I Call This My WaMu Nightmare

Reader Krissy writes in with an absolutely horrible story about dealing with WaMu after her purse was stolen. She’s been living without a checking account or debit card since October because of WaMu.

Some highlights:

  • WaMu’s phones are “undergoing maintenance” at the time the purse is stolen, so Krissy stays up all night calling them over and over again.
  • The CSR tells her that she doesn’t have to cancel her account… even though her checkbook was stolen. Instead, she tells her to just put a stop payment on the check numbers. This results in lots of additional fraudulent charges on Krissy’s account.
  • She then gets a hold placed on her account, so she can go to a branch to do her banking in person. At the branch, she can’t find a manager who knows how to lift the hold.
  • Eventually she managed to drain her account down to a penny, but WaMu refused to close the account.
  • WaMu then wrote her a letter claiming that Krissy never did the fraud paperwork they sent her and threatening to reverse all the credits.. She called to tell them that she had, indeed, sent it. They apologized and asked her to send it again. She did. They reversed all the credits and sent her account into negative funds anyway.

Here’s Krissy’s letter.

Hello, my name is Krissy [redacted]. And I have been dealing with what I not-so-fondly refer to my WaMu nightmare since last October.

The story goes something like this:

In mid-October I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a local restaurant, when my purse was stolen off of my chair. After searching for it to no avail, my boyfriend and I ran home so I could call all of my financial institutions and report my cards/accts stolen. As soon as we walked in, I immediately started calling the 24 hour hotlines. HSBC and Bank of America both canceled my credit cards immediately and said that new cards would be in the mail that week. It had only been an hour since the purse was stolen, and no activity had happened yet, so no harm no foul.

…And then there was Washington Mutual.

Having a checking account, savings account, and credit card all under the umbrella of WaMu, it was of the utmost importance that I got through to them ASAP — so I called the 24 hour customer service line. After going through the automated phone tree, I was put on hold only to eventually get an automated response: (paraphrased) “We’re sorry, we are currently undergoing systematic maintenance — please call back after 6 a.m. Pacific time.” Realizing that time was of the essence, I logged online so I could report my valuables stolen that way. No such luck: online access was disabled too. Though I knew it was probably going to be futile, in my panic I just kept redialing the customer service 800 number. Miraculously, I got through to someone around 3 a.m. (Funny how they weren’t there an hour ago, but I digress.) I explained my situation to the lady on the phone, and she said that I shouldn’t worry — so far no activity had transpired and they could easily report my debit card stolen. I asked her about my checks, as my entire checkbook had been in my purse too. She proceeded to tell me that I could put a stop payment on all of the checks that were stolen. “What are the check numbers?” she asked me. “I don’t know,” I replied, “I don’t have them.” So after about 15 minutes of digging around old statements and figuring out which was the last check I wrote, we came up with an estimate as to which check numbers would be the ones in question. She asked me if they were all blank, and I said ‘of course they were,’ so she told me there would be no fee for the stop payments. Good. So what about my credit card? She told me that the credit card belonged to a separate department, and that she would transfer me. After being on hold for about two minutes, someone picked up… A robot: ” We’re sorry, we are currently undergoing systematic maintenance — please call back after 6 a.m. Pacific time.” …Huh??? I tried calling back several times, and with each call I got the same message. Feeling defeated, I went to bed and resolved to call at 6am.

Sunday morning, 6 a.m., and all is not well. Still, no one is picking up the “24 hour” (HA!) customer service line, and wamu.com is disabled. Finally, around 8 a.m, I manage to get someone on the phone. I re-explain the whole story, and am transferred to the credit card department. They pull up my file, and start asking me about hundreds of dollars worth of purchases that were made overnight, at two separate Walgreens. I fervently dispute the charges, and the woman helping me says that she’ll put a hold on the account, and they’ll mail me a fraud affidavit. She then tells me that someone will need to review everything, but that if I see the fraudulent charges appear on my next statement I shouldn’t worry; they’ll be applying a credit. She assured me that in the meantime, all of my accounts with WaMu would be disabled.

Fast forward one week. I had received my new cards from HSBC and Bank of America, and no transactions had posted to my accounts. Yay for at least one thing going smoothly!

…And then there was Washington Mutual.

After logging in to wamu.com to check up on things, I’m sure you can only imagine my surprise when I saw that several (fraudulent) transactions has posted to my DEBIT card / checking account! Panicked and seething, I called the customer service number again. After getting tossed around by several people who knew not what they were doing (“do you have a claim number? ohh, this is a new claim? yeeaaah, there seems to be a hold on your account…”), I got hooked up with a woman who didn’t completely have her head up her ass. I reiterated the whole story (which was getting longer and longer), and she seemed genuinely stunned that no one on WaMu’s end had handled this whole thing with mroe finesse. Or, you know, just adequately. When I told her about the checks, she nearly had a heart attack.

“Wait, you put stop payments on them??”
“Yes,” I explained, “and to be honest with you, I’m not even sure if we got the check numbers right!”
“Oh honey,” she continued, “whoever did that for you was all wrong. The check numbers don’t matter! Once someone has access to your checking account number and your personal information, they can easily make purchases online and make up their own check numbers!”

Feeling stupid and grossly misled by whomever had “helped” me before, I asked her what we should do next. She said that there should be a permanent hold put on the checking account and it should be slated for closure pending an investigation. She also said that I needed to open up claims for the debit card purchases. I asked her why any transactions had posted in the first place, seeing as how I reported it stolen a mere hour after the incident, and she didn’t know — but assured me that it did say “card lost/stolen,” on her system, and that it had supposedly been disabled. I thanked her and inquired as to how I should go about getting my money out of the account to pay bills and such, seeing as how we were locking everything down like Fort Knox. She said all I had to do was go into a branch and present myself with two forms of I.D. and they would give me cash. Alright, that’s doable.

Or so I thought.

Ahh… Washington Mutual. Your company’s ineptitude never fails to amaze me — whether it’s on the phone or in person. A full two weeks had passed since the fiasco began, and in that time I had been living off of my HSBC credit card and borrowed cash from friends and family, since I had none of my own that I could access. Feeling badly for relying so heavily on loved ones, I decided to show up in-branch on a Saturday morning so I could get some cash out and start repaying debts. After waiting in the teller line for almost 20 minutes, I met up with a teller who proceeded to tell me that my funds were inaccessible, due to “some sort of a hold put upon the account.” “I know,” I said. “I’m the one who put it there.” He stared at me blankly, so I launched into my story, and explained that the lady on the phone advised me to show up with 2 forms of I.D., and then I would be able to receive my cash. Obviously stumped, Inept Teller-Boy said I had to go back to the front desk and get his manager to temporarily lift the hold so I could get cash, because as it was “there’s nothing [i] can do.”

