Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Warning about ING

A few weeks ago I wrote a little bit about a horrible situation that I was having with ING, but I didn't want to get into details at the time because I wanted to get my money OUT first since I have lost faith in them completely.

I had a joint savings account with my husband, but I always used his log on information since it was his account first. Recently we've been wanting to set up some sub-accounts and that needed my pin number, which I realized we never got. So I called up ING to get my pin number, which should have been a simple process. Instead the entire thing turned into a nightmare.

At first the phone call seemed to be going okay, and they told me that they would be sending a pin in the mail, but that they just needed me to answer some security questions. Fine. I am then asked a series of seven questions, which were similar to the ones that are asked before you access your credit report online. Instead I got four questions about people that I have never heard of, one question about cars I have never owned, a question about my mother, and a poorly worded question about my height on my driver's license. I answered the questions to the best of my ability, stating the choice "Does not apply/None of the above" to the questions that weren't about me. I was then told that I failed the security questions and that the account would be closed.

I completely panicked. The representative told me that this "was not a big deal" and that I should "just go bank elsewhere." I was devastated and confused. I was worried that someone had stolen my identity because of these questions, and I begged the representative to realize that this was a mistake. He refused to budge, saying that I could only answer the questions once, and that they had no way to verify my identity.

I asked to speak to a manager and he transferred me. When the woman picked up, she told me that the account would not be closed, but that my name would be taken off and that I could NEVER bank with ING. Again, I started to panic. She again told me that it was "not a big deal" and that I should just "go bank elsewhere." I was in the midst of a panic attack, shaking and crying, and the woman refused to go off script, telling me that nothing could be done. I was a security risk to ING because I could not answer questions that weren't mine. I asked to speak to her manager, but she said there was no one above her to speak with. She told me that she would file a complaint, but that it didn't matter and this decision was final.

After I got off the phone, I called my husband, absolutely freaking out. He called ING and spoke to a very confused representative who said that my name was deleted from the account, but he didn't know why. He told us that we should call later when we were together.

We called that night when my husband got home from work, but by then the security team had gone home. Again, the representative was apologetic and confused, and told us to call in the morning.

We were going to call, but then after seeing some things about ING online, we decided not to bother. Their actions are reckless and dangerous. I was completely deleted from our account, meaning that, hypothetically, if we were getting a divorce, I no longer have any legal right to that account. According to countless stories online, things this terrible do actually happen.

Oh yeah, and those security questions that I was worried about? Turns out those come from a third party that collects information that they believe will be able to identify individuals. There is no way for the individual to verify or correct this information. So basically, Big Brother is watching us, but he doesn't care enough to even do a good job about it.

We lost trust in ING, so rather than fight it, we decided to just take the money out of the account. Up until this point, I LOVED ING. I referred many people and have always been happy. Now I just wanted to share this experience that I have had. There is a lot of praise for ING online, but there are also many, many complaints and horror stories if you are willing to dig a little deeper.


krystalatwork said...

Ahhh what a horrible time you must have had! I have ING and so far have had no problems, but am in the middle of setting up a joint savings account. Now that I've read this, I'm definitely going to reconsider. I would never want something like this to happen to us!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Wow! That really sucks. I have never heard of ING acting this way before. How could they expect you to answer questions you never supplied answeres to in the first place? Very strange. I hope you get your money back from them very soon!

Revanche said...

Yikes, that's just a complete mess! I'm confounded as to how and why they can change accountholders on anyone's account like that.

FB @ said...

Oh that is HORRIFIC!! :|

Lisa's Dollar Signs said...

I would definitely be crying & panicking too, holy cow!

My cousin is a senior manager at ING (Canada). I'm starting now to wonder if the same security issues are the same here as they are in the US.

Thanks for the heads up, I hope it all works out!

Anny said...

What a nightmare, I'm glad you were able to withdraw your money!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. It is always good to read warnings like this, especially when one banks w/ the entity in question (which I do). Have you been able to find a suitable alternative to ING? One that functions somewhat similarly?

FrugalNYC said...

Thanks for posting this. I've had nothing but praise or ING, but I do only use a single user account. ING does seem very security conscious, but those questions seem very questionable if that is the process they obtain it.

Did you contact ING via Twitter? I wonder what they have to say if you contact them via Social media. Just a thought.

If I were in your situation, I would do what you did and take my business elsewhere. There are other alternatives, though not as mature as ING's.