What is so good about USAA?!? It feels awful and I have't even been accepted yet!

New Member
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36 Comments (36 New)

Am I missing something? A local investment banker  recommended USAA for variety of products I use so I decided to apply. It has been 45 days and still not finished. Constant emails and messages contradicting each other, requesting even more documents... A nightmare. Then I looked reasonably:

1. There is no dedicated person that can be my point of contact for banking, insurance, annuities, investments. Instead you have to deal with dozens of nameless people of unknown qualifications. Bad.

2. To get anyone on the phone it takes several minutes of ridiculous 'security checks' automated and verbal. They assume my time is worthless. Bad.

3. To log in is also complicated and time consuming. Bad.

4. There are no physical offices. ANYWHERE! Bad.

5. You cannot meet face to face for complicated products that take time to explain in person, like insurance and annuities. Bad.

6. People I spoke to so far don't seem overly helpful or competent. Bad.

7. There are no specific phone numbers and emails to communicate repetedly with a specific USAA person. Bad.

 

 I don't know how USAA would handle real problems like credit card disputes, insurance claims, lost ATM card overseas, loan documentation... but at this point I am highly sceptical. Compared to American Express, Fidelity and some banks I use, USAA customer service and efficiency seems subpar, to put it mildly.

 

What am I missing? What is good about USAA????

36 Comments
USAA Service
USAA Service

@Technocroat, I regret hearing how disappointed you are with USAA. Your comments are taken seriously and I'm engaging a subject matter expert to address your concerns. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts. -Paula

New Member

I would suggest you move on to another bank that respects you, your time and your money. I've experienced similar problems with representatives over the phone. 

Also I would suggest that anyone who reads this that is living paycheck to paycheck, run away and do not turn back. I'm telling from experience a bank like USAA is not made for you.


For example USAA closed my savings account because I don't have enough money.

 

I'll give you another example, I also have a Wels Fargo account. Let's say that WF account has $5.00, then Netflix charges me $15.00 putting my account at -$10.00. Netflix is paid and I can still enjoy my shows. Now my account will be in the negatives for about a week before I'm charged a fee, giving me the opportunity to make up those $10.00 and pull me out of the negatives.

 

Now let's take that same scenario but with USAA. So I have $5.00 in my account, Netflix attempts to charge me $15.00 but, Netflix gets no money. Fair enough right? But, wait USAA notices your account has "Insufficient Funds" and their was an attempt to charge your account so, USAA immediately  charges you an "Insufficient Funds Fee" of $29.00. So, now you're account is at -$24.00 and you have no Netflix.

 

But, it won't stop there. USAA will allow companies to keep attempting to charge your account if they didn't get the money the first time. I've had a company attempt to charge my account 6 different time for The same charge. That's $29.00 6 different times. That's $174 worth of fees going into USAA's pocket and out of my paycheck.

 

I understand these fees are a part of banking but, I wish USAA would just let me have a chance to fix my negative transactions. Or at least stop companies from making multiple attempts on the same charge.

USAA Service
USAA Service

This is a hard message to hear @SadVictim, as we never want our members to feel this way. Please be aware that we do not require a minimum balance on any account, however if the balance remains $0 for an extended period of time it may be closed for non-use. If you have specific questions, please initiate a secured chat by visiting USAA.com. I hope you have a better rest of your day. -Emily  

Contributor

I couldnt agree more. USAA acts as though they're services are so great that they do not have to compete with the rest of the market. Their insurance prices are outrageous. Their mortage rates are crazy. I also looked into their car buying services. I built a Yukon Denali XL with the items I wanted and USAA quoted me $94,000. I built the EXACT same vehicle on GMCs website and it come to $80,000. But USAA touts .05% off your interest rate if you purchase the vehicle through them. Ive got an 790+ credit score and can get lower rates from a local bank. What a joke!

