I wanted to make people aware of my recent dealing with USAA Bank in regards to a car loan for my new 2018 Audi Q5. I’m sure it is probably too late for me, but perhaps if I share my story, others can benefit and take necessary safe guards.
On Friday, July 21st I had a 3:00 appointment with my local Audi Dealer to pay for the 2018 Q5 I ordered the week before. I had already been preapproved by USAA for a $45,000 loan several weeks prior, but when I went on the USAA website I had difficulty navigating the site, so I called for assistance from a USAA representative.
I told the USAA representative that I had been preapproved to purchase a 2017 Chevy Equinox at 2.49% APR, but I had changed my mind and was now going to purchase an Audi. The USAA representative initially told me I could get the same interest rate and began taking down pertinent information. At some point into the process the USAA representative told me “the system is now telling me your interest rate will be 3.49.” I told her that was OK because I had also been preapproved to finance the car through Audi USA for 2.99 APR and I would simply finance the car with them.
I was ready to hang up the phone with the USAA representative when she told me “could you please hold on for a moment” and I said sure. She put me on hold for a short amount of time and came back on the line to say “the system was telling her she could offer me a 72 month term at 2.49 APR after all providing I chose to have my payments automatically deducted from my bank account.” This was great news so I ageed to those terms.
As the USAA representative was setting up the loan, she had a lot of difficulty and the “short amount of time it was going to take” ended up taking her about another 20 minutes. I was online at the same time and she kept telling me “go ahead and approve the documents,” but the loan specifics on my end did not match what she was seeing on her end. I had to repeatedly refresh the page and at one point even signed off of my browser and resigned onto the USAA website. Finally the figures on my page matched what the USAA representative was telling me on her end and I clicked to approve the documents.
Because the process had taken so long, I had to call the dealer to tell him I would be late arriving. I left immediately and arrived at the Audi dealership at approximately 3:45. After checking out my new car to insure it was what I had ordered, I accessed the USAA website and clicked on “PAY THE DEALER.”
I thought everything was just fine until today, Monday morning I reviewed a document sent to me by USAA titled “USAA Addendum to Note.” I was stunned to read that the terms of my loan was for 75 months at a 3.49 APR! Thus began my odyssey to get USAA Bank to fix their electronic mishap.
I immediately called and spoke with a USAA Bank representative as soon as I discovered the mistake. The girl I spoke with told me “oh, I see why the terms of the loan changed, you changed your loan term from 72 months to 75 months.” I said, “why would I do that? All I know is I agreed to finance $44,269.00 for 72 months at a 2.49 APR. If these figures were changed, they were changed AFTER I electronically approved the loan. I DID NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES MYSELF… I would not have even known how to do this. Further, WHY would I have changed the loan and add three months on the terms and in exchange get a HIGHER interest rate? The whole reason I called USAA to begin with was to see if I could get a BETTER rate than 2.99 APR which I had ALREADY been approved for with Audi of America!”
The USAA representative replied “I’m sorry, there is nothing I can do. You signed for 3.49 APR for 75 months.”
I replied “no I certainly did NOT. I don’t know how my loan was changed after I gave electronic approval, but somehow it WAS changed, and USAA Bank needs to rewrite the loan and honor their verbal and initial online agreement with me.”
The USAA representative told me “I’m sorry, the loan has already been funded and nothing can be done.”
I asked to speak with a supervisor and she transferred me to Jonathan at the Resolution Center. I repeated my story to Jonathan and he told me “my loan was in process and once it funded he could refinance my loan, but since it was no longer a new car, he could not offer me the 2.49 APR and in fact, he wasn’t certain what interest rate I would qualify for.”
AGAIN, I repeated that an electronic error was made that I was NOT responsible for, that I had approved the loan based on what I saw on my screen and based upon what the USAA representative on Friday told me my terms were (which matched what was on the screen). Since I had no proof because everything was done electronically, I asked Jonathan to rationalize what had happened. WHY would I have changed from a 72 month loan to a 75 month loan if it increased my interest rate when the very reason I called USAA was to get a rate lower than 2.99 (Audi of America loan already pre-approved)? The answer… I DIDN”T!
