USAA Lays Smackdown On Shady Enterprise Rental

USAA is like a unicorn in a pack of walruses: a financial services company that truly cares about its customers and really helps them out. Not as some kind of lucky exception, but as a matter of policy. Reader “Mary Marsala With Fries'” story, about how USAA opened up several cans of whoop-ass on an Enterprise facility that was trying to screw her over on charges, is yet further proof.

Recently, someone busted up my car, and I took USAA’s recommendation as to which repair shop and car-rental place to go to (mostly because they can electronically bill those places, so I never have to pay up front and be reimbursed later — but USAA also guarantees all the repairs if I go to the place they recommend, which is nice). Well, the repair shop (Metropolitan Lincoln Mercury dealer, funny place to send an old Saturn!) did a great job, no problems, and I got my rental car from Enterprise and returned it with no incident. (I had it about 4 days, and other than smelling like somebody smoked strawberries in a bong in the back seat, it was fine.) I got one call from Enterprise the following week, saying that they were having trouble billing USAA for the rental car. I let them know that this was probably because my name is on the insurance policy, but the policy is in my mom’s name. I’d had to correct the repair shop on that as well, but they got it right the second time, so I figured everything would be fine, and they didn’t contact me again.

Only USAA did, to let me know that the claim was still open two weeks later, due to Enterprise not billing them. I called Enterprise, they said they couldn’t get the bill to go through, so I called USAA again, and basically played middleman between the two for a week. Enterprise kept saying the claim was declined, and USAA kept telling me that it would certainly be approved if Enterprise could just enter it in the system correctly. USAA also gave me a number to have Enterprise call them directly to resolve the problem, which I passed along, but it didn’t seem to help. I began calling Enterprise daily in week three, and they kept saying they were “leaving messages” for USAA, with no results.

Finally, I got my credit card bill, and lo, Enterprise had billed me for the rental, without ever asking or informing me that they would. I called them back (I’d just spoken to them the day before) and got their manager. She told me that they’d spoken with USAA many times and been told that the bill was “denied”, so I was obligated to pay it. I told her that was hogwash, because USAA explicitly told me they’d cover it, and that I wanted the charge removed from my card immediately. Arguing ensues. Manager gets rude, and starts telling me that they called me numerous times to inform me of the charge and I never picked up, so I’d better just pay the bill and “get USAA to reimburse” me if I think they really will. She also says that because she “left a message” at USAA, she’s not going to call them again until they call her back. (Huh?) When I threaten a chargeback, she tells me that I can’t do that because it’s illegal. At this point, I got fed up, hung up and called USAA.

Here’s where it gets amazing: I got a rep at the claims office (in about t-minus 30 seconds) whom I’ve never spoken to before. I explained the situation, and that the manager was now being rude and possibly lying to me over this bill. She listened carefully, apologized immediately for my trouble (!), and asked if she could call me back. Then she did call me back, less than half an hour later. (I regret that I can’t remember her name, but then again, every USAA rep I’ve ever dealt with was this good.) She’d spoken to USAA’s internal Enterprise representative, who’d looked up my file and discovered that Enterprise never did call USAA even once to resolve the issue. She passed along their apologies, and said that two complaints to Enterprise corporate were being filed — one on behalf of USAA for failing to properly handle the billing, and one on behalf of myself for managment lying to me and being rude on the phone. She said that Enterprise had promised to look into that manager (of the Garden City, MI branch on Ford Rd., if you’d like to know) and see if she needed to be reprimanded or replaced. I asked if I had to do anything to file my complaint, and she said no, it was all handled. (If it wasn’t USAA, I might not have believed her, but their record is literally perfect with me, so I do.) Furthermore, reimbursement for the entire rental expense was being mailed to me immediately. (They even apologized because they wanted to issue the reimbursement electronically so I’d have it faster, and they couldn’t because the system would only do that for the policyholder, and my mom doesn’t have a bank account there. But heck, I’ll take the apology in exchange for having to wait a few days!)

In short, USAA: Got me straight to a human; listened to my complaint and acted on it immediately; called back when they said they would; apologized repeatedly even though they didn’t really have to; and took swift, appropriate action to resolve my issue. They also DIDN’T call me a liar, treat me like a criminal, or lie to me about my case or the law, which the Enterprise manager did. Also, the Enterprise rep at USAA appears to have handled this issue quickly and decisively, though whether Enterprise or USAA should get the credit for that, I don’t know.