 

Everything I mentioned above is why I did not finance my last home purchase through USAA. Why I stopped using USAA vehicle and property insurance. And I certainly won't pay $14,000 extra on a vehicle through USAA. Im actually waiting on them to start charging me to keep money in their banks so I can go elsewhere with my banking. The sad part of this all is when you tell one of their faceless sales advisers that you can get it cheaper elsewhere and provide a quote to prove it, they tell you they are the best in the market and dont have to be competitive and refuse to adjust their rates. What's worse? All these junior enlisted and newly commissioned officers think they're getting fantastic deals and know no better. It could really be chalked up to a scam. 

 

Just writing this has convinced me to move my banking somewhere else as soon as I'm home from Iraq. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@jdanielm1, We pride ourselves providing exceptional customer service and products. I regret that his hasn't been your experience. I've forwarded your information and will engage a subject matter expert. We will follow up with you. - Ben 

New Member

Don't just walk...RUN away from USAA.  They are awful.  I've been a member for 30 years.  In the early days, when they were a co-op of US military officers, USAA was a company par excellence.  They were the best at everything.  Best, least expensive insurance (one didn't even bother checking elsewhere because USAA was half what others would charge), best banking, ahead of their time with early websites and other features and services.  Over the years they have gone steadily downhill. This was accelerated when they allowed nearly anyone to join. Their insurance got more expensive as they covered increasingly risky members and everything else followed.  Now they are just incompetent and you can find betteer, less expensive insurance elsewhere. I have taken my insurance elsewhere and have been steadlily disentangling myself from their bank - difficult to do after having been intertwined for so long. But I will get there. I suggest everyone else does the same and we let this company die on the vine.

USAA Service
USAA Service

@ljhfkjgh, We appreciate your feedback. I am sending your feedback to the appropriate dept and I am also forwarding your concerns to a subject matter expert. Thank you for reaching out ~Tom

Occasional Contributor

Since they changed the "great things are coming" progam changes.  I have had to pay late charges etc because the new program does not do bill pay like before May 19, 2019.  Always before categorized bill pay when entered.  Now it doesn't.  Have had three IT NUMBERS for the problem, but does not answer me, and never corrects the bill pay categorized program.  Have been a member forover 50 years, and never have been treated as they treat me now.  Paid off a loan and now refuses to give me another loan at a lesser amount.  

 

 

USAA Service
USAA Service

Hello @Libby103. Thank you for your 50 plus year membership. I do understand your concerns and have forwarded your post to a subject matter expert for further review. -Colleen

New Member

USAA is comparable to Bank of America. They are both terrible. I haven't been this upset with a bank since I closed out my Bank of America account when I was 19 years old. I'm now 29. I am active duty military and I opted to join USAA because my grandfather talked about how great they were. I respectfully disagree with him. USAA is not the bank for me. I am  currently in the process of switching to Navy Federal. Just waiting for my last paycheck to clear so that I can pull the rest of my money out of my account. I cancelled both my car insurance and checking account. USAA will never receive business from me ever again. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@.......676, This is not the experience we want for you. I will forward your message to the appropriate area to review your concerns. ~ Lori C

New Member

Amen!

 

Finally I see others with the same experience I've consistently had with USAA for decades.  I drive myself crazy  trying to figure out why everyone loves USAA so much?  I've had nothing but disappointing experiences with USAA. I can't speak to their customer service because I've never had an opportunity to become an active customer since they either denied me or quoted rates so outrageous they made it clear they didn't want me as a customer.  First home purchase VA loan? Wish I could say their rates weren't competitive but I wasn't even given a rate because I was denied altogether even when a number of other banks approved me.  This is a guaranteed  loan by the Veterans Administration and a "military service" company wouldn't even offer a loan to a Vetetan!?  Car Insurance? I had a DUI on my record and they first denied me altogether when so many others accepted me.  I tried again a couple of years later and they quoted me over $2,000/mo!  Meanwhile, my insurance carrier was charging me $300/mo.  Home Owner's Insurance?  Wouldn't even  write my house. 

