BUFFALO, NY - 2 On Your Side has received a number of complaints from viewers, talking about all the problems they're having with their Northwest Bank accounts. Issues like -- long wait times on the phone and debit cards that don't work.
All of this comes just days after accounts were switched over from First Niagara.
"I wasn't able to use my debit card at all," said Carlie Zielinski, a Northwest customer, "you don't realize how much you depend on it I felt very helpless I couldn't get my son food."
18 First Niagara branches closed last Friday and on Monday, they reopened as Northwest Bank. Customers were told to start using their Northwest debit cards for transactions. We reached out to First Niagara about the problems, a spokesperson told us, Northwest was handling the issues.
Northwest says its transferred 50 of its employees in other states to Erie and Niagara counties, to help out with issues. And that months ago, the bank hired more operators to work in its Erie, Pennsylvania call center.
"A transition of this size you're going to run into some bumps and bruises any bank would, no matter the size," said Melanie Clabaugh, the communications director for Northwest, "we really apologize to customers who ran into the problem."
Northwest says, even with the issues that have been reported, the majority of their customers have had a good transition. Northwest says their average call wait time now is four minutes.