Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
khh
Posts: 298
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by khh » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:23 am

Show them this thread.

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 4819
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:33 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:39 am
student wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:38 am
simas wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:33 am
student wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:06 pm
This is just ridiculous. Within an online bank, one cannot even go to the branch and be in their face.
what I am confused about is the local branch is better mentality here - how is being "in their face" would help you if this is local Chase or something? You will hear, back office is looking , once we have additional updates we will call you. that would be the end, regardless of you crying, praying, threatening, laying down on the floor of the branch, etc.
At the very least, you talk to the same person every time. When you come back the second time, they cannot pretend that the case is not on their system.
And you can easily reach a manager. Unlike getting denied that right when you ask over the phone as in OP's situation
Also, you can authenticate yourself as a real human being much more easily in person. When I go into my local BoA branch (a physical space where I have done business for 30 years, though originally it was a regional bank that got acquired by BoA, but the staff stayed on), they can see my photo ID as well as my familiar face and know who I am (not an anonymous potential scammer on the Internet but a human being who has transacted a great deal of banking business in person over the years and has lived at the same home a mile away for 30 years), and I feel there are human beings who can and will go to bat for me. They have helped our family deal with many things, opening and closing a business account, doing our payroll paperwork when we had a business, watching my daughters grow up, dealing with my late husband´s death and estate, dealing with things like arranging for foreign currency denominated travelers checks to be delivered to my daughter at a BoA branch in another state before she left on a trip to a rural area in China at a time and place where such checks were more useful than credit or debit cards. The branch manager is on a first-name basis with my attorney. I can´t imagine that they would leave me hanging in the way that Ally has left the OP hanging.

snowman
Posts: 970
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by snowman » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:50 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:17 am
I appreciate this post and wish the best of luck for the OP resolving this. This post made me transfer half of my cash savings from Ally to Fidelity. I think if a similar issue happened at Fidelity, they would have better customer service, and also their physical locations would help. Am I correct?
Not necessarily. First off, you are not comparing apples to apples (unless I am missing something) - you are trading something like 2% FDIC insured interest for 1% FDIC or 1.6% MMF interest (rough estimates, don't know today's exact rates). All I am saying is you are either lowering your guaranteed interest rate, or changing a product, based on one negative review on the web. I don't think that's smart.

And secondly, in this day and age, things can fall through the cracks anywhere. The chances are increased at large banks with local branches that grew by acquiring their competitors and are dealing with multiple legacy systems that in many cases cannot communicate with each other. Patches put in place help, but do not eliminate problems.

For that reason, online-only banks do have advantage. Their disadvantage is no local office. However, when bad stuff happens (like in OPs case), usually (not always) the local branch cannot fix the problem, as they are completely reliant on back-office support. All they can do is escalate, but generally they cannot expedite the resolution of the problem. I think people greatly overestimate the importance of local office.

Back to Fidelity and Ally - the combo you seem to have. I don't know which one is your hub account, and which one is satellite - or are they both satellites? In any case, if Ally gives you higher interest, I see no reason to move funds to Fidelity. If, however, you do decide to move funds there, and your main concern is to eliminate OPs "black hole" problem, you pull funds from Fidelity. As I said earlier, it will take longer, but Fidelity will be in control of your money, and will pay you interest until money is settled. And yes, their online CS is outstanding!

BogleMelon
Posts: 2158
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:49 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by BogleMelon » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:56 am

snowman wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:50 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:17 am
I appreciate this post and wish the best of luck for the OP resolving this. This post made me transfer half of my cash savings from Ally to Fidelity. I think if a similar issue happened at Fidelity, they would have better customer service, and also their physical locations would help. Am I correct?
Not necessarily. First off, you are not comparing apples to apples (unless I am missing something) - you are trading something like 2% FDIC insured interest for 1% FDIC or 1.6% MMF interest (rough estimates, don't know today's exact rates). All I am saying is you are either lowering your guaranteed interest rate, or changing a product, based on one negative review on the web. I don't think that's smart.

And secondly, in this day and age, things can fall through the cracks anywhere. The chances are increased at large banks with local branches that grew by acquiring their competitors and are dealing with multiple legacy systems that in many cases cannot communicate with each other. Patches put in place help, but do not eliminate problems.

For that reason, online-only banks do have advantage. Their disadvantage is no local office. However, when bad stuff happens (like in OPs case), usually (not always) the local branch cannot fix the problem, as they are completely reliant on back-office support. All they can do is escalate, but generally they cannot expedite the resolution of the problem. I think people greatly overestimate the importance of local office.