Oh, one more thing — someone banged into my car *again* (while it was parked) and knocked the rear-view mirror off last week. The person I was speaking to at USAA noticed that I had another open claim, and (rather than acting like I did something wrong or was a bothersome customer for having two claims in two months) offered me information on how to use a rental car service other than Enterprise, since she would “understand if [I] didn’t want to go back there after this”. No judgment, no fuss, just “here’s how to use any rental agency you like”.

Once again, USAA has some of the most impressive customer service I’ve ever seen. Whenever I see an ad for insurance advertising low rates, I think, “As strapped for cash as I am right now, I wouldn’t dream of using another company, even if their rates were half what I pay right now.” USAA’s investment in customer service has paid off by netting them at least one die-hard customer. (I say “at least”, because I also brag about them to everyone, so it’d be surprising if they didn’t get another customer from giving me good service, as well.)

Now, if we can just get that lesson put in some MBA textbooks, we’ll have it made!

Mary Marsala w/ Fries
Transcendental Logic


Edit Your Comment

  1. Truthie says:

    I wish I had a military person in my family so I could use USAA.

  2. swissdietcoke says:

    i <3 my insurance/banking company

  3. jtlight says:

    USAA is awesome. I’m fortunate to have a family member that was in the military. I get kick-ass insurance rates, and they are so easy to work with.

  4. DeepFriar says:

    USAA rules. My wife kept her car insurance policy open for 4 years WITHOUT THE CAR just so she still had eligibility.

  5. caederus says:

    There is a reason the I love USAA, and have been transfering all of my accounts to them.

    The only down side is that unless you have a connection to the military in some way you cannot become a member. So every time I log on I thank my grandfather for joining when he was in the Air Force, USAA for allowing children of members to join, and my mother for signing up, there for allowing me to join.

  6. swissdietcoke says:

    @DeepFriar: Yup, you don’t want to lose it!!

  7. I love USAA! I married into a service member’s family and was then eligible for USAA insurance. The rates are amazing and the service is the best I’ve ever seen. Sometimes when you call for customer service, you end up talking to the rep for longer than expected because you actually feel like they care for you.

  8. Pasketti says:

    Maybe I could join the military so I could get to use USAA.

  9. celestebai says:

    USAA rocks. We have everything there (auto, house, checking, savings), and I wouldn’t change for anything. I even work at a different bank and still hold my accounts with USAA.

  10. Crymson_77 says:

    @Pasketti: There’s always the reserves…

    I have longed long and hard for USAA…they really are amazing. They take “Provide service to our service members and their families” VERY seriously (for real this time).

    ***Pining for good service***

  11. Hanke says:

    Bah! They’re only nice because their customer carry BIG HONKING GUNS.

  12. satoru says:

    @Pasketti: Any benefits you’d obtain from USAA from being in the military would be severely offset by the severe lack of medical care you would receive from the military and VA once you came back from whatever war zone America decides to invade next.

  13. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    I use USAA for all of my banking and I absolutely LOVE them. Whenever I call, they have a real person pick up within 30 seconds who patiently answers my questions and resolves any issues. I will never use another bank again.

  14. Kos says:

    Didn’t people rip on them in another thread?

  15. blackmage439 says:

    USAA: At least one organization in this country is working to the benefit of our armed service members (I’m looking at you, Veterans’ Administration!!!)…

    I have my own story about Enterprise that’s currently in development. Ben, if you’re reading this, I encourage you to post it when I submit it. I guarantee it will be interesting.

  16. graymulligan says:

    I wanna be wif USAA. But alas, I have neither gun nor tank.

  17. tastybytes says:

    i used to work for them and they used to be much better in the mcderrmott hay-day.. they took care of customers no questions asked.. they got in a hatchet man a few years ago, davis, who cut jobs and customer service.. but he is out now.. and they have been getting better..still agree they have really good insurance (for anyone not in their county mutal.. thanks texas legislators).. banking is awesome because they have no fees and refunds on atm charges..but rates could be better..

  18. satoru says:

    I was looking up USAA and noticed that Business Week ranks them #1 for customer service. But perhaps more interesting is the remaining 24 entries and who’s on their list. Some rather ‘dubious’ entrants


    T-mobile? Well maybe their service is better in Europe? Jaguar? Nice cars sure for the first 2 years before everything falls apart. To me it seems like Ford took a nice looking but mechanically bad car, and then turned it into a bad looking and mechanically bad car!

  19. lsocoee says:

    One year I had USAA refund money to all their car insurance holders because they saved money because everyone was going paperless. How many other companies do that sort of thing?

  20. rmz says:

    @truthie: A generation down the line, almost everyone will be qualified for USAA, it seems. Since membership passes down to one’s children, I am a USAA member because of my grandfather’s service in WW2/Korea. That is, my father was a member because of that, and because my parents were members, I can be a member too.

