I switched to Midfirst Bank in 2009 when they first opened in the Phoenix area, in part motivated by the "move your bank" movement encouraging consumers to move away from large banks that many perceive as being part of America's financial recession. This was, by far, jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. There is little about Midfirst Bank to recommend it.
First, from the outset, it was clear that its services were inferior to large banks (such as my prior bank, Bank of America, and Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.). The worldwide availability of ATMs was a plus, for a starter. Bank of America gave immediate credit for cash deposits at its ATMs. Midfirst did not (even if the cash deposits were made at a teller). Midfirst's online banking is clunky and often confusing, far inferior to the online services of BofA. Moreover, I had multiple accounts at Midfirst, and was surprised to learn that they were not linked. Even when linked, the service charge for covering an overdraft in one account was quite pricey (something like ten or fifteen dollars, compared to less than five at BofA).
I believed, however, that Midfirst's customer service -- a "smaller, friendlier" bank, would make up for its more limited services. I was incorrect. Midfirst treats its customer with a considerably greater disdain than larger banks, at least worse than Bank of America.
Here's the clincher. On December 14, 2010, my health insurance premium was automatically deducted from my account. (I work for a small employer who cannot procure reasonably priced insurance for its employees due to qualification issues.) In the midst of a huge project at work, I had forgotten about this debit, and did not have enough money to cover the relatively sizable deduction. Thus, the premium was "bounced," as were several very small purchases on my debit card. Ironically, the next day, my decent-sized paycheck (approx. $2400) was direct deposited into my account.
Several days later, I received an unsigned letter summarily closing my checking account, effective 12/21/10. They would freeze my account until 12/28/10, at which point the remaining balance would be returned to me. In short, my funds were frozen for Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge could not have been prouder!
Of course, you can berate me for having insufficient funds in my account. However, here's the deal: this WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED AT BANK OF AMERICA. I check my accounts daily. At Bank of America, automatic withdrawals appear on your online statement on the day of withdrawal, annotated as "In Process." They actually post later that day. Thus, with Bank of America, I would have had until 7:00 p.m. that evening to make a deposit to cover the insurance payment. No bounced payments, nothing. Put simply, I was the victim of Midfirst's inferior banking services.
In addition, I had opted for "email" and online notifications only, waiving any hard copies of statements. Midfirst froze my online access to my account as of 12/21. I cannot obtain any online access to my account , nor have they provided any written statements. Doing taxes this year sure has been fun! Moreover, I had scheduled several "online bill pays" for early January 2011. Even though Midfirst had unilaterally closed the account, and had blocked my online access, they sent out the checks in January (over a week after my account was supposedly closed).
I am not an irresponsble. I work very hard, and earn a good living. I have a disabled son, which is a financial strain on our family, even with insurance. However, Midfirst Bank's inferior services and impersonal customer service only aggravated this problem. Fortunately, I did not close my Bank of America account completelly, and I have happily returned to them.
The only good thing I can say about Midfirst is that thier weekend hours were convenient.
If you are looking for a good, small bank, avoid Midfirst at all costs. It has none of the friendliness of a small bank, and few of the services of a large bank.
The customer service that I have received from the 888 number has been consistently friendly (if not totally inept sometimes), but the service I received in my branch was shockingly bad. I felt completely insulted, as the discourteous and snide bankers (two different ones) I dealth with consistently blew me off, never returned calls, insisted that an obvious Midfirst mistake wasn't theirs, and so on.
A year previously, I had looked into a refinance for my vehicle, and that banker consistently blew me off as well, never returning calls. Really unfortunate. I chose Midfirst to get away from the faceless big banks, but ironically, I have received better service from Wells Fargo than Midfirst could ever be capable of providing. IRONY!
I closed my account. I absolutely would never reward that low class of customer service.
For weeks I've been searching for answers from MidFirst. I had to file a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. MidFirst suddenly disabled my account. I called to find out why and they said they would not tell me over the phone. Well, I live in another state and cannot walk into a branch. They said they sent a letter of explaination which I did not receive. I asked if they had sent it to the address which I had updated on-line a year earlier. No... they sent it to my old address. Weeks later I finally recieved the missing letter, but it provides little info. It just says that they're excercising their rights to close my account pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Policy Disclosure which is a long paragraph that basically says they can, at their discretion, without prior notice, refuse to accept any deposits or cash checks. Mind you, this account was NEVER overdrawn or had any issue that I had been informed about. The money deposited was always reported to both the state and federal governments. I absolutely cannot imagine what has prompted this bank action. I'm 61 years old and in all my years have never encountered such a strange scenario. I've sent a notarized letter requesting my funds and am waiting to receive them. I also requested a final statement so I can see if there had been any unauthorized transactions. Since I conducted all business on-line and that access was cut off, I can't see if there were unauthorized transactions and the bank says they will not tell me over the phone. Seriously unbelievable.
I have had enough of overdraft fees when I have money in another account that could cover it. I have had enough of waiting for a check from another bank to clear. It has been over a week and I am still waiting for over $15,000 to be available for use. NO MORE! GOOD-BYE MID FIRST!
Online banking is the absolute pits. I have downloaded Adobe 10x so that I can download statements from the other banks that I do business with, ie, Chase, Wells Fargo. At MidFirst there is a test to see if your Adobe program is compatible and working. I've taken the test on three different computers I have in my offices and all pass the test, yet I still can not download a statement. After several calls to this banks IT department since September 2011, I now find that Adobe 10X doesn't work. It works for their online test, but not to download statements or anything else.
Is this customer service ?
I don't think I've ever dealt with a more arrogant bunch of people than MIdFirst Bank. It's as if they are doing you a favor to let you in their banking centers.
Just found out that the Early Withdrawal Penalty on an 84 month CD is 2 years!!! No thanks, MidFirst.