WAMU/JP Morgan Chase has lied to me and not given me information that they were required to give me by LAW...
When I was bedridden with twins, I called to see about refinancing. Washington Mutual offered me a loan...
I want to share my story with anyone who is banking Washington Mutual. If you are like me, and like to be provided with decent customer service WAMU is not that bank. I understand that my situation had a bit of bad luck involved, but there was absolutely NO EXCUSE why they treated me the way they did. Hopefully, hearing my story will make you think twice.
Last summer, someone had hacked into my checking account. They spent my money at big chains like Best Buy, Wal-mart, fast food places, and gas stations just a few hours from where I lived. I noticed the unauthorized charges immediately since I check my account online daily. In one day, they managed to spend over $500.
Immediately, I called WAMU's customer service line to file a report. After waiting for a good half hour, I got a hold of an operator and explained my situation. She told me she was going to transfer me to another line so I can file my report.
I must have waited about 3 hours on the phone listening to some of the worst elevator music and then I heard a click. Yep, the phone got disconnected. I call the customer service line again and wait some more. When I finally got a hold of a operator, I told them I got disconnected when they tried to transfer me and I asked for the phone number directly. She told me that she was 'terribly sorry' and their phones sometimes disconnected people when they try to transfer.
The department she transfers me to must take care of some unusually large number of cases or they are very short-staffed. I waited another several hours to get an operator and was finally able to file the claim. I called WAMU after work around 7pm, and did not get off the phone until 2am. The whole time, I was worried that whoever had hacked my account was still using it! If I had found out while I was at work or school, there would have been no way for me to sit on the phone for that long.
Anyways, the lady told me that she was canceling my card and sending me a new one. She then told me that WAMU will be investigating my claim and it could take up to 60 days before the money gets credited into my account. I then ask her should I cancel my account and make a new one since my account was hacked? She told me not I didn't need to worry since they were only using my card number.
It did not take more than a week before I noticed another $300+ fradulent charges in my account. I started kicking myself for not listening to my gut and canceled my account.
I called WAMU again waited another several hours. When I finally reached the person I was suppose to talk to, she tells me that my card was NEVER CANCELED!! Again, they are 'terribly sorry'. They are canceling my card right away and sending me a new one.
A couple days later, while paying for groceries with a check since I didn't have my debit card, the check didn't go through. I was very confused since I had enough money in my account. I had sent out several checks to pay my bills which also bounced! It turned out that WAMU had put a hold on my account because I had filed a claim. I would have appreciated it, if they had inform me about this. To this day, WAMU has not reimbursed me for the bounced check fees.
The icing on the cake was when I received my card in the mail. They sent me a regular ATM card, without a Mastercard or Visa logo.
To make a really long story short, I spent the next couple of months calling WAMU when I can. I'm a full-time student and a full-time employee so it was hard to make time when you know filing a complaint takes outrageous amount of time. I ended up making the phone calls when I would go to sleep. I put my phone on speaker and slept with the phone next to my head and I would wake up when someone would go 'Can I have your first and last name?'
Their customer service staff has a lot they can improve on. Most of them have very thick accents so it is difficult to understand them. They do not know how to answer your questions because they are not trained well. They like to answer your with 'i believe so' or 'let me check with my supervisor' (don't let them check, they will put you on hold forever!). Not a definite YES or NO.
Once I asked where I can find my account number on my online account page and the operator when into a 5 minute tangent why they are not allowed to post your account number on your account page. A little bit of looking around on the page, my account number was easily found.
In the end, I eventually got my money back after several weeks. But those bounced checks resulted as late payments on my credit history. I later found out when I bought my Scion. Since I'm only 21 and only have 2 credit cards which I rarely use, I had to call my mom to fax over a sheet to co-sign... more embarrassment.
The manager gave me a number to a credit agency and he told me I can dispute those late payments, but happened to lost the number. Does anyone know more information about this?
