Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So far, I'm not impressed with the new WaMu. I don't know how much of it is the takeover by Chase, or how much is the whole credit crunch, but I had missed my payment date on a WaMu credit card I have at the beginning of the month and it was hit with a bunch of fees and a higher interest rate that sent it overbalance resulting in more fees. This was extremely annoying; but, I also recognized that it was my own fault for not paying attention and missing the payment deadline. What with all of the added fees, I figured I would just wait until a little later in the month and catch it up all at once.
Well, that was before I got a call from WaMu's collections department about a few days later. It wasn't just a reminder call either, it was a high-pressure, "make a payment now, or else..." type of call. Which is something I've never experienced from WaMu before, and I admit that my occasional forgetfulness has resulted in my paying a credit card bill late one or two times before. Now, I'm not proud of it, but I'll also freely admit that I've gone through a bankruptcy (after a divorce) so I've had some experience with collection agents before. The tone of this phone conversation was one I would have expected after missing two or more payments, not as a follow-up reminder less than two weeks after a single missed payment!
I was concerned that it was out of character for WaMu, plus it seemed weird that they wanted me to make a payment by phone, but then I still had to have my checkbook handy and also authorize my address. I declined that option and instead called the bank directly to see if it was a real call or not. They confirmed that it was most likely made because the account had been referred to their collections department. I responded by asking that the credit card account be closed immediately.
The drama has unfortunately continued since there was apparently some trouble with the check I mailed in that I don't understand and I've just fielded calls from them again last night and this morning. Nothing big, but I'll have to figure out what happened when I get back to town in a few days and I'm really tired of the whole thing. (Note to self: Please pay more attention to when payments are due!)
I'd moved to WaMu after Bank of America got overly corporate for me and now I'm feeling like it is time to switch banks again. Maybe I'll move my bank account from WaMu over to FirstTech Credit Union like Bryn is always trying to get me to do. I'd like to think this new direction in their collection department is Chase's influence? I mean, I understand if they are worried about their finances and such and are trying to be more aggressive with collecting outstanding debts; but exercising poor customer relations in situations like this won't help them out any in the long run.
Not that customer service really seems to mean much at most places lately anyhow.