Well, that is a great question. We have called 5 or 6 times and received just as many different answers. First I was told it's a new system and it just needs to learn that your checks are good if you don't have the money in there to cover it. Next I was told by a different person that they have no idea. It didn't make sense to them either. My wife called a couple of times and got the same answer. Today I called and got a lady who was thoroughly confused. She went as far as to tell me that USAA was trying to protect me in case the employer did not pay the check for some reason. In the same conversation I was told they have to protect themselves around the holidays because there are a lot of people committing fraud. Keep in mind my wife and I have been members for a long time and the entire time she has been depositing her paycheck from the same employer and not once have we ever had a hold put on a check. Yet in the past thirty either my wife's office has become suspect or we have. Crazy. I can't imagine how this can be acceptable business practices but apparently USAA no longer cares. It's all about the money now. I think the commercials have gone to their head. I'm sorry to hear your son experienced problems as well.
I would be very interested to know if (six months down the road) it does turn out to be problems with the employer experiencing cash flow difficulties. That was my first thought when I read your post.