June 2019 Complaints Against USAA

Compiled from Public Data by FairShake

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In 2019, the CFPB received 1354 complaints against USAA. USAA ranked Number 23 among all financial companies for the most complaints.

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Complaint Details:

Date of Complaint: June 10, 2019


State: MA

Product: Credit card or prepaid card
Sub-Product: General-purpose credit card or charge card

Issue: Problem with a purchase shown on your statement
Sub-Issue: Credit card company isn’t resolving a dispute about a purchase on your statement

Full Complaint:
Details of Disputed Charge, XXXX XXXX XX/XX/19 1 ) XX/XX/19 : I arrived home from work and had trouble getting in the front door of my home. The key was jammed and almost broke off in the lock. It was very important for me to get into my home as my wife was away on a trip that weekend and I was waiting for my XXXX son to arrive home from school. While my wife was away I was our sons sole XXXX and needed to follow our normal weekend routine. When I was able to get in the home I called my wife and explained what was wrong with the lock. Since the lock was very old and I needed to go out during the weekend for XXXX activities for my son we decided that the best course of action was to call a locksmith and have the lock replaced. I researched on the internet and found a Locksmiths who billed themselves as a twenty four hour emergency locksmith service ( XXXX XXXX ). I called their 1-800 number and spoke to a service representative who took my information. I assumed that this was a service that put consumers in touch with local locksmiths. I was later called directly by the locksmith himself who asked me to send pictures of the current lock. Later that evening he called me and told me that the lock was old and that the job would be fairly expensive. He quoted me a price of {0.00} due to what he called the high security lock he had to install. I assumed that price was for the entire job. I spoke to my wife and we thought this price was high but that for the emergency service we would pay it. The locksmith agreed that he would come to my home at XXXX the next morning to replace the lock before I had to take my son to XXXX at XXXX.

2 ) XX/XX/19 : The next morning I received a call from the locksmith company asking if the locksmith could come over in the afternoon at about XXXX instead of the morning. I agreed but was not comfortable as I had to leave my home unlocked with our alarm system on. When XXXX came around the locksmith never showed up. I called the service and was told that the locksmith was running late and would be there at XXXX. I started to realize that the same man who answered the phone at the service seemed to be the same man that was the locksmith. The locksmith eventually showed up at XXXX. He spent approximately 2 hours working on the lock mechanism. This included drilling holes and using a chisel on the original door and frame. The type of lock he used was not the same as the original lock in that he used a knob type system and the original was a combination knob and lever system. The consequence of this installation is that the knob is too close to the door frame with the result that it pinches your thumb in closing the door. Also the door is very loose in the frame due to the locksmith gouging a large amount of wood from the frame. The installation itself is very shoddy and crooked. Obviously we will have to have another locksmith work on our door to make it usable. These deficiencies were only noticed well after the installation. After the locksmith finished the work I followed him out to his truck and he wrote up the receipt. I was quite surprised that he handed me a bill for {0.00} and not the {0.00} he quoted me on the phone. I mentioned this to him and he stated that the {0.00} was for the lock itself and not the work. I was perturbed but also flustered. My son was in the house and was starting to feel ill and I needed to attend to him so I paid the locksmith with my USAA credit card and got on with the evening.
3 ) XX/XX/19 : In the morning I was attending to my son who fell ill with a XXXX XXXX. While I was taking care of him I started researching the price for mortise lock systems. Luckily the locksmith had left the box and paperwork for the system he had installed. During my research I could find no mortise lock systems anywhere near the price range of what the locksmith quoted to me. I was able to find the same exact system that was installed in my home for sale from XXXX for {.00}. Note that the price that the locksmith quoted is ten times the price of the part for sale on XXXX. This is no high security lock system but an average to below average lock that is available for sale through a number of retail outlets. When I saw the price of the part I immediately called the XXXX XXXX service number to complain. I explained the situation and told them I wanted my bill adjusted for the overcharged part. He told me that I had to get in touch with their customer service representative. He seemed quite agitated by my request and told me there was nothing he could do. After that call I immediately called USAA credit card services and spoke to a rep about my situation. She was very informative. She told me to call the company back the next day and try and work something out. If they were not responsive she said I would have the option of formally disputing the charge with USAA.

