I had high expectations for being a member of Philadelphia Federal Credit Union. I knew credit unions were better for the community that national banks, but I found this not to be the case with PFCU. They had only one ATM machine to do deposits and it was broken every weekend for 2 years. No matter how many times others and I complained they failed to maintain the machine. Therefore we bounced many transactions and were charged a ton of fees by PFCU because we could not deposit money into our account in time to cover auto deductions from utility bills that were on auto-pay. I also found that they nickle and dimed members every chance they got. Complaints went unanswered. I contacted a consumer group and PFCU lied and said that their ATM was only broken 3% of the time. That was very much not the case.
I've been a member at PFCU for about 5 years, and never really had a complaint. They've made a few mistakes, and their customer service is relatively poor, but I'm not picky. However, I just had a horrendous experience that compelled me to comment, and will probably result in closing my accounts with PFCU.
I recently made a large check deposit into my checking account. As usual, there's a 3-day hold on check deposits, and so the money should have been put into my account a few days later. I wrote my landlord a check for the rent. Six days later, I get a call from my landlord informing me that he couldn't cash the check due to insufficient funds. Now I know that PFCU's servers have been down for a few days (I haven't been able to check my accounts online), so I chock it up to some internal error on the part of the credit union. I apologize profusely and immediately call PFCU, expecting that it shouldn't be a problem to clear up the confusion.
After speaking with three different people who are increasingly rude, they tell me that they're holding my money and refusing to give it to me. They keep grilling me: "What was the check for?" "Do you know the person who wrote it?" "Can you have her call us?" "Can you prove that she has the money in her account?"
Now, NONE of this is relevant to the issue at hand: that PFCU is holding that money and refusing to release it to my account (even though my "balance" registers the full amount as being in my account). So, not that I should have to, but I explain: It's for work, I am a contractor and the check is for labor on a current project. Yes, I know the person who wrote it (they're my employer), and no, I'm not going to ask her to contact you to prove that she has the money she's written the check for. That's embarrassing and ridiculous, I shouldn't have to do that.
Now, they've made it clear to me, at this point, that the money is available and "probably" has cleared, but that they (PFCU) have put a 10-day hold on that money. After much hassle, I finally get them to release $1000 of that money to my account, so that I can at least pay my rent. I make sure to tell them that I have been a solid, mostly more-than-happy member for 5 years, but this experience -- particularly the way they've been talking to me -- is encouraging me to question if I should continue banking with PFCU, the woman doesn't acknowledge my statements at all. "Have a nice day." Click.
I'm sorry, but I expect more. I expect better service from an institution that's supposed to be community-oriented. Essentially, I learned that my own bank was refusing to give out my own money when I needed it, which is probably the single scariest situation I can imagine when dealing with your bank. If I can't access the money I've deposited into my own accounts, then what's the point of having a bank at all?
I could chock all this up to weird bureaucratic policies, but that doesn't excuse the manner in which I was treated. The woman I was speaking to was terse, rude, and condescending. I hated the way I was being questioned as if I was a criminal -- as if the hold was intended for my own good to tease out illegal behavior. By the end of the call, I felt ashamed, belittled, frustrated, and sad.
Until this experience, I would generally have encouraged others to join PFCU. However, in good conscience, I feel as if I have to now warn people of their insane policies and disrespectful approach. My story may be a fluke, but it's not one I'd encourage others to risk.
Overall, Philadelphia Federal Credit Union offers a very great service. Customer service has always been top notch and any issue I've had was easily and quickly resolved. My funds were always secure and they do not charge any hidden fees nor do they charge exorbitant fees for a membership. The main downside I've had is access to branches. They do not have very many locations in the city which is inconvenient.
For the most part I am happy with the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union. They provide competitive rates to banks in the area such as Citi and Wells Fargo. The accountants and even tellers are very knowledgeable and helpful at all of their locations. I am upset with their lack of a good mobile application with which to do my business. I have had problems with their website on my smart phone device. Overall I enjoy working with Philadelphia Credit Union.
PFCU has a good variety of locations across the city, so I can generally visit a branch no matter where I am, which is awesome. Their rates are reasonable. However, their rates are not great, even for a credit union. Still, what with bank rates so low, their rates are decent in comparison. I've had good experiences with their tellers and never had an issue with my accounts, which is important to me. Overall, they're a basic, reliable credit union.
After years of using a commercial bank and being treated like a second class citizen (or an after thought), I found Philadelphia federal credit union. PFC is a a great institution and I am so glad I found them, customer service is great, and their fees are more then reasonable. There are convenient locations every where i go.