After a long time trying to find out how to provide feedback, file a complaint, or file a grievance, I guess this is the only way to get feedback back to USAA, by publicly discussing my personal matters...
I have been a member for 12 years. I left the military 3 years ago and have started a business since leaving. I have been the biggest proponent of USAA and told everyone I can about the great programs they offer and the great service. To this day, a majority of my experiences have been great. But something happened the other day that has just been bugging me and making feel very different about USAA. It makes me sad, honestly.
I have many products through USAA; accounts, loans, cars, insurance, etc. For 12 years I have made every single payment on time for every product I have ever had. In the last six months, my business has gone under. It has been a very tough time and we lost our home and had to move back in with our parents (my wife and my 3 kids). But these things happen and you do all you can to move forward. Throughout this time, I have still made sure to make all my payments and have received personal help from friends to ensure I pay my bills.
One of the services I have is a vehicle loan against a car I purchased for my company. The car is about $900 upside down and I am trying to sell it. Unfortunately, my company was in Redding, CA which just had the devastating fire burn down half the city and ruin a lot of lives and businesses, of which mine was partially impacted. I have been trying to sell the truck, but cannot sell it for the price I owe. Given a complete lack of finances headed into Christmas, I was late on a payment. One payment late by one month in 12 years. Apparently, personal situations and a long track record of being a great client mean little if you have to miss one payment one time.
I was trying to figure out my options and I found the number that said if you are having issues paying loans with USAA give us a call to discuss options. This number is different than the normal number so I assumed it was specifcally for people late on payments needing help. I was right, but in a very wrong way. When I called, the person verified my information and then said "I see you are late on your payment, but we are able to take payments over the phone, so would you like to pay now?" At that point I said "No, I am trying to figure out if I have any options about my loan" At this point, the woman read some pre-determined notice saying something like "Please know this request is a formal request of us trying to make claim to the money you owe and we will be recording this as such on your record".
I then discussed my problem and said I am doing all I can to make good on my debts and avod bankruptcy. She then said "I am sorry to hear that, but are you saying that you cannot pay in full right now because you can do it on the phone" (WHAT?!?) At this point she said if I wanted to discuss my options, she could transfer me to someone who could help me. Prior to transferring me she said "Okay so before I transfer you, I want to offer you one more time, are you sure you do not want to pay in full, are you saying you do not want to pay?" (Can you make someone feel lower??) She then transferred me to the wrong person, of course. When I got to the third person and told my story for the third time, the person was very helpful and we looked at refinancing options for my truck. I owe about $2k and can sell it for about $1k. Based on my extreme financial position at the moment, he was unable to refinance or roll the difference into a personal loan. At this point he, very kindly, said sorry sir, but you have no options. You have to make payments normally. How else can I help you?
I assumed I had no options, but a part of this story has honestly caused me to lose faith in USAA and I have already been telling friends, that I told before to use USAA, that I was wrong.
I am a disabled combat veteran in a hardship with a business. This is not a unique situation.
Here are the things that I would like to file a complaint/grievance/or just will tell my network about until I am blue in the face so they can avoid what I am going through.
If I had called the normal USAA number, I would have gone straight to the loan people and been told I was unable to qualify. Instead, I called the actual number that USAA says to call if you are in trouble. Instead of asking me my problems or talking to me like a person, I was asked THREE TIMES if I wanted to pay right now and basically read my rights as a debtor. It was like I was 12 months past due and calling a collections agency that was trying to ensure they covered themselves by reading me my rights. It made me feel very small and worthless. I have missed ONE PAYMENT by ONE MONTH in TWELVE YEARS. USAA is supposed to be there for veterans in the good and bad times. The bad times must not include a single late payment. I was just appaled and still feel really bad about myself from talking to my bank. I could have just hid and not mentioned anything and let the overdue notices come. Instead, I am an adult and called to figure out a solution. In doing so I was just badgered to pay, told I now have a formal notice of past payment on my record, and then told there was nothing they could do. For lack of a more appropriate way to say this, that just sucks, that is poor customer service and that shows that at the slightest hint of trouble, USAA is out of your corner and only care about collecting debts.
The next piece comes down to the result of my calls. I am talking about a $900 difference in what I owe and what I can sell the truck for. After 12 years and no previously missed payments, there is nothing USAA can do? They couldn't say what can you pay now and we will waive the late fee and give you some time? I ended up paying about half the bill because, once again, I am an adult and handle myself like an adult. USAA handles me like a criminal in this situation.
I guess the bottom line is apparently instead of helping out a veteran with a fairly insignificant amount of money USAA would rather treat me like I am in collections and not a human being.
I never thought I would leave USAA. I even have a close friend who is in the USAA commercials. Go veterans, go USAA and all of that. But, man, I am seriously thinking about leaving and bringing whoever I can with me. You can't put a number on the site for people that need help and them make them feel like trash when they call. EIther you stand by veterans through hardships or good times, or you do not. I can honestly say I have had SO MUCH more flexibility with my other lenders. They care about hardships, veterans, cities burning down, etc. They are working with me. I feel valued and heard in workign with them. To USAA, I feel like an offender without a defender.
I am not even asking for anything, I just feel like this is very sad and I have no where else to post it. Not a great look when I can't even get a service agent to find where I post feedback.
Just a bummer...
@Disheartened2018, I regret to hear of your experience, and I could certainly understand how it could be a trying situation. I've submitted your information to our team for review, and we'll follow up with you soon. Thank you. ~Holland
Understood. If anything could be done to help out that would be unexpected, but more than welcomed. More importantly, I am just hoping there are ways to help people like me feel more like a human being, compared to a criminal, for missing a payment. I don't feel this is the heart of USAA, but, man, compared to all my other lenders, this has been by far the worst customer interaction and the most guilt I have felt. I have bills in collections that are more accomadating than USAA has been. Which is just weird since, you know, the whole military and veterans thing.