My father just caught me on the phone talking about going to the Eastern Shore with friends. He reminded me that it’s called the coast by fellow West Coasters. Another sign that I’ve converted to Eastern mentalities is my passionate dislike of Washington Mutual. I used to be a typical Oregonian who loved Washington Mutual. I could wax poetically about how fabulous the no fee ATMs were and how friendly the local teller was.
I moved to the East Coast and initially kept my WaMu account and stubbornly did not convert to any local banks. There were some down sides about not having a local bank, but frankly what was available wasn’t much better from what I could tell.
Now that I’ve recently converted to ING Electric Orange Checking I see how much better things can be. I enjoy great online banking, a real person picking up the phone, and best of all interest accruing every month.
After continuing to deal with irksome hassles with WaMu, including their mortgage departments, I feel the incessant need to rant and rave about all the things that suck about WaMu.
- Scheduled website outages that always fall on the weekend when I’m dealing with banking issues.
- No customer service access to a human on the weekends for their mortgages. I can’t tell you how awful this part is.
- State to state banking doesn’t communicate at all. In this case James & I tried to set up a bank joint bank account a couple of years ago when we started saving for our place. Since there aren’t any banks in DC we set up an account when we went to NYC for the weekend. It took us over an hour to set up an account, and once we did it took us another three months to get it set up fully, one big SNAFU. Once it was set up, it couldn’t communicate with the accounts that were set up in Oregon. Hassle is not even the word. (In retrospect I should have left WaMu at this time.)
- Mortgages and checking accounts can’t be seen on the same online banking platform. This means that you have to switch back and forth to deal with the same institution.
- To top it all off, I sent in three different letters to change my name after marriage and they still couldn’t get their act together. Even with copies of the legal document from the judge who finalized my name change and my new social security card they still wanted a bunch of notarized paper work. I didn’t even have to do that much to change my social! To top it off, the home loans department would change my name but the banking folks wanted me to jump more hoops. You know the answer to that: ING Orange Electric.
- To add insult to injury, I can’t even close my accounts since I don’t live near a WaMu. Plus we are stuck with WaMu on our mortgage since we won’t likely refinance any time soon.
I know it might not be that interesting to listen to me rant about WaMu, but keep these lessons in mind when demanding the most from your banking institutions. Find out when you are signing up for an account what their support services are like. Or just switch to ING…