Absolutely Livid

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I am absolutely livid with my company’s bank right now and I need to blow off some steam. We had two recent deposits reversed because of a missing endorsement. This is odd because I am always careful to sign every check. Well it turns out that they changed their endorsement policy on March 31 and didn’t bother to notify us.

The problem is not that the new requirements are so onerous, they are not, but that without notification, I have no way of knowing the new requirements. Adding to the problem is that they mail the checks back (I live walking distance from our local Washington Mutual) and it has been a week already and we haven’t received our first check back. As any small business owner knows, cash flow is king. When the checks arrive is more important than the amounts of the checks.

I absolutely detest the horrendous level of service banks provide. When I moved to Los Angeles, I started with Bank of America and they were the absolute worst experience I have ever had. But WAMU is closing down on that.

Well anyways, thanks for letting me blow some steam. I needed that.

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12 responses

  1. Avatar for Michael K. Campbell
    Michael K. Campbell May 2nd, 2006

    Let me guess though, they'd only be tooo happy to charge you any overdraft/bounce fees?
    Sometimes I think of going in to LAW just for the sole purpose of being able to make idiot companies (like your bank) more responsible.

  2. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked May 2nd, 2006

    Oh I am sure they will be. I will fight that one tooth nail and claw.

  3. Avatar for Scott
    Scott May 2nd, 2006

    You want I should go downtown and kick their building for you?

  4. Avatar for Jon Galloway
    Jon Galloway May 2nd, 2006

    The same bank (WAMU) requires a paper form to set up direct deposit.
    They put a hold on withdrawals after a check has been deposited, but will allow you to cash a check immediately. On one occasion, Micah cashed out a 14K check, then deposited the bills directly to his account to bypass the 5 day hold. What a goofy system.
    The banking industry, like the music and movie industries before them, is just begging for disintermediation. They're incredibly inefficient and arrogant, so when better solutions come along we'll be more than happy to dump them.
    C'mon, PayPal, mint your own currency! How's that data haven on Kinakuta progressing?

  5. Avatar for Nate Hekman
    Nate Hekman May 3rd, 2006

    My bank (Bank of Montreal) charges a fee if I deposit a USD cheque in my CAD account. Or I can deposit the USD cheque for free into my USD account (which is also free) and immediately transfer the balance to my CAD account. More work for them, fewer service charges for me. I'm okay with that!
    Nate

  6. Avatar for Chris Serjak
    Chris Serjak May 8th, 2006

    Wachovia Bank, the 4th largest in the US, just bought Golden State Bank (based in CA, duh!) to get into the West Coast market. I've been with Wachovia in Connecticut for about 8 months now and they have been awesome. Great customer service, excellent online banking, limited bullshit. No guarantee that they'll be able to transmit their corporate philosophy to Golden State, but it might happen.
    Chris

  7. Avatar for Jason Luther
    Jason Luther May 23rd, 2006

    I recommend First Republic Bank if there's one near you. They give really great personalized service. I tried to transfer funds from INGDirect to my wife's old closed account, and they called us to find out what we wanted to do. Then they redirected it to our new account.

  8. Avatar for Richard Fuller
    Richard Fuller May 23rd, 2006

    I am in precisely the same predicament with Wamu (now at three checks in a row). I have changed the endorsement based on what the people at my local "Financial Center" (Wamu-speak for bank branch) told me and I am still getting rejected. This is after going through three-months of them holding thousands of dollars in limbo for up to three business weeks to "recover funds from the issuer of the check". I am going in there tomorrow morning and telling them what I think about their new endorsement policy.
    Aside: I have been a long-time customer with BofA for personal finance; no real problems. I switched to BofA after a long time at Wells after they started charging me for every little thing on my accounts. I opened a business account at Wamu and have had nothing but troubles.

  9. Avatar for Wendy G
    Wendy G July 3rd, 2006

    I am out over $3,000 on the 4th of July because of this!!! Yesterday I dropped off a check in the atm, knowing it was early enough that it would be available today, a holiday...however, I look at my account, and it shows a reversal for a missing endorsement!!! I have deposited over 1000 checks with no signature at Wamu, literally because I started doing it, they never commented back, and so it continued...I have a strange feeling about this- as I have about 6-7 online payments that will be going through in the next day or so...and I've called customer service, I will be responsible for all overdraft fees...RI-DI-CU-LOUS....I will be closing my account as soon as I have that check in my hand...I've been with WAMU for 9 years now, and I should have done this long ago...

  10. Avatar for Fly Corona
    Fly Corona August 5th, 2006


    We're going through this with our wamu biz account as well, but with some odder points:
    We once deposited 6 items at once into the ATM, all endorsed as usual, in the following amounts:
    $50
    $75
    $250
    $650
    $2,000
    $3,400
    very typical deposit for us. Only two of the six (the 2k and 3.4k) were sent back for a missing endorsement - all were signed identically.
    We've just had a similar batch get a returned item -- sure enough, a batch of about $3k worth are accepted fine, but a single large-item check (5k this time) is returned for having "no endorsement".
    I haven't gotten any of the Wamu drones to figure out what the new policy is and tell me yet -- we're switching to a rubber stamp for endorsements (should've done it by now, we just had other things to do -- and don't mind writing them by hand) -- but is this new policy anywhere online to be found? I'll use this article to shake the information loose from them on Monday, and see what else we need to do.
    Total pain in the ass, as mentioned. Somewhat disconcerting how all of the bank managers I complain to just shrug it off as "well, we're just retarded I guess! tee hee!"
    Thanks for posting your discovery -- was starting to think we were alone.
    - Mike

  11. Avatar for Hansolo
    Hansolo September 30th, 2008

    OH MY GOD.
    After reading these, my stomach began to feel funny.
    I forgot to endorse a check and deposited it into a BoA ATM, and they charged me friggin 25 dollars for the returned item, and on top of it, they charged everything that i used after depositing the check (full four days after, mind you) as over draft.
    OH MY GAD. And I don't have the check in my hand. Wow, i am really really pissed off.

  12. Avatar for MovingtoCitbank
    MovingtoCitbank November 8th, 2008

    I ran across this and had to share my experience. I too was livid to find out that my business account had been sacked one morning when WAMU had removed funds from my business account to the tune of 10K. This was for a check that had been deposited and cleared!!!! the week prior. For the month prior every deposit I made had a different hold period applied to it ranging from 1 day to 15 days (for the same size checks). It was the last straw when they pulled funds from my account for a cleared check.
    Their explanation was there was no endorsment on the back of it. But the check had already cleared and been made available in my account and I had already spent half of the funds. I was met with a string of lame excuses (non of which could be substantiated). I screamed at them for an hour causing new potential customers to leave the bank. THen I closed all of my accounts and moved to citibank.
    I have not endorsed a check for deposit ever in 6 years. Its not a requirement if you are the payee and can verify your identity. WAMU has gone bankrupt and they are most likely trying to delay funds to compensate for major accounting flaws that they have made.