Business, Development, News, People

Valued member? Not if you are in the 1099 economy

Last Friday morning I received an email that went…

Dear Valued Member,

You’ve been selected to participate in a member satisfaction survey for Lake Trust Credit Union.  As a member owned financial services institution, it’s extremely important to us to obtain feedback from you on your recent interaction. Your input will help us identify where we excel and where we can make improvements.

Image from EMSI

Oh the irony. Because as my friends, family and coworkers have by now heard on Thursday I had a very bad experience with my credit union.

The bottom line is that I left feeling anything but valued and I found myself feeling discriminated against. Because I am a member of the 1099 economy I am technically not on anyone’s payroll and thus do not receive a traditional paycheck.  I am also deeply disappointed that a lovely nearly 20 year relationship had soured so badly.


I used to be a raving fan of my credit union. Now I am just raving mad.

I had 30 minutes before my acupuncture appointment so I decided to stop by to make a deposit – thank you Nora at Detroit Community Acupuncture for being so understanding and for listening to my tale of woe upon my very tardy arrival!

My daughter was buying her very first new car, a Chevy Cruze, and I needed to deposit my paycheck (the check I receive every two weeks for work I do albeit on contract) so that I could transfer some money right away to help her out a bit with some of the extra fees.

After parking my car, holding the door for a very pleasant fellow Lake Trust member, I smiled at the others in line and waited patiently for my turn.  A couple other times this branch had held this check because it was not a “payroll” check. After the last go round that ended pleasantly enough, I did not think it would be an issue again. Same issuing bank account deposited by the same person more than 20 times this year to the same account I have had for nearly 20 years.

A very courteous teller took my ID and check. The snag occurred when she said that the money would be available to me in two days.  I asked her very nicely to please check with a manager and note that this is a check that I deposit at pretty regular two week intervals, that in fact it is my version of a paycheck and two days would cause a hardship.

She went away. Came back and said that because this check was deposited the last two times at the Credit Union Family Service Center instead of this branch, they had to hold the check.

I said that answer did not make sense to me since it should matter who issues the check and whether the check cleared, not where it was deposited that determined the hold. I asked her to please look to see how many times I have deposited a similar check and see how it has cleared each time. She went away again. Came back and said they had to hold the check because they had never heard of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, to which I said that too shouldn’t matter and then added that we must not being doing our job very well if she had not heard of it since this branch is right in downtown Detroit. I then politely asked to speak to a manager.

I waited for more than 15 minutes – feeling guilty as the line grew and one less teller was available as this young lady went looking high and low for a manager.

Finally nearly 20 minutes later I was led into an office by a manager. His attitude while controlled and soft spoken was supercilious. Usually I can find some common ground, some point of humor to help make my point and my complaint.

The bottom line?

He told me he had the power to hold any check he wanted to and that he had no clue what the Downtown Detroit Partnership was nor cared to and that he did not know me — so much for being a valued member.

I asked him why the reason for holding my check kept changing. He said it was their policy and that I should get direct deposit or checks that say payroll (maybe I should have run the check through my printer to put that on it?).  To which I asked doesn’t this seem like an out of date policy in an increasingly 1099 economy? And furthermore, since this is a member owned institution and I am nearly a 20 year member, that I was going to not only blog about my experience, I was going to work very hard to get this policy changed.

What I really wanted was an apology for the inconvenience and assurance that two weeks from now when a similar check gets deposited I won’t go through this same exercise again.

The final rub?  After making a scrawl on the check and stopping me from actually exiting the building in my by now flustered state, he mentioned to a teller that there should be no hold and then showed me to the back of the line where I waited again to deposit my check.

What do you think?  Have you had similar experiences? Do you feel discriminated against because you file a 1099 rather than a W2?

Thank you for letting me rant Detroit Unspun friends. Now that my blog is written and survey filled out, my next step is to contact the board and find out how to change the policy at this credit union that values me so highly not.

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3 comments on “Valued member? Not if you are in the 1099 economy

  1. I can so relate to this story. My situation wasn't with a credit union though, it was Comerica. The gals at our local credit union (bank we moved our funds to) have been so very sweet. Our funds are immediately available with the exception of a night deposit.

  2. Well, I don't have any advice for you, but very sorry that happened to you. You were undoubtedly treated rudely and unfairly considering the history of your depositing this same check for so long. Some people just like to exert their control over others, and it seems you ran into one such person. The arbitrary nature of his judgement comes shining through in the fact that he finally changed his mind once you threatened him with exposure. I have been a 1099 person and agree that contract workers will continue to grow, particularly in these economic times. So I applaud your efforts. I will say that I was shopping for a credit union, and will cross this one off my list. The fact that a a person like this has a leadership position at this credit union speaks to the culture of the place. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Rebecca I have now had two very apologetic phone calls from Lake Trust and have been told they are changing the policy because of some of the points I raised in the blog and also in the survey. I offered to write another blog if they in fact make good on this. I hope they do because I really want to love my credit union again!

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