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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
Overall Satisfaction Rating
3.56/5
  • 5 stars
    20
  • 4 stars
    25
  • 3 stars
    16
  • 2 stars
    1
  • 1 stars
    13
Based on 75 ratings submitted in the last year
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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust

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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust
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69 Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Page 1 Reviews 1 - 30
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 10, 2019

Instead of doing the direct deposit that I requested for my tax refund, they cut me a check and then charged me $20. When I called to ask about it, they said my bank declined the deposit because the account number didn't exist. I see that many others have experienced the same thing. And believe me... I went back to my tax return and carefully checked what I entered. I entered my account information, both the routing number and the account number perfectly. My suspicion is that this group changed either the account information or the type of account (checking vs. savings) when they sent it so that the bank would decline it and then they could send a check and charge me for it.

Too many people have the same issue for me to believe this is a coincidence. I have never used TurboTax before and never, ever, ever will I make that mistake again. TurboTax charged me an additional $39.95 for the liberty of deducting the amount I owed for using their product from my refund instead of me paying it up front. I don't know how they got that one by me, but they did. This seems to be a case of crooks working with crooks. Beware!

I called Santa Barbara Tax Group but of course they did nothing but tell me to call TurboTax. I never asked them to cut me a check and I was never warned that my bank supposedly declined the deposit. No communication whatsoever! I found the check in a pile of mail weeks after they sent it and was wondering when my electronic transfer was going to happen. I am beyond furious that I have been taken advantage of and that they won't return the money. Imagine how much money they can make if they can get 20 extra bucks off each customer by using this method. I am not even sure that they actually tried to do an electronic deposit. I would love to see the proof of this but am not willing to spend another hour on the phone to ask for it. I have called the Santa Barbara Tax Group, TurboTax and the IRS. Now I just hope to warn others about what happened to me.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 29, 2019

I too was duped by TurboTax and SBBTG. Charged very high fees which were not disclosed to me until the end of filing. At that point I was stuck. Do not use pay with my refund, for that matter don't use TurboTax at all. Find a truly free service. They are out there. What I finally did was close my account so TurboTax or SBBTG could get any of my return, waited for it to be returned to IRS and then sent a paper return. Hope this helps all of you out there.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 11, 2019

After reading all the reviews I have to agree. PAY THE FEES UPFRONT!!! Santa Barbara Bank takes their cut of your refund. TurboTax is no help. Tell you call IRS! DON’T waste your time. Maybe try calling Santa Barbara Bank 877-901-5646. Good Luck. The account numbers on my return weren’t even close to the ones I entered. Acct and routing # **. **. I received a paper check with the Santa Barbara back fees subtracted from it! Not really happy with TurboTax. I’ve used them for years, but this is my last.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 25, 2019

I filed my taxes Jan. 26th. They were accepted February 18th, funds sent out Feb. 26th. My bank rejected it because SBTPG labeled my account as a checking acct which didn't match so my bank rejected it. They then charged me an additional $20 processing (without my knowledge). They "sent" the checkout March 1, 2019... It's March 25th and it never came. I had to fill out a request and have it notarized before they would cancel the check that was "lost". Now I'm waiting to see what happens. I'm calling them tomorrow (again) and see what's the next steps.

I'm sure I'll get the same line as usual. "It'll take 5-6 weeks for the IRS to receive and process the request, we won't know how long it'll take to get to you, you'll have to call them." Everything takes 5-6 weeks with these people. I will never ever let these people touch any more money of mine, again!! I can't believe no one has shut these people down and I can't believe companies like TurboTax trust these people. The only good reviews they'll ever get, is how good they are at stealing people's refunds.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 23, 2019

I opted to have the charge for TurboTax come out of my federal refund, assuming it would be the same $49.99 charge. Instead Santa Barbara Bank & Trust charged me $150. What a rip off. Just pay the fee up front to avoid this excessive fee.

2 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 12, 2019

Holding my refund - I filed taxes Jan 28th. Accepted then I got approved. Refund sent Feb 27th 2019. It got sent to TurboTax for their fees and Turbo sent it to my bank but my bank doesn't exist anymore. Green Dot bought this prepaid company. Ok so Santa Barbara Bank said they sent my refund back to the IRS Feb 28th and the IRS has yet received it. It's been almost 2 weeks. The IRS said if they sent it out Feb 28th then we should have gotten it back already. What's going on?

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 6, 2019

Please pay TurboTax fees upfront and avoid paying from your refund. This bank delayed my refund and charged me over $150 just to process my Federal tax refund. I wish I read reviews ahead of time. They are thieves. Period!

