WaMu Screws Customer Stranded Overseas After Credit Cards Stolen

Marty was stranded in Greece after his credit cards got stolen on the metro. He called WaMu to cancel his cards and then when he tried to confirm they were closed, he got transferred from department to department. In the meantime, thieves continued to run his bill up to $5800. Marty’s cellphone minutes continued to drain. No one could help him because the Consumer Lending Department “was closed over the weekend.” WaMu must believe that identity theft is only committed during the weekday.

Marty, pictured above while traveling with his family in Egypt, made a recording of his horrible customer service experience that you can listen to here. Listen to what a sarcastic unhelpful punk the supervisor is. Somehow he’s completely incapable of leaving anyone in the company a message on an answering machine to help this guy out. What a toolbag.

In comparison, when Marty called US Banks to cancel his cards with them stolen in the same batch, the whole thing was wrapped up in 5 minutes.

Despite commercial touting its customer service and personal relationships, Washington Mutual doesn’t give a damn about helping its customers when they need it.

Washington Mutual Complaint [Journey to Ancient Civilizations] (Thanks to Dustin!)

Comments

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  1. kiloman says:

    Michael: “Toby Flenderson is everything that is wrong with the paper industry.”

  2. Art Vandelay says:

    I’ve banked for extended periods with both Wamu and Wells Fargo. Thankfully, I haven’t needed to cancel cards because of theft, but every time I’ve had an issue, customer service has been really great. Not sure if this is a one off case of extreme douchebaggery or a problem with Wamu.

    The only customer service I’ve had a problem with is my ISP, and that’s because they’re answer to everything is restart your computer.

  3. That MP3 is amazing. I’ve decided to start recording all my customer service calls. This is exactly the reason why.

    Go, Consumerist! Take WaMu to the bank!

  4. Is there really a spot in Egypt that has several pyramids side by side? I thought they were all spread out or something. Of course, I havent had much sleep so I may be mistaken.

  5. Jamie Beckland says:

    This is just painful to listen to, and it’s so obviously a situation where the CSR needed to take on some personal resonsibility to help get this resolved.

    Something similar happened to me when traveling in Eastern Europe about ten years ago, and it was just ridiculous. My card was put on fraud alert, and I had to run all over the city looking for a hotel concierge who would call the bank in the states to verify that I was standing in front of him.

    WaMu needs to:

    1. Cover all these expenses

    2. Give this guy a big fatty apology and appropriate compensation for such a harrowing experience.

    3. Begin 24 hour service on HELOCs. Banks issue credit/debit cards with HELOCs whether you ask for them or not, and if you’re going to issue the product, you gotta be there to service it when it (inevitably) gets FUBAR.

  6. Okay, I’m an idiot. I found quite a few locations with several pyramids. Dont mind me… just passing through.

  7. mfergel says:

    I don’t even bank with WaMu and I hate them. I am so sick of getting their credit applications every damn week. LEAVE ME ALONE YOU BASTARDS.

  8. davezen2 says:

    Just sent and e-mail to them, please let us know how/if this is resolved…

  9. kimdog says:

    My wallet was stolen at on a late weekend night right around New Year’s a couple of years ago. I was able to cancel my Citibank CC and Debit Card, Capitol One Credit Card, and a couple of store cards within 15 minutes. Everyone was helpful, and Citibank transfered me from the debit branch to the credit branch with no issues. No fraudulent charges, thank god.

    What the hell wrong is WaMu, I understand that there was some international call problems… but reporting a stolen card should be a no brainer. And immediate!

    In fact, you don’t have to be the owner of the card to cancel it. I found a wallet on the subway with cards and cash, but no contact info. Rather that turning it over to the MTA (where she would never see it again). I called the bank and asked if they could contact her. They immediately canceled all the cards, and told me to drop it off at a bank branch (which I did).

  10. Daytonna says:

    That was a painfull call, I can feel for this guy.

    Wamu is terrible. We no longer bank with them, we moved an auto loan, a personal line of credit, a credit card, our home mortgage, and two savings/retirement accounts.

    They failed to mail us a bill on the personal line of credit. (still our responsibility to pay) When we got the 30 day late notice, I immediately went to our local branch and paid in cash the due amount. Our payment was 29 days late, so not a missed payment, just an overdue one.

    Next month my wifes credit rating took a 120 point plunge. Wamu had reported a 30 day late payment, individually to each credit reporting agency, her credit report showed 3 negative bylines,from each agency for one overdue payment. Effectively to her credit report is looked like she had missed 9 payments. Has taken use over a year to get it straightened out. Fuck Wamu.

  11. matukonyc says:

    One absolutely must use a card with a “major” bank (like Chase or Citibank) when traveling overseas. I have a hard time thinking of WaMu as a “major” bank for some reason, although of course it’s completely subjective!

  12. Uurp says:

    Neither of them was really listening to the other. The bad thing is, Jason should have been trained to listen–it’s his job. And he refused to asknowledge Marty’s predicament.