And if anyone is curious, I closed my account as soon as my claim was closed. I bank with Wachovia now and used their customer service line a couple of times. I am satisfied with their wait times and seem to be better trained to answer your questions than WAMU.
Four years ago I left Citibank to become a Washington Mutual customer. I am a struggling writer who is literally living check to check... and often times, I slip into the red. I went to WaMu because originally they were the 'Free Bank'... no hidden fees, free checking, free ATMS... all the things banks used to be before they all got too greedy.
Over the next four years, WaMu slowly, and very secretly, began raising their fees and taking away our services. When I signed up, anyone could use a WaMu ATM free of charge. Now it is $2.00 if you are not a WaMu customer, just like any other bank. Then the fees went up more and more, until sadly... WaMu became just like every other money hungry bank. Here is the final straw story which caused me to close my account yesterday...
On Monday, November 24, I stopped by the WaMu branch in Santa Monica on 4th Street, because I live only 5 blocks away has become my new banking home. As usually, I walk into the bank to see about seven people standing behind the teller counter, but only two teller windows open. The other five people may have been working... if they were able to work by staring off into space and walk around in circles gabbing with each other. So instead of waiting the 30 minutes in line, I filled out a deposit slip and dropped my $555 deposit in the Express Deposit Box, which said the deposit would be posted to my account by the end of the day.
The next day, I checked my balance online and found that my deposit of $555.00 was posted, and then reversed (the exact term on my statement was 'REVERSE CUSTOMER DEPOSIT'). I immediately called the 1-800 number and spoke to someone in the call center. I explained what happened. She said she had no information and would have to file an inquiry request, which would take 36-48 hours. That is not acceptable. This is my bank. I trust my bank with my money. For me to give them money, have them take it from me and then say it will take 36-48 hours for us to tell you what happened to your money is not right. So I went to the Santa Monica branch on 4th Street to see if they had any information.
I walk in to find another line, but was quickly greeted by a friendly finance advisor named Spozhmi. She was very nice and understanding. I explained what happened and she went to speak with the Assistant Manager to see if he knew anything. She came back and told me the checks were not deposited because the name on the account did not match the name on the checks. My name is Richard Aaron Semmel. I go by Aaron Semmel. And I sign my name Semmel, and my signature has not changed in over 10 years. The name on my account at WaMu is Richard A Semmel.
The checks were made payable to Aaron Semmel. So, even though the middle initial, last name, address and signature on the checks matched... the manager decided to reverse the deposit (please note, to reverse a deposit, the deposit had to be made... so the money was in my account, and then the Assistant Manager decided to remove the money from my account). And then to top it all off, instead of calling me to verify my name or ask me to come in to sort it out, the Assistant Manager put the two signed checks in an envelope and mailed them back to me.
This made me very upset. Because now, they could not deposit the money into my account until the checks came to me in the mail, and then I would have to go back to the bank. Normally, I would have just bit my lip and waited. But this was a timing issue. The checks did not show up in the mail the next day, Wednesday Nov. 26th. The following day was Thanksgiving (Nov. 27th), which meant no mail or banks.
The checks finally arrived at 5:00 PM on Friday, Nov. 28th. I had missed the entire Black Friday Holiday Shopping Fun I had planned with all my friends. I missed out on countless savings in special prices for that one day only, affecting my entire holiday season. And then to top this off, because the deposit was not put in my account, a transaction went through, putting my checking account in the red, which then drew from my savings account and I was charged a $12 over-draft fee.
So, on Friday, when I finally got the checks. I went to the WaMu branch in Santa Monica on 4th Street and waited in line. When I got to the teller I gave him a check for $75 to deposit and asked to speak to a manage about reversing the $12 fee. The Assistant Manager named Steven (the same Assistant Manager who reversed my deposit) instantly recognized me (please note, Steven could recognize me by name and sight, but would not deposit my checks) and said he would not reverse the $12 fee. He told me that there was nothing he could do.
