Word from a friend at one of the big investment banks is that WaMu is the next big bank in danger of being taken over by the FDIC. That was before today’s infusion of investment in WaMu.
“So first, for some reason, my bill pay sent two payments for $1200 to someone I owe money to, instead of just the one I put into the system. The company receiving double payment calls me, tells me, and sends me one of the checks back. Unfortunately that person writes VOID across the check before sending it back. Well, that is enough to stun WAMU personnel into complete confusion. I walk the check that should never have been issued by WAMU into a WAMU office, and sit there for 1/2 hour while a banker first apologizes for it taking so much time(#1), and deals with the fact that I have a check payable to a third party, that should never have gone out in the first place (for which he apologizes) (#2) and the funds need to go back into my account. We supposedly get it straightened out, and the funds should appear in my account in 3 days. I keep watching, and 10 days pass, and nothing, so I am ready to call the bank today to say whats up.
Then, it gets better. Early this am, I get a call from WAMU’s computer saying that someone at the other end of the country is withdrawing money from my account, and my account has been flagged as possibly being hit by fraudulent charges. I follow the prompts to confirm this is a fraud, and give up after waiting 26 minutes for someone to confirm that this is a fraud. I call back. I finally reach a person. This person apologizes for the prior long delay (#3), and says well it’s a credit card problem, and my problem is debit card, so I will transfer you. I am on hold for 20 minutes waiting for someone in the debit card fraud department, and give up. I call yet again, finally reach someone, who says, I apologize for the long delays (#4), and also, I’m in the debit card department, and the computer says this is credit card problem, and I’ll transfer you and I say NO THE CREDIT CARD DEPARTMENT JUST TOLD ME I HAVE TO SPEAK TO THE DEBIT CARD DEPARTMENT. Mind you, my card has both a Master Card logo and a debit card logo on it. And she says, don’t worry, I apologize (#5) and I’ll stay on the line until we get this figured out, and she transfers me, to someone who cannot hear anything I am saying, and very politely says “I cannot hear anyone on the line, and if there is someone on the line, I apologize (#7) and please call back.” Dial tone. So far, this has consumed 1 1/2 hours, but, mind you, I have received 7 apologies so far.
I get online and log in to my account and try to send an email to the bank saying turn off my card, and when I hit send, I get an error message back to fix the date, but there is no way to fix the date, because there is no date field. So I rewrite the message, carefully inserting today’s date (logical, right?) and then it says “Error. Insert an amount.” There is no amount field. I scream.
I get in car and just drive to my local WAMU office. I ask to speak to the manager, because I am having trouble with my account, and the receptionist says “Sorry about that. (#8). Assistant manager comes up and apologizes that I am having problems (#9) and sit there for 1/2 hour while assistant manager finally reaches the fraud department, goes through the same run around whether this is credit card or debit card (the stupid card is both! What a concept!) and then someone will send me a form to fill out and return. Ok whatever.
I ask about the reversal of the $1200 that seems long overdue. Well, seems that after the bank manager in LA filled out the form, someone screwed up the paperwork at the next level, and left it half done, because the paperwork no longer worked with the facts on the form I held complete. SO THEY JUST LEFT THE PAPERWORK HALF DONE AND APPARENTLY WENT OUT FOR MARGARITAS OR SOMETHING . WHY NOT CALL ME, YOU IDIOTS!!!!!! The local office assistant manager apologizes again for this. (#10)
The bank is run by a bunch of jerks who should be forced to use the same call-in system customers use. And it is staffed by a bunch of idiots who are trained to say “I am so sorry about that” and then take information, and then, as far as I can tell, tear the paper bearing the information in half, and send one half to the credit card department and the other half to the debit card department, where they can tie up, oh, perhaps, ten people to stare at half pieces of paper, and then just put in what is probably a huge pile in a box labeled. YET ANOTHER SCREW UP WE DID FOR A CUSTOMER – AND WE DON’T CARE BECAUSE ONCE THE CUSTOMER REALIZES WE HAVE SCREWED UP WE’LL APOLOGIZE, AND THAT MEANS WE HAVE MADE IT ALL BETTER.
I’m moving my accounts.”
“I just want to give my two cents. I have a WAMU Credit card, and have for many years. We have decided to get rid of some cards, so we destroyed them and have been working diligently to pay them off. A credit advisor, said that we should contact the cards, and try to get a lower interest rate, which would make paying them off quicker. Three of the cards I contacted thought it was great, and lowered our rates it assist. WAMU was a different story, the determined I needed a rate TWICE what I was paying! I contacted them many, many times for an explanation as to WHY they doubled my interest rate(instead of $150 going to interest now it is 250), and their standard reply is they feel I am a credit risk…even though, I pay well over the minimum on all my cards and I am NEVER late on ANY of my bills. They replied the standard reply, with no explanation, that is their policy, they don’t have to explain.
I will NEVER deal with WAMU again! They are the worst company EVER!!! No customer service and no care for good business dealings. Who cares who is hurt! I figured out what WAMU stands for:
A im to
Can’t wait to be rid of them FOREVER!!!!”
“I recently heard that Wamu decided $400 of my last deposit was counterfeit. Highly unlikely considering the source, an Afex.
(prior to knowing why $400 was missing from my account, when i called i was repeatedly told it was a pending loan payment. I have no loans!)
