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WaMu Screwed Me They Will Screw You Too
Posted by on
I recently sent this to WaMu, it says it all!


I recently mailed a deposit of $500.00 to my WaMu Account # XXXXXXXX. 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.

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Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
This would be more than enough to make me close out my accounts with them.

Look for a local credit union. That's the kind of place where you can tell someone the problem, and they'll try and help you.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
What a class act. While hubby is getting ready to dodge bullets the wife is being stabbed in the back by the bank. Time to ditch this bank and head off to a place where you and your husband have faces, not just account numbers.
tnchuck100 on 03/12/2009:
We are faced with many enemies today. Afghanistan, Iraq, banks, ..... And the list is growing daily.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
With one small difference, chuck. Al Qaeda can kill you. The banks will make your life so miserable that you'll wish you were dead.
tnchuck100 on 03/12/2009:
True, Doc.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
I will be closing this account as soon as the check and my payroll clear. Now every time I call I have to verify the address I lived at 20 years ago and do I know so and so.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
allforfriends06 - More importantly, were you able to secure funds to see your hubby before he deploys? If not, call your local VFW and find their service officer. I'll bet they'll float you some cash until your check clears. (I know you'll repay them ASAP...so they can help someone else.)
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
Ghost of Doc J- I ended up going to the local pawn shop as well as getting a title loan. I had planned on driving through the night but instead had to get a red eye flight for tonight and I will be there come hell or high water tomorrow.

All of Wamu's customer service is located in Cebu,Philippines. I didn't realize this when I started up my account. Kind of ironic since I lost my job with Earthlink when they transferred their customer service to Cebu (People Support)in 2004.
tnchuck100 on 03/12/2009:
Be sure to pay back that title loan as the agreement states. Those places can make WaMu seem like your fairy godmother.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
Have a safe journey. You're one 'aychet cha-yil' (Hebrew: "Woman of Valor") for making some tough financial choices to make the trip possible. G-d speed to both of you!
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
tnchuck100- I checked everything out and will be paying that off on Monday. I explained the situation and the lady said that typically you need to keep the account for at least 1 month. I told here I would pay the balance on Monday and the $50 fee. She said that was no problem with the current situation I was facing. That's worth it to get me there on time.
It was nice actually speaking with someone that seemed to care.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
Thanks Ghost of Doc J!! :) This board makes me realize not everyone is as uncaring as Wamu Customer Service employees.
tnchuck100 on 03/12/2009:
BTW, good luck and tell your husband thanks.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
tnchuck100 - will do :)He will be back in 400 days.. not that I am going to be counting down or anything. Maybe I should have stayed in and followed him over :)
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
and please tell him we all thank him for his duty
madconsumer on 03/12/2009:
and this is the banks issue why?

banks are not there to be friends or companions, but to be a bank.
Anonymous on 03/12/2009:
"This board makes me realize not everyone is as uncaring as Wamu Customer Service employees."

is met by..."and this is the banks issue why? banks are not there to be friends or companions, but to be a bank."

Well almost all of us, allforfriends06...almost all of us.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
Funny! I read madconsumer's post and immediately this came to mind...just for you madconsumer!

And she said
Ain't nothing going to break my stride
Nobody's going to slow me down
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
Ain't nothing going to break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving

*and you got it KenPopcorn!
MRM on 03/12/2009:
That song is called "Been Around the World," by Mase and P Diddy.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
MRM- I was thinking of the one that came out in '83 by Men at Work (Ain't nothing going to hold me down). I didn't even know P Diddy had one!

Off to find it! Only 2 hours and 27 mins before I head to the airport.
MRM on 03/12/2009:
Its a remake version by P Diddy. You know how he do, he always samples other artists' music.
allforfriends06 on 03/12/2009:
MRM- I will have to check that out! I love the one Men at Work recorded. :) (I'm so 80's)
Starlord on 03/13/2009:
LOL. Your title for your complaint reminds me of the company using a phony opera. I can see the opera singers singing "they screwed others, they'll screw you too." ROFLMAO
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Horrible Customer Service And Outrageous Overdraft Fees!
Posted by on
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 low 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!
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Guerrilla Customer
Posted by on
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.