Exasperated, I went back to square one and waited. Eventually, I was attended to be the manager who, as it turned out, was just as inept as his teller. He pulled up my information, turned the screen towards me, and said plaintively “look, there’s a hold!” NO, REALLY??! I wanted to scream.

“There’s nothing I can do.”
“What do you mean there’s nothing you can do? Aren’t you supposed to temporarily lift the hold so I can get cash, and then you reapply the hold seconds later so no one else can access my funds?” He presented me with a business card.

“You need to call this number — it’s Risk Operations — only they can remove a hold.” I wanted to punch him. Instead, I looked at watch and realized I was late for work, so I took the card and left in a huff.

Whilst rotting away in heavy L.A. traffic, I called the number on the card. Lo and behold — they’re not available on weekends! “Please call back during our normal business hours — 7 a.m. to 4 p.m Pacific time, Monday through Friday.” By now my hatred for Washington Mutual was growing to Titanic proportions.

I set my alarm for 6:45 on Monday morning, just so I could be first in line to talk to the powers that be at 7. I waited on hold for 16 minutes. When someone finally answered I calmly prefaced my story:

“I hope that you won’t take my frustration personally — I’m sure you’re a very nice person. But I am dead sick of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing around here, and I need somebody to resolve it. Now.”

After 2 minutes of back-story, my new customer service rep interrupted me: “but ma’am, why are YOU calling us?” Huh??? “When a hold is placed on an account and you go to a branch, the person assisting you in the branch is supposed to call us — not you personally.” I gave her the play-by-play of what the branch manager had said. She snickered.

“He said what? I’m sorry, that’s not right. You need to go back there and tell them that THEY have to call us.”

^$*@(%*^)_!(*^$@*&+!

Having fully realized that my Hollywood branch hired people who apparently had IQs no higher than that of an amoeba, I trekked to Northridge to meet with their people, as I’d received decent service from them in the past. This was on November 12 — a full month after everything started, and one day before my checking account was slated for permanent closure, according to the lady who had set me up with the all-encompassing hold. I was received by a rather hostile woman with a thick accent. I presented her with my identification (an old license, and my social security card). She looked at me disapprovingly.

“Your license is going to expire soon.” Yeah, I know lady. Just give me my money and let me close my account. We sit down and she calls Risk Operations… Where we proceed to be placed on hold for a full half hour. Stony, awkward silence ensues. I can tell she doesn’t like me. But I don’t particularly like her or the institution she represents, so forget what she thinks about me. After 15 minutes of muzak and no conversation, she asks me why I’m not planning on opening a new account. I reply “because, quite frankly, I think that this whole thing has been handled inadequately and at times inappropriately from start to finish. I did what I was supposed to — I reported everything stolen as soon as it happened, I sent in all of my fraud affidavits I received in the mail, and I’ve stayed in constant contact — and I still I can’t touch my money, I haven’t received a credit for the hundreds of dollars of fraudulent purchases, and every time I reach out to someone under the WaMu umbrella, I get told a different story. I’ve simply had enough.” …Her reply?

“Well that can happened ANYWHERE, you know.”

I look at her icily. “I’ll take my chances.”

Huzzah!! Finally, someone answers the phone. She speaks with the people at Risk Operations, and YES!! Some progress has been made! A credit is issued to my debit/checking in the amount that was pilfered, and I’m able to drain my funds. …But one catch: they won’t close the account as it was slated to be. Why? Because they’re not done “investigating.” So I agree to leave it open with one penny, provided they keep the hold on it to prevent further activity. Done and done. I walk out with my money, happy to be basically done with WaMu.

…But they weren’t done with me just yet.

December rolled around, and with it came a letter in the mail from Risk Operations. They contended that they had never received from me any “of the requested information” necessary to further their investigation, and they would be reversing my credits seven days from the date from the letter. Naturally, this was day six. And past the 7 a.m – 4 p.m window. After swearing a blue streak around my apartment, I set my alarm for 6:45 and resolved to call once more at 7. I did, and once more waited ‘in line’ for the next rep. At 7:15 I got a real live person. Trying my best to hold on to my temper, I asked her why on Earth I was receiving this letter when I had been in constant contact with WaMu, and had faxed/mailed all forms that had been sent to me. I proceeded to get a mish-mash of possible scenarios: “We have a big mail room, so maybe it got lost… Oh you have a credit card with us? It’s possible that all of your forms got sent just to the credit card people and not us… Oh, you faxed it too? Yeah, our fax isn’t very reliable.” Despite all of this apparent ineptitude, she proceeded to tell me that unless they received the proper information, they would be reversing the credits. I asked her what I could do. She said I had to write a letter detailing the fraud and send is ASAP — she could extend things on her end for a week while she waited for my response. I asked her if I would receive a call when the letter had been received, or if I should call and check to be sure. This was her priceless answer: “Well we won’t call you. And if you were to call us we wouldn’t know.” (You wouldn’t know??) “Our mail room is a totally separate place and so we don’t know when things come in.” (Or when they don’t!) Great. Fabulous. Fantastic.

Can you guess what happened next?

I wrote my letter, faxed it and mailed it, and naturally, heard nothing. Then on December 31st, I signed online to check up on things. And that very day, there was a whopping credit-reversal in my late checking account, putting it into the negative for hundreds of dollars. I. Was. PISSED. No scratch that — I *am* pissed, as here I sit on January 9th, 2008 and STILL haven’t gotten my credit back — despite calling Risk Operations and being told “Oh how funny! We received your letter the same day as the credit reversal. Sorry ’bout that. But don’t worry, once they process everything they should reissue the credit to the account.”

And the nightmare continues. I wish I could say that things got better once I set up an account with a credit union named Premier America — I thought that since CUs are non-profit, maybe I’d receive better care — but it only proved to be another fiasco and a total bust. Not nearly as big of a disaster as WaMu — but that story’s for another day.

