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Overnight glitch leaves Commerce Bank customers in financial limbo

Posted: 9:56 PM, Nov 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-08 23:40:08-05
Commerce Bank payday issues.png

For many workers, Friday equals payday — and that's generally a good thing, unless you were a Commerce Bank customer this week.

Commerce customers were up in arms Friday after the bank experienced a direct-deposit issue during nightly processing.

"We encountered an unexpected system issue," Commerce said in a vague explanation for the hiccup posted to Twitter.

The explanation did little to placate riled up customers.

"That's all everyone cares about is the money ...," Commerce Bank customer Raven Bunn said. "Excuse my language, but I almost (pooped) my pants, because, I mean, it's payday and you expect your money to be there. My money wasn't there."

She wasn't the only one feeling the ripple effects from the overnight glitch.

Stephanie Dickerson has banked with Commerce for more than 13 years and made four separate attempts to deposit her husband's paycheck Friday before getting the transaction to go through.

"We have family in from Maine, so it's cut into our busy schedule," Dickerson said. "They're leaving tomorrow, so ... this day was really jacked up, because it took away our precious time with family."

Perhaps the biggest issue, though, was Commerce's failure to notify customers directly of the problem.

"I didn't know if it was Commerce or my work or what it was ...," Bunn said. "I didn't hear a thing from the bank and I tried to call. ... No answer. This is very inconvenient for a lot of people."

The deposit issue wasn't resolved until around 4:30 p.m. and it was after 8 p.m. before Commerce said mobile and online banking systems were "fully operational" again.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience; we know this has created challenges for our customers," Commerce said in a statement.

But what options do customers who experience similar issues have?

"Whenever you have a problem with your bank, being proactive is the best thing you can do," Michael Rapp , a fair credit attorney with Stecklein and Rapp. "Notifying whoever is going to be withdrawing money from your account, notifying the bank that's actually holding your money or should be holding your money, letting them know early and often there's an issue and it's obviously not your fault."

Documentation is key according to Rapp, so keeping track of phone calls, emails back and forth, conversations with customer service, and saving screenshots are the best practice to protect yourself, Rapp said.

"Ultimately the best thing you can do is just be proactive ... and hope that it doesn't actually cause you any real harm," he said.

According to Rapp, banks have a duty to take care of their customers and to treat them fairly and honestly.

If they create conditions which cause harm to their clients, there is a possibility of liability, which has different consequences depending on the amount and severity of damages.

Customers who were impacted are asked to call Commerce Bank's customer care center at 1-877-278-1744 for assistance.