It’s no secret to anyone that banks are the main tool used to control us all, and I’m not going to explain things that are already so well explained and proven by so many others… whistle-blowers, employees, economists and so on…I’m just going to write about my own experience with one of them: ING Netherlands.
Last year I closed my existing mortgage with ING as I sold my house, however I bought another property so I got a mortgage with them again. In my old mortgage there was a clause about closing it sooner than the contract stipulated: I had to pay a fine if I did that, but not if I took the second mortgage with them, then I would be exempt from the fine. So all in all I wasn’t supposed to pay that.
Anyway, as per local law I had to take a mortgage adviser who took care of all the details and financial paperwork for me however on the day I had to sign my new flat documents, the chain of mistakes in ING administration started: a part of the money was not in the notary’s account which was brought to my attention that morning by their office and I had to come with a solution within 2 hours…after desperately calling ING they obviously couldn’t help me that quick and luckily I could find the funds with a friend that helped me out asap. (also as per local law I was facing a fine from the seller of 10% of the property value so you can imagine the stressful position I was put in).
After that my mortgage adviser took it up with the ING team and they sorted things out and I received the money.
A few months later however, I got a letter from ING saying that they sent too much money back to me that day, and that I should return them. Obviously I called them to ask what is that all about, and to my peace of mind they confirmed the letter was a mistake from their side, and they said the money is representing the fine I shouldn’t pay in the first place, so just “ignore it and throw it away” they said. I was relieved to hear that even more because I was planning to go on a trip around the world in the near future (this was happening in April 2016). Later on that week I even get a second call from ING customer service to make sure I understood it was a mistake and everything is fine and I am happy…”What a great service!” I thought to myself! That didn’t last for long though, as in a couple of weeks I get another letter from ING saying the same as the previous one: I owed them money and needed to pay…Pfff calling them again…To my surprise, they apologize again saying I should ignore this letter as well…
Time has passed and my world trip plans were closer and closer ..I decided to leave September 1 2016…and first step would have been to talk about it at work. However before doing that I needed to sort out some pending things in my life, and this potential issue was one of them. So, before quitting on the 1st of June 2016 I thought I should just check with ING one more time about my potential debt…on May 31 I chat them and tell the story again, ask if they can for sure confirm I can go ahead and spend my savings and again they confirm as such (even saved the chat transcript) so there I go on June 1st and inform at work about my plans and move on with them.
Not a bad story so far, unfortunately for me it’s not the end of it…a few weeks later, I get an email from ING saying they were wrong about being wrong about being wrong again…on a Friday afternoon, with a phone number that seemed to have a problem when calling it… great weekend ahead for me..NOT!!
On Monday contacting them again…after one customer service representative talking to another leaving messages and so on, a few days later I finally get to speak with the person handling my case. The lady explains me that the amount I got transferred few months back did not represent the fine but a wrongfully transferred amount that should have been in someone else’s account. I understand the mistake and accept her apologies, however I had just quit my job thinking I didn’t have a debt…had I known this upfront, I would’ve worked a few months longer so I could still make my travel budget.
She seems to be understanding when I explain her that if I knew upfront about this and if CS from ING hadn’t repeatedly informed me wrong, I would’ve planned different, so we agree that she will talk to her team about the case and come back to me with some sort of payments settlement. I mention that if she calls she should call me on a different number as I would be travelling abroad for 10 days with no roaming on my normal number and will be waiting for their resolution on the case.
Days pass and when I come back from my trip, I realize they had called me on the wrong number (the one with no Roaming) and they also sent a letter telling me to make the whole payment a day later than the letter arrived! So obviously I call AGAIN…repeating the whole story (never get to speak to the same person apparently) and the CS representative tells me that if I accept to pay half the amount now, I could pay the other half in 6 months, which seemed quite tight for my plans but at least I wouldn’t be completely broke. So I accept their offer mentioning I will run it by my mortgage adviser since he’s the one knowing all the financial of this transaction.
When calling him, he was shocked to find out all these details and disappointed that ING didn’t contact him as a financial representative of my mortgage, so he advised me to wait until he can get in contact with them.
And then he tried for few days in a row, the lady handing my case was either away or in meetings for a few days until today (25 July) when they finally talked, he sent her the chat transcript I had saved proving I got wrong confirmation of the debt etc…
But guess what else happens today? Well ING decides to move the money on my savings account and pay themselves the debt…entirely with no cancellation option…leaving me with almost no money, about to go on a trip, and about to be unemployed….
I can’t explain how harassed, abused and powerless I feel…my mortgage adviser emailed them and hopefully will get sorted…but the stress I’ve been through with this the last few months and especially today is just so overwhelming…”thank you” ING Nederland for stressing me out on the day I was buying my flat, for consistently providing me with wrong information, and ultimately for abusively depleting my bank account!
unvalued customer RG