Washington Mutual Informative - The Old Bait and Switch Comes to Your Savings
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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