WaMu: "It Is Not My Problem If You Did Not Plan To Pay Your Bills On Time"

WaMu goes out of its way to convince you that it is staffed by friendly, outgoing people who want to help you if something goes wrong. Their “About” page on the WaMu website says: “We’re informal, friendly and fun. We take our customers’ money seriously, but not ourselves.” We suspect that reader Drew would disagree with the whole “friendly” part of that sentence. He arrived home a day late from a business trip to Europe and was in a rush to pay his rent before it was due. He made it to the WaMu branch 5 minutes before it closed, but it was already locked.

He called WaMu’s customer service to ask where to find a branch that stayed open late and/or to request that his ATM limit be raised just for the day. The WaMu CSR wouldn’t transfer him to a supervisor, accused him of making terrorist threats, and lied, claiming that her supervisor was on vacation. Yikes.

Usually I am not one to complain about customer service. I am the kind of guy who understands that everyone has an off day, and I will usually roll with it. This however mad me so mad, I felt the need to share it with Consumerist.

I recently moved from the West Coast to Florida for work. With a new job, and new apartment, I decided to make from BofA to WaMu. One of the best decisions of my life. Or, so I thought. For work, I travel in Europe, a lot. Anywhere from three days to three months. I am pretty good about making sure my landlord has my rent if I am going to be out of the country. On a recent trip, I had to stay a day longer with a client, thus arriving back into the US later then I planned. The next day my rent was due. I tried to get out of my office for a few minutes to run down to the local WaMu branch which is close to my office. Unfortunately I was unable to. I got to WaMu that day at 5:55 PM. WaMu say they close at 6:00 PM. What they mean is that the doors are locked and you cant speak with a teller or Supervisor from 5:45 PM. So, I used the ATM. I was only able to withdraw ½ of my rent. That’s fine, I’ll call up WaMu, and see if there are any open Branches around. If not, then maybe they can increase my daily limit today.

The first person I spoke with said that there no branches open, and the SHE couldn’t increase my limit. So, I politely thanked her, but asked to speak with a Supervisor. When the Supervisor came on the line, she informed that there was nothing she could do. Ok. I explained the situation to her again. Her response was “It is not my problem if you did not plan to pay your bills on time.” I have a pretty quick temper, but I kept my cool. I said I did not feel it was her place to judge how I handle my business with my landlord, and I would like the name of your Supervisor please. She gave me the name of her Supervisor. When I asked to be connected, I was informed that the Supervisor was on vacation.

Now, I didn’t think this person would give me the name of a Supervisor who was on vacation. I was shocked when she said she did. I proceeded to inform her that, this was unacceptable and I would like to speak with a Supervisor. I proceeded to inform her that if she called my office, looking for my Supervisor, I would find one that was there, and not one that was on vacation. At this point I am extremely irritated, steaming mad, but remain collected. Until she informs me that I am making terroristic threats, and she is going to get HER SUPERVISOR on the phone. Needless to say I was stunned. Instead of pleading ignorance, this CSR HAD ACTUALLY LIED TO ME.

When the Supervisor came on the line, I explained what the situation was for my original call. At this point however, I am actually pulled over on the side of the FREEWAY, and explaining to the Supervisor what has transpired from my side. I did not even care that I could not get an increase on my daily limit. I explained as calmly as I possibly could, that this CSR comments were unprofessional, rude, and inappropriate. I again explained that if this Supervisor were to call my office, and ask to speak to MY Supervisor I would make sure she spoke with one, and not be given the information for someone on vacation. I further explained that this was THE WORST experience that I have ever had with WaMu.

Total time spent on phone with WaMu customer service: 97 minutes.
Total frustration experienced: incalculable.

Total time with WaMu from first deposit to this incident: 16 DAYS.

Terroristic threats? What? From the tone of your letter, it sounds as if you might want to switch banks. Bankrate had a great tool for comparing checking accounts with local banks and credit unions.

If you’re just looking for an apology, here’s some executive customer service contacts for WaMu.

(Photo: stirwise )


Edit Your Comment

  1. hills says:

    Guess your landlord doesn’t take old fashioned checks?

    Anyway, sucks that wamu really closes at 5:45 instead of 6 – will keep in mind:)

  2. ThinkerTDM says:

    And..? what happened? Was the supervisor refreshed from her vacation? Did they work with you to resolve this? Don’t leave me hanging!

