Bottom Line: Potential problems with online banks

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:42 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) -- Online-only banks are popular alternatives to traditional banks, offering services like no overdraft fees and early-pay options. But if a problem arises with your account, you can’t just walk into a branch to fix it. As Consumer Reports found out, getting hold of someone to help you may be more difficult than you think.

If you find yourself needing to get a problem resolved with your online-only account, you might have to get creative. Try to find the company’s main number online, and ask to be transferred to the office of the CEO. Explain your situation clearly, and remember to be nice no matter how frustrated or angry you get.

Another option is to head to social media. Send a direct message to the company on Twitter instead of a public tweet.

Give the company a chance to fix the problem before you make a scene publicly. It may appreciate that and give you a quicker and more helpful response.

Chime, the biggest online-only bank, told CR that it plans to offer full 24/7 customer service.

If you’re still having problems, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If you think you’ve gotten bad service, make sure you report it to the Better Business Bureau. And before you choose a service, it’s always a good idea to check the BBB website to see what consumers are saying about the company.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site

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