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bargod on 07/11/2008:
By your description there are tons of Guerrilla customers out there. Theyr'e called jerks.
tnchuck100 on 07/11/2008:
I like your concept. However, exactly how does this review relate to Washington Mutual?
wgaguy1984 on 07/11/2008:
So you purposefully create an escalated situation in order to see how the company reacts, and then contact management to demand compensation? Sounds like you're just a mooch with no life. Put that energy into getting a date, or reading to your kids, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
lol @ Bargod! Succinct and to the point!
gcustomer on 07/11/2008:
These reactions are exactly what I was expecting, and I'll now either answer them or reply in a (somewhat) consolidated fashion.

Customer advocacy needs to be based on a true evaluation of a company's commitment to customer service. As I stated in the first post, this is difficult to evaluate if there is no true challenge presented. Note that I was careful to state that the Gcustomer doesn't use obscene language, raise his voice, or make threats. He simply presents a customer service challenge, in order to see if the staff will try to rectify the problem, or if they will make the situation worse. Bargod's point is indeed "succinct"; so much so that it makes me wonder if he read my entire posting, or did so, but failed to grasp the point: anyone can deliver adequate service to an easy, non-demanding customer. Wauguy's point is way off the mark: monetary compensation is never demanded. I'm not sure what "creating an escalated situation" exactly means; certainly the potential is there for the situation to escalate if staff or management doesn't handle the situation in a manner that would de-escalte the situation, but whether it escalates or is favorably resolved depends entirely on how they handle the situation. That's the point. It's beneath both myself and the other, more thoughtful people posting and reading the postings to respond to derogatory comments about how I need a date or to volunteer at a soup kitchen. The point of this board is consumer advocacy, and that's what I'm promoting.

As far as how my post relates to Washington Mutual: they're at the top of the Black List for poor customer service.

bargod on 07/11/2008:
I did read your entire post gcustomer but, it came off so hokey with all the undercover operation stuff that I deceided not to respond seriously as I find it hard to take this post serious at all.
BobJohn on 07/11/2008:
So, you are going to be wasting different companies time trying to hit a HOT button and/or see how many people up the chain you can harass with non-existent problems just to satisfy your need to be a Consumer Guerrilla. There are already many places from the BBB to my3cents and ripoffreports to see legitimate complaints about customer service at various companies.

Your free time would be much better spent raising money for relief efforts or mentoring after school programs or working at an animal shelter or being a greeter at Wal-Mart.

Suusan B. on 07/11/2008:
How about the facts behind your black listing Wamu?
Hugh_Jorgen on 07/11/2008:
Eileen? Is that you?
Mrs. V on 07/11/2008:
I don't know if this is a 'joke post' but I will answer it anyway ^_^

Unless you are being asked by the company(s) to do this 'market research' then you are just being a difficult person.

You are only makeing some poor CSR or Managers job much harder and more stressful than it needs to be.

If you truly wish to run a business like this 'Guerrilla Customer', then do it the right way. Contact each company and ask if they wish to participate in your program to enhance their customer service.
jktshff1 on 07/11/2008:
sounds like you are trying to make a buck or scam someone into giving you something.
CrystalSword on 07/11/2008:
Thanks, I needed a good laugh today!
gcustomer on 07/11/2008:
Let's make one point very, very clear: the golden rule of customer service, indeed of business in general, is:

The Customer is Always Right. Of course, this doesn't mean that the customer is literally always right, it is a figurative expression meant to encourage the understanding that a company has a mandate to do everything in their power to ensure that their customers are treated for what they are: the lifeblood of the company. At one time, this was a given. Today, there are so many large companies that are truly devoid of any true commitment to customer service that many people simply take poor service for granted, and such poor service continues because so many people tolerate it, and don't expect anything better. The number of adverarial responses on this board toward my post from people who seem truly hostile toward aggressive consumer advocacy makes that point far better than I ever coult. Perhaps more disturbing is how few people seem able to grasp the point I'm trying to make.

