Does this mean the website has been hacked, the server has crashed, all our banking data has been compromised? Or does it simply mean they are performing regularly scheduled maintenance? They've had DECADES to clarify this -- but they just can't get it together to accomplish it. WHY? My own commercial website is virtually NEVER down, and I don't have a staff! Why can't BECU do the same?

My Experiences with BECU

(Boeing Employees Credit Union)

BECU SUCKS, and I mean that
with every fiber of my being
.

BUT!

I'm going to preface this webpage by saying upfront that the customer service I receive from BECU is usually the best there is. They try hard to make things right. They don't always succeed. But they truly try. My complaint lies largely with upper management and their website.

Open Letter to BECU:

 

This page reveals and details my experiences with BECU, Boeing Employees
Credit Union, and this web page contains and includes my opinions:

 

 

BECU MS 1094-2                                                                                                                 Page 1 of 6
POB 97050
Seattle, Washington, 98124-9750   USA                                                                      FAX: 206-805-5612

 

Attached please find your form for change of address.

This has become a huge, gargantuan problem – a problem which has earned BECU a “BECU SUCKS” web page at the following URL:


http://www.truth-or-consequences.com/badder_business_bureau/BECU/index.shtml


Here’s the history on this debacle:

I spend most of my time in SE Asia, often coming back to Thailand from other SE Asian countries. I had this crazy idea that it might be more convenient if I listed my BECU address as one of my homes in Thailand. That would facilitate sending new debit or credit cards directly to me, and all other snail-mail correspondence would be simpler and faster. That was my crazy, stupid thought. Seems simple, right? No. Never say simple when it comes to interacting with BECU.

I tried to change my address using your online form. Of course that doesn’t work. Why? It’s anyone’s guess. Your website only says, “experiencing technical difficulties” – no clue whatsoever that you have simply disallowed the service to foreign residents. I then tried to have you change it manually using the BECU secure in-house messaging system. But that didn’t work either. Why? It’s anyone’s guess.

I then tried to change my address using your written form. I downloaded it, completed it perfectly, then tried to fax it to you. But try as I would, I couldn’t get a fax to go through from here, using ANY fax service, from SE Asia. I tried again and again, even traveling to internet coffee shops and using their computers and fax machines. No go. I tried this for weeks.

Finally, I mailed the documents to you (your form, a letter, and copies of my passport). I mailed those via registered mail (EMS) at a cost of $33. I waited for the change to be reflected in my online account, but of course (this is BECU) ithe change never showed up in my account. I began sending secure messages to you, after waiting more than a month, asking why you never updated my address. After all, tracking showed you had received the package nearly a month before. Your people assured me, repeatedly, in writing, that you never received the documents. I said that was impossible – you had signed for them nearly a month prior. But your people just kept saying you had never received them.

I then threatened to send them again and sue you by proxy in small claims court for the expense. Miraculously, you found them that very day. Oh, the wonder. Good ol’ BECU.

Finally my address was changed. I very much regretted ever changing the address, because it was a royal PITA, but it was done. Now life would be good, right? Wrong.

Months later I decided I wanted to go back into the printing business in SE Asia, in a small way. I tried to fill out an online app for a loan to start that. Unfortunately, as is so, so, so, SO often the case, your badly designed web page wouldn’t accept my application. It just displayed errors saying you were experiencing technical difficulties, etc. etc. ad nauseam. Finally, after days or weeks of trying, I sent a secure message asking WHY. Why, for God’s sake, couldn’t you make your website work? MY OWN commercial websites work, and I am not particularly smart. My ecommerce sites work flawlessly, day in and year out with virtually never a glitch. So why couldn’t yours?

Finally, after some exchanges, your people reported back that I couldn’t submit a loan app since my address wasn’t in the USA. Well, halleluiah. Why in THE HELL couldn’t I have been told that right off, instead of wasting all that time and extreme frustration? Why? Why couldn’t the website error explain that? It’s because your web developers are imbeciles, and have been for decades, and you apparently don’t know it, or you don’t care.
I therefore decided to fax it in. But as usual, no luck. Perhaps your fax machines are set up to refuse connections from out of country machines. Who knows? BECU seems to think that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD lives in the USA. That would be, uh, WRONG. Do you not comprehend that Boeing employees are dispatched to absolutely every crack and crevice around the world, and that from those locales they NEED TO DO THEIR BANKING? Is that a concept just too complex for BECU to GET? Apparently it is. The 21st century has been going on for a while now. Why not join it?

