Is This Good Customer Service? You Be The Judge.

I have had most of my money in Coast Central Credit Union since I moved back here in ’93. At one time I had my mortgage with them too. Mostly they have been okay, okay enough that I stayed with them.  Today I am madder than the proverbial wet hen, and here’s why.

Over the weekend of March 8 I lost my checkbook. I rarely write checks and believe me I won’t be carrying that checkbook again without a specific purpose but in any event , it turned up missing and you know what happens when you report that to a bank. They tell you: Close the account so the villains out there can’t use your checks. We did so and I obediently opened a new account with Coast Central and they gave me a few checks to use until I got the new box. Meanwhile I had to notify EVERY ONE of the 14 parties I had authorized to take payments/debits about the new account number. I called or visited North Valley Bank, HCSD, PG&E, Suddenlink, State Farm, PayPal, three credit cards, Recology etc etc etc. It took a week.

Then I waited for my new checks. I had to go to CCCU and have some checks printed up  so I could pay Fullerton’s for my tax return. As of yesterday,  I was waiting a month for the new checks that were promised in two weeks. Finally I went over there and pressed the issue. The nice lady in New Accounts called the check company who told her the checks were LOST IN THE MAIL.  Who the hell mails blank checks through the USPS? Well, Coast Central does.  And it’s your tough luck if they don’t make it.  The nice lady was sympathetic but I HAD TO OPEN A THIRD CHECKING ACCOUNT, and I am in the middle of the second round of notifications to PG& E etc etc.  In an effort to stave off further disaster I told them to hold the checks at the CU and I would come pick them up. Again it seems to fall to me to be proactive.   

Why can’t they shave a few cents off Dean Christensen’s million-dollar salary and FED EX the checks? Boom! NO more “lost in the mail”.  I’ve really been thinking about Coast Central and how it really has been getting a free ride by  by being active in the community, as they shoud be.  Makes me think I should drop in on a board meeting or start a user’s group or something. Anybody with me?  

13 thoughts on “Is This Good Customer Service? You Be The Judge.

  1. Obviously, this is a very frustrating situation. If my checks were lost and I had to open another account, I would be upset too. However, I don’t believe this is a case of bad customer service. I think CCCU was acting in your best interests by closing an account that could have possibly been compromised, which would have led to a much bigger headache. I have dealt with CCCU for many years and have always been pleased with the employees. You said yourself that whoever helped you was nice and sympathetic. It sounds like they acted quickly to protect your account. So if I’m being the judge, like you asked, I would not place the blame on the Credit Union.
    Unfortunately, the USPS is not what it used to be and sometimes things get lost and go who knows where. I know I’ve seenmy fair share of “lost” christmas packages and “misplaced” magazine subscriptions. I do my own check orders online through deluxe.com (the company that CCCU uses). I can chose my own shipping options this way, and I have never lost a box. I would recommend trying that in the future.
    Mistakes happen, we’re all human. Try not to hold on to a grudge or place blame on the CCCU employees. They were just trying to do their job in an unfortunate situation. Best of luck to you with the new checks!

    • AS I wrote I APPROVED the closing of the account and had no complaints whatsoever about the individual CCCU employees. My complaint is against CCCU’S idiotic practice of entrusting blank checks to the USPS WHEN THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN A LOSS thru the USPS. A company with any class would messenger the next checks but instead I am waiting to see if they make it through the USPS THIS time. This is not what they teach in biz school about customer service. Thanks for writing and thanks for the good wishes.

  2. I haven’t ordered checks through a bank or credit union in I don’t know how long. The last time I ordered was through one of those companies that advertise in inserts that come with the newspapers.

    Inexpensive and never had a problem. Since I only write about 2 or 3 checks a month now- up from one check every 3 months last year- the checks last forever.

    The ones I write regularly now are my mortgage payment- old mortgage company had free online payment. New one charges $12.00- and my Obamacare health insurance to Anthem/ Blue Cross. They charge something like $5.00 for online payments so it’s less expensive to just write a check and mail it.

    Then my quarterly tax estimate every three months.

    • Yeah, I was down to about three or four checks a month before I lost that checkbook. But the more you set up your life around online automatic payments, the more you have to fix if you want to make changes. Most of the problems I have had in the past with the USPS were on the other end- three different packages I sent to my late stepmother in Florida were “lost” or stolen.

  3. I always think when CCCU fails me that they could spend their money better than on a 7 figure salary and benefit package for one CEO.

    I really like trying other credit unions here in Humboldt. They tend to have lower interest rates, less usury, than banks. Hope this helps…

    CCCU: If delivered to the CCCU they lock checks in the vault until you pick them up. 4 day express expedited shipping options extra charges are $23.45, signature required 4 day $29.70, next day (2 days) $39.10, overnight (1-2 days) $45.75. All of these charges are more a reflection on the checkbook company than the credit unions.

    Northern Redwood Federal Credit Union is a community credit union on Giuntoli in Arcata. They are competent and personable. For $5 more, ground 4-6 days; for $30, 3 business days; for $40, 2 business days; for $32 4-5 days. Otherwise the usual 7-10 business days aka dba two weeks.

    California State and Federal Employees Credit Union on Wabash in Eureka is another possible option. They offer no extra charge no tracking USPS two weeks; so called next day USPS 4-5 day for $41.26; one day, 2 actual $50.80; quick 2-3 day for $40; standard trackable USPS 6-8 business days for $10.20. So there are trackable expedited express shipping pricey options available.

    Provident Credit Union also has an office in Eureka. I believe it was reported that while they are larger they pay their CEO less. Their check shipping options include 7-10 business days (two weeks); 7-10 days; 4 day express for $23.95 and 1-2 day delivery for $45.75 additional.

    Some of these credit unions have expanded who can become a member. I currently order checks online, where the shipping options hopefully are displayed.

    Under your circumstances, there may be shipping options for check delivery other than the slow/lost/stolen USPS that you can pay to upgrade to that CCCU should have offered. I always like tracking available online with USPS, FedEx, or UPS. I hate so-called smart post where FedEx or UPS hand off my package to the USPS, with no front door delivery. At that point there is no tracking. If the notice comes in on a Friday the package is not available for pickup until Monday after 11 am in McK.

    Hello Dolly! Money is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around.

  4. We have our own CCCU story from when we moved into the area a decade ago. Wanting to support local business, we opened personal- and business accounts, and then everything went south. Every transaction for the next month got messed up–long holds on funds, deposits credited to wrong account, etc. After a month we just gave up and took our business to the local branch of a Bay Area-based credit union. Not a single problem ever since.

  5. If we mail we use Certified because we’ve had important papers “lost” in the mail. And that’s only items we knew about. Don’t trust the mail anymore.

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