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#1102350 - 12/26/08 06:50 AM How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts?
Milburn Drysdale Offline
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Milburn Drysdale
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 15
Southeastern PA
How often, if ever, do you fail to receive monthly statements your bank mails to you?

Iím onto what is the 7th or 8th time in the last six to eight years that a (supposed) mailed statement has gone missing.

I also have a love/hate relationship with my bank; I like the hours, locations, ATM policies (especially so when travelling), but the problem with the statements is beyond frustrating.

Background: I have three accounts at the bank, have had all three for 10 or 11 years. All three accounts close monthly on the same day. Usually all three mailed statements arrive on the same day. Tomorrow one of the statements will be two weeks late Ė I received two of the three 14 days ago, and itís clear the third is not going to show up.

This time, and unfortunately a repeat of last time, the statement that is missing is the one where I write checks and do electronic payments from. So if it got into the wrong hands, all my account numbers and monthly payment info is in the wrong hands, too. This seems an important point, itís not always the same account statement that has gone missing, this and the last time (the 6th or 7th time) it was the main checking account, the prior times it was a statement for one of the other two accounts.

Another important point is, Iíve lived at the same address for over ten years,as long as Iíve been a customer of this bank. And, in the ten years, Iíve never had one other regular mailing Ė power, telephone, credit cards, insurance, magazines Ė ever go missing. In other words, this is no random, luck-of-the-draw event on the part of the post office, losing a mailing from the same mailer eight times in eight years. At least common sense says it is not.

Even giving the benefit of the doubt, my bank has been completely unhelpful here. The last three times I specifically tried to flag this to say thereís a pattern here. Example, last occurrence I went through an assistant branch manager at the bank ďstorefrontĒ I deal with. He was the middleman between me and some person or group that looked into this. After a few days of pushing him on this, he said they (the person or group) were going to investigate. And after a few more days he reported that they were looking into this but that they would have no further communication with him or me on this.

Thatís how it ended the last time, I never got any more info out of him, even when pressing him for details. They were to watch this, and via some internal control they were going to insure all three statements got sent out. On my end this consisted of, all three monthly statements arriving in the same envelope each month. This lasted for three months, and then the statements showed in the normal, individual envelopes. To me that meant wherever control they had on it lasted for the three months, and then we were back to the old ways Fast forward 8 or 9 months, and Iím missing a checking account statement again.

In all cases, I did get copies of the statements, but the originals never ever showed up, and the case of the missing checking account statement, the cancelled checks, or check images, are out there somewhere and were not in the statement copies.

Iíve looked into this further; for N.A. banks the office of the comptroller of the currency has a service where they investigate complaints against banks. I was going to do this (enter a formal complaint) last time but I didnít. In hindsight I should have.

So the questions out of this are:
- How often does this happen? I presume not often, and 7 or 8 times in 8 years constitutes a pattern?
- Is this a normal response to a pattern of a problem, ďweíre going to investigate, but youíre not going to hear anything more from us on itĒ.
- Any good suggestions on how to get this resolved, once and for all with the bank, (other than moving my money elsewhere), contacting someone higher in the chain of command, an official compliance officer, etc.? Going through what seemed to be an elevated level Ė the local branchís asst mgr Ė didnít solve it.
- Arenít there regulatory/compliance issues in this, if I notify the bank thereís a problem/pattern here, are they obligated to investigate it, to solve it, and to inform me of what they did?

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General Discussion
#1102355 - 12/26/08 01:39 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? Milburn Drysdale
RR Joker Offline
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RR Joker
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,654
The Swamp
I certainly can't speak for your bank. If it's a large bank, which I'm guessing it is...the sheer volume of statements is unreal. How they even isolated you to have all of your statements stuffed into one envelope, I'm not sure how they did that...well, perhaps putting your account on a "random" cycle from the rest. At any rate, I can speak for my FI...we have tons of statements go out and they are printed and stuffed by a machine. Once in awhile, someone's statement or item gets into another persons statement. When this happens, we contact the compromised customer, let them know, recommend they close and open a new account (at no charge). Most folks do not go to this step, so we put their account on a special "watch" for 6 months and recommend they pay attention to their account for 12-24...just in case.

To date, for those customer's that elected not to close and reopen, we've had no related incidences of any type of "ID Theft" or any other fraudulent activity related to that account. Truthfully, you are more at risk from "mailbox" theives who take your payments/statements/etc from your mailbox and use that info to attempt to steal/use your info.