  3. mattwolff says:


  4. OminousG says:

    This is why I also ask about the grace period my apartment complex allows. The one I live in now is 4 days, and my previous place was a full week. I always try to pay on the 1st, but if I’m unable to make it to the bank, at least I’m covered.

    Hillsrovey: Many large apartment complexes don’t take checks; thats a lot of money and bounce fees are no fun, and money banks still hold checks for up to a week before releasing funds.

  5. grandzu says:

    Doesn’t matter as WaMu might go under in a few weeks.

  6. B says:

    I can’t process the line “It is not my problem if you did not plan to pay your bills on time” Clearly the OP did plan on paying his bills on time, that’s why he attempted to get hte money before his rent was due.

  7. ThomFabian says:

    Interesting, I haven’t run across an apt complex that won’t take checks. Seems an odd choice for a large complex since it would ensure a LARGE amount of cash was in their office on the first. Not doubting you, just seems an odd liability to accept.

  8. sleze69 says:

    @ThinkerTDM: Yeah, you left off a lot at the end there.

    I hope your Total Time from first deposit to closing deposit with WaMu was around 17-18 days. Complain with your money.

  9. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I don’t understand why he didn’t take half the money out that day, and the second half in the morning. I mean, it’s a daily ATM limit. If he ran out quick in the morning, he could hit the ATM no problem, then get back in time to pay rent.

  10. Why oh Why do people still use places like WaMu and BofA if they have a choice? I’ve used credit unions for years now (only have my mortgage through BofA, and that wasn’t my choice). I’ve always found the credit unions helpful, understanding, and staffed with people who don’t have a broomstick up their kiesters.

    And an apartment complex that won’t take checks??? Sounds fishy to me.

  11. chiieddy says:

    @OminousG: My mortgage company takes checks… never mind… my mortgage company is Countrywide. Anyhow, what will they take? Are they large enough that online bill payment will work or will that just send a check? Are they requiring people send cash through the mail (illegal)? Are they requiring an additional cost to their tenants with money orders? I’ve never NOT had a landlord take a check.

  12. OminousG says:


    first, when i said “money banks” I meant “most banks”. I suck at typing.

    Not accepting checks takes a lot of work off of the apartment complex. My current place for example takes money orders and credit cards. Both are far quicker and easier to deal with then checks, and there are no “insufficient funds” to worry about. A huge headache for people skipping out on a last months of rent.

  13. dorianh49 says:

    Stuff like this (I’ve experienced horrible, but not-quite-this-bad service issues with WaMu) is why I want to switch to a credit union. I just can’t seem to find one with a local branch (south Riverside County, CA) that has decent interest rates (3.0% – 3.5% APY) on savings accounts. Still looking, though.

  14. chemicalpink says:

    I’ve banked with WaMu for about 2.5 years now, and never had an issue similar to this. At every local WaMu branch I’ve been to, as well as the 2 or 3 times I’ve needed to call them, they’ve been super helpful and friendly – as opposed to the credit union I used to bank with.

    Additionally, the branch closest to me has their lobby open and drive-thru is open until 6pm, and they do stay open that late – I’ve been in several times when it was *just* before they closed, with no issues whatsoever.

  15. Krustey says:

    So you had an account at Wamu for 16 days. You then asked them to increase your daily limit for withdrawals. Sorry bud, but there’s a lot of banks (I’d say most actually) that expect some kind of track record before they go increasing your daily limit.

    5 minutes? So was that your time or the banks time? 5 minutes is a pretty close call either way.
    You gambled with your timing and lost. Now blame it all on Wamu.

    BTW. I’ve seen people who are extremely pissed off and thinking they are calm. They come off as condescending pricks. I’m not saying your one but that CSR probably thought so.

  16. meg9 says:

    Write a check or send a check online on your bank? There wouldn’t be a need for cash—unless the landlord only takes cash. Shady landlord.

  17. OminousG says:


    money orders are free from Amscot aren’t they?
    and rent doesn’t change depending on how you pay (if thats what you meant).

  18. chrisjames says:

    You’re insane to be paying cash to an apartment complex. You are getting receipts for it, I hope. If I was handing over that much cash, I’d have a notary with me to stamp two copies of the receipt and an extra witness that can corroborate my side of the deal.

