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Excessive fees
Posted by Erkalynn on 08/27/2005
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Washington Mutual used to be a great bank. Not anymore! They recently raised their overdraft fee to $27 per transaction. If you deposit money into an overdrawn accout on the same day the transaction clears, they won't charge you. It used to be that you could transfer money to that particular account until midnight to avoid being charged. Now it's five PM! So if you make a mistake and use the wrong debit card at 4:50 PM- you've just been screwed out of 27 bucks! Also, if you make more than five transfers in our out of any account- even if they're deposits- in one month, each transfer after that costs $3!
Don't be fooled by Washington Mutual's claim that they are a different kind of bank. They are just as bad as all the rest.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-28:
Quit complaining! Just keep money in your account and you won't have problems. Get rid of your debit card if you can't manage it!
Posted by Ponie on 2005-09-05:
Sheesh! Guess I'm lucky because I don't have these problems. But then, I don't try to spend or switch money that I don't have. Ever heard of a--budget??
Posted by twebber on 2006-02-21:
That comment about transfers is simply not true.
I work for WaMu, and there is a federal regulation (D - Reserve Requirements) that governs your online banking and ATM electronic transfers.
Any transfers over 6 per month from a designated savings or money market account will get an excess activity fee (by federal law, read your account disclosures).
Other than that, all online and other transfers are 100% free, no matter where you bank with WaMu.
Posted by muertetg on 2007-01-03:
Oh man... are you seriously complaining about a $27 overdraft charge? That's the lowest I've heard in years! WellsFargo = $33. US Bank = $35 + $7 per day. And they don't even give you an option to put money in by 5 or otherwise. You just get screwed and that's that. Your mistake is not their problem. Think twice before you complain about the best fee structure I've ever seen.
Posted by trumania on 2007-03-13:
Sounds like he screwed himself over and is trying to blame the bank. If you can't handle two debit cards... don't have two debit cards.
Posted by evilbunnies on 2007-07-01:
Being able to manage your finances is one thing, being ripped off for making a mistake is quite another. I can't see why they charge $27 for a transaction that only costs them pennies. 10 years ago, these fee's were around $12. WHY DO YOU ACCEPT BEING RIPPED OFF PEOPLE?!!

Also, to the guy who works for WAMU, having the government impose fees for "excessive transactions" only goes to show how much the government is in bed with the banking industry. I mean, who pockets the fee? The government doesn't... I just roll my eyes when you guys try to blame the government for imposing fees that you collect.
Posted by ecchang on 2007-08-23:
I recently opened a checking account and an online savings account with Washington Mutual (WAMU), and promptly got charged two excess activity fees of $10 each for a total of $20 within the first month.

The bank refuses to waive the charges.

My problem with WAMU is this:

(1) Other banks are charging $2 or $3 per transaction whereas WAMU is charging $10. When I called, the manager keeps saying they can't do anything because it is "federal regulation". The truth is the federal regulation does not have any stipulation about fees. And WAMU's fee, in my opinion, is greedy and excessive.

(2) I find it very difficult to find out about how to avoid this fee. First there is the Statement of Fees document which says that you will be charged $10 per occurence (under "Excess Activity Fee") but it doesn't say anything about what the limit is (i.e more than six transfers or withdrawals). Also "Excess Activity" is not defined in the Statement of Fees document. It would be easy to assume that the online transfers I made from an "Online Savings Account" (which presumably would be much cheaper for the bank since it can all be done my computer rather than requiring a human) would not be included in counting up the number of activities in "Excess Activity". The definition of the "Activity" in "Excess Activity" and the numerical limit is instead found on a different document, the Account Disclosures document on page 44 under "Limited Transaction Accounts", but here it never says what a "Limited Transaction Account" is. If I read through the entire Account Disclosures document, I will see a section called "Statement Savings / Platinum Savings / Individual Development Accounts". Under this section I will see a statement saying that these are "Limited Transaction Accounts". But my account is an "Online Savings Account" which, presumably, is not covered by this section. Is there a section for "Online Savings Account" in the Accounts Disclosure document? I didn't find any.

(3) The honest thing for the bank to do, is that when one hits the limit, WAMU should give a warning when one is trying to make an additional transfer or withdrawal. They have no problem counting up so they can charge the fee, so I don't see why whey will have a problem giving the warning.

