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  • Report: #91599

Complaint Review: Washington Mutual Bank

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 15, 2004
  • Updated: Fri, November 10, 2006

  • Reported By:Scottsdale Arizona
Washington Mutual Bank
4757 E. Greenway Rd. Suite 108 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-788-7000
  • Web:
  • Category: Banks

Washington Mutual Bank ripoff intentionally manipulating the order in which checks and ATM withdrawals are paid or returned NSF in order to collect the maximum amount in overdraft charges. Phoenix Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Daniel: get a life or stop doing PR for WAMU

*Consumer Comment: 6$ ATM fee for what? No deposit? No Withdraw?

*Consumer Comment: Unknown ATM fee?

*Consumer Comment: WAMU definately manipulates debits to your account.

*Consumer Suggestion: Keep better track of your finances, people.

*Consumer Comment: Of course Washington Mutual rips people off

*Consumer Comment: don't use debit cards

*Consumer Comment: WAMU-Overdraft charged long after

*Consumer Comment: Small Banks and Credit Unions

*UPDATE Employee: Debits before credits.

*Consumer Comment: WAMU IS HORRIBLE TO DEAL WITH.. Whatever happened to the good old days when banks and other businesses wanted customer goodwill?

*Consumer Comment: wamu rippoff

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: All Banking Practices are the Same

*Consumer Comment: Compass Bank does it too!

*Consumer Suggestion: Small banks the way to go!

*Consumer Suggestion: Small banks the way to go!

*Consumer Suggestion: Small banks the way to go!

*Consumer Suggestion: Small banks the way to go!

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The same thing is being done in Phoenix. I am guessing that my wife and I have paid $5,000.00 in overdraft charges within the last year to Washington Mutual. I really don't want to sit down and tally the total.

We haven't fought it due to the fact that nobody else seemed to have a problem with them. Partly because we both don't have award winning money management skills and I know it is a uphill battle. In my opinion, every bank is a ripoff in some shape or form. But, I see there are several others around the country with the same problem and probably many more who are too embarrassed to say so, and it is everyones duty to speak up. Sounds like a class action is in order.

Here's their primitive but lucrative game.

Example: If you have multiple checks or ATM withdrawals that post on any given day, they will juggle the order in which received so that it will yield the maximum number of NSF,s if your account is on the edge of negativity! Therefore,they maximize their profit from their charges for everything overdrawn. But..... they hold it to a maximum of $150.00 per day. Isn't that nice of them!

They clearly state this in their little handbook of rules. Blah! Blah! Blah! The question is if they are breaking the law. They have probably done their homework and are riding the fine line of the law. Bottom line, it is in your best interest to find another bank. Please count me in and/or contact me if others are interested in pursuing these clowns.

James
Scottsdale, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/15/2004 02:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Washington-Mutual-Bank/Phoenix-Arizona-85032/Washington-Mutual-Bank-ripoff-intentionally-manipulating-the-order-in-which-checks-and-ATM-91599. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 17Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Daniel: get a life or stop doing PR for WAMU

AUTHOR: S - (U.S.A.)

This is a consumer complaint site, so I can't see someone going to this site unless they want to make a complaint or work for the company and are trying to give a rebuttal. So, Daniel, either you need to get a life and stop defending some random bank for no reason, save you are bored, or you work for a PR company that represents Washingotn Mutual.

A friend of mine used to to do that so I know how it works. You intentionally find bad PR and defend against it. How else would you come about this site? I'm sure you didn't just say, "I wonder what people are saying about WAMU, even though I hold nothing against them and am so perfect with MY money management."

And from experience, I handle my money very well and do not spend more than I have, yet WAMU consistently changes the rules and policies to benefit themselves. For example I was told that if a deposit came through on the same day transactions did, no overdraft applies. So I made transactions and I deposited money for those transactions via a transfer on the same day. I was charged 4 fees ($108), and they posted the date for the transactions the day before, saying they went throught the evening before I even made the charges!

I showed them my receipts and called my attorney, a family friend, who "spoke" with them. But I bet a lot of people out there do not bother to protest such lies, fearing that some jerk like Daniel works at the bank and will tell them they do not know how to manage their $$$$$$... (p.s. WAMU was sued in a class action for this type of fraud: http://membrane.com/lawtomation/dmlaw/consumer_class_actions/Washington_Mutual_complaint.pdf#search='wamu%20bank%20overdraft%20line%20of%20credit')
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#2 Consumer Comment

6$ ATM fee for what? No deposit? No Withdraw?

