CALIFORNIA -- I've ask myself on several occasions if some CSR with USAA have a personal grudge against me. Does a USAA CSR possibly know me and is purposely trying to make a life a living hell? I even gave USAA the benefit at one point, believing it's possible I could have make an online-mistake, but now I know better. USAA just did not want my business.
After being a "loyal" customer for over 10 years, I've chosen to cancel both my auto and renters insurance with this company because of their lack of integrity. My complaint is not complicated. It's simple. USAA attempted to deduct a premium out of my account (auto-pay) on a date my premium was not even due. To top this off, the amount of the premium was incorrect. USAA did not apologize for this incident, only stating it was not fault due to USAA (indicating me) and that I requested an auto payment of this amount to be taken out. OK.
So I was having trouble online one evening and immediately contacted a USAA CSR and told her I was having difficulties online. The USAA CSR assisted me, making me feel confident that the online problem I was having had been taken care of. One week later, USAA tried to deduct the funds from my account. Sure USAA did one thing right, they told me, as a "courtesy" they would remove their $15.00 fee for non-sufficient funds, but would not reimburse my bank fees. OK. So I took the bank fee loss.
After speaking to another USAA CSR I was assured a date and a premium amount would be deducted from my account a certain day (usually the same day monthly), lo and behold, they did it to me again. Stating my premium was due, this time on another date. WTF (excuse my language). I immediately contacted USAA AGAIN and ask why? what? how? when? I let them know this time I had proof!
I had proof with the date and amount that was due to be taken out. I had covered myself this time accordingly to USAA, NOT. What more did I need as proof?! I had printed the page from USAA's website with my premiums due date and amount. After feeling confident about having my so-called proof, a USAA CSR prompted me to another screen online with a new document. This document clearly stated a different due date from the one I had printed less than 3 weeks prior to USAA uploading this "new" document along with a new due date.
I did not receive an email from USAA stating I had a new document online to view. However, USAA did do the right thing again, - they waived the $15.00 fee from their end, stating it's a "courtesy" fee waiver again. How about my bank fee?! How about reimbursing me those fees!?
As far as I'm concerned, USAA didn't do me a "courtesy" by not charging me $15.00 on both occasions it clearly being fault of their own. I wish USAA would have showed some type of integrity they should have done what was right. I've chosen not to renew my auto insurance with USAA and cancelled my renters insurance as well. I'm starting to think maybe they'll be looking for a bailout by presenting statistics to Congress showing how this recession has caused them to lose customers/business.
This was not the case with me. USAA simply did not want my business anymore. They'll sure make it look good on paper since I was the one that cancelled. What did I have to do? Should I have continued to allow them to deduct premiums that weren't due? I don't think so. I know USAA just didn't want little old me as a customer. USAA is a company who'd "cook their books" at anyone's expense.
One way to guess that a company has bad customer service is when there is no way to contact them via email through their website. Live and learn. My adventure with USAA began when I Googled "Online Banks" about 6 weeks ago because I have moved three times in the last year and was tired of having to change all my banking. USAA was the 2nd on the list, so I opened a checking and savings account. My mom carries a USAA credit card and their website said members had to either be a vet or the child of a vet, which I am. I opened the accounts with no problem, after providing information on my mother including her social security number. I transferred money into each account from my existing account at another bank. The following week, after I had received my ATM card in the mail, I called to activate it and was told I could not activate it because I needed to fax in a photocopy of my drivers license and my soc sec card. I guess I was supposed to have ESP to know that, because I never got an email or a phone call to ask me to send that information. I faxed it the following day from a nearby office supplies store, since I haven't had a fax machine in years. Who the heck faxes anything anymore?
Then, for the next three weeks upon trying to logon to my accounts on the USAA site, I got a message "your account has been locked for security reasons. Call fraud . . ."and a phone number. Each time I called that number I was told "it just takes a few days," and I politely waited and tried again the next day. After 4 or 10 of these calls, I got pissed off and made the dimwit on the line dig to see what was holding things up. After 2 to 8 transfers, someone told me that they had not been able to read the fax image three weeks ago when the fax came in. Three weeks ago! And nobody bothered to tell me! So I demanded an email address to send the information instead of a fax and they said "sure you can email it." Recall that I was told initially that it had to be faxed. So I emailed it, and three days later was finally able to get onto the website. And guess what? It showed a balance of $00.00 in my accounts. So back on the phone, and was now told that my accounts had been closed and a check mailed to me because I was not eligible to have an account with USAA. After 3-7 transfers, I got a Executive Supervisor or something, who said that I was not eligible to have a USAA account because my mother had never purchased insurance from them. Are you still with me?