So I asked Jonathan to please transfer me to a manager. Jonathan got off the line and after a while came back on and told me a manager would be returning my call shortly.
After waiting about an hour for the manger to return my call, I called USAA and asked for “the complaint” department. I ended up speaking with a very nice lady in the “insurance side” who listened to my story and told me she would find a manger on the “banking” side for me to speak with.
She eventually transferred me to “Lenny” whom I believed to be a manager, but after I repeated my story once again, I found out Lenny was not a manager, he was only a “resolution center” representative. Lenny said he would try and find a manger to speak with me, and after being placed on hold again, came back on the line to say “Since there is a manager call back already assigned to your case, they won’t get on the line with you. You will have to wait until a manager has time to call you back. The manger will return your call by 4:00.“
I told Lenny that I had been trying to resolve the issue for over two hours, and I felt it was inappropriate for USAA to expect me to be housebound for another 2 ½ hours waiting for a manger to return my call as I had already waited a good amount of time. Lenny told me he was sorry, but he could guarantee a manger would return my call “some time today.” I asked Lenny if this meant the manager might call me back AFTER 4 pm and he said “yes,” but he could guarantee someone would return my call today because it was company policy.
When (surprise) no one returned my call by 4pm, I called USAA Bank and was told by “Mitchell” that according to the notes he was looking at, I was scheduled to have a manger call me by 4pm TOMORROW! Mitchell told me to please hold and he would find a manager for me to speak with. After waiting about ten minutes, Jeremy came on the line and once again I explained my situation.
Jeremy told me "he believed my story completely" and he thought he could fix the problem and get me the 2.49 APR I was promised at 72 months. He came off and on the line with me over the course of about 35 minutes. In the end he came on the line and said he was sorry, but the best he could do was to refinance my loan with no interest rate guarantee. I told Jeremy this was unacceptable, and if USAA Bank could not honor their original agreement I was cancelling the loan. He again apologized and said he would cancel the loan.
Shortly after I hung up the phone with Jeremy, I received an email (after 6pm) stating I had a new insurance document. I must admit my mind immediately thought that Jeremy may had cancelled the insurance on my Audi Q5 so I called USAA to inquire. The representative told me "oh nothing to worry about, that document was actually meant to have been sent out to you on Saturday June 22." I asked the representative why the document was delayed and his response STUNNED ME! He replied, "I am sad to share that USAA suffered a huge fire in Nebraska on Friday afternoon where there was a significant loss of life, and the fire caused all kinds of problems with our electronic data collection."
This statement leads me to belive that the electronic mishap on my loan might very well of been caused by this unfortunate fire as well!
I’m 63 years old and have been with USAA since I was 16 years old. I have put my faith into USAA for 50 years and have always been glad I did. I am beyond dismayed, disappointed, and downright angry that USAA Bank has totally botched up my car loan and refuses to accept responsibility. If I didn’t know better, I would swear this was a “bait and switch” tactic from a used car dealer. Since USAA will not honor my original loan, I have to return the car to the Audi dealer this morning and redo my loan with Audia USA. I will have to pay a higher interest rate, and this debacle has already cost me HOURS of personal time and anguish. the car to Audi. I can’t believe I have been put in this position!
My advice is to be VERY CAREFUL when doing anything electronically with USAA. When you sign anything electronically with them, make sure you download a copy of what you signed RIGHT THEN AND THERE! I made the mistake of signing electronically and assumed everything was OK. After all, the form I signed electronically was CORRECT at the time, but I have NO WAY to prove this FACT now. BEWARE!
Know what you mean. Early this year, I was also looking at getting a loan through USAA to fund a new Mercedes or BMW after I went through their Car Buying Services to see what they had to offer. Little did I know that the price of the vehicle indicated by USAA was way off the dealer's price--dealer offered better options. Then I started reading of USAA's bait-and-switch tactics on this website and others--and that pretty much stopped me in my tracks. Ended up moving almost all my finances to another financial institution (one I've been with for 40yrs) and the offers started to role in from them. Have one on the table for 2.29% 4yrs. The local dealership was offering me 2.99% (36-72 mo). I've financed a couple of other cars through the dearships and always had good experiences. Sad to see that USAA isn't want it was back in in the 80s. You know what they say? All good things come to an end.
