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  • washington mutual atm/debit card

    I recently ordered a new ATM card for my business, not wanting the debit card bullshit they sent me. What they sent me said "deposit card." So while conducting some other business, I asked the teller if it works the same as an ATM card and if I could make withdrawls from it. She said "yes, it is the same." So I wanted to change the PIN on it and was directed over to a desk person.

    We determined that I couldn't change the PIN on it, since I didn't have the old one. I then asked her if the deposit card was indeed the same as an ATM card. She said No, and I told her she should tell the teller that. So I requested an ATM card and she said "no problem." After much menu searching, she mentioned it wasn't giving her the option and went over to someone else to talk. When she came back she said "I'll have to call the back office." After being on hold for 10 minutes, she did some talking and came up with the following solution. "We don't offer ATM cards anymore, but if you order a mastercard* you can just not activate it and you can use it like an ATM card with your pin, but it won't swipe as a debit card." I mentioned that it sounded like rather a poor workaround and she agreed with me and agreed that it was rather insecure that you didn't have to bother activating the card before using it as an ATM card. She said that in the past, people have come in with debit cards to activate them, but could successfully swipe and enter their PIN in the bank. She also mentioned that WaMu had been changing rather a lot of policies lately and not bothering to inform them about it "leaving the employees as frustrated as the customers."

    I've considered changing banks, but not sure who *doesn't* suck ass.


    * Their word for a business debit card.

  • #2
    Re: washington mutual atm/debit card

    Originally posted by mfreeck View Post
    .. but if you order a mastercard* you can just not activate it and you can use it like an ATM card with your pin, but it won't swipe as a debit card."
    So basically.. with Washington Mutual the entire security of your account falls on the brilliance of your 4-digit pin. Excellent.

    I have previously undertaken attempts to enhance security on my account, met with irony and futility at a coffee shop. The bank will send out replacement debit cards for your ATM/Debit whenever they feel like promoting the card, changing its color, or whatnot. I requested for this not to happen, EVER, since my card was valid for years from now and had no reason to get any other cards in the mail. I was told this was not possible. I was offered the opportunity to place restrictions on my account, making only in-person and online banking possible, requiring a second password to be given besides typical security, etc. NONE of this is enforced unless you are specifically working with a person that is trying to make a withdrawal from an account.

    Other than that, additional 'security' measures simply cripple their online banking (which is highly secure, thanks to the wonderful pointers by Mr Kaminsky last Defcon) to force you on foot and does nothing to prevent phone access. With the most restrictions I could place on the account, I received a new ATM card and could not activate it online or automated by phone.. so I talked to a person. She was glad to activate it in spite of the so-called 'legal/important' notes on the account.

    When questioned, some WaMu employees may make up a story along the lines that "someone requested the card by phone, or internet" .. this is not true. WaMu will send it whenever they like at their discretion.. and will do so in a matter that makes it look like daily spam. I mention this, because the above posts adds further implications, especially for mail getting 'lost' or thrown away. All arguments between ATM vs Debit aside (since it further sucks that it is getting near impossible to have just an ATM card.. now if you target someones mail from WaMu with a plastic card inside, you are pretty much guaranteed the ability to use it if you can guess the 4 digits since it doesn't require activation for use as an ATM card... RAWR!!

    Oh, did I mentioned that through some investigation I discovered that you can really fuck over someones access to their own money? Ya. Simply request a new ATM/Debit card for them .. since they've made it clear pretty much anyone can do this and you can't stop them. This sets a timer on their existing card(s) .. which will automatically expire x days after the new card is issued. Well.. mostly, appearantly this doesn't always work and some stale cards stay activated beyond their knowledge. If within the states it may require the underhanded act of monitoring and stealing the card before they receive it.. or hoping target suspects it spam and just trashes it. In either situation they will be surprised one day to discover their card is not active and will have to go to a local office to request a new card. No groceries for you, sir.

    .. oh.. and this has further ramifications if it is someone that has moved outside of the US but still banks through Washington Mutual, since new cards are only shipped within the states (expressed as a known unsolvable issue by WaMu employees)

    NOTE: I'm NOT recommending or encouraging ANY of this. I am simply pointing out what my mind has traversed.. now consider what the criminal mind can conceive with the handful of serious policy issues at Washington Mutual .. which are only growing from feedback I've received.

    Anyone have a good bank/CU to recommend in the NW?
    Last edited by converge; November 15, 2006, 20:33.
    if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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    • #3
      Re: washington mutual atm/debit card

      I had a perfectly good WAMU account a year ago. Now I moved to Florida and guess what, the accounts are not online because CA and FL are in different regions. To make a transfer I need to call in. I got anew account but a check was stolen, so now I need to change that one out. Now I am juggling three accounts and miss the old days!

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      • #4
        Re: washington mutual atm/debit card

        Originally posted by astcell View Post
        I had a perfectly good WAMU account a year ago. Now I moved to Florida and guess what, the accounts are not online because CA and FL are in different regions. To make a transfer I need to call in. I got anew account but a check was stolen, so now I need to change that one out. Now I am juggling three accounts and miss the old days!
        Huh. I have a CA Wamu, and moved to WA. I don't think I could ever transfer funds within that account. My banking experience seems unchanged, but I was very unhappy when they took my old debit card, with its six digit pin, and made me have a new one with a four digit pin. I use the card once or twice a month just to keep the account active, but I use a BofA account that I acquired here for my main account.

        It really differs from state to state. In CA, BofA is one of the worst. In TX, it's a good bank. It's not too bad here, either (in comparison). IMNSHO, Wells Fargo sucks everywhere. Some credit unions are good, some suck, and you need to investigate to discover which one you have. Wamu used to be pretty good, but lately... CitiBank is okay, depending (again) on the state. There are just a lot of factors besides just the name of the bank.

        It's the world I live in. Heck, it's the world we all live in.

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        • #5
          Re: washington mutual atm/debit card

          If your on the West cost I would suggest using Bank of the West*. I use them for the Vegas 2.0 account and they give me debit cards, online banking, etc just like a regular account. They actually are a business bank with personal checking accounts. I've done buisness with them for 4 years now and they beat out BofA, US Bank, WaMu and Wellsfargo in customer service, fee's and line of credit.

          *Not BankWest (there is a difference)
          "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

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