  13. royal72 says:

    i guess that’s way above and beyond the normal call of duty for a manager at wamu. it sure is difficult to:
    1. write down a name, phone number, and maybe the cc number.
    2. call the manager of the other dept and pass along the info.
    3. follow up to make sure it got resolved.
    that takes maybe 5 minutes all together. how long did he argue with the poor guy that he can’t do anything? 7:59 minutes. that sure was time well spent jackass!

  14. crayonshinobi says:

    Oh my god. That is about the worst customer service I’ve heard yet on this website.

    I get the feeling that the real culprit here is that Jason(the CSR) is paid minimum wage and so feels no compunction about not taking ownership of the situation.

    Good luck to you Marty, and nice Macguyvering with the internet/cell phone combo.

  15. Jane Akshar says:

    Marty and his wonderful family stayed with me in Luxor and I have been following their blog ever since they booked. When I read the story I could not believe how they had been treated. Listen to the recording, notice how calm and polite Marty is. I would have lost it completely. But Marty remains a gentleman and what reward does he get …….. absolutely nothing.

    I actually went to the trouble of emailing the company complaining and this is the email I got back.

    “Dear Jane Akshar :

    Thank you for your inquiry about your Washington Mutual home loan.

    You have reached the home loan servicing division for existing home loans. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist you with your bank account information. Please contact our Retail Banking Services (RBS) directly toll free at 800.788.7000 for assistance with your inquiry.

    Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reply to this email. We can also be reached toll free at 866.926.8937.

    Sincerely,

    Your WaMu Banker

    Enterprise Customer Care

    Washington Mutual Bank”

    Obviously no human beings inhabit their customer service department.

    Jane Akshar

  16. dohtem says:

    This scares me. I have 2 WaMu cards in my wallet as I type this.

  17. mac-phisto says:

    their loss. while you may not be compensated for time used to rectify fraudulent charges, federal law requires wamu to reimburse you for fraudulent charges. looks like the joke’s on them, since they’ll be eating those charges.

  18. closer says:

    wamu fucking blows. i missed a payment by 1 day because i was on vacation. interest gets jacked up to 30%!!!!

    i’ve made double payments for over a year and it’s still at 30% regardless of requests for it to be lowered. ridiculous. 16 months of 30% interest payments… ontime… everything.. motherfuckers.

  19. What the heck is wrong with this Jason guy? How hard is it to call up the loan department and leave a voice mail? How hard is it to leave yourself a post-it note and call the loan department when it’s back open?

    Jason the CSR was being intentionally dense by insisting that because he couldn’t reach a human right at that second there was no way to get the message across. Then he has the nerve to act like the customer is the one being ridiculous.

    This is worse than the AOL call. At least that CSR was told to act that way and had something to gain in not canceling the account. Jason was being an asshat for absolutely no reason.

  20. homeuser says:

    Unbelievable.

  21. rbb says:

    So, how was all this finally resolved? His wallet was stolen on 28 Feb. Today is 9 March and he still has not posted an update although he has had time to make other postings.

    Don’t leave us hanging!!!

  22. MommaJ says:

    Another entitled “Consumerist” making a big deal over virtually nothing. Obviously the charges to his card would be voided given the fact that the card was already cancelled, so why make a big ridiculous deal out of the whole thing? And to make it sound like he was looking out for the bank’s best interests! And he had already arranged for a new card to be sent to him, so, again, what is the BFD? And the entire phone system of Greece, last time I checked, not exactly a third world country, wouldn’t let him call toll-free the next day? Ridiculous. And he can’t use the services of a hotel because he and his wife and kids are staying…..on the street? I think “Jason” was enormously patient with this guy, who was too dumb to bring traveler’s checks with him and wants the whole world to solve his problems. So Wamu isn’t set up to deal with some demanding jerk who isn’t staying at a hotel, can’t figure out how to use a pay phone, wants his unauthorized charges taken off TODAY, even though it matters not at all, and, so far as I can tell, has no urgent issues at all. Horrors. And why didn’t he have his computer pal make the call to Wamu the next day? Because then he couldn’t put all this on Consumerist and get his moment of fame. The guy even tells Jason he’s going to put it all on the internet! Please don’t waste space with stuff like this from entitled smartasses.

  23. Jane Akshar says:

    I got this email from him today at 16:00 so it would seem like he is still stranded.

    Thank you Jane,
    Amazing service! Thank you for writing your letters. As I’ve told my friends “I can feel the love.” It has been a pretty stressful week trying to disentangle our finances. We’re getting closer but can’t so much else until we find out if our new cards will arrive or not. We leave tomorrow for Santorini to visit the volcano. I’m really excited about this visit. There is some really cool archaeology in the geology there. I should be back in the blogging groove soon if I have Internet that is. Take care.

  24. Chongo says:

    Wow, this is a big deal… Forget everything that happened up until the very end of the call when the CSR goes “Have a great WEEKEND”… he even added this real subtle “prick” tone. Man… I could almost live with the CSR not doing me any favors. Obviously when this guy leaves work he leaves his work at WORK.