- Eric
Posted by kimbev69 on 2007-08-31:
firsti received the no interest, no fee balance transfer offer and did just that online for that matter which stated on the app that i needed to do to ensure no fee, well i got a fee of $75.00 that put me over the limit after they finally transferred my balance...i sent in a payment quickly and called and complained, was put through to a foreign country where the man read from a script...yes a script he kept repeating the same thing.."sorry this is a valid fee." needless to say i had the card 1 full week and i have already transferred the balance to another card that did not charge me a fee. shame that it cost me $75.00 to find out i'd rather deal with the naked bullpen of bankers than WAMU
Posted by WayneP on 2007-09-20:
I have also used a WaMu card for 0% balance transfer that said a 3% one time transfer fee would be charged and have been charged interest on the transfer fee. Have disputed the transaction with WaMu who said it was correct although that is in conflict with the one time fee advertised.
Posted by Lifemates on 2010-09-19:
It is very funny how all these bad banks eventually go under.

Wiki even calls it "the largest bank failure in U.S. history."
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Do not trust Washington Mutual unless you are willing to pay for anything they do not listen to you.
Posted by Tdavid on 10/09/2007
I have a Washington Mutual check account. And, I have been trying to set up ACH transitions between it with other bank. I placed the ACH on 9/25 via its online banking. Its online system took it but did not do anything. I checked again on 9/28 morning, WaMu did not do anything still. And, my ACH request was sitting there. I then, issued cancellation to that request online again. Its system took. Then, it did execute that ACH for the original request that night and resulting my ACH return. It totally ignored my cancellation. I then was penalized by WaMu and my other bank.

I called their call center (1-800-788-7000) on October 9 morning 11:30 AM PDT. Its CSR insists that I have to pay the $30 penalty. I told her, WaMu did not follow what my request for the cancellation. She said that I have to pay the penalty. Then, I talked to her manager Chris. The manager told me that WaMu won't do ACH the same date you place the request. It will take 2 or 4 or more dates.
I told her my other bank did my request on the same date. Why WaMu cannot do the same way. She said that is the WaMu way (for taking more than 2 or general 4 days). She insisted I need to pay for the penalty. That leaves me with no option but to stop banking with WaMu. Simply I do not have money to pay for any issue when WaMu does not follow my request.

My 3 cents, if you like most of us looking for a bank who care about customer, there are many more other than WaMu.

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Posted by trumania on 2007-10-10:
Just to let you know it actually says on the Online Banking section of the WaMu online access "Estimated Delivery Date = 4 business days."

Just because your other bank does it same day does not mean ALL other banks in the nation do it same day. Each bank has different policies and procedures which you must follow regardless of what you do with your other banks.

It's likely when you went to cancel the transaction it was already in the "Processing" phase, there is nothing anyone can do once it achieves this status to cancel it. Call center reps, bank reps, managers cannot cancel the transaction if it's "Processing". This is why the system did not accept your "Cancellation".

By the way you've written your post, I'm taking a leap and thinking that English is not your first language which may contribute to you overlooking the estimated delivery date which is clearly shown on the Online Banking screen.

Sorry this happened to you but next time DO NOT assume one company has the same polices as another.
Posted by Tdavid on 2007-10-10:
Just to update this for clarification. The cancellation was taken by its system. If that is not "cancel-able" its system should not take it. But, I still thank your valuable comment and explanation. Again, I surely will bank on my other bank that provides me better service than WaMu.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
Washington Mutual customer service is in INDIA, e-mails are from INDIA with wrong information, secure messages are from INDIA with wrong information, and the phone number, 800-788-7000, is answered in INDIA and you are given wrong information. This is one of the worst banks for customer service.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10:
If you want to complain about Washington Mutual Bank, send your written complaint via certified return receipt to: Office of Thrift Supervision, Department of the Treasury, Consumer Affairs Department, P. O. Box 7165, San Francisco, California, 94120-7165, Tel: 650-746-7000. In addition, send a written complaint to your State Attorney Generals Office, Attn: Consumer Affairs Department.
Good luck.
Posted by trumania on 2007-10-11:
My comment, no problem. :)

If you do decide to leave Washington Mutual and go to another bank I hope you take the time to read their disclosures and ask questions. Remember, assuming will not get you very far. And of course, just because one company does something one way does not mean another company does it the exact same way. If you don't forget this you will not have any problems.