Perhaps you should attempt to contact your bank's operations officer or head bookkeeper...at mine, that would be the best contact, rather than a branch manager.
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#1102360 - 12/26/08 01:55 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? RR Joker
renniks Offline
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renniks
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,162
New England
Does this Bank have an option for E Statements? That might be the best way to ensure that you receive your statements on time.

In the past, I have assisted in the Statement Rendering area of a pretty good size bank...It is such a massive undertaking it always amazed me that there weren't more errors or missing statements!

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#1102396 - 12/26/08 03:33 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? RR Joker
Milburn Drysdale Offline
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Milburn Drysdale
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 15
Southeastern PA
Originally Posted By: RR joker
Once in awhile, someone's statement or item gets into another persons statement.

Would you classify 'once in a while' as 7 or 8 times over 8 years? When the FI told me, in each instance I reported, 'your statement was mailed', I more or less figured (hoped) something like this was happening.

But the frequency that it happens to me is worrisome, no?

In round numbers, I get 36 statements per year (3 per month). Over the last 7-8 years one per year is missing. That means 1 in 36 statements goes missing. That cannot possibly be the norm for all customers and all statements they mail. Assuming that last is true, I'd like an explanation from the FI why is it happening to my statements so frequently. Is that reasonable?

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#1102408 - 12/26/08 03:49 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? Milburn Drysdale
RR Joker Offline
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RR Joker
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,654
The Swamp
1) No..I would not.
2) worrisome. I would concur.
3) a reasonable question? To me..yes it is.
_________________________
My opinion only. Not legal advice.

Say you'll haunt me - Stone Sour

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#1102432 - 12/26/08 04:19 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? RR Joker
QCL Offline
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QCL
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 6,259
NW IL
I agree with the other posters here, your very best solution is e-statements if your bank offers it.

Do you have any other issues with your other mail, or is it just the bank's mail that does not arrive? Do they have your correct address? Is there anything at all wrong in the address? Incorrect street directional, incorrect zip, does the address show correctly through the address window in the envelope? I'm sure you have looked at all of this, but I can be worthwhile to take a second look and talk to the postmaster as well.

I, myself, having moved to a rural area, have changed most of my statements and bills to be electronic. I concluded that my issues are with my post office, as some credit card bills arrive late, in addition to my bank statements arriving late.

Again, the volume of statements sent by banks is staggering. Our customers are important to us, yes, but there is just good or easy no way to watch for one individuals statements and we are a "small" bank.

Having said that, I concur that you should move your complaint at the bank up the chain of command. Ask to talk to an operations officer, and I would make phone calls as well. Be a squeaky wheel.

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#1102512 - 12/26/08 06:55 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? QCL
Milburn Drysdale Offline
New Poster
Milburn Drysdale
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 15
Southeastern PA
Iím opposed to e-statements. Iíve tried that in the past -- not with this bankóand I always end up printing all of them out anyway, including the check images. The printed, mailed statement every month is what I expect from my bank. So in my opinion itís addressing the symptom, not the problem. If it comes to this being the only solution, then Iíll find another bank to park my money in. I donít want to do that, because of the hours and locations where I routinely travel.

I have talked to my post office. Every time it happened. At one point, the local postmaster recognized me by name when I called, or stopped in. Learned a few things from that route, one big item being if someone wants to trace or investigate a problem with a mailing, the sender must initiate that action, the recipient cannot do that. The FI does not seem to know that, at least not the CS people or branch mgrs I spoke to.

The address is issue is something I looked into a long time ago. My address is in the standardized format, have run it through the USPS website that does this for you (this means the nine digit zip is correct, all delivery info is on the correct line, all abbreviations are correct. etc., etc, ... http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp). Iím looking at two of the statements I have received this month, and there is no issue with the printed address slipping behind the envelope window. All of these were things I, and the bank, looked into a long time ago.

Back to the original point, Iíve lived at the same address for over ten years, and as long as Iíve lived here, Iíve never had any other regular mailing Ė monthly telephone bill or utility bills, credit cards, magazines, etc. Ė ever go missing. But 8 items from the same sender, my bank, cannot be a coincidence based on random event caused by the post office. In my judgment that rules out the post office.

No one has commented on the option of creating a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Any opinions is that will get the question answered, (why is it always happening to my statements), or otherwise be a louder squeaky wheel?

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#1102565 - 12/26/08 08:26 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? Milburn Drysdale
tdh Offline
Junior Member
tdh
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 36
To answer one question about the statement coming together in 1 envelope. With some companies they can do a combined statement which will print all statement at the same time and stuff them that way.

Having been on the receiving end of those calls before over loan notices. I would contact the Operations Manager and start there about it. There has to be a reason this is happening.