    Once you get personal though… man… I smell a firing.

  25. Amy Alkon says:

    MommaJ: You’re awfully mean and unsympathetic, and spew so much, but know so little.

    FYI, the problem has nothing to do with how modern Greece is or isn’t. You can’t make toll-free calls to US numbers from overseas. Few people know this, except those, like me, who spend a lot of time in another country.

    I typically get a number with an area code for my bank and for airlines before leaving this country…otherwise, you can be screwed in a situation like this, and/or go through the kind of hell this guy did. As for the bank assuming the loss — why should there be any loss? And who do you think ultimately pays for losses…perhaps the rest of us consumers?

    Regarding travelers checks: Travelers checks aren’t always accepted (or even accepted often), even in Paris, where I go often, and the exchange rate is best with a credit card. They can be extremely inconvenient even if they are accepted.

    Furthermore, the person who gave advice (either in comments here or on the site with the original posting) about avoiding pickpockets was very helpful. Also, I’d advise only having a couple of cards with you — not taking your driver’s license and stuff you won’t need and having it on you in your wallet, lest something bad happen. Either leave that stuff home or in a safe at your hotel, or buried in the bottom of your bag.

    For women who wish to avoid being pickpocketed, and carry a purse, have a purse with strong straps (that can’t be cut easily), and put it around you in situations that might be dicey. Don’t get on a terribly crowded train – wait for the next one. And put your wallet in a grocery store plastic bag, all scrunched up, at the bottom of your purse…the noisier when you scrunch it, the better. Pile stuff on top of it. A pickpocket is feeling for a wallet.

  26. The Unicorn says:

    My wallet got stolen when I was overseas, & I would’ve been completely screwed if it wasn’t for American Express. Citibank screwed up sending me a new card (I didn’t know where I was going to be staying, so they sent it to a bank branch…but made out the address as though I *lived* at the bank branch, which caused DHL to think it was a mistake and not deliver it), but AmEx was able to add me to my parents’ account immediately & had a temporary card waiting for me to pick up the very next day. In addition, everyone I talked to at Citibank was rude and/or incomptent, whereas AmEx did everything they could to help me out, on multiple occasions.

    I know AmEx gets a lot of shoutouts on this site for their customer service, but especially for international travel, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have one of their cards. They have offices all over the world, and they are actually linked up (whereas Citibank, despite having locations in other countries, treats each country’s bank like a separate entity). I still can’t imagine what would’ve happened if my parents hadn’t been able to put them in my corner.

  27. valkin says:

    As far as I know, many companies, including the one I work for, don’t let their CSRs make outbound calls. An outbound call includes calling your own company that’s in another state or building. This could be what Jason was talking about not being able to do.

    However, I highly doubt Jason had no way of contacting the lending department, like emailing someone there by asking his supervisor to go through the company directory.

    How difficult would it have been for Jason to just write down this guys number and take care of this offline? Not that difficult, but it would have meant that he needed to have cared about this customer.

  28. formergr says:

    Great advice, Amy Alkon. Regarding women and purses, though, be careful with the strong straps. While they will prevent you from having it ripped or cut off of you, they can also get you hurt.

    I was wearing a purse in Paris from a shoulder strap (across my chest for safety) when a guy zipped by on a motor bike and tried to grab it. He missed, so I just got bumped, but if he had grabbed it and pulled, I would have been pulled down and even perhaps dragged if the strap didn’t break or he didn’t let go right away.

    MommaJ: Seriously, travelers checks, those are so 1990s! You get a much better exchange rate with either a credit card or using your plain old American ATM card in foreign ATMs (yes, it’ll work, I’ve yet to have one not). That’s why hardly anyone uses trav checks anymore, all the ATMs are now linked globally.

    I just traveled through southern Africa, and there were many, many place that didn’t take trav checks. They all, though, took dollars, S. African Rand, or the local currency. And everywhere I went (even the tiny store in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mud huts and cows) there were ATMs that I was able to successfully use.

    Cute family in the OP’s photo by the way.

  29. bokononist says:

    MommaJ:

    I’m not sure why you’re bothering to comment on this post. Hopefully you end up getting banned.

    The man is in a foreign country, and fearing the consequences of fraud on his personal finances. You (and WaMu) could be a bit more sympathetic.

    WaMu in particular ought to be more sympathetic–if he’s truly ‘not at risk’ then he should have been informed that he wasn’t at risk by the customer service person.

  30. formergr says:

    Great advice, Amy Alkon. Regarding women and purses, though, be careful with the strong straps. While they will prevent you from having it ripped or cut off of you, they can also get you hurt.

    I was wearing a purse in Paris from a shoulder strap (across my chest for safety) when a guy zipped by on a motor bike and tried to grab it. He missed, so I just got bumped, but if he had grabbed it and pulled, I would have been pulled down and even perhaps dragged if the strap didn’t break or he didn’t let go right away.