It's now been over 10 years since my DUI so I thought I'd give them another chance on the car insurance. I'm currently with Geico paying $179/mo for two cars and USAA quoted me $389/mo!  

Every time I hear people talk about how great USAA is and how they have the "best rates", I want to puke!  It's obvious USAA has brainwashed their customers into thinking it's not even worth looking elsewhere so they can keep overcharging naive customers.  Either that or they don't like me in particular for some reason.  
 

USAA Service
USAA Service

Hello @Finance_Guy, I'm sorry for the experience you've had when trying to obtain new quotes and for the disappointment in the rates you've been quoted. This is definitely not how we want you to feel about us and can understand your frustration. Based on the info you've provided, I'd like to have things reviewed further on your behalf. I've forwarded your message to the best team who will be reaching out to discuss more together. -Lori G

New Member

Couldn't agree more - way overhyped organization with the absolute WORST customer service I have ever dealt with in a bank.  I would trust a pseudo psychic who tells me to bury my life savings under a tree for 30 days before dealing with this horrid organization again.  To think I recommended this bank to my father who is a vet.  Should have seen the writing on the wall when they moved investment accounts to Schwab who now charges me fees when I invest in the USAA index funds through my retirement accounts.  Now I wouldn't deal with them if I was paid to.  

USAA Service
USAA Service

Dear @U*S*A*ABLOWS

 

I appreciate your feedback. I am sorry to hear you feel our service is the worst you have dealt with. We will take your feedback and log-it. Thank you for reaching out. - Jesse 

New Member

BTW - was a USAA member since 2011 and now I won't recommend this bank to ANYONE.  If you are a homeless vet who happens to get your government checks sent to this bank - well good luck with that because they will close them if you do not have a physical address.  They don't give two squats if it is the middle of a pandemic either.  I am not a vet but have been considered homeless since 4/24/2020.  I have been living in motorhomes and hotels since then until 9/6/2020 when I began moving into a new place in another state.  I haven't even had a chance to forward my mail yet so the 2 checks they sent my Friday after rejecting my auto-pay for my student loans, phones, etc. (and that I am not paying fees for the rejection) and also rejecting my paycheck from my employer will be at least 2-3 weeks down the road.  I am completely without funds until then to pay those items either.  

 

Notice sent 7/28/2020 to my email asking for me to verify my physical address.  Without a physical address I verified my mailing address.  Not a peep from this shady organization until today when I went to use my debit card for the first time in ages  at the grocery and was loudly told that my account was invalid.  Mind you - I had been in the account last week verifying my funds and no new or special notice other than the COVID-19 notice.  I call USAA and find out that they have mailed the checks and I am SOL but hey - I can send those checks right back and apply for a new account.  As if.  They couldn't pay me to do business with this organization again - no branches unless you are lucky enough to live in Phoenix or San Antonio (which I lived in both).  Then you get the pleasure of waiting in lines that can be an hour or more long while you are on your lunch break because you were dumb enough to bring in several hundred dollars in coins to be counted and instead of putting it directly in your account, they make you wait in line to submit a receipt to the teller THAT DAY or risk just losing the money.  Or sit in the drive through for 45 minutes in the middle of a heat wave because they won't allow you to deposit a check for more than $10K through the app or ATM. 

 

Good God - just find a local bank or credit union - don't deal with this nightmare of a "bank".  

USAA Service
USAA Service

@U*S*A*ABLOWS, this is disappointing to hear and I understand the seriousness of your concerns. I will certainly share your concern with the appropriate area for further review. We appreciate your membership and the opportunity to address your concerns. 

New Member

@USAA Social Service - whatever.  Since the deed is done and I apparently am no longer a member - it is ironic that you 'appreciate' my membership now.  