As I've already stated, having "mystery shoppers" operate undercover is what certain companies are doing already. As far as feeling that such an undertaking is "hokey", that's fine. But that's really the only way to conduct a candid evaluation: announcing that you are there to report their ability to respond to a customer service challenge is not likely to yield a response that's truly representative of how they operate day-to-day. The problem with contacting a company to ask if they wish to participate makes one beholden to that company, rather than the consumers that I, and supposedly everyone on this board, are supposed to be advocates for. Which leads me to the larger issue here: this is a consumer advocacy board. If you truly feel that companies have every right to hold themselves to lower, rather than higher, standards in terms of customer service, then you are certainly entitled to your opinion. It is more than a little dubious, however, to take that position on a consumer advocacy board. Along that same line, although I wholeheartedly encourage and respect persons who participate in relief efforts, mentor after-school programs and work in animal shelters, none of those things have anything to do with consumer advocacy. If it makes the people who feel that "being a greeter at Wal Mart" is a truly worthwhile social endeavor happy, then I promise to not post consumer advocacy material on after-school program, soup kitchen, or Wal Mart Greeter websites. As far as simply "trying to make a buck or scam someone into giving you something", such a person would not devote his time to consumer advocacy: he would spend more time earning money by unscrupulous means. He also, in all likelihood,would not be drawing attention to his endeavors. And, so the record is clear: Gcustomer never asks for monetary compensation for transgressions of customer service. If monetary compensation is offered, it is refused, unless the issue at hand directly involves a consumer's loss of money.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
I am pretty convinced now that this is an 'Eileen' post.
bargod on 07/11/2008:
I don't know about that no one was on the phone to their brother at all during the post.
Anonymous on 07/11/2008:
Bargod, were missing the melting ice cream too. Plus no one from Albany wants to lock her away on this one.
gcustomer on 07/11/2008:
Of all the responses, I've noticed that the ones which seem understand and appreciate the Gcustomer mission, make the fewest irrelevant points, and contain the fewest spelling and grammatical errors (the correlation between poor comprehension/communication skills and dronish corporate advocacy is intriguing - I'll have to explore that at some point) all ask the same question: how does this relate to Washington Mutual?

Washington Mutual sets the standard for the Gcustomer Black List.

In order to make the Black List, a company must show "blatant disregard" for customer service. Mere incompetence, slow service, or anything else that might be simply inconvenient, annoying or otherwise upsetting to the average person isn't sufficient to make the Black List. What gets a company on the Black List is a demonstrated contempt for customer service bordering on abusive. I have, however, noticed that incompetence, inattention to customer needs, and customer abuse go hand-in-hand (just like contempt for strong consumer advocacy and the inability to spell and/or properly punctuate simple words in ones native language).

Further, it has to be clear that it's not merely one employee, group of employees, or even one store location that's the problem. Lack of regard for the customer has to be an integral part of the company culture, as demonstrated by an inability to resolve a serious customer service problem at a sufficiently high level of upper management. In order to get on the Black List, a company really has to drop well, well beneath any reasonable standard.

In September, 2000, Washington Mutual, after making a minor error in my bank account, insisted on charging me money to be able to view my account statement. When I refused to pay money to rectify a problem of their creation, the assistant branch manager threw me out of the bank (literally "pay five dollars or leave!"). I left. I then went to another branch of the bank, where the branch manager, without any hint of irony, indicated that she felt it was alright to be abusive of customers. Realizing the problem extended beyond the local branch I had dealt with initially, I contacted the regional manager. The regional manager then sent me a letter, signed by the assistant branch manager I had dealt with initially, stating that they were closing my account. When I telephoned her to ask how this
1.) resolved the problem I had gone into the bank initially to take care of,
2.) demonstrated good customer service,
she had no answer, and hung up.

