Time’s Up

It’s Christmas eve (at least it was when I started typing).  If you haven’t wrapped up your Christmas shopping by now, there’s no hope.  Most stores are closed, and of the ones that are still open … well, nobody wants that Imitation Designer Perfume / Cologne from the 24-hour truck stop, no matter how cheap the price.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Earlier today I completed my trek up to parts north to spend the holiday with family.  As I’m typing this in front of a roaring (gas-powered) fireplace, a dog of intriguing lineage has decided I’m her best friend.  She’s pretending to sleep right now, but every few minutes she inches closer and wedges herself in as close as she can.  I just finished off the last piece of homemade poppy seed roll while watching the season’s final three episodes of Dexter.  Life is good.

2009 has been an amazing roller coaster of a year.  For starters, floor9.com moved a little further from covering nightlife and a little more towards consumer interests.  I called out Privado for printing full, unmasked credit card numbers on their receipts (a practice which they have since corrected).  Circuit City went under and tried to take us all with them through unethical, anti-consumer behavior.  Metro Bank Harrisburg … don’t even get me started (although the story did earn me a link from The Consumerist).  The state decided not to pay 70,000+ state workers for weeks on end.

And then … I ran out of steam.  Don’t get me wrong — lots of other interesting and significant things happened in 2009.  I just didn’t have the momentum to cover them all.  I honestly think I’ve put forth more blog posts this year than I have at any point in the last seven years of floor9.com, and I’m only now starting to recharge.

And now it’s Christmas.  I’m exhausted from a day of shuffling presents around.  We polished off the last of the traditional Christmas Eve made-from-scratch pizza hours ago.   The though of spending the next 12 hours sleeping is awesome.

Merry Christmas* to all.  I doubt I’ll update again in 2009, but I do want to thank you all for being here.  The massive readership over the summer has been, if nothing else, therapeutic towards the shared causes so many of us took up.  And the gigantic spike I saw after the last post let me know a ton of you are still here.  Be safe, and see you in 2010!

* – To avoid offending the fragile sensitivities of Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / et al listeners:  “Please partake in and/or observe an adequate non-secular event”.

Metro Bank Harrisburg: The Response, Again

For the past ten days, former Commerce Bank customers have been experiencing — and documenting — epic levels of frustration over the bank’s badly-botched changeover to Metro Bank (Central PA). What has happened is a painful lesson in why every business needs to not only employ talented PR professionals, but remain in a constant two-way dialogue with its employees.  Comments from employees and/or alleged employees posted here run the gamut from the apologetic to the obscene, with most leaning towards the latter.

And I’m not the only one who noticed.

Since the first post ten days ago, the Metro Bank reviews have been read just over 12,000 times and clocked in just shy of 200 comments.  Search engine terms like “Metro Bank Harrisburg” and “Metro Bank complaints” (and my personal favorite, “Metro Bank sucks”) brought in just under 800 views.  Referrals from media outlets such as PennLive and The Consumerist brought in 2715 views.  While it is impossible to say exactly how many unique individuals viewed the site, those numbers alone are staggering.

Continue reading Metro Bank Harrisburg: The Response, Again

Metro Bank Harrisburg: A Review

As the first week of Metro Bank Harrisburg (formerly Commerce Bank) draws to a close, I’m still hearing from people who are having trouble with their bank accounts.  If your problems haven’t yet been fixed, or if you experience any strange account “changes”, please follow the complaint information documented above.

A lot of alleged Metro Bank employees have been contributing to this series.  Some good, some bad.  A number of other bloggers, podcasters, journalists, and Tweeps have been linking and re-linking to this site, which has driven my traffic through the roof.  As of 12:30am on Friday 6/19/09, over 4600 hits have come in on the Metro Bank posts alone.  I don’t know Metro Bank’s customer tally, but 4600 customers or potential customers is certainly a noteworhty amount.  So a big “thank you” to everyone who’s been helping to bring attention to this matter!

Continue reading Metro Bank Harrisburg: A Review

Having Problems With Metro Bank?

I just got off the phone with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.  They called me back in reference to the complaint I filed yesterday.  They are responding in a very pro-consumer manner to this mess and are very interested in what you have to say.

If your Metro Bank account is not straightened out as of right this instant, please contact the PA Department of Banking immediately using this link. As always, remember to remain calm and professional.  We’re all frustrated and angry (and rightfully so), but remember that the Dept of Banking is here to help you.  They have the power to set things right, and if that can’t be done, they have the power to punish Metro Bank.

UPDATE: As of 6/19/09, Metro Bank’s CEO is stating that the “glitches” have been fixed and everything is back to normal.  Interestingly, he’s also stating that affected customers are being contacted by phone or email to let them know what happened.  This is a dramatic change from earlier in the week, when they attempted to sweep their issues under the rug with silence.  It’s pretty obvious that Metro Bank’s change in attitude is a direct result of the avalanche of negative PR that’s kept them buried all week.  While it’s good to see them finally starting to take responsibility for their poor planning and poor execution, it’s disturbing that they regarded “give customers the silent treatment” as their best option.

UPDATE #2: As of 7/5/09, commenters are still reporting problems with Metro Bank.  By now, all problems should have been resolved (actually, they should have been resolved by June 13th, but that obviously didn’t happen).  If you are still having trouble, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Banking immediately.  And while you’re at it, consider switching to a bank that knows how to treat its customers.