USAA has been sliding downhill for a long time. Now it appears it's picking up speed.
1. USAA's investment management services used to be the cheapest around. Then they sold everything off and their management fees increased to where I was paying 3 times more for an S&P 500 index fund than I could get with Vanguard. I moved all my accounts away from USAA.
2. USAA's insurance rates used to be among the best around. Then I changed states, USAA changed one of my policies over, assured me all coverages would stay the same, but they were wrong. A windshield claim resulted in a $500 deductible when it should have been a $50 deductible. USAA's response? Effectively, "Face it, you ****** up, you trusted us." Then USAA botched another claim, to my detriment. Before retirement, I worked for the nation's largest property and casualty insurer so I know how things are supposed to work. That's not what happened with USAA. Then their rates went through the roof and I'm saving thousands of dollars a year having taken my auto and home insurance elsewhere.
3. Customer service has absolutely tanked. Gone are the days when you would have a very brief wait for a representative. Now, it's 3 minutes, 8 minutes, 15 minutes. Twice, my wife was given the option to "save her place in line" and a rep would call her back when available. Both times, she did indeed get a call back - another robot voice telling her "we're unable to connect you with a rep right now, please call back later." I used to do call center technology. USAA can predict a year into the future exactly how long you will wait on hold at any given time of day. The predictions are astonishling accurate. The only variable occurs when there are natural disasters that throw things off. So when you're informed you have an eight minute wait, that's because USAA has made the decision that it's cheaper to force you to wait on hold than to provide enough reps to take the calls as they come in. They have calculated that some percentage of you will give up and drop off, hopefully to try to figure things out on the website where it doesn't cost USAA any money.
4. My last two examples - we had an "adjustment - purchases" amount come through. Neither my wife or I recognized it. I called the next day to ask what it was. The rep had no idea, said she would document it and I would get a call back within 7 days. After not hearing anything, on day 8 I called again and was informed the first rep didn't document anything so nothing had been done. I was told they would investigate, call me back within 7 days. After not hearing anything for another 8 days, I called again. This rep had no idea why no one had called me back but said to wait another 3 days and someone would call me. After waiting another 4 days, I called again. This time I was transferred to someone who actually knew what they were doing. All three of the first reps I spoke with came across as not knowing what they were doing - this was quite clear during our conversations. This escalated rep tracked things down for me, while I waited. My second example - I had a credit card transaction fail to go through, repeatedly. It turned out that the inn trying to run the card had my old address. After talking to USAA and the inn several times, the inn ran the card the next day and the charge went through. I then went to have my car serviced later that morning and my card was declined twice. I used another bank's card. On the way home, I called USAA to find out why my card was declined. The rep I spoke with seemed to have a bit of an attitude and she told me because I'd reported the card lost or stolen. I told her no, I had used the card that morning and neither I or my wife had reported it lost or stolen. She couldn't tell me who had reported it lost. Then she told me she was reactivating the card but she would send me a replacement just in case. She said I could use the card while waiting for the replacement card. I asked if it would cancel automatically when I activated the new card and she said yes. Then she tried to charge me to expedite the replacement card. I said no, this was USAA's mistake, not mine, and that I was asking for that fee to be waived and expedite the card to me. She said nothing. Finally, she said she was mailing the replacement card. I asked "Are you expediting the card to me?" She said yes. Then I had to ask "Are you waiving the fee?" She said yes. And to top it off, she was wrong about the old card still being good. I was embarrassed at another place of business trying to use the card. It was declined. I called USAA to find out how it had been reported lost or stolen and the rep said I'd receive a call back from someone. That never happened. Finally, on my escalated call on the other matter, the rep told me the card hadn't been reported lost or stolen and she had no idea why I was told that. The card was actually canceled because it was "damaged or unusable." That wasn't true either, and USAA cancelled the card without telling me.
You can't make this stuff up. What happened to this company? It used to be all about customer service. Now it's just one more company trying to minimize its costs to maximize its profits at the expense of providing reliable, solid customer service for its customers. Very, very sad. It irritates me every time I see USAA commercials. Save that money and spend it to fix your horrific customer service problems while you still have customers to service.
Super post, Stephen C.