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#1102574 - 12/26/08 08:46 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? tdh
QCL Offline
Power Poster
QCL
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 6,259
NW IL
I suggested electronic statements to help with ease of delivery - especially if you are doubting your bank's ability to send the statements, this is a viable solution. But not one that you sound content with.

To address your question of creating a complaint with the OCC:
It's like calling the cops on your bank. If you think that this situation warrants such a call, or complaint, then that is a decision that only you can make. Before doing that, I would encourage you again to take your complaint up the chain of command at the bank. Could the issue (in terms of taking your complaint seriously) be at the local branch?
Is their a main operations center or a main branch that you could visit?

It sound like you feel you have exhausted your options.
I have no idea of the turn-around time at the OCC, you may get a quicker response from them, or it may take just as long, or longer than your bank. They are a government entity after all smile

Is this bank regulated by the OCC? Not all banks are. From their website: The OCC regulates only national banks and their operating subsidiaries, not all types of financial institutions. If your complaint involves a bank or other institution not regulated by the OCC, we will refer it to another agency. We will notify you if we do so. You should not have to resubmit your complaint or accompanying documentation. However, you may be contacted if the other agency needs additional information. If this is a state bank, then a call to the FDIC may instead be in order.

Best of luck.

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#1102731 - 12/29/08 02:36 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? QCL
Rocky P Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,423
Florida
One other option would be to change banks.

You mentioned you liked the convenience of Big Bank when traveling. Smaller banks offer many comparable services to get your business. Many have unlimited ATM withdrawals with the bank picking up the costs for all ATM fees. It's a lot cheaper for them than building brick and mortar, and does the same service.
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#1103941 - 12/30/08 08:35 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? Rocky P
critter586 Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 20
Minnesota
You are right - this is occuring far too often to NOT be worrisome. What hasn't been mentioned is that bank statements are far more desirable to a thief than your utility bills...

Assuming your mail is dropped in your mailbox - have you tried a LOCKING mailbox - or a PO Box?

I'm thinking it's more likely that the statements "go missing" AFTER they've been mailed by your bank...

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#1103998 - 12/30/08 09:39 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? critter586
MadisonCali Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,515
Have you considered that it's a problem with the postal service?

I've never in my life had trouble getting mail, up until the last few years in a certain suburb. I get my neighbors mail all of the time, I get stuff three weeks late, etc. etc.

Maybe it's time to report a problem to your post office???
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#1105249 - 01/05/09 02:53 AM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? MadisonCali
Milburn Drysdale Offline
New Poster
Milburn Drysdale
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 15
Southeastern PA
Some good news to report in this. I received the missing stmt on Sat, 12/27. I was going to wait until 12/29 to contact the bank. The 29th would have been 14 days after receiving the first two statements.

This time it appears the problem was with the post office. At the bottom of the mailing envelope the postnet barcodes were blacked out, like with a magic marker, and new codes were printed above the scratched out ones. Note that these are codes the PO generated and prints after optically scanning the address lines.

Some dates printed along with the codes makes it appear the envelope got routed somewhere else and then re routed to me.

I have to say, in the history of this, this is the first time I've seen one of the statements show up late like this. My experience has been if all three don't arrive within a few days of each other, the missing one will never show up. And so this is the first time I reasonable suspect the post office was the problem.

Originally Posted By: critter586
You are right - this is occuring far too often to NOT be worrisome. What hasn't been mentioned is that bank statements are far more desirable to a thief than your utility bills...

Assuming your mail is dropped in your mailbox - have you tried a LOCKING mailbox - or a PO Box?

Mail is dropped into a locked mail box, in a multi-unit condo/apartment building.

Originally Posted By: MadisonCali
Have you considered that it's a problem with the postal service?
...Maybe it's time to report a problem to your post office???

See the previous posts. I have contacted the local post office several times. But I learned this is not the way to solve it. The local PO tells me to formally and officially trace a missing item the sender must do that, received cannot initiate that. Although bank's first response, in the past, has been contact local PO.

I said it above, what are the odds of the PO losing 7 pieces of mail over ten years? And on top of that, what are odds that all those seven pieces of lost mail all come from the same sender. That's no coincidence.

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#1105369 - 01/05/09 04:01 PM Re: How often do you fail to receive monthly stmts? Milburn Drysdale
Countess Kiwi Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,815
Minnesota
Someone mentioned combined statements and that is a route I would take if you still want to receive a mailed statement, as long as all owners are the same. Ask your bank if that is an option. They would probably enjoy the reduced postage and paper saving possibility as well. Mailing one envelope, even if at a higher rate, versus 3 is going to help them out in the long run as well.
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