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24/7 'real' phone support

As a business owner, I need to be able to call in and get a real BECU employee 24/7.  The 'Card Security Services' offering is a joke.  Case in point - a client had a server die over the weekend.  No worries, it happens.  As I am their business IT provider, I whip out my trusty BECU Business Debit Card, go to purchase a replacement, and... declined.  No reason given.  I verify that my business account has enough to cover the purchase, plus a healthy surplus.  I contact the merchant (Amazon - a sketchy fly-by-night organization if I ever saw one), all they'll tell me is that it is a 'hard' decline, and I should contact my financial institution (hi there!).  Well, seeing as how it's after 5pm on a weekend, that is an exercise in futility and puppy-kicking frustration.  The only real human being I can raise is the 'Card Security Services' division, which appears to be an outsourced third-party company as they keep asking me "What is your financial instituion name?"  They can give no insight into declined purchases, and they certainly can't help me with my current, urgent, issue.  So, I (and my client) are stuck until at least Monday before we can order replacement hardware.  Thanks BECU!

 

It is 2017, almost 2018.  I can take my business account to literally any bank in this state, and be able to solve problems like this with 24/7 phone access to a human being, employed directly by the banking institution.  If BECU can arbitrarily limit my account 24/7 for 'security' reasons (which is my suspicion as to what this particular root-cause is) I should be able to call in to clear it up 24/7 as well.  What's the real cost to BECU to employ half a dozen 20-somethings to man a call-center weekends and off-hours?  Is it worth losing yet another small business (and multiple related personal) accounts?  I don't know, but we're about to find out. 

21 Comments
Sightseer

I had a similar issue! I went to Oregon a little while ago to visit my sister at college. Went to go pay for dinner and my personal debit card was declined. No apparent reason, and I knew that I had enough money in my account, so I called the 24/7 support to try and find out what was going on with my card. This was also 7pm on a Saturday. I expected to at least be directed to someone who could tell me why my card was declined. Nope! Nothing! It’s a super frustrating issue, seeing as I wasn’t able to use my card for the rest of my time down there, so I ended up having to send my sister a check to pay me back after the weekend was over. Wouldn’t have had to it the 24/7 service was ACTUALLY available 24/7. There were a lot of things I didn’t like about being with Bank of America (I switched from that bank to this one), but at least they have a 24/7 service that is actually available 24/7! What a joke, BECU! 

Community Manager

@law Wow - what you've described sound incredibly frustrating and I'm sorry this happened when we weren't available to help. Without digging into details, it sounds like that purchase may have exceeded your daily debit card access limit, prompting the block on your card. As you experienced, our afterhours Card Security partner cannot access that information.

 

The good news here (or at least the silver lining, we hope), is that we're currently reviewing the feasibility of introducing online banking enhancements that will provide better visibility to ATM and Debit Card limits. We don't have a timeframe yet, but we'll keep you updated with new developments as we get them.

 

I appreciate you sharing your experience - we want to make sure our members are able to perform transactions without road blocks and we continually evaluate our hours of operation, including evenings and weekends and debit card support is certainly an area of focus for us - so thank you for sharing to help validate the member need. JohnS

law
Adventurer

Welp, we're having another dropping of the ball today.  I even called in yesterday to get my account limit raised - following the 'approved' process - and what do I get tonight?  "Payment declined" by Amazon.com for more hardware orders.  Plenty of money in the account.  Naturally this happens at 7:30pm, and BECU locks up tight at 7pm. 

 

BECU, for the love of all that is holy, this is a 24/7 world we live in.  If you're going to deny me access to my own money at any time of day or night, give me the option to call in and clear it up.  I don't need "better visibility into limits", I need NO limits.  Your short-sighted policies are ridiculous and incredibly damaging to my business.  "Members Matter" is quickly becoming yet another corporate talking-point with no weight behind it. 

