Next weekend, People’s United Bank becomes part of M&T Bank.
Longtime Westporter (and People’s customer) Peter Blau read a recent “06880” story on my very positive experience with M&T’s customer service department with interest.
And with a high degree of skepticism. He writes:
You published a [mostly] complimentary piece about M&T customer service. But I just got an email demonstrates what a shit show these bank mergers really are. If you read carefully, you find out:
1) You will lose access to all online banking from September 1 (when Peoples.com turns off) until September 6, when the M&T app becomes active (assuming all goes as planned).
2) Also: “a minimum of 90 days of your People’s United transaction history will be available initially. We are working to provide additional transaction history as soon as possible.”
#1 is a minor inconvenience for most; a major inconvenience for a few, like someone who needs to transfer emergency money into their kid’s account (remember, this is over Labor Day weekend.)
#2 is the bigger deal for people who rely on online data for their taxes, as the bank promises to only give access to 90 days of history initially, while we’re used to getting 18 months. You need to download all the past transaction activity you need before the old platform shuts down next Thursday, September 1.
A couple of questions left unanswered here, but which I checked on via their answer line:
3A) Will you be able to continue to use your old People’s checks?,
“Yes.” You can continue to use the old checks, as routing and account numbers stay the same.
3B) And will M&T give you a free supply of new checks with their bank name on it?
“No.” Could you imagine a bank actually giving you checks when they could make a few bucks selling them to you?
4) Will M&T be giving any kind of incentive for keeping your accounts there? After all, other banks give you bonuses to switch your accounts to them. Chase right now offers $600 for switching just one checking and one savings account.
“No.” However, the M&T rep told me that like other banks, M&T periodically offers these incentives for people who open new accounts (these typically exclude anyone who has an existing account with the bank). Consider that a “disloyalty” program.
There you have it. If you think there’s anything new in the retail banking business in the last 30 years, you’re mistaken!
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