Dec 20, 2009

Nickeled and Dimed Hustle - Update

UPDATE: Check out this article on corrupt overdraft fees! Click Here.

Chase was trying to hustle me for $70. My inner high-riding bitch made a few phone calls and got that situation resolved. Here's how it went down.

Last week I went to the store and on my way I called my bank to get my current balance. Depending on what the automated system was going to tell me would determine what I was going to get.

Lucky me when I found out I had sufficient funds, or so I thought, to cover this small debit transaction. However, lurking within the circuitry of Chase was a recurring charge I had forgotten about, which was my bad.

At the store the purchase went through. Life seemed good. Then later that day I bought a song from iTunes. Bottom line is that both of these purchases came to a grand total of $12.30. Both of these purchases, however, would come back to mess with my life.

The following day I got paid. Yes good people, as a part-time worker, I work paycheck to paycheck. When I went online to see my banking statement, I see two insufficient fund fees at $35 each! So, Chase wanted to charge me $70 penalty fees for two purchases that totaled less than $13.00. Oh hell no!

What tripped me up was I forgot about my recurring monthly charge. This particular charge hits me in the beginning of the month, and on different days. It's actually become a headache.

I'm not that organized to keep track of it. This charge came before the store and iTunes purchase. Hence my account being hit twice.

When I called the bank the first representative and supervisor I spoke to game me a speech about being responsible. They told me that I should use the "tools" they provide me with to manage may account.

I informed them that I have email alerts on my account, and called the bank before I made the first purchase to make sure I had sufficient funds. I then said it seems that both of these tools obviously failed me.

I then ask how is it that they allowed the first purchase to go through when they knew the emusic charge was already taken out. I was told by both Chase-bots that they allowed the two purchases to go through as a courtesy.

I said to both, "It's not a gesture of courtesy, when you are charging me $35 for each act of courtesy. Basically, Chase made a call that ultimately benefits Chase financially."

They then informed me that starting next month they are going to allow customers to opt out of receiving such acts of "courtesy." I then said, "Well obviously there is something wrong with this practice, since Chase is changing the policy."

I ended the conversation by stating I firmly believe what they did was wrong, and that I feel I was set up. How many more acts of courtesy were they going to shower me with? Their attitude was like, whatever.

I called a third time and wanted to get names. I was going to put through a formal complaint about what was done with my money, and how I was treated. This third representative was different. He heard me out, and while he offered some of the same script talk he did something special.

This guy took some time to look at my history with Chase. He mentions that he sees I have been a customer since 1991, and that over the 18 years, my occurrences of insufficient funds was minimal!

He also mentioned that he was really not digging that they wanted to charge me $70 for purchases that came to $12 and change. So, homeboy reversed the charges, and put the $70 back into my account. His name is George L, and may he have a blessed holiday and a glorious new year.

I called a fourth time and filed a complaint against the representative and supervisor that offered personal judgements, forgot their was another human-being on the other end, and were generally dismissive. May the new year bring them a greater ability to be empathetic, and the desire to truly be of service to customers.

P.S. Afterwards I forgot I should have woven into my discussion with the first two Chase-bots the whole bailout madness. And, how while Chase didn't get funds directly, they are benefitting from my tax dollars that is supporting the bailout.


Kitty said...

These banks are a hustle is real talk. They have hidden fees stuck in everything, especially for overdrafts that they allow to happen. I also read a couple of years ago of the banks tactic of holding back a charge over the weekend or holiday with the expectation, based on past account action, that it will be an overdraft when they submit it costing more money and phone calls. Congress better stop messing around and get dead serious about Wall Street freeloaders screwing over the people that helped keep them from sliding into personal foreclosure by giving up tax money to save their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I say this to everyone who has a banking story: move everything to HSBC. I have never ever ever had a single problem with HSBC, ever. And I have gone over my account numerous times (I should prolly have a talk with myself about that) and they are always like "Sure, reversed. Anything else we can help you with."

Love them, which is why I will shortly be closing all my Bank of America accounts too because you think Chase is bad...

libhom said...

I hate, hate, hate the banksters.

Wonder Man said...

urgg, these banks