Jul 12, 2010

Posted by in Family Life | 0 Comments

Chase Bank and Creative Finances

Back in the day, as my sons like to say, my husband and I refinanced our mortgage with Washington Mutual Bank (WAMU). We liked them so much that we moved our other personal banking accounts to them, too.

Fast forward a few years and Chase Bank has taken over control of WAMU. It wasn’t immediate, but rather gradually that we noticed some changes being made to our bank, namely, Customer Service. Where we once had excellent customer service, we now noticed a lack thereof, along with an attitude of DGAS (short for “Don’t Give a Sh!t”).

Given that my own line of work is based on a combination of customer service and creativity, it annoyed me to no end that my bank really didn’t care about me as a consumer. So, off I went to shop for a new financial institution. Since WAMU failed due to some poor business practices, including lending to those who were not qualified and often not citizens of the United States (nor legal residents), my husband and I decided we wanted to do business with a local bank with a good track record of customer service and quality business practices.

We happily began the process of moving our monies to the new local bank. Like many families, we have most of our bills automatically paid from our checking account. By the end of May, the only remaining bill I needed to change over to the new checking account was our mortgage. Ironically – or perhaps not really ironically – this was the ONLY bill that we have had trouble moving to the new institution.

On Friday, May 28, 2010, I logged onto my Chase account and clicked the link to update my payment for my mortgage. I was given two options:

1. Start the payments from new account beginning with the July 1, 2010 payment
or
2. Start the payments from the new account beginning with the August 1, 2010 payment.

NOTE: Those were the ONLY two options given. I clicked to choose the July 1, 2010 selection. I was immediately given a confirmation of this option. Later, I was also emailed a confirmation which stated that my payments from the new checking account would begin on July 1, 2010.

Since it was May 28, 2010, I knew I needed to be sure there was enough money in my Chase Checking Account to cover the June 1, 2010 mortgage payment. I deposited the appropriate monies.

Moving on to June 1, 2010, I noticed that there is still far too much money in my Chase Checking Account. I decide to log on to my new bank’s website. Lo and Behold! Chase has not only deducted my JUNE mortgage payment from the wrong account, but now I have also incurred nearly $100 in overdraft fees since the payment put my new account into a negative balance of about $20.00.

On June 2, I immediately contact Chase Bank to report the error. I am told I must submit my bank statement which shows “the name on the account, name of the bank, the date of the transaction in question, a running balance before and after the transaction in question and bank statement showing the actual transaction.” I was given a postal address and a fax number to submit the information.

As of today, July 12, 2010, I have submitted the information no less than six times. I have made ten separate phone calls to customer service, where I have to hear how “sorry” they are that I am “frustrated” with this error. I have been told several stories about why I have not received this refund. They range from “Oh, it went to the wrong department” to “The work order was misunderstood.”

Everyone at Chase Bank apologizes for the inconvenience, but no one is showing me the money. MY money. Money that I had to pay due to their order. As I told Gustavo today (the last in a string of unhelpful Chase representatives), if my mortgage payment is ever late I am hit was a late charge. Funny, isn’t it, how the reverse isn’t true.

Gustavo tells me I will get a check from Chase in 5 business days. I won’t hold my breath. In the meantime, however, I will share this experience with everyone.

Have you had a bad experience with Chase Bank? Do share!

~Karen

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