Years ago the local weekly paper where I lived included the Straight Dope column and I developed an appreciation for the non-nonsense explanation of everyday things. But I was surprised, as I usually am, to see a long Chase rant discussion on their discussion boards. It seems that people take whatever opportunity they can to vent about Chase. Some interesting grievances from that thread, such as using even the smallest amount of lateness (hey, we all screw up from time to time) as an excuse to rais interest rates.
Is it really necessary to deem someone a risky customer and raise their interest rate for being 5 days late on a $41 balance? In one response to that post Chase was accused of cashing the check but posting the payment intentionally late. Another accused them of shifting the due date around from month to month to make it more likely that people will screw up and miss it.
What most people want from a bank is pretty simple – customer service. This means that you treat them with respect and are able to distinguish the occasional mistake (and forgive it) from the truly risky customer.
Another complaint is charging customers to download transactions into Quicken? Seriously? Isn’t this the kind of feature that gets people to sign up with you as a bank?
There are more complaints, but I got tired of reading.
This Yahoo Answers question about someone having money taken out of their Chase account to satisfy an old debt explains WHY Chase has the right to do that, but not WHY they do so without any courtesy notice after the fact or in fact any verification that they are doing this to the correct person.
WaMu is a convenient whipping boy for Chase to blame the crappy part of their loan portfolio on, but it appears that WaMu wasn’t the only part of Chase’s loan portfolio that was intentionally originated as sub-prime, according to this report by a broker who is being sued by Chase after the loan blew up.
Chas has recently announced plans to add 80 additional branches in California as well additional mortgage officers in Texas and Illinois. What does this all mean? Adding branches doesn’t necessarily equate to better customer service, just a larger base for acquiring customers and increasing bank capital which is essential to a company like Chase that uses that capital not only as bank reserves but to make money in its investment banking operations. As for hiring more mortgage officers, Chase claims they are expecting a housing recovery, which seems at odds with the predictions of many top economists of additional housing price degradation in 2010 and an extended period of flat housing prices.
Chase has become quite the target for the anti-mountaintop removal coal mining crowd and they are currently running a campaign to try and get people to close their Chase accounts in protest of Chase funding of this practice.
Now I understand why. Apparently, despite their large brethren Bank of America and Well Fargo deliberately ending the funding of mountaintop removal mining, Chase, ever the bad boy and inclined to do whatever they want, continues to fund this controversial mining practice.
A lot of the stories I see about Chase make me wonder whether they are bad or simply inept. With respect to her originally WaMu 5/1 ARM mortage, Jill writes:
I have a 5/1 Arm that originated w/WAMU and now with Chase. It is due to adjust in August 2010. The gives the index loan is floating over, which I looked up – currently about .42. Index is 1-year Average Treasury (referred to as CMT). When I called Chase to confirm current index, I got transferred about 6-7 times, no one able to look up index. Last person said index is 3.33 – big difference from .4 almost 3 points too high. My husband recently spoke to our realtor who sold us the house and had same type of loan and had same problem, but finally got hers fixed. How many people are out there that didn’t question this? This “error” can cost people thousands of dollars and lead them to losing their homes. I am spreading “the word” starting today.
Now, setting the rate on an ARM once it resets should be day-to-day stuff for a bank and they should be good at it. Is Chase simply not good at what banks are supposed to do or are they doing this intentionally, and making it purposefully hard for people to solve the problem in the hopes that they will just give up?