If you expect the same policies and procedures at two completely different companies then you will have this same problem over and over again.
Posted by Tdavid on 2007-10-11:
Good advice and thanks. I will have to pollute environment a bit as I used to. I will drive to my other bank instead of walk/ bike to WaMu in future (I thought I could when I chose Wamu.) Yes. My other bank has done what I request by phone, email or online. It has done so in past 12 years. Most importantly it does it honestly! If you have been through what I have been with Wamu, it will be interesting to know what you assessment to Wamu, On September 28 morning, I saw the requested ACH still sitting on my account. 3 days already. I placed cancellation to that request, Wamu system took that cancellation. Then, you know the rest of the story. This is not what people can learn from their “fine print”. I bet WaMu won't put on its fine print, either. Thanks again and good luck with your future experience (with Wamu if you have one).
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-11:
Stay away from WaMu, the bank of India. Substandard customer service.
Glad you decided to leave WaMu.
Good luck.
Posted by Tdavid on 2007-10-13:
Just update on more "absurd" actions by Washington Mutual.

Washington Mutual has sent 4 mails regarding to the penalty money. Dated 10/1, 10/2, 10/4 and 10/6. Surprisingly, they all sent to a wrong address so that I finally get all the 4 mails today. Washington Mutual, in the letters, "threatens" to damage my credit rating. If it can change my address without my consent, it can do anything unexpectedly. Maybe Wamu will penalize me because Wamu wrongly changes my address. You never know...

Also, I am shocked after reading this link about many complaints about Washington Mutual business practice.


Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-13:
Did you file any complaints ?
Posted by Pray4Me on 2008-11-01:
I'm dropping Washington Mutual after 30 years!!!!!!!!!! because the bank refuses to refund a $12 dollar charge for our deposting someone's bad check????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They denied my request to pass my concern up the chain of command. Unbelieveable!!!!!!
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WAMU accepts all stale dated checks...
Posted by Ljones on 11/01/2006
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have been a customer w/WAMU for at least 6-7 yrs. The other day I went to check the balance on my account and discovered it was overdrawn. When I pulled up the detail on the account I discovered (to my horror) that they cleared a ($400) 2 1/2 year old stale dated check that I had initially put a stop payment on. After several conversations with reps/managers over the phone I was told they will put it in for a 'dispute request' and that I will find out within 5-10 days whether they will investigate it or not till then I'm out my money. Not happy with that answer I walked into a branch and asked to speak to the manager. She put it to me short and harsh that because I did not continue renewing the stop payment that they have the right (listed in terms/conditions on page 32) to clear a check no matter how stale dated it is. It is MY responsibility as the customer to continue renewing the stop payment EVEN if those fees surpass the amount of the check. WHAT A RIP OFF!! So the lesson learned from this that the rule that a check is stale dated after 6months is a LIE!!! A BLATANT LIE not to mention VERY MISLEADING! It is null and void on the terms and conditions. As we speak I'm researching other banks to determine where to open an account tomorrow.
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Posted by bigbangerik on 2006-11-02:
thats terrible, i went into national city with a 1 year old check and they said that they didnt cash stale checks. good luck
Posted by yoke on 2006-11-02:
I went into my credit union with a check that was 7 months old (I thought I had already deposited it) and they do not cash anything ovr 6 months. After you put a stop payment on the original check did you reissue another check or type of payment, if so I would go after the person who cashed this check?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-02:
You might want to check the Uniform Commercial Code. This is the rules and regulations that determine what your responsibility is, what the bank's is. Among other things, it determines that a stop pay is only valid for six months.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2006-11-02:
Posted by Noneill on 2006-11-02:
Never heard of having to "renew" stop payments. I thought they were permanent.
Posted by lepearso on 2006-11-11:
Bank policies are ever changing. Some banks have completely phased out the definition of a "stale" check while others still uphold the six month rule. If I were you, I would find another bank with some old-style policies. WaMu does not deserve your business!
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-03:
First of all I am sorry for what happened to you. If the bank that the company you wrote the check to accepts the check your bank will process the check, they simply cannot return it due to being stale dated. When the bank processes the MICR endcoding on the bottom of the check the date is not considered. Only the routing number, account number, check number, and amount. The date of the check is only for your refrence not the financial institution recieving it. Also, stop payments are only valid for 6 months after which you will need to renew, which if the bank charges a fee you will pay each time. Cashing a check and depositing a check are two different things. The bank is going to look closer at a check being cashed than a check being deposited and that is why a lot of times the stale dated check is overlooked. To be honest the claim will more than likely be denied because you originally authorized the check to come out of your account when you signed the check. Please remember to keep anyting that you purchase deducted from your transaction register so that it can be accounted for regardless of when it posts, that is the only way to keep the overdraft from happening. I hope that helps and good luck.
Posted by trumania on 2007-03-09:
The bank does have the right to clear post dated and stale dated checks. You're best bet is to READ the terms and conditions that you agreed to when you opened the account to see what you are responsible for.

