I was terribly wronged by BECU.org (previously known as The Boeing Employee’s Credit Union). I chose them because I thought they were trustworthy but in the end – it was a nightmare. Cheap isn’t always better and this is a perfect case, my case, of how I trusted this bank only to be ripped off in secret. If you are one of their members/customers, I hope this story is useful. It discusses my horrible experience but also details how other banks can easily rip you off without your knowledge.
I admit I was once a happy BECU customer. Even though they provide very little of a service (limited to no staff), their ATM service at the time was smooth for me and the price (free) was worth it. After years of service, BECU and I had a dispute with each other. I decided to close my account. I went into a BECU where actual bank tellers worked and went through the cancellation process. During this process, they review the account and make sure everything has cleared properly. My account was cleared and my funds were released to me by a cashier check. I had a renter at the time who decided to stop a check that was already cleared. I obviously didn’t have the BECU account anymore.
BECU decided to honor the stopped checked and attempt to collect from me. I informed them they made a terrible mistake as my account was reviewed and closed some time ago. I suggest they deny that request from the customer so they don’t lose any more money. If that renter had an issue they can talk to me directly or file a claim in small claims court. BECU didn’t take my advice and made a horrible decision. This decision cost them $1000’s of dollars.
A teller called me sometime later and I explained this again to them. They realized they made a poor decision but still wanted me to pay for their mistake. I declined. After an honest attempt to work with BECU regarding this financial matter, talks failed completely. It was just business and no one yelled or said profanities. It’s unfortunate their staff failed to research or even care about the issue at hand and eventually my hands are tied. It surely wasn’t my mistake.
BECU never pushed the issue again. I never was contacted again and never was put into collections or anything like that. From my end, I assumed they worked it out with the customer who attempted to place a stop on a check many weeks after it cleared. Again, no collection company attempted to collect the debt and it never appeared on my credit report.
BECU, however, has another weapon at its disposal. A weapon that many banks use is the ChexSystems. It is basically an internal credit report used just by the banking industry. It is different from your personal credit report. It is like an internal blacklist system for banks and if you attempt to go to another bank, you’ll be denied the ability to open a simple checking account with them. You don’t know you’ve been added to this blacklist either until you apply somewhere. BECU doesn’t notify you about this tool and even if they are legally wrong it doesn’t matter. There is no accountability except that you can go through the process after you’re denied at the bank you’re trying to open a new account with.
In my case, we had a disagreement over a financial issue thus making BECU angry at me. It was completely their error and they knew it. This anger and obvious disagreement with their practices resulted in me being added to the ChexSystems blacklist. Of course, they are laughing internally about this when they easily added me to it. As I said, there is no real oversight into being added to the list so it could be me or you anytime.
Their failure as a company and wrongful decision made me create this website about BECU Credit Union. I’m not a happy customer anymore and when you’re wronged for no reason, provided bad customer service, and then added to some blacklist of the banking industry – I simply won’t tolerate it. I cleared myself now from being on this CheckSystems blacklist, however, this website will remain forever.
This is my response. A website dedicated to the bad practices of BECU based on my opinion. This website is a non-commercial criticism website and protected under the 1st amendment. Read the disclaimer at the bottom of the website for more details if interested.
The World needs to be informed of bad banks like the BECU Credit Union who secretly have the ability, at their secretion, to blacklist you from the banking industry. BECU.org implements this practice under the cover of darkness without notifying the customer at all. It is a complete ripoff practice and most customers are completely unaware. They are not obligated to discuss it and they can simply add you to the list after a phone argument or disagreement. There is no warning or accountability with the procedure. In my case, I was added and not notified. They don’t need to bother with a debt collector use industry-standard credit bureaus like Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian. Honestly, why would you when they can just blacklist you completely from getting another checking account somewhere else? That is exactly what BECU did to me and I received no notice about their decision to do that.
This practice is horrible and their CEO Benson Porter must have some knowledge of this practice. According to their website, he has 25 years of experience in the business. It is quite funny reading their website and how they pretend to be so ethical under the roof of this so-called employee-owned “non-profit”. Read below about them paying zero in taxes yet they are one of the biggest banks in the country. It is a two-faced bank that advertises like they are helping the community yet behind the scenes they are ripping off the public. That has absolutely been my experience with them and their customer service.
Unsure if this is the great CEO of BECU Benson Porter calling these shots but if so they may want to consider a new replacement. Being at the top of this company he must be aware of this scam and how it operates. He obviously must be pushing the practice of the banking blacklist.
This credit union is well versed with lawsuits. In 2015, it was hit with a class-action lawsuit where they were overcharging customers’ fees related to ATM and overdrafts services. That is how they make their money. This was when their name was officially the “Boeing Employee Credit Union”. They obviously changed it BECU.org due to all the bad press and negative reputation this caused though they would probably never admit that. This class-action ruined their Google search reputation due to the media press and customer responses. The thing is the people are aware of your practices now BECU and unfortunately for you, we live in a digital age. People should share their reviews for every company so they are not taken advantage of. Customers now have a voice and it is easy to spread the word about bad companies when they feel ripped off. Everyone shares things online and customer experiences and first-hand criticism is real. Fix your practices and stop ripping people off J Benson Porter aka John Benson Porter.
If you love the non-profit BECU, then you should know that they continue to pay $0 in taxes. That is correct. Their business model was setup specifically for this reason in my opinion and clearly it is working for them. They continue to grow “all their members” and are now one of the biggest credit unions in the country, yet being a “non-profit” they can legally avoid paying federal income tax and state business and the occupation (B&O) tax. That sounds like a great community bank really helping the state to me. This company in my opinion is one of the worst. They are two faced saying they want to help the community and do so much for their members and yet don’t even pay their fair share when it matters the most. By the way, BECU in 2017 had $17 billion dollars in assets from 1.2 million customers. They even lie about the real name of their CEO. J Benson Porter is not his real name it is really John Benson Porter.
From my experience and from their online reputation built by customers leaving reviews, this company is a scam in my opinion. For all the reasons above and yet we keep them around to bully us and not contribute a cent back in taxes. They are a perfect example of a company abusing the system to rip people off. I am sure there are a lot of ex-customers like myself who have been ripped off by this company and their voices should be heard. The public must be made aware and perhaps another class action is needed to set the record straight about their banking practices.
We would love to hear about your experience with BECU.org and how you may have been ripped off. Obviously, noted above it is my opinion they are a horrible company that continues to promote bad practices. We’ve looked and seen many court cases related to the company suing it’s customers so if you have personal experience with them (good or bad) let me know and we’ll get it posted if you’re genuine. Your voice matters to protect our community from companies that rip people off. Take it from someone who once was a happy customer but has now seen the light.
** We also found out that J. Benson Porter real name is John Benson Porter. The BECU.org website is using a fake name trying to protect him in my opinion – why else would you use a fake name on your website and in public disclosure documents? It is not surprising a company like BECU would hide his name from the public because in my opinion, they are not honest. This is a clear example of that. The CEO is using a fake name and J. Benson Porter is not his real name!