As a member of USAA who has long encouraged other military members to join I'm bothered by what I've perceived as a change in the level of service offered by USAA over the past approximately two years. Simply, profit now comes before service. Am I the only one?
My analysis of past practice:
USAA has long valued the military and done a fantastic job of serving those of us active, retired, and other. By doing so USAA has employed a business model that relies on customers who are trustworthy and must, at least for those of us who are active, pay on time for services rendered or face disciplinary action. In addition, due to the stability of government paychecks, USAA has guaranteed large monthly deposits. This practice has allowed USAA to service unique clients in a unique way, by providing great customer service, low insurance rates, and correspondingly unique banking and investment products.
My current contention:
In the past approximately 2 years USAA has become a much more visible company. I can't watch an episode of TV, drive 3 miles on the highway, or navigate 3 websites without seeing a USAA advertisement for membership. Personally, I believe this practice has done very little positive for the company that was created in 1922. By changing the membership dynamics USAA has gone away from one of the critical tenants of its business model. This change has certainly brought about a larger base to work with, however it is an increasingly risky base. I do not contend that spreading risk across a larger base is a bad thing in itself, however with USAA it appears to be sending a fantastic company into uncharted and unwelcome waters--from a member's standpoint.
Specifically, the changes I've seen include poor communication from the company at large, investments, insurance and banking are all guilty, outrageous wait times when calling USAA (something that was rare to non-existent 2 to 3 years back), poor claims responses, and products that are less and less designed to serve the military customer. In this last instance I speak of an increase in insurance rates (although competitive they are by far no longer the cheapest available), lack of assistance to overseas members (no Credit Card without an International fee, offering insurance but not supporting it, etc), and various other aspects that are obvious to those of us serving actively.
A loss of focus on service and products to serve the member due to a greater focus on the bottom line by increasing the customer base via advertisements instead of via word of mouth.
General Robles, please bring back USAA to its basic tenants and strive to again support your military members first. Remember, we've counted on you and your company for years to help us and especially our families when we were not around--if you do not bring this organization back to this basic principle I am frightened to say that I believe you will lose a great deal of the customer base that makes USAA work, but most importantly destroy a company that I've been all too proud of the past 13 years.
I am having the same perception. USAA does not really care for the veterans, they want our monies, that all I have perceived from their sloppy and regretful service. USAA will get a big surpise when the number of members start to drop. Interesting, if you write something negative about USAA, the system prevents you from posting a comment which is a violation of the freedom of speech.
LJR, Thank you for your comment. If you feel as strongly about this as I do please feel free to pass this on to other USAA members; if you find it has traction please encourage them to write as well. To me, this would be the most effective way to affect change at a corporate level in USAA--I honestly still believe they will listen to their customer base if enough of us speak up. Best, DJS
I fully agree with the comments posted. Been a member since the late 1960s and recall a time when other insurance companies wouldn't even offer a quote once they learned I was a USAA member. The USAA of today is not moving in the right direction with all this advertising. Please stop the advertising. Now is the time for USAA to back off the National advertising and start placing those dollars into paying a decent return on CD and Savings accounts. Ref the comment on USAA credit card -- it is absurd that USAA charges foreign transaction fees when my wife and I travel outside the US.