Late last year we purchased a used Chevy Equinox which was ultimately financed through a local credit union. We have been members of another local credit union for several years, my wife even longer if you count her years as a "kid saver'. We went with the other credit union because it had a better rate and offered GAP at a cheaper price as well. Once we signed all of the paperwork we set up a direct transfer to cover the monthly payments from credit union A to credit union B. Unfortunately sometime in the first month a transfer and a refund got messed up due to an error on each credit union's part.
Trying to explain the bank error over the phone to people at both locations was difficult because on each bank's computers the transaction looked to be by the books. The error was only obvious when you had both accounts in front of you. Thankfully, after I spoke to the credit union we financed our car with, their employee in charge of direct deposits took it upon herself to call up the other credit union and hash out the details. It turns out the wrong account number was used in a few places, and the money was rejected as payment by credit union B but when the money was sent back credit union A put the money in the wrong account leaving our ledger showing a payment that was never received.
After the two banks got their heads together the error was resolved in a matter of minutes and my account balance had been righted. Overall I spent maybe 10 minutes on the phone to fix this error, which is probably the shortest I have ever spent on a financial issue. The ability for these banks to put aside the fact that I was using the other for a different service and resolve our problem quickly makes me a believer in the power of small credit unions to deliver great service and rates, even if the online banking client looks like it was developed in the late 70's!
Do you prefer the sexy online interfaces of big name banks or the get-r-done attitude of credit unions?
Switch to a credit union for better service!