So, instead of their website informing me I wasn't eligible to open an account, it accepted all the information, appeared to open an account, then locked me out of my own money, gave me the runaround, and sent me my own money back, six weeks later (they told me the check was in the mail). I wonder how many people's money they hold on to like this? Sounds like a scam to me. Stay away from USAA. They are either crooks or completely incompetent. In either case, I'm relieved to be getting my money out. I think they should be investigated. Mike Wallace, where are you?
Top reasons why I will never switch from USAA to Progressive:
Clientele: while driving down the highway I was struck from the rear by an inebriated unemployed Progressive driver, who was already on probation for DUI. It feels good to ensure others who would be court-martialed if they behaved like this individual.
Clarity: when I call USAA I don't have to be transferred from a National Office to a local office, and since I don't need to be transferred I don't get two different stories about the service they provide. When I call Progressive the national office tells me that they will go wherever I need, service and inspect the car wherever I like and generally accommodate me, but when I call the local office I am told I must go to their body shop during working hours have my car checked out. When I call the national office and ask to speak to someone higher up, they route me to another claims adjuster in the same department who also cannot help. No bureaucracy, that's why I love USAA.
Availability: when I call USAA I am told we will be here all night to help you. My Progressive claims adjuster works only four days per week.
Attitude: when I speak to USAA about my accident they can't wait to genuinely show concern and look out for my welfare. When I can get a hold of anyone at Progressive I get terse responses and feigned concern. When I come to the Progressive office, the claims adjuster tells the secretary to take my paperwork and lets the secretary try to determine what is happening with my case because she is too busy to see me (though she saw doing a deliberate about face upon seeing me and calls the secretary twice to see if I have gone away yet). When she does come to see me she tells me "You just don't know how the insurance business works." Clearly, I don't know how Progressive works, but I know how USAA does, I am treated with respect, concern, and prompt service.
Responsibility: When I take the day off work to personally fetch police reports, contact sheriff's departments, rental car companies and bring needed documentation to the office, but am still told that Progressive does not have the documentation to repair my car and that I should contact my insurance company because they can work faster. USAA bends over backward to cover everything, pay out the claim and get my car into the shop though it was no fault of theirs; it consumes their time and resources and involves them unnecessarily.
Understanding and Timeliness: USAA understands when I tell them I am leaving at 5 AM for predeployment certification training for two weeks and that I will not be able to contact them for two weeks. USAA apologizes for the service that Progressive has provided and stresses that they understand that it is not acceptable to leave my wife without transportation. The Progressive claims adjuster tells me after an exterior examination of my car that it is not their fault that I am leaving, that the brake light on my dash must have been on before the accident and that my car should be drivable for my wife. Progressive also suggests that I should use my predeployment leave to fix the car.
In a word USAA understands service.
I've been with USAA for over 33 years. Throughout this time I've had 4 auto claims (2 hit by others) and 2 home claims (hail storm damage to roof of house). Claims in the past have been handled from great to not so good. If the claim was against another insurance company and I went through USAA for my vehicle, they have paid basically Kelley Bluebook or better. Other auto claims (vehicle hydroplaned on wet road, no one else involved) USAA offered me approx. 30% less than Kelley Bluebook. I had to battle with them to get the vehicle up near Kelley Bluebook.
I'm currently going through an auto claim, not at fault, and once again USAA is offering me 40% less than Kelley Bluebook. They use a company called CCC One to determine the "fair market value". This company has reportedly had over 10 class action law suits filed against them for unfair market value process. When I approached USAA about the numerous errors in CCC One's process on my vehicle, i.e. allowing .03 cents per mile comparable vehicles but only allowing .01 cents per mile for my vehicle, they simply stated "we stand by CCC One's value AND PROCESS".
Google CCC One for yourself. I've been paying full coverage on my vehicle for over 10 years, when it wasn't needed (I owe nothing on it), and my rates have climbed $10-$20 per vehicle every year only to be offered 60% of the average value according to both Kelley Bluebook and NADA and when compared to local like vehicles. I will be cancelling my auto insurance (5 vehicles, home owners and condo insurance) as soon as this is settled. Sure their rates are low, but now it makes sense, you're only going to get 60% of what you should. BEWARE!
MASSACHUSETTS -- I had a cracked windshield. All of my previous insurance companies had a $50 deductible for windshield only claims. I called the USAA line which connects you to Safelite. They quoted me $494 and informed me that USAA covers windshields under the comprehensive, so I would be responsible for $250 (my deductible) of the bill. I have never had a windshield deductible over $50, so I was really taken aback.
