BBVA mess up Simple transfer

Bank provides horrible first experience

On January 11th I posted about my bank closing. Well, May 8th was the day the BBVA was to migrate all Simple Bank users over and have them create their new account logins. What a shitshow!

I'd been getting emails from Simple letting us know the day would be coming. That the day was May 8th. What to do on that day, but don't do anything yet.


So on the day I get a welcome email I decided to wait untli the afternoon to try. I have errands to run and thought any teething issues would be fixed by them. Click the link, follow the on-screen instructions and get...

screenshot of error

An error. Verify your sign info and try again. Okay. I do, and get...

screenshot of error

A different error. I click the big button labelled 'OK' and try resetting my password through the forgot flow, and get...

screenshot of error

Another error. This time stating my account (which I am still not sure has actually been created) is not only locked now but previously been activated for another account you own. What? Well at least there's a number to call. I was on hold for 30 minutes until it disconnects.

Going back to the welcome email I call the number provided there. That routes through a message from Simple, states there's an error, connects to a BBVA message and I'm on hold again.

While waiting I thought I'd check the online help, which is a chatbot that is no help. I then check the BBVA account on Twitter and, oh boy, people are not happy.

After about another 40 minutes on hold I get to talk to someone. They walk me through some security questions and I can tell in her voice I am not the first today. After a password reset, adding some more security questions and hoop-jumping I can log in to the website and, yes, my money is there.

I thank her and she's off to the next in line. I still can't log into the app.

As I start clicking around the site feels clunky, dated. It's not responsive at all. When I click to view Bill Pay options I'm denied as Safari is blocking cookies. What!

screenshot of needing cookies enabled


Even though I could now get into my account I wanted to see if BBVA had released a statement on social media, as I hadn't got an email about any of this.

That tweet was posted at 2.44PM the next day, after the "Happy Mother's day" tweets had racked up angry Simple customer replies. The thread goes on to say that the call center went down later on. Once again The Verge wrapup has a good overview, including this from BBVA...

Due to the volume of customers attempting to enroll in mobile and online banking simultaneously, there were technical difficulties with the enrollment process, leading to high call volume in our call centers, which overwhelmed the system, and created longer than normal wait times,

β€” BBVA Spokesperson, Verge article

Moving forward

BBVA has owned Simple for years now, and they knew exactly how many people could hit the system that Saturday. This also doesn't bode well for the future as BBVA is being sold to PNC.

I will not be sticking around to find out how badly that goes.

On the bright side this was not my main bank account, unlike some who where part of this fiasco. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and BBVA certainly made a horrible one.