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Even though Chime is not a bank, it claims to be redefining traditional banking and targets consumers looking for the ease the app promises. The app-based financial technology company currently serves an estimated 12 million members. However, in the past year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received an inordinately large number of complaints about the app’s services, reports ProPublica on July 6, 2021.
Since April 15, 2020, dissatisfied customers filed 920 grievances against the “neobank;” which averages out to 2.1 per day. Of those, several hundred complaints detail problems with accounts being closed against customers’ will or difficulty accessing their accounts or money. Moreover, Chime’s problem resolution response is slow.
Lauren Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center said:
For a company that most people have never heard of, I think that’s a lot of complaints.
Wells Fargo is significantly larger than Chime; they have more than 70 million customers and a recent history of banking misdeeds — they only have 317 CFB complaints about closed accounts during the same time frame as Chime. Another online bank, created by Goldman Sacs, only has 7 such complaints; they have about 4 million customers.
Chime members also filed 4,439 grievances at the Better Business Bureau; Wells Fargo has 3,281.
The lure of Chime is the ease of use, the app is user-friendly, and does not require much to join. They do not require a credit check, which makes it seem like a sensible banking solution for those with spotty credit histories and previous problems with traditional banks. Moreover, it has no monthly fees, fees other charges, and promises to help build a member’s credit through direct deposit.
Chime Customer Complaints
The following are complaints from Lending Tree’s Deposit Accounts page. The average rating by 243 reviewers is just over one star; 198 gave a one-star review, only 16 people offered the neobank five stars.
A one-star comment posted on July 1, reads “Where Should I Begin?:”
So I have had numerous issues with chime the latest is a mobile deposit. Now this my problem I get a 1400 dollar check from the irs our government should be available quick, I deposited it at 1452 on Friday but since it was after 1400 the full amount of funds wouldn’t be available until June 1st, the little auto bot u can speak with says 200 will be available then the next business day the rest well that was false so it being Tuesday and after speaking with 5 different reps start at 7 am my time I’ve heard so many different answer yes sir the check has been accepted ok should be available soon…….now after the 5 reps lied I get supervisor number 1 at 1723 he tells me it will be available at 1809 so at 1820 I call back ask for supervisor this one says it will be in my account today ok so when today by the end of the day and sorry I can’t tell u a specific time. Wtf!!!!… I came to chime because like most Americans I live pay check to pay check and they advertise get your money up to 2 days faster once we have confirmation funds our coming we make it available then why the hell don’t I have my money its been approved and it’s from our government but you still havent given me a penny and when I asked this 2nd supervisor for her boss she told me know because he will say the same thing. I’m done with chime like I said this was just the latest issue and I can’t anymore so please trust a Marine when I tell you to stay far away from. Chime I mean run far away
On January 6, A five-star commenter wrote “Chime Had My Back:”
No one who chooses Chime as their bank has their life together. Let’s be honest here. We all chose Chime for multiple reasons; all of which include the zero fees.
If THAT was the sole reason why you picked it then everything you are complaining about is on you. Yes. The customer service is pretty awful. I mean, it’s not the worst… But not that much better. Yes. The limit on how much cash you can withdrawal is ridiculous. Over the summer I watched a friend of mine go into tears while trying to get out the money needed to buy a car within 48 hours before it was gone.
But we all knew what we signed up for. I have no problems with forgoing the perks of normal banking. And when I needed Chime the most they delivered. I fell pray to phish a few weeks back that wiped my account. Going into contacting Chime, I was fully prepared to having to suck that one up as a stupid mistake. Privacy with Chime is pretty much only as good as YOU make it, and I got really lazy about that. Chime came through without really any issues. It took a total of 10 days. I have another friend that went through a stolen card incident with a “legit” bank before my situation occurred and that person is still in the waiting process.
When I needed Chime the most, Chime was there for me. If you are that worried about if Chime is as good as a mainstream banking service then I’d suggest just go with the big bank. I rely on Chime for my needs and they deliver. That’s all I need. That metal Chime Credit Building card sure is a nice touch, though. I wanted it for the sturdiness, but the amount of compliments I get is really refreshing.
Many of the comments are filled with expletives and there are certainly more people who file grievances when they are unhappy. Randomly closing accounts for large deposits like those from the IRS or back pay for unemployment seems dishonest on one hand, but knowingly having thousands of dollars sent to an online banking system that does not require proof of identification does not seem like a sound option.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Lending Tree|Deposit Accounts: Chime Reviews
ProPublica: A Banking App Has Been Suddenly Closing Accounts, Sometimes Not Returning Customers’ Money; by Carson Kessler
ARS Technica: The Chime banking app has been closing accounts, not returning money; by Jim Salter
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of CafeCredit.com’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Cathy Milne-Ware