Also when you originally made the stop payment the rep would have told you it's only good for 6 months. Since it was 2.5 years ago it's likely you just forgot about that because you thought the payee wouldn't cash the check later on. That is your fault.
Posted by marvado on 2007-05-11:

had a bad experience with WaMu too in Florida.
Did you find another good bank to open a new acc?
Posted by armywifehooah on 2009-11-20:
I will preface by saying I don't work at Washington Mutual nor do I bank there; however, I am an accountant who was pre-law in college. The Uniform Commercial Code covers stale dated checks. While a check is considered stale dated after 6 months, it is at the bank's discretion to accept it or not.
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Injustice is celebrated at this company
Posted by Fight for justice on 03/25/2008
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I opened a free checking account at Washington Mutual and all I can say is that you get what you pay for. I used the online bill pay service to pay my rent which is due on the 5th of the month. On the 29th I went online and checked the appropriate boxes to have a check sent to my landlord, received a confirmation number and was told it would arrive no later than the 4th. The money came out of my account immediately on the 29th.

On the 6th I was contacted by my landlord (while I was on vacation) and told that the check had not yet come so I immediately called the 1-800 WAMU “customer service” number. After pushing 2, pushing 3, pushing 5, pushing 1, pushing 0, holding for 15 minutes I finally was in contact with a girl from India who could not understand me and could only read from a script. After 10 painful minutes of trying to find out where the promised check was, I was put on hold AGAIN and transferred to a guy in Texas who told me to wait a few more days and the check should get there. So after more than an hour on the phone, nothing happened. Meanwhile I was incurring late fees and was told that WAMU would pay these.

This went on for at least an hour every day until the 16th when I finally put a stop payment on the check and was told that the money should be back in my account within 5-7 business days! They took my money out of the account in moments yet somehow cannot put it back in for a week? I was able to finally pay rent on the 21st by taking time from work and driving a money order across town (because I do not trust their checks at this point). Then began the arduous process of getting WAMU to pay the $90 in late fees owed to my landlord.

When I returned from vacation I went into my local branch where the branch manager had to get on the phone, push 2, push 3, push 0, put on hold for 15 minutes etc etc etc. After an hour of watching this “manager” go through what I had daily for the past 2 weeks, I told them just to call me when they found out which form I needed to fill out or whatever.

To date, Washington Mutual has said they are not responsible for my late fees. The injustice is what makes me so crazy. Crazy enough to post this complaint on every site that will take it, and I tell all of my friends and associates to NEVER use Washington Mutual. They are dishonest and clueless about where our money is. If I displayed this level of incompetence at my job, I would be perpetually unemployed.

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Posted by trumania on 2008-03-25:
That blows.

Part of the problem with any online bill payment it it's not actually the bank sending the check. The bank is just the middle man and there is a thrid party company that deals with it.

For WaMu I think it's called CheckFree (unless they changed it), basically WaMu deducts the money sends it to this company, they cut the check and send it through the mail. Unfortunately with anything in life sometimes things don't go according to plan.

The best option would have been to have them place a stop payment on the check and have it REISSUED not refunded into your account, this takes considerably less time. Call WaMu back, talk to the Online Banking Queue and have them leave a note for Checkfree that you were charged $xx in late fees due to the check not arriving on time. They should credit your account that amount when they contact your landlord (include his phone number).

Disclaimer, they may have changed their bill pay processor so there may be a snag in the above plan but try to get them to do something like that, or call and just plain out, politely ask for a manager (MRG Queue) and explain what happened see if they can get someone to credit you or get to the bottom of it.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-03-25:
Another case of:

When you make a mistake the bank charges you a fee.

When the bank (or CheckFree) make a mistake you still have to pay fees.

Just because the bank uses CheckFree it should not relieve them of the responsibility.

Just because the bank or CheckFree did not send the rent check did not relieve the OP of his responsibility to the landlord.

It should be a two way street. But, when it comes to banks, they will never be held accountable for the consequences their ineptness has caused you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-25:
I believe that Checkfree does have a guarentee that if you make a payment on time, and it is not received through their error, they will cover all resulting fees. The problem might be that there is another very unreliable party involved... the USPS. They may well have ut the check and mailed it the day you requested it, and it sat on a machine in the P.O. for two weeks. Bill pay services overall are very reliable, and a great deal for the consumer.
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-03-25:
why not mail your own check or money order?
Posted by bugsy on 2008-07-01:
I am having the exact same issue.

They are now claiming they cannot be held to the "estimate" they give. Nice. I just called (God knows, India somewhere) to be told that the money for my rent (now late) was already in the account of my landlord. Which is pretty miraculous, considering we don't have their account number.

