SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I was 400 miles from home, when an inattentive drive slammed into the rear of my vehicle. This occurred about 4 pm on a Friday. Why waiting for police to arrive, we exchanged insurance information. I took photographs of the vehicles before being moved and afterward, photographs of damaged. The other driver was insured with USAA. I called USAA to verify the coverage was in effect. USAA refused to verify, but took my information.
The following Monday, I called USAA to verify and again was refused. USAA asked me to take my vehicle to their service center (vehicle was drivable but heavily damaged). They told me I could take it to their service center I week from Thursday. I explained that I was 400 miles from home and was going back home on Wednesday and asked if there was a service center in my hometown. No there was not. I was then told that if I wanted my vehicle repair, I would find a way to get it to their service center. I told them that was not feasible, and the reply was "That's your problem."
I arrive back home and took my vehicle to my body shop. I called USAA (and recorded our conversation) and advised them where the vehicle was, they said they would send someone out, but never did. Three weeks later my vehicle was repaired and I picked it up. USAA denied the claim because I did not take it to the center they wanted me to and did not take it to the body shop they use and did not get approval for the repairs.
I paid for the repairs $5500 and the rental car ($1000). I then, had my attorney sue both the driver and USAA. The driver was upset at being sued and even more upset and USAA for not protecting him. The driver then contacted his attorney, who sued USAA. The depositions were fun. USAA hired local counsel, who showed up for depositions. What USAA told him and what my documentation, unanswered letters and recorded phone calls reflected were two different stories. USAA's attorney was pissed that USAA withheld evidence from him.
The final result, USAA was assessed by the court and amount equal to my repairs and rental, plus interest (took almost two years to get to court) all my legal fees, and was assessed an additional $20000 in punitive damages, which under the deceptive trade practice law was automatically trebled. Result $6500 in actual losses, $60,000 to me and $26000 to my attorney.
The other driver won his suit against USAA for failing to defend him and breach of contract. I sure that was settled quite handsomely as well, for both the driver and his attorney. I fail to see the reasoning why USAA preferred to put out in the neighborhood of $100,000 just to deny responsibility for a $6500 claim.
SAN ANGONIO, TEXAS -- We have had two experiences with USAA Mortgage and it is the most recent that is prompting this review. Despite fulfilling every request USAA made of us in a timely fashion AND modifying our contract with our seller several times to conform to their requests (needless and redundant requests, accordingly to our real estate attorney), USAA caused us to miss two closing dates and we no longer have a contract. At one point they asked us why certain monies had not transferred--monies that only transfer at closing - a closing they caused us to miss! It is clear that they do not know what happens at closing.
They do not know what they are doing, take days to answer phone calls, and at least in the mortgage services branch of the bank, DO NOT value customer service. Several years ago I financed a condo through them and was told by my real estate agent that the title agent found them hard to work with. I blew this observation off, because I was so impressed by the customer service in other areas of the company.
However, the nightmare experience we had the last month confirms to me that the phrase "time is of the essence" has no meaning to them and that they could benefit from a trained person to explain their documents to them. I cannot comment on what percentage of loans they complete without difficulty and what percentage they do a few stupid things with and what percentage they totally flub. However, the fact that they seemed to view their errors as standard operating procedure did not inspire confidence in their quality control.
I suppose whether one chooses them as a mortgage company depends upon how much of a risk-taker one is. As for us, next time we will be a choosing a company where we have a higher certainty of closing on time after weeks of straightforward (as opposed to inexplicable) business dealings.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- USAA makes a great talk but sometimes fails to make the walk. I will not be renewed on my USAA Home/Fire Insurance. I will not be renewed on my USAA Renters Insurance. I will not be renewed on my USAA Auto Insurance. Why? I never filed a claim on my renters insurance. I never filed an accident claim on my auto insurance. I pay my credit cards.
What is the issue? A criminal conviction for a family member from 7 years ago. USAA "claims" it has a policy to "weed out undesirables" when it "comes to their attention". Funny how that didn't seem to make a difference way back when they "discovered it" but only after they got my home insurance claims. How much were all my claims? About $35,000 combined. I filed a claim on my home for a broken window. I also had my home broken into and a fire resulted from the break-in.
