I started my career at Chase Manhattan bank, working in check processing. Back then the bank really cared about its customers, and worked hard to make them happy. My how times have changed.
Today, JP Morgan Chase is one of the most profitable banks around. Last week they suffered a bit of a black eye, when it was revealed that more than 1,600 of their employees made more than a million dollars last year – the most of any bank in the US.
Part of me thinks I should have stayed there – I’m just confident enough (or egotistical enough) to think I’d be one of those 1,500 right now. But frankly, after seeing how the organization has gone so totally down hill, I’m glad I’m not – because clearly they’d rather take care of their employees than worry about satisfying a customer.
Here’s my sorry tale – which I know has been played out in various forms across countless consumer accounts. For years I had a Citibank credit card that I used – and paid off – every month. Sometime last year I got sold off to Chase Manhattan, and since I had to change credit card numbers anyway, I figured I’d look around for a better card. I found it, and subsequently stopped using that Chase card (I probably ran up all of 10 transactions on it, which I paid off immediately.
So today I just looked at my Chase Bill, and saw $55 worth of charges on it – including a $15 late fee and a $1 finance fee. I know the card hadn’t been used, so I called up the bank to find out what the charge was, and ask them to close the account and remove the charge.
It turns out, the charge was for a newly minted annual “membership” fee, which I’d missed by not seeing the previous statement. So they charged me a $39 annual card fee, then a $15 late fee, and $1 of interest on top of that. $55 for something I’d never asked for, never had to pay before, and for nothing of value.
When I politely asked for the charges to be reversed, because I’d never asked for them, I ran into the wall of pain. I was transferred first to a department that couldn’t help me, and then to a representative named “Justin”.
Justin told me that I’d asked for the card, that they had sent me a copy of the terms that included the annual fee, and that there was nothing he could do. “There are no waivers of any fees at all anymore”, he told me, saying that it was new bank policies. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and first Justin told me that “we don’t have anyone available”, and when I pressed, said that it was bank policy and that “we are not allowed to pass to supervisors.” According to “Justin” (Chase policy also forbid him from giving me his last name or employee number), he was the last person I was going to talk to at Chase, no matter what
Got a problem with that, he said? If so, I was advised to write a letter.
So in the end, JP Morgan Chase stole $55 from me. But it’s their loss, because they just lost a customer for life – and hopefully you’ll think twice before purchasing a product, service or credit card from them.
Yes, at one time, Chase Manhattan was a solid, respectable bank that cared for its customers and its employees – I know, because I was one. But now they’re just a money-grubbing, faceless, nasty organization that would rather steal than serve. And in today’s transparent society, that’s not just wrong, it’s bad business too.
By the way, if you want to write a letter, here’s the address:
Chase Card Services, box 182918 OH1-0554 Westerville Ohio 43081
I’ll be sending them a letter, but I’m not holding my breath on the response.