In the meantime, I have no checking account, no debit card, and am relying on my boyfriend to make credit card payments for me using his account, and I pay him in cash. This is no way to live. If anyone has any awesome banking recommendations, I’d be ever so grateful. I’m specifically seeking free checking w/no minimum balance, and an account that will provide me with some sort of overdraft protection ( i.e. a personal line of credit or something similar), as I’ve previously had bad luck — again, thanks to WaMu — with the vicious NSF punishment-fee spiraling out of control. I was looking into Citibank (they meet those requirements), but how do they perform otherwise? Are they adept? Friendly? Reliable? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Even though you will be taking your business elsewhere, we think it might be worth it to file a formal written complaint with WaMu and then report them to their regulatory agency. Here’s how you do that:

1) Contact WaMu with a formal complaint. You can do this in writing, or by email. Keep a copy of this complaint for your records.

2) Figure out which agency regulates your bank by calling or using FDIC’s Bank Find. We happen to know that Washington Mutual’s primary regulator is the Office of Thrift Supervision.

3) Write a formal complaint letter to the bank’s regulatory agency. Follow the FTC’s instructions for writing a complaint. This document also has the correct contact information for the various regulatory agencies. Keep a copy of this complaint for your records.

By filing a complaint, the regulating agency will investigate whether WaMu’s incompetance actually violated any banking regulations.

Can anyone recommend some checking accounts to Krissy?

(Photo:meghannmarco)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. RAREBREED says:

    Um.. I use WaMu…

  2. Nighthawke says:

    EECB time.. Nuke’em, nuke’em hard! Also, fire off a thunderbolt at the FDIC as well. See if they can do anything on their end.

    As for recommendations, local credit unions and local small banks are about the best way to go these days.

  3. Coder4Life says:

    Too long.. won’t read it….

  4. watchout5 says:

    What I’ve done to help situations like this as I’ve seem through one of my ex-roomates is to have 2 accounts, both at different banks. I have one at both wells fargo and wamu that are open, if one gives me problems I’ll go to the other. I don’t really like how they want to to choose just one bank, there’s nothing in the rule book that says you can only have 1 account.

  5. BoscoSeven says:

    Credit Unions!

  6. scoosdad says:

    “1) Contact WaMu with a formal complaint. You can do this in writing, or by email. Keep a copy of this complaint for your records.”

    And not only that, but send it registered mail with some kind of delivery confirmation sent back to you with a signature. No point in sending something off to them again that they can conveniently claim they never received. Ask the post office what’s most effective and they can help you select the best way to send your mail to them.

    Ugh, what a mess. You did everything right and they did everything possible wrong. This has the makings of a good screenplay, and maybe a good lawsuit. I’d start thinking about an attorney and look for damages.

  7. kimsama says:

    Step 4) Abridge

    tl;dr

  8. nuch says:

    I had almost the same thing happen to me with Bank of America when my wallet was stolen. Luckily my checkbook wasn’t taken, but there were fradulent purchases made on my debit card after I’d supposedly canceled it, and then I waited like three weeks to get a new card after they said they’d sent it, only to call and find out that they wouldn’t send a new card as long as the account was in the red – something which happened because of the fradulent purchases that were supposed to be reversed.

    Then, once my direct deposit went through and put it in the black, I wasn’t able to take money out of the branch because my passport had expired earlier that month and I didn’t have a “valid second form of ID”. It wound up taking six weeks before I finally got the debit card. It’s so frustrating to be in that situation, especially when the bank employees are unhelpful and outright rude. It’s ridiculous to be treated like a criminal for having a wallet stolen.

  9. Murph1908 says:

    @Coder4Life:
    Then no need for a comment.

  10. darkened says:

    I recommend Citibank. For me locally I have no branches but that isn’t an issue for me, I’m quite content with digital banking for everything and my check card.

    They also have the overdraft accounts you are interested in, have an incredible savings account rate with no min. balances.

    The checking account does require a min balance to avoid a service charge however there are other ways around it, setting up direct deposit or paying 2 utility bills a month with their bill pay service (free to use).

    The overdraft line of credit is freely available for you to withdraw even directly from an ATM as if it was in checking your checking account there’s no fees per use for using it just a $5 yearly fee and the APR for it (no grace period).

  11. Buran says:

    Ouch. Keep an eye on your credit report, too, in case they try to fraudulently report you as delinquent.

  12. Buran says:

    @Coder4Life: Heaven forbid people explain their problems in detail so that they can get the best advice/help possible. There’s always that back button sitting there in your browser toolbar, you know.

  13. emona says:

    I use Washington Mutual and love them. My advice to her would be: insist on closing your checking account next time. The idea of stopping payment on blank checks sounds absolutely absurd to me.

  14. Buran says:

    @danisaikou: I no longer carry a debit card — just an ATM card. It’s useless without the PIN, so just stealing my wallet won’t give you access to my checking account — just the credit cards, which I can easily cancel and on which, by law, I’m not liable for more than $50 of your spending.

    BofA will give you one if you ask for it. I dropped my debit card one day and couldn’t find it despite picking up all the other cards I’d dropped right away — either someone picked it up instantly or it skittered a lot farther than it should have and went off under a cabinet or something. Cancelled it right away and asked the rep if I could get just a plain ATM card. “Sure!” she says, and I got it in the mail a few days later.

    If you never use the debit/check-card function, consider doing this.

    I also don’t usually carry my checkbook although I accidentally left it in my backpack today. Need to put it back in my lockbox…

  15. cashmerewhore says:

    Wow, that sucks beyond words (and yes, I made it through the entire article). I have had less than awesome luck with BoA, so I wouldn’t recommend them. Most days, my LOCAL credit union is awesome, but alas, it’s only a central Ohio institution. They offer everything you’re asking and in my opinion, awesome customer service.

    Moral: look for a small credit union you can qualify for through your job/city/etc.

  16. Buran says:

    @quarterly: Yeah. But I’m not going to blame the OP for this — she did the right thing in calling the bank for help. The rep should have insisted on closing the account and issuing a new number and sending out new checks and automatically setting the account to refuse to process checks written after the last one the account holder reported actually writing.

  17. Buran says:

    @cashmerewhore: You don’t have to necessarily go to a credit union, but asking around among friends/family to see who they’ve had good experiences with is a good idea; banks and credit unions each have advantages and disadvantages. But yeah I’d definitely dump a bank that screwed me that badly.

  18. Buran says:

    @BoscoSeven: She, um, did, and they screwed her too.

  19. emona says:

    Also, do alert the credit bureaus.
    Send all documents with signature/delivery confirmation. Whichever tells you when it got there and who signed for it.

    I didn’t mean to sound like I’m blaming the victim with my last comment. It’s just the idea of going that route amazed me.

