WaMu Disconnected

by Dual Income No Kids on September 18, 2008 · 0 comments

I understand that we’ve received a lot of love from WaMu devotees. I used to be one of them. I’m originally from Oregon, where WaMu is loved and well regarded. I even hung on to my checking with them for several years after moving to Washington, DC. That love affair is long over.

It all started in New York City. James & I headed to the big apple to visit his big bro. We had been talking about starting our first joint account, but since I was still banking with WaMu – and there are no branches in DC – this was a bit difficult. I researched and saw that WaMu had branches in NYC and decided to open one while we were in town.

We should have known it was trouble to begin with. It took us nearly two hours to open a basic joint account – note that we had all the proper documentation and I already had an account with the bank. In the end we wasted our morning in the city and when we got back to DC nothing was sorted out.

Once we were back in DC, they needed all sorts of extra documentation to open the account. We had to notarize paperwork and it took us another two months of back and forth snail mail to get the account up and running. Once we finally had it up, it turned out that the New York Washington Mutual and the Oregon WaMu have NO capability of communicating with each other.

Thus in the end, after three months of hassle, we gave up. Given that it was so hard to open it, we couldn’t even close it again easily. I think if I’m right we must still have an account open in NYC.

After that debacle was over with we were fools to go with them for our home mortgage, after having already used them on our first investment place and having liked the agent.

For all the qualities that WaMu might have, if you don’t need them to work as a national bank, their mortgages are abysmal. Here are just some of the things we’ve had go wrong with them:

  • No customer service at all on the weekend.
  • Internet outages every Sunday morning – right when I want to be dealing with them.
  • Applying funds to the wrong account. Last year I had three separate checks that were sent in, each with a clearly marked comments section to apply funds to our second mortgage. They were all applied to the first mortgage, with the lower interest rate of course. In the end I had to do a Better Business Bureau complaint to get any action on it.
  • Mortgages & checking are also not compatible if from different states. This means that I have to have two separate logins on the same site to view my different accounts. Even though it is the same bank, they are totally disconnected.
  • They still haven’t figured out my name change. I successfully changed my name on my straggling WaMu bank accounts, but they refuse to change my name on my mortgage (even with the same documentation used to change my name on every other place on the planet). This means that WaMu has the same individual, with the same social security number, listed by two completely different names and they refuse to change it. In the end my mortgage actually still has my maiden name.

My call. They’ve lost whatever they had. I think they were once great as a regional bank, but taking it national was their mistake. You can’t have a national bank that is completely separate. It just doesn’t work. In my view, it was all down hill from there. The good old days of WaMu are long gone.


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