Thanks so much USAF_Retired for sharing your story. I am going to do my homework and find another banking institution that hopefully will appreciate my business.
Just to ease my frustration, I'm going to update my story periodically on this forum until my situation is completely resolved. Yes, that is correct, this saga continues:
Yesterday morning I went to the Audi dealer and financed my car through Audi USA at the promised 2.9 APR. It took minutes to complete the transaction and I even got my car washed for free while I waited. When I got home, I checked my USAA account and could not believe that my car loan popped up as being COMPLETED and ACTIVE!
I immediately called and after 15 minutes of being transferred to a variety of different departments, having to explain why I was calling each time and even one time being told "it's in the notes that a supervisor will call you back in the next 48 hours to try and assist you" (how polite and helpful of USAA is that LOL!), I finally reached "Jessica" in the Customer Resolution Center and was told my loan had funded the day before just shortly after noon. I reminded Jessica that I had spoken with a Manager in her department six hours after my loan had apparently funded and the manager told me he was cancelling the loan. I asked Jessica if it took her 30 seconds this morning to tell me when my loan had funded, why wasn't the Manager able to tell me this information the night before?
So folks, I now have TWO loans on the same car and guess whose responsibility it is to fix all of this... you guessed it, MINE! So the next couple of days I will be working to get Audi to send a big fat check back to USAA to pay off my loan. I have no idea if this is going to be a simple process or not and I wonder what USAA will do next to punish me for THEIR incompetence? The funny thing is USAA is running a promotion on their website now for a "2.49 APR on a new or used car" if you use their Car Buying Services. Yet no one at USAA could offer me the same deal to "refinance" my now "used Audi."
ALHS, Glad to see that you were able to find an alternative that worked for you. USAA should probably increase the font (for the fine print) on that questionable 2.49% offer they're trying to pitch--so customers don't get taken for the bait and switch tactic. LOL. Iget that check back to them quick. Bet they even charge you interest for not cashing it. Keep us posted. :-)
USAF_Ret, we strive to provide competitive and excellent products and services to your members. I regret to hear of your decision to move your finances else where. We are reviewing your situation and will reach out to you soon. - Janay
I am pleased to be able to update my post with a "happy ending." After writing this post as well as contacting the CEO's office via email, I was contacted by a USAA Representative from the Executive Office that provided the superlative Customer Service USAA has long been known for. Sarah Aveni contacted me and left a direct number where I could reach her. At last I would not have to spend an hour on the phone telling my story multiple times to each department I was transfered to!
By the time Sarah had reached out to me, she had already completed a full investigation that included listening to recorded conversations between myself and various representatives. I was vindicated of making any of the "mistakes" I had been accused of by several representatives leading to my car loan debacle. It turns out that the original representative that had helped me with my E-Loan, had unintentionally caused the problem due to missing out on a final step on her end when she finalized the loan. Because she failed to complete this step, my car loan had automatically reset itself to the orignial interest rate I had been quoted, and not the one the representative eventually promised me (and the one I electronically signed for).
Sarah apologized profusely, and offered to pay off my new loan with Audi (at 2.99 APR), and give me the loan with USAA I was promised (at 2.49 APR). I also was able to get my "gap insurance/total loss protection insuance" I had taken out with AUDI completely refunded (at a cost of nearly $600 compared to USAA's protection plan at less than half that cost). So in total, I will end up saving 100's of dollars so I am very happy with the outcome!
I am not so happy with all the time and trouble I was put through, but in the end, USAA came through and restored my trust and confidence. Thank you SO much Sarah!
ALHS, I am sorry to hear of your recent experience. I know that buying a car is a major decision and it is never our intention to complicate the process. I have shared your situation with a colleague who will review and reach out to you as soon as possible. - Janay