  20. kimdog says:

    I must give Citibank props, when my purse was stolen three years ago on New Year’s eve at about 2am, I was able to cancel everything (credit, debit, checks) within 10 minutes. No fraudulent charges ever appeared, and I had a new debit and credit cards within 48 hours. So, it doesn’t happen with “everyone”.

  21. tasselhoff76 says:

    I have had Washington Mutual for years, but when they have screwed up, it’s been huge. When I first opened my account, they mis-processed the check for my opening deposit. They then sent me a letter accusing me of larceny and fraud. Then, last year (which is about 8 years later, I think), I tried to open a new WAMU account online. (I had been using WAMU all these years, mind you – even after their mess up.) I was rejected. I found out I was on some red flagged list for something, but no one could figure out why. I went through CSR supervisors like it was going out of style. For some reason, WAMU couldn’t talk to their anti-fraud company that they farmed out the application screening to and vice versa. So, I was stuck in the middle of two companies, both saying the other was at fault. After weeks of this, I finally found a supervisor that could fix it, but it was a nightmare.

  22. Caprica Six says:

    I had the same thing happen to me with Glendale Fed Savings now Citibank. Bastards. I now bank with Union Bank of California. If you are down in the LA area, they have plenty of branches.

  23. JPropaganda says:

    @Coder4Life: Who cares if you read it or not. They offered the cliff’s notes up top.

    I’ve been pretty stupid with my wachovia debit card and have also lost my wallet a few times, personally with me they have always been competent and friendly. I can’t speak for anyone else.

  24. briandickens says:

    If you don’t need to write physical checks, I would recommend using ING’s checking account. It’s an interest earning account (3.11% if you have less than $50k in it). They have a line of credit automatically assigned for overdraft protection. You can send checks using their online bill paying system.

    If I didn’t need to write a check for rent every month i would use this account. Here’s a link: [home.ingdirect.com]

  25. Dibbler says:

    Ummm… as always, I recommend a local credit union. They hire intelligent people, they have better rates and if you have a question you would usually talk to someone in your city and not a call center located who knows where.

  26. kellsbells says:

    @cashmerewhore: I think this is your best bet. I use the credit union through my dad’s airline and I have NEVER had an issue. They are accessible, and friendly, and low-key.

  27. MercuryPDX says:

    @Buran: You don’t have to necessarily go to a credit union,

    [Stunned look] WHO are YOU, and WHAT have you done with the real Buran?!?!?!

  28. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Coder4Life:

    Sucks to be you Mr Attention Span. It was actually pretty entertaining.

  29. catcherintheeye says:

    @Murph1908: No shit, thank you. It’s good to see the Consumerist forum ganging up on people who post merely to be a pain in the ass.

  30. warf0x0r says:

    I feel nothing but sympathy for this lady, but I do have one question. In this day and age why carry a check book around. I haven’t carried on in years, just a debit card and a credit card.

    Now I know that solution doesn’t work for everyone, but I would think that a large percentage of people would be able to get by with this.

  31. CaptainSemantics says:

    @Nighthawke: I have to agree with this comment. It’s gone on for way too long, and the OP has dealt with way too much to be dealing with incompetent CSRs. It’s def EECB time. Don’t worry about length. I had to write a long one to Liberty Mutual last month, and the problem was addressed in less than 12 hours. Sent it at 10 p.m., got a call at 9 a.m. And my email was at least a page long.

  32. techguy1138 says:

    I’ve actually had pretty good service from BOA. Although this site would say otherwise.

    In LA try [www.firstent.org] The first entertainment credit union.

    If you can get to a Charter One/Citizens Bank I highly recommend them. I received such amazing service from them on a weekly basis when I was in NY. I was saddened to have to switch.

  33. urban_ninjya says:

    Wamu’s one of this banks I’m wondering if they are actually as good as their image and general opinions say they are.

    I think secretly, they have to be using the money to fuel the fleecing of the lower class through payday lones or something.

  34. skittlbrau says:

    I bank with Charles Schwab, and they’re completely awesome. And give me 4% interest on my checking!

  35. ManicPanic says:

    Last year my mother sent me a little box of goodies for my birthday and in there was a check. I was in an apartment building at the time so it was left in the vestibule in the front. My birthday is around the holidays and as it turned out, there was a real problem in the building/area with people taking boxes left on front porches/vestibules. A shady character came to my building later that night attempting to return the check. We think they did this so that my parents would leave the account open because once they have your account # and routing # you could be dead meat. My parents have Wachovia and they shut it all down right then and there and there were no problems. I mean even at check cashing establishments, all they need is the account number to start drawing on it.

  36. ManicPanic says:

    @briandickens: Thanks for the suggestion–Think I might actually get one of those to make good on that new years promise to manage my money wisely :-X

  37. BillyShears says:

    Debit cards are a nightmare (like this one) ready to happen. Credit cards people: Use them responsibly, if they’re stolen you only lose money against your credit limit, not your ACTUAL BANK ACCOUNT.

    Yes, the latter has a dispute process, but as we see in the above, that “process” can move at a glacial pace, and meanwhile you’re out a lot of cash.

  38. BillyShears says:

    Also: Why carry around a whole checkbook in 2008? I’m not blaming the victim or anything, but, you know, why walk around with so much direct access to your money?

  39. meeroom says:

    Wow, remind me never to open an account at WaMu. I’m with Commerce and haven’t had any problems but I believe they are going to make their hours back to regular banking hours, in which case I will switch my checking back to my trusty local bank. The people at Commerce are similar to the WaMu employees you described, so if they aren’t going to be open late, I would rather use the local bank who has nice tellers.
    And BillyShears, some of us still like to write checks and put everything in our nice little check registers. I do anyway.

  40. Anks329 says:

    another vote for citibank here. I’ve been with them for several years now (pretty much the only bank that I use) and I haven’t had any issues with them at all.

  41. Buran says:

    @mercurypdx: Bah! You know I think credit unions aren’t an automatic fix like far too many people seem to think. The ones that really annoy me are the ones that post nothing but “credit union”. With no qualifications.

  42. krom says:

    Nearly all banks these days suck one way or another, but WaMu is notorious for screwing you, as I was: told contradicting information from different reps, told false information, not informed of what was going on unless I demanded it (you notice, when you go in every two weeks, when the teller is taking mysteriously longer to process your withdrawal), and ultimately had two accounts closed (over six months apart, yet supposedly for the same reason, the last right before Xmas). It’s not as much that they closed my accounts, as it is that they lied, misled, and kept secrets from me over it.