    @OminousG: All of the complexes I’ve been in, three of them “large,” would not accept cash for rent. Two of them only took checks or money orders; the rest took checks, money orders, or electronic payment. One of them took cash only for the application fee.

    Anyway, about WaMu: that’s pathetic. I would have tried to record the conversation with the manager, then send it with a nice letter in an EECB. Maybe that’s abusing the EECB, but the trainwreck customer service needs executive attention. You’re just telling the supervisor, another of the CSR slaves, something they probably already know and don’t care about.

  19. Robobagins says:

    5 minutes before closing? Really, it was closed no matter what clock you’re on. This is Bad Planning 105 (Things Fall Aprart).

  20. OminousG says:


    Sorry, I never meant not accepting checks meant “only accepts cash”. Wamu may close at 6, but amscot for a money order is open well past that.

  21. TPS Reporter says:

    Yeah, a credit union is really the way to go. I have been with one for about 12 years now and I never have to deal with the fees, lack of service etc. The only thing they aren’t competitive on is home loans and I’m not sure why. I even get money back every year for using my debit card as a credit transaction. I get approx $70-$80 back every year just for spending my money using the credit transaction instead of the debit pin.

  22. AMetamorphosis says:

    Lack of preperation on your part is not an emergency on the banks part.

    I even had a faint bit of sympathy for you as it sounds as if your a respectible upstanding guy who wants to pay his bills on time until you got to the part where you said: ” At this point however, I am actually pulled over on the side of the FREEWAY, ” …

    Dude, hang the F up and concentrate on one thing properly to get it accomplished. Your the type of asshole that thinks nothing of sitting at green lights gabbing away and then has the audacity to give me the finger when I lightly tap the horn to try to make you aware of your self asorbed life.

    Showing up @ the bank @ 5:55 ( according to you as we all know watches, clocks and other time pieces all show exact matching times ) means you were not prepared.

    As a landlord myself, I would have taken half your payment in cash and the other half in check form if you explained this to me.

    Your making a moutain out of a molehill guy.

  23. chrisjames says:

    @OminousG: Oops, it looked like that in context. Sorry.

    There wouldn’t be many options left after denying checks, though, especially since electronic payment methods are relatively new. A complex that took cash or money orders? It would be unsettling paying rent as a money order, too. I really can’t think of anything else that wouldn’t be a major hassle to tenants, but I haven’t seen everything yet.

  24. MaliBoo Radley says:

    But seriously, is there a reason this guy couldn’t have gone back to the ATM in the morning? His daily limit would have reset at that point …

  25. Dave on bass says:

    @AMetamorphosis: He states that he was pulled over – that meant that he thought enough about the situation and decided to *stop driving* to complete the call. I think that’s a very good thing.

  26. cmdrsass says:

    If you have a habit of leaving the country regularly and make arrangements with your landlord to pay your rent for the time you’re gone, it seems to me that your landlord would have no problem with you paying a day late once you explain the circumstances, right? Most people are pretty reasonable when you tell them the truth.

    So why did you waste so much time wrangling with WaMu? This rant seems more like an excuse to bash WaMu than about any genuine problem with their service (and believe me, I am no fan of WaMu). Next time, relax and think things through before you Hulk out over nothing.

  27. Justafan says:

    Complaining about a branch closing early or not getting your daily ATM limit increased is just the tip of the iceberg. The dude needs to be worried about WaMu going tits up and closing forever. Since May 7 WaMu stock has fallen nearly 70 percent.

  28. latemodel says:

    Earth is full of deadbeats, maybe more congregate at this particular apartment complex. Of course they may be avoiding taxes, or a garnishment, thereby making them yet another deadbeat.

  29. snowburnt says:

    I feel unfulfilled with this story…no closure. Did the rent get paid? Did the Supervisor apologize or act professional?

  30. howie_in_az says:

    The OP may want to look into bank-by-web or online-banking, probably not at WaMu however. I set up all the bills (sans 3) to be sent out as soon as I’m paid by my employer. Bills are never late and I don’t have to do anything apart from a one-time setup.

    Perhaps the WaMu supervisors are about to be let go [wichita.bizjournals.com] ?

    WaMu was recently listed on BankImplode [bankimplode.com] and I seem to recall other news about it being downgraded massively but can’t remember the source.

