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SHOWN TO THE RIGHT, ARE THE CONTENTS OF THE 11/27/12 LETTER SIGNED BY PRIORITY ONE CREDIT UNION PRESIDENT, CHARLES R. WIGGINGTON, SR. IN COMPLIANCE TO THE TERMS OF SETTLEMENT AGREED TO BY THE CREDIT UNION AND A MEMBER WHO SUED THE CREDIT UNION, ALLEGING THEIR WILLFUL VIOLATION OF THE PRIVACY ACT.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Choosing Not to be Proactive

 Inland Counties Postal Credit Union

We received a comment from a reader using the handle, KayO, concerning the 2006 merger between Inland Counties Postal Credit Union ("Inland Counties") and Priority One ("Priority One"0 Credit Union. KayO writes:

KayO wrote:


The only one hurt in the merger was Inland Counties Postal Credit Union.Instead of using XP system to do the conversion, they chose to do it by inputting all accounts and information, thus saving $50,000. BIG BIG mistake.


Pertinent information was left off accounts such as joint owners, telephone numbers, loans just to name a few. Debit card where issued and to activate them, the member was to call from their home number. Unable to activate, as no phone number [appeared] on the system. Their old debit card from Inland had been shut down on Friday. So they were unable to access their funds. Checks were issued with out the joint members name on them, as this information is taken from the system. Retirement, Social Security and other direct deposits were not posted to account because they had not been set up correctly. The deposits were rejected and Priority made no effort to correct the rejections. They just sat back and waited until the member called wanting to know where their money was or checks had been returned because the funds were not in there account. Loans were delinquent because the transfers where not made due to funds not in their account. Late notices were sent and calls made to members. Priority One took a loss of over $60,000. due to all the errors they made in the merger.

All because they want to save $50,000 You should ask them how many accounts they lost over the merger from Inland Counties CU. This is just the tip is the iceberg of the problems that Inland Counties members suffered during the merger not to mention what their employees.

I hope NCUA does something about the board (who wanted to get paid a monthly salary, which is against the Regs) I guess they forget they are VOLUNTEERS ( UNPAID WORKERS) as described in the dictionary. They are just in it for themselves and what they can gain.

KayO is correct. Priority One could have used XP2 to transfer records for all members of Inland Counties Postal Credit Union into it's own database but it chose not to do so as a means by which save thousands of dollars. There is a difference between being cost-effective and being frugal. 
 At Priority One, there is clearly an imbalance between what is spent on member service, business development and marketing and what is spent by President Wiggington on indulging his wants, i.e. flying first class versus coach, authorizing large amounts spent on trips for Directors and Supervisors to allegedly attend educational junkets, etc. 

The decision to manually input member records into the credit union's database ignored the possibility of potential human error and as it turned out, human error was indeed the cause of the debacle which proved a public relations nightmare for a credit union continually immersed in scandals. 

Exacerbating the failure to transition Inland Counties' member records into Priority One's database was the fact that President Wiggington chose not to respond to the incident in either a timely or effective manner. When he was advised that Inland Counties' members could not access their accounts, they could not use their VISA check cards and that scheduled BillPay payments had not been processed, he ordered that his staff only respond to members who actually called the credit union. His directive ignored the fact that the issue affected all accounts of all Inland Counties members. He failed to be proactive and demonstrated he had no concern for members and the tremendous inconvenience they were subjected to. 

And though we understand KayO's hope that the NCUA will choose to conduct an investigation of Priority One Credit Union, historically, it often takes a lot to move any government department to initiate corrective measures. 

The President's refusal to act proactively aggravated an already serious incident and as a result, many former Inland Counties' members closed their accounts. Furthermore, the chronically obtuse Board of Directors did not delve into the matter nor did they hold the President responsible for failing to respond quickly and effectively. Maybe a body of volunteer Directors is at the root of Priority One's growing problems. After all, in life you get what you pay for. 


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3 comments:

CU Prezz said...

Wiggington and his gang of henchmen should be terminated for gross mismanagement, plain and simple.

Most of the Board of Directors are only interested in lining their pockets with perks, free meals and junkets. A greedy grooup if there ever was one.

KayO said...

I would like to thank John for bring these major problems to the attention of NCUA and others. Again Thank You. I would like to add that the $60,000 plus could have been resolved with some researh. But Wiggington found it easy to just write it off and blame Inland Counties CU. It appears that Wiggington has a blame complex. It is never his fault, always some else. I thought a CEO was resonsable for the personal under him. And it is his responsibilty to set an example for them. He does not set that example and some of his staff projects this. As to Priority One stating that the member is their PRIORITY must just be for their CU as they did not put the members of Inland Counties CU as their top priority during the merger. I thought everyone was created equal.

John said...

Please believe when I say that Priority One, under Charles R. Wiggington, Sr., does not treat its members much better than those it inherited from its merger with Inland Counties Postal Credit Union. Whereas Mr. Harris had an open door policy and actually returned messages left by members on his voice mail, Charles R. Wiggington, Sr. early on issued orders to the entire staff at South Pasadena that he did not wish to speak to members. For example, when ballots were mailed out on which member social security and account numbers appeared printed on the envelope, he did not respond to the numerous complaints received at his office and requesting to speak to him. Instead he delegated the project of calling back every member to a person in the Business Development Department.

In you post you finally answer a question I had concerning $60,000 which the credit union wrote off. I did not have sufficient evidence to post on this specific issue but you have provided the reason for the write-off. What I was aware of was that Mr. Wiggington, Sr. blamed the Inland Counties Postal Credit Union for monetary losses which realistically occurred only because of his inability to make sound decisions or to enact remedial measures to correct what he did.

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