USAA: Willful harassment and lies


Categories: Spam

One of my friends has the tragic misfortune to have a credit card with “USAA”, who are a business. Probably; there’s some debate about their legal status.

What they do, in my experience, is call at inconvenient times. They are rude. They are annoying. When I point out that they are calling during the time I’m normally supposed to be sleeping, they use this as a lever to say that, if I don’t help them contact this person, they’ll keep calling. And sure enough! Daily calls.

Today, I finally got them to claim that they would remove my number. I have no real confidence that they will; they have consistently acted in bad faith throughout our little relationship.

The fact is, I know exactly who they’re calling for. I don’t care. I don’t owe them anything; not money, not time, not help harassing someone. If they’d been anywhere near “polite”, I might have tried to get them in touch; as is, I am not planning to help them in any way.

Which brings me to my point: If you are thinking about doing business with USAA, don’t. If you want insurance, I understand some insurance companies will, say, make you walk across broken glass to get a quote, but that’s still a big improvement. If you want credit cards, there are probably a number of better options. (It’s not that I can’t think of worse, admittedly.)

I have recorded the call. It was funny. I will probably record more. The guy kept calling me “ma’am”, and couldn’t figure out my name. His big sticking point was a claim that this was the number he was given, only I don’t think my friend ever gave him this number; it’s possible that, say, they got it from someone else, and decided to just lie about it.

So… Definitely a company to be avoided. I’ve lost many hours of sleep to these people, and they have strongly implied that, knowing that I work nights, they are specifically targeting times when I’m likely to be asleep. And whaddya know; for once, I’m willing to believe that they’re telling the truth.

Comments [archived]

From: Chelsea
Date: 2007-03-21 13:46:08 -0500

I have USAA, and by the way, they are a not-for-profit organization. They provide wonderful banking services, wonderful car insurance services and I have never once had a problem with them. They have been more than I ever expected in a company, and this is the first ever complaint that I have heard of in my life. They are for military & military families, by military & military families. I would attest to the validity of this organization until the very end. If someone has not paid your credit card bill, and gave a bogus phone number, that is certainly not the problem of the company. sounds to me like it is the problem of the individual dealing with an innovative oragnization doing its best to take care of business.

From: Peter Seebach
Date: 2007-03-22 03:09:05 -0500

Lots of organizations are “not-for-profit”, but are still run to make money.

The problem I have with them is not that they got my number; it’s that they wouldn’t stop calling me the first time I told them that I didn’t want to get calls from them. I don’t care whose number they think they’re calling; if they call me, and it’s my number, and I tell them to stop, they should stop. It’s that simple.

Maybe they really are a “valid” organization; they still affirmed that they really were intentionally harassing me, calling at times when they knew I was asleep.

That is the problem. Anyone can call a wrong number. Only an asshole calls it repeatedly, finds out when the victim is sleeping, then schedules calls for those times in advance. At some point, that crosses the line into abuse.

From: Chuck
Date: 2007-04-23 13:13:39 -0500

I agree with Chelsea. :o)

You said yourself, “ I know exactly who they’re calling for. I don’t care.” I think you’re probably as dishonest as the person that USAA’s trying to collect from. By the way, when someone refers to you as “sir” or “ma’am,” it’s not that they forgot your name, it’s that they’re being polite.

From: seebs
Date: 2007-04-23 13:18:38 -0500

Oh, I’m definitely every bit as dishonest as the scrupulously honest (but flat broke) person they were trying to collect money from.

I never said anything untrue to them. I merely told them to stop calling me, because they had no permission to be calling my phone. It’s not some other person’s phone; it’s mine.

You now know who I am. How would you feel if someone started calling you twice a day, demanding to speak with me, threatening you, and insisting that you are morally obliged to help them contact me, because after all, you know who I am?

The issue here is simply one of whether you continue harassing a third party after being asked to stop. For USAA, the answer is “yes, we harass and threaten third parties”.

The concern about “ma’am” is that it’s not always a politeness thing; in this case, it’s a “having no clue at all what my name is” thing. They did not know my name, first or last, and had no idea who I was.

(BTW, I’ll be quite surprised if I ever get a comment supporting them that can be shown NOT to have come from an employee or agent.)

From: CC
Date: 2007-09-13 12:28:14 -0500

Chelsea obviously is oblivious to what USAA is all about. USAA is a for-profit company catering to those who have military service and their dependents (for the most part). I had USAA for over 20 years until they refused to pay for an accident caused by another USAA insured (depite a police report and other testimony proving the other driver was at fault). Even my state rep was dumbfounded why USAA refused to pay. I finally sued the other driver and won. All that over less than $4,000 in damage. I guess they have too much money and don’t care about spending $8,000+ to defend an unjustified claim denial.

I won my case in summer of 2007 and since I’ve met 2 other people who have similar complaints (without me complaining about my experience).

I have since switched all my policies and credit cards over to other companies. Much to my dismay I found that I had been paying significantly more with USAA that I should have been. An example was a boat I had. USAA was charging almost $600 a year. The same policy with Geico was around $240. Virtually every policy could be found elsewhere for hundreds less.

USAA used to be a very customer oriented company. Over the past 10 years I believe it’s become more interested in collecting premiums and denying claims when they believe they can get away with it. They seem to like denying claims they know will force the claimant into court to collect. USAA knows a majority of people won’t go to court so to them it’s a cost savings measure.

Like Chelsea I used to be a big USAA proponent. Hopefully she won’t find out what USAA’s true colors are. As for me I would not recommend USAA to anyone.

From: Florenda Upshur
Date: 2008-02-28 23:34:08 -0600

USAA cancelled my father and mom’s wishes. For 35 years my dad Major USAR Ret’d, Educator for the Oakland Unified School District trusted USAA w/o foul play. My father/mother deeded the property to florenda upshur but USAA failed to follow up after cancelling the insurance on our home at 1932-109th


Due to their neglect by listening to allegations w/o factual preponderence of evidence. NO.RG0417663 has been granted. Please research the facts relevant as my father/mother has authority and USAA has made a grave crisis, mistake.

From: Jeremy
Date: 2008-08-26 22:49:02 -0500

I never had a problem with USAA until my vehicle was stolen. They recovered my car about a week after the theft. The crooks took off my tags and registration sticker and put papers tags on. It has been almost 3 months now and still nothing is settled. I gave them both keys and everything they asked for and they told me everything would be settled soon. Now it has been 2 months since then. Now they tell me that they can’t discuss anything about the claim. My neighbor said they talked to him and asked him if he thought I might have done it. My neighbor told him absolutely not and the investigator told him that he thinks I might have done it. Well, first off I didn’t! The fact that they told someone they think I MIGHT have done it makes me mad because it brings down my character which is very rude!! When it’s off of false pretenses. As soon as this is setteled I will be finding another insurance company. I feel like they are treating me like a crook and they have no evidence because there is none to be found against me since I didn’t do anything wrong!!!

From: florenda upshur
Date: 2008-10-17 23:07:37 -0500

I filed a a FTC report at the OPD regarding the casualty insurance and the 6 lawsuits pending. Please followup.

From: W
Date: 2008-12-26 10:29:18 -0600

Been foolishly with USAA for some 20 years. RUN! This company has become a money grubber sucking the blood out of the military and their families. There are FAR better rates and similar services everywhere. Robles is completing the decline of this once great company.