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 27, 2019

I was reading all kinds of bad reviews about this place, and it kinda had me worried. But in my experience with them. I have absolutely no complaints. I received my money when they said with no issues. Everyone has their own experiences but I just wanted to put it out there that I am very pleased with their services.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 27, 2019

After reading Horror story after Horror story for the past week regarding tax refund problems and delays concerning SBBT, I’d like to share my complete opposite experience! According to the IRS’s website, my refund was scheduled to hit SBBT’s bank by 2/21/19, which it did on 2/20/19. But as of 2/22/19 the refund never transferred over to my Netspend card, so I called the TPG phone number. Unknowingly I had one number wrong on my tax return concerning my bank account number, obviously 100% my fault. I honestly expected and prepared myself for a major ordeal, but the woman I spoke to on the phone said a check for be mailed out ASAP. Well on 2/26/19, I received my check in Pa from California, only 4 days after learning about my bank account number mistake. Maybe I was just one of the lucky ones, but I could not have asked for better service or a quicker remedy for a bad situation that I caused!!!

12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 25, 2019

Well I'm posting that I've never experienced any bad things from Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. As I've read the testimonials it is bad! I pray that these things won't happen to me, as I cannot afford a legal attorney nor to have Santa Barbara "hold" my tax refund. It scares me as to think that I've been filing with TurboTax for 6 years now and hopes and pray nothing bad happens to me. I would like to think you all aren't doing that Santa Barbara Bank and Trust! Holding people's refund is not your job, please understand if it was you, you would be unhappy as well! Be blessed and do what God would do...be kind and respectful! Many blessings.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 23, 2019

I have been waiting for my refund since January 14, 2019 and it says that they have received funds from IRS. I don't understand what is the hold up. I have never ever had to wait so long in the 25 years that I have filing my return. This year is outrageous. It's been over 21 days and nothing has been deposited into my Walmart green card. I don't ever get positive answers. I don't know what is going on. I had to go with my attorney. Totally out of control.

9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 15, 2019

I recently filed my taxes using TurboTax. I opted to have the fees come out of my return. On 02/06/2019, I checked my refund status with the IRS which showed it was sent. On 02/14/2019, I found it was diverted to this company to collect the filing fees for Turbo Tax. Supposedly, they attempted to deposit my refund into my bank account and was rejected resulting in "unusual activity" and they were going to return my check to the IRS in 2 to 3 weeks, then IRS has 10-12 weeks to process.

No way possible to speak with a live person at this business, only email. through email transactions, they continued to state they tried to send the money to my bank, but it was rejected. When I informed them I checked with my bank and they never rejected any payment they stated my routing/account number must of been wrong. I check the account numbers and found they were the same for both STATE and FEDERAL. Funny this is, I received my STATE return without any issue and was deposited within 10 days. But this company is holding my Federal Refund hostage and provide cookie cutter responses as if it was a BOT answering.

This company is acting in a criminal manner. They appear to be holding money in accounts for the sole purpose of making money off of the interest as it sits in their account. They are refusing to give my refund, even though the account numbers are correct. I do not understand how this company is being used by TurboTax, or how the Federal Government has not stepped in to investigate their illegal actions.

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15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 5, 2019

The saga continues... I wish I had looked this up prior to filing my tax returns this year but sadly like a lot of others, I had never thought I would need to. I have used TurboTax for years with no issues. However, this year, just days after filing my taxes and the returns being accepted by the IRS, I got the email claiming there was "unusual activity" on my account by this Santa Barbara place and saying I needed to provide more details to verify identity. Of course I was skeptical at first and needed to verify if this was a scam or not and sure enough with just minutes of Google searching I find that yes it is real, but yes it is also a scam...

These unethical scumbags put holds on every tax return they get their grimy hands on without any "unusual activity". They purposefully cause delays with the intent to frustrate people enough that they are willing to pay extra to get their return released. How this kind of ridiculous business tactic isn't plastered all over the news is beyond me. I have documented the accepted verification of my identity and if I don't receive an all-clear in exactly 7 business days, I will have my attorney, the news, and every other open ear I can reach (which is plenty thanks to social media) to expose this to the world. Everyone needs to know what nonsense they may be getting into when they agree to this "painless and convenient" form of paying for their refund. Shame on TurboTax as well for partnering with this company.

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30 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 4, 2019

This bank charges entirely too much. We are already working hard for our money during the year as it is and then when it comes to filing our taxes they Rob us by taking out too much money out of our refund checks. It is not fair nor is it right to any consumers around the nation and something needs to be done about them. Immediately.

