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!

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