We leased a new car on 8/31/16 and sold our older car that had a USAA loan/lien to the dealership. The dealership cut a check to USAA early the following week. On 9/8/16, the dealership informed me that my almost $14,000 check for the car was being held up with problems getting the title from USAA. On 9/9/16 I logged into the USAA site and saw that the loan was still active and had not been paid off. I called customer service and was told that they had not received payment yet. When they received payment, it would take another 30 days to issue the title to the dealership!!! I was transferred to an executive customer service department. I was told by that representative that GA does electronic titles and the title could be expedited and issued as soon as they confirmed payment.
On 9/12/16, I logged in and confirmed that the auto loan showed as paid off. I again called customer service and asked for an electronic title to be expedited. This person tells me that the "private party's check" posted on 9/9, but there is a hold on funds until 9/26/16 and then title would be issued. What? I point out that the dealership is a Fortune 500 company with over 80 dealerships and a MUCH bigger company than USAA, so I suspect their funds are good. She tells me that they hold funds "for our members protection" in case the check is bad. I point out that funds usually clear in 2 - 3 days, but she does not budge. Then she adds insult to injury by telling me that the title is in fact a paper title and they will send it to the dealership via USPS regular snail mail on the 26th. I asked to be transferred again to the executive customer service department. I got another representative who told me that I could get a cancelled check from the dealership showing proof of payment by 9/15/16 and they would release the title. Keep in mind I am asking a Fortune 500 company to produce a cancelled check to show that funds cleared USAA Bank!!! I then got a bunch of other excuses about why it takes so long to release title and why they send titles on donkeys across the US instead of sending by Fedex or Priority Mail with tracking. I then asked to speak to a manager, as every person I spoke with gave me a different answer and had no accountability. I was told that a manager would call me within 48 hours. Yep, still waiting on that call....
It is ridiculous that in 2016 this degree of antiquation and bureaucracy exists. Meanwhile, I will not receive my $14K in equity from the dealership for more than a month after selling the car due to USAA's funds hold policies and slow response times for titles. I doubt you could ever sell a car to a private party that has a title held at USAA. No one wants to wait 4 - 6 weeks for title. Geez, I could sell a car with a loan and get title back in 2 or 3 days in the 1980s.
I wish this was an isolated incident, but about 5 years ago we had another car loan with USAA and it took almost 6 months to get the title out of USAA after loan payoff. First they claimed that they could not locate the title. Then they "found it" and stupidly sent it by USPS regular mail and it was lost. I finally had to replace the title.
There seems to be lots of bureaucracy, antiquated procedures, lack of accountability, and just plain-out misinformation from USAA. I suppose if I call again tomorrow, I'll get a 5th story about what has happened.
Thank you for sharing your experience in the Community. This is definitely not the service experience we want for our members. I have escalated your concerns for further review. We look researching what occurred and an opportunity to prevent this from happening in the future.