    I’m curious as to whether that fact (and the inevitable increase of their member base) will affect their service or not. I really hope not.

  21. Uh oh... Cleveland says:

    @satoru: USAA is number one on the list, but Enterprise is number 14!

  22. Sanshie says:

    I married a USAA “cult member” ten years ago and didn’t understand then why he was so inflexible about keeping his insurance instead of switching over to mine. Ten years of absolutely impressive customer service has proved him right. They are a wonderful company. I got a bonus when I got married!

  23. Jthmeffy says:

    @satoru: Ah, was wondering when the military bashing moron would speak up: good thing you dont know what the FUCK you are talking about

    USAA Rocks

  24. ReverendDrGladhands says:

    I’m growing a little tired of the holds that USAA banking places on fund transfers. I used USAA and a credit union for all of my banking needs, sometimes transferring funds between the two institutions. Funds are usually available in my CU accounts 1-2 days after the transfers, whereas USAA usually takes a week.

    I recently sold some stock through my USAA brokerage account, and it took a full week before the funds were available for transfer to my USAA checking or savings.

  25. KevinReyn says:

    USAA us bar none the best company to do business with. I have moved all my accounts to them, and am kicking myself that I didnt do it sooner. I keep a brig and mortar bank just for the safe deposit box lol.

    I have had many occasions to chat with them and as mentioned before have had superior service.

  26. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Amazing what a non-profit bank who answers to consumers ONLY can do.

  27. Jeepman says:

    @tastybytes I always wondered what happened. USAA was really good, then got really, really bad – rude, poor service, refusal to return calls, etc. One time they even paid a claim they shouldn’t have because the rep would not call me back. All of a sudden the sun rose :-) and service became impeccable – really, really good! My brother and I are both with USAA and have talked about the change several times.

  28. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    @lsocoee: Yeah, a couple of years ago they stopped using UPS as a drop-off for overnight deposits, and instead they started letting customers scan their deposits in from home. And how did they break it to us? By sending customers a $50 gift card so everyone could buy a scanner. And then they said “If you already have a scanner, enjoy the free $50 on us.”

    I’ve never had a company go so far out of their way to make customers happy.

  29. heavylee-again says:

    I’ve been wanting to use USAA for years, and I don’t qualify. Any member wanna make a quick $20 to marry me so I can join?

  30. Paul D says:

    USAA is not just for military. It’s for just about any Federal employee. My dad just retired from the State Department and my family’s had USAA for as long as I can remember.

    I’m 32 now and long out of my parents’ house, but I still use USAA for my car and renters insurance, as well as a credit card, vehicle loan and a credit card consolidation loan.

    In short, they rule and I’d call them first for almost any financial service.

  31. jmsbmck says:

    @Jthmeffy: Um. WHAT? Satoru mentions some DIFFERENT companies’ customer service and you think Satoru is anti-military?

    The military bashing hasn’t happend, but I think we’ve got the moron speaking up…

  32. jmsbmck says:

    @heavylee-again: And then you guys can adopt me! Brilliant!

  33. chewy568 says:

    I wish my past experiences with USAA had been 1/10 of this wonderful. Instead I have had agents yell at me, lie about calling me back, refuse to let me speak to an actual manager, and basically do whatever they can to dodge paying my claim. They had to cut me three separate checks for one homeowner’s claim (a contractor stole $1K of our stuff) because they refused to acknowledge that our policy, with riders we paid extra for every year, actually did cover what we believed it covered. Each time they sent a check, I had to call them back and tell them it wasn’t right – several phone calls later they’d grudgingly send another check. They’d try to bs me and I’d read right back to them from our policy how they were wrong. Threatening to call the state insurance bureau helped. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the next claim – maybe things are changing.

  34. heavylee-again says:

    To all members of USAA:

    What proof do you need to provide them that you are eligible to join?

  35. BlackFlag55 says:

    No. It’s abundantly clear that the Satoru comment is exactly what it is. And that’s a shame.

    But on with the gaiety of praising USAA! Great company, great people. And … Enterprise has always been my choice for car rentals, until … something radically changed in their attitude about six-seven years ago. What had been great customer-driven service became almost overnight an Accuse-The-Customer, Screw-The-Customer company. I can only guess at Who or what corrupted this well run company, but something damn sure did. Chances of me renting from them agan are slim and none. My experience with even the local Enterprise is identical to the author’s, where that exeprience had been much more like that described as USAA.

    Perplexing. I wounder if corporate has any idea by now somebody in their chain of command screwed their pooch?