4 ) XX/XX/19 : I called XXXX XXXX in the morning. I waited on hold for at least twenty minutes. A female customer service rep who mumbled her name finally came on the line and asked me what issue I had. I explained what had happened and that I believed I was overcharged for my lock system. She asked me if I wanted an adjustment to my credit card for the {0.00} I was overcharged and I said yes. She politely put me on hold. I stayed on hold for 45 minutes and after that lengthy period of time I was disconnected. I called back several times and each time they put me on hold and never answered the line. After this call I called USAA and spoke to a rep who helped me place a formal dispute on the fraudulent {0.00} charge to my credit card. It is my belief that this locksmith preys on people ( like myself ) who are in an emergency situation and who dont know any better. If I hadnt followed up and checked on prices I would have been ignorant on how much I was overcharged. My signing the authorization to charge my credit card in no way was my agreement to be defrauded. Please help me adjust this charge.

5 ) XX/XX/19 After I provided the paperwork that the customer service representative asked me to provide them USAA closed my complaint without any investigation. XXXX, the first investigator on the case called my home twice and never got me ( even though he had multiple contact numbers for me ) and told me he closed the investigation because he wanted me to call him. He also never contacted the merchant to find out what his response was to the overcharge for my mortise lock. It seems to me that the merchant should have to respond for what they did and not the consumer. XXXX seemed to blame the transaction on me because I signed the receipt. I must reiterate that this is an instance of FRAUD! Simply signing a receipt, under duress I might add ( as I have explained ) does not open one up to fraud! I find it outrageous that USAA is more concerned with the rights of a disreputable merchant than the rights of their customer who has been a loyal member for over 30 years. Since I was not satisfied with XXXX work on my dispute I called USAA to have him replaced and requested to speak to a supervisor at the dispute resolution department. It took the supervisor 3 days to contact me even though he knew I was irate with the situation. XXXX, the supervisor who called back was better at explaining the situation than XXXX ie why USAA closed the investigation after two weeks and how I could dispute the charge anytime up to 120 days after the transaction. I am not, however, satisfied with his explanation on how signing a receipt opens one up to fraud! He stated that USAA looks at the signed receipt as a re-negotiation of the contract and that USAA only reviews the four corners of the contract. This makes no sense. In order for a re-negotiation to be valid there has to be actual negotiation between the parties. In order for a contract to be valid there needs to be bargained for consideration. There was none for the added charge and the fraudulent charge for substandard equipment. In this instance there was no actual negotiation at all. I was out in the street while my XXXX son, who was sick at the time was inside alone. I was given no time to evaluate the new price I was given after a previous estimate for a lower ( still exorbitant ) price. In short I was under duress at the time to sign a document that a slick criminal shoved in my face. This is the type of transaction USAA supports? As for the receipt being the controlling document because USAA only reviews the four corners of the contract this is invalid in instances of fraud. Courts routinely go outside of contractual documents in instances of illegal activity and look at the motive of the parties. In this case the motive was theft in a well-known con game and therefore invalid. Again, why is USAA supporting criminal activity and not their loyal customer? I was told that if I wanted to have any hope of being successful in my dispute I would have to get another locksmith in to review the work of the first merchant ( who was not a licensed locksmith ) and provide documentation of the shoddy work of the first merchant to USAA. Since the merchant truly did shoddy work I have complied with this request. USAA requested that I provide the paperwork before the end of the month. I explained that this may not be possible as I was working and may not be able to schedule the locksmith for before the end of the month. I did manage to get a letter from a reputable locksmith ( contained with this document ) after the end of XXXX referencing the shoddy work of the prior merchant. The situation as it turns out is worse than I thought so I am now disputing the entire charge of {0.00} and would like a dispute of this amount opened up in my file. So far this has not happened.