Back to Fidelity and Ally - the combo you seem to have. I don't know which one is your hub account, and which one is satellite - or are they both satellites? In any case, if Ally gives you higher interest, I see no reason to move funds to Fidelity. If, however, you do decide to move funds there, and your main concern is to eliminate OPs "black hole" problem, you pull funds from Fidelity. As I said earlier, it will take longer, but Fidelity will be in control of your money, and will pay you interest until money is settled. And yes, their online CS is outstanding!
The idea is, putting all my cash savings in one basket (Ally) that I used to trust, is not giving me a good sleep anymore. Lossing couple of dollars each month in interest to diversify where my cash is held is now making more sense to me
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

snowman
Posts: 970
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by snowman » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:42 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:56 am

The idea is, putting all my cash savings in one basket (Ally) that I used to trust, is not giving me a good sleep anymore. Lossing couple of dollars each month in interest to diversify where my cash is held is now making more sense to me
OK, so if the reason is lack of trust in Ally, why leave half of your hard earned money there? I wouldn't. OTOH, if Fidelity is the choice of trust (presumably you buy SPRXX), then why not Prime MMF at Vanguard with higher yield?

All I am saying is that I would not be making hasty decisions based on a single negative review online (and I say that as someone who has no experience with Ally and who uses Fidelity daily). Personally, I think that Fidelity is the best hub account there is (as of today), but I only keep enough money there to pay the bills. I have multiple satellites connected to it, and just move money around when I see fit.

shess
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by shess » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:47 am

deskjockey wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:30 am
Has anyone had a similar experience? What is the "issue" that the back office flagged the account for (money laundering? using Ally as a hub? something else?)? What should I do (if anything)?
I had a similar issue a few years back, suddenly my account was locked, so I called, and they (mostly) wouldn't talk to me because it was flagged for a security issue.

The problem is, you need to look at it from their end. Let's say a bad person WAS trying to compromise the account. Would you be happy having them talk to this bad person? Would you be happy allowing this bad person to wallow around in your account information? Would you be happy if they allowed this bad person to transfer funds out? Sure, YOU know that this isn't what's happening, but how do THEY know?

I carefully (and mostly calmly) explained to the person that I was concerned that something was happening with my account, which I had had for N years at the time, and that I needed to understand how we were going to resolve the issue. They either bumped me to an investigator's number, or had the investigator call me, or something, I don't recall. I _think_ it was the same day (but my original call was early in the day), but it might have been the next day.

Want to know the terrifying offense? The birthdates were swapped between my info and my wife's info (joint account), and I had just opened a new CD which trigged a check. Our birthdates are NOT similar, and I setup the account, so make what you will of that. I suspect that for regulatory reasons, online account setup devolves into some poor shmoo manually typing something in somewhere after the fact.

I stayed with them, in part because now I know that they at least have our birthdates right on our account. I wouldn't know that of the next place.

Also, I have a policy of two bank accounts at different institutions, each with enough funding to cover a month or so of spend. I am not at all worried about someone stealing my stuff, but I do fully expect to have periodic random issues which will be resolved over time, but which will be annoying. I just have one be my spending cash, the other my cash reserves. For the same basic reason, I keep two brokerage accounts, Vanguard and another with some parked ETFs.

shess
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by shess » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:52 am

csm wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:11 am
OP, thanks for posting and I'll be watching the result with interest. I am in the process of closing on a house sale and will be pushing funds in excess of $500,000 which I had intended to split between Ally and Schwab for the FDIC coverage.
IMHO, you're right to be nervous. I once had a closing almost get derailed because I didn't understand the difference between just logging in and sending $500 or $5000 to someone, versus doing the same operation for $250k. After the fact, I realized that it really did make sense that they'd treat those differently, at least looking at the transaction in real time rather than just waving them past, and that having someone look at the transaction means there's a greater chance that they'd flag it for some reason, such as having the funds for a suspiciously short time period.

Fortunately, I was standing in a brick-and-mortar lobby, so what I did is talk to a manager, and we got a conference call going and wired things around to fix the problem.

The experience was NOT worth the extra week or whatever of high-rate interest. Nowadays I optimize for transaction completion, so I'll have things parked in a consolidated location a couple weeks in advance.

mlipps
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:35 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by mlipps » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:25 pm

A similar experience with Ally led me to close my account with them in 2014. If memory serves me correctly, I transferred money from savings to checking before leaving on an international trip. They posted the transfer without settling the funds. I made a checking transaction which appeared to overdraft my account without the settled funds. This triggered overdraft protection, trying to withdraw the funds from my savings account but they were already "in transit". In all, my account was locked and I didn't have access to withdraw any cash while in Italy for over a week, even though I actually had more than enough funds held with them to cover all the of the relevant transactions. On top of that, their customer service in response was just atrocious. I've had my money split between Synchrony & Capital One ever since--CapOne 360 has a new savings product that has similarly high rates to other HYSA and my customer service experiences with CapOne have been universally top notch.

