Pennsylvania Budget Impasse ’09: Part II

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

An anonymous source just forwarded me a very interesting email concerning Pennsylvania’s threat to require its employees to work with delayed pay.  While it’s already been fairly well established that federal labor law will apply, our Governor and our legislature seem to think that it does not.  I can not fathom why they would put Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in civil damages by breaking the law.

At any rate, the US Department of Labor — the federal agency tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act — seems to disagree with them.  And Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (469 U.S. 528 (1985)), decided almost a quarter century ago, says that government workers are, in fact, protected by the FLSA.

Continue reading Pennsylvania Budget Impasse ’09: Part II

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.

Metro Bank Harrisburg – Complaints

I’ve been getting a ton of traffic and support over Metro Bank’s ongoing customer service issues.  In this post I’m going to talk about how to file a complaint and get results.  But first, I’d like to help:

My site is currently getting thousands of hits every day from Metro Bank customers.  If you work for a bank or credit union and you’re offering any sort of special incentive for Metro Bank customers to jump ship, send me your contact information and details on your promotion.  I’ll post all the offers within a day or two.  I’m willing to do this for free, and in fact, I will not accept any compensation of any kind.

From the comments here and elsewhere, the most common problems users are reporting are:

Continue reading Metro Bank Harrisburg – Complaints

Metro Bank Responds

PREFACE:  Someone commented on my last post pointing out that the employees of Metro Bank are being yelled at and treated poorly.  I spent almost ten years working in retail and retail management, and I am very well aware of how abusive customers can be.  I always make it a point to be calm and rational towards the employees, even when they’re not treating me the same.

My last post on Metro Bank got pretty popular pretty quickly.  Barely 24 hours after posting, it already has over 500 reads and 33 comments. With a little help from The ConsumeristThe Patriot-News, podcasts, multiple forums, other blogs, and some other frustrated Metro Bank customers, the post has cleared over 1000 reads in 30 hours! more than 3300 readers in less than three days! Thanks, guys!

Two of the commenters describe themselves as Metro Bank employees.  One of them (“Shannon”) did not come out and say “I am an employee of Metro Bank”, and as such, she may very well be some non-Metro Bank employee who happens to say things like “we are doing everything we can”.  Here’s the direct link to the first comment; you can see the other two from “Shannon” immediately after the first.  In fact, let me save you the trouble.  Here are all three comments from “Shannon”, in their complete form:

Continue reading Metro Bank Responds