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What is PenFed's problem
Old 08-28-2020, 07:54 AM   #1
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What is PenFed's problem

My husband passed away several weeks ago. I have been digging through the knee-deep paper work. NFCU---all types of accts: NO PROBLEM, everything done in 2 days. FIDO ---NO PROBLEM, everything done in 2 days. SCHWAB:FIDO ---NO PROBLEM, everything done in 4 days. Local bank: a piece of cake.

Now we come to Pentagon Fed. CU. In the past, they had great interest rates. Now, not so much. When my mother passed away three years ago, it took them forever to process the account. Currently, after three weeks, all our IRAs - roth and trad. are sitting someplace out in cyberspace. There is no tracking. They tell me that they are there, just busy. Don't they have computers This is stone-age technology compared to other institutions.

Well they were busy 3 years ago. I guess "busy" is a long-standing excuse. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM? All the rest of the institutions take care of everything efficiently and you don't have to keep on them. After this - I am so done with PenFed! I don't want my kids to have to keep trying to figure out what is their problem. Customer Service = ZERO.

Who needs this aggravation at a time when your mind and heart on much more important matters?
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:15 AM   #2
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They can be super slow. I applied for a loan. It took so long I just said forget about the loan.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:30 AM   #3
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I am sorry for your loss.

Hopefully you will be able to move the money to a different financial institution of your choice soon.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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Very sorry for your loss. Death claims can be problematic for some organizations. It never hurts to call them everyday and keep a log of their excuses. I'm not sure who you can escalate too, do they have social media presence? Organizations hate when you publish issues.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:09 AM   #5
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The people that bought out house in June used PenFed for a mortgage. If their realtor hadn’t called PenFed every day, the deal never would have closed on time. There were many examples of lost documents, confusion on procedures, etc.
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Old 08-28-2020, 10:31 AM   #6
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Did you have IRAs at the other institutions that went smoothly or were they jointly owned after-tax accounts.

If you were a joint owner on an account, then this would be a much simpler process. Retirement accounts don't allow joint owners, by definition.

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Old 08-28-2020, 04:45 PM   #7
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I've been annoyed with PenFed lately also. I've had several accounts with them for many years, but when I went to transfer some $$ out of one of my accounts the other day through ACH, they wouldn't let me.........said I was over the limit. I inquired as to what the limit was, and they said $5000. Really? I routinely move more than that to and from other places I bank with (like Ally, and my credit union), but PenFed says nope, we have a $5000 limit, sorry. Seems kind of silly. So now I have to make 4 seperate transfers over a period of a couple weeks to transfer the $20,000 that I wanted to transfer at once. I doubt that I will be keeping much money in my PenFed accounts from this point forward, because I can get slightly better interest elsewhere, without the $5000 transfer limit.
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Old 08-28-2020, 04:55 PM   #8
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I've been annoyed with PenFed lately also. I've had several accounts with them for many years, but when I went to transfer some $$ out of one of my accounts the other day through ACH, they wouldn't let me.........said I was over the limit. I inquired as to what the limit was, and they said $5000. Really? I routinely move more than that to and from other places I bank with (like Ally, and my credit union), but PenFed says nope, we have a $5000 limit, sorry. Seems kind of silly. So now I have to make 4 seperate transfers over a period of a couple weeks to transfer the $20,000 that I wanted to transfer at once. I doubt that I will be keeping much money in my PenFed accounts from this point forward, because I can get slightly better interest elsewhere, without the $5000 transfer limit.
That is my peeve with Penfed as well. I had a $50,000 CD mature at Penfed a month or two ago. They let me transfer the full amount in a single transfer to open the CD. But to get the money out they restrict you to the $5,000 every so many business days. Go figure. i had them send a check via snail mail. Took about 4 business days.
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:56 PM   #9
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To the person who asked if I had a relationship with PenFed. Yes indeed. I opened the account first. My spouse had T-IRAs, R-IRAs, we have a healthy savings account, cc, and another savings account. I am so done with PenFed as soon as every CD matures. They are not worth the time on the phone, tons of paper work, and slower than molasses. Navy Fed did everything in 1 1/2 days.
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:31 PM   #10
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Yup, ran into similar problem with PenFed when I tried get funds from an IRA. After 20+ years of membership I pulled everything out. More than 5 years later, no regrets. Get great service from Navy Federal.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:05 AM   #11
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I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

Deal with bureaucracy is bad enough but its 10x worse when going through a situation like this. Best of luck.
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:40 AM   #12
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PenFed member for over 35 years and generally very well satisfied.

But I agree they seem to have lost their way recently. I got a mortgage from them about 5-6 years ago and without going into details it was the worst experience from a financial institution I've ever had. Just horrible and they never even responded to any of my complaints.

I still keep a tiny account with them solely for the 5% cash back credit card at gas stations, but everything else left their hands long ago.
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Old 08-29-2020, 05:40 AM   #13
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Molly, I am sorry for your loss. You don't need extra aggravation just now.

I agree that they seem to be falling behind the times. We have had many HEL's with them, all were a snap; the last one, a few years ago, was a PITA. And the loan officer talked down to me like nobody's business. That was actually the worst part. "Mrs. Washington," she called herself. You'd think she was Martha herself.

Several months ago, my small PFCU checking and savings accounts were cleaned out and I was charged overdraft fees. It turned out not to be a hacker, thank goodness - it was a mistake. Someone else's payments were charged to my account. How could that happen? PFCU took responsibility and I got my money back, but it was scary and took time out of my busy life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by molly312 View Post
My husband passed away several weeks ago. I have been digging through the knee-deep paper work. NFCU---all types of accts: NO PROBLEM, everything done in 2 days. FIDO ---NO PROBLEM, everything done in 2 days. SCHWAB:FIDO ---NO PROBLEM, everything done in 4 days. Local bank: a piece of cake.

