Just a quick note to report on Emigrant Savings Bank’s total incompetence when it comes to running an online bank. If you’re not familiar with Emigrant, I’ll just say that they run a relatively popular online bank known as Emigrant Direct. And as I mentioned previously, Emigrant Direct went offline this past Friday, July 21st at 5:00 PM EST to roll out a new website, promising to this morning (Monday, July 24th) at 9:00 AM EST.
Well, reader reports began trickling this morning saying that the site still wasn’t accessible even though it was well past 9:00 AM EST. When I checked around 11:00 AM EST, the site was up, but I couldn’t try logging in because I didn’t have my new access code with me (they sent this to all customers via snail mail). However, a number of other readers reported that the site was timing out or otherwise non-responsive.
I just checked and, as of 5:00 PM EST — fully eight hours after they promised to be back online — the site is still down. So… If the hubbub over Emigrant Direct’s funds availability policy didn’t give you pause, their inability to remain online certainly should. You make the call… Poor planning, or a sign of troubled bank? While they’re FDIC insured, BankRate.com recently lowered their saftey rating to two stars.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Emigrant Direct, you might want to consider going with HSBC Direct or ING Direct ($25 account opening bonus available here).
Update: Looks like Emigrant Direct is back up, at least for me. Click through to get my first initial impressions of their new interface.