    MommaJ: Seriously, travelers checks, those are so 1990s. You get a much better exchange rate with either a credit card or using your plain old American ATM card in foreign ATMs (yes, it’ll work, I’ve yet to have one not). That’s why hardly anyone uses trav checks anymore, all the ATMs are now linked globally.

    I just traveled through southern Africa, and there were many, many place that didn’t take trav checks. They all, though, took dollars, S. African Rand, or the local currency. And everywhere I went (even the tiny store in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mud huts and cows) there were ATMs that I was able to successfully use.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I notified WaMu Media Relations, WaMu Investor Relations, and the WaMu Executive Response Team of this incident and referred them to Consumerist.com

    You can do the same.

    WaMu Investor Relations 206.500.5200
    WaMu Switchboard 206.461.2000

  32. Daytonna says:

    @MommaJ: Not sure if your really as ignorant as you sound in your post, or if you accidentally linked to this story from Fark. Either way, a banks severe mistreatment of a customer, when they are in a serious predicament IS an important issue.

    And flaming the Comsumerist, while insulting the poor guy who got his wallet stolen does little to validate any points you may have been trying to make.

  33. suckonthat says:

    @MommaJ: If there was a good reason for Consumerist to do commenter executions like Gawker, it’s this post.

  34. oudemia says:

    WaMu sucks. Honestly, the weirdest thing that ever happened to me in re banking was through them. A friend owed me money and paid via a $500 check. Payment goes into my account. A week or more later, I realize that I have a lot less money in my account than I ought. I call the bank and am told that the $500 check from my friend has bounced. This doesn’t seem likely, in fact, even possible (person in question is loaded), so I have no compunction whatever in calling them and saying “Hey! My bank says your check bounced!” They give me their bank statement and the physical cancelled check showing that the check in fact cleared on their end. I march into WaMu with this. They sort of shrug, but launch an investigation. Not much of one — they come to the same conclusion. The check has bounced. I have the physical check showing that it cleared. I have the banking records of said friend showing that it cleared. This was all given to WaMu from the get go. After much insistence on my part — and really because I had non-negotiable physical evidence — they did a proper investigation and determined that my money was put in someone else’s account and a check written to that someone else, which was bad, was fobbed off on me. I would have been SOL if this had not been a check from a close enough friend that I could ask them for pretty personal records.

  35. @MommaJ: Are you insane? Since when is someone stealing your money no big deal? Especially when you’re in a foreign country and are running out of ways to contact the bank that supposedly canceled the account!

  36. Velociraptor says:

    WaMu’s website is “offline” for “maintenance” every Sunday as well–being an administrator of large enterprise websites myself, this is absolutely unacceptable for a multi-state bank in my mind. Additionally, your password cannot contain any special characters, nor can it contain more than three letters from your name, iirc. If you have a name with a large alpha spread, that makes it pretty damned easy to do a brute-force attack on your password.

    They also will not accept checks from out-of-state banks, even if they have branches in the other state. Ridiculous, really, all around. Needless to say, I don’t bank with them any longer.

  37. Little Mintz Sunshine says:

    Re: women and purses. I have one of those neck “purses” I wear under my clothes. You can get it at any travel store and it fits a passport, credit cards, money, hotel key, airline tickets, etc. Anything of little or no value gets dumped in the purse. I am leery about getting strapped in to a purse as well. You can easily be dragged down the street and injured. Let them have the bag. These neck “purses” also work for men, too.

    Also, if you are in Europe, try to blend in a bit, which at times means not dressing like you’re going to the grocery store on Saturday morning. Jeans, tennis shoes, and your U of Whatever sweatshirts and matching cap only peg you as a tourist and potential victim. Plus, you’ll look nicer in your photos.

    If I do travel abroad, one of the first calls I make is to AMEX letting them know I will be out of the US so they won’t flag my card and leave me stranded.

    Oh, and WaMu, you suck.

  38. dantsea says:

    And it was just a few months ago when WaMu laid off all their seasoned, senior customer service representatives and closed the downtown Seattle call center, outsourcing hither and yon or contracting out to the lowest possible bidder in remote stateside locations.

    That seems to be working out really well for them.

  39. fencepost says:

    @Art Vandelay: In defense of the ISP whose response is to restart your computer, there are lots of things that can be tried in fixing problems, and a fair number of them involve restarts to take effect. That makes it hard to know whether it was the change or the restart that cleared the problem, so frequently a restart is the first step.

  40. Michi-Chan says:

    I used to like this bank until…

    -Washington Mutual shut down my debit card for “erratic spending” AFTER I spent over $80,000 out of $95,000 I had in my account from the sale of my home.

    -Washington Mutual repeatedly declined my purchases while I was trying to remodel my home because the amounts that I was spending were out of the ordinary. (seeing a trend here?)

