ING Holds Ex-Netbank Customer's Money Hostage

Mr. Kuhlman,

My request couldn’t be more simple: I would like to have a check cut and mailed to me for the balance that was in the account. Instead, I have spent a month and a half dealing with customer service who don’t seem empowered to perform what I consider to be an incredibly simple business transaction. Somehow, my business account was converted to a personal account and listed under a previous personal address. To make matters worse, that address was somehow entered wrong, so I never received a mailed ‘pin’ that I need to ‘verify’ my account in order for action to be taken.

On top of all of this, I’ve encountered highly rude and unprofessional staff at the manger level, such as Karen Gilbertson in the Los Angeles office, who, not only do not seem to possess the ability to follow through with a request, but they simply do not even pretend to care. Considering what I’ve read online of glowing reviews regarding ING Direct’s customer service, this is not what I would have expected.

Again, my incredibly simple request is to have my funds mailed to me, at the business address listed on my Netbank account, as soon as humanly possible.

Jason N

Wow, the possibility of records getting botched after two different computer systems merge? Unpossible! Arkadi Kuhlmann is the President and CEO of ING DIRECT.

In a video on their website, Arkadi says he wants to convince us that doing a transaction with ING DIRECT is, “as easy a transaction as you have buying and enjoying a cup of coffee.” Well, if that’s true, then for Arkadi buying a cup of coffee must involve getting in a multiple day argument with low-level staff and a supervisor, only to be told that you can’t have any coffee.

According to its website,, the other address this complaint was mailed to, is a way to send your messages to him (more likely, his personal secretary).

Hopefully ING, which assumed all of Netbank’s accounts when it went under, will come to its senses and let Jason have his own money.

If the email fails, there’s always ye olde EECB, Executive Customer Service, and Faxing For Dollars.

(Photo: Chris Crisman)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MercuryPDX says:

    They took over either Sharebuilder or Symetra right in the middle of my 401K transfer and it made the process very awkward and a month longer than it had to be.

  2. startertan says:

    I have an ING account. I hope this tale of Customer Service or lack thereof is an isolated incident.

  3. iEddie says:

    @mercurypdx: That was Sharebuilder.

  4. Cowboys_fan says:

    I can’t think of an easier way to “Save your money”!

  5. motoraway says:


    You save it because you cannot access it to spend it! Go Packers :D

  6. crazyflanger says:

    ING keeps using my cat’s litter box. With out my cat’s permission. DAMN THEN!

  7. warf0x0r says:

    I was just about to open an ING Savings account. Think I’ll double check all my options before proceeding.

  8. Crim Law Geek says:

    Contact the FDIC. A bank holding your money without letting you access it is something the frown on.

  9. Islandkiwi says:

    I’m an ING Savings customer and I’ve never had a problem, but I’ve never tried to remove all the money before. It is a Savings account, after all.

  10. darkened says:

    @warf0x0r: I recommend a citibank Universal Savings Account (check their website) it has over a 4% APR and is free with no balance requirements. Their checking account is also free if you keep a balance of $1k/2k or if you set up direct deposit or if you make 2 qualifying bill payments using their service (costless) a month (electric/gas/phone similar bills).

  11. Dan25 says:

    Why were they holding your money? It doesn’t make a differance weather it is a personal account or business. The OP is leaving something out of his story…

  12. ShortBus says:

    A little light on the details, eh? Os is this still sufficient to round up the Consumerist posse and start our calls for boycott?

  13. RustysNailed says:

    I have a checking account with ING Direct, and the customer service has been great, despite my having little to no actual money

  14. GearheadGeek says:

    @Dan25: You didn’t read all that was posted. When ING transferred in the guy’s Netbank account, they screwed up the data (or Netbank did) and created the ING account with a prior email address, that was not even entered correctly. They sent his PIN to set up access to his account to that bad address, so he can’t get to his money the “normal” way, and they’re not being helpful about fixing their error.

  15. GearheadGeek says:

    @ShortBus: I think there are enough details in the email to make it fairly clear. ING is screwing up in this guy’s case, and I’m sure he’s pissed (especially since it’s a business account.) I haven’t heard of similar problems with created-at-ING accounts (some of my money is there, so I hope there aren’t such reports I haven’t heard!)

  16. ExtraCelestial says:

    ING is fantabulous. I have both a checking and savings account with them and theyre prompt, courteous, and extremely professional. I’ve had a few above-and-beyond type experiences with them. I’ve NEVER been more happy about a company making money off of me. This is DEFINITELY an isolated event. And no I don’t work for them they just make my life 1000x easier.

    ING has the same with no checking account limit, over 3% apr (for the checking over 4% for savings), and cash back for using credit. I randomly made 10 bucks last month from just signing my name.

