HELPER, UTAH -- May 9, 2007
We bought a mobile home through Washington Mutual Bank in November 1998. We had no problems with this bank until they wanted proof that we had insurance on the home which we always did and it never lapsed. We asked our insurance agent to fax them (Washington Mutual) that we had insurance and again we were asked by Washington Mutual to provide proof of insurance.
Starting December 2004, the insurance agent faxed them (Washington Mutual) the proof of insurance which was paid for the year with Met life. Over the next few months they (Washington Mutual) were faxed at least 30 times by our insurance company. We even had a friend from bank fax paperwork 4 times. My partner (Tom) faxed proof of insurance to Washington Mutual at least 12 times from his work. Tom and I talked to the people from Washington Mutual Bank and so did our insurance agent and his staff with no luck.
Washington Mutual sent a letter saying they never received any paperwork until April 2005. Washington Mutual put their insurance on our mobile home totaling $2,194.00 ten times as much as we paid in a year. Our payment then went up from $402.15 to $621.00 per month. The payment adjustment made by Washington Mutual registered as a late payment on our records and we discovered half of payment was applied to our mortgage and the other half applied to home insurance provided by Washington Mutual.
The first proof of insurance letter was faxed to Washington Mutual Bank was December 2004. We have almost 99.9 percent of the paperwork and names of people we talked to at Washington Mutual Bank. The representatives from Washington Mutual Bank never returned our calls except one gentleman in Salt Lake City, Utah. After making 4 calls to this gentleman in Salt Lake City nothing was ever done to solve the problem. We have the coupon books showing 2 payments sent while Washington Mutual says they only received 1 payment. We have now learned to send everything certified mail with a return receipt.
Washington Mutual Bank then contacted Utah Tax Commission and notified them we did not pay sales tax on the home. The sales tax was included in the loan and we have the paperwork as proof. Washington Mutual wanted us to have the title on the home and it was titled to us after 6 1\2 years and they asked for power of attorney. We told them no, not after 6 1\2 years and that is their job. The person in the Salt Lake City office could not get a hold of his contact in Florida to return his call. Washington Mutual got the title in their name on March 2005. We in 6 1\2 years were never late on a payment; always had insurance coverage and the taxes on the property were always paid on time. After all of this we told them to take the mobile home and do what you want with it.
We bought a real home in May 2005. Washington Mutual sold the mobile home for $11,500 while we paid taxed on $19,000 which is not a fair market value. Washington Mutual Bank said we owed them $25,000 and turned it over to a collection agency. The current home we live in was purchased for $40,000 and $2,000 for a down payment and the mobile home as a trade in. We have almost paid $35,000 in 6 1\2 years to Washington Mutual.
We have tried to get help with the Office of Thrift Supervision which is an agency to keep this bank in check. The Office of Thrift Supervision sent a letter back saying we our going to have Washington Mutual send us the information to us and nothing else happened. We filed with the Federal Trade Commission and they would not do anything unless they received more complaints from Washington Mutual customers. We sent letters to: Utah Governor's Office, Attorney General, Department of Financial Institution No response from anyone. We sent a letter to the Better Business Bureau of Utah and Washington Mutual refused to talk to the BBB about this case. The claim with the BBB is closed and a negative report against Washington Mutual Bank. We called Gephardt (Investigator for channel 2 news) and left 2 messages with no return calls. Also, filed a report with Utah Insurance Fraud Agency and still no help from anyone. I sent letters to these people and they were 9 pages long on complaints against Washington Mutual Bank. To get an attorney to help is impossible if you poor, but if you are rich no problem! So, Washington Mutual Bank has you by the *****!! We waited on the phone with Washington Mutual for up to 1 1\2 hours and then the phone on the other side would go dead. We talked to or received letter from Washington Mutual employees from: Salt Lake City, Utah, Melbourne, Florida, Oakland, California, Phoenix, Arizona, Dallas, Texas, Houston, Texas, Seattle, Washington, etc. We talked to people in 7 different states and sent letters (certified mail) to Washington Mutual legal department in Seattle, Washington with no response. We have a letter from our insurance agent saying our insurance never lapsed.
Washington Mutual Bank is one you don't want to get any help from. It is the bank from H***! I would send my worst enemy to them if I had one or I would not send the devil to them. Washington Mutual Bank just bought out one of my partner's credit card provider a few months ago. Please if you need help from a bank or credit union, please do not use Washington Mutual Bank. I have documents to prove all of this it is all true.