  36. ReverendDrGladhands says:

    Satoru was not bashing the military or its members. I think he/she was bashing the current government that has no concern for the well-being of our service members and vets.

  37. Hawk07 says:


    I’ve detailed my family’s experience with USAA I think twice now and you’re not alone.

    There was a really bad hail storm in our area in San Antonio one year. It thrashed the roofs of everyone in the area and since the homes were all built by the same builder in roughly the same timeframe, everything was about the same. Everyone else on the block was getting new roofs and none of their insurance companies were giving them grief.

    USAA had to be the lone dissenter in the opinion that a new roof was needed. Eventually, after many phone calls, many hours, many arguments, and a few letters, they agreed to replace the roof.

    Oh yeah, that was our first claim of any kind after about 15 years of membership through auto and house insurance.

    For all you USAA lovers out there, I challenge you to go to the competition and make sure USAA is giving you a fair rate on insurance. In my area right now, I’m saving about $800 a year with more insurance than USAA was giving for their quote of about $400 per 6 months.

  38. Is there a Best Company in America contest? If not, there should be, as we should give credit to the companies that not only provide adequate service, but go above and beyond our expectations as customers.

  39. dugn says:

    Single former military or children of military could add the fact to their online dating profiles. With this kind of consistently outstanding service, people would PAY to get connected with USAA.

  40. matty_washington says:

    Have had them for three years now…father/ mother were in the air force…have to say they go above and beyond in every instance…even got a great deal on an auto loan…best service, hands down

  41. aidenn says:

    I had to deal with USAA on the accident that my spouse was in caused by the USAA policymember. It seems that although they may treat their policyholders well, they were impossible to deal with for the claim we filed against their member.

    Nothing but messages left unreturned for days on end, if we didn’t pick up with them and called back we’d never receive service, and the rental company hounding us because USAA would be reluctant to extend the contract to the rental car while they remained undecided on whether or not to total the car.

    I know not being a paying customer to them, they have no obligation to give me great service, but I am upset that they are painted as this great company when they only behave that way when there is money involved for them.

  42. gig says:

    My sister and husband have USAA. Last year a pipe broke in their house flooding two floors. My sister called USAA when she came home to discover the flood and that same night 10 guys were at her house cleaning the water and installing industrial sized fans so there would be no mold. They replaced every single thing, wood floors, carpets, walls etc., and even set up an outside shed for her belongings while the house was being repaired. They took care of everything swiftly and without question. I was so amazed.

  43. MPHinPgh says:

    USAA is the ONLY insurance company I’ve ever had, for my cars, homes and camper. I get 3 or 4 offers a week from companies like Progressive, Geico, AIG and Home Depot (yes, I swear. I got an offer for CAR insurance from Home Depot yesterday), and they all get tossed in the mail without even opening them (although I did open the one from Home Depot, just because I couldn’t believe HD was trying to sell me car insurance).

    If you qualify to get insurance through them, DO IT. I think I’ve only had to file 1, maybe two claims in my 25 years of driving with them, but there has never been an issue, and the 2 claims on our homeowners policy have been handled better than one could expect.

    Add to that the annual dividend check (anywhere from $100 to $250 – we might have gotten $400 once), and I feel you can’t find a better company to deal with. I’m not saying they’re the cheapest, but then, the best never is…

  44. ColoradoShark says:

    @Pasketti: Maybe they should add USAA to the recruiting posters for the armed forces?

  45. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    My dad was a member of USAA, but he died a few months ago. Do I still qualify, as his daughter, to be a member?

  46. spryte says:

    @ReverendDrGladhands: THANK YOU. Why is it impossible for some people to understand the difference?

    @heavylee-again: I’d be interested to know this, too – and what if your grandparents were in the military but not your parents (and your parents were never USAA members)? Does that count as eligibility?

  47. Sarge1985 says:


    Requirements are here.

  48. ram0029 says:

    Have had USAA for 10 years now and the customer service has been excellent. The company as a whole has only “annoyed” me once. They sent out a letter increasing the deductible for wind and hail damage (massively increasing it from $1,000 to 3.5% of the policy amount). This was apparently done across the board (at least within our region). We have never filed a claim on our homeowners insurance, just had the deductible increased about 700% for the claim that is most likely to ever be filed… and then we got the renewel about 2 weeks later talking about how through great money management and investment USAA was able to renew our policy without siginificantly increasing the rates……

    I moved my homeowners insurance the next day, got back my original deductibles and pay $100 less a year. Still have auto and banking services with them, and they do a wonderful job on those. Just the whole, we have increased your potential out-of-pocket cost to the tune of $6,000 and made it so that you will in all probability never need our insurance.. so we only increased your rates 2% this year. Thanks for being a great customer!