Occasional Contributor

Here's one: credit card had $3 on it, found out I had interest charges bringing to over $5. First time ever I mail in a check. So because USAA was too lazy or uninterested in doing something for customers and have a lookup by name/address, they sent it back. By the time they sent it back with a letter (due to slow mail now, which USAA knows), my bill was late. They cashed it but destroyed my credit rating for a late payment. $5 payment. What kind of evil does that? The evil that is USAA.

USAA Service
USAA Service

This certainly isn't the way we want you to feel, @nichollsvi. I've sent a request to a subject matter expert to look into this situation for you. Please know, they aren't in the office over the weekend, and will require sufficient time to complete and review the research needed. - Cathleen

Occasional Visitor

I have been treated poorly by USAA on many occasions. They have phone records of this and I would ask them to look over those conversations prior to their response. I have those same records and can/will make them public (18 USC 2511, all have been independently recorded by me) if needed to demonstrate this point. Over the last 5-6 years their practices have gotten worse. They say I have been a member for more than 20 years, yet it doesn't matter when I have an issue. I don't live pay check to pay check, and I do not keep any reasonable amount of money with USAA. I haven't for many years. They may choose to close an account and it will take a court order and an expensive lawyer to get it back, veteran friends of mine have had this happen. They threatened this to me in my most recent conversation which only further solidified this response here. Any transfer of my funds to this bank now gets diverted to my other banks ASAP. They can keep the 100-200 dollars I keep there just in case they change their practices.

 

I also don't have car or home insurance or our home mortgages with them. My spouse has her car insurance with them, I disagree and unfortunately I'm correct on this issue more than I am wrong. She remains devoted to this expensive and horrible bank. I choose to do business with other banks and insurance companies because of poor customer service and poor ability to address issues when they arrise. To be clear, THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THEIR VETERAN CUSTOMERS. It's a lie. Of my children, two of them do banking with mostly other banks though they still have USAA accounts. They follow my lead because they have been treated the same way. The other four are too young to care or bank.  I think USAA has taken this idea of being "The Bank for Military Veteransand their Families" too far. In my opinion it is very easy for a veteran to do better in banking and insurance than USAA. They commit fraud upon veterans and their families by claiming they are the best when they are pretty close to the worse in all veteran issues. Their recent changes to SCRA agreements supports this as well as many other recent policy changes.

 

Bank elsewhere if your smart. Bank with USAA if you like struggling with your bank, talking to a computer, stuggling to discuss an issue with someone who can address the issue, waiting on hold for more than 30-60 minutes to get to a supposedly competent but ultimately unhelpful person, getting threats with closure of accounts (yes, they do this to people with money as well), and aggregious increases in insurance rates for items declared not your fault. There are too many others to mention. 

 

Keep your money away from these false veteran heroes. Their only interest is to take more of your money and leave you with less.  Find another bank, most will treat you better. Finally, don't be led amiss by their flimsy false PR responses listed above. Read their messages closely and you will see it demonstrates the problem is with them, not the complainer.  

 

Incidently for the anticipated USAA flimsy response, I don't intend to reach out to you to fix mt complaints. It is clear you can't fix the main issues. I've reached out many times all only with a weak temporary fix. The problem is systemic within the bank and not fixable at the PR level. I've had too many bad experiences from you to fix this. Each time it is fixed and each time the same problem re-occurs.  The problem is that once the one issue is fixed, another one arises from the same issue. The same basic problem as the first one surfaces...Rude incompetent people and poor customer service. I'm sorry USAA, it is going to take awhile for you to fix such a caustic employee workforce in order to regain my trust. Lip service does not work for the average American. Other banks do a better job. Other banks have earned my trust and get my money. Bank elsewhere. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

Hello @Dr. Reinsvold and we are sorry to hear of this experience you had with us. I understand the seriousness of the situation. I have located your information and will engage a specialist to review the details. Thank you for speaking up today. ~Sarah 