Now, I'll have to cancel the "in transit" check and write another one to my landlord, which of course, means 5 days of funds that I'll not be able to use, and will be slammed for with overdraft fees, I am sure.

WAMU has no accountability, so they don't care that they are jeapordizing people's credit and possibly, living arrangements.

There is no place to go to, no place to get resolve. This is the kind of stuff THAT MAKES PEOPLE GO F-ING POSTAL!

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WAMU Takes Another Customer DOWN
Posted by Jchubb on 03/04/2008
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I had my account for a couple years, then after someone stole my checkbook, WAMU stepped in and screwed me as well... Not only did they not credit me back for the fraud when some stole my account information, they charged me 30.00 overdraft fees after they closed my account. I lost over $1400.00 just by WAMU alone. Watch it, your next!

I just received a letter today, they are not responding to any letters, how nice. What a way to take someones money, legally!
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Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2008-03-04:
Did you file a police report when your checkbook was stolen?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-04:
This doesn't hold water. If someone uses your check, you go into the bank and file an affadavit of fraud, and you get your money back. We aren't getting the whole story here.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-03-05:
I agree, Ken. There is a lot left out here.

1. File an affidavit of fraud at the bank.
2. File a police report.
3. If money not returned: File another police report including WAMU as part of a conspiracy to commit fraud.
Posted by grandma005 on 2008-03-05:
The person who stole his checkbook was probably a relative. There is indeed more to this story than what the person is saying. Why else would he not file a police and fraud report.
Posted by Jchubb on 2008-03-21:
Well of course there is more to this story, but to sum it up, they gave me my money back after the fraud. Six months later they take my paycheck stating i never turned in my fraud letter. How can that be? Listen, i dont need to write a whole story here, just by reading all the other complaints i am just another of many that was taken by WAMU. So i say to those who doubt and trust WAMU "Go for it" your loss, i already had mine. Good Luck
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The Old Bait and Switch Comes to Your Savings
Posted by Mike159753 on 11/19/2007
OREGON -- I was interested in opening a Washington Mutual Online Savings Account with a 4.75 APY after viewing the WaMu website around 11/05/07. To take advantage of their savings account I was first required to open a WaMu checking account at a local branch. After opening my checking account I was told that the Online Savings Account could only be opened online by me.

Later I attempted to open a WaMu Online Savings Account and after several tries I was given this response “Your application has been canceled.” The response finished with “if you wish to apply at a WaMu branch, you can bring in two supporting documents from the list below to start a new application.”

On 11/19/07, I entered the branch where I opened my original checking account with the proper documentation. I met with a WaMu Representative who said she could not help me with opening an account. I then referenced the information giving to me on their website. She took the information to her Supervisor, who said they are permitted from assisting customers with opening an Online Savings Account. The Representative then recommended a “Statement Savings Account” at 0.25 APY or if I wanted the Online Savings Account I would need to contact customer services.

I contacted customer service that evening and was transferred three times. Each time I had to repeat my current situation. Finally I spoke with a representative who assisted me online to verify the information I submitted was correct. As a result we received a response on the final page of the application which stated. “We are unable to complete your application at this time. You may, however, return seven days from now to try again.”

Based on my experience I feel WaMu is drawing many customers to their bank through online advertising of their Online Savings Account. In return customers who become a customer and want to open a WaMu Online Savings Account cannot do so. As a result they are swayed by WaMu Representatives to open a “Statement Savings Account”.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-11-20:
There are many complaints about WaMu on this site. You will probably be better off closing the checking account. If the branch you are dealing with is exhibiting that much ignorance about their own (WaMu) services things will probably only get worse.

Bail out now before they do get worse.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-20:
You may want to wait before closing your account. Most banks charge you a fee for closing an account soon after opening. Check your account terms and conditions to see if a fee might be charged.
Posted by nikkidebo on 2008-01-22:
what people dont know about online applications is that if your info does not match your credit report it will be denied if you have a fraud block it would be denied. Read disclosures people we are a society that does not like to read but complain when things go wrong.
Posted by HelloThere on 2008-09-11:
That sounds like such a pain! I didn't have any troubles with WAMU. They refund one bounced check charge per year (who else does that) and are a nice company. SOOOO much better than Chase where I was before.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2008-09-11:
credit union credit union credit union!!
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A Card I'm happy with AND a FREE Monthly Credit Report
Posted by Jpcerutti on 10/28/2007
I've had a WaMu Visa credit card for over two years now and have absolutely no complaints; something I cannot say about other lines of revolving credit I have had over the years. They have left my finance rate intact after the introductory period expired without us playing the "raise it, I complain, they lower it again" game. I REALLY hate that game and would much prefer my business transactions to be amiable instead of adversarial.