I then decided to snail-mail my loan APP, but then I remembered that you LOSE documents sent to you, even after you sign for them. Then you say you never received them. So I put that whole project on a back burner. I’m tired of the supreme aggravation that results from just about ANY interaction, no matter how seemingly simple, with BECU. So I didn’t submit the loan app, and you didn’t earn any interest money. Smart business model: Frustrate the customer to the point of never wanting to do business with you. Clever. Honestly, BECU operates like it is run by a bunch of junior college interns – or even 7th graders. You are a bloody horror to deal with.
I forgot about the loan app, but weeks later I needed to withdraw money from my account for normal living expenses here in Asia. For years I have done this by using your “external transfer” function. It has always worked and I have relied on it for everyday things like paying rent, utilities, and grocery money.

Except this time it didn’t work. Every time I tried to open the external transfer window, I got a big red error that said you were “experiencing technical difficulties”. Well, that’s common with BECU. One never knows when your website will be up and running, or when it will simply display a 404, or when it will go offline in the middle of a transaction. That’s NORMAL for BECU, and it was normal even when I was accessing your site from the states. It is BECU’s SOP. It’s your hallmark. It’s your badge of honor. An often useless website is what we have all come to expect from BECU and a growing number of us, your paying customers, are bloody sick to death of it.

In any case, I tried again and again and again and again to do my normal external transfer to my New York bank (which then automatically transfers to its branch here in Asia). But your website simply wouldn’t work. I probably tried for a week with no success whatsoever. But I was becoming increasingly ticked off, because I had bills to pay here and I needed to access MY OWN MONEY.

Finally I wrote to BECU through the secure messaging system and asked WTH.

I received no response.

So I wrote again.

And I received no response.

So I wrote again, advising that I had reached my limit, and I demanded the name AND ADDRESS of whatever agency was the overseer of credit unions in Washington state.

I did receive a reply which mentioned the agency name, but provided no address (oh those college interns are so on top of things – but they’re cheap as dirt, aren’t they?).

And that reply declared that, oh, by the way, since I was using a foreign address, I was no longer allowed to use the external transfer service to send MY OWN MONEY to MY OWN BANK ACCOUNT in NEW YORK!!!
And that’s when I began prepping my web page (this web page) about BECU. Enough is enough. I do believe at this point that many, or most, or ALL of BECU’s employees are clinically insane. No financial institution on God’s Green Earth could “accidentally” be this screwed up. It’s not possible. This BS is either intentional, or you’re all drinking from the same contaminated ground water system. I think the old KEY bank was on a par with you, and Chase ain’t so brilliant either. But as it stands at this moment, BECU tops the dung heap. You people cannot seem to complete one single interaction without royally screwing it up, and if these problems are the results of systemic policies, then those making those policies need to quit. Now. Today. And go seek employment at 7-11 – where they will be summarily fired within 90 days for incompetence.

Now. I don’t have time to fool around again with $33 mail that you will only LOSE and claim you never received BECAUSE I NEED TO ACCESS MY OWN MONEY WITHOUT FURTHER RIDICUULOUS DELAY. So I am sending this package of documents, including my formal, official, BECU change of address form (the same one you lost before), but this time changing my address BACK to a USA address, AND I WILL KEEP LOOKING UNTIL I FIND A FAX THAT YOURS WILL ACCEPT A CONNECTION FROM.

I need you to input that address change into my account IMMEDIATELY, and make sure that I have access to the external transfer service on your website, so I can ACCESS MY OWN MONEY AND PAY MY RENT.

Can you grasp this simple concept?

Can you complete this task?

Can you notify me by secure message in your website when this is completed?

I know, I KNOW BECU will somehow, in some way, screw this up too. I know it! It’s nearly guaranteed!

But I am waiting.

This letter is being posted to my website detailing my experiences with you, and it will be included in my complaint to whatever agency it turns out, regulates and oversees you.

As it stands, I believe with all my heart that BECU is clinically insane. Please prove me wrong.

