USAA Bank has been a nice company to bank with until recently. Their service policies have changed recently due to alleged increases in "fraud" activity. This includes accusing a long-time (20 yrs) USAA member that he is committing fraud on his own account. When it appears that the member is trying to get money out of the account in a manner that is similar to their definition of a "fraud" action, the following immediately happens:
1) ALL of the funds in the accounts are immediately frozen and,
2) Online access will be immediately revoked,
3) Checks continue to be cashed, but they will be returned with the reason: "Refer to Maker"
4) Returned check fees will add up
5) a fraud investigation will continue for about 3 weeks
6) the USAA member will not be able to access or move money from the account
7) the USAA member will be treated as a fraudster until the investigation is complete
8) the USAA member will not be included on any of the investigation--so no information will be known as to why any of the above is occurring,
9) Phone conversations with USAA will be limited to the fraud dept representatives which are restricted already by definition.
Note, there is no consideration given to the USAA account owner for which the fraud case is opened. The account owner is not notified that any funds have been placed in a freeze status. The account owner is not given any information on the duration of the investigation. The account owner is treated like he is complicit with the fraudulent activity.
After ~3 weeks, USAA will unlock the account because they discover it really was the USAA account holder just trying to retrieve his own money apparently in a "fraudulent" manner. No messages will be sent to the account owner regarding the change in status from "frozen" to "normal." Any billpay actions will have continued as normal and thus many late fees and return check fees will stack up with all vendors--USAA will not offer to reimburse any of these actions even though it was their own process that caused the issue.
When attempting to contact the manager or the manager's manager you will be told they are not available and will have to call you. The common message will be, "we are not able to help you until your account status is changed." So you will not know anything.
Your credit score will decrease because of the late payments accruing because you will not be able to pay your credit card, mortgage, electric, or food bills. This will lead to higher interest rates and inability to repay the credit cards.
A month later you have finally switched to a different bank to gain access to your next month's paycheck. When you are calling to USAA to close all the checking and savings and money market accounts they will tell you all the reasons why you shouldn't close the accounts and then tell you to call back another day and talk to a senior level service representative to close your accounts. By the time you call the USAA rep again you will have realized 4 other bills that weren't paid and 3 additional bills that were not paid because of a returned check or late because funds were frozen. By now you will have many $$$ accumulated in fees and your credit will be damaged as creditors are recording no-payment or late-payments on all your accounts.
Finally, when you get to talk to the USAA senior service representative he will tell you that your account was being investigated for fraud and apologizes for the inconvenience. When you start to vent all of your frustration regarding the lack of service he will tell you to continue to speak all of your frustration and let it out on him. At which time, you remind him that it was USAA policies and procedures that caused the failure in service and not, James, the senior service representative. The rep again will apologize for the inconvenience and tell you how the recent fraudsters are constantly changing tactics and are causing havoc in the banking industry and how that USAA *must* have strict fraud processes in place for your safety and your protection. He will say that all the banks are doing this. You will remind the senior representative that it was not simply inconvenient. You'll emphasize that it is was deliberate methodical stopping of banking services for an existing account holder. You'll remind him that it was a disruption in customer service, inability to access your funds for over 3 weeks, restricted access to all of your monthly, weekly, and daily bills/billers/addresses, and no visibility into the current status of payments. You'll reiterate that when USAA deliberately treated you as a malicious fraudster that the aggressive policy of USAA to treat account holders as enemies is not simply an inconvenience it is a violation of trust, it is the worst form of customer service, it is the most egregious activity that any bank could take against one of its account holders. Finally, the senior rep will apologize for the inconvenience and hope that you will have a good day. So you remind him again that you have moved your accounts to a different bank because the service is unacceptable, the customer has been treated as an enemy, and the banking services were all negligent. You remind him that it is not an inconvenience, rather, it is a deliberate malicious action toward a long-time USAA member. He says this call is being recorded and so the customer's perspective will be retained on file. At this point, the USAA representative will not be happy go lucky, respectful, or honoring, but will become terse, frustrated, and will look for an easy out. No refunds will be offered, no waiver of any fees, no reimbursements or considerations will be offered. Simply an apology.
At this point you hang up and are glad to have all your USAA banking accounts closed. You are glad that you switched to another bank that does offer customer service and banking service with transparency, honesty, and clarity.
I hope this helps someone so that they will not to have to experience what we went through last month. Thanks.
Product or Service Mentioned: Usaa Banking Service.
Reason of review: ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Monetary Loss: $8000.
Preferred solution: USAA acknowledge that it has bad banking services and policies and is losing customers because of it..
Location: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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