When I explained that the over-draft would not have taken place if he would have deposited my checks on Monday, Nov. 24th he said it would have happened anyway because he put a five day hold on the checks (which was untrue - according to my statement, the checks were deposited and the funds were available, and then he reversed the deposit). When I asked why a five day hold was being placed on my checks, Steven told me WaMu can hold any check it wants to. Steven told me he would only reverse the $12 fee if it was caused by bank error.
Now I have been depositing my checks the same way for the last four and half years. 90% of my checks are and have been made payable to Aaron Semmel. The manager did not check my address or signature, instead he reversed my deposit, and I was charged money. I do not see this as my fault. I see this as bank error. I have done nothing wrong and I am being charged. I told Steven to close my accounts. I was done.
Believe it or not, after all this, Steven had the nerve to ask me why I was closing my accounts. When I got home I looked online and found that not only am I not alone in my frustration, but the Federal Government is trying to set new laws to stop banks from charging unfair fees and following unfair business practices (mostly regarding check holds and over-draft fees), just like the story I just told. The banks have become loan sharks that are protected by their federal lobbyists, charging 1000% interest. If banks had Italian names, they would be mistaken for the mob these days.
That is only one of my countless bank horror stories. On Monday, Dec. 1st I am going to open an account at a credit union. Credit Unions are non-profit and encourage lending between it's customers... as opposed to banks, which are all about profit (to the point of even setting up ways to take as much money from its customers, whenever they can). The major reason the economy is in such horrible shape right now is because of these big banks. I am done helping them screw us all. I hope more follow my lead.
I had an adjustable rate mortgage for which the full principal and interest payment was automatically withdrawn from my account monthly. After 3 years, when the rate adjusted, without warning, they changed the repayment option I was in to the "minimum payment" which didn't even pay the full interest amount. Without realizing it, despite my monthly payment having increased by 50%, I was in a negative amortization situation--the amount of principal owed was getting LARGER each month. FRAUD!
This bank is a rip-off!! They withdrew $$'s from a working check account to cover another overdraft of $74 in another account without telling me (I had over $2000 in an attached Savings account that they should have taken from) and therefore threw my other 1 account into overdraft. Of course they immediately began charging me $34 OD fees. This is completely unreasonable and unethical in my opinion.
Anybody thinking about opening accounts with WAMU, should DEFINITELY RECONSIDER AND LOOK ELSEWHERE!!
I am closing my Washington Mutual checking account today, which I should have done years ago, when this pattern began. What they claim is that customers who have a home equity line with them get free checking. What they actually do is give it free for a while, long enough for you to stop checking for bank fees. They they slip in a $20 monthly fee, and you're still not checking, since you have it in writing that you won't be charged. After a while, you get a notice that your account is overdrawn.
In this last case, it turns out they have been charging me for nine months. Guess how much they will refund? Three of those months. Their script goes that it's the customer's responsibility to check their statements for fees. My response is why do they expect customers to check for fees that, in writing, state will not be charged. I know one other person who left the bank for the same reason. I'd venture there are many, many people being ripped off. I've been shorted $120 that the bank is pocketing, and that is only what I know of. Chances are this has been going on for years without my catching it.
And f.y.i., the script issued to me on the phone by two different supervisors tips off the scam: Why would a bank, or any business, not correct their own errors that occurred more than 90 days earlier? Because they know they have a lot of people who actually believe they aren't being charged and they can run up the bills well past 90 days. What an unethical way to run a business.