Occasional Visitor

i just recieved a phone call (also recorded see 18 USC 2511 and Colorado statute 18-9 section 303 and 304 which provides the right) who said they will appoint a specialist to assist. They should review the phone calls which I separately recorded. I'm happy to release them if the response is not reasonable. It is clear on these previously recorded calls that their form of adequate customer service is different from the other banks I've been associated with. More importantly,... it is VERY different from what they did 20, 15, or even 10 years ago. I choose to keep my money elsewhere because of systemic issues with USAA. It's not personal. While once a great bank for veterans, this is not a good bank for veterans currently. Those with frontal lobe brain injuries, ALS, TBI, PTSD and other commonly encountered veteran brain injuries are at the greatest risk. I know, I'm a double board certified Neurologist and have seen this issue arise with USAA in many of my previously treated patients. These calls with me demonstrate that it is a systemic issue and not a personal issue between me and USAA.  This systemic issue is what makes me advise everyone to put your money elsewhere.

 

I look forward to being contacted about this, reviewing the phone call records (all of which have been and will continue to be independently recorded) with them. If there is any real change proposed and acted upon then I will appreciate that and I will post that here and elsewhere. It will come from me (an independent source) and not USAA trying to do damage control.  Until then, keep your many away from this bank. At this point there are much better banks for veterans and their families.  

 

R. Reinsvold, M.D. 

APBN Board Certified in Neurology and Neuromuscular Medicine

Now retired, but still advocating for my heros which are my veteran patients. 

"We can and must do better."

Occasional Visitor

USAA communication sucks!  The "Ask USSA" robo chat is worthless for every question I've had. Trying to find online help just runs you through an endless loop.  No real email address contacts, just automation irrelevent to what I'm trying to find out.  When I did call and get a person on the phone it's either a call center or people working from home I can't tell, but it seems their knowledge is also very limited because they're reading from a computer prompt.  I've given up on trying to get any solid answers.

USAA Service
USAA Service

@azredone, Thank you for reaching out with your concerns and feedback. This isn't what we ever like to hear or the experience that we want you to have. I am forwarding this post now to a subject matter expert. ~Tom

Regular Contributor

Today I felt like I got punched in the gut. I got a new quote for my 5 vehicles from another company that was 500 less every 6 months. I switched. Now I can only wonder about the prior years I overpaid with hard earned money that could have been saved for retirement, falsely thinking USAA would always be the same or lower, from being a member 30+ years. At some point this company lost its way, very sad.  Now re examining all my homeowners policies. Should of paid more attention, hope all of you will too. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

Hello @206driver, we are grateful for your 30+ years of membership and it's difficult to hear how let down you feel. I would like to have your concerns reviewed further, I'm providing your comments to the appropriate area for follow-up. -Paula

Occasional Visitor

I'm done!  USAA is a terrible bank.  98% of my questions are not answered by thier stupid online robo chat that sends me in endless loops.  Trying to get "Real" human help is very difficult.  I've been hung up on twice by associates that couldn't understand my questions so they just simply hang up.  They must be working from home I don't know but the help is awful!  I use an investment company called Acorns and apparently USAA doesn't work with their "Roundup" fuction.  Acorns claims USAA should work but I can't get through to a live person that knows anything about it.  I'm looking for another bank that has decent available help.  I've been through this way too many times to put up with it anymore. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@azredone, I am sorry to hear about your frustration with our service. Your feedback and concerns are important to us and will be forwarded to the appropriate team for review. Thank you. - Rhonda 

New Member

I have been a member since 2006. I am very disappointed that all these years I have spent thousands in overdraft fees and countless other charges for ridiculous fees. I am considering moving forward with another bank. I have been a loyal member for a very long time, but USAA is not the bank it use to be. They have held up checks for weeks and profited thousand upon thousands in over draft fees from just me. I am very curious how many others have been robbed by this scheme.   I am tired of being robbed of my hard earned money. 
SSgt USAF combat vet

USAA Service
USAA Service

Oh no @Defcon32, I do regret to hear that you feel this way. I was able to locate your profile and will engage the appropriate area for review. Should additional information be needed they may reach out to you. Thank you in advance for your patience. -Emily

Occasional Visitor

Sadly, your experience is not unique.