  31. AMetamorphosis says:


    Perhaps he could have thought of the welfare of the other drivers on the road and hung up.

    Better yet, he could have planned appropriately and not been on the phone in a heated exchange while on the freeway to begin with.

  32. Cocotte says:

    “No, you can’t speak to my supervisor, and if you keep demanding to speak to them I will have to transfer you to my supervisor.”

  33. Sidecutter says:

    @Krustey: Sorry, please explain to me why the length of time someone has been with a bank should have any relation to whether someone can get a daily withdrawl increase. The money is in the bank account. It’s verified. The person is not trying to overdraw. So what right does anyone have to tell them they can’t access the full amount they need *right now* if they call up and ask to do so?

  34. AMetamorphosis says:


    Sir, that will cost you a 99.95 processing and convience fee … Thank you for getting screwed by: ( Fill in the blank with your favorite bank here )

  35. dweebster says:

    Love that “terrorist threat” catch-all when you ask someone to be accountable for their position. Idiots in customer service positions have to expect to be in heated disagreements at times, and when they toss that one out they should just be smacked.

    Yeah buddy, you’re living in reality – your company has obviously screwed up, I’m asking you to correct their obvious mistake BECAUSE THAT IS WHY THEY ARE PAYING YOU, and your answer is not to correct the problem but to label frustration with your obvious inabilities and/or incompetence as “terrorism.” Back in the old days the lazy or disempowered CSRs used to just hang up the phone when things were a challenge to them, now they have to cry “terrorism” and further dilute the meaning.

  36. Xerloq says:

    Write a check or talk to your landlord and get the cash in the morning. Go use an ATM from another bank and pay the $2-3 to get your cash.

    The last two management companies I rented from refused cash – it’s too easy to steal. Checks provide a paper trail. I write you a check, I can check (even with WaMu) online to see if it was cashed. If there’s a dispute about payment, I have a receipt and a canceled check.

    5:55 is cutting it to close to expect the bank to be open – even if they’re open until 6:00 as a courtesy. Did you synchronize your watch with the bank’s clock?

    I’ve not liked WaMu because they try to be ‘easy-going’ and ‘friendly.’ A bank is a business, and a tool for me to use, not my friend. I like polite, prompt, professional service which aren’t reflected in the “How’s it going?” stamped across the ATM when I use it.

    Clearly the CSRs are neither friendly nor professional.

    Also, we need to have recordings of these calls.

    Bottom Line: treat the bank like a tool and plan better next time. You don’t like the tool, get a different one.

  37. jenl1625 says:

    @Sidecutter: The line I was given (by two separate banks) is that the daily ATM limit is set by the feds for the first 6 months of any bank account.

  38. SuffolkHouse says:

    Your first mistake was moving to Florida. It is a conservative rat-trap filled with rif-raff educated in their sub-standard and rotten school system. Beyond that, it is retirees white-knuckling their savings from the tax-man – but they sure love their health benefits!

    Second mistake was going to a mega-bank. WaMu, BOA, Wachovia? They all suck eggs. I wouldn’t tough any of them with a 10 foot poll. Be part of the churn that actually hurts these dirtbags – go to a credit union. Actual humans with salaries staff these places.

  39. I know branches are completely separate from credit, but I had a similarly aggrivating issue with a new Wamu credit card. The due date was the 23rd of the month — and since I pay my bills at the end of the month, I called to ask them to make it either earlier or later (otherwise, my payment would always be late because if you pay three weeks early, they will post it to the previous month and sock you with a late fee). The nice man in Bangalore told me they could only offer me a window of the 20th through the 23rd of the month — even after talking with a supervisor, I couldn’t get them to change it. So now I have to pay ONE bill at a different time of the month than the others.

    WTF is up with that?

  40. snakeskin33 says:

    “Terroristic threats” has nothing to do with terrorism; that just refers to threatening people. That’s what they charge stalkers with, among other things. Don’t get me wrong — it shouldn’t be thrown around, but that isn’t an accusation of terrorism; it’s an accusation that you’re behaving in a way that’s threatening.

    Which is why it’s pretty hard for me to believe that the guy was entirely serene and calm, and the CSR randomly decided to tell him he was being threatening. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t have the ring of truth at all.