The feature I find most attractive though is online access to your account including a year's worth of monthly reviews of your FICO scores, open and closed accounts, and credit inquiries - the kind of information credit reporting agencies want to sell you access to monitor. They keep this information current and you could catch in a glance if something appeared you were not expecting; ie a dip in your score, an inquiry when you did not apply, or an extra account, and then contact the big three to check or challenge it. You can also see the effects your habits (good or bad) have had on your credit and if it is improving or backsliding. This feature is absolutely free. As far as I know they are they only credit card company offering this feature.

If you are one of the people currently paying for monitoring, or simply would like to look more often than once a year, I would urge you to consider opening an account and doing so for free.

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Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-10-28:
I have a credit card to with Washington Mutual and the service is outstanding! I usually despise and want to napalm banks who offer these shady credit cards...not Washington Mutuals. The credit score monitoring is the best thing that anyone has offered.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-28:
Thank you for the review. My savings is with WAMU. I may have to take another look at the other services they offer and see if any of them would be a good fit for me.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-10-28:
JohnInSoCal...it would be worth your time to do so. :)
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-10-28:
EJ, can I borrow your credit card? Just for one day, that's all.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-10-28:
I don't see where you put a wedding ring on my finger Basher...until that time...HELL NAH!! LOL!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-10-28:
You never let me have any fun! Then tell your CO to give me his for one day.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-10-28:
CO would ask you if you were on drugs. LOL!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-10-28:
Send me a picture of your CO.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-10-28:
Basher...go visit him instead. He would love to meet you. LOL!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-10-28:
He may think he'd love to meet me...I'd have to be the boss of him while I'm there.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-30:
Washington Mutual customer service is in INDIA, e-mails are from INDIA with wrong information, secure messages are from INDIA with wrong information, and the phone number, 800-788-7000, is answered in INDIA and you are given wrong information. This is one of the worst banks for customer service. Do not ask to speak to a supervisor because you will be disconnected or transferred to an outhouse somewhere. Run the other way and fast.
Good luck.
Posted by aaa yell on 2008-03-14:
wamu is the worst card i have ever had i've always had exelent credit and after providain became wamu it went down hill changes from 10 percent to now over 28 percent within 1 year with no overdraws other than when they ununouced intrest rate climbs . when you use a card for internet trades you caculate money because with 6000 dollar fluxuating on a card one day might have nothing next day 5500 on a card and two days later nothing on it when it comes close to intrest time you calculate depending on what time of month. it's dificult to change credit card numbers when your dealing with large number of companies, but in wamus case it's worth it!if they havent stuck your intrest threw the roof yet trust me bend over it's coming!
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Excessive Fees, Unauthorized Transfers, Fraudulent Charges
Posted by Jgura79 on 08/15/2007
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I've been a WaMu customer for 9 years- but now I'm done. The way they've conducted business in the past two years or so is really sickening and needs to be stopped.

It all started a month ago when my wife's job didn't pay her on time (through direct deposit), and a series of pre-planned transactions ran her account overdrawn. WaMu tacked a $27 fee onto 8 different transactions and put the account $400 in the red.

So, I began to transfer my money into my wife's account which was linked to it (since it had my name on it too). I put in $200 last week, and planned on putting in the remaining $200 upon getting my next paycheck.

WITHOUT WARNING ME IN ADVANCE, without even telling me that this was a consequence of my wife's overdraft, Washington Mutual took an additional $205 out of my checking account WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!

A weekend's worth of debit card purchases (10) mixed in with this unknown transaction- now my account is nearly $600 overdrawn because WaMu tacked another $27 fee onto each transaction.

This wouldn't have happened, of course, if they hadn't stolen $205 from my account without telling me first. Nowhere on any of their notices do they say this is a consequence of a linked account becoming overdrawn.

Don't bank with WaMu. They're not the company they once were. That's the lesson I've learned.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16:
If you want to complain about Washington Mutual Bank, send your written complaint via certified return receipt to: Office of Thrift Supervision, Department of the Treasury, Consumer Affairs Department, P. O. Box 7165, San Francisco, California, 94120-7165, Tel: 650-746-7000. In addition, send a written complaint to your State Attorney Generals Office, Attn: Consumer Affairs Department.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16:
What WaMu did is known as Right to Setoff. There should be a section in your account terms and conditions that explains it. By mainting and account with WaMu, you gave them permission.

