I have 2 wamu visa cards. I carry about $7K on one card and $0 on the other. The $7K card is my small business card and I used to (construction business) pay it off or way down every month. However, for the last 6 months or so I have just made sure to send more than the min. payment due. Never late and I have about a 700 credit score. I pull my credit report twice a year and have a 300K+ mortgage, 2 visas, an atv loan (revolving), and 1 vehicle loan. I have NEVER been late on a single payment for ANY of my creditors. I also paid off the ATV and vehicle loan this year as well.
When I received my Nov, 2008 statement it stated that my fixed rate of 8.9% was going to go to 17.99% or prime +12.99% or whichever is greater. This would be effective Jan 1, 2009. If I didn't like it I could opt out and close the account and keep my current terms. Or I could write in and receive a letter of reason why my rates were going up. I, of course, called and requested the letter.
The letter was pretty generic stating that my rate increase was based on my increased credit risk because:
1. Number of consumer finance company accounts. 2. Maximum balance compared to limit over the past six billing cycles too high.
I immediately called them to discuss this because I am positive that the first reason is bogus. As for the second reason, well, I have a $7,500.00 limit and have carried a pretty high balance for over 6 months now.
The first foreign sounding person stated that it was just my teaser rate going up. I tried unsuccessfully to explain that it was a fixed rate card but to no avail. Very rude people at the help line. I then asked for the manager and was told that she would tell me the exact same thing. And true to her word, her boss told me the exact same thing. Basically, they were not going to help in any way shape or form and would not discuss the terms they are what they are she said.
I then called the corporate offices and got all the execs names and addresses. I wrote a letter explaining what had happened, how upset I was, and how much banking we (my family of 6) do at my local WAMU bank. I even told them I lost my shirt on their stock just like they did but that I had invested in the company's stock because I really liked the way they do business. I have 2 business accounts, a family account, and my wife and 4 children all have accounts there as well. I CC'd the letter the credit card services dept and to all the execs.
I received 2 of the letter back stating that they couldn't find my account (I think it has to do with the forced take over of wamu by chase) and one letter stating that they needed more info. I finally, several weeks later, received a call about my letter. I returned the call (very helpful person this time) only to find out that my file had been taken from her and "upgraded" to someone over her head. She gave me the persons name and number (Jolynne Blackwell 1-925-738-5500 ext 5438) Well I left 3 or 4 messages for her and never even got a return phone call.
About 2 weeks later I received a letter from her and it stated that on behalf of all the execs I had written and card services, they wanted to remind me that it was their choice and at their discretion to change the terms of my card and thank you for writing in and they have closed my account because obviously I wanted to opt out (I told them that in my letter that if they couldn't tell me a REAL reason for a rate increase or keep my current rate then close the account). They state that if I am unhappy with the number of consumer accounts showing on my credit report then I should contact the credit bureau not wamu. And that I have carried a high balance for too long. This is total bull crap and not a valid reason for raising my rate. And I know exactly what accounts are on my credit report, in fact I paid off 2 of the 5 loans this year!
I am transferring the bal to another card with a better rate next week. I am not going to give them the satisfaction of paying them any more interest! It is a shame that this customer service specialist that I was "upgraded" to couldn't even call me and discuss this. She had to hide behind a letter stating their bogus reasons. It is also a shame because the people in almost every wamu I have ever walked in to are super friendly and great people. I am moving all of my banking services to another bank soon. BEWARE WAMU CUSTOMERS!!!! Chase is poison for your banking!!!!
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