28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 1, 2018

I have repeatedly tried to get into contact with with a Chris bag on a phone line I was given by Green Dot Corporation which I have also wrote complaints on timeout my process of receiving my tax refund... Anyways I have been trying for a week now to reach out to anyone that can tell me where my tax refund money is or when I will get it or how it will be sent. I need answers and no one will return my call and tell me where my money is.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 11, 2018

Like many others here, I filed my taxes two months ago and still have not received anything yet. At first I went on the TurboTax help page, got a number, called and got an automatic reply saying it could take 21 days for the check to arrive. I waited. Nothing for weeks. Yesterday I called the IRS, and the representative told me that the bank account number on my tax return is nothing like the one I filled in on TurboTax. She then suggested that it could be a TurboTax associated account so that they could take out their fees out of my return. Then I remembered I chose that option at the last step of the TurboTax process, stupid me.

I called TurboTax, the agent whose name was James told me that the account is not TurboTax, it's their partner bank. He promised that he would call that bank and resolve the issue for me. Then I waited several minutes just to be transferred to the bank directly. I had to explain everything again to this agent at the bank. The agent was extremely unprofessional and had an attitude. I demanded the fund be deposited to my account and he said "it's against their policy". He said they will send me an "Indemnity Bond" and I must have it publicly notarized and mail it back, just to have them mail the check to me.

They claimed that they mailed to check to me on 3/30, but there was nothing at all. So this time how can I trust it won't be lost again? Every time they sent it and lost it, it's on me to pay them a fee? WTF?? And they said my check will be deducted a total of over $200, without listing any items explaining the fees. Come on?! This bank is completely incompetent and has the worst customer service I have ever had. If you don't want to repeat what I've experienced, stay away from TurboTax and Santa Barbara Bank!

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19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 17, 2018

I am so devastated that my refund was sent to my bank on Feb 22 2018 due to myself. I had left 1 digit off my account and my bank rejected it. Okay my fault right? So I call TurboTax and they will be mailing me a paper check out. Ok I agree to the terms. From Feb 22 to March 7 2018 never nothing came. So I had call Santa Barbara Bank to see where's my refund at and agent couldn't understand what happen cause it's never been cash and what's going on so I put in to cancel the check and send my funds back to the IRS so my funds will be secure. A agents tells me it will take 5 weeks to go back to the IRS. I said ok as I've been truly patient waiting. So I call back in one week to Santa Barbara Bank and type all my information in and it says I have to wait 10 to 12 weeks. Now that is not fair. Too many runaround. I'm not able to speak to anyone from their bank. Only I've able is to call the IRS which my funds are not there.

Seriously this a shame. I've paid my money for this and altogether I've been waiting 2 months. And by the looks of it I might not get my full refund until end of May or beginning of June. I'm very upset I feel taking of advantage of as a tax filing. I was never told the truth from jump start. Why does it take that long to receive your funds. Not happy at all. It's April 17 2018 and I'm still not able to talk with anyone from Santa Barbara Bank. Please it's a lot of reviews on this bank and taking our money and holding against our taxpayer will is totally not fair.

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18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 21, 2018

They claimed my federal tax refund was denied by my bank account because I entered the wrong account number so they charged me a fee of $40 to send me a check instead of direct deposit my refund. But yet my state refund was deposited in my account without any issue! Which proves that I entered everything correctly.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 19, 2018

Tax refund was rejected apparently. Called because no one updated with this information and the guy was a total jerk and acted like holding several thousand dollars is perfectly fine and not something that would piss people off. Will never use Turbo Tax again and starting to see this is an ongoing issue with this bank! Why hasn’t someone shut them down?

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 14, 2018

So this started with the IRS depositing the refund into the checking acct which was missing one digit on Feb 22nd, and it's now March 13th, which got rejected. Spoke to them on the phone and they said a check would be mailed out that day which of course they want their fees that were to be paid out of the refund so now I'm waiting for the check. I still see no check after 11 days and call back. Apparently, my calls to try to track the check down have created an alert "Identified Unusual Account Activity" and my check that never came is now being sent back to the IRS which I'm supposed to wait 10-12 weeks to see my refund, SBTP claims.

They not once asked me to send in my Identification or anything. They pretended that after 11 days, I could request another check be mailed out. Me calling in to track down the check caused my account to look suspicious. I want my money. No supervisor will even get on the phone. Yes, I messed up and forgot a digit but it was not intentional. I'm trying to get answers on a real timeframe in getting the money sent back to the IRS as they are collecting interest as the money sits in their acct. I will never deal with TurboTax again, not that it isn't my fault with the typo but because they lack any care for what is happening and won't even try to help.