You should read those account terms and conditions from any bank you have an account with. There are alot of other things you may not know you have given permission for them to do.
Posted by grandma005 on 2007-08-16:
Any accounts that are joint together -they can take money out of one account and put into another account that is in the negative. They tell you this when you joined your accounts together. I thought everyone knew this. I guess you just did not listen.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16:
You may have PLANNED on covering the overdraft, but the bank had no way of knowing this. What would have helped would have been if you had taken the time to go into the bank and explain to the manager what happened, and how you were planning on making it right. Even if they insisted on taking the funds immediately, you would have known about it.
Posted by steve101 on 2007-08-16:
First off, your unfortunate problem was caused by your wife's employer who made a late deposit.
You need to confirm ALL deposits before writing checks on them. You should also switch to bill pay rather than using automatic debits. This will give you more control in case a deposit is late.
Your bank did nothing wrong but you should still go to the branch in person and ask for relief.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16:
I've also been banking with WAMU for about 11 years in WA. So far no problems, but thanks for the heads up. Maybe I've just been lucky. I agree that talking to the bank personnel in person does help in many cases. They usually seem pretty helpful at WAMU, so I would definitely give it a shot.
Posted by trumania on 2007-08-16:
It's actually called rhe Right of Offset. Lol. but it's the same thing as Robf says, it's in your account rules and regulations so the bank does have your permission to do it.

You should never do automatic debits with any companies because it can cause issues like these, this is the price you pay for 'spending' money before you have it in your hands.

Sorry, try talking to a branch manager, they may waive some fees. Although, WaMu usually doesn't use the Right to Offset unless the account has been overdrawn for a long period of time.
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Not like all the other banks--WORSE!
Posted by SueBanks on 03/23/2006
FLORIDA -- I was hopeful of the concept Washington Mutual claims in their TV advertising and branch system. It is disappointing that it is all untrue, but the real problem is that their business practices are not only unethical but actually illegal in this county. I opened a 'free checking' account with Washington Mutual after being with the same bank for over 10 years. I was sucked into their advertising and thought I should give them a try. I received a letter in the mail making it worth my time and effort to change banks, $75.00 American Express Gift Cheque to open a free checking account. I read the letter VERY carefully. Went into the branch to open the account and the customer service rep made me open a savings account too. I told her, that is a bait and switch, you can not advertise one thing and then arm twist your customer into something else. I went through with it, mainly because I had taken time off of work to open the account with my husband. The CSR said that their were no fees, so what the heck. All the banks require some kind of cross sell. But it annoyed me enough to wait until the branch manager came back from some conference a couple days later to put in my complaint directly. He was obviously the one that was attempting to encourage cross selling in his employees, but ineptly apologized, promised their would be no further problems. This month I got a $5.00 service fee on the savings account, reversing it is a solution yes, but these people are operating in an unethical, illegal way, why do we have to tolerate it?

Don't open an account with Washington Mutual, they aren't like all the other banks--they are WORSE
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Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-23:
How is asking you to open a free savings account a bait and switch? What happened when you spoke to the branch about the $5 charge? What was it for? What was their response?
Posted by SueBanks on 2006-03-23:
The letter brought me in to open a free checking account and recieve a $75.oo gift cheque. No mention of mutiple accounts was in the letter. When I open the account, they require a second account to be opened, in order to get the $75.00 gift cheque advertised. I was 'baited' to come in by an offer, I was 'switched' to multiple accounts when attempting to get what was advertised. I am waiting for the branch manager to get back from another 'conference' and have left a message for him to call me back upon his return. I have contacted their 800 number twice, one employee told me no additional account is necessary to get the promotion, on a separate occasion, another employee said it is under the discretion of the branch manager. Which raises a very scary issue. If one branch in a 'certain kind of neighborhood' does not require more than one account to be opened and another branch in a 'different kind of neighborhood' does, is further consumer protection laws (community reinvestment, etc.)being broken by this financial institution?
Posted by bill on 2006-03-23:
I don't know if it is bait and switch. Sounds more like false advertising. Either way, you have a legitimate complaint. I would contact the Banking and Finance Department of your state.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-23:
Ah.. the savings account was a requirement of the $75 gift. That would be where the charge is coming from. Free checking.. but you need to pay $5 a month for the savings account. Most banks will waive this if you keep a min balance in the savings account. If the above is the case, close the accounts.
Posted by miketech on 2006-03-23:
I dunno banks pretty much make up thier own rules. Most banks charge a service charge on a savings account if you don't have a certain amount of money in it or if you make a withdraw from the account during a quarter. The Union Planters banks around here charge a $5.00 fee for cashing a check drawn on Union Planters at a Union Planters branch. Then they want you to open an account. I'm thinking no way in heck am I going to open an account with a bank that charges fees like that. Good luck. Banks are evil.
Posted by lobo65 on 2006-03-23:
Problems like hers are why I use a credit union for my savings account. No fees at all. They are much better if you have access to one.
Posted by kitsap on 2006-06-19:
Odd, the service rep "forced" you to open the savings?

