WaMu now Chase – NOT impressed with customer service


So my bank Washington Mutual went bankrupt but Chase took it over so all is well in my world because I still have my money. I was happy with Washington Mutual and have been very happy with them for years. I have my business and personal bank accounts with them. I was sad to see them go bankrupt. I was impressed with the smooth transition from WaMu to Chase, basically everything stayed the same. Everything that is but one key thing – Customer Service!

Chase, the thing I liked about WaMu was their customer service. I was not happy to see my latest statement that had a $10 charge on it for making too many transfers online. Apparently I am only allowed to make 6 transfers online in a one month period. I can go to the branch or the ATM and make as many transfer as I like but if I want to do it online I am limited to six. What is up with that and why did nobody ever tell me this before? Or was it written on one of those tiny inserts that come with your statement that you need a magnifying glass and a lawyer to read it and understand what it says. Okay six does seem like enough transfers but last month I had a lot of things going on (plumbing emergency, flat tire, etc) and I have multiple accounts with you and I like/need to move my money around sometimes. Yesterday, I called customer service and got a representative who confirmed that yes I did get that charge and then started reading that legal babble to me confirming that yes the $10 was a correct charge. I told her I was not aware of this new rule and asked her if she could please waive the charge this time as a courtesy. She said, “No I can’t do that. It was not our mistake it was yours.” I then asked to speak to her supervisor who basically said the same thing. No apologies, no courtesy waive of the charge, nothing. I told them I was very disappointed in the way they were handling this and that I was going to consider looking for another bank. He then said “okay”. I said, so you are willing to lose a customer over $10, he said yes because it was not their mistake it was mine.

So this week I am going bank shopping. I’m sure in this economy most banks would be happy to have a new customer. I’m surprised that the new Chase/WaMu is not sorry to lose a customer.

If someone from WaMu/Chase were to waive the $10 fee and comment on my blog I might actually consider keeping my accounts there.

11/8/09 I’ve turned off the comments for this post because it’s been getting a ton of spam lately.

17 thoughts on “WaMu now Chase – NOT impressed with customer service

  1. Lanel

    Have you tried going in to your branch to discuss this? I have been a WaMu customer for years and have no problem with their customer service even after the change to Chase. However, I have never once called the customer service department 800# for any problems. I have a contact in my branch (her direct line, e-mail, etc.) and talk with her directly about any problems/questions that come up (which doesn’t happen often). I’m also on a first name basis with my branch manager. Between the two of them (and the rest of the tellers) I get amazing service. I’d say go to the branch and see what they can do there. A friend had a similar situation before Chase took over and the staff at the branch took care of everything for her.

    Just a thought. πŸ™‚

  2. Sally Kuhlman, Virtual Simplicity

    Thanks Lanel. You are right. I should give them a chance because I actually like the people who work in the branch. They are nice and helpful. Although I rarely see them anymore because I do most of my banking on line.

    I just think even though it was my mistake it would be good customer service to waive the charge just one time and then if I did it again fine I pay the charge.

    Anyway, here is their response to my email letting them know about my blog post and my concerns. I’m not feeling any love or human connection coming from this institution.

    RE: General Inquiry
    Ref. No: K5261653348FF2805

    Dear Sally Kuhlman:

    Thanks for contacting Washington Mutual!

    The Excess Activity fee of $10 will be assessed to your account because the account exceeded the number of transactions allowed. Your Statement Savings account may have six limited transactions within a statement cycle without penalty. Transactions performed at a financial center, through Bank-by-Mail, or at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) are unlimited transactions. All other transactions, including telephone
    transfers and online banking transfers, are limited transactions.

    You can find our policy regarding Limited Transaction Accounts in the
    Account Disclosures and Regulations Relating to Deposit Accounts and Other Services and Electronic Fund Transfer Agreement and Disclosures under the heading Limited Transaction Accounts. This brochure is given to all customers any time an account is opened. If youd like to request a new copy of this brochure, you may do so by sending a secure message, calling us toll-free at 800.788.7000, or visiting a Washington Mutual financial center.

    The Limited Transaction Account policy is as follows:

    If your account is identified as a Limited Transaction Account, the
    following limits apply, except as otherwise indicated.

    You may make unlimited transfers and withdrawals (payments directly to you) if made in person or by mail, messenger or Automated Teller Machine (ATM), if available with your account; otherwise, you may make a total of only six transfers or withdrawals (including, without limit,
    preauthorized, automatic or telephonic transfers or withdrawals, electronic banking transfers between your accounts with us, or transfers to an overdrawn checking account) per monthly cycle, no more than three
    of which may be by check, draft, point of sale or point of purchase
    debit or similar order, if available with your account.