New address as of Dec. 20, 2018:

----------
-------------------------------
-----------------

In utter and profound, utter and enduring disgust and contempt,

------------------

Dec. 20-2018

 

 

Are you also having trouble with BECU and you've bloody-well had enough?

Here's the next step up, and I also recommend the Better Business Bureau, and the Consumer Affairs division of the Washington Attorney General.

National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
703.518.6300

As for Washington State specifically, you could contact the Washington State Attorney General’s office. Here is a link to their website. Here is some contact information I found on their website:

800 5th Ave, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA  98104-3188

1-800-551-4636 (in-state only)

1-206-464-6684 (out-of-state callers)

 

Final message to BECU in this particular debacle:

You folks need to understand something clearly and entirely. I started the process of trying to do an external transfer to my Bank of Bangkok account about two weeks ago, so that I would have cash for Christmas here in SE Asia. Your website repeatedly told me that you were "experiencing technical difficulties" and to try again later. As stated in a previous message, I did try again later, and again and again and again, on and on and on. I finally gave up and started sending messages to customer service. Customer service didn't reply. Repeatedly. So I got nasty and insulting. Only THEN did customer service reply to tell me that, well, of COURSE I can't do an external transfer because I had changed my address and the external transfer system didn't like that. Of course your system could have simply displayed an error that said the problem was due to my address and I could have fixed it instantly. But your system is too poorly designed to do that. So we went through a week of nasty-grams, just trying to get this to work. Finally, once I was made aware that "the system" didn't like my address, I changed it immediately, and I was able to effect an external transfer today. But not really. The earliest "the system" will process my transfer is Dec. 24. That means I'll have my funds around Dec. 29th or 30th. Please understand that Christmas is long gone by then. And USA credit cards are very rarely accepted here (only cards issued from SE Asia banks are taken). There will be no Christmas here this year, thanks to BECU's absolutely unprofessional, retarded, 19th century, stupidly designed, incompetently designed website. Thanks, BECU. You've done it again. CC to website.

 

Commentary:

I fly. A lot. All kinds of aircraft. And I've flown for nearly 40 years. I've flown military aircraft, general aviation, experimental, and ultralights. I have found that each community of flyers tends to stick together, to be somewhat compartmentalized, and tends to represent certain stratas of the American public.

For instance, military pilots tend to be no-nonsense pragmatists. They are logical, smart, competent, capable, and most of all oriented to DETAIL, because, after all, the Devil really is in the details. A missed detail on a flight can and will kill you, and maybe a couple of hundred passengers as well. Military pilots are almost completely my kind of people.

Commercial pilots are 85% ultra-competent and professional, and 15% crazy. I had a friend decades ago, 707 pilot. He and a friend as co were ferrying an empty plane from the northern US to Tuscon. About a hundred miles north of Tuscon they decided on a change of plan. The co said he had this friend in Costa Rica -- jungle strip, just long enough. Load up. Fly back. Be rich. Simple as pie. After prison he was given a government grant to start his own business, which he screwed up royally and went bankrupt. 15% of commercial pilots have that much stupidity buried deep in their bones. It might never come out. Or it might.

General aviation pilots are a bit of a mixed lot; they tend to be somewhat more logical and intelligent than the general public. But some are dolts. I tend to get along with this category of pilots more or less.

Experimental pilots have a bit of a wild seed. They tend either to be consumate perfectionists, or rogue fools. It's a mix of the really good, and the really wild. In any case, they are often fun to watch. Never a dull moment with owners and pilots of experimentals.

Ultralight pilots, it has been my experience, are at the lowest level of competence, and that translates through to ultralight manufacturers and suppliers. I have found through long and painful experience that those involved in the ultralight aircraft industry at any level are a special breed -- a special breed of unprofessional, incompetent fools. Not all (Chuck Yeager owned one). But most. If you own an ultralight aircraft, you'll quickly find that the performance specs were lied about grossly, the parts are machined badly, the designs are usually utterly suspect. Few things work properly. Engines quit routinely -- usually due to piss-poor implementation by the designers of the aircrafts. Competent post-sale service is nearly impossible to find. The entire industry is a bloody nightmare. It seems to me, through long and painful experience, that those people attracted to ultralights in general are often or usually, well, more than a little CRAZY. They seldom engage in professional training. They often simply do not understand the very basics of flight dynamics, let alone the intracasies of it. They fly badly. They don't follow rules. They crash a LOT. They die a LOT. They fly into obstacles. They pluck their own wings off frequently. They run out of gas. They fly until the sun literally rots the fabric off their wings. They preflight only when they feel like it and they aren't thorough. They don't understand weather and they fly in the face of it often and get into trouble or are killed.