At any rate, I have had multiple windshields replaced in the past and thought almost $500 sounded a bit high. So I went to the Safelite website directly and put in the information without USAA. They quoted me $314.95. That a $159 discount to NOT use insurance. Plus, then I don't have the claim.
But, wait! There's more!!! I went to the USAA site to double check my coverage and found that they never took off the car that I had a total loss on 2.5 months ago, So, I have been paying insurance on it this whole time. The representative I just spoke to took it off and backdated it, but...
It gets better. After she correctly removed the totaled car, I noticed that the old work truck I had listed as "in storage" was still on the policy. That was my fault. I forgot to call when I sold it. However, I had her remove the truck also and my policy then WENT UP by $60. I asked why that was, and she said it was because by taking off the car and truck I lost my multicar discount. Keep in mind that I still have TWO cars insured by USAA.
The problem (she says) is that one is registered in TN and one in MA, so USAA puts them on TWO DIFFERENT POLICIES. I reminded her that USAA serves military personnel who often have cars registered in multiple states, but she said there was nothing she could do about it. She offered to let me speak to a manager. I waited on hold a while and she came back to tell me they would have to call me back tomorrow.
It isn't tomorrow yet, so I am waiting for the call. However, since it is company policy, I doubt there is anything they can do about it. I am going to be looking for a new insurance provider - but not before I tell my many, many fellow military friends and family that USAA is now just one of the many companies that targets, rather than helps, military families.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I have been with USAA since I was 17 and had signed up to be in the USAF. At first, before actually going to BMT, the bank was very good. I never had any problems until I hit check school. The first time money went missing from my account was in February 2011 for $100. I had just gotten paid that day and transferred $100 from checkings to savings. That money mysteriously was withdrawn the next day.
When I called the lady I talked to at first said it was a computer error but after talking with her manager, claimed that the money was never there and went as far as to call me a liar over the phone. She flat out refused to let me talk to her boss and ended the call by saying "Ma'am, the monies is not there. You never had the monies." and hung up. The second time, $40 went missing. USAA claimed it was for an overdraft payment. Since none of my accounts were in the negative or never had they been, the money was returned after much arguing and deliberating.
The third time, they took $50 out for a "bad check" on an account that no checks were ever deposited to. After looking through all the transaction history and seeing that there were no check deposits, he claimed my husband, who doesn't know the account number or even have a card for said account, took out a credit and he could not give me further information.
When my husband called, they said the same thing, that a credit had been taken out but that I had done it. When he gave the phone to me to talk to the rep, he said that he couldn't help us and hung up the phone. USAA used to be really great but have seemed sketchy ever since 2011, for me personally.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- My husband and I are both Active Duty and have been USAA members for 14 years. We have bought several vehicles using USAA for our financing, bought our house, have a credit card, all of our insurance, etc. In the last 5 years or so we have noticed a severe decline in quality of service that we receive from USAA. The final straw was this week when we were "pre-approved" for a car loan up to 50K (yikes) at 4.25%. I had been thinking about trading in my vehicle for something a little smaller with better mileage.
Needless to say, I did NOT need 50K, and was dumbfounded when we accepted the offer and were given terms that not only did not reflect our good credit rating but were completely ridiculous. The interest rate was 12.99%! My husband negotiated with them for over 2 hours and finally were given an offer of 4.99%. We figured that was a fairly decent rate, and off to the dealership we went. After spending a couple of hours negotiating trade in and purchase price, we were finalizing the paperwork.
Mr. Finance Guy called USAA to verify the approval on the electronic loan check, and here's where it gets really good. Apparently, USAA never intended to do this car loan because the final approval amount on the electronic check was a full 5000.00 UNDER MSRP for the vehicle! In simple terms, there was no way we were going to buy this car with USAA because they never intended to give us the amount we would need to finance it! There is a happy ending though. We applied for financing through Toyota, and were given not only an instant approval, BUT!!! Get this!!! We were given a final interest rate of 4.19%.
Moral of the story: USAA has contracted out so many of their services and on any given day you can get a nice heaping helping of crappy attitude when you call to talk to a customer service representative. Needless to say, we have started shopping for new insurance, looking into a credit union for banking services, and are working to pay off the credit card we hold with USAA. We certainly won't be recommending them to anyone anymore either.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I was 400 miles from home, when an inattentive drive slammed into the rear of my vehicle. This occurred about 4 pm on a Friday. Why waiting for police to arrive, we exchanged insurance information. I took photographs of the vehicles before being moved and afterward, photographs of damaged. The other driver was insured with USAA. I called USAA to verify the coverage was in effect. USAA refused to verify, but took my information.