My loan was sold to washington mutual Jan 2008, they took it upon themselves without my authorization to pay the taxes on my house in Feb.2008 when I still had plenty of time to pay them myself. Now they have increased my monthly payment from $1531.12 to almost $1900.00 per month to get there money back. I have never in my years of owning property ever had a 30 day late, well this company has caused me to have one. I made a call to wamu to please work out a payment plan to pay the taxes back, in the mean time they said it would be a couple of weeks I had to pay my mortgage for july which I did in plenty of time at the bank in the amount of $1531.12, the teller never said a word to me about the payment being to low. I received a call from wamu on or about August 5th saying I was $450 short on my payment, I was shocked, the man named either john james, or james john reassured me there would not be a late pay on my credit if I paid the shortage so I did and he lied, not only that but wamu never accepted my payment which was paid on the 12th of aug I have a 16 day grace period which has now caused me a 30 day late. I now cannot even refi my home with another company to get rid of wamu because of this. Please I need help I never told them to pay the taxes, not only that I do not escrow period not insurance, nor taxes. I have asked them to please take the 30 day off my credit and they refused I spoke the the supervisor named Theresa.
They start calling at 8am and follow two more times- Mon- Sun- Very harassing and cannot understand English nor speak it- they are helpless when it comes to answering questions- I wish I had read about this company before ever getting a credit card from them- no other creditor is this difficult
I'm sure everyone gets these "pre-approved" credit card offers once in awhile. We've received hundreds from Washington Mutual in the past couple years. We decided to "accept" the "offer" [note: we did NOT "apply"] because the terms were better than our other cards and our plan was to transfer the balances. We were rejected.
We have had a credit monitoring service since early 2006. It alerts us to ANY changes in our credit. So when WaMu stated in their rejection letter that the initial offer was made based upon a "preliminary review" of our credit, then went on to state that it was an issue on our credit that led them to reject our acceptance of their offer, we scratched our heads. Our credit score has done nothing but go UP in the last 2 years. We have had no derogatory info whatsoever posted since January 2006 when my score was about 615. as of May of this year, my score is 688, my husband's score even higher (the "offer" was in my name).
It's my humble conclusion that Washington Mutual is LYING. I think they send out scads of these "pre-approved" offers just to see who will bite. This actually violates Texas law [see link below] and there are dozens of pending complaints against WaMu for this deceptive practice.
If there had been no harm, I wouldn't complain. I just would never do business with WaMu again (and I won't!). But every time a creditor checks your credit report, a note is made. If the number of inquiries don't match the number of new accounts proportionately, that is a negative.
Washington Mutual did damage to my credit. Take care that they don't do the same to you! I think it goes without saying that a business that conducts itself in such a way does not deserve ANY of your business.
We paid off an equityline loan with WaMu and have proof of delivery of their receipt of two different pay off checks. They lost the first one and have still not applied the second to payoff and we are getting collection calls 3 times a day accusing us of having defaulted on the loan. When you speak to their customer service and collection departments they will not give you direct numbers or email addresses for follow up so every contact you make, you are starting over with a new person. Both departments have refused to let us speak to a manager. Their customer service is deplorable! We will get it resolved but it is very scary as these people are in positions where they can impact a customers credit score. Someone on an executive level at WaMu nees to be aware of how bad their customer service is and retool it.
On the other hand - kudos to IndyMac!! Even though none of this is their fault, they have 3 people actively working with us to get a resolution with WaMu.
Incident = On February 28, I requested two different stop payments from my WaMu checking account. These were stops on two different loan payments to two different companies(not WaMu), after I had refinanced the loans and changed the payment dates. Not only did WaMu NOT stop the payments, they still charged me the fees for the stop payments that they never did!
This caused a $1300 shortage in my checking account, which in turn caused 6 different other checks/drafts to bounce, including my March mortgage payment! To top it off, they have hit ME with 6 overdraft fees totaling $210.00 Add it all up and they have shafted me for $1574.41, leaving me more than $900.00 overdrawn, and they had the nerve enough to leave me a voice mail saying they needed to speak with me about my NSF activity!
I called their customer service 1-800 number and was led around in circles by customer service agent A.J. Zapata about how their computer system could not let them refund the money. I then called their corporate headquarters and was told by executive rep Eddie Ramirez that not only would they not refund my money, but that he was going to report me to WaMu's corporate security if I ever called again to harass HIM!
