Washington Mutual Complaint - Washington Mutual: arbitrarily places holds on deposits
FLORIDA -- Washington Mutual claims in its mission statement to be about "fairness," and to cut through bureaucracies to improve customer service. This company is one big hypocrite, and I am now poised to follow the advice of folks on my3cents who have advocated letters to attorney generals, and to better business bureaus.
Here's the morass I just went through this week at the hand of this corporate hypocrite: My girlfriend is employed at a large local company that owns more than two dozen national chain restaurants in the area and is paid weekly. I am a freelance writer who writes mostly for a very, very large and well-known newspaper group that is based in New York City AND includes our local daily newspaper, for which I write. I, too, make weekly deposits.
When my bank originally informed me six weeks ago that my girlfriend's payroll checks would be held for two days, I objected, and then was told that if I continued to make the deposit weekly, the computer would erase that "hold." Great .... I followed orders and after two weeks, no hold. Then just last week, the two-day hold was reinstated, I was told upon depositing the check. But why, I asked? I've followed your directions and the hold had been removed. Why was it popping up again? Don't know, the clerk said.
Not only did my bank hold this check for two days; it became apparent after Day Two that the check was actually being held for FIVE days!! Wait, there's more: after depositing MY freelance check weekly for several weeks, with no holds, suddenly this week a four-day hold was placed on MY check, as well! NFS fees began to appear at an alarming rate; I Marched in to the bank and vehemently objected. The fees were refunded, but I was given a lecture by the bank about A) being more aware of holds being placed on my checks and B) being nicer to the bank clerks when I come in with a complaint.
When I asked for an explanation of why the holds were put on our checks in the first place, I was told first that holds are placed if the bank is uncertain whether a payroll check would clear; when I reminded the bank manager that both employers were household names, she brushed on past. Then, I was told that holds are placed if our account hs recently been in bad condition. I reminded the bank manager that our account was in better shape now, when the hold was placed, than it had been four weeks ago when the holds were removed. Again, no answer provided.
This is evidence of a bureaucratic nightmare, where the right hand knows not what the left is doing. Two other points: 1) if someone has a record of bouncing checks, common sense says that withholding their paycheck for days after they've been paid would likely increase, rather than decrease the likelihood of more checks bouncing. this policy of punishing us by withholding what's rightfully ours is insulting to the human race. 2) it almost seems as though banks seek to hone in on folks that look like good sources of ongoing revenue through NFS fees. i get the feeling that after we bounced a few checks, the bank decided, 'hey, they are vulnerable and ripe for the picking. let's start withholding their checks unpredictably and I'll be we'll make some good money off of these folks.'
I just think that we have become all too accepting of unreasonable policies, as evidenced by the vast number of people I've seen chiming in to questions like this by reiterating and reinforcing bank policies, seemingly closing their minds to the base fairness of the policy in the first place. about 150 years ago, the idea of someone much wealthier than a wage-earner determining when and how that wage-earner could get paid was considered slavery .....