I begged USAA to do something before the Alaskan winter set in. Nope. The fire happened in July 2008. Winter set in in Alaska and outside repairs were delayed so my home freezes up. How did they run the above claims? As FOUR(4) SEPARATE claims. I suspected they were stacking the deck by running these separately but I trusted them to take care of me. Boy, did they take care of me! My house was vacant from July last year until July this year. Just rented it out this month (PCS'd to my current location July 2007).
USAA is paying for the damages slowly, but I have already paid most of the costs myself. I do not like owing people who work for me. USAA obviously resents having to pay for ANY damages. Granted, it is the USAA underwriting department making the call. Basically they told me to go pound sand. I admit to looking at this from my point of view only. I am shocked at this happening after all the years I spent with USAA and all the good things I passed on to other service members about the how they were inexpensive and a fair company. Many of their employees are.
I have been a loyal customer to USAA, depositing money consistently from my BOA accounts as well as having car insurance through them for my 2 vehicles. In my 30 years I've never had an issue with banking. I've been sent overseas for 3 years and continued online banking: paying bills, making deposits and having insurance. I've been an incredible asset, as well as have incredible credit.
I now have a fiancee who I live with who also has USAA--a complete separate account. For some reason a deposit of his was red flagged (I don't know why, and honestly I don't care, it's not my account) and his account was frozen. By the next day my personal account was frozen as well. WHY? Because we have the same address.
So my hard earned money, my untarnished years of being a customer have gone to the crapper because of another account?? Are you kidding me? How in god's name do they have the right or the legal ability to keep all my money from me for someone else's account?? This is highly illegal practices, the staff that I've talked to are a joke. After hours of calls to their office I finally find that my account is being shut down?! A supposed check will be issued to me with my money, and there is ZERO reason to back this kind of move on their behalf.
Many of you may have USAA, as I have for years... IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. They freeze funds, leave you with nothing. You're left to fend for yourself against this growing evil entity. I'm a full-time student and a mom to two little boys and I can't feed them, pay my bills, go to school, for god sakes can't even put gas in my car. This is what I get after years of the highest and best clientele service to them.
I'm left with the words of some insignificant staff member telling me they're sorry, and only god knows when I'll ever see my money ever again. We're talking thousands. USAA IS A SCAM SCAM SCAM!! If you can't walk into your banking institution DON'T BE A PART OF IT! Lesson learned.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- USAA has been amazing in all other areas with the exception of the mortgage area. I purchased a home in 2008 with USAA and the process was smooth with no issues so I thought I would have the same experience when I looked to buy another home. I was very VERY wrong.
It all started with my mortgage processor "misplacing" my sales contract and delaying an appraisal for a month since they never called me to say they needed another copy. That was just the tip of the iceberg sadly. Every call to my processor was met with the same line "I haven't looked at your file yet since it has been so incredibly busy" and she would say everything is fine and they don't need any more files from me.
Fast forward to a week before closing and the title work is still not done (because it was ordered late), the appraisal from VA was ordered late and still hadn't come back, and they keep telling me I have credit issues surrounding an AMEX card that never had a late payment and with my overall credit score above 790.
Closing day came and went, and now USAA has an issue reading the VA appraisal stating that the crawl space needs to be deeper to allow for termite inspections (a project costing in excess of $10,000 and a termite inspection was already completed) and that some damaged tiles in a bathroom need to be fixed (even though I am gutting the bathroom immediately upon closing). I am still waiting on a manager from the Mortgage processing area to help but they are insisting I call the VA for clarification even after explaining to them that the VA will not speak to anyone but the lender.
I have been a member of USAA for 6 years and have purchased almost every single product they offer. Sadly, when I call to try to get assistance from higher, I get sent into a never ending automated phone system or get sent to an operator that can't help me because the rules don't allow them to.
