About a month ago, someone walked into a TCF Bank here in the Chicago area, forged my name (rather poorly, I might add), and walked away with $5000 of my money. The story here isn’t the lack of security at the bank - although that is frightening enough - but the way in which TCF has played hardball with me in every matter concerning the investigation of the missing money. (Keep in mind, I’m just a college kid who was counting on using that money to pay for things like rent & books.)
1.) On the day I reported the money missing, I contacted the branch and filed a police report. (10/23/99) The police later contacted TCF, but the bank stated that it would not answer any questions until it had done its own investigation. The detective assigned to the case said that “As long as the bank gives you your money back, then they have that right.” The money hasn’t yet been returned, but the story gets better.
2.) Despite working my way up to the VP level of the bank, I was given the runaround for nearly three weeks. No one could tell me anything concerning the investigation, only that legally they could “hold my money from 30-90 days.” Last Friday, I printed up some flyers calling the security of the bank and its response into question, and proceeded to distribute them outside a Jewel supermarket (the branch in question was located inside.) Not surprisingly, the managers of the branch and the supermarket called the police, who in turn reminded the two that I was standing on public property and free to do what I wished. (11/12/99)
3.) Later that day, the manager of the bank called me into the branch. There,I was informed that the investigation had been “held up” because of required paperwork that hadn’t been filled out. One of the forms was a waiver that released TCF Bank from any and all claims related to my missing money. I refused to sign this form, even though they threatened that the investigation would not continue unless I did.
4.) I filed a complaint with an agency that oversees federal banks, but they informed me that registering a complaint with them could take upwards of six weeks. (Jeez, that’s speedy of them, isn’t it?) My only recourse in this avenue seems to via the courts, but any legal matter would tie up my money even longer. Regrettably, this path may be the option I am forced to take.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to be the worst PR for TCF Bank that I can possibly be. I’ve printed more flyers to hand out personally, and have contacted the Chicago Tribune and local TV News investigative teams. The paper and networks haven’t called me back as of yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If any of you could spare some advice in this kind of matter, I’d greatly appreciate it.