Saturday, August 6, 2016

PNC Bank

My customer relationship with the PNC Bank recently ended on a negative note.

Things started out well enough.  When I moved from New York to New Jersey a few years ago I didn't have to change banks because Chase also has branches in New Jersey.   However none of the local branches had safe deposit boxes.  So I looked around for a local bank with boxes.  Conveniently the PNC branch in the Princeton Shopping Center (where I often buy lunch) was willing to rent me a box (without having me open an account).

I had no major problems (although their inability to accept a box payment prior to the last minute was a bit annoying) until this year.  The Princeton Shopping Center is being renovated and among other changes the PNC branch is moving to a new location within the center.  Unfortunately the new location won't offer boxes.  I initially planned to just to move to another PNC branch but found the bank less than helpful in arranging this.  I eventually figured out the problem was I just had a box and no other relationship with the bank.  Apparently bank policy had changed and they no longer wanted box only customers.  Nor did they want customers to open an account (which I was willing to do) just to get a box.  I found this all quite annoying but fortunately another nearby bank (TD Bank which is part of one of the big Canadian banks) was willing to rent me a box (although I did have to open an account).

This didn't end my troubles with PNC bank.  First when I went in to empty my box the clerk got confused about which slot she had just unlocked and handed me the box from a nearby slot.  This box was empty (emptied boxes were being left in unlocked slots) which gave me a bit of a scare until she figured out what she had done.  Second I was of course entitled to a refund since I just paid for a year's box rental which the bank was failing to provide.  I was initially told I would be mailed a check.  When I went in a few weeks later to ask where my check was I was told to be patient.  After another few weeks with no check I went again last Thursday.  At this point they give me my refund in cash which they could just as well have done the day I closed my box.  Additionally they didn't give me any accounting of how the refund was computed or have me sign a receipt.  I think I was shorted a few dollars (I didn't realize this immediately because I had forgotten they had raised the box rental fee this year) but it isn't worth it to me to pursue this further.

On the one hand this is all fairly trivial but on the other hand if my experience is representative you would not want to depend on PNC bank for something important like obtaining a mortgage while buying a house.  Based on my experience I would recommend looking elsewhere for a bank.

Hopefully my experience with TD Bank will be better.  On the plus side their box rental fee is less than PNC's and they pay higher interest than Chase.  And they are open on Sundays which I find amazing.


  1. It would be fun to have a bank open Sundays. I wonder why other banks don't do that as well.

  2. PNC Bank Customer Service Number For Personal Accounts is working or not..