Community Manager

@law - Ugh, I’m so sorry this happened, again! It sounds like you’re doing all the right things and I’m curious why this continues too. If you’d like me to dig in on why this latest charge was declined, please private message me and I’ll see what I can find out and at least make sure there’s awareness if a mistake was made that caused this. Thanks, JohnS

law
Adventurer

Oh, I called in and sorted it out.  Apparently the 'daily limit' is more of a squishy, 'sliding window' that takes into account pre-authorized purchases, pending purchases, and actual debits-from-the-money-that's-already-there purchases.  3-day old (but pending!) purchases were counting against new, pre-auth purchases, combining to form a great big wall o' fail for purchasing power this week.  And of course, according to the rep on the phone, "this is just a BECU policy and nothing can be done".  Frustration aside, I can't do this.  I'm not even a medium-potatoes 'member' (what's one size up from a Happy Meal?  That's the potato-size I am) and I'm moved to apopletic fits of rage over this short-sighted and apparently immobile, inflexible, completely unreasonable policy. 

 

tl; dr - I'm out.  I've been a CU member in some form or another since I was old enough to start banking, but "Sorry, we just _can't_ let you access money that's currently sitting in your account.  For your own safety!" is straight out of the BoA playbook.  There's financial institutions that want my business, BECU isn't one of them. 

law
Adventurer

Shower thought: what is someone with half a dozen folks on payroll supposed to do with this $7500 limit?  Are they expected to call in twice a month and beg for a limit increase?  Are they expected to do no additional purchasing the day before and the day after payroll's scheduled to run?

Community Manager

@law - Please be on the lookout for a private message in you inbox soon. Thanks! JohnS

kmk
Sightseer

Yes, I strongly agree with this. I had a similar problem when traveling to Germany. My debit card was blocked and the poor Card Services folks couldn't help. I had to wait around for 6 hours until business hours started at BECU. Even a few people to staff a phone desk overnight seems like it'd be a good investment!

Sightseer

I agree, and I think the phone support in general needs beefing up. I recently tried calling, during working hours on a Friday, just to find out if BECU provided notary services, and at which offices. After wading through the phone menu to be able to ask for a representative, since none of the automated choices offered this information, I waited on hold for about 10 minutes, and then gave up.

 


wrote:

As a business owner, I need to be able to call in and get a real BECU employee 24/7.  The 'Card Security Services' offering is a joke.  Case in point - a client had a server die over the weekend.  No worries, it happens.  As I am their business IT provider, I whip out my trusty BECU Business Debit Card, go to purchase a replacement, and... declined.  No reason given.  I verify that my business account has enough to cover the purchase, plus a healthy surplus.  I contact the merchant (Amazon - a sketchy fly-by-night organization if I ever saw one), all they'll tell me is that it is a 'hard' decline, and I should contact my financial institution (hi there!).  Well, seeing as how it's after 5pm on a weekend, that is an exercise in futility and puppy-kicking frustration.  The only real human being I can raise is the 'Card Security Services' division, which appears to be an outsourced third-party company as they keep asking me "What is your financial instituion name?"  They can give no insight into declined purchases, and they certainly can't help me with my current, urgent, issue.  So, I (and my client) are stuck until at least Monday before we can order replacement hardware.  Thanks BECU!

 

It is 2017, almost 2018.  I can take my business account to literally any bank in this state, and be able to solve problems like this with 24/7 phone access to a human being, employed directly by the banking institution.  If BECU can arbitrarily limit my account 24/7 for 'security' reasons (which is my suspicion as to what this particular root-cause is) I should be able to call in to clear it up 24/7 as well.  What's the real cost to BECU to employ half a dozen 20-somethings to man a call-center weekends and off-hours?  Is it worth losing yet another small business (and multiple related personal) accounts?  I don't know, but we're about to find out. 


 

Sightseer

Whether it's a declined card or a locked on-line account because it doesn't recognize the true password, access to real people with the clout to fix issues during the weekend or evening is critical. This is a huge issue for businesses and individuals alike and must be addressed.