    None of that, however, changes the facts that 6:00 means 6:00 and not 5:45, that arranging to pay your rent on the day it’s due is not arranging not to pay your rent on time, that the CSR was rude, or that it certainly sounds like a run-around regarding talking to the supervisor.

    I do note, however, that once the OP got angry about the “she lied about her supervisor being gone” thing, he seems to have totally abandoned the attempt to solve the problem in favor of yelling at the CSR and then the supervisor trying to get them to say uncle on that issue. So: understandable frustration, but counterproductive.

  41. ltlbbynthn says:

    If you’re switching banks, Eastern Financial Credit Union has a 5.01% checking account with no minimum balance. Don’t know where you live, but Dade County Credit Union has one for 6.5%, but I don’t like them because they lied to me about how long I had to have an account before they would grant me a debit card.

  42. rdm says:

    Not blaming the OP but I can’t believe anyone is still walking into a Wamu branch and opening an account. They are so bad.

  43. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @SuffolkHouse: No state income tax sure is nice, though.

  44. savvy999 says:

    Original poster still had a day (“The next day my rent was due”) to get his finances in order, on time. What’s the problem again?

    The rambling post makes it sounds like he/she landed in America, had but milliseconds to defuse this financial bomb, yet WaMu wouldn’t help in a moment of dire need. But in reality, he/she blew that day buffer at work, and showed up to the bank late.

    This is an entirely self-manufactured hissy fit.

  45. drjayphd says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Yes, because everyone plans when they’ll get into heated exchanges with less-than-helpful CSR’s. Besides, wasn’t he showing concern when he pulled over to argue?

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just strange when I think businesses should be open as long as their posted hours say they are.

  46. spikespeigel says:

    Um, I bank at WaMu and I’ve never had problems like these. I’ve been with them since they were Great Western. So, now that I’m reading that WaMu is about to go the way of the dodo, should I pull my money out now before it does an impression of IndyMac? Or is this all embellishment? From what I saw earlier, WaMu’s stock was going up.

  47. stacye says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Planning wasn’t the point of this (at least not what I got from it). He called customer service with a problem. The CSR was not empathetic to his problem (no matter how much of a nuisance he was to himself, the CSR has no business stating “It’s not my problem you didn’t do ‘X'”), told him there wasn’t a supervisor available, claimed he was making terrorist threats, and then gets the supervisor that they JUST SAID WASN’T THERE.

    Yelling does not constitute a terrorist threat, and a CSRs rude behavior, and outright lies, are unprofessional.

    But I could see how you would focus on the part that he wasn’t prepared enough to pay his rent, and tell us about your land lord experiences. You are, after all, kind of a big deal.

  48. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Krustey, @AMetamorphosis: The complaint is about the WaMu CSR’s attitude, not about the fact that they couldn’t help him.
    Bad timing on his part (and he got hung up with work so it’s not like he planned to show up at the last minute) doesn’t excuse the CSR lying to him about the availability of a supervisor.

  49. nsv says:

    @AMetamorphosis: When I call my bank to find a branch that’s open, I don’t plan on getting into a heated exchange. I plan to find out if any branches are open.

    Just about every “heated exchange” I’ve gotten into has been a total surprise to me.

  50. ellastar says:

    @hillsrovey: More likely it’s just that particular branch. I’ve rushed into a WaMu branch near me with 5 minutes to spare before they closed and they were happy to help me out (and I think it was on a Friday at that!). But, they’re really good about helping out anyway.

    @Sir Winston Thriller: I needed a bank that was nationwide. I still kept my local bank account (not a credit union though) because I didn’t want to buy new checks and that’s where my direct deposit goes, but I also needed a savings/checking account that I could access when I moved across the state. Since there’s a BofA in my hometown as well as where I moved, I decided to bank with them. I only really use the savings account, and the checking account is useful for transferring money when I pay my credit cards.

  51. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    What’s the problem again?

    @savvy999: The CSR was rude and then lied about the availability of the supervisor.

  52. dianabanana says:

    Mmm, yeah, they might not have been able to help him out by raising the ATM limit but there’s was absolutely no reason for the CSR to be rude, or lie about the supervisor thing. Not sure why people are nitpicking on the OP, since he wasn’t complaining about WaMu being closed at 5:55, he was more upset about the CSR being rude and lying.

