I just transferred a credit card balance to a brand new WaMu card a couple of weeks ago. I was persuaded to do so by the ad mailed to me offering 2.9% interest, "not an introductory APR", etc. Imagine my surprise to find the following on my first paper bill: Purchase Current Cycle as 11.99% APR and my Cash Current Cycle as 19.99% APR. The latter is bad enough but then they've -added- the two percentages together for a total 38.09% APR as my "Effective Annual Percentage Rate". (If there is a way to find APRs on the website, I've yet to figure it out.)
I know enough to know this is NOT how it works. You can't legally charge -both- interest rates simultaneously on the same balance. I just received my card & my first payment isn't even due, yet WaMu appears to be trying to charge me an APR as if I have been defaulting for a year. Except that this is far more than that. My "Terms Sheet" from WaMu says the default rate would be "only" 30.99% APR.
In addition, the minimum payment they suggest is approximately $35 less than the finance charge given on the paper bill. (Remember: it's virtually impossible to find the finance charge rate at the website when signed in to my account. Well, if it's listed, it's really well hidden.) I get the impression from this that WaMu is trying to make customers go over their max, by paying just the minimum and not paying attention to the details of their bill. A bit eager for the penalty money due if a customer maxes out, aren't they?
In my opinion, WaMy appears to be manipulating customers so they can cash in on their inattention. Is this the way they always conduct business? If so, I was better off before I transferred my balance. Come to think of it, I was lured into transferring a balance from a previous card by a mail offer with the promise of 2.9% Variable APR. I went to the site and followed the directions. Where is my 2.9%?
P.S. I just sent an email to the company today with a paraphrase of this comment. I'll update when and if I hear anything. In the meantime, I will be paying a minimum of at least the "minimum due" PLUS the finance charge they are illegally inflicting on me. I -so- regret transferring that balance!
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I am stationed in Iraq. Before I left from Ft Bragg I purchased a hotel room at the Howard Johnson hotel in Fayetteville for one night. I signed the credit receipt for the $63.65 and was shipped off the next day. I went online while in Iraq and found that the hotel charged me for 2 nights instead of one. I called WAMU card services and was told that I needed to fill out the complaint form (which took 2 weeks to reach me here in Iraq) and then return it to them.
When I did so, I called a month later and was told that the they never got the letter. The customer service person (located in the Philippines) that I talked with could not help me and ended up transferring me to another customer service individual who also didn't seem to understand that I was in Iraq and that I didn't have the capability to FAX anything. When I told him 3 times that I couldn't fax anything, he hung up on me.
I called back and was finally able to talk with a manager. He told me that he was unable to help me because the system (ironically) had just started doing an upgrade and he couldn't access my account and that I needed to call back in 2 hours. I called back 5 min later and a different customer agent (again from the Philippines) was able to access my account just fine, but still unable to help me.
I guess I will have to wait till I get home to take care of this and pay all the interest charges in the meantime. It seems so easy for a merchant to take your money but so very hard (especially from Iraq) to get it credited back from this company. :-( I am also tried of being treated like a number. I feel like cattle being hustled through the process. When I get this straightened out, I think that I will be closing this account and recommending that all my friends and family do the same.
I have found fraudulent charges on my credit card and have now spend upwards of an hour to speak to the correct person in the fraud department. Then I find out they are not located in the US. When I ask to speak to someone here in the US I am told I cannot guarantee it. It is amazing to me that we are financially hurting, however, banks continue to hire employees in other countries. This is one main reason there are no jobs in the US. Unbelievable... OH and back to my fraudulent charges, who knows if I will receive the credit back.
My husband and I are getting between 6 and 16 calls a day from Washington mutual. We pay a portion of our bill every month on time and they continue to call us and ask when we are going to send in a payment. We have asked to speak to a supervisor hundreds of times and it is just like talking to a wall because they do not understand English. They are a broken record "we can set up a payment". They are on an automatic redial system - and the fact the phone rings from 8:00 A.M. until 10:00 P.M. is a more than annoying.
I have been discussing my APR with WaMu and keep getting different stories depending on who responds to my email. Bottom line WaMu offered to lower my APR to 10.99. My statement arrived and the APR was 19.97. I emailed them and they said.. "Sorry for the mistake, we will lower it to 13.99", because the last customer rep made a mistake when they lowered the rate to 10.99. I will believe them only when I see the lower APR on my statement. My goal is to pay them off and never do business with them again.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- First of all I like to say that I was a member of Washington Mutual Credit Card Services for approx. one year until I happened to run into a problem with my account. These are the most rude, tactless, uneducated, no interpersonal skills, evasive, disrespectful, idiots in the business world today that I have ever come across. They should be barred from running a company as bad as their people skills are. First of all, when you call into the customer service rep and he/she tries to make you think that you have lost your mind, they don't know how to speak to the customers forgetting that we are their job security.