AUTHOR: Armando - (U.S.A.)

Aside from the fact that EVERY ATM I have ever used CLEARLY tells me of an ATM surcharge and allows me to opt out If I don't wont to pay the surcharge, there is another question.

How does your account get charged a $6 ATM usage fee, yet you made no mention of making an ATM withdrawal or an ATM deposit from this account?

Now, regarding these checks of yours that were first paid, then reversed, then paid again.

Your bank account activity statement should then show these checks being paid, then reversed, then being paid again. All you need is a printout of this activity in bank statement and you are home free. You can show this to the police, the bank, the media, and you could clearly prove your case.

Why would you give up just because some CSR rep at your bank told you there is nothing they can do?
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#3 Consumer Comment

Unknown ATM fee?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Not likely.

There should have been a warning if the transaction would be charged a fee. There should also be a section in your account terms and conditions that spell out any fees you will incur at the ATM. So you were fully aware that there would be fees at the ATM and should have take those into account in you checking account register.
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#4 Consumer Comment

WAMU definately manipulates debits to your account.

AUTHOR: Marion - (U.S.A.)

Wamu absolutely manipulates your account in order to charge you the most nsf fees. I don't care what anyone says, they do this as common practice.

Here is an example:

June of 2005, I wrote 4 checks. Three of them for around 3.00-4.00. The fourth check was written for around 30.00. I had around 43.00 in the bank. The first 3 (which were written the day before the 4th check) cleared my account as far as I could tell online and on the phone. The next day I checked my account, and I was overdrawn almost 100.00. What happened was a fee was added to my account for atm usage....$6.00. The 30.00 check was cleared, and the other three checks were removed and then re-posted to my account resulting in (3)$27.00 charges plus the amount of the checks.

Now you tell my how that can happen? I could understand the 6.00 fee causing the 30.00 check to result in nsf, but to remove the three checks that had cleared and to post the 30.00 in order for them to gain maximum nsf penalties is crazy and it is highway robbery.

Also to those of you who think you are so perfect at your book keeping, I had no idea they were going to charge me the 6.00 fee for atm usage.........so, according to my records, I would have had enough money in the bank to cover my checks.

I called customer service and complained that I say the checks posted to my account, so How could it have been removed. They simply told me they could not help me............BULL****

I paid my account and opened an account with BOA. Which I am closing that one too because of complaints I have read on this site.

People, you are better off going to a credit union, or using cash..................

The banks want you to screw up.......where else would they get profits from.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Keep better track of your finances, people.

AUTHOR: Andrea - (U.S.A.)

I have had Washington Mutual for years now. My paycheck is direct-deposited for about $1100 twice a month. I use my debit card for daily purchases. I've written some checks. I've pulled money out of the ATM. I even use their online bill pay service for one of my bills.

In all of this time I have never once incurred a single overdraft fee or service charge. Why? because I take care of my finances and balance my checking account on a regular basis.

Here are some of my tricks:

1.) Keep balancing sheet with you. WAMU provides them in your checkbook, but I've found making your own out of lined paper works too.

2.) Keep all reciepts for debit purchases. If you tipped, write the amount you tipped on your copy as well. Every night, write the amounts seperately on your balancing sheet and subtract them from your balance. You may be surprised at how much money you actually spent that day and how much you have left to spend tomorrow!

3.) Check your account online or over the phone for all transactions and cross reference your own records. Stitch in amounts you may have missed. Highlight amounts on your sheet as they clear. This is your best protection against fraudelent charges which should be reported immediately!

4.) Do not spend money you dont have. Just because a transaction hasn't posted yet, or a check hasn't cleared, doesn't mean you can double spend that money, or count on a future deposit to cover you. This should be obvious but obviously it's not. My paycheck is directly deposited like clockwork, but I wont spend that money until I see it's posted.

The bank is there to hold your money for you, not baby sit it. If you have a hard time keeping track of what's going in and what's coming out, stick to carrying around all of your cash yourself and see how easy it is to stop spending when you dont have any more money. You'll soon realize the privelage of having a bank account.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Of course Washington Mutual rips people off

AUTHOR: Alissa - (U.S.A.)

