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Occasional Contributor

We joined USAA in 1991 when we were in Puerto Rico. My insurance agency wouldn’t insure our car there, so we joined USAA and purchased car insurance with them. Towards the end of my tour, we ordered a new car from the on base overseas car buying program. In 10 minutes, I was able to call, get preapproved, and the fax sent was sent to the office that did the overseas car buying program. We were super impressed. Over time, we moved al our financial products over to USAA. The only thing I wasn’t that happy with was their investments, but we tried them out and also retained a financial advisor.

 

We both thought the service at USAA was consistently outstanding and we felt happy and fortunate to be USAA members. Over time their customer service started to fall. During the same time, they started to grow by changing the requirements to join USAA. While they grew incrementally, they grew too fast and they for the past several years they have been unable to deliver good quality customer service and it continues to get worse. Their customer service went from outstanding to terrible across all areas.

 

We have 4 insurance policies with them, a couple checking and savings accounts, a credit card account, and a money market fund. I am closing all the accounts and moving away from them. I closed 3 bank accounts today and it will probably take me 2 months before everything including the insurance policies are transitioned away to ensure a smooth transition.

 

If excellent service is important to you, read the other comments on the web. Everyone has different needs and price points so determine your needs are and what’s important to you. I can only speak for us, but that’s what our experience has been. I should have done this earlier – it would have saved a lot of time and frustration.

7 REPLIES

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Dear @Softail05

 

I am very sorry you have decided to leave USAA. We definitely don't want to lose you. I can understand your concern and we are here to help. Your feedback will be reviewed further. Thank you very much for taking the time to share. - Jesse 

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I agree with the soon-to-be ex member.  I have been trying to correct a misunderstanding on my Life Insurance policy Since mid. January.  As I said to my "Service Supervisor". and after almost two hours on the phone with 5 different people;  This Company has gotten too big.  My policy was taken out 50 years ago, no one is familiar with how it was set-up or how my payments were established with 'premium payments' against the monthly charges.  We 'oldies' are what you grew with, but I feel you have lost interest in us....we won't be around much longer, so you direct your attention to the newer members.  I too have five five accounts with USAA, but not for much longer.  Fifty plus years with this company.  Forty six years of military service between my husband, myself and our now retired son!               Jackie Hull

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Sorry to hear about your situation.  They have a couple issues:

 

1.  They've grown too fast

2.  Leadership and management are disconnected from day to day operations to understand the insanity of what the customers are experiencing

3.  Thye are placing front line customer service people in roles before they receive the required technical and customer service training they need so they can provide excellent customer service

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Hello @Softail05 and we are sorry to hear of this experience you had with us. I have located you in our system and will be forwarding your details to a subject matter for further review. ~Sarah 

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Here's an example of poor service - have dozens of others and have written letters to USAA with several specific other examples to share issues with them.  The leaders are completely disconnected from operations.

 

April 17th noonish I called to cancel 3 accounts:  a checking, a savings, and a money market account.  I'm on hold about 2 mintes - acceptable.  Then it takes about 24 minutes to cancel a checking account.  Then it takes a minute to cancel the savings account.  Then they transfer me to Victory Capital to close the money market - takes less thna 2 minutes.

 

Another example - maybe a year ago, I call to open a second checking acoount.  It takes 20 - 25 minutes, question after question about how we're going to use the account, how much money will flow thorugh the account, how many transfers were going to make and the amounts, etc..  I just called Navy Federal and said I want to open a second checking account, and a couple savings accounts.  No questions, and it takes the guy 1 - 2 minutes and he says "refresh your screen".  I refresh the screen and there the accounts are.  The entire transaction takes 2 - 3 minutes at most.

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Here's a couple letters I wrote USAA.  The other day when I called to cancel 4 insurance policies, the guy I was talking to asked why and I told him.  Then he could only cancel one policy so he transfers me to a lady (he spoke to her before the transfer) and she asks the same question.  I told her to call him back and ask - talk about a poor handoff.  Then I get an email from the President Office the other day about leaving.  Here's SOME of the letters I mailed them:

 

I had to write them (mailed the letters) 3 times before they made this change for me to increase the amount to transfer funds.  One of the customer service folks at USAA told me this is what I needed to write to get the change made. -

 

My address

July 21, 2018

Mbr. # XXXXXXX

 

USAA Federal Savings Bank

[removed sensitive data] McDermott Freeway

San Antonio, TX USA [removed sensitive data]-9876

 

This is a letter of instruction asking/directing to make changes to my accounts to increase the amount I can transfer back and forth electronically after I log into the USAA website.

 

Please change the amount that can be transferred from $5,000 to $7500. I expect to make large transfers very infrequently. We have $800 of automatic transfers that occur each month – so when I go to make a transfer- this “counts against me”. We have several accounts set up for these regular transfers – for example we have accounts for a home improvement fund, a vacation fund, a Christmas fund (for gifts), etc. and we do this, so we can track the balance in each account. The money market account at XXXXXXX XXX is our emergency fund.