My next step was to contact national management. After a series of poorly written letters (yes, full of spelling and grammatical errors) which addressed none of the issues I'd brought to their attention, I was referred to a person I'll for now call "V." "V" was beyond rude; he seemingly delighted in provoking customers. At one point, "V" called my voice mail and left an obscene message. I filed a report with my local police department to document the occurrence and continued to try to get through to Washington Mutual national management. After over a year of dogged persistence, I finally got through to a representative of national management. Contrary to what certain uninformed people on this board have implied, I asked for no monetary compensation (not even for reimburesment of the money that was missing out of my account - which was the issue that touched off the whole problem). I simply asked for an apology from the regional manager who had directed my account to be closed. Nothing more. After everything I'd gone through, it didn't seem like too much to ask, and would have been a very simple solution. But, Washington Mutual doesn't like to engender goodwill among its customers. The culture of Washinton Mutual is nothing short of contemptuous of its customers, as was clearly demonstrated to me at the local, regional, and national levels.

Was I being difficult in the branch that day? It really depends on your interpretation. I was certainly insistent on getting a resolution. But at no time did I raise my voice, use harsh language, or threaten. I kept my composure, but was not about to lose additional money to a bank that had already cost me, not only the missing money, but the time to drive to the bank, gas, etc. I wasn't, on top of all that, about to pay five dollars to fix their problem. Of course, what happened at the branch wasn't nearly as disturbing as regional and national management's complete, utter lack of concern for the abominable way in which a customer was handled.

Hence, the Guerrilla Customer was born out of a need to identify, and expose, such rogue companies to the public, in order to allow others to avoid such experiences themselves, and, although I'm probably Bing a little utopic here, to motivate the rogue companies to reevaluate their approach to customer service. Gcustomer also has Gold List and Platinum List companies that deliver outstanding and super-outstanding customer service (Costco is a Gold List Company; Nordstrom and In 'n' Out Burger are on the Platinum List).
bargod on 07/14/2008:
gcustomer there's nothing wrong with demanding good service, buy you just come off as some sort of whacked out super hero. I guess theres no costume as you are undercover a lot.
Ponie on 07/14/2008:
Tabitha, didn't they have any high chairs available for your use at WAMU? I guess I have to retract that statement--doesn't sound like Tabitha. But it does sound like a member who has been mysteriously absent from both this post and the forum for a while.

The poster is so full of it, I can smell it through the monitor!
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WAMU Online Bill Pay
Posted by on
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 S---!

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tnchuck100 on 07/02/2008:
So WAMU has demonstrated their inability to handle your bill payments. You should control these things yourself. Auto-pay is subject to many shortcomings. You can be overcharged, the payment can be late, and can cause overdrafts.

YOU make on-line payments yourself 7 business days before the due date and it should work fine.

However, WAMU can still screw that up too. Find a credit union.
Ponie on 07/02/2008:
My rent is set up as a recurring payment from my checking account at National City. Rent is due on the 1st (with no late fee if paid by the 5th). I'm the one who chose the date of the 31st for arrival of my check. During months of less than 31 days, it's sent to arrive by the last business day of the month. National City guarantees if I chose a date one day prior to the actual due date of a bill and it arrives late, they will handle any late fees and interest, plus pay me $50. This was all done online without my having to call them. In all the years they've been sending out my rent, I've still to have the chance to collect the $50. BTW, the rental company offers to withdraw each month from my account--but no way is anyone getting access to my money or my account number.

If you have a National City bank in your area, perhaps you should consider switching to it. The few times I've had to call someone at NC, calls from my area go in to Grand Rapids MI and then transferred to my branch--which isn't in India or overseas.
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Random Holds And Slow Transaction Posting
Posted by on
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 your 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.
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tnchuck100 on 05/29/2008:
You are going to find many pro-bank-screwing-the-customer advocates here. Be brave.

Close your accounts and find a credit union. They treat their customers much better.
madconsumer on 05/29/2008:
"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 your bought, then you're screwed."

this is why you need to keep an accurate checks and balance registire.

bank of America has done me very very well over the last many many years.
trumania on 05/29/2008:
Several points here:

1) A paycheck from a $5 billion dollar company. Hmm... granted the company may be 'worth it' but the bank still has to process the check, which includes sending it to the Federal Reserve, then to the originating bank, then back to the Fed, then back to your bank. There is a process for this, and even though YOU may think it's absurd to put a hold on a paycheck, you are wrong. Banks are legally entitled to do this. My recommendation is to sign up for direct deposit as you will have no holds on that pay day. If you get paid on Friday, you pay will be in your account no later then 3AM Eastern time.