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 8156
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by tfb » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:35 pm

deskjockey wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:30 am
This is not the largest transfer into or out of Ally I have made, nor is it the first one, but it is the first big one in about three months. I'm now angry and frustrated, as I had earmarked that money for our basement remodel and am concerned Ally could tie it up for an unknown period of time. Has anyone had a similar experience? What is the "issue" that the back office flagged the account for (money laundering? using Ally as a hub? something else?)? What should I do (if anything)?
As several others already mentioned, when you transfer money between your own accounts, in general it's better to do a push than a pull. In your case if you had initiated the transfer at Marcus, where the money was, you likely would've avoided this unpleasant experience. When you do a push, the bank that has the money knows you are good to go. When you do a pull, the bank has no idea whether you have enough money on the other end. They put several layers of protection in between to protect themselves. One of those layers caught you this time.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

Murgatroyd
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by Murgatroyd » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:13 pm

Might be time to contact your state’s attorney office.

3-20Characters
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:20 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by 3-20Characters » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:47 pm

OP, sorry for your frustrating experience. Thanks to this thread, I’ve learned something new about push/pull. I may need to rethink how I do things going forward. So far, no problems with ally but I have not transferred large amounts. I suppose it’s good that banks scrutinize ach transfers given the fraud we read about but ally should have a better method to resolve issues in a timely fashion and communicate with the customer. I will stick with ally for now, however, as I am overall quite happy with them so far. Good luck!

student
Posts: 4141
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by student » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:10 pm

simas wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:55 am
student wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:48 am
I will demand that they give me an estimated date of resolution. I won't leave until they give me an answer. Are they going to call the police and be on the 6 o'clock news. On a more positive side, if you are a long time customer, you likely know the bank manager, who likely willing to provide better customer service.
have you ever done this or is this in theory type of conversation?? the whole 'activism' fantasies? you can demand whatever you want (including taking them all hostages, etc.) - it will do absolutely nothing. if there is update, I am sure they are happy to give it to you. if there isn't , how the branch would not give it to you? it is like coming to local car dealership (that loves for you to come by and pays you various cash bonuses to test drive their car) and demanding something they can do (I want my car to have 6 wheels , now!).

and yes, if you are disruptive to other customers/patrons - they will ask you to leave and will involve law enforcement if you do not so voluntarily (same as any other business). if you are eager to end up on 6 pm news, you may actually succeed in this along with charges levied against you. this will NOT resolve your questions you have with back office..

I think honey works better than vinegar and the whole 'I refuse to leave' will only hurt you. Figure out what is expected of you (identify verification ,etc), be polite /professional, find easiest way to do so (it could be in the branch ). work with the system and through the system vs childish threats => better results are more likely
I agree that honey works better than vinegar, that's why I said "On a more positive side, if you are a long time customer, you likely know the bank manager, who likely willing to provide better customer service." Your example of "I want my car to have 6 wheels" is not a good analogy. A better analogy is I want my car to have 4 wheels since I paid for it. What I would say to them is "I think it is unacceptable to be open ended and say get back to me when you have a solution. I want a reasonable time frame. 3 days, one week. Give me a time frame." Telling me when we have an answer we will contact you is not acceptable. The branch manager can absolutely do something, they have better contacts than me. It happened to me that the branch manager helped me resolve an issue in one call to the back office.

You asked whether I have ever done this type of conversation. The answer is no (it never came close to the red line) because I only ask for reasonable things, and reasonable businesses accommodate reason demands. Asking for a time frame is reasonable.

Topic Author
deskjockey
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:15 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by deskjockey » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm

OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more information. Bottom line, the back office seemed to believe the Marcus account was under a different name (it wasn't) and that had triggered everything. They had even (un)helpfully noted in their notes on the case that somebody should talk to me to see if the names on the accounts were the same or not (nobody did--I had to call). Ally has now reversed the transaction and put the money back in my Marcus account (verified a few minutes ago). I laid out my concerns with Ally's (lack of) customer service and transparency to the rep, pointed out that no manager had reached out despite the promise I received, and underscored how this incident has made me reconsider using Ally. She promised to write up the issue, but at this point I don't expect anything to come of that, other than me largely avoiding Ally from here on out.

