Dear Chase, please don’t enroll me in stuff I don’t want

The consumer advocate at your local newspaper or TV station is still the best way to get big organizations like Chase to do the right thing.  For some reason, negative publicity still bothers them.  Take this exchange for example:

Dear Greg: In 2009, Chase Bank sent me an advertisement stating that, with the opening of a new checking account with a minimum $1,000 deposit, they would give me — yes, give me — $100. My first deposit was $1,064 on Dec. 16, 2009. Then the proverbial other shoe: They deducted $25 of the $100 on Dec. 23 for what they called a “Leisure Rewards” program annual fee, plus another $25 under the same charge code. In plain English, they had taken back $50 of the so-called $100 “incentive” to open an account. I figured it was only a matter of time before they deducted the remaining $50 for something else and went smiling into the sunset. I closed the account to a zero balance on March 26, 2010. On Jan. 1, 2011, they billed me for the last $50 of the account — a difficult transaction since the account had been closed for nine months! This did not stop Chase. They simply charged a “negative” balance to my non-existent account. They added $27 for account overdraw, bringing the total to $77. Their collection people have been calling us morning, noon and night.

Dear Donald: It was so much easier when banks gave new customers a toaster! But let me cut to the chase. I donned a pair of oven mitts and handed off your scorching hot letter to my contact at the bank. According to Chase, the deductions from your account were the result of your enrollment in the Leisure Rewards program — even though you say you never heard of the program until you were charged for it. In the interest of moving on, Chase has applied a $77 credit to your account, marked it “closed,” stopped all collection efforts, and confirmed that your credit record has been muddied.

I suspect that they won’t be enrolling people in Leisure Rewards anymore as that program is going away, at least for debit cards, but this is very similar to how they’ve been enrolling customers in overdraft protection without asking for years, until the government made them stop.

As for the rest of it, like billing the closed account for a $50 fee that no-one at Chase is likely to be able to figure out, well that’s just how Chase is, if you’ll believe the 1,000 or so stories we’ve posted here since 2005.

SPAM IP list

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Was Chase online down for 24 hours again

We’ve gotten a few scattered reports that Chase again claimed to be offline for an “upgrade” for 24 hours or so.

More information from Computerworld:

Computerworld – Firefox users may have had trouble accessing JPMorgan Chase’s website today when the bank experienced problems with an outdated security certificate.

According to a Chase spokesman, the Firefox certificate was updated on the bank’s servers in about 45 minutes, resolving the issue.

Almost one year ago, Chase experienced a more severe outage that shut out millions of customers from its online banking site for three days.

That earlier outage stemmed from a failure related to Chase’s user authentication database.

Today’s outage involved a lapsed security certificate. Website servers present certificates to a customer’s browsers to verify identities. This certificate, which has information such as the address of the site, is verified by a third party that is trusted by a user’s computer.

A certificate that is outdated or lapsed would appear as having been revoked by the issuing server.

While short-lived, today’s outage was still a major issue, according to market research firm Celent.

“No bank wants its customers to be presented with the message, “you may be communicating with an attacker,” Celent analyst Jacob Jegher wrote in a blog.

Jegher said if the issue hadn’t been resolved quickly, Chase could have ended up paying out reimbursements to customers unable to pay bills on time.

More evidence Chase not that good at technical details

After reading this story, do you still trust Chase with your own personal info?  Chase got her account cross-linked with the wrong persons not once, but twice!

A bad experience has led one Manhattan woman to question Chase Bank’s online security. NY1’s Susan Jhun filed the following report.

Chase Bank’s website reads, “Chase is serious about safeguarding your personal information online.” Yet long-time customer Marie says she personally found that to be untrue.

When the Chase client had a problem viewing her linked checking, savings and business accounts online, she went into a branch to resolve the matter. The bank had accidentally linked Marie’s account to someone else’s.

“I’m linked to their account and they have pending payments about to be taken out of my personal account,” says Marie.

Additionally, she was shocked that she had access to all of this stranger’s private financial information. After much back and forth initiated by Marie, the stranger’s information was finally removed from her account, only to then have her business partner’s personal information link to her account.

“I called the gentleman back and he said, ‘I can’t delete these from your account because it’s from before 2009.’ Their services, their records don’t go back before 2009,” says Marie.

Marie says a Chase representative told her that she should manually delete all her business partner’s information, which to Marie is a ridiculous solution.

