Fidelity Federal Bank Scams
http://www.bank-plus.com/

Fidelity Federal Bank--California, U.S.A.

> Rec'd 6/2000: I have had a checking account with Fidelity Federal for over 12 years without any bounced checks. I was upset when I tried to make it to the La Brea Office before 4:00pm (closing time). I arrived at the front door exactly at 3:59 and the door was locked. When the bank employee came to the door to let someone out, she wouldn't let me in or listen to me. Needless to say, I had 3 bounced items that night. The next day I went to the bank around 3:50pm and watched the lady close early again. I pointed this out to the branch manager, expecting to have a fight. To my surprise, not only did he appologize, but he listened to everything I had to say, offered to reverse all my returned items including the fees, and noted my account so that any other managers would be aware of the problem. I was actually going to close my account, until I spoke to him. He kept me as a customer without giving up much. He just gave me what I would normally expect, but rarely get in these circumstances -- respect. Now, to these people who are complaining about these bank charges -- who are you kidding!! First off, the bank WILL take off any charges that are wrong. If you spoke to the Branch Manager, and he is still was not willing to take it off, then it probably is not an erroneous charge [*see below, sometimes it is...]. You should try looking at your statement or balancing your checkbook sometime. To the person who had his account for 19 years, a little advice. Take a breather, and reconsider. You'd be stupid to go to another bank. I don't know of ANY bank out there willing to offer you the same services for the same price that you have with 19 yr old account at Fidelity Federal [*People's Bank is one]. A 19 yr account would have Free unlimited use of ANY ATMS. Not even new accounts get unlimited use of ATMs. What you gonna do, go to BofA and the other large banks? J. M., Hollywood, CA

(Webmaster's notes: This is the first positive message I received regarding Fidelity Federal. I just read the complaint form that customer, I think maybe it was Fidelity that was rash not to refund a $7 charge to a customer who had an account with the same bank for 19 years. Fidelity had an offer that if you had a savings account with them over a certain amount, there would not be a monthly service fee for checking. It seems that the $7 charge is erroneous, and that they are betting that some customers would not notice. If I was the General Manager, I would fire that branch manager, unless, of course, I was also in on it.)

P.S.: The customer who closed the account also went to People's Bank, andd received more benefits than from Fidelity Federal.

March 2nd, 2000: I just closed my checking account that I had with FIDELITY FEDERAL BANK for 19 years. I fell for that scam you mentioned, the $7.00 surcharge. Only this time, when I caught them, they offered to convert my account to a free checking account (which is what it has been for 19 years), and they refused to refund the $7 charge. So I'm taking my business elsewhere. There are many banks in my area, I'm sure they would love my business. I'm thinking of Wells Fargo. Any suggestions??? Thanks, G.Y., Van Nuys, CA.

[webmaster's note: Please respond with any suggestions to me, and I will post them. Thanks.]

September, 1999: Unlisted Branch found in Burbank, CA: If you are looking for the Fidelity Federal Bank branch nearest you, don't call 411 information -- Fidelity Federal chose not to list their branches' addresses and telephone numbers in the telephone directory. You will be given an 800 number to call (800-4FID-ELI), but even those operators do not have all of the branches listed. Case in point: a branch in the city of Burbank, CA, on Alameda Street (At Riverside). When confronted with this fact, Fidelity agreed to list the branch, but erroneously in the city of Toluca Lake, CA, which is somewhat of a better neighborhood than Burbank. I have been to that branch 5 times, and there is never a wait. Wonder why...

August, 1999: Fidelity Federal Sold to People's Bank: Fidelity Federal Bank sold a few of its branches to People's Bank, including Fidelity's North Hollywood, CA, branch on Victory Blvd and Laurel Canyon Avenue.

Rec'd 7/27/1999: I have been a victim to this following scam- I applied to First Premier for a Future Card and a lady saying they were affiliated with First Fidelity for The Future Card and approved me and wanted 189.00 for an upfront fee. When I called this 800# now no one answers and when I called First Premier they said they have no affiliation and the card THEY issued is only for 200.00 and any fees will be applied to the card. I live with my 2 children and on a budget - It took alot for me to release 189.00 and I only wanted the card as an insurance to establish good credit-189.00 was taken out of my checking account within 24 hrs of the application and now I may never see it again- My bank (Summit Bank) is working on tracing the account but will take time and no gaurantee for Premier or Summit bank in returing my money.I can't believe someone intervenes with other banks to work this scam- I trusted this lady because it was through other reputable banks that she took advantage to do this horrible fraud. PLEASE HELP ME!!!! Iris C. [Webmaster's note: not sure if First Fidelity is part of Fidelity Federal. Anyone knows?].

Rec'd 9/4/1999: If you have no income, and a door to door salesman comes knocking to sell you a $2000 vacuum cleaner, he will whip out an ADC mastercard app so you can get a Fidelity Federal credit card (with a $100 limit). Especially if you are over 70 and on welfare! Then, just try to contact the bank or talk to ADC!

August, 1998: A new scam in the banking industry has been discovered, this time at California's FIDELITY  FEDERAL  BANK (800-4FIDELITY). This scam involves "hidden" service charges on accounts which otherwise should not have been charged*. If the customer discovers the fraudulent charges and brings it to the bank's attention, the bank will reverse the charges. There does exist, however, a "catch", as in every scam: only charges within the last 60 days will be reversed. If the customer realizes that he has been illegally charged by the bank, he has no recourse but to accept only two month's worth credit of the charges. These erroneous charges, by the way, will usually be $84.00 per year, based on FIDELITY FEDERAL BANK'S "Product Information and Fee Schedule."**

Consumer beware.

* One such example is in the case of the "free" checking from FIDELITY  FEDERAL BANK. This account requires that the customer either maintain a minimum of $500.00/day ballance in the account, or have another account at the bank with a minimum ballance of $10,000.00. This makes sense and sounds fair enough, until FIDELITY FEDERAL somehow manages removes the information of the "tied-in" account, and applies a service charge of $7/month to the checking account whenever the ballance falls below $500, even if only for one day. If the customer wants to know how much he has been erroneously charged by the bank, it will cost him $60 for every year he wants the bank to check on. The problem, again, is that Fidelity Federal will ONLY refund two month's worth of illegal charges ($14.00), even if the customer is correct (as per the Bank Manager at their North Hollywood branch). You do the math.

**Information manual printing # MK-944 (R4-97).

Fidelity Federal Bank. Fidelity Federal Bank. Fidelity Federal Bank. Fidelity Federal Bank. Fidelity Federal Bank. Fidelity Federal Bank.

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