No one can "force" you to do anything. If you didn't want to open the savings account, (which I'm sure on the letter you got, stated you had to open it as well, someone just didn't look close enough), then you should have just said no to the rep, and not get the AMEX gift card. It's that simple.
Posted by trumania on 2007-03-09:
I agree with Kitsap. They can not force you to do anything. People can only suggest you to do something. If you opened a savings account (which only benefits yourself if you save some money) then you're fine.

But it does sound like you took this as an opportunity to complain about being 'FORCED' to open an account. You could have always taken that advertisement to the branch as well and asked the Rep to point out where it says a requirement is to open a savings account as well.

My guess, is you conveniently forgot that at home.

My opinion, if I going to eventually need to save money (living pay check to pay check sucks) and WaMu is going to PAY me to open a savings account to help myself then why not?
Posted by kimbev69 on 2007-08-31:
firsti received the no interest, no fee balance transfer offer and did just that online for that matter which stated on the app that i needed to do to ensure no fee, well i got a fee of $75.00 that put me over the limit after they finally transferred my balance...i sent in a payment quickly and called and complained, was put through to a foreign country where the man read from a script...yes a script he kept repeating the same thing.."sorry this is a valid fee." needless to say i had the card 1 full week and i have already transferred the balance to another card that did not charge me a fee. shame that it cost me $75.00 to find out i'd rather deal with the naked bullpen of bankers than WAMU
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I would have been better off NOT contacting my lender for assistance! I did exactly what I was told to do and now I'm going to be
Posted by Mariah1 on 08/01/2009
BAYVIEW MEADOWS, FLORIDA -- I've been laid off for 1 1/2 years now. I'm still looking for work. My husband has a job so we watched every penny and still made our $2,800.00 a month house payment. I thought since we've been a WAMU customer for 15 years w/ a perfect payment history they would help me Modify our loan as the ARM was going to adjust in 8 months. THAT WAS THE WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE. I called WAMU, they said to download a form, fill it out and they would see what they could do. After 2 months waiting I finally got a response in writing Federal Expressed to my home. It stated to make zero payment for February and March, April & May pay $800.00 p/m. They told me we needed more funds in the bank for a modification and when they re-qualify us in 3 months they don't want to go thru the process of a Modification if were are not able to make our payment. She stated any deferred interest will be charged in the back of the loan. I was so happy.... I thought after 23 years of hard work and ALWAYS paying our bills on time, that somehow we deserved this help. NOT TRUE.. At the end of the 3 months I was unable to talk to anyone! I re-applied for the Modification as promised,(beginning of May) and still it was like talking to a brick wall. I was allowed to talk to no one. I felt like a criminal. I kept saying what do I pay and what is the status? They stated over and over to wait for someone to call. NO one called. I receieved a Federal Express letter stating ... it read: REPAYMENT AGREEMENT. NO where did it address our Modification. It states pay $10,597.30, (which is the deferred interest), or pay us $1,000.00 MORE a month for a YEAR! which is $3,450.00 !!!!! Our credit score was 752 before I contacted our lender, now I don't know what it is. WAMU acted like my entire process did NOT even happen. We now have horrible credit, no house and now need for file BK.. They stated they DID NOT KNOW MY LOAN WAS UNDERWRITEN BY FANNIE MAE, THEREFORE ANY DEFERRED INTEREST MUST BE PAID UPFRONT. PERIOD. They would rather lose a loan of $483K plus a second for $69,500.00 instead of working with us. Had WAMU hired employees who knew what they were talking about back in February we would still be making our house payment and still have good credit. I expect the person on the other end of the phone to know what they are talking about... after all this is my HOME. My Security. My future and my kids' home.
Now we are facing Foreclosure and Bankruptcy and there is nothing else we can do. Thank you Washington Mutual for all your help.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-08-01:
So the only thing they actually did was demand higher payments?

This site may help you:
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-08-01:
this just sucks.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-01:
I agree mad, it does suck.
Posted by moneybags on 2009-08-02:
Write to the President and to your Congressman. The Congress ok'd this mess!
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