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12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2017

I filed my tax return with TurboTax this year, as I've done for the past 4 years. I'm self-employed so I had to upgrade and I chose to have those fees taken from my return. I figured it would be no big deal. Boy, was I wrong!!! 10 days after filing I received an email from TurboTax stating that my tax return had been received (by Sbtpg) and that I should start checking my bank account the next day as I had chosen to have funds directly deposited. 5 days later the funds are still not in my account! So, I went back to the TT e-mail and got the Email info for Sbtpg. Over several days I sent several emails only to receive the same response... It's not a valid email address.

So, I call Sbtpg. An automated service tells me that my bank rejected the funds? I bank with a nationwide big time bank! I call the bank. No funds were ever attempted to be transferred! I call Sbtpg, after verifying that all info is correct they say that I may have given them the wrong routing number. I say that's odd because I have several clients who deposit money into my account on a regular basis! Why is it that "Joe Shmoe" can easily maneuver a bank transfer but Sbtpg can't manage it. They literally pretended that they couldn't hear me. 8+ minutes into a phone conversation where a lot of information had been exchanged... And all of a sudden the connection is poor? When I asked why they waited 5 days before sending a paper check through the mail, that was my bank's fault. My bank took several days to reject the fees?

So, now they've had my return for 2 weeks. There's no possible way to get it to me except through the mail. They are taking absolutely no responsibility or fault. They never once attempted to contact me. Not in any way. No phone calls and no E-mail. I've spoken to 4 different employees, all have given me different wait times and all have acted as if they can't hear me when I get upset or have a valid question. At this point, I want to completely wipe my hands off this entire mess. Just start over fresh with a reliable tax company. One that doesn't have such poor judgment to trust my return with liars and thieves. I had no idea that I would be dealing with the Santa Barbara tax products group. I am so disappointed in the level of unprofessionalism and lack of urgency. I will never use TurboTax again and can only feel sorry for anyone that has to deal with Sbtpg!!

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36 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 26, 2017

I'm definitely not happy. I filed my taxes on Feb 15, 2017. Had a problem with identity theft so they put my account on hold in March then I had to do a lot of faxing to IRS and state of California. Got it taken care of. IRS released my tax return on April 18th. I called TurboTax to see if there was a hold on my account. They said, "No. It was taken care of" and still no return. Come to find out on the 25th of April, Santa Barbara Bank received my tax return but never deposited it into my bank? They took their money out and I had to upload my id. Then they tell me I have to wait another week to get my money.

I'm irate that these people think they can play fast and slow with my ** money. Never once did they contact me. I will never use TurboTax again, or Santa Barbara Bank again. They are the ones committing fraud. I'm still pissed and not going to put up with this. I told them they better have my money in my account by tomorrow, we'll it's tomorrow and no deposit.

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23 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Original review: April 24, 2017

This is a open scam! They have so much of hidden fees. By just choosing the easy way of detecting my TurboTax fee from my refund, I made a blunder! TPG charges 40 bucks for this and on top of that, they charge 20 bucks for sending me the check in mail since my bank was not able to accept the refund. This is a complete scam done by TurboTax and TPG. These fees are not mentioned clearly to the customer when they choose the payment option while filing taxes. PLEASE STAY AWAY from TURBOTAX and TPG!!

20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Original review: April 6, 2017

I too have had the same problem as many on here. SBBT help my refund of $3500 for weeks and I was never notified as such. The excuse was that there had been suspicious activity on my account. The same false excuse given to others. This is either or both that they are holding money to accrue interest and/or they are using this as a way to get your contact information for resale. Either is illegal. I am planning on taking this up with my attorney general and Better Business Bureau.

22 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 15, 2017

After reading other people complaints on the Consumer Affairs with Santa Barbara bank I came across similar issues that Santa Barbara Bank and Trust provided me. I have a lot of worries to why my refund is on hold and why they not telling me why my tax refund is on hold? I never had this problem with any of my tax refunds since the first year I filed 2011. This is my first year filing my tax with turbo tax. It been 4 days between turbo tax, IRS, and Santa Barbara bank and trust they gave me a runaround about what happened to my refund and who has it?

On today March 15, 2017 IRS finally requested for me to get in touch with Santa Barbara Bank, so I did. One of the call representative name Antonio could not answer any of my questions I asked. He was very rude and had the audacity to ask me if can read. It's my last and first time filing my tax return with Turbo Tax because of the lack information that was not provide to me the first time. I truly hope the IRS correct this issue that everyone including myself are concern about.

