Occasional Contributor

I wish to express my disastisfaction with USAA. I'd send this to someone in charge, but they do a fine job of hiding themselves from us riff-raff.


On SUN 30 APR I was checking my accounts and saw that an automated withdrawal for $849.25 was made from my savings account on 25 APR. Though I have my account set to "urgently" notify me of any withdrawals from my savings account greater than $1—and I do receive such notifications regularly—I have yet to receive one about this transaction.


I called today, MON 01 MAY, and spoke with a representative who said I would have to fill out paperwork in order to get my money back. That is beyond the pale. He said he couldn't submit the form for me, because he didn't have the "private information" it required. That was a bald-faced lie. The form wanted no more than my membership and savings account numbers, which he clearly had on hand. Furthermore, he said he would put the required form in My Documents, but it never appeared. I had to call again, and another CSR quickly walked me through downloading the required PDF.


USAA makes us jump through hoops to prove who we are, whether we log on or call in, yet they allow the Automated Clearing House to just take money out of our accounts whenever they want, without authorization, and without telling us about it. Then when we discover the error, USAA does nothing about it, and we have to fill out the paperwork and hope they approve our humble request to have the money returned—the money that USAA allowed to be stolen from us right under their nose. And will I be compensated for lost interest? I would bet those lost pennies that I will not.


When I started with USAA, I was actually proud to have their logo on my credit card. After 32 years, though, I just feel like I'm putting up with them. They used to behave like an extension of the military, but now they seem no better than any other bank.


OCC_GOV, I can understand your frustration with the automated withdrawal from your account. We'd like an opportunity to look into this situation further. I've escalated your concerns and someone will reach out to you once reviewed. Thank you! -Cynthia 

Thank you.


I never did receive anything in My Documents from the first CSR. He was a nice guy, but useless.


I sent the filled-in form back using Send Documents, but of course, I received no confirmation number, no confirmation email, and there is no way to check to see if the document I sent actually exists anywhere in your system. Is that functionality hidden somewhere in your web labyrinth?


And I did not receive a notification about your reply, even though I have notifications for replies turned on in my profile. Let your I.T. wizards look into that one.


USAA is relying so much on this web portal system, yet it is fraught with inadequacies. I shudder at the thought of ever having to deal with USAA should I ever have to make a house or car insurance claim. And after decades I'm finally seeing why conductng banking and insurance business should be done locally.


OCC_GOV, please be assured your concerns will be sent to the appropriate area for review. Thank you. - Rhonda

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the marked declination in service from USAA.  Like you, I was always proud, even grateful, to have access to such a first class, responsive financial institution; I can remember when it really was a priviledge to be a member - I've been one since way back in 1969, and my father before that..


For many of those early years, it was actually a pleasure to call and talk with a rep - they were highly knowledgeable, professional, and even better, knew how to, and did, talk personally - exhibiting true empathy - with you about whatever your concern was, as they sought and seemed to always find just the right solution to your problem.


Now, because of the wide disparity in quality among the CSRs, it's painful to have to make a call, not knowing who might answer among so many incompetents. And the irony is that today the need to call is greater than ever, with all the problems USAA has with its website (and other issues, eg., reps actually hanging up when they can't answer simple, relevant questions.  Incredible, but true.)


The worse part for me is with 48 years, it's almost like being stuck, with no recourse.  I used to give the asked-for feedback at the end of my calls, but now, why bother?  They just keep getting worse.


Sad.  Just sad. 



Pat1947, we appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your candid feedback. Your membership is important to us, and it's disappointing to see that you've had such negative experiences with us. I am sharing your comments and feedback with the appropriate area for further review. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any further assistance. Thank you.  -Meredith

Thank you for commiserating with me, Pat. At least there is one good thing that came out of USAA being so carelessly cavalier with my money: I found this member community chock full of people saddened by how far USAA has fallen. And it's so good to know that "Meredith" from USAA took your concerns to heart and is going to "share your comments and feedback with the appropriate areas for review." Certainly that form-letter reassurance must make up for the years of poor service you've experienced. It's like Meredith is one of the stewards on the Titanic and is rushing to tell the captain that yet another passenger saw ice bergs in the water.



I miss the old USAA, when you could actually contact the people in charge and get results. Now they hide behind their insufferable website and robotic CSRs spewing out whatever gibberish their computer tells them to say. Elected officials are doing the same thing nowadays, and it's frustrating. Those are politicians, though, so it's not too surprising. The USAA Chairman of the Board, on the other hand, is a retired general, and I find it appalling that he and his fellow executives hide from those they serve. It's a sad state of affairs.


OCC_GOV - I'm in the same boat now. Although the amount I am dealing with is MUCH smaller, I'm finding out the same thing. Mine was actually an ACH withdraw to pay someone else Kohl's bill. Simple enough solution right? WRONG. I've talked with two representatives and still do not have the document in my documents. I called Kohl's and they said they can't do anything. I have honestly never had a problem with USAA before. Every time I have called with an issue it was handled on the spot. Not this time. I was told I can't stop ACH withdraws from the account. So here is my situation. I can't get my money back from USAA or Kohl's and I can't stop this from happening again. I thought my bank was supposed to protect me and my money. Nope. I am actually kind of sick over this whole thing. My paycheck is due to be direct deposited tommorrow, I have bills to pay, and USAA can't protect my money. Guess who won't be sleeping tonight. Thanks USAA.

Hi adamspn, thank you for sharing information about your experience with the ACH withdrawals. A specialist is going to take a further look into this for you and will reach out as soon as possible. Thank you. -Marisa

Hi, adamspn. I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. The reps on here will tell you that they "realize how frustrating it can be, yada yada...", but unless they're also a USAA customer who's been screwed over, they don't realize anything.


I did get my money returned three days after I reported the issue. It's only a temporary fix, though, because it will take up to 45 days for the issue to be officially resolved. Thoroughly aggravating.


I had to fill out and sign a "Written Statement of Unauthorized Debit." Like you, I was told by a USAA rep that the form would be put in My Documents, but USAA couldn't manage to even get that right. If that's what you're experiencing, here's how you can download the form yourself:


  1. Log into your account and click "My Tools" on the top bar
  2. Under "Documents & Forms," click "Get Forms"
  3. Click on "Banking" in the left column, then "Checking and Savings"
  4. Click "Download PDF" next to "Request a Written Statement of Unauthorized Debit (ACH)

When I submitted the form, there was no confirmation that it was successfully sent. Hopefully you'll have a different experience. If not, call USAA. The CSR I spoke with was able to see the form and also tell if someone was working on the case. If the CSR you speak with can't do that, call again. USAA's CSRs are not created equal.


The  ACH Withdrawal system is a security hole that needs some serious attention. I use it to have monthly payments authomatically debited from my account, so it can be very useful, but I wouldn't mind if they required authorization from me every time I initially set up such a recurring withdrawal -- and then refused all non-authorized ACH withdrawals. As it is, anyone in the world can accidentally or purposefully enter USAA's routing number and your account number, and you'll be the one who has to discover the error and get it fixed. So stupid.


The ACH system is used by all banks, so USAA can't be blamed for that. Unfortunately, USAA makes it very clear it isn't their problem. The fact that I had to discover the problem, fill out a form myself and wait for my request to be approved by someone in the shadows is where USAA's self-proclaimed stellar reputation flushed down the toilet for me. They should have trusted me the moment I reported the charge and reversed it, no stupid questions asked.


I hope you get your problem with Kohls resolved quickly.