  17. Dan25 says:

    @GearheadGeek: Still makes no sense because he walked into an ING branch. He could have easily presented an ID (which im sure he did) and that would waive any need for his PIN. I work in banking (not for ING) and this makes makes me wonder what he is leaving out… especialy since people are always raving about how great ING is. He doesn’t even state the reason for the branch manager declining his transaction. I can garuntee you that people forget or lose their PIN all the time, not to mention move and not inform their bank of the new address. And as for the account conversion, if he was a signer on that business account, and it got converted to a personal (while it may be inconvinient) it should not make a differance if he is making a withdrawal as long as he has transaction authority. Even in the extreme case of his ‘personal’ account showing that the only signer was ‘name of business’, that can easily be resolved by providing the branch with the ficticious name license or corporate resolution. There are some very significant details being left out, i assure you.

  18. padams89 says:

    I have incredible confidence in ING overall based upon my experiences with them as both a savings and checking customer. On probably three total occasions they have made some sort of error or I have to file a chargeback on a merchant. In all situations although I have been frustrated they have been quick to resolve it to my satisfaction. I sincerely hope this does not signal the start of the decline of ING’s excellent (at least it was) customer service.

  19. Thorny says:

    Yet when security measures are not in place, we get pissed when people steal our money.

    It depends on the day, but sometimes I appreciate the hoops we have to jump through because that means someone trying to defraud me would have to jump through the same hoops and might just give up.

    On other days, I just want me money, bitch.

  20. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Fuck the Pack!
    The Bears beat them, TWICE!
    I hate cheese & cheeseheads!

  21. GearheadGeek says:

    @Dan25: I didn’t read it as stating that he was physically in the “cafe” in LA. If in fact he was there with ID, they should’ve been able to resolve the issue and I’d probably have been hauled out by police for refusing to leave until they provided me with a check. I thought he was talking with someone in that office on the phone, the article isn’t very specific.

    I agree that it should certainly be easier than this. ING knows my home address in addition to my email address and should be able to fix a problem like that by mail with a signed document in less time than this has taken him. It’s entirely possible that he’s leaving out some important detail, something they want that he thinks he shouldn’t have to provide, etc. He’s not likely to tell us the truth if he’s not really making the effort to drive it to a resolution with ING either. If he were really concerned, I’d think he would’ve contacted the FDIC a few weeks ago. I would.

  22. hardcle says:

    If it’s a checking account why doesn’t he just write a check and deposit it into whatever account he wants?

  23. “as easy a transaction as you have buying and enjoying a cup of coffee.”

    There’s that funny word “enjoy” again.

    There must be some marketing textbook that says “enjoy” is a magical codeword that bypasses people’s conscious mind and goes to work making your product or service seem better, as long as you use it enough in your ads.

  24. gregne says:

    I had a horrible time with ing customer service on a netbank mortgage issue…so after an exhaustive search i found a direct line to CEO Arkadi Kulhman. I spoke with his secretary (Barb) and to my surprise she put me right through to him. He was very helpful. Direct number for Barb is 302-255-3005.

  25. 8abhive says:

    ING has branch offices? I assumed this was a problem with telephone/email customer service.

    Yes, a very small town.

  26. veernet says:

    I was a Netbank customer and got transitioned into ING after the buyout. My experience has been torture as well. There seems to be a big difference between the experience of ex-Netbank customers and pure-ING customers. Let me clear up a few misconceptions: ING does not have any branches, and does not allow one to write paper checks.

    ING has not handled the transition well, to say the least. A better thing would have been for ING not to have said “Do Nothing – just sit tight and wait until your account is converted.”

    Instead, a more appropriate message would have been “Wake up. Your Netbank accounts are going to go away in a week. You will not have access any Netbank records. Do the following at a minimum:
    1. Download your statements and all records from Netbank.
    2. Open corresponding ING accounts.
    3. Move your money.
    4. Move your payee records.
    5. Set up recurring payments in ING.
    If you wait for us to do these things, you will be screwed.”

  27. Dan25 says:

    @veernet: ING has atleast 2 branches in the LA area, one downtown and one in the Encino area. I believe the OP mentioned he visited the one in downtown LA.

  28. 24-7 says:

    I’ve had a similar experience with ING. They still have my money hostage, and they keep on making me jump through loopholes to be able to withdraw it (they seem to have forgotten it’s MY money). Their customer service is a disgrace. ING sucks.

  29. darina says:

    ING’s customer service representatives have the IQ of George W. Bush. Unless you want to spend weeks talking to morons (who seem to be deaf as well) trying to solve every minor problem with your account, don’t ever do business with ING.

  30. Anonymous says:

    ING agent lied about our coverage.
    Said we would not have to pay the
    policy fee for 6 months if we lost our job.
    That happened, an they are not allowing
    the payment-lapse.
    We were lied to, and no one in the corporate
    offices has been the least bit helpful.
    Three-Plus months have gone by since we
    signed, and we still have no Policy, an no follow-up from the
    agent. A call to him from last week….still un-returned.