I was helping a friend assemble a brand new ultralight out of the box once. He was a brand new dealer. In the instructions there was a diagram of how to attach the fuel line to the engine -- pretty straightforward. But we were puzzled when we read, in big, black underline caps: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE A HOSE CLAMP TO SECURE THE FUELK (sic) LINE TO THE NIPPLE ON THE CARBEURATOR OF THE ENGINE. This was actually repeated twice. We read that, and read it again, and puzzled over it, and then we walked it over to the field AI and had him read it. He just shook his head and said he had no idea what they, the manufacturer, was talking about. We discussed the possibility that this must be some kind of new fuel line that none of us were familiar with, and that hose clamps were somehow something "bad" in this context and instance. We mulled that over for a long time before finally concluding that, certainly, the manufacturer knew far more than we did, dumb hillbillies that we must have been, and we very, veryreluctantly decided to follow their directions; we put no clamp on the fuel line. Shortly thereafter it was time for the maiden flight, and about four minutes into the flight, the fuel line fell off, spraying the pilot with gasoline and forcing a dead stick landing in some weeds. This is the kind of crap I see and have always seen permeated and striated all through the entire ultralight industry like a brain cancer.

I relate all this stuff because, one would think, anything to do with aviation would tend to interest and draw in the very most competent among us. But if you think that about ultralights, you'd be dead wrong.

It seems to me than banking and the industry of finances is a thing that would naturally interest and draw in the most technically competent among us. But if you think that, you'd be dead wrong.

I have noticed over sixty years of dealing with banks and credit unions and lenders and every kind and type of financial institution that that industry has, for some bizarre reason I can't understand nor articulate, interested and drawn in the sloppiest, dumbest, most incompetent and unprofessional idiots on God's green earth. I have never, ever done any business with any financial institution that didn't routinely make horrendously stupid mistakes again and again and again. They haven't the slightest skill in setting up useful websites. Their policies are nothing short of terrifyingly ignorant. The administrations of their institutions are slow and lackadaisical and unprofessional -- even often or usually downright incompetent. BECU is one of the worst in these regards.

The one thing BECU does admirably well is to provide really first class customer support. They are, at that level, helpful and polite (even when We, The Customers, are not). They will often bend over backwards to accomodate their herd. Trouble is, they're constrained, just as we customers are, by the borderline insane policies of those imbecilic twerps who dream them up at the top, presumably at cocktail parties or in the sauna -- with nearly no real research or testing behind them. In short, financial institutions almost always suck and BECU is, for me, personally, now at the top of that list.

To design a web page such that a fatal problem with a customer's address (the only sin being that it's out of the USA) results in an instruction to just keep trying the function again and again and again and again because the website is experiencing technical difficulties, is a design done at about the fourth grade elementary school level. And that stupid error doesn't apply to just the external transfer snafu, it applies or applied to other functions spread out throughout the website. I see online complaints of things like this all across the BECU website, going back decades, and those errors and glitches and problems are still manifest on this very day. The corporate heads are told about them, but apparently they Just. Don't. Care.

I have so many things going on in and through BECU that to change institutions would be a headache so gargantuan I can't even put words to it. I'm not sure I'm even up to it. But when it gets to the point that I can no longer bank AT ALL with BECU, I guess I'll have to find the energy and patience to switch. Wouldn't it, however, be far easier for BECU to simply get its collective head out of its ass and start paying attention to the gripes and complaints of its customers, and ex-customers, and wanna be customers and FIX THE STUFF? Wouldn't that make more sense than having your customers just quietly filter away?

Of course we have to remember the Wrong-Way-Bobs of the ultralight aircraft industry, who buy poorly engineered and badly constructed planes, cobbed together with faulty, untested parts, and who then get those questionable things somehow airborne, only to fly off into a fog bank, then into the side of a mountain.

Then everyone wonders, "Oh my God, how in the world did that ever happen? Poor Wrong Way Bob."

But Bob's no longer "in business".