I definitely wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but at least it ended with me in possession of my money and no major harm done (didn't miss any payments or opportunities). I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.

dbr
Posts: 30798
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by dbr » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:31 pm

deskjockey wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.
This does confirm that it is a good idea to diversify across at least a couple of institutions to manage "glitch risk."

I don't know that we can establish a list of institutions that are at higher or lower glitch risk. Never doing business again with Ally could just be an out of the frying pan and into the fire move.

User avatar
indexfundfan
Posts: 2797
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by indexfundfan » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:44 pm

dbr wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:31 pm
This does confirm that it is a good idea to diversify across at least a couple of institutions to manage "glitch risk."

I don't know that we can establish a list of institutions that are at higher or lower glitch risk. Never doing business again with Ally could just be an out of the frying pan and into the fire move.
I agree with this. It's shortsighted to advocate holding everything with just one institution.
My signature has been deleted.

student
Posts: 4141
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by student » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:14 pm

deskjockey wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more information. Bottom line, the back office seemed to believe the Marcus account was under a different name (it wasn't) and that had triggered everything. They had even (un)helpfully noted in their notes on the case that somebody should talk to me to see if the names on the accounts were the same or not (nobody did--I had to call). Ally has now reversed the transaction and put the money back in my Marcus account (verified a few minutes ago). I laid out my concerns with Ally's (lack of) customer service and transparency to the rep, pointed out that no manager had reached out despite the promise I received, and underscored how this incident has made me reconsider using Ally. She promised to write up the issue, but at this point I don't expect anything to come of that, other than me largely avoiding Ally from here on out.

I definitely wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but at least it ended with me in possession of my money and no major harm done (didn't miss any payments or opportunities). I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.
Thanks for the update. I am glad you have everything sort out. Mistake happens. One grudging accepts this if they resolve it in a timely fashion. But this gives me pause.
Last edited by student on Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GrowthSeeker
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by GrowthSeeker » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Wow! Thanks for posting this; it gives one pause.
So, when transferring money via ACH between 2 of your own accounts: PUSH IT.

But, I assume it is still true that if you're doing an in-kind transfer from (e.g. high fee) Brokerage A, which you intend on closing, into (hopefully low fee) Brokerage B: PULL IT. Am I correct? (because of this I had been always doing "pulls" on ACH transfers as well)
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

Tracker968
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:32 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by Tracker968 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:02 pm

I'm not sure s local branch is that much better. I recently went to US Bank in person with my son to transfer $14,000 from my account to his. There was no one at the bank (normal hours during the week) who could approve over $10,000. So they advised us to make two transfers of $7000 each. I thought that was odd but it seemed to work fine.

Turkishcoffee
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 5:16 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by Turkishcoffee » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:15 pm

Never had a problem with ally until I had a problem, and they have been terrible.

Paid almost a thousand toward a tax payment 6 months ago. Received notice from the tax agency they never received payment. Ally was totally disinterested even though they deducted my account.

As the endorsement is not legible ally claims they can’t decipher what bank deposited my money. After about 4 hours on the phone on three different occasions starting from a customer service rep on the bottom each time ally refused to help.

3 months later and many
Letters later they are now confirming the check deposited to the wrong bank and told me it could be another 4 months.

Totally unacceptable service. Their resolution process is horrendous

csm
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by csm » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:32 am

HueyLD wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:41 am
Csm,

Per Ally's website, there are ACH maximum transfer limits and the amounts vary depending on the frequency, and inbound or outbound.

Inboubd to Ally: $250k limit per transfer, $250k limit per day, and $1M limit per month.

Outbound from Ally: $150k limit per transfer, $150k limit per day, and $600k limit per month.

In addition, you get their standard 3-business day turnaround unless you have done transfers within the last 60 days and your account is in good standing and not new.
HueyLD, thank you for posting this. I had actually written to Ally via the secure message center about my upcoming large transaction to understand if there would be any limits and whether or not they would require any documentation from me.

Their response was clearly that there would be no issue receiving over $500K via either wire transfer or ACH. They wrote, "We do not hold these transfers, which means as soon as we receive them, they are deposited into your account and available for use." And regarding wire vs. ACH for this large amount, they confirmed, "There is no further action for you to take to receive the funds either way."

After reading this thread, I do not trust the information provided by the representative responding to emails.

I do have long tenure with Ally, have made transfers in the last 60 days and account is in good standing so should not be limited to the 3-business day delay. However, Schwab was still a day quicker posting incoming funds and I'm planning to do a test next week with Fidelity.

