August 4, 2010
As discovered elsewhere, Hubert apparently keeps your $5 "membership share" if you close your account within 1 year. I checked with them and they confirmed this, and indicated they will be "clarifying" the website.
Personally, I don't find this completely unreasonable - big banks charge $15-20 if you close an account with 90 days, for instance. Given their perky, no-fee branding though, I'm not sure exactly why they'd bother - I would think the number of quickie closers would be small enough to just write off the costs, instead of getting a fairly trivial amount of extra revenue.
But aside from that, the apparently complete lack of disclosure is incredibly sloppy, to say the least. I've wandered around the site extensively, and couldn't find any mention of this. But there are a couple of places that specifically state that the share is "fully refundable", and a FAQ stating that "Hubert is 100% fee-free".
I wouldn't beat them up too badly over this, but perhaps we could force them to spend a day with Ralph Nader as punishment...
July 13, 2011
Just to clarify...
The Hubert $5 membership fee IS refundable, however, share redemption follows Sunova's policy. This simply means that request for redemption is made once a written request for account closure is received. Pending approval from the board of directors, payments (ie: your share) are forwarded to members the following quarter. While not immediate, all shares are returned (without incurring any fees as Hubert is fee-free) to the member when and if memberships are closed.
As well, the Hubert Happy Savings Account rate is 2.5%. It was originally 2.25%, but was increased earlier this summer and has remained there ever since!
I hope that helps clear things up.
Hubert Financial & Sunova Credit Union
August 4, 2010
In Vanessa's reply to me, she indicated that when you request account closure, they "forward a confirmation sheet for the form", and after you sign it you can email it instead of snail mail. You apparently get a $5 cheque after the next quarterly board meeting. There's no way a Hubert customer (actual or potential) could figure any of this out with confidence from what's on the site, even as newly modified.
I realize they've cobbled this together on top of their existing Sunova share redemption procedures - those members have significant ongoing share purchase requirements ($25 to start and $2.50 a month). But it must be a headache for them as well to do this processing and produce a $5 cheque. Would there have been something preventing the agreement to close acting as authorization for Hubert to retain the share? They then could "advance" $5 into the closing proceeds, and settle their share books at their convenience. Much less Rube-Goldbergeresque...
I notice that Accelerate provides a "complimentary" $5 share to new accounts, and keeps it when you close out. This seems a much more elegant way of doing it (although I wouldn't be surprised if the $5 is actually debited from and eventually recredited to your own money behind the scenes, to avoid an unpaid-for share). Anyone know how Achieva/Outlook/MAXA handle this?
December 12, 2009
I have to admit I am dismayed at the misinformation about Hubert being thrown around.
The rate remains at 2.5%. It has not been lowered back to 2.25%.
Further, as Vanessa has stated, the $5 share is fully refundable but requires approval of the Board of Directors which can only happen quarterly, hence it is not instant. Even if it were not refundable though, I'd have no problem with this. People shouldn't open and close accounts in the same year. Plain and simple. End of story.
Let's stop making mountains out of mole holes here, please.
August 4, 2010
I'm not sure if Doug's comments were directed at me, but I have a significant 5-figure amount parked at Hubert currently, so obviously I rather like them! I think they would be pleased that when their own systems seem to show a rate reduction, my first assumption isn't that they have deficient proofing procedures. And there was sufficient potential for confusion about account closing and the share that a customer got the impression of a 1-year period when apparently there isn't anything of the sort.
Personally, my only frustrations about Hubert are where its deficiencies aren't intentional, and could have been avoided with very small investments of planning or effort (having to enter account information for outgoing transfers, for instance). In isolation, having such a convoluted process for $5 is ridiculous. Sunova's share redemption policy is not ridiculous, but it's reasonable to put the onus on Hubert unless a workaround is either impermissible for regulatory reasons, or imposes an undue burden. Accelerate's example seems to indicate neither is true.
The only way to prevent or fix "infelicities" (for nice companies like Hubert; "stupidities" for horrors like cellphone plans) is to engage. In most cases it isn't worth the bother; my going to the trouble is in a way a vote of confidence for Hubert...