Pros:Decent hours of operation, basic banking functions
Cons:EVERYTHING has a fee attached to it and their online banking system just doesn't work
The Bottom Line: Decent, but really, you can do better!
Perhaps I have been spoiled over the years. I grew up with my little savings account in our local bank, and only within the past several years did I open a Provident account because they have better hours and are on my way home from work (actually, my branch is in a grocery store, but I don't shop during the day so that doesn't matter). But here's where I get spoiled by the mom and pop I'd been used to dealing with.
First of all, they charge you $1 to look up your account number if you don't happen to have it with you. Call me old fashioned, but don't the tellers get paid to access your account and help you out? I don't enjoy memorizing random eight digit numbers, nor do I like to carry my bank account numbers around with me. So you can't just go to the bank on a whim... you have to PLAN to go to the bank, and make sure everything is filled out correctly because they'll charge you for that too.
Provident also has problems taking international cheques. Now, I'm not even talking about, say, a cheque in Canadian dollars, but American dollars drawn on a foreign bank. It's totally legal, every other bank can do it, but mine are always deposited without a problem, then systematically removed a week later for now apparent reason. So every time I deposit a cheque drawn on a foreign bank, I have to call them and tell them to put it back after it disappears, and they can never explain where it goes or why they do it.
As for service, my branch is fairly busy no matter when you go, so there's always a line. Lines are fine, but when you do get to a teller, you'd like them to be a little nicer. You know, "hello" goes a long way (yes, I've tried saying it first, with mixed results).
The website worked fine to access my account at first, but conveniently my password no longer works, and customer service and my local branch refuse to answer my inquiries. Hmm.
Generally, I guess they are what you'd expect a mid-sized bank to be. This isn't a Bank of America by any means (in terms of size), but the store where I work uses BoA, and I'm considering switching my personal accounts over to them too because frankly they're just plain nicer and they don't try to screw you over (as much). Provident was nice when I was 16 and needed a checking account (yeah, I know, strange huh?), but I've pretty much outgrown their small time dealings and lofty fees.
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