1.1) Forgers VERY OFTEN make checks using "$5 billion dollar company" names in an effort to play the, "How dare you put a hold, this is a $5 billion dollar company they're worth the money" argument so they can scam the bank into giving them money off of that fake check. Just because the check has a "legitimate" name on it, doesn't mean it's a real check, this is why it takes time to process those checks.

1.2) Holds provide protection for you AND the bank. They prevent fraud for the bank, for you, they prevent money from being spent if it's not there. Why does that mean?

I have actually seen a customer deposit a $3,000 check, of course the system placed a hold on it, she pissed and moaned at the branch manager to have the hold removed as it was from a "legitimate company". So he took the risk and removed it. 5 days after the deposit she called me yelling and moaning that there was a reverse deposit on her account and she had incurred several Overdraft charges and Non Sufficient Funds charges. Guess what happened? The check bounced (was returned unpaid) and the bank took back the funds that were placed into this customers account. Had the lady waited the original six days for the hold she would have only seen the check did not clear and would have avoided all those OD/NSF fees. After calling the branch manager and finding out the stink she caused, we refused to waive any fees as it was her 'guarantee' that the check was good. As you can imagine she was NOT happy, but... it was her fault.

2)Hold Notifications: WaMu prints on the receipt of any transaction the account ledger and available balance. The ledger balance is the total balance including checks which have holds on them, your available balance is ...well... you're available balance. There is no way you can say you didn't know. This information is also provided by telephone 1-800-788-7000, or on www.wamu.com through online banking.

3) Overdraft Protection: WaMu offers 3 options for overdraft protection as of last year.

3.1) Overdraft Limit: This allows you to actually overdraft your account a certain amount, the bank will pay for that bill and will charge you an Overdraft fee as a result. So you pay back what the bank paid for you + a fee. Many people HATE this option and call to have it removed, however, MANY people also call and curse and scream that they got declined at the grocery store. Of course they're PISSED when they find out they're $50 short in their account and the bank would not pay for it because they had called earlier to have it removed. Nice.

3.2) Overdraft Transfer Service: If you have $10 dollars in your account and buy a $50 dollar pair of shoes, then the OTS will transfer the money from your savings account to your checking account. The transfer will ONLY happen IF you have the $40 (the needed amount) + $xx.xx (the fee for the service). If you don't have enough to pay for the extra money + the fee, then it will not transfer as it would still overdraft your account. Only ONE checking account can be linked to ONE savings account with this option. You can not have one savings account protecting two checking accounts.

3.3) Overdraft Line of Credit: You must apply for this in the branch as its a line of credit that you have to apply for and be approved for. Basically this protects your account similar to the OTS but it comes from a dedicated line of credit that you can make monthly or balance payments on at any time. The ODLOC does accrue interest the day the money is transferred out of it. There may also be an annual fee to use this service.

3.4) WaMu was supposed to roll out a Credit Card that could act as Overdraft Protection, not sure if it has or hasn't happened yet.

4) Yes, debit card transactions take time to clear. PIN Based transactions normally clear within three business days. Credit based transactions can take up to 7 days to clear, as the bank is basically waiting for the merchant and Mastercard to finalize the transaction.

If you can't remember how much money you spent or where you spent it, you can go into your local branch and they will give you a Check Register so you can record all your transactions. If you don't want to do it in line at Starbucks, just throw the receipt in the register and balance it out that night. Taking responsibility is your only way to know exactly how much money you have in your account. If you assume you have this or that, then that's when people run into trouble.

5) Mattresses: It's is absolutely 100% your right to put your money under your mattress. However, remember when you do that you run the risk of losing that money in any natural disaster or robbery/burglary.

Also, that money does not appreciate, you do not gain any interest in anything that sits underneath your mattress, great way to lose free money.

