Chase/WaMu Changeover Leads To Comical Levels Of Customer Inconvenience

Shawn was a faithful Washington Mutual customer, and by default is now a Chase customer. Sort of. He learned that the transition will take until September (September?!) and he can’t deposit personal checks in his account—even at a branch—without elaborate workarounds. What kind of bank is that?!

Oh, right. Chase.

I am a former WAMU customer that has been swept into the Chase empire. I still have my WAMU debit card. Did some freelance work last week and received a personal check for $200 that I attempted to deposit into my account, by way of a Chase ATM.

I put my card in, entered my pin and looked for the “Deposit” option. There was none. I tried canceling and entering my information again. No “Deposit”. I did the same thing with the other 3 ATMs there (I was at a Chase branch, after hours), same thing. No option to Deposit.

I drove to the next nearest Chase branch and repeated the process at their 3 ATMs. No option to Deposit.

The next day, Friday, I went into the branch and explained the situation to a teller. She said that was odd and had a look at my account. She explained to me that even though the transfer of account numbers was complete (from WAMU to Chase), and I could use my card to get money out of a machine, I can’t use the machine to put money INTO it. I would have to come into a branch to deposit checks until SEPTEMBER, when the acquisition is complete.

She mentioned, if I wanted to make my life easier, I could open a Chase account now, get a Chase card in 2 weeks, deposit money into that account via the ATM, then wait for it to clear, then transfer the funds to my original account. Yes, to make my life EASIER.

I told her No, I rarely have personal checks. My job is direct deposit. Can you please just deposit my check?

She said, sure. Then called over her manager.

Apparently, at the branch, she couldn’t even deposit the check into my account. (I had plenty of funds to cover it). But this is what they could do. They would cash the check, turn the $200 into a cashier check and send them both to their processing plant. When the personal check cleared, they would deposit the cashier check into my account. I asked the manager how long that would take, and he said it could take up to FIVE DAYS.

I still have the receipt from this tomfoolery and yet to see the funds in my account.

This is not convenient. Oh, Washington Mutual, how I miss you.

Look, I know that massive account changeovers are hard, and that this merger didn’t have a lot of planning behind it, but, seriously, not letting people deposit personal checks? They’re falling out of use, yes, but they’re still rather popular.

(Photo: hodgsons)