  49. cabalist says:

    Yeah, USAA rocks!

    I have had them for insurance, bank accounts, and loans for almost the last 20 years and have had few if any troubles.

    Sometimes, at the end of the year, they will send a rebate check out (from $50-several hundred $s) if they have made a lot of money that year.


    GO USAA!

  50. mondo-distracto says:

    I have to co-sign for USAA as a Big Corporation that actually knows the meaning of the phrase “customer service”. So many BCs seem to think the words customer service are the punchline to a really bad joke (on those foolish enough to try to give them business).
    USAA has definitely spoiled me for other companies.

  51. tjevans says:

    USAA customer since 93 and I will always be one. Back in ’04, I was in an accident that was, admittedly my fault. A claim was filed against my insurance and I just knew my rates would go up because of it.

    They did. USAA, though, offset the increase with a “longevity discount” in the same amount!

    As far as the comments about the V.A. being directed toward the current administration, the V.A. has been horrible for years (at least since 96 when I began my experience with the V.A.).

  52. jadenton says:

    Sounds like par for the course at Enterprise. They’re horrible, and I frequently find them overpriced compared to their customers.

  53. uncle_fluffy says:

    My lovely fiancee is a USAA member. I’m counting down the days to my wedding… aside from the bonus of getting married, the next day I’ll finally be able to live my dream of telling each and every one of the insurance companies and banks that I have business with exactly where to go and how to get there.

  54. tjevans says:

    @cabalist: Yeah, the year-end refunds are always good for a little extra Christmas money!

    We live in a Katrina-hit area. While we miraculously escaped damage, I just knew we wouldn’t get our dividend from USAA that year due to all the claims. Surprisingly, we did.

  55. FrugalFreak says:

    Does the postal office workers qualify? would my sister need to create an account first then I join because of her?

  56. dieman says:

    Fund transfer holds depend on who you are, I don’t have any fund transfer holds for under $5k, I guess some people have holds for /all/ transfers.

  57. reznicek111 says:

    @speedwell: I am not 100% certain but believe you indeed still qualify. We have active USAA memberships through my spouse’s grandfather, who passed away a number of years ago.

    Condolences on your father’s passing…

  58. MasterThief says:

    USAA is, bar none, the best company I have ever dealt with. If you have the opportunity, I suggest picking it up. It is so choice. I have just about everything with them – car insurance, renter’s insurance, mutual funds. Most people do need a military connection to get insurance (thanks, AF dad!), but the banking parts are available to anyone who lives in San Antonio (Bexar County, TX).

  59. chrisjames says:

    <3 USAA <3

  60. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I got USAA when we got married, and the first time I ever had to call was over a confusing issue car and driver in one state, insurer in another… I was dreading it.

    No need.

    They acted as though I wasn’t asking for anything special, did what Iwas required, and even sent an email file of the changes for my records.

    They are simply amazing!

    We haven’t used their financial services yet, but are aware of them. What are they like, service-wise & feature-wise?

  61. RStewie says:

    I’m ecstatic that I’m still eligible on my own for USAA (I separated from the AF last year but my eligibility extends 1 year after that)and I went with them for my mortgage. They are awesome! I’m a first time home buyer, purchasing a FSBO with no agent, and they have answered ALL my questions, kept me informed on an almost daily basis for the past 1.5 months of status with my VA loan, and walked me through the entire process, to the point of filling out my paperwork with me over the phone.

    I don’t have insurance with them (I have Progressive and they’re cheaper and a really great to me), but I’m looking at investing and opening a checking/savings with them to maintain my eligibility. They truly are a wonderful company.

  62. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    @uncle_fluffy: Do you live with your fiance? If so, you qualify as a domestic partner and can get into USAA right now.

    I’ve had USAA ever since I’ve been driving. I had some driving issues, but they’ve always been great to work with. Add me to the list of people saying USAA rocks.

    Banking and CC services are pretty damn good too.

  63. Sundermania says:

    My grandfather bombed the shit out of Korea so that I may have a low interest rate credit card.

  64. akronharry says:

    My son is in the marines. Can I sign up with USAA?

  65. GhettoGodfather says:

    Yes, I have both insurance products and all my banking services though USAA. I wouldn’t think of having anyone else. This article is just another example. USAA is probably one of the best benefits of military service today.

  66. RuthEurymachus says:

    My wife and I have USAA. Not only are they great at customer service,
    but I have never seen any company that can come close to touching their
    low rates.