If you are thinking of financing a home through USAA, save yourself the hassle and go with another lender. The exceptional customer service that USAA is known for has been going downhill for years and now they are no different than any other bank but seem to have more incompetent people than normal. I am closing my accounts with USAA and moving to Navy Federal.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- My husband and I have used USAA credit card services in the past. They have been remarkably wonderful to deal with. However, we, like others, because we had such a great experience with USAA prior, tried to finance a home via a VA loan.
This has been a nightmare for us. We realized in advance, the process would require a lot of documentation. We jumped through hoops to get our mortgage processor everything she required. But the data requested came in Bits and Pieces. Every day she was requesting something new, never just one whole list of things to fax or mail.
We spent well over $100 faxing and re-faxing information (because things were lost). I finally had had enough and let her know about my frustration. She admitted to my husband and myself via email that she was only in this position for 4 months and is trying to learn as she goes along. OK, we understood that and I did feel some empathy for someone learning the ropes. I've been there myself.
Here is one example of something ridiculous that not only the mtg processor is questioning but the underwriter as well: We had to have a termite inspection. Termites were found. The company we hired who was wonderful (BIOTECH) came out and treated the small area affected. The technician gave us all the data we needed to provide to USAA. The documentation from BIOTECH was page numbered 'page 1 of 5'. We had pages '2 of 5' '3 of 5' and '4 of 5'. Page 5 is just a warranty should the homeowner choose to pay extra for the warranty. There is NO NUMBER on that page!
We have been questioned over and over. I even called BIOTECH and they faxed USAA every piece of documentation regarding our home. They even said they would have the owner of the company hand write a letter to USAA for us stating that all documentation was provided for them. BIOTECH asked what mtg company we were going through because they have NEVER EVER had this much of a problem before and BIOTECH has been in business for many, many years. So the mtg processor finally sent our file to the underwriters. Now as of yesterday, we hear that the underwriter is questioning the BIOTECH termite inspection and the lack of 'page 5'.
To say we are pissed off is an understatement. The above incident is just one of many incidents that we have patiently dealt with regarding the USAA mtg loan. In closing, we still don't know if we are going to be approved for our loan but are seriously thinking about telling them to stick it where the sun doesn't shine.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I am a non military person joining USAA. Read some great online reviews about USAA and I was interested in their insurance products. Opened account via their telephone customer service. The customer service agent said that being non military I can use USAA savings and some investments. However, if I have a military direct relative (i.e. parent, alive or dead) and could provide their SS number I could have full access to all USAA services. So I am off to look for dead father's SS number. OK I sign up thinking I will get relatives SS number from old records etc.
5 days later. I apply for a credit card. I talk to USAA credit card representative who gives me range of credit scores needed and says I am in ranges for approval. She then says if I should get declined we (her and I) can work directly with underwriter to review the issues causing decline. I apply and get declined. She says she is going to talk to underwriter. I suggest they pull other CRA besides Equifax (I have over 748 FICO on Experian but 655 vantage on Equifax). She puts me on hold for 10 minutes, comes back and says she is connecting me to another person who is going to help get me approved.
Again I go on hold for about 10 minutes and... then the line picks up and I hear a PRERECORDED EQUIFAX MESSAGE OFFERING TO SELL ME MY CREDIT REPORT FOR $7.95. I hang up. I call get a new customer service representative online and I describe this situation. He says - a. USAA underwriters never reconsider applications and he is unfamiliar why the prior representative would tell me that, b. USAA will let non military people join and get full benefits but they have to have a direct family member that is both military and a current USAA member.
Conclusion - I appear to have been mislead on account signup and credit application. I was going to USAA to get the benefits of a credit union that cares about its customers. Well I was wrong and judging by the growing number of negative online reviews I should have done more research before being involved.
I never had any problem with USAA until now. One day as I tried to log on to do the usual check my account and pay bills, I was denied access. So I call wondering why that was. They said there was a problem in insurance so I talk to them and they could not give me an answer as to why but they ended up fixing my access problem. So a couple of months go by and it happened yet again. So I did the same call, went through the same thing, however this time I asked to speak to manager. I was told that one will get back to me before the end of the day. So I patiently waited, however I still needed to check my balance on my accounts.