    -When asked to make a note on my account to lift any flags about my spending, the response was, “This is a safety feature we have in place for your protection and cannot remove it”.

    -They put a hold on my fiancé’s card for “erratic spending” and then transferred him to the fraud department, who never answered the phone. I had to call, punch a bunch of numbers, get transferred to customer service (meanwhile our purchases are being held at the checkout), and bitch till I got a manager. I wouldn’t be convinced until we could run the card and not have it get declined. SO I told them to wait on the line until the sale went through, and the manager had the nerve to say “Only for a minute”. My response was, “If ya’ll can repeatedly inconvenience me with your shitty safety measures, than I’m going to inconvenience the hell out of you by making you wait on the line until my purchase goes through!” I made them wait until I walked through the store, talked to the sales person, re-rang the purchases, chatted a bit, and finally ran the card.

    It went through.

    They didn’t hang up.

  41. shanebb says:

    If you are in another country and want to cancel a card, call the relevant Mastercard or Visa phone number.

    Calling the Bank is waste of time.

  42. diem says:

    Beforfe wamu went national, they were AWESOME. And then the greed came, and they went global. Good luck getting help on the phone. I cancelled three accounts with them, and swapped to a local credit union instead.

  43. chowlori says:

    Having worked a temp job for a third party call center, I would guess Jason was an employee of a third party call center. Employees are not allowed to say they are not employees of the underlying business. This is mainly why calls or messages cannot be left or made to other offices or branches to resolve problems. This is the wave of the future. I am actually surprised that he got a call center employee in the US! This is not defending the practice by any means-I think it is shoddy service. It just shows what the Ceos what to spend money on and line their pockets with the difference. Obviously it is not customer service. The only thing that can possibly change this wave of outsourcing is if enough customers get fed up and change their business to other businesses that might charge a little more or in the case of a bank pay a little less interest on accounts but offer better service.

  44. davekulryan says:

    Just sent this message to the all the execs at the company what they are doing to fix the situation. No one should be treated like this. And that supervisor should be terminated.

    To Washinton Mutual,

    I have been reading about a situation that seriously concerns me about
    the company I would like to know what you and the rest of the team at
    WAMU are doing to correct the situation for this customer.

    The link to the issue I have posted.

    http://ancientcivilization-geology.blogspot.com/2007/03/wa

    http://consumerist.com/consumer/complaints/wamu-screws-cus

  45. wfgarder3 says:

    WaMu did me dirty a couple years back: having been a long term customer (since Home Savings buyout) in good standing, WaMu graciously afforded me overdraft protection up to $1000.00 Of course, they still make their $20 or so for every draft honored when you have a negative balance. So I went past the zero mark one month, but rectified the situation with a quickness that same month… NOW HERE IS WHERE IT GETS UGLY! a couple weeks went by and my balance got low, but not critical. Then the BOUNCED a fifteen dollar check I had written to the DMV to renew my drivers license!!!!!! because my account was less than ten dollars in the red….. I was livid. their story….It seems WaMu has this policy spelled out in tiny little letters on the back side of the statement forms that says, “overdraft protection can be canceled at any time WITHOUT NOTICE.” !!!! WaMU SUCKS

  46. malibumadman says:

    wow

  47. malibumadman says:

    washington mutual took over 2 small banks i did business with in my home town. i lost the most important thing i look for in a bank. customer service! i closed my accounts and found another small family owned bank in my town that remembers my name, i can call from china directly to take care of banking matters, and gives me a call at home if there is a problem with my account. they are out there, small banks that give you ‘service’. ‘wamu’ is not that bank besides who would want to do business with a bank that has changed its name to ‘waaaaa mooooo’ hahahha

  48. Pokemom says:

    Providian was taken over by WaMu,so that may have something to do with it. Providian has outsourced (to unsympathetic CSR’s in foreign countries) for some time. I think this may be part of the problem when trying to get help to what should be a “simple” issue.

  49. Amy Alkon says:

    Little Mintz Sunshine makes another good point:

    Let your bank and credit card company know you’ll be traveling internationally, and when and where. I always do this, because, even though I’m in Paris all the time, I’ve had them shut my cards down for fraud (dimwits) a couple of times. (Um, duh, if I’m going to commit fraud, I’m not going to buy a 3 eu spool of thread.)

    And yet another good point from Little Mintz Sunshine:

    Don’t dress like “The Ugly American.” You’ll end up looking like a pretty pretty mark.

  50. Vinny says:

    @crayonshinobi: Being paid minimum wage is not an excuse to not do your job (customer service) properly.

  51. mmsrobertson says:

    WaMu Update

    I have been repeatedly asked to write an update on the Washington Mutual post so here it is. It’s been a little more than a week since Rich recorded that conversation with the Washington Mutual representative. I waited a couple of days before I wrote the article. I was too angry and stressed out about how we were going to settle the fraudulent charges to our cards and just pay for day-to-day life here while working. I posted the article and felt quite relieved to get it off my chest. I had no idea what would happen next.