USAA: This is not a routine gripe from a disgruntled customer. There are legions of us out here that feel the same way about where this company is headed. Wake up, before it's too late.
Member since 1984- I could share so many similar stories! Remember when USAA defined integrity and service? I recall telling friends who complained about their banks that not only was mine okay, it wonderful. The decline did begin before the current CEO, but it has certainly accelerated during his brief tenure, which seems to be largely concerned with "social justice" virtue signaling and making sure he's paid his $5 million a year. USAA is now, at best, is like a semi-legitimate on-line used autoparts store. Except for a few necessary accounts my wife and I have departed from USAA, with no regrets other than a sense of loss that such a fine, upstanding company had such a dramatic and self-inflicted downfall.
Annual meeting begins online in 5 minutes https://www.usaa.com/utils/redirecting?ApplicationID=AnnualMemberMeeting.
35 year member here. Have observed same death spiral in respect for and service to members since about 2010. Have contacted offices of the President and written to the Chairman multiple times beginning in 2012 to advise of problems with automated answering system, website mechanics and data, electronic downloads (Quicken), and deteriorating customer service. In October of 2020 USAA was fined an unprecedented in the industry $85 million by U.S. Department of Treasury in part for not fixing their handling of sensitive customer information and on balance for over 500 violations of the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act. Now they have spent $50 million of member money promoting a (diverse + inclusive = divisive) political agenda that is currently ripping our nation apart. That $135 million, if spent on claims adjusters, might have gotten one to my house earlier after the February ice storms, instead of me waiting a month with two holes in my roof. None of the current board members represents me or most of the USAA military demographic. They are Wall Street suits and retired general officers of the sort responsible for our military debacles in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We need a way to organize and throw them all out with a vote of no confidence, and vote in members who do represent us.
Cannot Agree More. I have pointed out specific failures by usaa over th past 15 years, and all they get is lip service. Oh, I may get a call from someone, but they never actually address the problem.
Now they've rearranged the website again. Way too confusing.
I've been a member about 45 years. Used to take pride in having usaa, now its shame.
I too have pulled almost everything out of usaa.
Will the last long term member of usaa turn out the lights when they leave?
This is very troubling to read, @Been there Done That. We definitely wouldn't want any member to feel this way about their USAA experience. Please, bear with me as I engage the appropriate area for further support on this. ~ Steven
I came here to post a similair comment and conversation. Customer service is horrible, they get aggressive when you ask them to answer specific questions and then transfer you off to another rep...That is if your lucky to get through the one hour wait times....Between customer service, random unknown increases in rates and poor claims coverage when you have an issue...I agree...USAA has slipped down hill and its not getting better. The only correclation I can make is to when USAA opened the door to various folks to join USAA thinking they would benefit when us the long time members pay the ultimate price through increased rates and horrible customer service with long wait times.
@James001, as a fellow member this is not good to read and your feedback is important to us which I am escalating for review. I do not have a specific time for our follow-up; however, we appreciate your patience waiting for our response. ~ Joseph
Many years back, the brass of a well known auction style marketplace site was said to have declared smaller, complainig customers as 'noise' they could do without. They were going to make changes and did not care what those customers said, how loudly or how often and that if they left, so much the better.
That's what I'm seeing here. The brass has a plan and none of us are importatnt enough to them to matter. The more we complain, the more they'd lke to see us go, so they get down to only those members who agree with their plan.
Hello @Stephen C, this is difficult to hear from a long-time member of 44 years. We aim to provide quality products and exceptional service to all of our members every time. Please know your concerns are taken seriously, I'm engaging the appropriate area to review your feedback further and reach out to address your concerns. -Paula
I appreciate that, but I just received word that I'm now about to hear from the seventh representative following up on this.
However, we all know that nothing is going to change as a result of these follow-ups. It appears that USAA is now solidly behind the idea of spending money on commercials to lure new customers in rather than spending that money on retaining skilled employees and paying for enough staffing to take phone calls without robots telling customers that "oops, forget what we said earlier, we can't call you back. So you'll have to call us, again, later."
I'm thinking few of your customers still enjoy the fantastic experiences you advertise constantly. USAA didn't used to have to advertise so maniacally. Word-of-mouth took care of customer growth. Now the advertising seems intended to counter the word-of-mouth, which is no longer good.