Tom & Roger
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 through 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 received a federal express letter stating, it read: repayment agreement. Nowhere 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 underwritten 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.
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.
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 given 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”.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- After a long session on the phone today I did find out some interesting facts about my accounts with WAMU. I took my family to dinner Saturday night and then renewed a subscription to a well known professional community service. The WAMU computer saw these activities as suspicious and suspended my account. I received a call from an automated service to verify the charges were made by me, which I did with reserve. I had to use another credit card to complete the transaction and did not want to have it repeated in the event that the WAMU service put the original transaction through.
After nearly 2 hours on the phone, being told there was no answer for my question, and even told the fraud department was closed on Sunday, I found out the following from **: The WAMU computer will "review" account activity and suspend accounts, no explanation given why a dinner with my family would be considered fraud. Upon suspending the account, the customer needs to call WAMU to have a review with a banker before the account can be used again. I signed up and agreed to this action in the terms and conditions and I should have read this. In no way is there text which covers what is considered fraudulent use on my card.
If I am on-site dining with my family, or making a purchase on a secured site with an abundance of information included, what do I need to do, or how do I need to ensure the use of my card will not trigger such suspensions? And why does it take multiple people and indifferent customer service people to simply say this is what it is, I can always change banks at my desire. Thank you WAMU for respecting customer loyalty and your customer's concern about how it may be possible to exist well together.
With one foot out the door Sunday morning and the intent of using my card to make purchases, I now know I must carry other cards with me to ensure I do not get stuck. My confidence in WAMU is damaged, my confidence in the customer service process at WAMU is destroyed.
I recently mailed a deposit of $500.00 to my WaMu Account # **. It posted to my account on 3/10/09. I called the 1-800 number to see if it was available because it said 'Pending' hold. The guy I spoke with said that the whole check was available. I went to the Chase branch to make a withdrawal and it was NOT available. I then called the 800 number back. Spoke with a lady and she said, "No he was wrong, it won't be available until Thursday. You have $100 available now." Ok.
This morning (3/11/09) I found out that my husband will be shipping from Fort Benning, GA to Afghanistan for a year. I need to get to Fort Benning before he leaves. The only way to do that is to call WaMu and ask if they could release the funds one day early. So I call yet again and I am told that I must go into the branch in which I made the deposit. OK, it was mailed. The lady then said "there is nothing we can do to help you." I asked to speak with someone else. I have only 2 days to get to Fort Benning.
I was then put through to a floor manager, who was about the rudest person I have EVER spoken with. Again, expecting some kind of compassion, I explained the story yet again. She now tells me that, "no the check won't be available until 3/17/09." The previous 3 people I spoke with were wrong. There is nothing she can (will) do. Call back tomorrow. How can I possibly get to Fort Benning in 1 day driving? I asked to speak with her supervisor. She said there isn't one above her.
She ended up transferring me to the risk department where I got to explain EVERYTHING again. This lady basically said "You have already discussed this with us and we can do nothing. And oh, yeah, the floor manager was wrong, this won't clear until the 18th." She then disconnected the call.
Thank you so much WaMu for having some compassion. Thank you for taking the time to help me. Thank you for helping me have the chance to see my husband before he is sent to war, from which he may not come back from. Thank you WaMu for nothing.
LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA -- Wamu is the worse bank that you could ever entrust your money with. For instance when you have a direct deposit go into your account and you do transactions on your account after your paycheck has been posted, they always put your transactions first then your check, causing you to get a $38 insufficient funds charge for all of those transactions. They don't use your money first, they just overdraft you! When you call and speak to a customer service representative they are ALWAYS unaware of what is going on and can never help you.
If you were to call and get information from a customer service representative and call back and speak to someone else they will give you a completely different story! I was a victim of a scam/fraud I had called a customer service representative who told me the situation would be taken care of and lo and behold it wasn't and my account was set to close for fraud because I didn't speak to the Risk/Fraud Department. How was I to know to speak to them when the representative that I spoke to gave me the understanding that it was going to be taken care of!
Then after speaking with the Risk/Fraud Dept. and faxing over documents stating and proving that I was a victim of fraud/scam they assured me that I was not going to be reported as fraud but the account was going to be closed and was set to close on the 29th, which it was not closed until the 2nd. I called a few weeks later to make sure the account was closed and not to my surprise they had reported me to check systems for the fraud on my account after being told that it was not going to be reported.
After speaking with a supervisor I was told that they had sent in a request to have me removed from check systems due to error. I asked them to send me a letter stating that I was not being reported for fraudulent activities and let said they are unable to send me a letter but I could call check systems in 3-5 days and ask if the account was reported and to call Wamu back if there is a problem. This bank is clearly not customer service friendly and will take your hard earned money!