 

After 30+ years with USAA I had to file my first homeowner's claim following a hailstorm and have come to realize that USAA has become a company that will gladly take your money but will not be there for you when you need them.

 

Multiple neighbors on all sides of me have had full replacement of their roofs following the hailstorm.  Roofer came out and found / marked large areas of hail damage on my roof.  USAA sends someone from Allcat who, within 10 seconds of leaving his truck says, "no way you have haiul damage, your shutters would be dented if you did".  Even though we asked him to reschedule, that same adjuster came on a day when roof was soaking wet and was unwilling to accomodate alternate dates.  Adjuster wrote up his report stating there is $50 (fifty) dollars in hail damage and anything else is age related.

 

You cant really speak to anyone at USAA when you have problems with the claim.  I requested a 2nd opinion with a different adjuster.  That seemed like a reasonable request but is not so easy with USAA.  I do not get to deal with anyone fro USAA in trying to make this happen,  Instead, USAA forwards you  to someone from Allcat.  Still no answer on a re-evaluation.  The USAA claims portal lets you ask questions / provide additional info but none of my messages were replied to.

 

We, and one other USAA member in my development who had same Allcat adjuster come out, appear to be the only 2 out of 40+ homes whose claims have been denied following the hail storm.  All homes are the same age with the same builder and roofs.  Yet another neighbor (right next door) was approved for full replacement on Friday (our development has  a facebook group so info is shared).

 

I do not know where or when USAA jumped the shark. Perhaps it is due to their new civilian leadership and their extending services to almost anyone might have a distant relative who once served.  The real test of any insurer is what happens when you need them.  Thus far, USAA is failing miserably.  I am still giving them a chance to make things right.  If that does not happen we will be moving our home, auto and investments to a company who puts their customers ahead of profits.

 

Apparently, this is not isolated.  In my opinion, there may be good reason why USAA's Better Business Bureau rating dropped from A to F as shown here.  

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/watchdog/2020/07/09/what-happened-to-usaa-why-is-it-denying-some-sto...

 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@Amphicar, thank you for your 30 plus years with us.  I'm sorry this has been your experience with your homeowners claim.  I asked a business specialist to research your claim matter further along with following up with you.  They will be contacting you within 2 to 3 business days.  ~ Robert

Occasional Contributor

USAA WAS VERY GOOD UNTIL MAY 2019, when went to good things happening.  THE WORST IT DEPARTMENT EVER SINCE THEN.   I  HAVE BEEN WITH USAA FOR OVER 50 YEARS.  THE RECENT IT DEPARTMENT CHANGES MADE ARE AWFUL.  NEED TO GO BACK TO THE PROGRAM AS IT WAS BEFORE MAY 2019.  AT THIS TIME I CANNOT AFFORD TO CHANGE MY ACCOUNT. 

USAA Service
USAA Service

@Libby103, Thank you for taking the time to voice your concern regarding our IT Department. I've share your comments to our team. - Ben 

Contributor

I have been with USAA for quite a while, but in October of 2017 was involved in an accident where a 16yo driver on a learners permit pulled out into traffic from the side of the road and hit me.  I was given a citation because the officer said I didn't give the young driver enough space to reenter traffic, which was as silly as it sounds.  This was my first infraction ever under USAA and they immediately doubled my 6 month auto rate from $300 to over $600.  My car suffered some damage and had to pay my $1,000 deductible.  USAA since, in negotiations with the other drivers insurance company settled that their driver was liable for the damage and refunded all my deductible.  However, they didn't adjust my rate and even after 3+ years post incident and no other infractions, haven't adjusted my rate. 

 

You shouldn't be mistaken that USAA is a business and they are only concerned about profits and bottom line.  They are happy to raise your rates for all kinds of reasons but less willing to lower your rates.

 

I'm already searching for other insurance for my home and auto.