  53. camille_javal says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Yeah, I think a lot of people are missing the point – if he’d called WaMu’s customer service and they hadn’t been able to do dick for him – no branch open for 300 miles, no raising the ATM limit – I imagine he would have been able to deal with it a bit better had they been gracious, maybe said they were sorry they couldn’t do anything, maybe, hell, even have made any one of the suggestions mentioned on here.

    I have had situations where a company ended up being unable to help me out of some sort of jam, whether of my own making or some kind of mutual crossed-wires situation, but where the individual CSR’s attitude made it a lot easier to sort through to a solution. Hell, Aetna’s customer service made me feel better about months of getting the run-around because no one knew the answer to my question, just because I could tell people were at least trying, and being nice about it.

    (on the landlord thing – I used to live in a duplex where the landlord lived in the other half, and we had to pay our rent in cash. I don’t even remember if he gave us a receipt – I don’t doubt that he was using his Wall Street skills to avoid reporting how much he was getting for the apartment. Ah, New Jersey.)

  54. MercuryPDX says:

    @hillsrovey: All too common. They need to close out the drawers. I say if they close at 6:00, and you’re not in by 5:30 you’re SOL.

    I’ve been a customer of WaMu for about 10 years now, an up until recently have not had any major CSR issues. When I do it always involves the “we run debits before credits, sorry you lose” type of argument.

    When I feel as if I’m about to lose my cool (and after I lose it) I repeat variations of the following every few minutes: “Listen, I’m very sorry it seems like I’m ‘taking it out on you’. I just want to apologize for my tone of voice because it’s all so very frustrating. I’m angry at the situation, not at you, and I hope you can understand. I know it’s not YOU personally making policy over there and I appreciate all the help you’re giving me. Please… if there’s anything you can do, or anyone you can transfer me to that can make X happen, I would be really grateful.”

    Sucks that it takes Ass-kissery to a new level, but sometimes it works. ;)

  55. MaliBoo Radley says:


    You know, you’re right. I guess it’s just hard to overlook such a stupid situation. But I suppose, no matter how stupid the person, CSR’s should be professional and pleasant.

    I still think the guy should have used his noodle and gone to the ATM the next morning.

  56. Sick_N_Tired says:

    RE: Landlords/Property Managers…

    As a landlord in a “working-class” town…I learned a long, long time ago that rent is to be collected in CASH or bank check/USPS money order. And yes, I collect in-person from every unit.

    Checks bounce. Credit Cards can be stolen. But cash is cash forever and ever. Understanding that holding a lot of cash (I do not have a unit that is more than 700/m), so really, not a “lot” of cash) is not ideal I take bank checks or a USPS money order, which my building is less than 500 yards from the post office so it is a convenient walk.

    Yes it means its an extra $1 a month to the tenant but if you rent with me for 5 years, we are talking an extra $60 over that time. Insignificant.

    And yes, I issue a cash rec’t for all cash payments. I lose enough money on my rentals so no need to hide anything from Uncle Sam, I declare it all. So Sorry, not a shady landlord

    Then again, my rent policy is “First Saturday of the month” or “First Sunday of the month” depending on the town/building, and am very understanding if a tenant is WORKING out of town…I want my tenants to work…I do not want them home drinking all day which many many others seem to enjoy. So none of my peeples need to panic that the rent isnt there on time…unless they should be concerned. Is this the first time this guy was going to be late? Then the landlord needs to be understanding.

    NOT THAT THIS ABSOLVES WaMu!!! Definitely a d!ck move on their part.

  57. enki says:

    He should read up on landlord/tenant law. Most states have a grace period before the landlord can begin charging late fees. According to my landlord, in Florida it’s 5 days.

  58. kval07 says:

    I used to work for Bank of America. Not on purpose though-they bought out Lasalle Bank, which was my original employer. Most banks CANNOT change your ATM withdrawal limit. It’s not the situation where a customer service rep can’t do it, NO ONE can. One of the biggest reasons why is so you don’t get screwed. Say someone gets ahold of your debit card and knows your pin-with a limit, they can’t clear out your whole bank account (assuming you have more than the limit.) This also works for people held at gunpoint at an ATM. No matter how bad you want the money, there is only a certain amount that can be taken out.

    The OP should have gone back to the ATM early the next morning. After the bank cycles the accounts, the ATM limit is reset. He could have gone back and got the rest of his rent money.