  67. theblackdog says:

    @speedwell: They should have records that he was a member, especially if you can find any statements from USAA for him since they would have his member number.

  68. theblackdog says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: I think that contest would end up being a major fight between USAA and Costco ;-)

    I love USAA, I have great car insurance, plus I just got a new credit card from them with 0% for a year on balance transfers, and I will pay off that balance transfer in a year. The great part is the interest rate on the card, it’s the Prime Rate + 3.9%, but if I continue to have good credit with them, I can get it dropped to the Prime Rate like my dad has.

  69. strife1012 says:

    How is it everyone else who has USAA has great service. My Claim with USAA is 3 months old with nothing but money out of my Pocket. Even A Department of Transportation Investigation was only halfway completed.

  70. seanblood says:

    yeah, im only 20 years old, and i will most definitely never, ever switch to a different insurance company or bank. USAA knows how to take care of it’s customer’s and is never anything but pleasant and helpful in the rare event I have a reason to call them.

  71. zlionsfan says:

    I’ve been a USAA member since ’93 and have been very grateful for that: one of the few pieces of advice I accepted from my dad when I was younger was to switch my car insurance to them (he didn’t serve, but his father did, and he’d been a member forever).

    I’ve had to file several claims on my car insurance over the years, some my fault, some not, and each time I’ve received excellent service from USAA, particularly in some cases where the other drivers seemed to have confused this world with the one where they weren’t at fault.

    It’s also been nice to be able to cut short a salesperson’s call. At some point in the distant past, someone tried to sell me insurance (car or home, don’t remember which). I told them I had USAA, and I believe their response was “Oh. Okay. Well, have a good day.”

    The banking has been very nice as well, especially in this area: many years ago, when Midwestern banking mergers were out of control, my account was sold twice in the span of eighteen months (I used “local” banks at the time). The last merger resulted in a split between two large banks, so that branches and ATMs suddenly became “mine” and “yours”. It was a relief to switch to USAA and not worry about finding a particular ATM, no matter where I am: add interest-bearing checking accounts and cash-back debit cards, and I wonder why I didn’t open an account with USAA sooner.

    The credit cards have been particularly nice. USAA has provided me with reasonable interest rates and credit lines that match my needs. I’m not inundated with junk mail pressuring me to use it or blank checks for balance transfers that I have to shred, and I don’t have to sit through a five-minute sales pitch when I activate a new card.

    I would definitely recommend USAA’s services to anyone who qualifies for them.

  72. bobfromboston says:

    @jadenton: As with so many companies, YMMV based on the local franchise. My local Enterprise is quite good, but I know there are some bad ones. Just saying you shouldn’t write them all off based on a bad franchise.

  73. oldtaku says:

    > Whenever I see an ad for insurance advertising low rates, I think, “As strapped for cash as I am right now, I wouldn’t dream of using another company, even if their rates were half what I pay right now.”

    Let me tell you that’s not the case. Whenever one of those other companies calls claiming they can ‘save me money’ I just tell them I’m with USAA and they instantly shut up and go away. They won’t save you any money over USAA rates.

  74. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    Long list of positive comments, but I just have to add another POSITIVE!

    Been with USAA for car and home insurance for close to 30 years! Every so often I am enticed to check out other companies (like when I had 3 teenage sons driving and rates are VERY high no matter who the company is!). As soon as the “new’ company asked what insurance I currently have I am told, “Sorry, we can’t match their rates!” Wow! Good rates, good service, and a way cool dividend check at the end of the year!

    Have had a couple claims over the years, and yes the rates DO go up—but for only 3 years, if I’m not mistaken. And the increase is not majorly significant. You also get a good driver reward (credit), multiple car discount credit and several other credits.

    All in all, when I had to call to report a stupid fender bender that was MY fault, and was not in the best shape emotionally, they were caring, compassionate and said they’d take care of everything—I never heard another word from anyone. Claim was paid, rates went up, but not a lot, and DONE!

    Son was driving my car a few years ago and hit by another car (other driver ticketed), called USAA, told where to take the car (they gave me several options to find one close to my home—turned out to be 1/2 mile from me!) car was repaired and no issues at all.

    I am in the process of transferring my checking/savings account to them, Hesitated because they are out of state, but after reading this thread I’m there!

    I agree—HOW ABOUT THE BEST COMPANIES IN AMERICA??? Guess there are still a few out there!!!

