Hurricane Sandy: Municipal Credit Union Hit by Complaints
“I'm a member and I'm stuck on Staten Island with no gas and no money due to MCU not crediting my account with a pension payment for direct deposit,” said a furious Municipal Credit Union Member Natasha Godby. “I see many others have had the exact same problem. See the comments on your site. This is horrible.”
More than 20 people identifying themselves as MCU members have posted angry, critical comments about New York-based Municipal Credit Union’s issues with failing to credit direct deposit checks to members’ accounts, no phone customer services, inoperable ATMs and problems with online banking.
Michael Mattone, a spokesperson for the $1.8 billion MCU, said the power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy shut down its main servers located at its headquarters at 22 Cortlandt St. in lower Manhattan, which still has no power, four days after the hurricane landed in southern New Jersey with devastating effect there and on New York City and Connecticut.
What’s more, MCU’s backup servers also were rendered useless because they are housed in New Jersey.
However, Mattone said the direct deposits are being manually processed by MCU employees and will be credited to members’ accounts Friday evening. Mattone could not give a specific time.
The direct deposit check issue affected 1,600 members, the credit union said. MCU has about 340,000 members.
“For those members who are in a traditional direct deposit cycle, meaning their direct deposit is made at the first of the month and the 15th of the month, the way we process the direct deposits is that we have the funds pending when we get the information from the respective agencies and it takes a day or two for that direct deposit to clear,” Mattone said. “Because our systems went down before the money was able to clear, the funds never showed that they were available to our members’ accounts and were still in the pending stage.”
MCU had generators delivered to their Cortlandt Street site to power up the servers that allowed employees to access the direct deposit information and manually process the direct deposit information to clear and post on members’ accounts.
“The latest update I received was that members should have their deposits by Friday evening, and we are working round the clock to get it done as fast as we possibly can,” Mattone said.
As far as members being charged overdraft fees, late fees or insufficient funds fees as a result of the direct deposit processing problem, Mattone said: “Our priority right now is getting the deposits cleared, and once we are done with this we will have our plans in action to assist members who had fee issues.”
Mattone said MCU’s phone service, outside of recordings telling members which branches are open for services, is not working because of the power outage. The credit union’s call center is at the Cortlandt Street site.
“With the limited power we have, we have dedicated our focus to getting all of those critical employees in to get our website up and running again, to clear all the payroll and direct deposit checks that haven’t been cleared, and to staff the branches to serve our members,” he said.
Mattone said MCU’s website and ATM are working.
“Any member who has signed up for online banking can do online banking. From my understanding, the ATM problem is a case-by-case basis,” Mattone said. “Members that had that problem one or two days ago don’t have that problem anymore.”
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 Freedom CU Offers Relief Loans
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 NCUA Says 118 CUs Affected
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 CUAid Crosses $82,000 Mark
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 Redwood CU Gathering Cross-Country Relief
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 CUANY Reaches Out, Lights On in Yonkers
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 New Jersey, Pennsylvania CUs Back Online
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 Flower Power: Florists’ CU Reaches Out
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 CUAid Crosses $65,000 Mark
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 CO-OP Notes Shared Branching Effects
- SANDY NEWS: Nov. 2, 2012 NJ CUs Continue Slow Recovery