Although it would cost me a bit more in fees to split the transfer from TransferWise to multiple accounts, I may do so to, hopefully, avoid issues. A single transfer may be too risky.

csm
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by csm » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:38 am

student wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:43 am

Regarding FDIC insurance, I assume you mean Schwab Bank. But their saving account is not competitive (rate). If you are talking about money market fund, then FDIC does not come into play.
I meant my cash account within my Schwab brokerage account, which I've confirmed with Schwab is FDIC insured. You are correct, the rate is poor but I would likely move the funds once they are securely received. I'll most likely be looking at a CD ladder or some high-yield savings account or a low-risk short-term bond fund.

My first issue is to get the funds safely deposited, then I'll determine my AA and which fixed income options to set up.

Thanks!

H-Town
Posts: 2112
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by H-Town » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:50 am

deskjockey wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more information. Bottom line, the back office seemed to believe the Marcus account was under a different name (it wasn't) and that had triggered everything. They had even (un)helpfully noted in their notes on the case that somebody should talk to me to see if the names on the accounts were the same or not (nobody did--I had to call). Ally has now reversed the transaction and put the money back in my Marcus account (verified a few minutes ago). I laid out my concerns with Ally's (lack of) customer service and transparency to the rep, pointed out that no manager had reached out despite the promise I received, and underscored how this incident has made me reconsider using Ally. She promised to write up the issue, but at this point I don't expect anything to come of that, other than me largely avoiding Ally from here on out.

I definitely wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but at least it ended with me in possession of my money and no major harm done (didn't miss any payments or opportunities). I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.
OP: you probably won’t like hearing me say this, but you’re overreacting. Would you be glad that your bank has security measure in place to prevent fraud? If the the table is turned around and someone else tried to empty your bank, they will have a hard time to do so with such measures in place.

It’s not difficult to plan ahead. You should give it at least a week to initiate transaction ahead of when you exactly need the money. Put yourself in the shoes of people who work in a bank. They don’t have you as the only customer, no matter how you like to think that it is.

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 7219
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by HueyLD » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:16 am

csm wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:32 am
HueyLD wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:41 am
Csm,

Per Ally's website, there are ACH maximum transfer limits and the amounts vary depending on the frequency, and inbound or outbound.

Inboubd to Ally: $250k limit per transfer, $250k limit per day, and $1M limit per month.

Outbound from Ally: $150k limit per transfer, $150k limit per day, and $600k limit per month.

In addition, you get their standard 3-business day turnaround unless you have done transfers within the last 60 days and your account is in good standing and not new.
HueyLD, thank you for posting this. I had actually written to Ally via the secure message center about my upcoming large transaction to understand if there would be any limits and whether or not they would require any documentation from me.

Their response was clearly that there would be no issue receiving over $500K via either wire transfer or ACH. They wrote, "We do not hold these transfers, which means as soon as we receive them, they are deposited into your account and available for use." And regarding wire vs. ACH for this large amount, they confirmed, "There is no further action for you to take to receive the funds either way."

After reading this thread, I do not trust the information provided by the representative responding to emails.

I do have long tenure with Ally, have made transfers in the last 60 days and account is in good standing so should not be limited to the 3-business day delay. However, Schwab was still a day quicker posting incoming funds and I'm planning to do a test next week with Fidelity.

Although it would cost me a bit more in fees to split the transfer from TransferWise to multiple accounts, I may do so to, hopefully, avoid issues. A single transfer may be too risky.
Ally does not have a limit for incoming WIRE transfers because wires are a lot more reliable than ACH.

However, it is a good idea to spread the money around a little.

mmmodem
Posts: 1810
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by mmmodem » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:43 am

H-Town wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:50 am
deskjockey wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more information. Bottom line, the back office seemed to believe the Marcus account was under a different name (it wasn't) and that had triggered everything. They had even (un)helpfully noted in their notes on the case that somebody should talk to me to see if the names on the accounts were the same or not (nobody did--I had to call). Ally has now reversed the transaction and put the money back in my Marcus account (verified a few minutes ago). I laid out my concerns with Ally's (lack of) customer service and transparency to the rep, pointed out that no manager had reached out despite the promise I received, and underscored how this incident has made me reconsider using Ally. She promised to write up the issue, but at this point I don't expect anything to come of that, other than me largely avoiding Ally from here on out.

I definitely wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but at least it ended with me in possession of my money and no major harm done (didn't miss any payments or opportunities). I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.
OP: you probably won’t like hearing me say this, but you’re overreacting. Would you be glad that your bank has security measure in place to prevent fraud? If the the table is turned around and someone else tried to empty your bank, they will have a hard time to do so with such measures in place.