  75. Smd75 says:


    Oh, They have them all over the ROTC building at my college. I tell my friends about how awesome USAA is all the time, and I make sure my Army buddies are working with them. They get excited when I tell them the benefits I have


    Here is their list for eligibility

  76. That-Dude says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: NON PROFIT BANK — WHAT?

  77. stories like this remind me why I will be a USAA member for life (courtesy of dad’s military service). a lot of little things add up e.g. they totally took care of getting me new plates and all the insurance bullshit when I moved to MA, they quickly refunded fraudulent debit card charges from the Hannaford security breach a few months back, and so on. However I did move my two IRA accounts from them to Vanguard because the USAA mutual funds are kinda weak and so is their brokerage platform. You can buy any Vanguard fund for free if your account is with them but if I wanted Vanguard funds in my USAA IRA the commissions were really high.

    nobody is cheaper in MA which is such an effed-up state for car insurance that the big boys like Geico and Progressive don’t even bother.

  78. Elvisisdead says:

    Once a member, always a member. You never have membership expire. She could have gotten a savings account if she was paranoid. Even divorced spouses get to keep membership after the divorce.
    @tastybytes: That happened to my group. Just not in existence any longer. Davis axed the whole group. Learning and Performance Technology.
    @Paul D: Absolutely untrue. It’s only open to State Department and Fed law enforcement. The security clearances mitigate any risk on USAA’a part. I was a Fed for 8 years, and I don’t want to be in the same risk pool as your average GS 1-15 employee. Hell, even some SES employees frightened me.

    No, your sister the postal employee can’t get you membership. Sibling relationships don’t count.

  79. cloryfreeborn says:

    I adore USAA… they have nursed me through a car accident, a stolen car and an out-of-state move. Basically, once anything bad happens, they take it out of your hands and you don’t have to worry about it anymore (poof! gone!) after talking to their super-friendly staff. I have a credit card through them as well and they actually give you rewards instead of scamming you eight different ways in small print to make sure you get nothing. I love USAA like I love Fresca.

  80. Elvisisdead says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: They are most certainly NOT non-profit. They’re just a full-service bank that acts like a CU. They don’t screw you on fees, and most of their members carry large enough balances and use other products that they don’t have to make all of their profit on banking.

    Most members use 2+ services, and they spread profit across all lines of business. Really, they offer banking as a convenience for everything else.

  81. cronomorph says:

    My fiancee is looking forward to getting married because she hears me speak highly of USAA all the time.

  82. Cyco says:

    @cronomorph: Your fiancee doesn’t have to wait until you two are married to get on with USAA. I have my fiancee on my auto insurance and she has her own bank account. Until we are married, she isn’t allowed to go in and make any changesd though. I even have her engagment ring insured through them. In fact, I even have a postive story that involves USAA and my fiancee.

    She got rear ended last month. She had a lot of trouble working with the guys insurance company. She called USAA to talk to them and they told her that they would handle the claim if she wanted and make all reimburstments she needed without it going against our insurance. They were incredibly helpful and at no time was I required to get on the phone and do any talking. THey understood who she is to me and gave her all the info she needed without a problem. I’ve been with them since ’96. Had my car loan, auto insurance, and renters insurance with them and wouldn’t think about changing. I shopped around and no one offers less on car insurance with the amenities they off for less.

  83. FLConsumer says:

    I had similar screwiness with Enterprise. Had my car at the dealership for repairs. The dealership was supposed to provide a loaner car but had run out, so they made arrangements for Enterprise to provide a car. Enterprise requested a credit card that they assured me they wouldn’t bill.

    So, 1 month later, I notice an Enterprise charge on my credit card. Call up the dealer and they say they paid Enterprise in full and there shouldn’t be any issues. I call up Enterprise and they say they’ve not been paid. Call back the dealer and inform them of this and they say they’ll take care of it.

    Repeat this cycle several times. Finally, I warn Enterprise that I will file a chargeback if this isn’t remedied in xx days. The dealership still claimed that they had paid in full. Ended up calling Wachovia and contesting the charge. Got a call the next day from Wachovia stating Enterprise had decided to undo the charges and would write it off. +1 Wachovia, -10 Enterprise. I travel quite a bit and rent many cars. Safe to say I’ll never use Enterprise from this point forward.

  84. Crrusherr says:

    tey truelly care about us that is y they offer 1.26% APR on your savings account.

  85. normandy7 says:

    What is this yearly dividend you all speak of? I’m just 25 and this is my first year using USAA (thanks Dad).

  86. phrits says:

    Haven’t bothered to read the other comments, just wanted to throw in a kudo for USAA. I’ve been with them since I was a teenager–let’s just round that to 20 years–and I’ve never had a real complaint.