Also, if you continue to receive checks, you'll need a bank account to cash those checks... or better yet you can cash them at a check cashing outlet or Walmart, but then we might see you complaining how they charge you a fee usually 3% in return for no holds on the check.

Overall, if you are unaware of what's happening in your account, or you choose to assume that everything is as you think it should be... well you're going to have problems with any account at any bank, including Credit Unions.

Good Luck,
Steven33616 on 05/30/2008:
How is your overdraft history? Have you overdrafted a lot? If so, this may be the contributing factor to the bank holding your checks. I bank with Washington Mutual, Wachovia, and Bank of America. They all handle things differently. The easiest to understand out of the three is Bank of America. Maybe moving your account to somewhere else will be to your benefit.
naunga on 01/29/2009:
I think it speaks volumes about WaMu that they are now owned by Chase Manhattan...and that's all I'll say about that.
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WAMU making money out of their hidden charges and
Posted by on
I should have read all of the previous online complaints about Washington Mutual before I listened to my friend\'s great words about WAMU and to open an account with WAMU. I got hit badly with their hidden finance charges and very odd payment posting policy. I transferred some big amount of dollars with their new card offer. When I received my first statement, there was more than $30 finance charges. I called and asked what happened. It was my first bill, and I am planning to pay off the balance transfers. However, they told me that from the first day of the balance transfer, they need to charge the finance charge on the balance transfer. I asked if it can be waived since I will pay off everything & it was my first bill. They said no and will only stop the finance charges as long as I pay off everything.

Then later I found out that the money I paid to cover the balance transfers total but they applied them to all the new credit card charges I made instead of the statement balance. I asked them why, they replied that because whenever and whatever amount they receive, they will apply to the credit card charges first, and of course, they will continue to charge me finance charges on the balance transfers, which I thought I have already paid off. So, I paid them everything. Today, I received my 2nd statement, and there is a new finance charge, I asked what happened. They stated that it is the remaining finance charges due to my new charges and the time before they received my payments. I asked what is the way to stop their money \"making\" from me like that. The result is to stop using that stupid WAMU VISA card, and pay off every single penny.

So, I was so mad, and told them that I will pay off every single penny then will order them to close my account, and won\'t use their services ever. I will also tell everyone I know how they \"made\" money out of me. I wish the whole world will boycott them. I will tell everyone I know to read all the complaints about them on the internet.
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Anonymous on 04/25/2008:
This is the same with every credit card, there are no hidden charges here. You apparently did a low rate balance transfer. You had the use of their money, and they charged interest. Cash advances always get charged interest, there are no 0% cash advances. If you are using your card for purchases which will get the lower rate, of course they are going to apply the payments to the low rate items, not the high rate ones. The only way to get rid of the higher rate balance is to pay the card down to zero. Every card operates this way.
tnchuck100 on 04/25/2008:
Ken is telling you like it is. If you read your agreement you will find they do explain all of the rates and fees and how they are applied. Granted, it's not easy reading, but it is there.

The credit card company is counting on you not being aware of or understanding the details. That is how they make most of there money.

Remember: EDUCATION is what you get when you read the fine print, EXPERIENCE is what you get when you don't.
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Inconvenient Balance Transfer Request
Posted by on
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I requested a balance transfer from Washington Mutual over a month ago, reading all the fine print, and proceed to enter the required information. The two items that I search for when requesting a balance transfer are (1) 0% offers and (2) those that charge 3% or up to $75.00 of the amount requested. I am not new to the "balance transfer" game and am pretty savvy about the process. Since I had not heard anything regarding this transfer, either via email or the US mail, I decided to find the funds to pay off my Chase credit card balance, which resulted in a -0- balance. After viewing my Chase account on March 7, I was shocked to see that a "balance transfer" has gone through in the amount of $4,400, which gave me a credit balance for that amount. Needless to say I was shocked and called Chase regarding this issue.

