can't give you any info over the phone and was talking to somebody else at the same time she was talking to me! I hung up out of pure frustration and called the Northville branch, the first thing she did was asking me for my social security number, so I asked her why the girl in Novi couldn't??
I have a joint checking acct with my son who is a student. I have had accts at 1st merit for many years. Several times when he was out of the country the account was overdrawn due to timing issues of money coming in and out as he was living in south america at that time and had to rely on machines and online for balances. I was out of the country in south america and due to the fact i was not able to access the accounts as normal and had the same problem these overdraft charges occurred. While i feel somewhat responsible, it is also a timing thing. My accts have always been in good standing and as soon as i realized the status i would transfer money from savings to checking. I called and spoke to a sherry from the 800 number who was not very helpful and not sympathetic to my plight. She said why did i not have the service attached to the acct that would automatically have transferred the money from savings to checking and when i told her i was unaware of it because no one informed me of it and of course i would have used it if i knew about it, who wants to pay $490 in overdraft charges. She said she could take off 4 but that was all. I called my branch and spoke with the branch manager debbie, who more or less said it was my responsibility and she would not forgive more than 2. So for a bank with a motto of "how can we put you first today", i felt belittled and that my financial difficulties were not there concern. She said she would mail me the form to change it so that the funds would in the future transfer automatically. This service has been available for 7 mos! I have advised her that i am cancelling my accounts for a bank that is not so punitive. My financial hardship of paying $250 (after removal of some charges) is nothing to a muti-million dollar profit bank. They could have excused the charges and set it up so it would not happen again. They were unwilling to do that.
First merit just has one two many of what I call gotcha fees. They will charge you account until nothing is in it if you don't read they banking terms. Such as charging your saving $10 unless 5 transaction occur during the month. Lord forbid you have to dispute a overdraft charge. In my experience that took at least a month before that issue got resolved.
Customer service is nothing great . They like you until you have a problem then they stare at you as if you speak another language. Bank Rates....What bank rates? Online Experience is horrible their online site is not user friendly at all, very crude. Fee & Charges..I can assure you this bank doesn't operate on merit. They seem to always be looking for a way to corner you. Overall I am simply disappointed.