Washington Mutual Complaint - Excuses never match - Wire Transfers, Theft and Poor Customer Service
CALIFORNIA -- On March 05, 2008, I had to wire transfer funds to family outside of the US. It was an emergency and therefore, I spoke to WAMU Customer Service about doing such a transfer. They assured me that the transfer can be handled through WAMU without any problems and will take only 2 - 3 business days. When asked if we could use Citibank as the intermediary bank since the international account is a Citibank account, they said yes, that would be no problem. I went to our branch in Rancho Cucamonga with all of the necessary information to wire transfer $2,000.00 to our family and into their Citibank account. I specifically gave the Teller handling the transaction all of the Citibank information along with a Citibank Internal SWIFT Code to ensure delivery. I explained it to her; however, she insisted that HSBC had to be used as the intermediary bank. When she tried to enter the SWIFT Code, it failed, so I again explained to her that it is an Internal SWIFT Code for Citibank. She explained that she would forward the Citibank information to HSBC. Hell, she could not even get the account documentation correct. Long story short, they lost the funds and I ended up having to research everything. They could not give me a straight answer as to the tracking information with HSBC and Citibank said they never saw it come through. When it was reported to WAMU Executive Services, Christian, he promised to locate the problem and contact me back that same day, March 10th. I never received a call back from him. I did however provide him with the information originally given to the teller at the Rancho Cucamonga Branch.
On Friday, March 14th, the funds magically appeared in the Citibank account that they were being sent to. I still had not received a call from Christian regarding the status of the funds. I had made several attempts to contact his manager and to no avail. I also made numerous attempts to contact Mr. Thomas Casey, EVP/CFO and Mr. Kerry Killinger, Chairman/CEO. I was blocked from speaking to them by the switchboard. I ended up flying to Seattle and met with investigative reporters there at the SEATAC Airport, then returning on March 12th. I lost 2 days of work behind this incident at a cost of $500.00 per day, on top of the ticket to fly there, for which I was refused a meeting after having been invited. We had to secure an emergency loan for the family in that country for the amount we sent. We are out well over $1,500.00 in losses total which includes the interest we paid for the short term loan. WAMU has yet to accept responsibility for this incident. I finally received a call from Christian on March 24th at 9:31am, advising me that the funds had made it to the destination.
However, the situation with WAMU became worse on March 24th. I learned of a withdrawal of $1,026.00 that took place on March 20th from our checking account at approximately 4:53pm. Before contacting WAMU, I called my wife and asked her about it, since the on-line statement shows it as a Customer Withdrawal. She said has no clue as to the withdrawal and suggested I call WAMU. I did and was told that we withdrew the funds from the Escondido Branch. Clearly, this wasn't the case so I requested information on this withdrawal. I was transferred to a fraud investigator who informed me that the withdrawal was made in Escondido California. She stated the withdrawal was against a check deposit of $2,200.00. Naturally, this deposit does not show up on our online account as all others do. I asked her about that and she replied that deposit never show up that same day on the online banking. This was incorrect information and I know this was false since they do appear on-line after a deposit is made the same day, just as withdrawals are. She contacted the branch where the transaction took place and was convinced that the funds were suppose to be for another account. I am convinced otherwise as she said in the beginning that this was likely someone using our account to defraud the bank. How is it that the tellers do not check identification? I have all mine and so does my wife. We also have our cards and PIN's are never written down.
The investigator told me she would get the deposit slip and a copy of the check for me so as to file crime report with the Escondido Police Department. I was ready to go to Escondido to meet with EPD Fraud Investigators when I was convinced that it would not be necessary. Needless to say, I did file a report.
I again call corporate Executive Services and again, I had to speak with Christian. Gave him the information and was told that this matter would be expedited. I was also assured that there would be no fee's for any transactions coming in.
On March 25th, they charged our account 2 overdraft fees of $30.00 each (We changed banks and put the money elsewhere because of the problems prior to the March 20th incident and left the $1,026.00 in the account to cover outstanding transactions). I sent the customer service unit an e-mail on each transaction including the theft. They replied that they are fee's owed for the transactions and that WE took the $1,026.00 out of the account in Pullman Washington! Needless to say, this is incorrect and very WRONG.
Since this matter came to light, we have been given 3 different stories as to what had taken place with our funds. Again, Executive Response is not being very responsive and making excuses. I have come to know that their job is not to help WAMU customers, but protect those at the executive level. I have also learned that Customer Service knows little about escalating matters such as this to Quality Assurance or Executive Response. In fact, when I questioned Customer Service, they believe they are the ones who handle all complaint issues.
Clearly, the business philosophy of those in the Executive Management Team starts with 1 word – “GREED”. While making a minimum BASE salary of $900,000.00 annually and a very liberal bonus structure as the CEO of Washington Mutual, you would think that being sued for their mishandling of customers and investors might cause Mr. Killinger, his direct reports and the Board of Directors to take a closer look at how they are doing business and how they can save their investors and depositors millions of dollars each year. With a growing trend of complaints on internet consumer web sites regarding Washington Mutual, one might wonder if it is really worth doing business with them. With the economy falling into a recession and businesses closing their doors, investor’s loosing millions of dollars, the mortgage industry taking dive. Is it not worth taking the time to hear what the consumers are saying? Business philosophy needs to change if they intend to remain in business. Consumers are looking for better deals, honesty, integrity and a company that is going to accept responsibility for its actions. Companies who are these things and strive for Quality in the care of their customers will be ultimately be successful in our current situation. As GREED is the current cause of our nations declining market. As executives, middle management and front line team members, we have to remember that we too are consumers and ask how we would want to be treated.
It is no secret, that when a corporate executive is faced with an issue of treatment or handling by someone of another company, they would in fact go straight to the top. They too would want to speak with their equal in handling their poor customer service experience or poor quality of product and service delivery. It happens every day. The end result of which is immediate satisfaction often time resulting in termination. It is a privilege they extend to one another. It is a privilege all should enjoy. If the executives do not like it, then do business honestly and with integrity.
Here a just a few of the web sites I have visited. For more, you can Google – “Washington Mutual Complaints”. There are literally hundreds if not thousands.