It’s not difficult to plan ahead. You should give it at least a week to initiate transaction ahead of when you exactly need the money. Put yourself in the shoes of people who work in a bank. They don’t have you as the only customer, no matter how you like to think that it is.
I don't necessarily think OP is overreacting. I just don't know if OP will get a better experience at a different bank. Ally could've been more transparent. I'm pessimistic that my bank or any bank would for certain have treated OP better under the circumstances.

User avatar
SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 1426
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:44 am

HueyLD wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:16 am
Ally does not have a limit for incoming WIRE transfers because wires are a lot more reliable than ACH.
Sorry, could you expand on this ?

My impression was always that wires are more often used for fraud because they're much faster, and can even be international.

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 7219
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by HueyLD » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:54 am

As a former auditor, I can tell you that wires are subject to a lot more scrutiny than ACH because liability for banks is much greater for wire transfers. Of course nothing is perfect, but banks typically give incoming wire transfers same day availability for very good reason.

Topic Author
deskjockey
Posts: 310
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:15 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by deskjockey » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:56 am

H-Town wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:50 am
deskjockey wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:13 pm
OP here again. Today I got word from Ally (via a dozen emails--not kidding) that they had reactivated my account and ability to transfer to all of my linked banks... except Marcus. I called once more this afternoon to see what was happening and finally got a customer service rep to give me more information. Bottom line, the back office seemed to believe the Marcus account was under a different name (it wasn't) and that had triggered everything. They had even (un)helpfully noted in their notes on the case that somebody should talk to me to see if the names on the accounts were the same or not (nobody did--I had to call). Ally has now reversed the transaction and put the money back in my Marcus account (verified a few minutes ago). I laid out my concerns with Ally's (lack of) customer service and transparency to the rep, pointed out that no manager had reached out despite the promise I received, and underscored how this incident has made me reconsider using Ally. She promised to write up the issue, but at this point I don't expect anything to come of that, other than me largely avoiding Ally from here on out.

I definitely wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but at least it ended with me in possession of my money and no major harm done (didn't miss any payments or opportunities). I'm glad we had half our money in Vanguard to use as a backup.
OP: you probably won’t like hearing me say this, but you’re overreacting. Would you be glad that your bank has security measure in place to prevent fraud? If the the table is turned around and someone else tried to empty your bank, they will have a hard time to do so with such measures in place.

It’s not difficult to plan ahead. You should give it at least a week to initiate transaction ahead of when you exactly need the money. Put yourself in the shoes of people who work in a bank. They don’t have you as the only customer, no matter how you like to think that it is.
I'm afraid you didn't quite understand my situation or failed to read my posts (that's OK, I tend to be long-winded). I was not withdrawing money from Ally, I was depositing money, ergo, there was no "emptying of my account" to block. Ally's measures, as applied in this instance, would not have prevented a nefarious actor from taking my money. The security measures which tripped up my transaction would only have, in theory, prevented a confused evildoer from putting money in my account. I know some criminals are dumb, but that's a highly unlikely scenario, as far I know. The only scenario in which this makes sense is one in which Ally considered me to be the nefarious actor trying to take money from someone else's account. Mind you, I'm not a new Ally customer, having banked with them for several years, so they had my prior track record to go on.

As far as the customer service bit, if you're OK with your bank not proactively reaching out to you to let you know activity on your accounts has triggered a security flag and the account is now locked, then we clearly have to agree to disagree. I want my financial institutions to reach out to me to tell me these things as quickly as they can--they have all my contact information for a reason, after all. Ally did not do that; I stumbled on it by chance and had to initiate contact. Every other bank I have dealt with (more than a dozen, at this point in my life) has proactively called/emailed/sent snail mail when it noticed a problem and explained what was going on and what they wanted me to do to help resolve the issue. Every credit card company has done the same, too. Ally stands alone in having failed to do that.

Jimsad
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by Jimsad » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:02 pm

Disk jockey ,
I feel your pain . I had similar very bad experience with Ally even though it seems to have a lot of support on this forum which I do not understand .
They locked my account and did not give me access to my funds for more than 2 weeks .
Any how , I voted with my feet and opened account with Marcus and transferred all my funds to Marcus .
Have been very happy with Marcus who have better Sevice and better rates than Ally.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 4921
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am
Location: In a house

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:07 pm

I find that I have service issues with many companies. I did have an issue with Ally. Per my usual procedures, I found a very senior executive in the company and guessed at their email address. That got me access to an executive support area that I've used 2 or 3 times and I get problems resolved that way.

I can't name a perfect service company.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

csm
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:52 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by csm » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:22 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:16 am

However, it is a good idea to spread the money around a little.
I believe U.S. transfers from TransferWise are initiated as ACH which is why I was glad for your warning and will be cautious.

