USAA Bank Customer No-Service

April 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm 2 comments

Ok – I don’t generally post complaints on my blog.  I mean for it to be mainly technically oriented, but I just couldn’t let this one go.

USAA is rated as an awesome insurer.  They are said to provide great customer service, and get claims handled quickly and painlessly, and have good rates.

Perhaps I wrongly assumed that their Bank arm would have similar customer service.

I recently opened a checking and savings account with them.  When initially opening the account, it offers you the chance to make an initial deposit from another bank, so I set up my credit union’s Savings account and set up transfers.

Days later, I noticed that the funds were showing cleared at USAA.  At my credit union, though, the funds were still in the savings account.  I sent them a message to let them know:

My initial deposit shows clear on USAA, but my credit union doesn’t show that the money has been withdrawn yet. When I made my initial deposit, I did not have the checks in front of me, so I contacted my credit union to find the ABA number. I do not recall what that number was, but on my checks, it is XXXXXXX. The savings account that my initial deposit was to be taken from was account number XXXXXXX. Please verify that this is the account this money came from (and my credit union is just slow to update their end).

They sent this back:

Thank you for your message regarding your initial deposits to your newly established checking and savings accounts. Our records indicate that the deposits were returned to us unpaid as “Unable to Locate Account”. Therefore, the funds were removed from the account.

Please confirm the account information and then you can select Add an Account to your Funds Transferlist, and initiate a new transfer. If you have additional questions or concerns, please reply to this message or call us at 800-531-8722.


So, I did as asked and linked my credit union checking account.  This was different, in that it validated it by making two small deposits to my account and I had to enter those deposits into USAA’s website.  During this process, I found my credit union savings account within the USAA website and there was a link to start the validation process, so I did.  Note that I was unable to change anything in the account (the ABA or account numbers).  A day or two later, both my checking and savings accounts were validated.

So, following the advice of the first person from USAA, I tried to initiate a transfer.  I couldn’t.  Only my freshly validated credit union accounts showed up in the list as an account that I could transfer to, not the USAA checking or savings accounts.

So, I contacted them again:

Hi, when I initially set up my account, there was an issue with verifying the account that I was transferring funds from. I’ve now gotten my credit union Checking account verified, but when I go to the Transfer screen, neither my USAA Savings or USAA Checking show up as destinations for my transfers.

They replied:

Thank you for your message involving your accounts ending in XXXX and XXXX. Our records indicate that we were unable to collect the initial deposits from the non-USAA account XXXXXXXX. Due to this failed activity, the accounts were placed in a “credits only” status until good funds are received.
Please note that you may make a quick deposit to your USAA accounts any of the following ways:
Wire Transfer – You can wire funds to us without USAA charging a fee. Please contact the non-USAA bank to arrange. Upon receipt of the funds, please contact us to reinstate your account.
Western Union
Use the Blue Quick Collect Form and list the code city as Four Star Texas.
The name and account number on the form must match the account being credited.
Include the member’s name, USAA number and account number.
We must receive your deposit by 5:15 p.m. Central time to credit it the same day.
Cash Advance – You can get up to eight cash advances during a 30-day period. The maximum limit for cash advances is $2,500 daily and a total of $5,000 monthly. Due to your account’s current status, please contact us at 1-800-531-8722 to arrange.

My message back to them:

I am trying to deposit money into my USAA accounts. Why are you trying to make this harder for me?The initial deposit failed due to no fault of mine. That same account has now been successfully verified via your deposit verification system (where you deposited two amounts to my account, and I verified them through your website). The fact that this same account initially returned as “Unable to Locate Account” should make it obvious that whatever went wrong was not my fault. If you just open up these accounts to accept deposits, I’ll transfer money into them, and the problem will be all solved. If you continue to tell me that the only way to get money into these accounts is to transfer it in some way that costs me money (all three of the methods you mentioned are not free), then I can only respond by saying to close these two accounts, as it’s not worth the trouble to jump through all these hoops to be your customer. I should not have to do anything more than any brand new customer that came to your website would have to do to get money into their account. Forcing me to do one of these other methods feels as if I’ve been tagged as a potential criminal. I’ve not done anything to try to defraud USAA out of anything, yet I feel that I’m being treated with less respect than your other customers. In fact, I was the one that told you that the deposited amounts looked clear at USAA, but the money still had not been removed from my credit union Savings account.

Their reply:

We appreciate your feedback. We recommend you mail a check for the initial deposit since the options provided were not viable for you. Please mail a check to:

USAA Federal Savings Bank
Attn: Bank Priority Mail
10750 McDermott Freeway
San Antonio, TX 78284-8499

Please be sure to write the account number on the check. Once the deposit is received, your accounts will be activated.

My response:

This is insane. As I said before, if you can’t open it up so that I can transfer money into the account from one of the two accounts I have already validated (including the one that you originally somehow got a reject from), then simply close the checking and savings accounts. Even this latest method to get my initial deposit costs money (in the form of a stamp), and takes too much time. All you had to do was allow me to transfer money into it from the accounts that I’ve already validated. I understand you probably have your rules to go by, but why even have a customer support department if they can’t actually do anything?
One more thing – Please forward this up to a superior. And I would like to hear back from them. Having an online bank that won’t accept my deposit from verified accounts doesn’t make any sense. These aren’t new accounts that I’ve verified, I’ve had them both for about 15 years. There wasn’t an NSF issue when my initial deposit was attempted, just something about not being able to locate the account. That’s obviously not due to me, so either your system had a glitch, or something along those lines. Why penalize me for it?

And this is their most recent reply:

Management has reviewed your messages. We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any inconvenience. Please note that your USAA Four Star Checking Account ending XXXX and your USAA Savings account ending XXXX are both in a restricted status. As a result these accounts will only be able to accept deposits and cannot be utilized in a funds transfer. This is why your USAA accounts are not showing up in the funds transfer list.

According to our records, the initial deposits to your USAA accounts from the external account (ending XXXX) was returned in the total amount of $XXX.XX ($XX from checking & $XXX.XX from savings). The funds were returned as we were unable to locate account. Since the initial deposits were returned, your USAA accounts were placed in this restricted status.

Until you make the minimum deposits of $25.00 per account, the accounts will remain in this restricted status.

I’ve been trying to make deposits into this account from the two accounts they have validated, but they won’t allow it, so I’m just telling them to close these two accounts.  At this point, unless they offered me something north of $1000.00 for the trouble they’ve put me through, I don’t think I’d be interested in doing my banking business with them.  (And there’s not much chance of that…)

I hope the executives of USAA google their own names and come across this post, so they can see why I’m not going to be banking with them due to their massive failure in customer service.  Director: Arthur R. Emerson, CEO: Mark H. Wright

Perhaps it’s because I work in technology and know that this isn’t a technical issue that their failure infuriates me so much, but rather that I’ve been placed into a “penalty box” because the initial deposit failed.  I can’t see why they refuse to allow these accounts to be used with transfers, as long as their system doesn’t allow me to transfer money out of an account that doesn’t have any.  Oh, and if that is the problem…  You need better I.T. guys!

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Entry filed under: General.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tim Brown  |  April 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Troll!

    Reply
    • 2. ptaylor  |  April 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Call me what you will, but my blog post is 100% true. I gave them numerous chances, but they failed to even try to fix the problem. Instead of calling me a troll, perhaps you could tell me a legit reason why they wouldn’t allow me to try the transfer again.

      Reply

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