Talk about an epic failure. For those of you that don’t know, TD Bank merged the old Commerce Bank and TD Banknorth databases last weekend. In the process, they managed to unleash a variety of glitches in their online system and transaction posting system. What does that mean?
In short, it means that if you had a direct deposit going to your TD Bank checking account at any time from September 27th through, well, today (they’re still having some problems) then there is a strong chance that your account won’t reflect that deposit. You won’t see it when you log-in online nor will you see it when you go to the ATM.
Some of you might be thinking, “Why is this an epic failure if it is a technical glitch?” Ah ha! Good question! Most technical glitches are, in fact, glitches. What TD Bank did was a gigantic bomb. They turned off their customer service hotlines (including their automated 24 hour service). Instead, customers were treated to a recorded message saying that calls could not be completed at this time. Customer friendly? I think not.
When TD bought Commerce Bank, many New Jerseyans were aggravated because Commerce really was a customer friendly bank. Their tagline, “America’s Most Convenient Bank” was true for many of their customers who loved the fact that they could go into the bank on the weekends to complete some transactions. The West Long Branch bank, in particular, was great because they worked with groups out of Monmouth University to create “business” checking accounts that had no fees (something that TD Bank recently announced it was overturning).
Now many Commerce Bank customers (myself included) are wondering what we’re going to do about TD Bank. They crashed their online system and couldn’t fix the problem over the course of a week. Oh, and it wasn’t just ANY week that they decided to do this – they decided to do it during a week that included the end of one month and the beginning of another. When do most people get paid or receive their subsidies from the government? Right…the end and beginning of the month. When those dollars aren’t there, people begin to panic because of automatic debits that may be preset to hit their accounts or because of other bills that need to be paid. And TD Bank just told people that they were working on it. Completely unacceptable.
So, again, what are customers of TD Bank left to do? I’ve decided that I’m going to explore other checking account options at other banks. In particular, I’m going to look at Central Jersey Bank (which was recently acquired by OceanFirst Bank). The Central Jersey Bank/OceanFirst Bank operates in Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex counties in New Jersey and – most importantly – is headquartered in this part of the state, too. Unlike TD Bank, which is now headquartered out of Canada, it appears that Central Jersey Bank/OceanFirst Bank understands the people in this region.
Later today, I’m going to head over to the big Central Jersey Bank on Route 35 in Ocean Township and inquire about a checking account. TD Bank has ruined Commerce Bank’s stellar reputation and they aren’t worth the hassle any more.