I have had a similar experience with their overdraft system. Certain transactions seem to appear in an incorrect order when I check my account online.

This overdraft charge scheme was adopted by a lot of banks, it allows them to go after small income customers with this type of high interest loan. They are encouraging people to overdraw from their account so they will have to pay their fees. It's become a large source of banking profits and I think Washington Mutual is the worst at using it. And once you owe them money there's really not much you can do. I simply closed my account because of this and a hundred other issues I had with this bank.
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#7 Consumer Comment

don't use debit cards

AUTHOR: R - (U.S.A.)

First of all, at the POS, the money in the account is not withdrawn. It's authorized, just to make sure that you have enough money to cover the transaction. The bank then waits for the transaction from the merchant and they match it. If they don't get a transaction from the merchant within x days, they have to take the hold off of the funds. Then when the merchant finally does send in the transaction, it's officially taken out.

The bank does this for your protection, would you really want a POS transaction to be final?? What if it were wrong?

Too many people don't understand how debit and credit cards work. The POS transaction merely establishes the fact that you have the necessary funds to complete the transaction. The transaction is not complete until the merchant sends in the slip.

Debit cards are pretty worthless anyway. They're of no value to consumers. The only reason for their existence is to increase interchange. Credit cards are far better because they're less volatile, offer substantial protection against fraud and offer rewards to use them.


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#8 Consumer Comment

WAMU-Overdraft charged long after

AUTHOR: Shelly - (U.S.A.)

I agree with assesment of the original poster.

I have auto deposit of social security, I can't however change banks. WAMU has seen to that

I keep very diligent records of my account, but am always getting an overdraft fee ($27 per now) at any point in the month

What I found was this. I would call the 800# to review the account. One day the debit is taken out, and the account (I'm keeping track of) is fine. I go and pay a bill or retrieve money from an ATM (WAMUs of course, otherwise the fees on using a non WAMU machine are crazy!)

Then, usually 5-7 days (and NO, I know all about weekends) I am talking business days, the money will be (first debit above) taken out AGAIN, thus putting me in overdraft. This does not show up on a bank statement!

to Daniel above, is the 'Ipso facto' practice all the time of WAMU, or is this 'kiting' on WAMUs part???

We have tried talking to them. My friend went and closed his account, I went with him. His car was broken into, and checks taken (never leave checks in car, even a locked car) so he wanted to inform them, they were nice at first. The first check that the theives wrote, he owed money. So he went to close the account. He told them what happened, and they told him, basically-tough. So closing his account, he had to pay for the checks that were cashed, and for overdraft fees. When he found that out, he did get quite upset and the manager asked him 'are you threatening me?' No he was not threatening the manager! He was questioning the banks practices! Just recently he has got a collection agency on him for more checks he did not write! AFTER HE CLOSED THE ACCOUNT!

He got over it, he can afford to, I cannot.
I know have an account of Negative $68, and that should not have happened, not in my records.

It does seem that WAMU goes after the 'small finance' people. And the reason I cannot change banks is because they have reported me to a collection agency. Yippe. In other words, I can't afford WAMU, but they can afford me, they have made a lot of $$ from me.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Small Banks and Credit Unions

AUTHOR: Ken - (U.S.A.)

Daniel was way off base with his statement about small banks. I am in the financial software business, and I can assure you, that as a rule, the banking systems used by small banks (and credit unions) are much more sophisticated than those in the large banks. I would say that this is the reason they are better to deal with, rather than them having poor systems.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

Debits before credits.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

IT is clearly stated in the account disclosures booklet that the bank will process debits before credits every day. This is what you agreed to when you signed up. My recomendation is to not spend money you dont have yet, it is called kiting and is actually against the law.

On the plus side Washington Mutual allows you to bring your account back into the positive on the day you go negative without a fee. If you fail to bring your account back into the positive then the next business day you will be assesed the fee, Ipso Facto.
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#11 Consumer Comment

WAMU IS HORRIBLE TO DEAL WITH.. Whatever happened to the good old days when banks and other businesses wanted customer goodwill?

AUTHOR: Sherri - (U.S.A.)