Several years ago, I began operating as the Guerrilla Customer. My mission was simple: operate undercover in order to determine which large companies excel in customer service, and which ones fall short. By itself, this is not a novel idea: many companies take it upon themselves to have so-called "mystery shoppers" visit store locations and report back on their experiences. The problem with relying on such evaluations is that staff are often aware of the presence of these agents, and the paid or otherwise compensated "mystery shoppers" often do not present themselves as difficult or hard to please.
That's where the Guerrilla Customer comes in. Anyone can keep their cool and remain customer-focused if the customer doesn't have a complaint or isn't being difficult. Therefore, it is, for practical purposes, meaningless for a company to base its assessment of its performance on how well their staff handle a happy, non-difficult customer without any complaint(s).
My undercover operation presents a different type of customer. Although our Guerrilla Customer always stops short of raising his/her voice, using obscene language, or making threats, they are purposefully difficult in order to evaluate how well-versed in de-escalation skills the staff are. It also tests the company's overall commitment to customer service.
If the staff is rude, dismissive, or otherwise escalates or exacerbates the difficult situation rather than attempting to resolve it in a mutually beneficial fashion, then store/company management is contacted. If they fail to resolve the problem, the company is put on the Guerrilla Customer "gray list." Once on the gray list, executive management of the offending company is contacted by a Guerrilla Customer representative (usually myself) in order to demand a satisfactory resolution.
Companies which continue to stonewall the customer, offer no satisfactory resolution, try to make the problem the customer's fault, or take adversarial action against the customer for bringing a complaint are put onto the Guerrilla Customer's "black list." Several Guerrilla Customer reviews will be forthcoming.
WAMU's online bill pay is supposed to assist you with delivering payments on time. You select the date the check needs to arrive and they calculate when to send it. The past two months, using their online calculated estimates has made me late on my rent. When it happened the first time, I immediately called to insure it wouldn't happen again. The WAMU rep promised me that he would set it up so the payment would arrive 2 days prior to the date it needed to be there. I even went online again to confirm the dates would be right. Late again! Today is the first and my landlord just called me. No money.
So when I called WAMU, the rep (in India or overseas, no doubt) said that the money was already in my landlord's account. Which is pretty miraculous, since we don't have their account information. Another example of a complete lack of understanding.
I was then told that the check which was confirmed to be delivered today (the 1st) would take another 8 business days and that if I wanted to cancel the payment, it would take 5 days to be credited back to my account. So I ask "does WAMU stand by what it claims online for the delivery dates?" and he says, "no, it's just an estimate." Now, I am going to have to cancel the check, deliver it by (and be out an extra $2,000 until the money is credited back to my account).
WAMU is horrible. I was disconnected three times while trying to resolve this - it's now been three hours on the phone regarding the issue. Let's see... If I had a company and outsourced all my calls overseas (and the employees couldn't understand English), I didn't respond to customer complaints, I didn't deliver my products on time, and I offered no guarantee of my services... would I stay in business? NO. I guess I should consider going into banking.
WAMU WooHoo. No choices. No service. No support. No **!
MCDONOUGH, GEORGIA -- Never in my life have I seen a bank operate the way Washington Mutual does. I should have running screaming from them the first time they put a hold on my paycheck. Yes a paycheck for a $5 billion company. As if they weren't good for the money. That started happening more and more frequently. Then it was random checks I deposited. Each time I'd get a letter from them AFTER the hold cleared telling me that HAD PUT A HOLD on my check. So of course I spend like that money is available and they happily charge me fees.
I called them once and spoke to a Security Specialist who told me that they put "holds on random checks" that come off a report everyday. They told me any overdraft fees would be refunded. They never were. When I called to get some overdraft protection, you know a credit card or something that covers you if you overdraw, I was told that I "had overdraft protection" on my accounts. Here's how it works: The DAY you overdraw -- not the day you realize it -- but the EXACT DAY it happens, you go to the bank and make a deposit to cover the overdraft.
That's it. That's how it works. Okay WaMu that's not protection, that's called "the float". It's the time between transactions. Which brings me to my final point. Debit card purchases take like a week to make it to your account. Which makes it ever more likely you'll overdraw, because even if you check your balance every two minutes if you forget that latte you bought, then you're screwed. In short do not bank at Washington Mutual. If you're banking there now, then do like I am and close your accounts. You'd be better off putting your money under your mattress.