At the time, I did not know who had generated the balance transfer since I had requested two of them through different agencies. Chase could not give me that information since it was a "check" and the originator was not shown. I decided to call WAMU to see if in fact they had made the BT and found out that they had. I was quite upset since I was not previously notified of this transaction by WAMU and especially when I found out that the service fee was 3% of the total amount or $132. This mess resulted in having to call Chase and WAMU numerous times, in an effort to rectify this situation. My efforts were for naught. WAMU was of no help and I found their customer service department to be extremely unhelpful and rude to boot.

In the end, I had to request a check from Chase to pay off the balance transfer, minus the service charge of course. Since this is a 0%, I have decided to pay $11 per month for the next year to pay off the dreaded service fee. My biggest gripe with this bank is that I was not notified prior to them performing the balance transfer. Typically, the company will send out a credit card, at which time the requester can then perform the balance transfer on their own schedule.

Just a warning to the wise, do not do what I did and get stuck paying a transfer fee that was unnecessary.

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Ponie on 03/08/2008:
Looks as though you're not so savvy after all. If you frequently play the 'balance transfer' game, once in a while you can become a loser.
grandma005 on 03/08/2008:
Why did you not just call Washington Mutual and see if the balance transfer was made or approved?
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Wamu Customer Service is Awful
Posted by on
I have been with WAMU for many years. Once my favorite bank, it has changed so much I am moving my accounts to a new bank.

In the past their customer service was top notch and easy to access by phone. Now it takes 4 minutes of pushing buttons and listening to automated information I do not need before I can get to an option that offers me a human. Then the human is in some foreign country and does not seem to understand what I am saying. My last call began with me telling the person how annoying it is to go through so many auto menus before getting to a person option. After my lengthy explanation of how I did not need all the acct balances etc, she said I have to enter the numbers for security purposes. CLEARLY she did not understand what I said at all. I told her AGAIN, that I do not object to entering access codes for security. I OBJECT to the 4 minutes of unnecessary acct info and selections that I don't need BEFORE getting the option of a person. She still said something in response that did not seem to address what I said at all. So by this time I'm very frustrated.

Then I tell her I went to the sight and SAW my paycheck in my main acct. I then transferred less than half of my balance to another checking acct. This threw me into a NEGATIVE balance. So I called because I can't be NEGative since my transfer was less than half my balance. She told I put my acct in the RED because I did my transfer BEFORE I got my auto-deposited check. NO, I said. I looked at the acct BEFORE I made the transfer with the express purpose of making sure my check was there. After telling me several times my check WAS NOT there, she then assured me that I would not get dinged an overdraft fee. She said they simply posted my transfer before my check.

WHY, I asked, did you transfer the money before the check? How? All she could say was she understands my frustration. I don't think so!!!

I now DREAD anytime I must call my bank. They don't respond to my messages generated from my online acct. Their Customer Service died when it went overseas, and now I am off to Venture-Bank of WA who has USA based banks and customer service. I am saddened by the decline in WAMU. I was once such a happy customer, and now I am a former customer.

Stay away from WAMU if you want to avoid a truly frustrating bank who no longer seems to care much about their customers.
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tnchuck100 on 02/16/2008:
The best thing you can do is find a credit union or a small local bank.
madconsumer on 02/16/2008:
bank of America has an option when you dial in to immediately go to a human. in fact, a human in the usa!

I love bank of America.
trumania on 03/25/2008:
At WaMu they process all their transactions at the end of the night, so anything you see on your account is actually a placeholder for the end of the night.

Debits then Credits is how they balance the accounts at night.

So yes, you may have transferred $150.00 out of your account (even though you already showed your deposit) it would show up on your online banking as -$150.00 but at the end of the night since you had more credits then debits your balance would have gone back to positive and you would have not received an Overdraft Charge.