Though they pretty much follow the industry standards in processing checks and other debits,we closed our accounts with them due to their ridiculous policy of holding deposits (including my husband's payroll check, drawn on WAMU!!!) for 2-9 business days. They didn't always do it, but at least a third of the time. Granted, they paid anything that came in during that time, but charged us $21 each time. They got worse when they raised our overdraft limit (we had a $2000 OD limit) and we finally got tired of their games and moved our accounts to Kaiperm and Bank of America.

Whatever happened to the good old days when banks and other businesses wanted customer goodwill? Now, it's "what can we screw you out of today"?
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#12 Consumer Comment

wamu rippoff

AUTHOR: Jonathan - (U.S.A.)

Daniel blah blah blah

you are full of it!! I am a customer of Washington mutual and noticed they do the same thing. I also have noticed deposits are the last to post, also hoping to create more exspensive overdrafts.
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#13 REBUTTAL Individual responds

All Banking Practices are the Same

AUTHOR: Dnaiel - (U.S.A.)

Washington Mutual is no different from any other banking institution. 99% of all checks are processed electronically from one bank to another and not via US Mail. The transfer takes place each morning and the first check to come in gets charged to your account, they do not pcik and choose. ATM cahrges are electronically subtracted from your account upon transaction, M-F 7:00AM to 3:00 PM. On weekends you will notice there is not a reduction of charges on your ATM card from Safeway or Walmart, etc. They disappear on Monday. Keep track of all your spending in your checkbook, this way you never pay NSF's. An ATM card is a Check card, just like righting a check, record it. Know how much you have. Credit Unions and small hometown Banks, just cannot afford all the electronic stuff, and process checks manually. No I do not work for a bank, just technology saavy
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#14 Consumer Comment

Compass Bank does it too!

AUTHOR: Jane - (U.S.A.)

Compass Bank in Arizona does the same thing. They lure one in with claims of free checking and no ATM fees anywhere. But the NSF fees are very high, and the hoopla one must endure to get ATM fees reversed is not worth it. But be sure, I will get those ATM fees reversed! I will not let them have any more money of mine!!!
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

Small banks the way to go!

AUTHOR: Kerrie - (U.S.A.)

I was once a customer of WAMU, BofA, and Bank 1. I left all these banks for the exact reason listed in your complaint.

I found banking at AZ state savings and credit union to be the best thing I ever did.
The only trade off was very slow service. standing in line at this bank is like some kind of chinese torture, but like I said worth it!
To these big banks you are only a number and a cash cow.

If I were you I would investigate small banks, where they are eager for your business and or credit unions. The one I mentioned has very reasonable fees and you can join very easily.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

Small banks the way to go!

AUTHOR: Kerrie - (U.S.A.)

I was once a customer of WAMU, BofA, and Bank 1. I left all these banks for the exact reason listed in your complaint.

I found banking at AZ state savings and credit union to be the best thing I ever did.
The only trade off was very slow service. standing in line at this bank is like some kind of chinese torture, but like I said worth it!
To these big banks you are only a number and a cash cow.

If I were you I would investigate small banks, where they are eager for your business and or credit unions. The one I mentioned has very reasonable fees and you can join very easily.
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

Small banks the way to go!

AUTHOR: Kerrie - (U.S.A.)

I was once a customer of WAMU, BofA, and Bank 1. I left all these banks for the exact reason listed in your complaint.

I found banking at AZ state savings and credit union to be the best thing I ever did.
The only trade off was very slow service. standing in line at this bank is like some kind of chinese torture, but like I said worth it!
To these big banks you are only a number and a cash cow.

If I were you I would investigate small banks, where they are eager for your business and or credit unions. The one I mentioned has very reasonable fees and you can join very easily.
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Small banks the way to go!

AUTHOR: Kerrie - (U.S.A.)

I was once a customer of WAMU, BofA, and Bank 1. I left all these banks for the exact reason listed in your complaint.

I found banking at AZ state savings and credit union to be the best thing I ever did.
The only trade off was very slow service. standing in line at this bank is like some kind of chinese torture, but like I said worth it!
To these big banks you are only a number and a cash cow.

If I were you I would investigate small banks, where they are eager for your business and or credit unions. The one I mentioned has very reasonable fees and you can join very easily.
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