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16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Original review: March 10, 2017

This is a "3rd party company" that will let anything happen to your refund. Part of my refund is missing which the IRS is saying the whole amount was deposited. SBTPG is saying Treasury Offset took the money which for an offset that the IRS nor the Department of Revenue knows nothing about nor did they received the money. If you use TurboTax pay upfront and skip all the rest. Something needs to be done with the company.

21 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 6, 2017

I filed my tax return through TurboTax, and selected electronic filing fees to be deducted from my refund check. As others found out the hard way, the TPG arm of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust received my IRS refund check directly, to deduct the filing fees. I found this out after contacting TurboTax, a week after the IRS said my refund has been sent. Only then was I made aware of TPG. I went to their website and found my "account" with them. It stated that my refund direct deposit was on hold, due to "suspicious activity on my account" - and I was prompted to send a cropped photo of my driver's license (front and back) to verify my identity. I was never actively notified to do this. I only discovered it after tracking down my refund check.

I submitted the verification photos and info (received a "Successful Transmittal" response). Their website stated it could take up to 7 business days to release my money to me, after submitting verification info. After 9 business days, and my money still being kept on hold, I called customer support, who were completely useless. They could not confirm when or if my verification info had been received, or give me any explanation as to why it's still on-hold or even why it was ever placed on-hold. So I submitted my verification info again, and also attached my driver's license photos to a message to customer support, so they could not claim they never received it. Now, I'm waiting another 7 business days to see if I will receive my money. In the meantime, I have looked up, and found many complaints similar to mine. TPG is obviously intentionally holding onto people's tax refund money as long as possible, in order to earn money by interest float.

It's a very transparent scam, and I intend to file complaints with the cognizant CA district attorney's office. I would encourage others to do the same. I will also be initiating legal action on my own, if my money is not received as promised (again) within the 7 business day period. My advice, and warning to anyone considering using TurboTax or TPG products - read the complaints online (they're not hard to find).

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28 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 6, 2017

We have used Turbo Tax successfully and happily until this year. Upon filing we were notified by Santa Barbara Tax Products Group that there had been suspicious activity on our account and that they needed identity verification via a photocopy of our driver's license (front and back). We contacted Turbo Tax to confirm the validity of the request which they did confirm so we uploaded the requested documentation immediately. Eagerly awaiting our refund we checked the IRS.GOV website to find that our refund had been processed and deposited... but obviously not into our account. It seems that the SBTPG has been holding our tax refund since 2/23.

We contacted SBTPG and they said they needed to verify our identity - again - as they had no record of receiving the uploaded documents on 2/7. Thus, we performed another upload - this time taking a screen shot of the successful upload. We have been in communication with Turbo Tax and they are completely unaware of the suspect operations of SBTPG. We advised the Turbo Tax representative of this website full of complaints. We hope everyone else will as well.

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17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 4, 2017

Just as everyone else who has filed a complaint about the Santa Barbara Tax Product Group my story mirrors theirs as well. To make a long story short this fictitious business placed my account on hold and didn't notify me so as a consumer I did my homework and contacted the IRS and TurboTax to ask where is my refund check and they both told me to contact Santa Barbara Tax Product Group. This company placed me in line like everyone else, that was until I filed multiple complaints against them with the BBB, CFPB and that states local attorney general's office. This company all of a sudden started doing the job that they were suppose to do a month ago on Feb 7th.

As of today on March 3rd I was notified that my account was taken off of hold but my refund has still not been direct deposited into my account. Trust me I will never use TurboTax and Santa Barbara Tax Product Group ever again in life. When I file with one of the big companies in the coming years to come I'll ask if they use SBTPG as a 3rd party bank, if they say yes they do I won't be doing business them. This company has lost yet another customer and me for life!

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19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 3, 2017

This is the worst corrupt bank I ever encountered. My refund I did on TurboTax was sent to them to collect the fees for filing with them. My refund was approved on Feb 23 2017 by the IRS and sent to them and they have my refund on hold with a bogus excuse that I had to submit my ID to be identified. I did and it is a day over and they still have not released my refund. Their customer service sucks. They just give you the runaround and send you to a automated phone message. This is absolutely the worst company ever. They are holding my refund hostage like it's there's. I have already filed a complaint with the BBB and the Attorney General office. They will pay for this. I promise that nobody especially this scam bank have the right to hold my hard earned tax money.

14 people found this review helpful
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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Company Information

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