    I have reconnected with many old friends as a result of this sabbatical trip and my blog. One of them, whom I have not seen in twenty-plus years, read the WaMu post and linked it to his site. I casually wrote him a thank you note and looked at my site meter. It was going nuts. I went from having 30-70 hits a day to more than a thousand that day. That was Friday here in Athens. At 4:00 am Saturday morning I was awakened by a phone call from a Washington Mutual executive named Rosie. She apologized for the service I received saying that it was totally inappropriate and said that she would personally be working on my case with the fraud department. I explained that my main concern was having WaMu remove the fraudulent charges from my card and getting new cards. She said she would work on it and get back to me. She also sent me the following email:

    Dear Mr. Robertson, I am truly disappointed to learn of the level of service that you received. I am an employee of Washington Mutual Bank and work for the Executive Offices. I would like the opportunity to contact you and assist you with the resolution. My email address is … Is there a telephone number that I may call to reach you directly?

    Three things struck me. First, the squeaky wheel does get the grease after all. But how sad that the squeak had to be so loud to be heard. Not everybody has access to the Internet. Not everybody has great friends that are willing to hold phones to computer speakers for hours or link posts to their web sites. At the time of this writing there have been over 2000 visits to the original post. Some of you have let WaMu know what you think, and I think they actually heard you. Thank you!

    Second, I received the call from Rosie at four in the morning here in Athens. I’m not sure where Rosie was calling from, but even if her office was on the west coast that put her time at 6:00 pm. Someone was working after hours on a Friday on this. Maybe something will actually happen.

    Third, and I alluded to this earlier, none of this would have happened without the help of friends and community. I had already done everything I could on my own, and it was clear that nothing was going to happen for a long time. But thanks to good friend, Rich, and old friend, Rusty, and the Internet community I’m on the road to getting this resolved.

    One last note. The fraudulent charges on the US Bank/REI Visa card have been totally reversed and taken off of my account. My wife’s WaMu consumer MasterCard has had all but $.29 of the fraudulent charges reversed and taken off the account. I’m not sure why the $.29 remains; heck, I’m just glad that it’s taken care of. I hope to see new cards in about a week and a half. Now we’re just waiting to hear from Rosie about what will happen with this final WaMu account. Hopefully there will be more good news soon. I’ll keep you posted.

  52. twriter says:

    Had my wallet stolen on a Lufthansa flight from Dallas to Frankfurt. Didn’t realize it until I had deplaned in Frankfurt. Lufthansa and airport personnel were awful. Fortunately my sister arrived a couple of hours later and she had money and credit cards. We had a connecting flight to Paris. I had AMEX travelers checks so I had a number to call for AMEX. They replaced my card and travelers checks in London two days later. (I agree on the uselessness of travelers checks by the way) Calling the MASTERCARD and/or VISA cancellation number is a waste of time. Cancellation of cards didn’t happen. When I returned stateside and called to get a new MASTERCARD AND VISA – I was told that the number I had called to cancel them was useless. The CSR did tell he however – that I could have called the number on the back of the card . . . . . . . . .
    Now when I travel I photocopy both the fronts and backs of all of my cards, and also photocopy my passport. I leave a copy (of everything) at my office – in case my luggage is stolen and I lose the copies that I have with me. Also – as a women who travels a lot internationally – I NEVER use a purse – only a fanny pack – either the around the waist type or I have one that goes over the shoulder and across my body. I ALWAYS have a jacket or sweater or something on when riding on trains or on a bus. You often hear about the dangers of South America. I travel extensively in South America and Europe. I’ve been robbed twice – both times in Europe.

    WAMU was my mortgage company until they sold it to Wells Fargo. Both are awful.

  53. leidback says:

    I’m so glad that WaMu sold my mortgage to another bank. I’d hate to think that I’d be paying for that poor guy’s stolen cards. Talk about a total lack of customer service.

  54. sarah6282 says:

    I think the moron calling in is a whiny idiot. Who goes out of the country with one form of payment!!!! he deserved to be stranded. i hate middle aged men whining like little babies ewwww. Luckily for his wife she doesn’t have to worry about him sleeping with a younger girl when he has his mid-life crisis because anyone under the age of 40 would be completely repulsed by crying like a little girl.

  55. Jordan916 says:

    After listening to the call that this man recorded, I am very amused by his lack of knowledge about any sort of credit card transactions. I completely disagree with Wamu having their loans department closed on the weekends, they should always have someone there to help. However if you listen very carefully, Marty was told many times that his card was already closed…and as anyone who has ever had any experience with any sort of card transaction can tell you, there is no way any credit card company or bank can cancel something that has already recieved authorization previous to the card being closed. He makes it sound in his description of what happened like his card was still being used, but by definition a closed card cannot be used to make any transactions. The transactions that were processing were already authorized and needed to be disputed, I know, I had nothing but a good experience with Wamu when I had fraud on my accounts. All of my money was returned to me!!! And as for him bashing the supervisor, it’s not that representatives policy! Good for him for taking out his anger on someone who has no choice but to be abused if he would like to keep his job! He did his best to treat the customer with respect while constantly being bashed and abused, way to blame him for being human. Its ok to have Marty treat him like trash, but heaven forbid the rep get upset after constant abuse. And as for the moron that commented about how upset she was that she had her purchases declined because they were over her card limit, This is an example of why!! Putting it very simply for the rude people like her if someone stole her card, you would be the one calling yelling about transactions that someone was allowed to make on your card because there was no spending limit!!! Give me a break! If you want good security dont bitch when it’s given to you!!