    If you frequently exceed these limits, we may, at our option, convert your account to an account type not subject to these limits or close your account.

    Except for School Savings, Retirement Money Market Deposit, Retirement Settlement or Retirement Savings Accounts, if you exceed the transaction
    limit set forth above (or in the rules applicable to your account),
    during the monthly cycle period (or per month, if monthly statements are not provided), youll be charged an Excess Activity Fee per occurrence
    in the amount indicated in the Statement of Fees applicable to your account.

    We understand your right to choose the financial institution that best
    suits your banking needs. Washington Mutual would be privileged to retain you as a customer; however, we respect the fact that only you can make the decision that will best serve your banking needs. really? If you decide to take your business to another financial institution, we urge you to
    compare Washington Mutual’s Statement of Fees to that of the other financial institution prior to switching, to ensure you are making a decision that will better suit you.

    If there’s anything else, you may do one of the following:

    – Go to https://online.wamu.com/MessageInbox/SendMessage.aspx
    * Click “Log in,” then enter your User Name and Password and click the Login button.
    * Complete the form, including the action you’d like us to take and
    click the Send Message button. Once received, we generally reply
    within 24 hours confirming the actions we’ve taken.

    – Visit a Washington Mutual financial center.

    To find the financial center nearest you, please go to


    Swetha Peddy
    WaMu Customer Service

  3. Anonymous

    Just a thought…have you thought about switching your account type for issues that occasionally arise like the situation you were in that month? They have something called online savings that may be a better option?

  4. Sally Kuhlman, Virtual Simplicity

    anonymous – thanks for the suggestion. Surprised nobody at WaMu suggested it to me. I will have to ask about it. Still shopping around for my banking options.

  5. Anonymous

    I am sorry to hear your concern with your $10 activity fee. Your electronic transfers are limited to 6 a month due to Regulation E, or the Electronic Tranfer act. That regulation is set by the feds, and overseen by them. If Wamu refunded the fee to you for completing excessive eltronic transfers, then they would have to refund every other person with the amount of transfers you did. At that point, your bank would be in direct violation of REG E.

  6. Anonymous

    Actually- it would happen with any savings product and it is not a bank initiatied charge, it’s by the government. Reg. D is designed so consumers do not overuse their savings accounts like checking accounts. This policy was in effect prior to WaMu’s takeover by Chase. Also- when you do the online transfer on the bottom of the screen it warns you if you make more than 6 transfers you might get a fee. So- technically any bank across the US will charge you for this activity, just the amount of fee will vary by institution. Happy Banking.

  7. Rebecca Zwar

    Sally, that sucks. Sorry to hear that. I have banked with Chase since they were Bank One, can’t say I’m a huge fan, but I haven’t really been impressed with any other bank enough to move.

    In response to Anonymous above, I think the biggest issue is their lack of concern about a customer. If it is truly because it is a Federal regulation, then that could have at least been explained, with some care shown for their customer. But the branch manager saying “Okay” when you say you’ll think about switching banks is entirely the wrong attitude.

  8. Katrina

    Sorry, I’m late of responding to this, but I just have to give me two cents. The sad part about this is I left Chase to go to WAMU for just the reason you gave — service. It is a shame that this happen to WAMU but I hope it is for the best. I too have everything with WAMU, mortgate, credit cards, business and personal accounts. I just hope we don’t lose what matters to me CUSTOMER Service!

  9. Anonymous

    I just got the same letter in the mail. Here’s the kicker. I used to have a different type of Savings Acct with WAMU that was supposed to be unlimited online transactions including transfers.

    They whacked me with monthly fees after about 6 months and told me that those types of Savings Accounts are no longer “offered” and mine had been converted. If I want to avoid the fees and limits of online transfers, I would have to have a set amount transferred from my checking each month (min. $5) so I did.

    Now I’m getting this $10 thing. I guess they changed this “type” of account on me again without telling me. I hate this crap! Happens at every bank so good luck finding another one!

    Whenever I get set up in the best case scenario to avoid overdrafts, they change the rules and modify one word in that microscopic “disclosure” that they mail. Yes, I have compared them. They are the exact same wording with just one or two words changed. Like anyone will sit down and read that every month!

    Can’t even find these “limited transaction disclosures” online!!! Have to go get it from the branch – NICE. And our taxes just gave all the banks BILLIONS so they can screw us some more!

