Can’t access accounts

Tim writes:

“They do not have 24 hour HUMAN customer service. Enough said.

I have 3 accounts with Washington Mutual and I cannot access any of them. Their online site has delivered me the following message for the past 24 hours: “We’re sorry, our system is currently unavailable. We are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again in a while. ”

When I told a customer service rep, she said, that’s the first time she’s heard of that one. I read it to her from the screen I am looking at and she repeats she hasn’t heard of it and tells me I must be behind a firewall. I tell her I am not behind a firewall and I’ve tried it from 2 different browsers on 2 different computers and an iPhone – got the same message everytime. She tells me to see my branch…. tomorrow.

I tell her the online phone system is not working either. It tells me none of my accounts match my password, even though it’s the same information I’ve always had. She tells me to try again using my social. That didn’t work. Then when I tried to transfer back to the customer no-service rep, I was notified that it was after business hours and I would have to try again tomorrow.

So here I sit without any way to get access to any of my accounts. No live person I can talk to about it. No automated phone service that works. No website that works. This is 2008, there is no excuse for this.

Yep, Washington Mutual sucks.”

Balance and overdraft (un)explained

Christy writes:

“After a few years as a customer of Washington Mutual, it was finally explained to me how they operate. This information would have been useful as I sat down to open the account.

They say that as long as your account is positive by the end of the day, there is no overdraft charge.
After knowing that a deposit was being put into the my account same day, my account was showing negative for a few transactions. After the deposit was added to the account, the account showed a positive balance when checked at 11:00 pm. I have also signed up for an e-mail alert that will notify me when my account is below a specified amount.

Apparently, they process their books between 11pm and 6am and THEN send out the e-mail notification of account balance. (I’m still not sure how that helps me, the customer, in regards to the activity that took place between 11pm and 12am that caused Washington Mutual to charge $130 in overdraft charges.

They informed me that although my account was positive at 11pm, they process outstanding transactions after 11pm, which caused them to charge an overdraft fee on the $10 subway (DEBIT transaction from a week ago) and they also charge an overdraft fee on any transaction during that day that had a negative balance, regardless of whether my account was positive prior to the last transaction.

Imagine my surprise when I received and e-mail notification at 9am THIS MORNING for a negative balance of $140 (4 x $32 in overdraft, plus my subway).

I don’t see how any of this protects the customer.”

Burned by the WaMu failure?

While I thought WaMu might eventually fail, the seizure and quick sale of WaMu when it happened did seem rather sudden and based on information I’ve seen since them, possibly unjustified. If you are a WaMu shareholder or other interested party, you can join the folks at to seek legal recoure to these events. (press release)

Where do missing payments go?

Vicki writes:

“am currently a victim of Washington Mutual’s Deceptive Practices. I made my on-line payment in September on and received a confirmation number for my payment. Several days later, I received mail from Washington Mutual stating that my account was overdue! I immediately called the number on the back of my card and explained to them that I had allready made a payment. The center in the Phillipines told me they had no record of my payment! They asked me to make a minimum payment over the phone which I did, but since then my account has been overdue for almost 2 months!
I have made numerous phone calls since then trying to resolve the issue. They kept assessing me late fees because the “innitial payment in September was not enough” even though the agent told me that my account would be brought current after I make that payment.
It has seriously been a hassle – Washington Mutual kept calling my house and my work asking for payments after I have made them (2 payments in 11 days this month only)!!! This has also been extremely time consuming with all the phone calls, harassments at home and work, script reading from Philippines and no real help….Just horrible!
I am happy to have found this website and glad that I have learned that many other customers had horrible experiences with Washington Mutual.
They must change their business practices! This is unacceptable!”

Apparently Chase sucks too!

A reader writes:

“First I want to say how ironic this is to have a site decided to people like me frustrated with washington mutual/jp morgan bank. Okay, I just got off the line with a representive from jpmorgan and google to see if anyone other than me is frustrated with the customer service jpmorgan bank! And, yes to my surprise here you are!


Overdraft protection woes

Miguel writes:

“After falling on some financial hard times my checking account was wavering
in the lower numbers, and was consistently overdrafting. I was getting hit
by nearly $300 per week in overdraft fees, so after searching online I found
that you could “opt out” of their overdraft protection service by calling
them and requesting its removal. I read that people had gone to their banks
to request its removal but had been told that they needed to call the number
on the back of their debit cards in order for it to be done, and now I know

On 10/9/08 I called and specifically opted out of my overdraft protection
service, and was told that it would take up to 7 business days to take
effect. I complained that it should not take that long because I would
incur a lot of overdraft fees during that time, and they stated that it was
the amount of time necessary, etc… Today on 10/22/08, 9 business days
later, I check my account and it’s once again in the negative, it looks like
I’m about to get hit with 3 more overdraft fees totaling $99. I once again
called their service number and here’s what I was told “Our records show
that you requested a stop on your automatic savings plan, we don’t have any
records showing that you cancelled your courtesy payment protection plan.”
Now, had I done this in person I would have received something in writing at
the bank, it’s fairly obvious that they make you call so that they can pull
this kind of trickery and make it a “your word against theirs” kind of
thing. So now I have to once again cancel my payment protection plan, but
this time I’m having them do it at the bank when I go there later today.
I’ll probably still get socked with the overdraft fees, and need to wait
another set amount of business days before this one goes into effect, within
that time I’ll be opening an account at Bank of America which at the very
least has fees that are $10 lower than this scam bank.

As a reference to others out there that probably got scammed on this one as
well, I believe that regardless of their service contract that I have
sufficient proof to file a small claims report should they refuse to fund my
overdraft fees this time around. Small claims courts work very differently
in terms of evidence, and tend to find things like this extremely suspicious
and may generally rule in your favor. Simply go there with a written
transcript of your conversation, along with an explanation that why would
you in your right mind cancel an automatic savings plan that would not be
able to overdraw your account when you’re getting socked with $300 of
overdraft fees a week. Generally a judge would look at it this way: which
person or business has the most to gain by causing this situation?”

Peter’s Note

I never knew you could opt out of overdraft protection. Good info. Here is an interesting article on overdraft protection.

Fed investigation

The Feds are investigating WaMu failure. What are they looking for? (article)

Why WaMu failed

In this article, Tom Kelly describes why WaMu failed.

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