  56. Austinteacher says:

    I had to stop reading all these posts!!! I’m almost in tears.
    I have 2 home loans with WaMu; both auto paid. I just found out 2 weeks ago, by chance, that one no longer was being pulled (paid). The other is current and in good standing. I was told that
    I was behind about 172 days.
    I am now in preforeclosure. I know very little. WaMu says that they stopped pulling the $ because of my chapter 7 bankruptcy about 4 years ago. They also say that it is against the law to talk to me about it and refuse to answer my many questions.

  57. llsoot says:

    No offense, but so what! I don’t know why you need to blame the Customer Service people. They are only instructed to do so much. You try working that job for a couple weeks. I guarantee you will be jumping off a building with in a month. He did not sound sarcastic at all. Considering the fact that you are not responsible for any fraudulant charges on visa cards, I don’t really see what the problem is. The rest of the story is missing. The part where all money was returned to his bank account. They are not responsible for you cellphone issues. If washington mutual wants to waste their money giving it to crooks then it is their money to do as they please. I feel bad for the supervisor because he was just doing his job. And for that family, you need to get a dictionary and look up sarcasm because it did not sound at ALL sarcastic!!!!

  58. llsoot says:

    @Jordan916: Thank you. Somebody with some common sense and reason.

  59. oldnslo says:

    I just discovered by reading my WAMU statement, that someone used my card number for some internet purchases totalling around $1000. Calling customer service [had to call a branch first, as WAMU doesn't list that number on their statements] then had long difficult conversation with Indian cs rep with a very thick accent. He said he would send a “dispute form”. Why don’t they incorporate this with their statement? The prevailing attitude I felt with the several people I talked to about this situation, including Wamu’s “fraud” department, is that they just don’t care about their customers. As soon as I can afford to, I plan to cut all ties to them. They truly suck.

  60. sprocket003 says:

    I work in a call center and there are absolutely ways to contact other offices within the same company. EIther you somehow leave a message, send and email, or have someone in your office get a hold of the other department come Monday. Jason did a poor job resolving the call and representing WaMu positively.

    You need to be careful about recording your customer service calls however. Each state has different laws that may require disclosure of the call being recorded. Posting the recording on the Internet may create some legality issues.

    Still, I am glad this has circulated the Internet in hopes to make others aware of companies that treat their customers this way.

  61. MissTiff629 says:

    I am closing my WaMu account today! They charged me for 19 overdraft fees incurred in a one week period when i was out of town and used my debit card for $5-$15 purchases. When I got back, horrified, I begged for a little consideration because it was an honest miscalculation on my part. I was told they can’t do anything about it, despite the fact that I have been a customer for over two years and have never had an overdraft before, and despite the fact that I am a student who does not have over $600 to throw away in fees! Obviously this was my fault, but isn’t $650 a little excessive and dare I say, unethical? they were also complete jerks on the customer service line, and the branch manager said she was new and didn’t know what she was doing so i got kicked around for two weeks before finally getting a “screw you!” from them. WAMU stinks!

  62. kiwihollywood says:

    1.The customer service rep was remarkably pleasant throughout almost all of the call despite rising ire from Marty.
    2. However Wamu could improve its connectivity to its clients…ie. an option to call back…an International fraud office open on the weekends etc.
    3. Martys’ comment that he was in a country with a phone system that wouldn’t let him call what the customer service rep said was an INTERNATIONAL toll-free number seems slightly ludicrous as he was in Greece…not exactly 3rd world.
    4. He was making a HUGE issue out of being called back the next day…internet cafes are easy to find and very cheap in most places tourists frequent around the world.
    4. Overall Marty seemed a little melodramatic about the whole thing…sure it sucks but his cards had already been cancelled and he had an American friend who seemed to be helping him out…not exactly indicative of a desperate situation.

  63. xprophx says:

    There is plenty that this manager could have done..Washington Mutual does have great service and is not a lie, and WAMU would take full responsibility for all fraudulent charges. There is more this supervisor could have done…either contacting a branch to completely cut off or put a stop on the Equity Line of Credit Debit/master card… (i dont know who would be stupidified to carry a high revolving limit balance of a card and not just xfer money from equity account to checking account then xfer back the rest you didnt use) but anyway…he could have done a stop on your loan, and had an affidavit filed to get the fraudulent charges rolling while you were on vacation…as far as funds…it should have been your responisibility for a back up plan incase something like this happened…theres not way to issue emergency cards or numbers unless i think they get forwarded to the home branch where you originated your loan. As of customer service, he could have done an advance off your behalf and WIRED the money…but then again he would be taking a risky loss to his job and to the company if he did..because he cannot properly identify you to do such transactions…

    so is this really the banks fault? NO.