  10. Wamu's Guardian Angel

    Try setting up a direct deposit from your checking account to your savings account each month–I believe that will eliminate multiple transfer fees and can be done for really low amounts. πŸ™‚ WAMU won’t charge you for multiple transfers if you’ve set up this sort of transaction. Talk to your branch in person about this. πŸ˜€

  11. Anonymous

    It isn’t just the bank accounts, either. I had a Providian VISA, which became WAMU, and for years I got great service and excellent online support. I even got to keep an eye on my credit rating. Then comes Chase. First they announce the credit watch service goes away (unless you’d like to pay a fee, of course). Then, tonight, I tried to make two small donations online — I have PLENTY of room, more than 10x what I was trying to charge. The first transaction went thru, the 2nd was denied. While I sat on the phone for more than 30 minutes waiting for a customer service representative (I NEVER waited more than a few minutes for WAMU), I processed the donation using my Amex. I talked to a rep and her supervisor for another 27 minutes before somehow they cut me off while trying to transfer me to the fraud department. I think I’ll take the advice of folks on here and go to a branch — to pay off my card and cancel it. I don’t need this aggravation and Chase doesn’t deserve my business.

  12. snowdizx

    the reality is, Wamu is now Chase, they flat out REFUSED to refund a 12 dollar fee to me the other day, so I’m closing my account tomorrow…. B of A is a better bank anyway, and my friend who has an account there told me they will refund fees as long as it doesn’t happen all the time. Welcome to B of A, it’s really sad too because WaMu was a good bank, prior to Chase destroying it. Their customer service is horrendous now. –snowdizx

  13. actuallyreadsdisclosures

    you got charged for making to many transaction with a savings account… all banks are like this. wamu, had the same service charge long before chase. if you have a savings account, you cant transact on it to much. in reality wamu is actually more lenient. my bank of America accounts limit ATM transactions to. stop complaining because you never bothered to read the disclosure when you opened the account. which, was in regular print, not in fine print, go to your local wamu and ask them for a copy of your “Fees and frees”

  14. Sally_K, Virtual Simplicity

    Wow, I can’t believe this post is still getting comments. For the most part my blog is very positive. Only 2 times that I can remember I actually vented about companies and those 2 times are the 2 posts that get the most traffic and attention… I’m almost tempted to delete these. Wondering why the negative posts are attracting so much more attention and comments than my positive ones.

    For the record, I decided to stay with Wamu, now Chase. Yes I should have read the very, very fine print -that-requires-reading-glasses to know my limit of online transactions but they still could have waived the fee in honor of customer satisfaction since it was my first time making this mistake. Other than that I am for the most part happy with them.

    Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. Now let’s move on to some positive thinking and focus on the blog party happening this week!


  15. Anonymous

    I am sorry to hear you decided to stay. Recently the Wamu Credit Cards were transitioned to Chase. The site was down for seven days. When it came up I had two new fees on my account. One for not making a payment while the site was inaccessible and another because the first fee sent me over the limit after they added finance charges. I called two day in a row holding over 20 minutes each time to explain I was not able to pay because Chase changed my due date and sent the site down to accept payments or access the accounts in any way. Both times I was told I could not speak to a supervisor and one to a message for a return call. I am still waiting on that call. I went on the website and sent two emails. One was answered but the answer was not in response to MY question. Then I started getting calls from their collections department about my payment that was a week past due. Trying to transfer I was hung up on, no call back. I.Don’t. Like.Chase. They are too big and have too many customers so they don’t care how they treat people. I hate to leave since I had my Wamu account so long but I think I will give Capital One a try. Nothing could be worse than Chase. In less than one week I acquired more fees from them than in my entire banking life with Wamu, just sad.

  16. Sally_K, Virtual Simplicity

    Wow, Anonymous I’m sorry to hear about all your recent troubles with Wamu/Chase. Please come back and let us know how Capital One is for you.

    Wishing you luck in your new banking!

  17. Anonymous

    I have had nothing but problems since the changeover. I can't even process a transfer online and I still don't know why. Then I went into the branch to deposit my unemployment check and they told me that there is now a 24 hour hold on all non-chase deposits. What? Well that is what Wells and B of A do umm yeah that is why I don't bank with them. They did allow me to cash the check – I was tempted to turn around and deposit the cash into the account but there was a huge line because they now only have 2 people working on Saturdays. Time to start bank shopping – I hate switching banks.

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