 

I recently transferred $4,570 from our XXXXXXX XXX money market emergency fund to USAA checking and something changed and then we did not need those funds. When I went back to transfer it back from USAA savings to the XXXXXXX XXX account, I could not do it in one transfer because of the $800 in automatic transfers we have set up/scheduled.

 

Based on this information, please change the amount I can electronically transfer from $5,000 to $7,500 so I can transfer money BACK AND FORTH/BOTH WAYS to the highlighted account below:

 

Please write me back stating my request has been completed.

 

Also, please contact me with any questions.

 

Thank you.

 

Scott A. Haraty

 

PS – while I am writing I must mention something – feel free to forward this letter to others at USAA and feel free to review what business and accounts we’ve had/have with USAA.  

 

We originally started with USAA only to finance a new car when we were overseas. The service was so great, we switched most if not all our financial “stuff” over to them.

 

Over the years, the quality of the service has gone down substantially. When I call – I can clearly and accurately state or explain what I need in financial/USAA terms. Often, I am transferred several times, on hold a long time, and end up talking with people that know very little about what they do. It is very time consuming and frustrating.

 

I don’t know what your business model entails, but I am not the customer who shops the mark to save ¼ or ½ point on a mortgage. I am the customer who pays ¼ or ½ point more, because I know when I need something, or I call, the service will be outstanding, and it will easy for me to accomplish the transaction. I’ve also had a few people that were rude.

We use a fee only advisor now and I have come close a couple times to talking to them to move everything we have with USAA to either another company or companies this has been so frustrating.

 

I don’t know what happened, but I suspect you grew too fast, your team members are not well trained, and there are not easy to complete feedback systems in place, so management can monitor customer satisfaction – or some combination of the above.

 

I will share that when I called about this, the person who took care of me was fantastic. He:

  • Explained the reason for the issue
  • Suggested I write this letter of instruction
  • Then he asked me if I wanted him to make the transfer I tried to make unsuccerssfully for the past 3 days

This guy gets an A+ from me for the service, but this type of service is a rarity now for me with most of my calls.

 

I’m not asking you to do anything but am just sharing this with you, so you are aware.

 

Good luck.

 

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Another letter.  I had another issue with USAA after this issue below to get my soonroof replaced after a tractor trailer in front of me kicked up a rock and shattered it:

 

My address 

November 24, 2018

Mbr. # XXXXXXX

 

USAA Federal Savings Bank

[removed sensitive data] McDermott Freeway

San Antonio, TX USA [removed sensitive data]-9876

 

I am writing to share information about Safelite Glass with you and urge to contract with either a different glass company to partner with or to offer options besides Safelite Glass to your members for auto glass replacement/repairs.

I dealt with them a couple years ago through USAA and the experience was horrible. I believe I called to share that experience with you at the time it happened.  

 

Last time, I had to contact them multiple times for my windshield replacement – they were coming to my house. Then on the day of the replacement they called and said they couldn’t make it out to do the work and I had to reschedule. Rescheduling was a major hassle as well.

 

This time, we had a 9AM appointment on 11/24/18 (today). Because of all the issues previously, I called yesterday mid-day to verify the appointment and ask if the windshield had arrived. They stated the windshield was on backorder and it would be in on December 8th. They never called to let me know.

 

I have been very disappointed how the service from USAA has degraded over time. This includes when I call USAA directly and with the USAA partners.

 

We have had auto body work done at Abra Autobody several times over the years – another USAA partner. I refuse to go back there. Every time we’ve had work done there - there have been issues and the cars had to go back in the shop because the work was not properly completed the first time. I’ve contacted you about that as well by phone before.

We joined USAA because of the high-quality customer service. We may have paid a little more for things - but the quality was always outstanding. It is not like this anymore. If you get on the internet – you can read hundreds and hundreds maybe even thousands of complaints about your customer service and you see the same patterns – complaint after complaint.

 

 

Scott A. Haraty

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and here's another letter:

 

 

My address 

November 28, 2014

Mbr. # XXXXXXX

 

USAA Federal Savings Bank

[removed sensitive data] McDermott Freeway

San Antonio, TX USA [removed sensitive data]-9876

 

My wife and I have been USAA customers for 13 years. After joining in 1991, we were so impressed with our initial interaction with USAA, we moved all our financial products over to USAA except for our investments. For the first 10 – 15 years, the service was excellent and we were willing to pay a little more since their service was so outstanding. Then gradually over time, their customer service has been gradually degrading. Maybe this is due to them growing to fast, or maybe their target customer base has changed – we’re not sure.

 

For approximately the past 5 years, the changes we’ve noticed are: long hold times on the phone; often times being transferred on the phone multiple times for 1 question/issue and sometimes being cutoff; customer service reps who want to explain a lot of details and tell you a whole bunch of information before they listen so they understand your specific question/need; and speaking with 3 different people in the same area asking the exact same question and receiving 3 different answers.