    FWIW it was BoA I went to next, who treated me better, and I’ve been with for over 4 yrs now.

  43. Buran says:

    @BillyShears: At least from the sound of it she has the cash and took it elsewhere.

  44. jenl1625 says:

    I know that there have been articles here with problems with Chase, but I’ve liked them. When I opened my account with them, they asked for my email. They then handed me a printout with a password. When I got back to my computer, I had an email from them. Click on the link in the email, enter the one-time password, and now you can set up your on-line banking. Seemed very secure. And that has followed through to other areas. Log in from a new computer? You have to validate that computer by having them call, text, or email you a confirmation number, which you enter.

    Once you’re set up online, you can set up a mobile phone as well. You can text them “bal” and the system texts back your balances. If you have had more paymetns hit than you’d expected, go online and do a savings-to-checking transfer, and it’s credited before the stuff in “pending”, so you don’t get an overdraft fee.

    Not sure they have a generic free checking account, though – mine’s free because my employer is big locally and that qualifies me for their workplace account.

  45. Toast442 says:

    I’ve got a small business WAMU account. I had a book of checks stolen in a break-in last year. Indeed, WAMU’s instructions were to just cancel the check numbers stolen and to leave the account open! The initial CSR and her supposed supervisor both told me this.

    I was literally speechless at this suggestion, especially since they said I’d have to do this every 90 days (WTF?) to make sure they were never used. I eventually had to go into an office to get someone to really close the account. In contrast the the CSRs, the branch manager was more than helpful.

  46. chloelikedolivia says:

    i’ve been with citibank for ten years and have never had a problem with their free checking account. the few times that there have been incidents (a check deposited in the wrong place, overdraft fees), everyone i’ve spoken to has been polite and, more importantly, *helpful* and my problems have been solved quickly.

    that said, can anyone tell me how to find out if there is a credit union i qualify for? i’ve been looking for one for a few years, but it seems that there isn’t one that services my neighborhood or workplace. are there other ways to join one?

  47. MercuryPDX says:

    @BillyShears: I’m kinda of the same mind. Back east the hassle paying for something by check in a store is nigh impossible due to all the fraud.

    I move out to the Pacific NW, and I am amazed that checks are so widely accepted that people carry them around. My checkbook is hidden in my house, and only comes out for the rare snail-mail bill that can’t be paid online or by debit card; 6 years out here, and I am barely past my first 1000 checks.

    Add to that they don’t exactly fit snug in your back pocket, so you’re only a bump-and-shuffle away from identity theft.

  48. meadandale says:

    Just goes to show that banks don’t hire people with any kind of financial background anymore. As a former bank teller/loan officer describes in the book Maxed Out, bank tellers, etc are nothing more than glorified salespeople these days and know nothing about banking specifically or finance in general.

    Pretty freaking sad considering how high the fees they charge are…

  49. junkmail says:

    @kimsama: As mentioned above, if you didn’t read it, don’t freakin’ comment. kthxbai

  50. celyn says:

    I always have good luck with certified return-receipt letters to company HQ (cc’ed to state and/or federal regulatory agencies) saying that if the problem is not resolved by date X (I usually give them 2 weeks), I’ll be filing suit in small claims court for the disputed amount. I usually get a call from someone within 48 hours after the letter’s received telling me that everything has now been fixed (and it really has been).

  51. junkmail says:

    @Buran: Agreed. I followed that all-hallowed advice and tried a Credit Union a couple of years ago. I can honestly say they did NOTHING right. NOTHING. That means the complete and total opposite of SOMETHING. I’m still down $200 from that little fiasco. So I think I’ll stick with 1stNat and a couple of credit cards. Been happy ever since.

  52. That70sHeidi says:

    @warf0x0r: My doctors don’t take credit cards, most of the time, which is why I HAD to start carrying my checkbook. One little medical problem and $100 worth of $10 copays later…

    What I want to know is if this Wamu branch is on Wilshire the block before Western (I forget the name of the street). I always hated that branch, but I keep my WaMu in $5 or $8 at a time while I’m away, so it’s open when I return. Dread the tellers.

  53. j03m0mma says:

    I had CitiBank in NY and it was great. Not sure how things in Cali are with them.

  54. LESSTHANKIND says:

    @Meeroom:
    I’m also (very happily) with Commerce… didn’t know that about the new hours, thanks! But as the OP is in Calif, Commerce isn’t an option for her.

    OP: I had the same kind of experience with Citibank, and was left without access to my bank account and bill-paying for several weeks due to their people giving me TWO wrongly coded debit cards and then shutting me out of online and ATM access. It was a nightmare.

    I’m having a pleasant experience with HSBC’s online savings and payment accounts. Nice interest rates on both accounts, branch/ATM access and easy transfers. The Online Payment account offers everything but a checkbook, and gives you a PayPass Mastercard debit card.

  55. NoWin says:

    If the OP is a reader of Consumerist, then she KNOWS she should make her correspondence straight-forward, succint, and to-the-point. It was tooooo long.

    i.e. “And I have been dealing with what I not-so-fondly refer to my WaMu nightmare since last October. The story goes something like this: In mid-October I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a local restaurant, when my purse was stolen off of my chair.”

    Should be as: “I have been dealing with a WaMu customer service failure since last October, when my purse was stolen.” ….and so forth.

    A little bit of helping out oneself makes us readers go the extra thought-process for ya’.

  56. MissPeacock says:

    Nothing else to say apart from the huge amount of sympathy I feel for Krissy. She has as much patience as Job, and I hope she sics it to WaMu for the way they’ve treated her.

  57. Sil says:

    Sounds like the OP is from So Cal so I’ll throw out a recommendation for my credit union. I’ve been a member with Wescom [www.wescom.org] since I was 5 years old (22 years) and in that time they have never been anything less than completely helpful. I had my debit card number stolen once and not only did they have me a credit for the charges within an hour, they made up the difference when the amount recovered was smaller than the amount charged (exchange rates had changed.) All it took was a phone call from me and a quick fax.

  58. jamesshieh88 says:

    i’ve heard many great things about IndyMac Bank. i have a money market account with them and i’m getting a fairly good amount of interest. their branch locations have friendly individuals. they take the time to get to know their customers personally.

  59. sjmoreau says:

    I don’t know if you have Wells Fargo in your area…US Bank has been very reliable for me as well, in terms of reversing late fees/finance charges, etc. Avoid Chase!