  87. Elvisisdead says:

    @normandy7: Based on how well the company does annually, they may refund a portion of your premiums. USAA sets growth targets every year. When they exceed target, they refund premiums back to members. The late 90s – early 00s saw refunds of around 25%, if I recall. So, you still pay up front, but if they manage assets and business well, you can see a refund. Back in the day, they used to print “Letter from the Chairman” on the outside of the envelopes with the checks. You ALWAYS opened them. Now, it’s ETF.

  88. theblackdog says:

    @Elvisisdead: You’re right, though I still got a letter from the chairman in December letting me know of the upcoming EFT ($45 for me in 2007) to my USAA account.

    They applied it to my insurance account (that was the only service I had at the time) which was cool with me, though I had just paid the full premium, so I had a credit for about 3 months before they decided to send me a check for the credit and bring my account to 0. According to my dad, they don’t like to carry credits on people’s for very long, so they will send a check.

  89. sponica says:

    @heavylee-again: I submitted them with no proof, they have my name in the system because my parents are both members and I am a now former dependent of a member. In fact, they send me pamphlets to sell me car insurance, if I had a car, I would get insurance through them.

  90. BenitaHummingbird says:

    Just another fine example of how awesome USAA is.

    In case this hasn’t been mentioned already, almost all USAA services are now
    open to the public, EXCEPT their insurance, which is still limited to the
    military and immediate family members.

    So if you are looking for a bank, check them out. They are probably the
    only organization/business that I actually trust and that means a lot in my

  91. Same boat! Everytime I call them with a question or a problem they know what they are talking about. How awesome is that?

  92. @swissdietcoke: Yeah Just like him USAA is the Tits! I wish we could nominate USAA for Customer Service of the year, you talk to people, and they are always happy to go above and beyond.

  93. synergy says:

    Ah USAA. My hometown is home to this place. It is HUGE. A real compound.

  94. FlyingMonkey says:

    I am eligible for USAA through my father’s years of military service and have been a customer for about 15 years now. I have had bank accounts, homeowners/renters and car insurance with them. I have always been absolutely thrilled with their customer service. They may not have the best rates available, but knowing how I’ve been treated by them in the past and that I can expect great service in the future more than makes up for the price difference. They are simply the best business of any sort I’ve ever had to deal with.

  95. freejazz38 says:

    Enterprise has a corporate culture of ripping people off. I know this because I used to be in the industry. It’s in their training. They are basically brainwashed into this whole Enterprise culture of how to milk the most off the customer. Every time I use them for a replacement rental, they try and tack on extra charges

  96. jojobreckinridge says:

    It is impossible to put into words how much ass USAA kicks. I am so lucky to have married into the “family”.

    We have just about every account and policy USAA offers. For complicated reasons, however, our homeowners’ policy was with State Farm since we became homeowners 12 years ago. In the 7 years we’ve lived in our current home, our policy went up $500 with no explanation (no claims EVER).

    We switched our policy to USAA a few months ago and pay $300 less/year. When I called SF to drop them, they never asked why or even tried to get us to stay.

    If you are eligible to get USAA and don’t, you’re just plain stupid.

  97. lowcajones says:

    been a USAA customer since i was 16 (dad is now retired fed. law enf.). started with auto insurance and eventually picked up a credit card. now out of undergrad, renting, and in school again, i’ve picked up renter’s insurance and banking. truthfully, there are cheaper rates out there for renter’s. however, the discounts USAA gives you for letting them do everything for you more than compensate; it would cost me more money in the long run to switch my renter’s policy by far. their customer service has been outstanding. if every company out there was a third as good at taking care of their customers as USAA, there would be expontentially fewer customer service horror stories; everyone has that time they called the cable company or the airline and had some issue that was mysteriously unfixable for weeks (or even months) at a time to the tune of many hundreds of dollars. this is a company that refuses to let its customers get screwed, and which will bend over backwards to make sure that, if something bad happens, they pat you on the head and remind you that worrying is not something you need to do when you pay them to handle it all for you. nothing but excellent things to say about these guys.

  98. KitCabbie says:

    I have been a USAA member for almost years now. When I changed over from Geico (uugh) they did all of the work for me and had policy ready and waiting in 15 minutes! Now I do everything through them. Like the above post, I usually end up talking to them longer than I need to because I feel like I’ve known them for decades. One feature many people don’t know about, if you are looking for a house, they will send you an agent AND give you a portion of their commission at absolutely NO COST TO YOU! USAA is AWESOME!

  99. ben_marko says:

    I’m surprised Enterprise is still in business. They are easily the absolute worst rental car company on the planet.