“I definitely know I’m not alone, because when I asked, ‘What’s your accountability, what’s your responsibility to this?’ the gentleman in the escalation department was like, ‘Oh actually, this happens all the time,'” says Marie.

NY1 reached out to Chase and a spokesman released a statement that said, “We apologize for the error and are working with the customer to resolve this uncommon issue. We encourage customers to contact the bank whenever they notice any unusual activity with their accounts.”

It is little reassurance to Marie, who says she has lost all faith in Chase.

“I’m definitely changing my account,” she says.

Are you paying the Chase Gold Account fee (former WaMu customers)

Apparently Chase tacked on a recurring monthly fee on some accounts transitioned from Washington Mutual for additional benefits.  The problem is, they appear to have done this without customers actually signing up for the package.  Here is how one customer describes it:

This is what they say my Gold account $7 fee is about:

The fee in the amount of $7.00 dated March 14, 2011 is for your Plus Package program in your account. This account feature was applied to your account prior to Chase conversion (from WaMu). This Plus Package program allows you to have non- financial benefits which include the following:

– Accidental death insurance ($10,000.00)
– Card protection service
– $5 discount on Deluxe personal check orders (one box per order)
– Hotel / travel discounts
– Prescription drug program
– Shopping discounts
– Unlimited no fee cashier?s checks, money orders and travelers cheques and fee discount on travelers cheques for two
– Vision plan

Based on another comment we got, some customers may not actually be getting the benefits of this program that they were automatically (and without permission) signed up for.

Is this the new bank profit ethics, making money from signing people up for things they don’t want and didn’t ask for?

JPMorgan Chase slammed with credit union MBS bill

The National Credit Union Administration is threatening to sue several large banks, including JPMorgan Chase, seeking the refund on $50 billion in mortgage-backed securities sold to wholesale credit unions, who buy the securities on behalf of retail credit unions.  The securities are now worth $25 billion, half of what their original value.

In one of the broadest accusations that Wall Street helped cripple financial institutions during the crisis, the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, has threatened to sue several investment banks unless they refund over $50 billion of mortgage-backed securities sold to the five institutions, called wholesale credit unions.

The NCUA is accusing Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. of misrepresenting the risks of the bonds to wholesale credit unions, which loaded up on the bonds in their role of investing on behalf of retail credit unions, according to people familiar with the situation.

Chase debit rewards are history

Chase has been mailing customers letters informing them that as of July 19th, debit card reward programs will be discontinued claiming it is because of debit card interchange fee limitations imposed by the upcoming new federal rules.

Most shocking about that statement is that Chase is actually preemptively informing customers about a change.

Make sure they don’t keep charging you the $25 annual fee after the program has been discontinued.

Update:  A Chase customer posted these exerpts from the letter she received:

We are writing to notify you about some upcoming changes to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program that we are making as as a result of the recent changes in the law.

Congress recently enacted a new law know as The Durbin Amendment that significantly impacts debit cards. As a result of this law, we will be changing our debit rewards program. After July 19, 2011 you will no longer earn points on purchases you make with your Chase Ultimate Rewards Debit Card.

So they are directly blaming the law in the letter to customers, possibly hoping to generate some political pressure.

How to get a check cashed for free at Chase (for non-customers)

Chase charges non-customers $5 or more to cash a check drawn on Chase Ban in the branch.  Here’s how one creative non-customer got one cashed for free.

My previous employer used Chase. One day I took my paycheck into the branch from which the check was written. They wanted to charge me $5 to cash that check. It’s my money, or at the very least, my employers money. Why should Chase get a cut?

I asked to speak to the branch manager to see if he would waive the policy. I mentioned that Walmart would cash the check for only $3. I asked how it was possible for Walmart to cash a Chase check at less cost than Chase, the bank (and branch) from which the check originated? The manager actually told me he didn’t know and didn’t care, and that perhaps I should go to Walmart and ask them!

He then said that if I opened a Chase account, I could get my check cashed for free. I thought about this for a moment, and said sure!

I opened a Chase acct. with $100 from the cashed check, and left. I went to a nearby store and grabbed a soda, then walked back into Chase (no more than 10 minutes later) and closed my account. I made a point of thanking the branch manager for the free check cashing service, and promised to tell all my friends and family about my experiences with Chase.

Thank YOU for the opportunity to repeat my story here today.

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