I have been banking for 40 years. I recently became frustrated with fees and inconvenient access due to a recent move. I read about Chime, and thought it may fit my needs.
I opened an account on their website, submitted required documentation and soon received my Chime debit card in the mail. A few days later I took my newly activated Chime debit card, and with my verified cell phone and number made an opening funding deposit, via a Green Dot MonePak transaction. The deposit amount was for $500. I immediately received an email confirmation of that deposit. I went to the China app to verify also. It showed that the $500 was credited and part of my balance.
After about one hour I went to the ATM at my usual bank to withdraw funds. It printed a receipt that read something like "transaction error, try again." I thought I had perhaps chosen the wrong account option. I repeated the $300 withdrawal request, received another printed transaction record stating unauthorized transaction.
I went into my branch and spoke with my regular account representative (I was at my brick and mortar bank where they know me) about it. She was as perplexed as I. I went back and attempted to do a balance inquiry. It immediately gave the screen message of "account closed," my deposit was now in a "spending account," and the ATM retained my new card. I couldn't believe it. I then tried to login to the Chime app, and received an error message, stating I had my access removed. Same message on the website.
I then immediately called the customer service number given as a contact us number on the website, and it gave the recorded message customer service closed. I had no option but to wait until the following day, and I called the same number. I spoke with a rep who told me that any account related questions or inquiries were answered by email only. They could provide zero info.
I emailed Chime at the support address and received an auto-response that it was an error. I tried again, went thru verification that I wasn't a robot, and again response received of not valid. I then called once again and was informed I needed to include the email address of the account with all communications. I did that and never received a personal response. I did keep trying and then began to receive an auto-reply that said to email them with specific account inquiries, if it was that they would get back to me, hold on, it read.
I called again after several days of no communication of any type was told by the rep. I didn't include a copy of my ID with my email, which they only could see one email from me. They could not answer any account questions. I submitted a new email at the address I verified with that rep, including this time an attachment of my driver's license photo. No response. I emailed again, and nothing.
I call again, same runaround. No rep is able to answer any account questions nor give me an explanation. When I requested to speak with someone in a supervisory or manager capacity I was told there is not one to speak with. The only option I was told was to email. This is now day 8 of no type of explanation, and zero response. I emailed again, even trying several other possible email addresses I've located on the internet.
Today is now two weeks exactly, it's been 14 frustrating days, and I've yet to receive even one human reply. I have continued, though, to receive emails from Chime regarding account services and promotional type messages.
I've never had, in my 49 years, a relationship with any financial institution where I could not speak or receive written communication regarding my account specifics. I'm now angry, in disbelief and shock that a company could be in any position that they felt they did not have to answer to their account holders. It's my hard earned money, not theirs, they are keeping.
I've read again my Chime small print and agreement. Yes, I believe I deposited too much for my opening deposit. If that be the case, then I can accept that error, and do what I need to make it balance out. Just tell me, communicate how to fix it, and no problem whatsoever. It's when I'm being ignored that I start to feel that a fraud has been perpetrated. Perhaps their non-response will eventually result in my giving up and they keep the funds. Is that what's happening?
I now see that they are set up to attract those that may have limited finances and banking options. They prey on that circumstance, and once they have access to your info and money, feel they have the upper-hand to dictate how and when you are able to access YOUR money. Opportunists, not a company that thinks of you, but preys on those that for whatever reason, are not in a financially strong position.
I have no option but to think the worst at this point. I would give this advice to anyone contemplating becoming a member or account holder with Chime. They do not respond to telephone inquiries; all are deferred to email only. Customer service phone hours are restricted to essentially bankers hours. No 24/7 support, even if there's technical, fraud or lost card issues. Unless you have a direct deposit option, the ability to deposit into the accounts are very limited. Instead of being part of a personal and small bank that cares about you as they promise, you are a part of a larger Bancorp company. A customer without a voice or a face.
Not the future in personal banking I had envisioned or they so deceptively have promised you. At this point, I'm just wishing myself luck here.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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