  60. sjmoreau says:

    @NoWin: Something tells me she wasn’t sitting there hoping what she was writing wasn’t too long. She had a lot to reiterate to explain the whole story. I read the whole thing because it was interesting. Thanks for telling us what she should have written to make it more readable.

  61. JeffCarr says:

    @Sil: I really appreciate the recommendation, as I’m looking for a good So Cal bank myself.

    My recommendations are to *not* go with BofA based on a ton of research I’ve done on them and *not* go with Wells Fargo based on my experience both as a customer and an IT employee. I like US Bank quite a bit and both USAA and ING are great for an internet only account.

  62. Black Bellamy says:

    Not blaming the victim, but here are some tips:

    Never let the bank decide for you. It’s YOUR account. If you want it closed they HAVE to close it. If they want to keep it open with one penny or whatever, let them use their OWN penny and their own fake name or whatever. Once you notify them to close it they HAVE to.

    Always use certified mail for all mail involving fraud or money disputes or anything where there is even a remote possibility of the other party saying oh we never got this and it affecting you materially.

    ALWAYS threaten them with the government and take everyone’s name. Your first name? And your last? Can you spell it for me? Thanks. Why? For my records, and for the federal government agency which is going to investigate.

  63. UpsetPanda says:

    I use BB&T and haven’t had problems with them. Other than that, credit unions are reliable as well.

  64. JeffCarr says:

    Oh, and the reason I’m looking for a different bank than US Bank, is that their locations in San Diego aren’t all that convenient for me. I *was* considering WaMu, but they sound exactly like my experiences with Wells Fargo.

  65. csdiego says:

    What a nightmare. There but for the grace of God go I. My husband and I opened a WaMu account when we moved to Seattle right after getting married. We moved back to the East Coast a year later, and couldn’t get access to our money except by writing checks because the bank has no branches east of Chicago. We kept the account anyway because of the overdraft protection. In hindsight that doesn’t seem like such a great reason; more likely inertia had something to do with it.

    After a couple of years we finally switched everything to two new accounts, and just left $30-40 in WaMu. It still took us another year before we finally closed the account, on a business trip to San Diego where we happened to see a branch of the bank.

    I shudder to think what a bullet we dodged, and hope Krissy gets medieval on their asses.

  66. rustyni says:

    Sorry this happened to you. I’d offer a good bank, but unfortunantly the only bank that has ever been good to me as far as customer service goes is Downey Savings, but I’m not sure if they have them in the Hollywood area. I’m pretty certain it’s a San Bernardino County type thing. Good luck anyhow.

  67. defectiveburger says:

    if you’re elligible, USAA is the best bank ever. I’ve been using them for about 3 years now and I’ve never had a problem with them, even when checks, debit, and credit cards through them were stolen.

  68. QueenKrissy says:

    Hey guys — this is Krissy, aka ‘the girl having aWaMu nightmare.’ A few things: first, a BIG thank you to Consumerist for posting this and helping me out. Secondly, another big thank you to everyone who read through my heniously long diatribe, and all of you who have been kind enough to offer advice — I sincerely appreciate it!

    I’ll keep this as short as I can, but here’s what happened when I joined the local credit union (Premier America) following the WaMu diaster.

    1) To fund the acct, they pulled $450 from my WaMu savings. I asked them to pull $150. The extra $300 never made it to the PA acct, nor was it at WaMu any more. It was lost in translation. It took them 34 days to refund me.
    2) It took them 5 days to make my deposit available for use. Normally I would understand, but my deposit was made in CASH. In the meantime I got two NSFs for $30.
    3) I signed up (and was approved) for an overdraft line of up to $2K. …So why the NSFs? I called, they admited it was “their bad,” but thensaid “oops, it seems we never called you about the overdraft line — we need some stuff from you. I’ll transfer you to the loan officer.”
    4) The loan officer proceeded to verbally abuse me over the phone when I told her I couldn’t provide her with a utility bill (and why do they need one??) because I live with someone and it’s not my name. She screamed “what??? Do you not pay your bills or something? You don’t have car insurance, utilities or a phone?!”
    5) Following the phone call I decided I’d had enough and went to went down to close my acct. They had placed a hold on it (they were confused over a voided transaction from December) and so it took over an hour and three different people to help me close it out.

    So I’m a little down on credit unions right now. ;-)

  69. Buran says:

    @NoWin: With you, it seems you really can’t win. We blame the victim for everything else, hell, why not blame them for their writing?

    Almost everyone else understood it.

  70. t0fu says:

    Well i’ve had good luck with Wells Fargo customer support. But i’ve also heard some horror stories with them as well.

  71. QueenKrissy says:

    Firstly, thank you to Comsumerist for posting this and helping me out! Secondly, a BIG thank you to everyone who sat and read through my long diatribe — your advice is greatly appreciated!

    As for the credit union…

    Highlights of my post-WaMu CU fiasco include:
    1) Premier America taking $450 to fund my account when they were supposed to only take $150 — and then LOSING the extra $300. It took 34 days for them to refund me.
    2) Them approving me for an overdraft line and then “forgetting ” about it, and charging me with overdraft fees… Becuase the *cash* that I deposited took 5 days to clear and become usable. (???)
    3) The loan officer verbally abusing me over the phone because I live with someone and couldn’t provide her with a utility bill in my name. (“What, you don’t pay your own bills?!” was one of the things she screamed at me… Before saying she was denying my already-fully-approved credit line.)
    4) They placed a hold on my acct (w/o ever notifying me) over a voided transaction that happened in December. It took over an hour and 3 people to close the acct.

    I’m pooped, kids. :-

  72. trujunglist says:

    I don’t think it was the checks that even ended up being a problem, it was purchases made at Walgreens via the debit card later that night probably. I think her argument was that she questioned the original CSR about the idea of stopping payment on the checks and that CSR said it would be OK when obviously that is not OK. She went against her gut feeling and was duped into thinking that the CSR actually knew what they were talking about when clearly they didn’t know anything at all. It sounds to me like she did everything right (except for leaving her purse out and not in her field of vision.. people are so damn shady it’s really sad, just another reason for GPS-everything, ’cause I’d really like to pay a friendly visit to the guys who stole my stereo and a bunch of CDs).

  73. Dan25 says:

    Here’s some tips from someone who works at a bank (not WAMU, sorry).

