Is ING Direct running credit checks on all of the customers for its innovative new “Electric Orange” online checking accounts — and booting the people who don’t meet its criteria? In the Smart Banking group, Wesabe user BillM reports that he was signed up for and got an ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, but then was told ING was closing his account based on his credit score:
I received an e-mail from ING yesterday at 4pm informing me that they had obtained my credit score from a consumer reporting agency and had decided to close my Electric Orange account and reduced my overdraft line of credit to $0. […] They had made a decision and had no intention of reversing it, despite the fact that their major pitch in advertising the Electric Orange account was that they would not, in their own words, “Ding your credit with an inquiry”. […]
I got another representative who explained that the institution had recently decided to exercise its right under the disclosure agreement and run credit checks across the board. I assume they decided that they had openened themselves up to a great deal of financial risk by giving everyone who opened an account an open ended $165 line of credit. […]
I have closed my ING accounts and transferred my money to an institution that treats its customers with a little more respect and courtesy than what they afforded me in this situation. I doubt that my little piece of business will make much of a dent in their profitable operation, but I feel an obligation to let everyone know about what I consider to be a dirty, underhanded trick.
The whole thread is well worth a read if you’re considering an Electric Orange account.
ING Direct has long boasted about its policy of “firing” customers in order to keep their costs low. They argue that this allows them to provide better value for the customers that fit its model, while cycling out those that don’t. I’m perfectly fine with any company saying that they do or do not offer a product or service, and it certainly makes sense for a business to focus on their specific products or offerings rather than trying to be all things to all people. But, I think it’s downright dumb to talk about how you’re “firing” your customers (see also here and here for more examples of their anti-marketing), and in BillM’s report, it seems positively underhanded to accept a customer, run a credit check on them after claiming you won’t, and then to boot them unilaterally. That’s a recipe for making people unhappy.
Has anyone else been affected by this?