May 2020 Complaints Against USAA

Compiled from Public Data by FairShake

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The US government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) collects complaints against financial companies.

In 2020, the CFPB received 1592 complaints against USAA. USAA ranked Number 27 among all financial companies for the most complaints.

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Complaint Details:

Date of Complaint: May 22, 2020


State: MA

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

Issue: Getting a credit card
Sub-Issue: Problem getting a working replacement card

Full Complaint:
I have had ongoing problems with USAA as a provider of financial products. By and large, I am limiting comments to the most recent, and pressing matter. But it’s worth noting that in general it takes an average of 30 ( at best ) to 120 ( at worst ) minutes to resolve simple matters with USAA, including items such as : 1 ) asking what the APR on an existing credit card is, 2 ) asking whether two payments and one credit covered an existing month ‘s credit card balance, 3 ) asking for an explanation of adjustments to a balance, or features on an existing account. Often USAA must be contacted up to 3 times to handle a single issue.

I have communicated with USAA about these types of problems, and that there is a significant issue with the ability of representatives to handle even the most basic of requests. I have made many good faith efforts to make USAA aware of the problem.

Please note : I am currently not in the United States, and left on a trip in late 2019 which then got extended beyond what i had expected. I did check with USAA before I left on my trip and informed them, and have been in touch with them subsequently as well.

Most recently USAA contacted me while I was overseas during a pandemic to notify me of a {.00} charge that they felt was suspicious. When I contacted them about their concern, I could not confirm whether the charge questioned issued from me ( but it’s difficult to know because different businesses use different names, shopping carts and vendors, and USAA provided extremely little information even after more than 3 or 4 verification ( s ) – 1st by computer, then with a representative, then with a supervisor ) Against my wishes, and despite the fact that I told USAA that doing so would greatly increase current difficulties related to what is being experienced worldwide due to the pandemic, and in my current situation, USAA representatives went ahead and blocked my credit card right before a holiday weekend ( XXXX XXXX ) in the United States.

Taking this action means that it will be hard to have any kind of resolution in the next 3 days while USAA is closed.

In addition, USAA has greatly restricted the ability to contact them by website. And their chat feature frequently doesn’t work, or disconnects in the midst of the chat. They have not replied to past messages and documents I have uploaded and sent to them.

Prior to USAA blocking my credit card I was in the middle of making lodging arrangements ( using the USAA card ) and their action could potentially put me in a situation of being without lodgings.

I do not have sufficient time to transfer adequate funds to cover the cost of a month ‘s lodgings, and at the last moment on a Friday I can not transfer funds from the financial institutions in the USA as it takes a few days to do that – and now – with the long weekend – could take up to 5 days.

Not being a citizen of the country I am in I am unable to access a bank account here, whereas in the USA it would be easy to walk in and get funds.

My request to USAA were several simple things : 1 ) Hold off on blocking the card for a few days to a week, at least until after the weekend so I can make my lodging arrangements, 2 ) Expedite a replacement card to me so that I do not have to wait more than half a month for one.
3 ) Put me in touch with a supervisor who can speak with me quickly about a solution The USAA representative I spoke with, as is frequently the case with USAA, could not reason a way to a solution, and refused to consider any possibility accept immediate blocking of the card. When I asked for a supervisor I was put in touch with XXXX in Executive Resolution, who told me that : 1 ) USAA has no way to expedite a replacement credit card overseas and that it would take a minimum of 7 to 10 days to have a new card delivered 2 ) There is no way the current card can be left active until a time when I would be sure of lodgings and in a better position to handle the situation 3 ) A request to speak to someone who could better understand the situation and offer potential solutions – or perhaps a workaround – could only be handled in ” 24 hours ” by an unknown, unnamed someone who might ( or might not ) get back to me. ( as mentioned USAA frequently does not respond or follow up, even to written requests ) When I pointed out to XXXX that I worked for a multinational company and that we regularly not only delivered personnel overseas ( but critical documents ), even in the time of war, and that it seemed very unusual that most any citizen in the USA could walk into a post office and expedite a card and yet a company ( USAA ) that advertises as being able to serve members of the military ( and their families ) who work all over the world – but that it was beyond her ability – and the ability of USAA – to help by getting a card delivered more quickly – she continued to say that it was not an option.

