Emigrant Direct’s Online Incompetence

Just a quick note to report on Emigrant Savings Bank’s total incompetence when it comes to running an online bank. If you’re not familiar with Emigrant, I’ll just say that they run a relatively popular online bank known as Emigrant Direct. And as I mentioned previously, Emigrant Direct went offline this past Friday, July 21st at 5:00 PM EST to roll out a new website, promising to this morning (Monday, July 24th) at 9:00 AM EST.

Well, reader reports began trickling this morning saying that the site still wasn’t accessible even though it was well past 9:00 AM EST. When I checked around 11:00 AM EST, the site was up, but I couldn’t try logging in because I didn’t have my new access code with me (they sent this to all customers via snail mail). However, a number of other readers reported that the site was timing out or otherwise non-responsive.

I just checked and, as of 5:00 PM EST — fully eight hours after they promised to be back online — the site is still down. So… If the hubbub over Emigrant Direct’s funds availability policy didn’t give you pause, their inability to remain online certainly should. You make the call… Poor planning, or a sign of troubled bank? While they’re FDIC insured, BankRate.com recently lowered their saftey rating to two stars.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Emigrant Direct, you might want to consider going with HSBC Direct or ING Direct ($25 account opening bonus available here).

Update: Looks like Emigrant Direct is back up, at least for me. Click through to get my first initial impressions of their new interface.

11 Responses to “Emigrant Direct’s Online Incompetence”

  1. Anonymous

    ING Direct has been a pleasure to do business with since I opened an account three years ago. Thank you for all of your postings – I had been tempted to switch to HSBC or Emigrant for the higher interest but now I won’t!

  2. Anonymous

    So my boss went and lost his laptop which contained my personal information. So I call and but a fraud alert on my credit file. BAM!! GMAC Bank put a hold on my account. I cannot put money in or take money out. I have sent countless emails and 10’s of phone calls. No one can tell me why my account is on old or how I can remedy the situation. Let me assure you all, GMAC Bank is a collection of the most incompetent humans that any of us will ever come in contact with. GMAC Bank is a comnplete disaster. In short, GMAC Bank sucks. Caveat Emptor

  3. Anonymous

    I just signed up for Emigrant Direct two days ago. Today I tried to verify my account and I can’t get access to the website. That is really worrying since this is long past any new website roll out. Maybe I should have gone with another Bank!

  4. Anonymous

    Day 2 and I still can’t get in. I tried at least a dozen times yesterday, including late last night and this morning. This is not making me a happy camper.

  5. Anonymous

    i’ve already had a run-in with emigrant direct before. they transferred money (such a huge sum that it left me with negative balance) without my authorization back in february. and then they tried to blame it on vanguard, which i trust more than any other institution.

    the end result, i closed emigrant direct, SWORE i would never open their account regardless of the interest rate, wrote letters to eliot spitzer and occ. my letters got directed to NY Banking Department and FDIC. i was able to get money for the interest i lost in february, b/c they don’t give you interest if you close before interest gets posted through fdic intervention. but the final excuse i got (ok, well, what FDIC got through its investigation) for the whole ordeal was that they had inexperienced staff during the snow storm… resulting in executing transfers that were in computer system the month before. whatever. that’s a LOUSY excuse for a financial institution!!

    my sister also had same problem so she closed out her account promptly as well.

    that whole experience left me extremely wary of opening new accounts w/banks just because it may have the highest interest rate. i can gladly forego miniscule amount of interest rate for some peace of my mind… that the bank’s not going to screw around w/my money!

  6. Anonymous

    I have my account with GMAC Bank. Absolute pleasure to deal with, fast transfers, nice interface, check-writing and ATM privileges, and 5.05% APY.

  7. Anonymous

    I think “total incompetence” might be a little strong. I was able to log in this morning and went through their new security procedure, using the access code mailed to me. It took a while for the site to load but it did eventually work.

    They obviously didn’t realize every account holder was going to try and log in right at 9am ET this morning. I guess they ended up causing a DOS attack on themselves. Ok, that’s a little bit incompetent. 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    tsk tsk. just got the same notices from people too. I’m so glad they dumped my butt.

    HSBC may be slow, but at least they keep their gremlins at bay. ING may be one of the lowest rate, but they’re so stable & simple I always recommend them to first-time users to high-yield online savings account.

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