Day’s Verse:
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 61:4

Becca: Thank you for calling WaMu now part of Chase, this is Becca speaking.
Me: Hi, I’m calling back. You left a message for me.
Becca: Oh, yes. We just wanted to let you know your CD has matured.
Me: OK, can I change it now?
Becca: You want to make an appointment to come in to change it?
Me: No, I’m in Massachusetts.
Becca: Oh…Well, you have seven days from when it matures.
Me: [Confused silence] Er…
Becca: So will you be back soon?
Me: No. I live in Massachusetts.
Becca: [In that “horse of a different color” tone of voice] Oooooohhhhh. Let me talk to one of our representatives to see if we can do it over the phone. Or you could go to a branch in your area.
Me: There are none.
Becca: Let me call you back.

I have not yet heard back. I have 6 days left.

Update 16 Dec 2008: I called WaMu again the next day after this conversation. The girl there had to check with her supervisor, but eventually called me back to say that I could transfer the funds from my matured CD to my WaMu savings account online. Great. I hung up. Then we looked online: No option to make any transfers to or from the CD online. Great information, Bank Girl. Real helpful.

Then I tried the 1-800 number. But to talk to a person, it required an account number and corresponding phone code or SS#; the phone code in our records didn’t work and my SS# didn’t work. The system kept telling me that they didn’t match and please try again. I couldn’t reach a person. I started getting very frustrated.

So I waited and on Monday the 15th called the WaMu branch that I talked to originally back. This girl (it’s been a different girl each time) told me that — get this — I would need to fax them a notarized letter telling them to transfer from the CD to the savings. She said they had to compare my signature to the signature on the CD paperwork. Only there is no signature or, as far as I know, any CD paperwork: It’s an online CD that I set up via the internet. I never signed anything. What the heck would a notarized letter do for me in that case?! I admit, I laughed heartily when the girl told me about the notarized letter requirement.

But then she told me something helpful: Press 162 (I think it was) in the WaMu phone system and it takes you straight to a phone banker, bypassing all the “Give us your account number and secret password” shenanigans. So I dialed the 1-800 number again, pressed the appropriate three digits, and voila! A person!

…For whom English was clearly not a first, or perhaps even second, language. I said my CD had matured and he said “What was returned?” Finally he transferred me to some specialist or another. I explained my situation once again. He understood: “So when your CD matures, you want to close the CD and transfer the money to your savings account?” YES! YES!! How hard can this be? You’re a bank!

I verified myself all possible ways. Then he said, “I have to generate some questions for you.” Me: “All right.” Silence. A few minutes later: “I couldn’t generate any questions” — me thinking, I can think of half a dozen questions off the top of my head. How hard can this be? — “So I will have to put you on hold.” I waited on hold. He took me off hold, asked for my full address including zip code. Then back on hold. And suddenly he was back, and told me that my CD funds should be transferred within 1 business day. Good grief! What a process, for what should be a very simple transaction!

The transfer has not yet shown up online. I will be surprised if it actually goes through, to be honest. This whole process has been utterly outrageous, stupid, convoluted, and senselessly difficult to the point of absurdity. I have only persisted because I refuse to take a penalty charge for removing money if the CD rolled over before I could get this sorted out.

Suffice it to say that when we get back to Seattle and can visit a WaMu branch personally, we’re closing all our WaMu accounts and transferring to Bank of America. They may be massive and impersonal, but at least you can get things done with them.

KF quality

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