It's odd, complicated, illogical, but that's the way the banks do it. Why? Because when they process these millions of transactions they have to bring their computer systems down which is why you won't be able to do a Immediate Funds Transfer after 9pm Pacific Time. Those systems have already been shut down to process the transactions for the day.
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The Old Bait and Switch Comes to Your Savings
Posted by on
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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tnchuck100 on 11/20/2007:
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.
Anonymous on 11/20/2007:
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.
nikkidebo on 01/22/2008:
what people don't 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.
HelloThere on 09/11/2008:
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.
ejack053824 on 09/11/2008:
credit union credit union credit union!!
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I Was Treated As A Criminal
Posted by on
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS/ ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Real, unique, outrageous, unforgettable situation:

After waiting for more than a week we got a letter that we requested but it was not complete... We just needed it to state our current balance, date of opening the account and amount deposited last year. So, we went back to WAMU in Altamonte Springs, and a nice Manager's assistant helped us writing another letter but the next day we noticed that the letter didn't have my husband's name, and of course it was required, so I went back again, but had the terrible luck of being attended - I'm not saying taken care by_ the "Branch manager"...

The guy never asked me to take a sit, never looked at me, and then made me wait for 2 and a half hours - in the lobby or waiting area. The time is not an exaggeration, it is signed in.

Then, almost three hours later when I stepped into his office tired of waiting, the guy without a blink, told me that he was not giving me what I wanted. He said that he cannot issue a letter about the business accounts because those belong to a company and companies have an EIN number and not a social security number so he cannot state that those were our accounts, and, he added like saying nothing, he just can issue a letter about our personal account but would just include the last two statements, and not the total deposited last year, but I won't have it anyway because it had to be notarized and he cannot notarize his own documents so I won't get anything - smile for the picture please!!!!
But that is not the worse...

I asked him questions trying to understand why the "system" won't let him write that information and the more I asked the more dull where his answers. He just meant: I am not giving you anything that you requested no matter what! And then, when I told him he had been really rude making me wait like this for nothing he said very triumphal: If you don't like it I can escort you out!
I was shocked!!! The guy is around 6 feet tall, I guess Haitian; I am a medium small woman, Hispanic... I said, OK, great, awesome; if that is what I can get from you, yes, escort me out; but before doing so, I need to have one of your cards. So when I took the card from his desk he was already calling the police!!! Oh yeah. I thought he was bluffing... but when I was leaving I heard he said "and she is vandalizing my lobby and doesn't want to leave." So, ... I came back and said: what? wow, I'll wait here if that's the case, - but then I thought that if I stayed they might believe I didn't want to leave, but if I leave, I was going to be chased like a criminal outside... I never had a situation like this; what are you supposed to do? this is unbelievable, absurd and very, very humiliating!

The story ends with me waiting for the police outside the bank; crying while talking to my husband and then being questioned by police officers - I got a "Trespassing Order".. oh yeah, he said I was throwing papers while vandalizing his lobby - but then the report just reads "disturbing"...?

I was never vulgar, never threatened him, never insulted or said offensive things; I am not any kind of danger for him or the Bank, so, how is that after him abusing me, as a client and human being - making me wait like that and mistreating me verbally - he can prohibit me from going to the branch I've been using for more than seven years in a row? Plus, the worst of the worst, how can he call the cops on me spotting my name and reputation and can sleep without disturbance while I've cried my eyes and felt so terribly bad when my sweet daughter inquired why I has been 'escorted" by the police? This guy destroyed my image to cover his lack of respect to a human being, his unprofessionalism, his incompetence and negligence, and then he can get away with it, like nothing, laughing at me I guess?

By the way, the Manager of other Branch made me the letter. It took her a couple of minutes!!!

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Anonymous on 11/16/2007:
Either the branch manager is mental unstable or there must be something more to this story.

I am guessing the bank's security cameras would absolve you if there was no wrong doing on your part. Was the footage reviewed by the police?
killerklown on 11/16/2007:
What Rob said. There's more to this story. If this really happened, the police would have reviewed the banks security footage.
Anonymous on 11/16/2007:
If what you posted here is exactly what happened, then you need to insist that the police review the security tapes. If the branch manager's allegations are exaggerated and he filed a false claim against you, damaging your reputation and wasting the police officer's time, you need to do something about it.
Either that, or we're not getting all the details here and he was completely justified in his actions.
cycolbur on 11/16/2007:
If this happened as you said it did then I would talk to a lawyer and protect your reputation. I would also talk to the banking commission in your state. Also are you implying that he treated you that way because of race?? any ways good luck
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