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Like others who filed reports, I was a heritage Sterling Bank customer since 1999. I was willing to give Comerica a chance after their merger and did so. I had three accounts (personal, money market, and corporate business accounts). However, I noticed since January, 2013, that (1) it took forever to make deposits from a remote carport terminal, (2) an employee wanted me to sign a blank form for receipt of ordered checks, (3) a branch manager took forever to come to a simple and common solution for a problem I had reordering checks, and (4) an assistant branch manager, refused to give me information about a tracking number for that order despite repeated statements that she would do so. I admit that on one occasion, there was an unfortunate confrontation with another customer that did not go down well with the assistant branch manager referred to in #4 who also chose to take sides in a matter that was none of her business.

And that is part of the problem with Comerica Bank. Branch manages and staff seem more interested in provoking confrontation and frustrating customers who they are supposed to serve than helping them.

On July 25, 2013, I wrote a letter to Mr. Downey Bridgwater, Houston Comerica Bank president, concerning the first two issues. I heard nothing until August 20, 2013, when I received a letter via FEDEX from the Vice President of Corporate Quality Process Department in Detroit (referred to below as VPC), informing me that effective August 29, 2013, Comerica would close the business account, and on August 30, 2013, Comerica would close both my personal and money market accounts and send me checks for any balance remaining in the accounts. I understand under Texas law, Comerica Bank (or any Texas bank) can close an account without stated cause.

I immediately opened new accounts at another bank and transferred the bulk of the money into the new accounts (checks were still outstanding). I also receive direct deposit annuity benefits. I contacted all annuity entities to change the account on record for direct deposit to my new bank account. All told me I called in time to make the changes.

On August 29, 2013, I emailed VPC and requested that Comerica close all three accounts immediately. An hour later, I received a telephone call from VPC asking me if I wanted to extend the closing date to September 3 so my annuity direct deposits would clear in time and not get lost. I explained that I had already made the necessary changes for transfer of direct deposits and to go ahead and close all the accounts immediately. He told me he would do so.

However, one of these entities slipped up and overnight on August 29, 2013, deposited my annuity stipend into the supposedly closed personal account. I therefore emailed VPC on August 30, 2013, and requested the account be closed immediately. He called back and agreed to do so, or so I thought. He even suggested I go to a branch bank and close the personal account in person. I declined that option.

Later, I emailed him on August 30, 2013, to provide him with my secure business address for sending any remaining amounts in all checking accounts.

In the late afternoon, I emailed VPC again on August 30, 2013, requesting he email me a tracking number for the balance that was to be sent to me. He telephoned me saying bank processing of the annuity deposit would require him to wait until September 3, 2013 to close the accounts and mail checks. He agreed to send the item to my office address, but instead, sent it to my home address. He also said he would call with a tracking number. I called him to account because he instructed me earlier to go to a branch office and close the account myself. Clearly there is a contradiction here. He did call with the tracking number on September 3, but the item did not leave Comerica’s Detroit office until September 4, 2013. Moreover, by extending the closing date from August 30 (as per his letter, a contract), Comerica extracted a bankers’ fee which likely was the real reason for their delayed closing

Summing it up, I’m left with the impression, perhaps mistaken, that Comerica Bank deals with customers with borderline bad faith, possible borderline breach of contact over the dates of closure, and possible borderline retaliation for having filed the original complaint letter. I can’t come up with any better explanation. Can any of you?

Monetary Loss: $16.

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