I call the automated system to find out, however I did not get any info on my accounts. I was transferred directly to a representative. The representative gave me the info I need and then some, that my accounts were scheduled to be closed in 14 days and that I was no longer "acceptable" to the bank. I had no prior knowledge of this - not a phone call, letter, email - nothing. And in my trying to find out why I wasn't "acceptable" no one could give me a straight answer, and was being tossed around to every department and every manager in USAA except the insurance department.
A couple of days passed and I had yet to receive a call from the insurance manager, so I called and what do you I still have no idea why I am not "acceptable". I am a Specialist in the US Army, I have served my country for 6 yrs. Isn't this the basis of their bank "serving those who serve"? Well I have to say USAA you are a backstabbing, lying institution. And I believe I wasn't the first person you have done this to. I bank with Chase now and I am very happy with them, even though they don't have the products that you provided for me they treat me with respect and have way better customer service as well as easier banking. I will never have to talk to a machine again.
I recently received correspondence from USAA with regards to my credit card. Included with this letter was an arbitration agreement. As a result, since I am not able to opt out of this agreement, I just requested them to cancel my credit card.
I will not do business with a company that systematically takes away my 7th Amendment Constitutional right to a trial by jury. As a former military officer, I was sworn to protect and defend our constitution. Like it or not, the 7th Amendment is part of that Constitution. USAA, of all companies, should support this oath that we all take and not force us into agreements that violate it.
I understand the intent of USAA to discourage frivolous lawsuits. However, our court system has protections built in that prevent frivolous lawsuits from making it very far. USAA should rely on such checks and balances, as opposed to resorting to requiring its members to surrender their Constitutional rights in order to do business with them. I support arbitration as a practice where BOTH parties agree to it, post-dispute. But the current agreement requires members (before any dispute arises) to agree to let USAA solely choose arbitration regardless of whether it is in the member's best interest to do so.
I raised this issue in a previous email with regards to the online agreement and received a letter back from USAA management basically saying "Tough, this is the way it is. Deal with it." I am dealing with it by canceling my account.
Lastly, I have requested a list of all USAA products that I own that require me to agree to pre-dispute, binding, mandatory arbitration. I plan on going through each account and determining whether it makes sense to also cancel those products as well. Bank of America recently changed their policy to not require pre-dispute, binding, mandatory arbitration. USAA should follow suit or plan to lose business to those with more fair business practices.
Please note that this is in regards to USAA Insurance only. All other USAA services have been top notch and they have gone above and beyond my expectations. About six months ago, my wife and her side of her family were on vacation in Florida. Her mom pulled out of a parking space after a White SUV passed and the coast was clear. While she was pulling out, the White SUV stopped and reversed direction, hitting my wife's car, which was only about two to four feet out of the parking space.
There were multiple witnesses and the police report indicated that the driver of the White SUV was at fault. No citations were given since it was on private property. A claims agent was working with us on the claim and we did get an estimate done at the shop of USAA's choice, for around $650. USAA's claims person indicated that the other driver was at fault at some point during the multiple conversations we had.
Since then, the claim was transferred to another claims agent who says the file did not show any history or claim that the other driver was at fault and they were working with the other driver's insurance company. USAA claims that the liability is 50% our fault and 50% the other driver's fault since my mother-in-law was supposed to wait until there was 'reasonable' safety to exit the parking space.
Since when is it OK for an insurance company to contradict a police report that states the other driver is at fault? We have pushed this for months now and are at our last resort, and are considering arbitration. However, USAA says that they only offer 0%, 50% or 100% liability. In other words, if the arbitrators say that it is 51% our fault, then it rounds to 100% our fault and then our rates hike and it stays on our records for a few years. With the 50%/50% option, that would not happen.
However, if we take the 50%/50% option, we must pay our entire deductible and wait for USAA to obtain the other driver's half of his deductible prior to us then getting a refund of half our deductible. Is this common insurance practice? Is it even legal for them to contradict a police report?