    Did wamu leave them stranded? NO.

    What the consumer could have done to PREVENT this from happening…

    1. Not carry a high balance account card as day to day spending…its essentially used for larger purchases rather than day to day expenses..thats what a bank account is for…

    2. carry a debit card that can easibly be replaced or go online to wamu.com and order a temporary card number or load a card with just enough money to fly back and get things straightened out…

    3. Not be so baffled that they left thier wallet missing..or unattended in a foreign country they do not know….

    This is both the consumer and banks fault…

    1. the customer rep was arrogant and rude..

    2. the customer expressed his needs, they were not met, but was dumb enough not to carry a back up source fund…and also carry an equity card as main source of funds…

    3. the customer was frustrated..however they could have advance transferred online to thier checking/savings account had they had one…and purchased airline tickets online, or ordered a reloadable gift card and used the temp code online…

    WAMU DID NOT leave this family stranded…they had plenty of banking options…but just like every consumer even myself…we take our own arrogance and manliness into consideration, and throw everything out the window…if its free which mostly everything is…open it…

    theres the solution…

    as far as the supervisor..he could have stopped the loan…then again..you still would have no funds to get back..because YOU got your wallet stolen…how did you get back anyway?

  64. xprophx says:

    @MissTiff629:
    about your OD charges, it was NOT a bank error, just like you said mis calculation, you should go back to school and pick up some math classes..as stated and disclosed to you when you open ANY bank account, if it is NOT a bank error, they will NOT refund any fees…im glad your closing your account because you just made wamu 650.00 richer! and if you dont pay any bank will put you in chexsystems…

    good luck…

    wamu is not bad at all..go bank with bofa and have them start charging you fees to bank with a teller..or using too much atm…or better yet thier overdraft fees that consist anywhere from 19-42.00 A PIECE! and us bank that charges you daily everytime you are over drawn!

    that will show ya!

    again..good luck!

  65. macgurrl21 says:

    Thank you XPROPHX… It always bugs me when I see “customer service” issues w/ a bank, and it’s a person pissed off because they got charged overdraft fees when they didn’t have money in their account and the bank paid their transactions. It doesn’t matter if it’s $5 or $500, you still didn’t have the money, and the bank is not obligated to loan you money for free. The fees are not “unethical,” and are explained to you upon account opening. It’s a fact of life, and as pointed out, EVERY bank will charge you if you go below your balance.

    Also, someone mentioned earlier that the phone rep prob gave bad service because he only makes minimum wage and it’s not worth it for him to do any research. For the record, I had a friend who worked in a call center, she made $16/hour and she was not even a manager. So I’m not sure where this idea that people who work in a bank make minimum wage, but it’s hardly the case. Besides, the amount of the paycheck has nothing to do w/ the ability to give good service or not, that’s entirely up to the person doing the job.

    The matter of whether or not the customer service manage could have been more sympathetic is moot. The department was CLOSED. He did not make the decision for that dept to be closed on weekends, he can only relay the information and follow the rules. So it’s really ridiculous for people to take their frustrations out on someone who has no control over the immediate matter. Agreed: the manager should have jotted the customer’s info down and sent a quick email to the other dept so when someone got in on Monday it could be handled. However: The customer wanted his issue resolved immediately, and I have a feeling he would not have been satisfied w/ even that as an answer. Just my opinion though.

    I do believe customer service could be better in ANY company, not just WaMu, but I also believe the customer overreacted a little here. Of course, I don’t know the whole story, just what I read and heard here, but I don’t think it was fair for the family to blame WaMu for their entire fiasco just because they had one bad experience w/ a customer service manager. Like KIWIHOLLYWOOD said, he had a friend helping him out and an internet connection, so he wasn’t “stranded” by normal terms. I think this whole issue was to simply get the reaction that they got: Bad publicity on WaMu to even the score.

  66. freedom69 says:

    @xprophx: Right on! I couldn’t agree with you more. Customers sometimes want more then what you can do. The fact of the matter is the whole world does NOT revolve around you. So take your pissy attitudes some where else.

  67. freedom69 says:

    @xprophx: I dont think he knows what chexsystems is, perhaps he should know that it stops you from opening a checking account with any bank for the next 7 years.

  68. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    @Daytonna:

    WaMu LOST my first mortgage payment (they purchased the loan as I paid following the first payment instructions from closing).
    Fortunately it was sent with Wellsfargo bill pay. Wellsfargo was great at handling all the contacts, but it took WaMu 60 days to find it and credit it (The check had cleared before I got the late notice). It took another 90 days to get them to remove the late payments from the credit report.