First Place Bank addresses complaints

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Executives with First Place Bank said they’ve spent the past several days trying to help their customers get past a recent computer changeover that has apparently left a lot of them confused.

The corporation installed new loan and accounting systems that required customers to reset their passwords. Over the past week, executives said their phone center operators have been inundated with calls and complaints from customers who weren’t able to access their accounts online.

“We’ve done a significant amount of communication to the clients through letters over the last couple of months, but they’re technical in nature sometimes, and many, many times they just don’t get opened. And we understand. And it’s driven the call volume up,” said First Place Bank President Thomas Shafer. “The passwords had to be reset, and there’s a methodology you go through to do it and if it wasn’t clearly understood, then you get yourself locked out. To correct that, you have to talk to our call center or one of our branches and so the volume of calls just went up.”

Shafer said the bank added extra people to handle the increase in calls over the weekend, and as of Monday morning, the number of calls had been reduced.

First Place has 41 branches in four states, including Ohio and Michigan.

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