Since Sept-06 when I found out I had become a victim of online internet identity theft from my bank Washington Mutual and it was going on for over 2 years never a clue and did not see my bank statements for 15 months in [protected] It was because the man i was seeing didn't want me to see them so he had them sent somewhere well I am prosecuting him but the bank should have seen all the activity going on from [protected] it wasn't till i got all my statements did I see why wamu didn't care cause they collected a lot of overdraft charges $4000.00 and also $2000.00 in all those extra fees they should have called me or closed my account froze my atm card cause that is what i use it would have sent me inside to talk to them and on top of that the bank statements i ordered for those 3 years I have to pay for even though its for a police report so it will get up to the DA office. They don't put their customers first and i always get different answers to the same question all they care about is making money and I think its wrong.
I bought my house in 1999. I setup automatic payments well in excess of the required payments thru my online payment system at my local bank. In 2002 Washington Mutual bought out the loan, but my automatic payments kept getting cashed. In December 2005 WaMu decided to change the delivery address of the payments, even though they were being made electronically, they rejected payment and tried once to charge late fees. I called, complained and got it fixed. This July 12, 2007 my mortgage payment was once again rejected by WaMu, 4 days before the deadline. My bank tried to call WaMu and correct the error but WaMu has a policy of not talking to a "3rd party" . Clearly a ploy to avoid fixing the error in time to clear the payment. Both my bank and WaMu chose to send snail mail, neither calling nor e-mailing to notify me of the "mistake". WaMu claimed in writing, that I just plain did not pay this month. My bank claims, on paper, "the payment was refused by the payee" and "Payee would not speak to a third party" despite the whole system insisting on a phone number, mailing address, and account number to set it up. WaMu changed the account number by 2 digits, knew that was why the rejected it, and proceeded to make sure there was no way to correct for the problem in time! Clearly intentional negligence on their part. I talked to one Rebecca K. (she refused to give her last name, when I complained and she insisted that they were in the right, and the $36.11 late fee could not be waived because of "policy". Further she had the gall to insist I pay NOW, the evening their letter arrived, and only pay an extra $15 for telephone payment! Clearly policies designed to allow unethical practices skirting the law, and upping profit margins. These little dirty tricks, it seems have thru fine print and legal lobbying been made less than illegal. But I contend clearly remain unethical, especially for a company whose CEO and Chairman of the board, Kerry K. Killinger , was quoted only last April in Fortune as saying with regard to ethics ' I try to do the right thing and use the test of "Am I comfortable with having my mother read this in tomorrow's newspaper?" ' Hmnnn, this is not the Seatle Times, nor the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (I found two addresses for him) but it could be, and mom could be reading of it in the morning.
WaMu's instance of this scam aside, unethical practices in banking and credit cards seems to have become the standard or higher profits rather than the rope that hangs them. I've had similar issues thru assorted credit cards and the banks that bought out credit card accounts in the past. Generally I report them to BBB or States Attorney General in their base state then close the account and never do business with them again. My mortgage is clearly a bigger task, since I am forced to refinance and have no guarantee they won't simply buy out the mortgage again as they keep "expanding".
Wider than just my bank, I think my congressman, and yours, and everyones need to hear a few words about ethics and the lending industry from everyone with a mortgage, home loan, or a credit card. I found this site useful in locating and contacting my representatives: http://www.senate.gov/ just pick your state and detail address out and follow links until you find a means of contact that works for you.
It is also useful to find the state of incorporation for your problem bank, and either contact the Better Business Bureau in that state and/or the State Attorney General with your complaints. You'll find you are only one of many with similar issues. Companies that pull such trickery, seem to do it by policy not by mistake.
On 09/18/2006 I noticed that a customer Withdrawal had been made from my joint account (my husband is on it...