I also asked her if the CEO of USAA was overseas and needed a critical document expedited to him, did she think that that could be made to happen?

She went on to explain that the building where the cards are made is a separate location. When I pointed out that managers are hired and paid to solve unusual and serious problems ( lack of housing in the middle of a pandemic ) and that surely there was a phone at that other location and people who could be contacted, XXXX continued to insist that there was no process at USAA for expediting anything overseas.

When I started my trip I had no way of knowing I would be away as long as I have been. Nor did I know that a pandemic would engulf the world. I equally could not have predicted that a {.00} charge ( that didn’t even hit my account, USAA stopped the charge from being processed ) would cause USAA to freeze the card before a holiday weekend in the states when their offices would be closed.

I understand the need to guard against fraud. But a bank is in no real peril when a {.00} charge is made on a card ( which might or might not be fraud ) and the exposure they have – especially when the customer is working with them – is minimal.

But to suddenly sever access to a line of credit during a pandemic when someone is in the midst of managing stressful and important transactions – with no room for flexibility, nor any kind of reliable follow up, is grossly unfair to the consumer.

Additionally, I pointed out to XXXX that the replacement card COULD be expedited to a family member of mine who could then Expedite it to me. XXXX was not interested in this option and continued to robotically tell me that there were no other options than the ones she was presenting.

These people sit in call centers insulated from any kind of consequence for their actions, and they go home to their families wanting them to be safe and well. But when other people are relying on their promises and their ability to capably handle even the most basic of problem solving they regularly let people down.

I had to previously file a complaint to the FTC about the telecommunications company that is providing me cell phone service overseas. And ONLY AFTER the complaint did the company fix the issue ( it was sent to a special department that handles FTC complaints ). That issue also created severe problems, and is a piece of the reason I have had trouble being in touch with USAA ( an issue they have no sensitivity or understanding about ).

Just as I can not control the subcontractor agreements between telecommunications providers in the USA and overseas, I can not control the Financial institutions that issue promises of service and help. USAA employees by their actions are impacting people in a real world, and often, a complex world, far beyond their cubicles. But they seem not up to the task.

To make matters worse – and although it is not a significant issue – it still is one that adds insult to injury and shows just how poorly regulated and managed USAA is, I have for some time now tried to track down a comment that USAA Savings Bank issued to my credit reports about a Savings Account I don’t even own or have. I have no account with USAA other than my credit card account and an auto / property insurance policy.

I have asked USAA numerous times to put me in touch with someone who can tell me what this comment on my credit report is about. It is extremely difficult to get someone who can answer this. And the comment on the credit statements ( that i can see XXXX says to contact USAA to find out what the issues is about.

The issues I faced today with USAA took hours to resolve.

The last piece of information I can offer is that I received a notice from the airline carrier that claims their data files were hacked. The carrier claims that no credit card information was accessed. But I do not know if any of the issues mentioned have anything to do with the disclosure from the carrier, nor whether the timeline of the hacking and seemingly subsequent issues are at all related.

What I do know is that after being a reliable customer for 24 years that pays all of their bills, USAA does not do what they advertise and claim. They have lofty ideas of helping their customers when they have an issue, but their staff can not even problem solve the most basic of issues or obstacles. And under pressure they do not respond like people who you could count on when things are actually difficult.

As a company that claims to be able to support people around the globe, they can’t even get a replacement credit card overseas by XXXX XXXX. A challenge too formidable for their managers.

Ps. I had a much less serious situation arise in the USA some time ago where a credit card hadn’t been delivered. The representative I spoke with at that company was able to send it XXXX XXXX and i had it the next day.

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.