But anyway after my first run in with my account, I found out that they are overcharging and have a lot of hidden fees; make sure you all read the very fine print in your credit card terms agreement. I decided to cancel my credit card and let them know that I didn't want to do business with them or any other company that they are affiliated with. I was aware that once I closed my account that interest would still accumulate until payment was rendered in full. On 2/27/08 I mailed my final payment which was due 3/3/08. Blessed that I was finally through with this wicked company full of bureaucrats.
On 3/10/08 I received another bill from them stating that my bill was past due. I was shocked because I knew that I mailed my payment the same way I did in the past so I called them up. What do you know, someone answers the phone I couldn't understand and pretty much with no pulse tried to get more money out of me telling me that I can make a payment over the phone. "Oh yeah", it will be another fee of $9.00 and some odd change so I started investigating.
I called my financial institution to see if the check had been cashed but it hadn't so I filed a complaint with the USPS to see if it somehow got misplaced or when & if it was mailed. Still hadn't heard anything so I call them back to see if they received it or not. Some stupid idiot name ** answered the phone with her rude ignorant self like she's having a bad day. Still can't find a decent person who works for Wamu yet.
So I'm now convinvced that they have received my payment, but they destroyed the check because it was a final payment and the account is already closed. So they now want to keep you paying interest and late charges on these credit card account, just another way for them to keep making money. I find it strange that how have all my other payments reached them (using the same add. on the bill). But now that I'm paying my account off, this payment so happened to mysteriously not reach you and I mailed it in the envelope with the bill that they provide.
I know this is illegal and if anyone out there is thinking of joining any parts of Wamu, don't believe the hype that this company is selling. Find a company that stands for something and not full of mess unless you like rude, disrespectful, incompetent behavior from the top to the bottom, then by all means link up with this company. You'll be sorry later once you run into a problem, but believe me speaking from experience, I wouldn't be surprise if this company goes out of business on customer service alone.
In conclusion be wise in the companies you select to do business with. Make sure you investigate before you make any commitments. I wish I had, thank God for this experience. I'm much more wiser in my decision making now. I hoped this blog helps someone. A lot of companies are into scams like this another so be careful if you run into a problem. Leave your account open until you decide to pay it off that way they can't pull a fast one.
And if any representative from Wamu reads these comment, your lights should come on. Remember God don't like ugly and when you try to get over on people, you only curse your own money. I'm not looking for your company to be around in the near future so tell your spineless customer services reps/employees that they may want to get their resumes together. A very dissatisfied customer.
I became a Providian Platinum Visa cardholder in 2004 and in mid-2007. I believe WAMU purchased Providian. In January of 2008 I received an interest rate hike from about 15% to about 28% as part of a change in terms of service. I've requested a copy of those terms and will follow-up if there is an opt-out that provides interest rate relief for me. But I've been otherwise fighting with them for about a month for a detailed explanation for a hike and reduction to a reasonable rate to no avail. Apparently I went over limit (by less than $100) in January, but I've always paid much more than the minimum and otherwise have good account performance.
WaMu is not open to negotiation to retain a cardholder. They're clearly trying to thin their consumer credit card portfolio and rake us through the coals in the process. If you're considering a credit card with them, DON'T. If you have one already, pay-it-off and close-it as soon as possible. They are not the same bank... not the same lending partner we chose back in 2004. They're just stock-price driven thieves now... cogs in a growing WaMu machine. My problem is similar to a problem arising with Bank of America Credit Card customers. Check-out this news post at Yahoo: **
Do NOT get a Washington Mutual credit card! I can't stress this enough. Even if you pay on time, more than the requested minimum due, you will ALWAYS and inevitably be hit with exorbitant interest rates. I pay on time, more than the minimum every month. Every dang month! My interest rate is... THIRTY ONE PERCENT! 31%! This seems impossible! I am going to sell my soul to pay this credit card off and never again deal with WaMu.
My credit interest rate since I obtained this card has gone from the usual 6.9% to get you to purchase the card to 31.99%. How can anyone pay off a debt when the interest rate is that high? I called customer service and asked for a reduction and they stated that it can only be done once a year during your annual review. How do we know when that is? I have had this card for 5 years and NEVER has it been reduced. The interest rate went up 4% in the last month and I have been paying more than the allowed each month with no late fees. No wonder people can't survive today. Can you please do something or let me know what I can do to resolve this issue?
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had overpaid the balance of my credit card by $140.00 and asked them to send me a refund check. They sent me the check and then sent me a bill for the finance charge of $14.23. I called and asked why I was being charged and they said the finance charges were not taken out before my refund. I asked how that is possible since the account was overpaid and should have a zero balance. I was told that was just the way the finance charge works. I told them to close the account and lose my number. It's totally unacceptable to charge someone finance charges on a zero balance.