Washington Mutual Complaint - Wamu Atm/Debit Not Linked To Your Savings
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I enrolled via wamu.com for savings and free checking account in February. I did extensive research to find the right bank for me. One feature I was looking for was overdraft protection. Specifically, I was wanting an account that would simply debit my savings account when funds were not available in my checking account. Washington Mutual sent a confirmation/welcome email to me once I was confirmed as enrolled online. This email (which I saved and still have) clearly stated that my ATM/Debit Card would be sent to me shortly and it also stated: "Your savings account will also be linked to this card." That is all that was stated about my ATM/Debit Card. At the end of July I did not transfer funds from my savings account to my checking account to replenish funds. I knew that I had no outstanding checks (I rarely write a check) and wanted to keep my money in the savings account where it could earn interest. Since my ATM/Debit Card was linked to my savings account I thought I was making a sound financial decision that would give me the most benefit.
I got a shocking surprise in the mailbox about a week later. A letter from WaMu advised me that I was overdrawn on my checking account, that the amount to the merchant was paid, however I would be incurring a fee of $35.00. Of course it took about a week for all the transactions to come and once they all did I ended up with $291.00 in overdraft fees alone.
I have called WaMu's customer service on three separate occasions explaining the facts surrounding the overdrafts and that reason for the occurrences were due to official communication I received from Washington Mutual. The agents I have spoken with all state that yes, The ATM/Debit Card is linked to my savings account but only on ATM withdrawals. I told them that is all nice and lovely but their email needs to specify that. The email does say that the debit card is linked to my savings account. There was no small print on the emailed message.
I have also visited two of Washington Mutual's branches seeking a correction of this error and a reversal of the overdraft fees. Apparently there is nothing they can do since this is an "internet" account.
About a week after I had originally opened this account I got a letter in the mail from WaMu (which I still have) expressing difficulty in sending email to my yahoo account. I had been receiving regular emails from Washington Mutual The letter even specified my correct yahoo address as the address that was problematic. This letter informed me of the importantcy of having a valid email address so I could be contacted with important information regarding my account. I was able to get this situation corrected by providing WaMu my Hotmail address instead. Question: When I started to overdraft and incur overdraft charges, why wasn't an email sent to me? Why was I notified by postal mail only? Answer: Washington Mutual wanted me to be oblivious to this for a few days so I would continue using my debit card. My continued use of the card meant more overdraft fees. Washington Mutual has proven it is a company without scruples. They misinform you and mislead you from the beginning. I am an informed consumer who researches and compares companies and products before buying. I expect companies to be candid and honest. Especially a financial institution that is charged with the safe keeping of my money. I had plenty of money in my savings account to cover any and all transactions and fulfilled my obligations.
I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. After submitting my complaint I soon uncovered that Washington Mutual has a "D" rating with the BBB. Washington Mutual is unethical and predatory in its practices and should not be trusted with something as important as your money.