I Fired Chase

I’m back from dealing with the various body blows life has thrown at us. I’ve even got a good example of how living life like Pookah allows you to deal with “problem” credit card companies.

I had two credit card accounts with Chase. So, Friday evening, I got a letter from Chase:

  • Dated 06/02/2009.
  • Closed a credit card account I hadn’t touched since 10/2007 (October last year).
  • Reasons given were items on my Experian credit report: failure to pay as agreed, and past due history on one or more accounts.
  • Listed a phone number to call if I had any questions – but with no office hours on the weekend.
  • Website still shows the account as open and usable.

Here were the red flags:

  1. The letter was date from the beginning of June and it didn’t arrive until the 10th of JULY.
  2. I don’t have my quarterly credit report yet, but my records indicate no late or missed payments on any cards in the last 12 months – including no requests to any institution to forgive a lapse on my part. So the reasons look bogus.
  3. Yeah. Letter arrives on a Friday, and the earliest I can call for answers is Monday. Typical corporate BS. Customer service grade: FAIL.
  4. Website obviously has not been updated with these changes that are over 30 days old.
  5. Both of these credit cards were opened to take advantage of credit card arbitrage.
  6. Original plan was to lower the credit limit on one of the cards and use it exclusively for PayPal purchases, to limit my exposure.
  7. Website and my records both indicated that both credit cards had no balance, no amount due, and had been paid in full for months (maintained at zero balance for the last 6 months – as far back as I cared to check).

Looks like a scam, doesn’t it?

Wait, it gets better!

So, I called cardmember services. Here’s what the customer service person told me:

  • The account was closed by Chase.
  • It takes Chase up to 30 days to update account status on their website. (Really? Then why was the letter dated from JUNE – more than 30 days ago – and the website still shows it as open?)
  • I’d have to call that department that’s not open on weekends to get any other questions answered.
  • The customer service person apologized several times (part of the script), but I just responded with, “I know it’s not your fault. Chase did this, not you.”
  • I had her close my only other Chase account – a second credit card.
  • I’m following up with a certified, return-receipt letter, to make sure that if Chase decides to play games with keeping the account open or adding additional charges to it, that I will take them to the cleaners in court (no I’m not a lawyer.)

Here’s what I think happened:

Chase, being under huge financial pressure like the majority of other financial institutions, started an automatic review of accounts looking for “at risk” accounts – by whatever criteria they choose to measure – and “unused” accounts. Mine would be the latter. They then quoted the best reasons they could for canceling the account – as they are allowed to do by the credit card agreement I signed. Translation: They weren’t making any money off of me, so they decided to close the account. But they’re leaving the web-based version “open”, hoping that I’ll make a mistake and do a balance transfer, or online purchase that they can then charge me extra fees for.

Bad move, Chase. Now I’ve closed the other account. So it is even less likely that I will do business with you in the near future. Your hold on me has just been drastically reduced. Furthermore, since our business relationship is terminated, I can potentially start billing you for any advertising you send me. And best of all: Since it takes up to 30 days for you to update web-accessed accounts, I’m NOT going to do business with you in the future unless I am compensated for the additional risk, or have guarantees put in place that ALL changes/status of the account are reflected online within 24 hours. That’s just simple good business – risk vs. reward.

I did dare them, after all.

Heh heh heh!

3 Responses to “I Fired Chase”

  1. PookahBoss says:

    Well, Chase sent me a form letter confirming that I sent them a letter. They say that they’ll keep me on their Do Not Call list for… five years.

    Funny. The letter I sent them says that if they send me any sort of advertisement after the 30 day “grace” period that I’d bill them $50 per minute or printed page (or portion thereof). With no time limit. Unless I contacted them and made other arrangements… in handwriting.

    Long-term, this could get very amusing.

    – PookahBoss

  2. […] Life of Pookah Finances, Life, Frugality, Ethics, Morals… all revolving around a stray cat. « I Fired Chase […]

  3. PookahBoss says:

    To add to the ridiculousness of Chase’s actions: I pulled my quarterly credit report from Experian. There were no surprises. The only new item was the Chase credit card account that was closed… (drum roll)… on June 2, more than 30 days before I called Chase.

    What’s the British term? Oh, yeah: What a bunch of wankers.

    — PookahBoss

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