    1) They should have placed a lost/stolen transfer on your accounts (which means they change your account numbers but you still keep your same transaction history to avoid holds placed on deposits)

    2) I have heard horror stories about their backshop. One thing you can do is walk into a branch and have them fax in the affidavits themselves and keep a copy of the confirmation page that prints out after a fax is succesfully sent.

    3) If they do not fax it for you, you can ask them to send it through their internal mail and to have their branch manager and operations manager keep a copy of the affidaits in the branches legal file.

  74. Dan25 says:

    And as for a reccomendation, i’m not going to shamelessly name drop my bank, but any bank you choose, be sure to ask to be helped by either a seasoned banker or someone that has been with the company a long time. No offense to new bankers, but it’s the veteran bankers and tellers that tend to treat customers the best and know their way around the systems. Just a suggestion.

  75. NoWin says:

    @Buran: All I ask is the complainant meet me half way: give me the facts, get to the point, then I can make an informed decision how to help.

    Embellishing just complicates matters.

  76. Dan25 says:

    @chloelikedolivia: if you are having a good experience with your current bank, why make the switch? Thats kind of like a slap in the face to the people that tried to help you out, don’t you think?

  77. Schlarg says:

    Another vote for Citibank here. I’ve been with them for 11 years without problem. My do 99% of my banking online and my Checking/Savings(regular and Money Market) and Credit card are all through Citibank. In 11 years I’ve had only a single incident where 1 of several checks in an deposit envelope wasn’t credited. It took them 5 business days but they found it with minimal headache on my part. Their online banking is excellent. Their US daylight hours banking support is excellent, but their night time call center is only adequate. Their credit card options are excellent as is the 24×7 credit card support.

  78. dcartist says:

    Banks and credit unions are all racketeers today.

    Period. I don’t trust any of them, but we’re forced to use them. It’s depressing beyond all reason, but because of the deregulation and pillaging that has been done to the system, the “real banks” are no different than the dirtbags who loan shark.

    When I hear somebody is a banker now, at a party, I mentally put them in the same class as tort attorney: SCUMBAG industry.

  79. Sian says:

    This is a surprise? Last year, my housemate lost his debit card on the BART. it took almost 3 weeks and jumping through many hoops to get it replaced.

    WAMU lost 3 accounts because of that.

    For contrast, I once lost my Wells Fargo debit card, and they overnighted me one the next day.

  80. gingerCE says:

    First, I’d like to say that I feel sorry for this woman. Identity theft is not a victimless crime–I’ve had my ID stolen twice and you feel horrible–and when you think it’s over, it really isn’t.

    I also bank with Wamu and know the branch employees and phone employees speak two different languages–they are obviously not trained together because they don’t think alike at all. I’ve had different things said to me via the phone vs. the branch and it is extremely misleading of Wamu.

    That being said, have she called executive customer service? I actually had a problem that the branch and 1800 number wouldn’t solve–but executive customer service (kevin) actually did solve. I no longer call the main 1800 number, just call Kevin or whoever is at the executive number directly.

    That being said, my sis had her purse stolen, went straight to a Wamu branch and had everything taken care of in one sitting. She did the paperwork there, they reversed the charges, she opened a new account etc . . . so sometimes Wamu can get it right–but I am not surprised by this horror story as I know there are plenty of times Wamu can get it wrong.

  81. gingerCE says:

    Having lived in Los Angeles, I know why she choose Wamu. It’s free–and it’s everywhere in SoCal. BofA is everywhere–but it’s not free, especially when you’re young and don’t have a lot of money.

  82. Buran says:

    @NoWin: In other words, “I’m too lazy to read it all, so you need to stop typing so much”.

  83. Buran says:

    @gingerCE: If you pick the right account type for your habits, it can be. It is for me – just gotta have a direct deposit.

  84. scoosdad says:

    @jenl1625: “Log in from a new computer? You have to validate that computer by having them call, text, or email you a confirmation number, which you enter.”

    And that’s stupid. I have a Chase credit card, and every time my ISP re-assigns my cable modem a new IP address (often), I have to go through that confirmation crap with Chase. That scheme only works when you have a static IP address, which is not the norm for most online users.

    Even if they’re doing that with cookies, it’s still stupid because if you clear your browser cache and cookies regularly, bang, reconfirm again… and again… and again.

  85. matahari says:

    This is really too bad. I have had accounts with WaMu for 15 years, but in the last 5-6 years, the service has gone way way down and I have had some serious problems with them. Luckily, when my dead FIL’s checkbook was stolen and they wouldn’t cancel the account, we didn’t care too much because he had only $300 in the account (and he was dead), so we didn’t have to pay anything or end up losing out too much. I hope they ate a bunch of charges before they cancelled it :P

    Unfortunately, my partner had an equally nightmarish situation with BofA when her purse was stolen with a checkbook. It’s so much fun when your bank won’t cancel your account because you have no ID (because it was stolen) and you can’t get replacement ID because you have no ID (because it was stolen!) Even better was the police response (she was required by BofA to file a police report) when someone cashed a check on her account and had endorsed it with their name and address on the back: they said they weren’t going to do anything.

  86. CK76 says:

    I ditched WaMu in favor of ING Direct’s electric orange. It’s not for everyone, but I liked it so much that I left WaMu after having to contact them to refund the overdraft that resulted from them failing to refund the service charge for my “Free” savings account.

  87. krom says:

    To sum up my previous comment: My one advice for Krissy is never listen to anything a WaMu CS rep says on the phone. They have consistently been wrong in my experience, and the results can be time-wasting or damaging. Go into a branch and talk to a banker (not a teller). Keep in mind that WaMu will also often not tell you anything is going on with your account until you directly ask and sometimes even demand details.

  88. max andrews says:

    Switch to Citi. I switched to wamu from citi because I was sick of citi’s third party ATM fees, and thought wamu would be better. Oh. My. God. Wamu sucks so much compared to citi. Citi has prompt 24-hour service, and I’ve reported lost cards within minutes of dialing. Their branch service is also way better and faster than Wamu, and they are nationwide so no matter which coast you are on there will be plenty of branches. I switched backed to citi almost immediately after trying wamu.

  89. freqhz says:

    i’ve spent dozens of hour’s on the phone to correct a
    wamu mistake, calling all across the country, i hope i never have to do business with them again……ever

  90. n/a says:

    I think WAMU spends more on their commericals than caring about having a competent customer service.

  91. Buran says:

    @trujunglist: GPS is receive only. You have to have a speciaized tracking device to actually transmit locations. A GPS unit in a car cannot report your whereabouts, for example. It’s why I’ve got one in my car but won’t buy anything with OnStar.