The following Monday, I called USAA to verify and again was refused. USAA asked me to take my vehicle to their service center (vehicle was drivable but heavily damaged). They told me I could take it to their service center I week from Thursday. I explained that I was 400 miles from home and was going back home on Wednesday and asked if there was a service center in my hometown. No there was not. I was then told that if I wanted my vehicle repair, I would find a way to get it to their service center. I told them that was not feasible, and the reply was "That's your problem."
I arrive back home and took my vehicle to my body shop. I called USAA (and recorded our conversation) and advised them where the vehicle was, they said they would send someone out, but never did. Three weeks later my vehicle was repaired and I picked it up. USAA denied the claim because I did not take it to the center they wanted me to and did not take it to the body shop they use and did not get approval for the repairs.
I paid for the repairs $5500 and the rental car ($1000). I then, had my attorney sue both the driver and USAA. The driver was upset at being sued and even more upset and USAA for not protecting him. The driver then contacted his attorney, who sued USAA. The depositions were fun. USAA hired local counsel, who showed up for depositions. What USAA told him and what my documentation, unanswered letters and recorded phone calls reflected were two different stories. USAA's attorney was pissed that USAA withheld evidence from him.
The final result, USAA was assessed by the court and amount equal to my repairs and rental, plus interest (took almost two years to get to court) all my legal fees, and was assessed an additional $20000 in punitive damages, which under the deceptive trade practice law was automatically trebled. Result $6500 in actual losses, $60,000 to me and $26000 to my attorney.
The other driver won his suit against USAA for failing to defend him and breach of contract. I sure that was settled quite handsomely as well, for both the driver and his attorney. I fail to see the reasoning why USAA preferred to put out in the neighborhood of $100,000 just to deny responsibility for a $6500 claim.
SAN ANGONIO, TEXAS -- We have had two experiences with USAA Mortgage and it is the most recent that is prompting this review. Despite fulfilling every request USAA made of us in a timely fashion AND modifying our contract with our seller several times to conform to their requests (needless and redundant requests, accordingly to our real estate attorney), USAA caused us to miss two closing dates and we no longer have a contract. At one point they asked us why certain monies had not transferred--monies that only transfer at closing - a closing they caused us to miss! It is clear that they do not know what happens at closing.
They do not know what they are doing, take days to answer phone calls, and at least in the mortgage services branch of the bank, DO NOT value customer service. Several years ago I financed a condo through them and was told by my real estate agent that the title agent found them hard to work with. I blew this observation off, because I was so impressed by the customer service in other areas of the company.
However, the nightmare experience we had the last month confirms to me that the phrase "time is of the essence" has no meaning to them and that they could benefit from a trained person to explain their documents to them. I cannot comment on what percentage of loans they complete without difficulty and what percentage they do a few stupid things with and what percentage they totally flub. However, the fact that they seemed to view their errors as standard operating procedure did not inspire confidence in their quality control.
I suppose whether one chooses them as a mortgage company depends upon how much of a risk-taker one is. As for us, next time we will be a choosing a company where we have a higher certainty of closing on time after weeks of straightforward (as opposed to inexplicable) business dealings.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- USAA makes a great talk but sometimes fails to make the walk. I will not be renewed on my USAA Home/Fire Insurance. I will not be renewed on my USAA Renters Insurance. I will not be renewed on my USAA Auto Insurance. Why? I never filed a claim on my renters insurance. I never filed an accident claim on my auto insurance. I pay my credit cards.
What is the issue? A criminal conviction for a family member from 7 years ago. USAA "claims" it has a policy to "weed out undesirables" when it "comes to their attention". Funny how that didn't seem to make a difference way back when they "discovered it" but only after they got my home insurance claims. How much were all my claims? About $35,000 combined. I filed a claim on my home for a broken window. I also had my home broken into and a fire resulted from the break-in.
I begged USAA to do something before the Alaskan winter set in. Nope. The fire happened in July 2008. Winter set in in Alaska and outside repairs were delayed so my home freezes up. How did they run the above claims? As FOUR(4) SEPARATE claims. I suspected they were stacking the deck by running these separately but I trusted them to take care of me. Boy, did they take care of me! My house was vacant from July last year until July this year. Just rented it out this month (PCS'd to my current location July 2007).
USAA is paying for the damages slowly, but I have already paid most of the costs myself. I do not like owing people who work for me. USAA obviously resents having to pay for ANY damages. Granted, it is the USAA underwriting department making the call. Basically they told me to go pound sand. I admit to looking at this from my point of view only. I am shocked at this happening after all the years I spent with USAA and all the good things I passed on to other service members about the how they were inexpensive and a fair company. Many of their employees are.