Now we come to Pentagon Fed. CU. In the past, they had great interest rates. Now, not so much. When my mother passed away three years ago, it took them forever to process the account. Currently, after three weeks, all our IRAs - roth and trad. are sitting someplace out in cyberspace. There is no tracking. They tell me that they are there, just busy. Don't they have computers This is stone-age technology compared to other institutions.

Well they were busy 3 years ago. I guess "busy" is a long-standing excuse. WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM? All the rest of the institutions take care of everything efficiently and you don't have to keep on them. After this - I am so done with PenFed! I don't want my kids to have to keep trying to figure out what is their problem. Customer Service = ZERO.

Who needs this aggravation at a time when your mind and heart on much more important matters?
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAE View Post
I've been annoyed with PenFed lately also. I've had several accounts with them for many years, but when I went to transfer some $$ out of one of my accounts the other day through ACH, they wouldn't let me.........said I was over the limit. I inquired as to what the limit was, and they said $5000. Really? I routinely move more than that to and from other places I bank with (like Ally, and my credit union), but PenFed says nope, we have a $5000 limit, sorry. Seems kind of silly. So now I have to make 4 seperate transfers over a period of a couple weeks to transfer the $20,000 that I wanted to transfer at once. I doubt that I will be keeping much money in my PenFed accounts from this point forward, because I can get slightly better interest elsewhere, without the $5000 transfer limit.
This issue is easily solved. I’ve been able to transfer much larger amounts no problem. The trick is to initiate the transfer from the other institution. The receiving institution in this case. That overrides any transfer limits.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
PenFed member for over 35 years and generally very well satisfied.

But I agree they seem to have lost their way recently. I got a mortgage from them about 5-6 years ago and without going into details it was the worst experience from a financial institution I've ever had. Just horrible and they never even responded to any of my complaints.

I still keep a tiny account with them solely for the 5% cash back credit card at gas stations, but everything else left their hands long ago.
This is what we are down to. Just the credit card, and only used for gas. Don’t even need the card for overseas use anymore as ApplePay and other PIN priority cards have been more useful. Stopped buying their CDs when they made their early withdrawal penalty periods unreasonable and they no longer offered great deal rates anyway to compensate. I’m glad I never tried a car loan

Honestly, 4% gas with the Costco VISA is close enough and we use that card far more anyway. PenFed is a good candidate for eliminating all accounts.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:18 AM   #16
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This is what we are down to. Just the credit card, and only used for gas.
Same here. Navy FCU is now our go-to CU.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:25 PM   #17
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Last week I authorized a charge on my Penfed card but learned the seller had seriously mis-represented the sale. The seller said they would credit back to my card tomorrow, but I didn't trust them at that point.

When I called Penfed to ask about maybe blocking that one charge on the card, their rep immediately cancelled my card. I told her I didn't want to do that, just block the one transaction. Nope, your card is cancelled and you need to call back tomorrow to arrange to get a new card. Period.

When I called back the next day, the much better rep told me that cancelling the card had not been mandatory, and a new card was being sent with no further action on my part. But it would take 7-10 days to get here.

Of course, each phone call included the mandatory 20 minute hold time.

I like their 2% back card, but like others, all my accounts are migrating away from Penfed.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:36 PM   #18
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Molly - I am so sorry for your loss.

I have a heloc (0 balance) and a credit card (0 balance) I rarely use at penfed - because, at the time they were one of the few credit card issuers that had chip and pin (vs chip and signature)

If it makes you feel better Vanguard blew chunks when my dad died. My sister was executor and they lost SEVERAL copies of the death certificate - despite tracking, registered mail, etc. This was in late 2007/early 2008 when the market was plummeting... so the accounts were frozen to us during a crash. I think we got control of inherited IRAs around April 2008. (Dad died in October 2007 at the, then, peak of the market - so 6 months of delay)

My dad had set up 529's for my son's with 10k each... I inherited them. Since 529's are a different department they needed their own certified death certificates - separate from the ones for the IRAs. (They could see that death had been certified - but still needed their own certified copies). And yes - they lost 2 copies before they finally acknowledged receiving them. It's why I have most of my money at Schwab and Fido.... Vanguard doesn't handle death well. (Still have the 529's there.)

Again - so sorry for your loss. You don't need the hassles from penfed at a time like this.
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:10 AM   #19
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This is what we are down to. Just the credit card, and only used for gas.
Agree that PenFed isn't what it used to be. I do still have some savings there, and for a while their interest rate was better (less awful) than many others.

The turning point for me came when they switched their % back credit card from cash back to "points." Obviously some slick salesman sold them on the convenience (to them) of not having to manage the rewards program, and how much "fun" it would be for members.

Not me. I have no interest in playing a game with "points" that have no defined value. I know what cash is worth. So I called to complain.

They said I could keep my % cash back on only ONE category. I chose 5% on gas (the highest option.) That's all I ever use the card for. Their loss.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:49 AM   #20
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We had PenFed for about 10-15 years for our high yield CDs, they were paying the best interest at the time and they had 10 year CDS which we took advantage of. When those matured we removed everything from them. It was a chore but it all happened quite smoothly in the end. It was not speedy though. I then closed all accounts and left them. They have done nothing gain my confidence since then.

Their loss we had over $1.5m with them at that time.
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