 

Here’s two examples. Last January, I wanted a new car. XXXX’s process was far faster and easier, their customer service staff were better to deal with, and XXXXs rate was lower. I got the car and a few weeks later, someone drove by my parked unoccupied car and hit it, and took the mirror off while I was getting a haircut. The driver came in, told me what happened and gave me his insurance info. On the way home I called USAA and the customer service rep I spoke with gave me such a long explanation of the process, I couldn’t understand it – despite telling her to keep simple short and to the point. I had her transfer me to someone else and that person was just as bad. I called the guys insurance company and they said go get a written quote, fax or email it, and as long as the price is not exceedingly high, we’ll cut you a check. The next afternoon, I drove to the dealer, got a written estimate emailed to me while still at the dealer, emailed it to the guy at the other insurance company while still at the dealer, called the insurance guy, and he put a check in the mail that night just as I was driving away from the dealer. I called the dealer back on the way home and told them to order the part and I was back at the dealer in 3 days and had my new mirror installed and had already received the check in the mail. At the same time, USAA is calling back a few days later after the new mirror was installed asking do you still want us to file a claim for this?

 

Yesterday, I noticed online my annual renewal for my motorcycle insurance 2 months ago went up 22% - no accidents, tickets or other changes.   I use P who is a USAA partner since USAA does not insure motorcycles. I called XXXXXXXXXXX and they state it’s due to a statewide increase – the rates go up and down ever year. We also have umbrella insurance through USAA for our home, autos, and motorcycle.   So I do some research and looks like XXXXXXXXXXX customer service ratings are not good and XXXXX is very good. So I call XXXXX and they state the WI rates went up 9% two months ago and I get a quote from them for the same insurance and it’s 37% less. I call XXXXXXXXXXX back and tell them about the call the day before and WI rates went up 9%, not 22%, then they state my credit score dropped a little bit (still over the 90th percentile) due to some credit reports being pulled and that accounted for the other 13% increase. We have never paid one bill late, and I got a new car, refied the house and did a few other things triggering the credit report requests over the past year.

 

So I called USAA to inquire about the required minimum amounts on the bike to keep the umbrella policy and I am on hold for over 45 minutes, talk to 3 people, and get completely different answers. One person spent over 10 minutes reading the policy and still was not sure if I could switch to another company without losing the umbrella policy. I told her to transfer me to someone else who could answer this basic question – then I was back on hold for 10 minutes. The second person stated if I switch, USAA will drop the umbrella policy and the third person tells me if I switch, USAA could drop me. Then on the required coverage’s and minimum amounts to maintain the umbrella policy, I get three completely different answers as well.

 

So I called XXXXX and took out the new insurance and called XXXXXXXXXX and cancelled that policy. I spoke with 3 different people from XXXXX and they were all very knowledgeable and helpful. My next steps are to start researching other companies with excellent customer service and move all my USAA polices to other companies.

 

As a final comment, the customer service on the USAA home loan was terrible as was the experience trying to refinance with USAA twice in the last year. Since the car loan went so well with XXXX, I refied the house with XXXX, saved $450 a month, and we were very impressed with that service – so one less policy/account to move. Hope your experiences are better than ours.   

 

 

 

 

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So here's an update. May first, we moved all our bank accounts to another military associated bank, and we moved four insurance polices to another insurance agency.

 

I've contacted the new bank about five times for different things we needed.  You can call them 24 hours a day seven days a week and you only talk to one person and they take care of whatever you need on the spot.  No being transferred to anyone. All the customer service people are generalists and can answer all your questions and service you - whatever you need.  No being transferred and placed on hold multiple times with lots of compartmentalized and silo'ed specialists who only know and understand only their role and responsibility and have no ideas what others do in the company.  The folks at the new bank are trained extremely well, very helpful, and very customer focused - very different than USAA. I called to add some savings and checking accounts - took two minutes from start to finish.  She said hit refresh - there they were.  Also wanted to add a third person to a checking account - sent me the paperwork on the spot and easy to return to them.  I am so happy we changed, it is so much easier, faster, and much less frustrating.

 

We moved four insurance policies to another company.  Initially it cost about another $250 (5.5% increase), but it was a no brainer for us.  We got a new roof and that reduced our policy $318 - a win!.  So much easier to work and deal with and no bureaucracy to navigate through, no huge time wastes, and no hassles and frustration.  You hang up and say to yourself, that was quick and easy - they are great!

 

I learned through this experience that different insurance companies are seeking certain kinds of customers.  That's why your premiums vary with different companies.  We're not go for the lowest price people - we want and expect good service as well.  We don't mind paying more for good service since it saves time and frustration. 

 

For us, USAA started off (as stated in others posts above) as a great fit and remained that way for a while, but with the huge service degradation over time, we are no longer a fit at all - regardless of price.  If you are happy with them, by all means stay with them.  Do your homework though and read lots of other people's posts.  The lesson here for us is we should have switched a long time ago.  I put it off because of the amount of work it requires, but now that its done and we took the new companies out for a few test drives after all the research, we couldn't be happier.  If you want to switch, do it now - just do your research ahead of time!  Good luck.