Thanks!

Katietsu
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by Katietsu » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:33 pm

deskjockey wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:56 am
The only scenario in which this makes sense is one in which Ally considered me to be the nefarious actor trying to take money from someone else's account.
I think you may have come across the answer to your troubles with Ally. If your transaction triggered an alert indicating that you or someone with your login credentials was acting badly, it would not make sense for them to reach out for "help" from the party with the login information. There is one shell game scam that would be consistent with the scenario you described.

And I have had a stolen credit card used to pay an electric bill at someone's residence and I have had a stolen check deposited into a bank account as part of one of those shell games.

I hope you have no more situations like this in the future. But right now, we are at a place where there is a lot of opportunity for criminals. So even if you discontinue your relationship with Ally, I would note the advice in this thread about pushing vs pull, standard transfer times, making sure all accounts are titled identically including the use of things like middle initials, etc.

student
Posts: 4141
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by student » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:19 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:33 pm
deskjockey wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:56 am
The only scenario in which this makes sense is one in which Ally considered me to be the nefarious actor trying to take money from someone else's account.
I think you may have come across the answer to your troubles with Ally. If your transaction triggered an alert indicating that you or someone with your login credentials was acting badly, it would not make sense for them to reach out for "help" from the party with the login information. There is one shell game scam that would be consistent with the scenario you described.

And I have had a stolen credit card used to pay an electric bill at someone's residence and I have had a stolen check deposited into a bank account as part of one of those shell games.

I hope you have no more situations like this in the future. But right now, we are at a place where there is a lot of opportunity for criminals. So even if you discontinue your relationship with Ally, I would note the advice in this thread about pushing vs pull, standard transfer times, making sure all accounts are titled identically including the use of things like middle initials, etc.
If Ally thinks something is wrong, either it thinks someone is pretending to be OP or OP is the bad actor. In the first scenario, shouldn't OP be contacted using email and/or snail mail that are verified addresses on record? In the second scenario, shouldn't Ally makes an attempt to confirm whether the activity is suspicious. What, in your opinion, should Ally be doing if contacting OP is not a prudent course of action?

shess
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by shess » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:16 pm

student wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:19 pm
Katietsu wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:33 pm
deskjockey wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:56 am
The only scenario in which this makes sense is one in which Ally considered me to be the nefarious actor trying to take money from someone else's account.
I think you may have come across the answer to your troubles with Ally. If your transaction triggered an alert indicating that you or someone with your login credentials was acting badly, it would not make sense for them to reach out for "help" from the party with the login information. There is one shell game scam that would be consistent with the scenario you described.

And I have had a stolen credit card used to pay an electric bill at someone's residence and I have had a stolen check deposited into a bank account as part of one of those shell games.

I hope you have no more situations like this in the future. But right now, we are at a place where there is a lot of opportunity for criminals. So even if you discontinue your relationship with Ally, I would note the advice in this thread about pushing vs pull, standard transfer times, making sure all accounts are titled identically including the use of things like middle initials, etc.
If Ally thinks something is wrong, either it thinks someone is pretending to be OP or OP is the bad actor. In the first scenario, shouldn't OP be contacted using email and/or snail mail that are verified addresses on record? In the second scenario, shouldn't Ally makes an attempt to confirm whether the activity is suspicious. What, in your opinion, should Ally be doing if contacting OP is not a prudent course of action?
Yeah, I agree with this. If they saw something suspicious, then saw that the account's password and email and mailing address had been changed, and three new bank accounts connected, all in the past month, or even three months, sure, knock yourself out, full lockdown firewall mode. But at least in the case I described upthread, NONE of my information had changed in quite some time, likely over a year, and I was the one to contact them. Maybe they were waiting to be sure of their position, I don't know.

I actually would have felt better about it if they had thrown up a clear backup plan for "Sit on hold and talk to people". I don't know what that plan would be, but if someone's account is thoroughly hacked, one has to assume they have _some_ mechanism for proving yourself, right?

TaxingAccount
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:34 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by TaxingAccount » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:52 am

.....
Last edited by TaxingAccount on Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fru-gal
Posts: 1187
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by fru-gal » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:32 am

simas wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:33 am
student wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:06 pm
This is just ridiculous. Within an online bank, one cannot even go to the branch and be in their face.
what I am confused about is the local branch is better mentality here - how is being "in their face" would help you if this is local Chase or something? You will hear, back office is looking , once we have additional updates we will call you. that would be the end, regardless of you crying, praying, threatening, laying down on the floor of the branch, etc.
There's Chase and its ilk, and then there are local credit unions staffed by helpful people. I would not be in the latter's face, but I am sure they would be more helpful. I also have everything with brick and mortar offices I can get to except Vanguard.