In the end, I finally found out the issue, and contacted the branch manager who had spotted these ‘fake’ bills. I was told they had passed through the machines in the bank just fine. twice infact. but it wasn’t until they were inspected by a teller that they were deemed fake. When I questioned this, his response was simply “because they are fake”. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do to argue what he claims. He told me they were no longer on the premises, that they had been sent to Secret Services who had confirmed they were fake.
Later in the day, I notice the hold on my account is still there for $400, and $400 has also been taken. Meaning my account reads $800 less of what it did 2 days ago. Once again I call, told about the ‘loan payment’ once again, but also told there’s still a hold on my account, which, ‘”he must have forgotten to take off”.
Anyway, I chose to call the secret services. Knowing there’s no remedy if they are fake to get my money back. I at least wanted to be sure they had received the money and this story wasn’t as ridiculous as it sounded. They hadn’t. What they had received was an envelope from the branch with another customer’s money inside. Legitimate money. Which will in time be sent back to her. They were amazingly helpful though and seemed genuinely interested in getting the matter resolved. I’m not sure if anyone in a similar situation has thought to call them, but i hope they do.”
“Lets start by saying “a friendlier way to bank” Bull-
Let me tell you a story of fraud, March 5 2008 I went to get gas and my debit card was declined? Began to panic called bank and there were pending charges in the amount of $794.00. I live in Las Vegas Nv and the charges were from Ca. I notified the 800 number and was advised that there was nothing I could do to stop the pending transaction I had to wait until the charges processed or dropped off, knowing that these were not my charges I worried all weekend until Monday morning, I went to my branch; were I was advised that they could not help me all they would do is give me a phone number to call the fraud department. Mind you I had already sent 2.5 hrs of phone time trying to reach someone in fraud who would help me. Mind you I an not a rich person just a single mother trying to survive. I spent 10 days with no access to my account, charges racking up daily, nasty overdraft notices still no resolve and no help for the people in charge of my money! Finally I am advised that the bank will graciously give me provisional credit for the fraud but wait: we have the right to reverse this credit. You have no control, no recourse no help from people who are unwilling to take care of their customer.
I have dealt with rude unprofessional banking people since this has begun back in March, now here it is almost July and guess what to add insult to injury now the bank will reverse the provisional credit because I did not respond in the 30 days they requested to a simple form. But I did respond the first time via mail the 2nd by fax, what a crappy way to conduct business, no once has the bank called me to see if all is well or if this was handled correctly. I have been trying to resolve this issue and still I am out $ 794.00 monies I do not have: my account is overdrawn, my life is in turmoil and all they can say is “thank you for banking with Wa-Mu”. My advise to all who bank with Wa Mu take you money and run they are not willing nor able to help in times of crisis, they have no idea how to protect the customer. Not one Phone call yet I have wasted days of my time. Now I am on my way to legal aid to see what help I can gather. I hope no one gets caught up in the Wa Mu way like I did Wa Mu sucks!!!
The story just never ends it has now July 16, my provisional credit has been reversed I cannot close my checking account because it is overdrawn. I have spent a total of 16 day’s that is if you count the hours, I have spent trying to get this issue resolved. This is a horrible experience for anyone to have to deal with it is like you are guilty and the bank has all the power- yet they did nothing to stop the fraud from happening! I still have yet to receive any phone contact initiated by any bank employee yet I have sat on hold for hours! Take your money and run to a real banking institution!”
Reader Liz writes us that WaMu is bouncing her checks for $11,000 despite having over $30,000 in her account. Is WaMu running out of money?
Reader Jeannie writes:
“Ok, here is one for you. I just recently started my account with WAMU about a month ago and I already am having a freakin nightmare.
I deposited my employment check thru the ATM, which, now I know, IS A VERY BAD IDEA! I was given access to $100 of the deposited amount. In addition to my check, I also deposited $200 cash which was my husbands business money. I was not provided with any of the policy information, which is something that this company is suppose to disclose to you when you open your account. I contacted Customer Care and was told by a Rep. that my money was not going to be available until Risk Operations confirms that my check is real and that the funds are really there. Ok, the bank that my check is drawn thru is a local bank. I grew upset and told them that I wanted to talk to Risk Operations. I was then transferred. Mind you, I opened my account online. The lady at Risk Operations said that they had to place a hold on my check until it cleared and that they were even holding the cash part of the deposit as well. Well, I was on my lunch break at the time of this call, which is only 30 minutes long. I told her that I wanted to talk to her Supervisor. She said ok, and placed me on hold…………………….SHE NEVER CAME BACK. I was on hold for 20 minutes before I hung up. I was late for work at that point.
I contacted my husband and found out that they have a lot of problems with ripping their customers off.
I proceeded to call the bank when I got home from work that same day and was told by the Rep. that they can hold my check up to 6 business days. I asked for her Supervisor and was told by him that they will be holding my check for up to 11 days. I hung up.
I called the next day and was told by another Supervisor that there is a 30 day policy on holding checks that were deposited thru the ATM.
I received an email the next morning stating that I had to call Risk Operations to discuss my check. I called them and the lady told me that she will not talk to me because I opened my account online. That there was no way to identify me over the phone. Mind you, a day or two prior, I talked to someone in Risk Operations.
I went to the branch where I deposited the money at and talked to the Branch Manager and she told me that she could only authorize $200 of it and that the rest of my money will be available this upcoming Tuesday. Which is the day that my husband is going into surgery and we need the money for his medications. Also, on top of that, the money that they are holding, is my rent money and my electric and my kids’ birthday money.
I gave up for the day. The next day comes around and I get a notice in the mail. It stated that they will not release any funds until next Thursday.