I decided to join Fairwinds because I wanted an accessible banking option that still felt intimate, and this was exactly what I got. Fairwinds serves mainly my demographic: college students. Because of this, they have been very understanding and helpful with money issues I've had while I'm in school. For example, I have had overdraft fees waived and returned cheques approved after simply going into the credit union to speak with someone about my problems. As long as I take the initiative to communicate, Fairwinds has seemed willing to help and understand.
One thing I also appreciated is the ease of access for mobile and online banking. Their mobile app is superior to the big-name banks I've had before, which surprised me because of their smaller scale. I can check my balance, make bill payments, find locations, and perform mathematical operations right in my app with no bugs or issues. I think there's only been a single time the app was down. One complaint I do have is that the ATMs at branches seem to be down rather often, though. This is frustrating when I need to deposit or withdraw after-hours.
I have been a member of Fairwinds Credit Union for several years. I joined based on the recommendation of a family member, who was very happy with them. I had previously used two other banks but I was very dissatisfied with them, so I joined Fairwinds hoping for a better experience. I have a checking and savings account with Fairwinds and I have not had any problems whatsoever. I do not pay a monthly fee for my checking account. Their online banking website and mobile app are both convenient and easy to use. When I visit my local branch in person, I am always greeted with a smile and treated to excellent customer service. They are always very helpful and understanding. Before I switched to a new job with direct deposit, I appreciated the convenience being able to deposit my checks after-hours at the ATM, since my hours at my previous job made it difficult to make it to the bank during normal business hours. One time my account had an overdraft fee because the ATM was not working properly when I went to deposit my check. However, I returned to the branch during business hours and when I explained the situation, they waived the overdraft fee on my account. I have no complaints about Fairwinds and I would certainly recommend them to anyone.
This is my current bank and it's a bank that is aimed at both adults and college students. Near most branches is one of the Valencia campuses, so they offer a student plan that has no fees. You don't need to keep a minimum to avoid fees or anything of the sort. Even just a single dollar would be okay with them. Their higher tiered plans require a small minimum of $500 for checking and $50 for savings to avoid their fees, but the fees for this tier is incredibly expensive. For example, if you overdraft, you get charged $35 per day. The reason we picked the lower tier is because we don't have that kind of money! What sense does that make?! Other than that the staff at my local branch near waterford lakes is very nice and helpful. They've reversed a few fees for me, so they're a great bank to be with.
My husband and I were with Fairwinds for over 15 years when we decided that it was safe to finally open saving accts for our 2 boys. A couple years went by and my boys account had close to an about $200 each, until one day I asked for a receipt so I could combine my boys' saving accts together. But then in one acct there was $60 & $70 in the other acct left in my boys' savings. I asked for an explanation and the so call manager @ Fairwinds in Osceola told me they charged my boys accts $5.00 a month because the mailing address under my boys' accts was never changed. This is the same manager & bank who knew me and my family everytime we go in there but yet they couldn't tell us that we needed to change the mailing for my boys. What made it so wrong was the the fact that the mailing address had been changed for me & my husband though my boys' acct were directly under my acct. The manager said she couldn't refund my boys money because everytime they sent the statements to our mailing address for the boys' the statements were RETURN to sender. What in the world? I was very upset and closed all of our accts on the spot since the manager rather steal from children's accts then to correct mistakes that they made.
I was lured to this joke of a financial institution. The management team is horrible and implements policy and procedure with out thinking them through on how it impacts its members. They hire branch managers with no banking or leadership ability. Most people there just repeat orders from the top and are too scared of the CEO which they all joke about behind his back.The branches are under staffed and tellers take to long to run 1 transaction because they are to busy asking you to refinance your car, bring more money over, meet an investment person, refinance your house, who is your insurance company, take a survey on, on and on. They have to nerve to tell me they will get in trouble if they don't ask. While they are bombarding me with questions they then deposit my money to the wrong account. Stay away from FCU . They do not practice what they preach behind closed doors. For a non profit company they sure make a lot of money that none of its members benefit from. .01 RATE ???
$5 debit card fee worries people to credit unions!?!?! Ha! Be aware of how credit unions will take YOUR money! Especially Fairwinds Credit Union!
I made a mistake at 5:15am at the gas pump, I used the wrong card. I have the blue Orlando Magic debit card, looked like my Wachovia (Wells Fargo) card. I caught it when it was too late. I overdrew my account by $4.00. I went at 8:06am the same day to their Lake Mary branch, deposited the cash to cover it and brought the account to a positive balance!! They STILL charged me a overdraft fee of $35 at 12:08pm according to the customer service agent! When the account was positive!!!!
How is it fair to penalize a customer like that when they went to go deposit the cash BEFORE you assessed the fee!!!
And the credit union has the audacity to send a news letter called the "Fairwinds advocate!"
BE AWARE!!! THIS CREDIT UNION IS FEE HAPPY AND ANTIQUATED!
Even if you go to deposit cash at their ATM it takes them 2 business days to process it! When in comparison with my Wells Fargo account I can deposit cash at the ATM and get credit right away!!!
THUMBS DOWN FOR FAIRWINDS, THEY ARE ONLY THE ADVOCATE FOR THEMSELVES!!!!
I am a businessman who counted on them to be professionals. They messed up my accounts so often I finally withdrew all my business before my risk become any more extreme. I was attempting to start an LLC to separate my business from my personal assets as a legal matter, and they messed me up so bad I had to leave the credit union completely. Then when asking them to correct their mistakes they would not do so and acted like bankers covering their backside, and making up excuses for lying to me. They hire stupid people who are slow learners for the most part, and who constantly mess up. When they messed up big time the AVP came in and told them to CYA rather than fix the problems. To make matter worse they charged me to get my own funds out of their institution in the only way that was safe from them causing me anymore damage. Credit Union? I think not... this is a bank acting like they are a credit union. Credit Unions treat their customers better and don't disrespect them when they the credit union makes errors.
What is very sad is that after putting me and my business' funds in jeopardy they personally disrespected me. Yes they are a bank. Yes they say they are a credit union, but it's hard to tell the difference when it comes to your privacy and the way banks screw you to where you want to join a credit union. Once nice people, now just a sorry excuse for a financial institution. You would do well to take your money to a small community bank, if there is such a thing anymore, at least they have rules and survive on the good will they create between their customers unlike large banks and credit unions like mine. Please don't get me wrong, they have some good people working for them, but these good people are in danger of becoming bad as they have forgotten what integrity is, or are forced to act like bankers. Bye, bye Fairwinds. Now maybe I'll have some free time not constantly correcting their mistakes, and or, being ignored when they don't want to deal with their errors. It's been fun..... but not really.