I have been a customer of USAA's for over 22 years and have always been thrilled with their service. I have used their insurance, banking and investment accounts and they have always taken care of me. However, this is not a story that speaks of praise for USAA and the treatment of their customers. On December 6th I was driving to work when a cement truck failed to stop before making a left turn and hit my truck. Like always USAA was quick to pick up the slack for the other insurance company while waiting on the police report to confirm the other drivers vault. They got me in a rental car while we waited for the determination on the fate of my truck and my lawyer cleared the red tape for my medical needs.
After just over a week I was notified that my truck was determined to be unrepairable and that settlement paperwork was waiting my review. Before I talk about the settlement it is best that I talk about the truck. I had a 2011 Ram 2500 mega cab with the Cummins motor. It took me about six months of searching to find this truck and I drove 11 hours round trip one weekend and 9 hours the next weekend to buy it. When I started looking again I did a nation wide search and there were less than 150 Dodge or Ram 2500 mega cabs ranging from 2006 to 2012, but I was only looking for a truck that was a 2011 or 2012 which was less than a quarter of that number. The highest price was $80,000 with the low of around $26,000 and the average between $40,000 and $45,000.
When I opened the settlement paperwork I was shocked to find that USAA was only offering just over $24,000. The 2 trucks that they used as a comparison was a 2011 and a 2012 2500 crew cab. When I explained to them that this isn't the same and their settlement offer would not make me whole again they seemed to get upset and said the offer would not change. When I got my lawyer involved they finally suggested that I send my own list of comparables. I sent them six, all mega cabs between 2011 and 2012. I got a note on my USAA app that said they would not use the 2012s because my truck was a 2011. When I explained that this couldn't be right because they used a 2012 in their comparables, they agreed and said they would send them all in for analysis.
At this point, I no longer have a rental vehicle because once USAA notifies you that your vehicle is a total loss, you only have 7 days and must turn the rental in or pay out of pocket. I can't afford to do that, especially with the time that I have missed from work. I have borrowed a vehicle but I went to go to an appointment this morning and the batteries are dead and need replaced. Desperate, I called my lawyer because I have heard nothing from USAA. She told me that USAA had looked at my comparables and refuses to offer any more. I can not get a hold of anyone to explain to me why this is the case. I have been told that there is a manager reviewing my case... a Mr. Troy Hudson, but I can't get him to answer his phone or call me back. Mr. Wayne Peacock, if by some chance you see this maybe you can explain to me why this is how your company treats loyal customers.
So... a couple of days after I made the original post, I was contacted by an USAA advocate. She explained to me that she was her to help me and asked if I would fill her in on the story. I explained it all to her and when I was finished, she seemed sympathetic to my situation, gave me her direct extension and told me that she would get ahold of the leadership. I replied “GOOD LUCK”, to which she assured me she would get it done and be back in touch with me within 7 days. Here it is 9 days later and still no response. I even tried calling her direct line and got no answer and received no call back after I left a message. The original call from her was on a Thursday and it is now Saturday of the next week. Some would say that she meant 7 working days. My response to that is twofold, one… I am without a vehicle so everyday counts and two… USAA is a 24/7 business, so every day is a workday. On top of all this, it has been about a month and a half since my truck was totaled, but you can be sure that USAA is still taking money for my truck payment and insurance premium!
It has now been 3 weeks since my initial post. I admit that I did receive a couple of phone calls from "advocates". One of those was after the second post that I made. The advocate told me that she would have a manager call me back that same day and to my utter surprise, one did. He intended to conference me in with the company that determines the values of our vehicles when they are determined to be a total loss. The call was disconnected once and he called back, when it was disconnected again, there was no return phone call. The case manager for my suit against the cement truck company that hit me offered to do a courtesy call for me to see if that would move things along. I was told I would be getting a call from Jeremy... Nothing. So she called again. Now I have a message on my claims message board saying they have great news, they have paid off the loan for my truck (they paid more than what I owe) and as soon as I sign and return the paperwork signing my truck over to them they will deposit the rest of the money into my account. Wait a minute... I never accepted the settlement that they sent me and they didn't send any notice of a new one! What, did some manager just hit the override and send the settlement through anyway? You know, I could have accepted this settlement if I was at fault for this accident, but it was the cement truck that didn't stop and hit me. Why should I end up worse off financially than when I started? Maybe I need to send my story out to everyone I know and have them post it on every social media platform that they are on and have them hashtag every veteran-owned and operated company that they know. Then I'll send it to the media and have someone post a YouTube video... there has to be something that I can do to make USAA take me seriously. SO TIRED!!!
Many people will sing praises for many things as long as they only see the superficiality, but sometimes when one is forced to look deeper, they discover a lot of ugliness. USAA has great ads, lots of customer service reps who tell you how dearly they appreciate your membership, and make endless claims about supporting service members and veterans. It's when there's a problem, when something goes wrong, that the true face of USAA is revealed, and we realize it's just another shady internet company that views it's members as necessary chumps, a needed means to make a handsome profit for a few elites: they certainly don't keep their privilege and wealth by offering you (and other nobodies!) fair compensation for your truck.