  59. nsv says:

    @camille_javal: I just had trouble getting a prescription filled. The insurance company is slowing the process. The pharmacy tech could have just have been short with me (they were crowded,) or could even have been rude. Instead he apologized, even though it wasn’t his fault, and explained what the delay was and what I could do to help the process.

    I walked out of there mildly annoyed at the insurance company, but with a much elevated opinion of the pharmacy. You’re right: part of customer service is helping the customer, but part is treating the customer with respect even when you CAN’T help them.

  60. ophmarketing says:

    “We’re informal, friendly and fun. We take our customers’ money seriously, but not ourselves.”

    Seeing as how they’re about to go under, maybe they’ll want to rethink that whole “not taking them selves seriously” attitude next time they open a bank.

  61. reiyaku says:

    closed my account with WaMu, closed my account and my wifes account with BoA… will never EVER deal with these banks again… worse mistake i ever did. Not only that CSR are of no help, they charge you skeptical fees. THANK GOD i found USAA.

  62. mermaidshoes says:

    “I proceeded to inform her that if she called my office, looking for my Supervisor, I would find one that was there, and not one that was on vacation.”

    wellll, probably not after 6pm, unless your boss works kinda late…

  63. krom says:

    I decided to make from BofA to WaMu. One of the best decisions of my life. Or, so I thought.

    You poor bastard. You’ve been reading way too much of Consumerist, with its hard-on for beating on BoA. How could you have possibly known that WaMu sucks much harder?

    At least WaMu is getting a little well-deserved negative press here, but I believe Consumerist policy will require two BoA-bashing articles within 24 hours. So… if you have an under-researched, unfounded tale to tell about BoA… heck make one up if you must… go submit it so they can meet their quota.

  64. I’m switching from wamu this week, actually. I had a 9.99% interest rate when I signed up. I went on a business trip to El Salvador and called Wamu to tell them that because of the timing and lack of internet/telephon access where I was going I wouldn’t be able to make the payment on time, but would do so as soon as I returned (two days after the payment date.) The CSR said that because I called there would be no penalties involved. I thanked him and went about my business. I call a couple of months later to check my rate (I was thinking of switching t a 7.99% card, but Wamu had always given me such good survice that I wasn’t sure I wanted to) and it had been raised to 19.99%. The CSR agent says I violated Wamu’s TOS and that once an interest rate goes up it can never come down. I’ve always paid on time, over the minimum, payed off the ballance a couple times this year, and have an awesome credit score. I thanked the young lady for helping me decide to switch cards and hung up.

  65. KitanaOR says:

    My husband and I quit WaMu after they would put debits on the account before credits, no matter how many hours apart. As long as they were on the same day… Whatever got them their overdraft fee.

  66. synergy says:

    Why did he need cash to pay his rent? I thought everyone took checks. Heck, I’ve seen people comment here that they Paypal (or some other electronic transfer) their landlords their rent.

  67. SinisterMatt says:

    I would just say that you could probably talk to your landlord and work out a deal. Tell them that you had a problem where you couldn’t get the money, but you have it. They make work something out with you.


  68. RabbitDinner says:

    @Krustey: QFT. Every business I’ve ever been in starts closing up shop 5-10 minutes before closing. 5 minutes is way too close to complain. Most places I’ve been in start locking the doors.

    Find fault with the customer service. Unless the OP was abusive, snide remarks and outright lies are unacceptable.

    But I just have to wonder-what do some people expect? The OP got a surly CSR, what a surprise, but what exactly did WaMu do wrong?

  69. enigmaticslr says:

    Check WaMu’s stock don’t have to be a financial analyst that they might be the next IndyMac no one working there must be very happy that their job is most likely not going to be there for them in a few months. I got charged around 4 or 5 Overactivity fees a couple months ago and they weren’t willing to waive, I even left a message at the executive customer service and they never called me back… So I transferred $28,600 out of my WaMu account to my HSBC online savings (Which has unlimited transactions and 3.50% RATE!… so the whole savings transaction thing is bull crap and the law says the bank can do whatever they want to discourage it which in HSBC’s case is to encourage it!) So… assuming WaMus ROI is around 10% (possbily better depending on their business practices) on my deposit and 3.30 paid out to me they just lost around 2000$ for this year. WAMU has a good pitch and great marketing but at the end of the day customer service is all talk no show. I hope I helped trigger liquitiy issues and that they fail like IndyMac did.

