Obama chooses Chase banker as chief of staff

Story here.

William Daley has been serving as Midwest chairman for JPMorgan Chase and is the brother of the current Chicago mayor and the son of famed Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

How unfortunate.  With a Chase insider this high in the US government, we can only wonder whether a crack down on Chase’s abusive practices (like parallel foreclosure) will ever happen.

Chase: Ask a question, get a wrong answer

You would think that asking your bank if a check has cleared would be a simple one to answer, but apparently Chase can’t get even that right, as evidenced by this recent blog post:

It’s true that “Sad Sack” bounced a check.  What I didn’t mention is the fact that Chase Bank told me that the check had cleared.  I had been checking my balances via online banking obsessively, waiting for the moment when I could be sure that I was done with “Sad Sack” forever.  The day it showed the check cleared I celebrated with a martini and a huge sign of relief.  It was over.

The next day “Sad Sack” called and informed me that the check wasn’t going to clear.  I started to cry.  There was no way this could be true!  My balances showed that the check had cleared!  In this case, I was sure, “Sad Sack” was mistaken.  But not sure enough…  “Sad Sack” had a way of wasting my time and energy.

I called up Customer Service.  I said, “Is there any chance that this check hasn’t actually cleared?”

The lady helping me was a sweetheart.  “I don’t think so,” she said.

“So absolutely the check has cleared?”

“Let me check.”

She was gone a long time.

When she returned her voice was small and meek.  “Actually,” she admitted, “the check won’t officially clear for a couple more days.  I’m sorry.”

“Wait a minute.” I was livid.  “I know this isn’t your fault, but Chase told me that this money was available before it was actually available.  I could have spent it and wound up bouncing checks all over town!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She kept apologizing.

“It’s not your fault,” I told her again.  I know not to shoot the messenger when dealing with these companies.  They’re just trying to make a buck in this cold, hard world too.

What’s in it for Chase Bank for me to think that the check cleared before it actually did? Any number of bounced check fees–that’s what!

Letting people know how you feel about Chase

Sometimes the simplest form of protest is best, like how this blogger amended his Chase cards with a label maker to express his feelings.

Chase doesn’t like red ink

Wow, was my first reaction to this this story. Can Chase really be THIS screwed up and insensitive to their customers?  You would think that closing someones account and accusing them of fraud would at least require a review by a real person of the circumstances involved and perhaps even some contact with the customer.

My husband and I (Berkeley residents) were recently treated terribly by Chase Bank, as I briefly describe below. I think that this story is of interest to many of your readers because Chase is a new bank in California. We, along with thousands of other Californians, had our Washington Mutual accounts become Chase accounts after the buy-out. I’ve heard many stories of people being mistreated by Chase, whereas Washington Mutual was known for their customer service — my husband, a Seattle native, had his Washington Mutual account since he was a child.

My husband Ethan’s grandma wrote us each a check for $100 for Christmas. She is going blind and she could only find a red pen to write the checks. My husband went to deposit these checks at our local Chase branch ATM last Tuesday (12/28/10). Apparently the red ink did not show up well on the scan that the ATM took of the check, so Ethan had to manually enter the amount of the checks. We went out of town for New Years, returning on Sunday (1/2/11). On Monday, I went to pay our mortgage (held by a different bank) online and realized that neither of our paychecks were direct deposited in our account, so we didn’t have the funds to pay. I called Chase and was told that the direct deposits had been refused because our account was “restricted,” had been closed by Chase due to “fraud,” and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. They said that they would send us the funds remaining in our account in 10 days. I then went to my local branch in downtown Oakland and spoke to the branch manager who was sympathetic, made some phone calls, but could do nothing about the situation since Chase had already decided to close the account. She confirmed that the “fraud” concerned the checks from Ethan’s grandma which they said were “blank’. Clearly no human every looked at the checks, as they were decidedly not blank. They made no effort to find out what had happened, instead just immediately closed our account.

The letter informing us that our account was closed arrived only today (Monday 1/3/11). Meanwhile, not knowing our account was closed, we sent a check for our car registration to the DMV last week and gave our day care a check today. Per Chase’s (unconscionable, I think) Account Agreement, they will not honor these checks, likely resulting in many fees, which they are not liable for according to this “agreement”. Not to mention, we have no bank account, do not have access to the funds from our paychecks, and cannot pay our mortgage or other bills. We might have fraud reported to credit agencies and our credit will likely suffer because we will inevitably be late on some payments since we have no funds or bank account. All because no one at Chase bothered to actually look at the checks from Ethan’s grandma, showing the ultimate disrespect to their customers and causing us completely unwarranted and unnecessary hardship.

Update:  This story was picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle (Chase misses checks’ red ink, closes bank account, 1/7/11).  And it looks like all the media attention has gotten the couple results, as Chase has reopened their checking account.  No word if they received an apology from Chase.

Protest @ Chase’s health care conference in San Francisco

One of our readers suggested that people show up at JPMorgan Chase’s health care conference in San Francisco on Jan 11-14 and we couldn’t think of a better way to start the new year, telling Chase how you really feel about them.

The full details of the conference can be found here.

J.P. Morgan’s 28th annual Healthcare Conference will be held from January 11th – January 14th at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Conference, the industry’s largest, will feature presentations from approximately 300 companies, both public and private, over four days of simultaneous sessions.  Additionally, keynote luncheon presentations will be made by Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and other influential figures.

Chase accused of being central in Madoff Ponzi scheme

JPMorgan Chase is being sued for $6.4 billion by Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard and is accused of ignoring warning signs so that they could profit from the scam.

Very similar to what they are accused of in the Tom Petters Ponzi Scheme, knowing something was wrong but choosing to profit from the business anyways.

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