Update: plus with a local credit union, if all else fails you can drive to the head office and chat with the actual person working on the problem, or even the CEO.

MikeG62
Posts: 2243
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by MikeG62 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:40 am

Jimsad wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:02 pm

...Have been very happy with Marcus who have better Service and better rates than Ally.
I have accounts with both Ally and Marcus and I too believe the customer service (and capabilities of the CSR you speak with when calling) at Marcus is many orders of magnitude better than at Ally. Having said that, I have a lot more money at Ally (mostly in traditional CD's) than Marcus simply because their traditional CD terms were better when I opened the CD's (rates were similar, but EWP was significantly higher at Marcus).

The only thing I wish Marcus would change is their inability to produce a consolidated statement for our many accounts with them. Each account (online savings, no-penalty CD's) get its own statement. So a bit of a pain when downloading them at month end (although I have found a way to combine them using preview on my Mac - just adds a few more steps once each has been downloaded). I've asked that they look into consolidated statements, but no changes so far. A minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

In terms of the OP's experience, what would bother me more than the lockdown is the lack of communication from Ally and the complete inability of the OP to get anyone on the phone to help him sort the issue. Yes all financial institutions have their issues and none are perfect, but that is simply unacceptable.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

lostdog
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by lostdog » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:22 am

We're about to close on our house. When the title company hands over the check, I'll drive to my bank and deposit the check. My goal is to transfer it to Vanguard.

Supposedly with such a large amount, will I into run into any red tape? This thread has me concerned.
Total World Stock and Total World Bond. The simple two fund diversified portfolio. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

snowman
Posts: 970
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:59 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by snowman » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:41 am

lostdog wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:22 am
We're about to close on our house. When the title company hands over the check, I'll drive to my bank and deposit the check. My goal is to transfer it to Vanguard.

Supposedly with such a large amount, will I into run into any red tape? This thread has me concerned.
You should be fine, as long as you have had both accounts open for a while. Also, with a large amount, you can choose the wire option if that makes you feel better. Once the check clears at your local bank, you walk in, and instruct them to do wire transfer. The money will be delivered same day.

User avatar
indexfundfan
Posts: 2797
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by indexfundfan » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:44 am

lostdog wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:22 am
We're about to close on our house. When the title company hands over the check, I'll drive to my bank and deposit the check. My goal is to transfer it to Vanguard.

Supposedly with such a large amount, will I into run into any red tape? This thread has me concerned.
Your bank could put a hold on your check deposit, for as long as two weeks. Talk to the manager to see if the hold time can be reduced. After the funds are available, just initiate a transfer into Vanguard.

You could also try a mobile check deposit directly into Vanguard, though the limit might not be sufficient.
My signature has been deleted.

lostdog
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by lostdog » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:48 am

snowman wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:41 am
lostdog wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:22 am
We're about to close on our house. When the title company hands over the check, I'll drive to my bank and deposit the check. My goal is to transfer it to Vanguard.

Supposedly with such a large amount, will I into run into any red tape? This thread has me concerned.
You should be fine, as long as you have had both accounts open for a while. Also, with a large amount, you can choose the wire option if that makes you feel better. Once the check clears at your local bank, you walk in, and instruct them to do wire transfer. The money will be delivered same day.
Thank you. I opened an account at a new bank because we're moving. We still have the credit union account open which I've been a member for many years. I'll use the credit union.
Total World Stock and Total World Bond. The simple two fund diversified portfolio. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

sabtastic
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:00 am

Re: Disturbing experience with Ally Bank

Post by sabtastic » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:49 am

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:50 am
simas wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:33 am
student wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:06 pm
This is just ridiculous. Within an online bank, one cannot even go to the branch and be in their face.
what I am confused about is the local branch is better mentality here - how is being "in their face" would help you if this is local Chase or something? You will hear, back office is looking , once we have additional updates we will call you. that would be the end, regardless of you crying, praying, threatening, laying down on the floor of the branch, etc.
If nothing else, they can verify your identity and docs quickly. If you know the manager, he or she can put in a special request for you.

Not a hypothetical, this has happened to me.
I, too enjoy the services of a local bank due to these features. For personal banking, the local credit unions are a real winner. They often extend the benefits to each other so if you find yourself in an area without a national bank (like Hawaii) you can still get most services at a local credit union in that area. Plus, every time I have to do something weird (like cash out EE bonds) they are there to help out.

Post Reply