  70. Prions says:

    LOL I get cussed out by angry customer and I don’t run to a blog.

    I don’t believe this guy was as “composed” as he said he was.

  71. StoneKitten says:

    @RabbitDinner: We’re not talking little Mom and Pop type shops rolling up their awnings 5 minutes early.

  72. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    when i moved from another state, my new apartment complex would only accept money orders from me for the first year. after i had been with them/in state for a year they accepted my personal checks. perhaps his landlord has a similar policy?

  73. camman68 says:

    @radleyas: Seriously? At the Convenience Store down the street, the “posted” hours are 6:00am to 10:00pm. Their employees are scheduled from 5:30am to 10:30pm. This means they are able to serve customers during their posted hours. This is a simple concept.

    If the bank wants to close at 5:30 or 5:45, they should let their customers know. If they say they are open until 6:00pm and I arrive before 6:00pm, I should be able to conduct my business. I should not be required to look for another branch, hunt down an ATM, wait until the next day, Jump through hoops, etc.

    I’m afraid to ask you this question – but what about all the signs that says “Deposits made after 2:00 pm will be processed the next business day”. Would you be upset if a deposit made at 1:45 wasn’t processed that day?

    If so, what’s the difference?

  74. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Read the comment code. Stick to helpful suggestions – telling the consumer to “shut the F up” is not helpful and not appropriate.

  75. idip says:

    When I worked at WaMu I had one customer threaten to enter a branch with a gun to retrieve his money.

    Mind you, he had a legal hold on his account so the bank could not legally release anything from that account.

    *shakes head*

    Needless to say, that’s when I ended the conversation and transferred to a manager who repeated the same information I gave him and ended up calling the bank to alert them to the potential security threat. Talk about scary.

  76. idip says:

    @Prions: I’ve taken calls of people cussing at me, yelling, screaming, behaving like children, threatening me! Telling me they would have my job.

    When I transfer to a manger they typically would be all happy and cheerful, nice and polite and would say, “Oh I just wanted to thank the previous banker he was so helpful”

    I would be like… mind boggled, ugh. I hate people now. So two faced.

  77. wilstanton says:

    Actually, closing early for a bank is kind of a big deal. Banks are insured (read: guaranteed) by the federal government. Part of that guarantee states that they will be open during posted business hours. Banks that close their doors during business hours usually only do so in an emergency (power failure, natural disaster, bank failure, robbery, etc.). Unless this was an emergency, closing early was a mistake that might get some supervisor fired.

  78. drew.thiesen says:

    OP here. Here is some follow up to the story that Consumerist was so gracious to post. I have been reading the comments, and would like to answer some question you all have had.

    1. My landlord doesn’t take checks. She has in the past when I have been out of the country. This was an exception, as I usually have my future payments ready for when I know I am going to be gone for an extended period of time.

    2. My complex does not take checks. One of the largest crimes in S. Florida is the passing of bad checks. A lot of people do it. There are VERY FEW places in S. Florida where you can actually use a check. The few places that do are: grocery stores, mechanics, etc.

    3. My landlord is amazing. I explained the situation to her, and she allowed me to bring my rent in the next day. It isn’t the point that I could have got more money out of the ATM the next morning. I ALWAYS pay my rent on time. Especially with being gone so often, I want to show that no matter where I am, I always pay my bills.

    4. Savy999 says “This is an entirely self-manufactured hissy fit.” If it was self-manufactured I would not have wrote in too Consumerist. Rather I would face the music, and deal with the consequences.


  79. AMetamorphosis says:


    Then really, what was the point of your story because I fail to see why you got so riled up over something so trivial?

  80. AMetamorphosis says:


    If you read my comment you would have seen I wrote ” Hang the F-up ” and did not tell him to ” shut the F up “

    Subtle distinction but one never-the-less.

  81. squishyalt says:

    If WaMu is harassing you with 3 or more calls per day, asking or insisting on your giving them a post-dated check via the phone like they did us, THESE ACTIONS ARE ILLEGAL and should be reported ASAP to the Office of Thrift and Supervision at 1-800-842-6929.

    They are the governing body that regulates WaMu and are very interested in harassing phone calls and other illegal actions taken by this sham of a financial institution.