6 ) XX/XX/19 I was able to get the name of a reputable locksmith form a neighbor, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX , XXXX located in XXXX NH. XXXX, the owner scheduled an appointment on XX/XX/19 to a look at the job done to my door by XXXX XXXX. I was able to squeeze in this appointment before I left for a short trip out of state. He was amazed at the poor and shoddy work plus the outrageous overcharge for the work done by XXXX XXXX. He told me that if I had called XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX originally they could have just swapped out my old cylinder for less than a hundred dollars. He also was familiar with the scam that was run on me. It is well known that there are groups of criminals who are not licensed locksmiths ( Massachusetts has no licensing requirement ) that put in substandard equipment and hit consumers with surprise charges. I am appalled that USAA seems unaware of this fraudulent activity and would take the side of criminals running a well-known scam over a customer of thirty years! When XXXX reviewed the work that XXXX did there was absolutely nothing of their work that was usable. The cheap mortise lock they put in was the wrong lock for my door and was installed upside down and backwards. It was only partially functioning and because they installed the door plate improperly the door rattled in the frame and could not be closed securely. All that equipment had to be replaced. Additionally XXXX destroyed my original antique mortise lock which XXXX tried to reinstall in my door which would have been the most inexpensive solution. XXXX also severely compromised the strength of my door by chiseling wood from my antique door and gouging a deep hole in my door frame. Ultimately XXXX had to install a wraparound lock so the door would close securely so my family was safe while I was away. As this new lock system did not match the antique door itself XXXX had to order an antique finish wraparound lock which will be installed sometime in the future. I have provided this letter, the narrative as well as supporting pictures to USAAs dispute resolution department.

Conclusion This experience has been a horrible one overall not just because I was robbed by a disreputable merchant running a well-known scam ( that USAA should be aware of ) but by the treatment I have received from USAA. For the most part USAA has treated like I was the criminal and made the process of filing a dispute overly complicated. If I have 120 days to dispute a charge why does USAA keep closing my dispute out every two weeks? Why cant I reach out directly to the dispute resolution team, either via phone or email? Each time I need to talk to the dispute resolution staff I have to go through the consumer service line. This takes time and then I have to wait for a call back. On top of that the consumer service reps wont just simply convey a message to dispute resolution without trying to help. On XX/XX/19 I called consumer services to reopen my dispute ( and increase it to the full amount ) as XXXX told me I could. The first rep did not understand what he was doing, put me on hold more than once and then inadvertently hung up on me. The second rep also did not know what they were doing and then misinformed me by telling me that my wife ( the original card holder ) would need to call and open up the dispute. I had to get that persons supervisor on the phone to fix that misrepresentation. I still have not received any correspondence confirming that my dispute has been re-opened and the message I left for dispute resolution to call me back has been ignored. What is going on at USAA? In the past five years USAAs customer service has been really terrible. My wife was an XXXX when I met her and she originally had USAA insurance. Over the years this has expanded to include loans and credit cards. After we were married I went back to school, acquired an advanced degree and received a commission in my own right from the XXXX 20 years ago. I have been mobilized twice, XXXX once and spent numerous times away from my family. I am still currently a member of the XXXX XXXX ( 35 years total service and counting ). I try to adhere to the XXXX values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. For a company that is supposed to be for the XXXX XXXX I dont see that USAA has adhered to any of those values. I see no reason to continue as a loyal member of USAA especially when that loyalty seems to run only one way. I am ready to take my business elsewhere. For whatever reasons USAA doesnt seem to care. If they lose too many like me USAA will cease to be a viable company.

Complaint Tags: Servicemember

Company response:

Response Type: Closed with explanation

Public Response:
Company believes it acted appropriately as authorized by contract or law

FairShake accessed this complaint from the public archives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You can file your own complaint with the CFPB here.