  92. mkg_sd says:

    I’ve banked at Wells Fargo since 1989, no problems, the one time I lost my debt card, it was inactivated that night and I received a replacement 4 days later. Sadly wamu is one of those banks ‘outsourcing’ a lot of it’s back office functions. I guess consumers pay for that…

  93. smithy242 says:

    I’ve had good luck in the past with similar scenarios, keeping the business with the organization until the issue is successfully dealt with. You could obtain another account for a month or two, then close them all and take your business elsewhere.

    It’s important to be perceived as a loyal customer with any organization where you do not have the upper hand.

  94. loueloui says:

    I totally agree with the OP. I have had WAMU for years, but I am slowly but surely migrating over to a local credit union. For a long time I was a big cheerleader for them, urging my friends and family into their banal, but deadly environs. Having paid one too many fees because of their ripoff deposit schedule I think they are becoming craptacular.

  95. hexychick says:

    @QueenKrissy: I don’t know much about Citibank, but have you considered a small local bank? I know I’m on the opposite coast, but I went from a big nationwide bank to a small local one that is regional to the mid-Atlantic and I have had nothing but supreme service with them for the last 5 years. One of the big drawbacks to a small/local bank is that you don’t have easy ATM access. The perks: the managers are friendly, intelligent, recognize me and call me by name the minute I walk in, and any time I have had a problem, all I had to do was call and they’d help me out.

  96. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @QueenKrissy: how horrible! But it sounds like you handled it amazingly.

    I have citibank and while they have lately charged me a few small ($1.50) fees for things that they shouldn’t have, I called immediately and spoke to some very helpful customer service reps who reversed the charges right then and there. Literally, I refreshed my online page and saw that they were credited back to my account.

    The fees were a result of them changing my account from the no fee no min. balance one to a normal once because I had opened another savings account with them online. It was a glitch and they fixed it immediately without any hassle. So I think they are a good bet if there isn’t a good local or state-wide bank for you to chose from. Good luck!

  97. the_wiggle says:

    in this age of ACH etc., never ever take “just cancel the check#s” for an answer lest you wind up like Krissy

    @meadandale: as a bank msr, i quite agree with the author. sales, sales , sales! just try to learn anything other than sales so you can actually be of use to the customer – forget it.

    that said, Az Federal CU & Az State Savings CU are pretty good. 1 or 2 issues in over 10 yrs & both were fixed pdq.

  98. halajenn says:

    I’ve worked for WaMu for two years now and as much as I love working for the company, I am not surprised at this story. I am in a backoffice area so I deal with the CSRs and branch personnel on a daily basis and I am constantly amazed and perplexed by the quality of service they provide (both good and bad.) I really hate that the OP had to go through all this and I hate that our call center reps (some of whom really are as clueless as most people think) give the rest of us WaMulians a bad name. I really wish there was something I could do/could have done personally to help.

    And btw, this article was mentioned on our intranet’s discussion board, MANY employees are upset at how this could have happened.

  99. digitalensnare says:

    I am having the same issue with wamu at this time. Not because I had a purse stolen, but due in part to my work schedual and inability to goto a wamu branch because of the hours I worked. Also interestingly enough at this point in time their online message center was down, and literally I had no means to dispute transactions on my account.

    Finally 1 months later it appears that the online submission was working, but checking the inbox of their message center was still broken. So another month passed and the inbox could finaly be viewed. By this time my account was already sent off to collection, and I could no longer disbute those transactions.

    Currently CSR’s are not providing much help, and keep referring me to contact Risk Operations between 6am – 6pm Mon – Friday. Unfortunately I work Mon – Fri 8am – 7pm and do not have time before work to do anything but get dressed eat breakfast and drive to work which is 1 hour and 30 min away.

    So with that being said… I am still attempting to contact or have them contact me about my account and the fraudulent charges that I did not make.

    In the mean time Im glad I found this site, and I look forward to filling complaints about wamu’s practices and lack of service among many other things.

    Its not much so the fact of being sent to collection, but the frustration that is felt that an institution such as wamu could let customers fall threw the cracks of society and not care about who uses their account information. Its as if they want your information to be stolen and miss used! And run you and others around in circles till its too late to do anything about it.

    Anyhow sorry to hear about what happened to Krissy, I hope more people have a chance to read about this incident with washington mutual and decided to bank somewhere else.

  100. carolat says:

    I am not surprised at your experience with WaMu. Long story why, but I am currently at BofA, Wells Fargo, WaMu, and a credit union. I finally decided to stay at all 4 until a clear winner could be named… unfortunately, it’s not proving to be that easy. Right now, based on customer support and website capabilities, Bank of America is the front runner. I’m sure that BofA hires buffoons as well, but I (knock on wood) haven’t run across (m)any yet. Now that they are taking on Countrywide, the red flags are waving, but hopefully they will merge with some focus on customer support.

    Best of luck to you — I feel your pain.

  101. mmert says:

    Hi Krissy, I work for Washington Mutual and want to help. Please contact our executive office at 800-225-5497.

  102. ayejay says:

    I had a terrible customer support experience with WAMU credit card services recently.

    From my experience their customer service reps have little or no accountability and pretty much will tell you anything to get you off of the phone as quickly as possible.

  103. Thebabas says:

    Ditch WaMu and join a credit union. I left my national bank 12 years ago and joined a local credit union. THEY ARE Awesome!

  104. freedom69 says:

    It is very clear to me that the phone rep was stupid as hell. She should have placed a restraint on the account until you got to the branch to close it and open a new one. Unfortunatly for you, I guess that what she told you to do was supposed to make sense and because it was so late and you were so exhausted you took her advice.Trust me in the future have that account and any other accounts locked down until you close them and open all new ones.

  105. Anonymous says:

    My purse was stolen on Jan 4th 2009. I called WAMU to cancel my credit card I had with them an hour after the purse was taken. I informed them that my purse was stolen. Luckily, my checks and debit card were safe at home. A week later, someone withdrew $800 from my bank account without my permission or knowledge. I believe that the thief took my ID into a WAMU branch, showed them MY ID and they gave them my money opposed to arresting the criminal(Do they even LOOK at the ID’s?). The case is “under investigation” but pretty much everyone i have talked to has been rude and inconsiderate. I’m opening a new bank account elsewhere as soon as i get paid again. And if/when i get my money back I will file a complaint, and I found this article very helpful.