Squeezing For More Personal Info

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Iggy
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Squeezing For More Personal Info

Postby Iggy » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:21 pm

Recently my great bank Washington Mutual (checking, savings with credit card) of 5 years failed and was taken over by Chase. They have done four questionable things since and I am in the process of canceling my account. The credit card transition was done first. The banking division is not to be completed until October 2009.

First, leading up to the changeover they kept saying on the splash page I did not have to do anything during the transition except continue using my account. Whether some fine print deeper behind a link had the information is irrelevant. They lead me to believe everything would be done smoothly without any warnings. They left out the part that my Account Email Alerts would need to be set up again. On a month when the payment happened to come due earlier than usual it ended up late. They offered no grace as years ago a different credit card company had done when I overlooked a due date and this one waved the late fee. In both cases it was 1 day past due.

Second, without notification they removed the ability to access my account online. One day I went to check my account online and the page looked different. None of the links to payments and transactions lead to my account. It said my account needed to be registered for online access.

Third, although I could not access my account information online the website still recognized me and greeted me with a form to fill out for something called QuickPay. This was described as a way to email money to anyone with an email address. I did not want this service and every effort to get around it without actually accepting the terms of the service was impossible. When I was running out of time to pay my bill I filled in some of the information to get past the screen. It ultimately was a means to force me to provide personal bank account information. When I was able to see this was where the step by step form was headed I aborted it and mailed in my payment. Fortunately, even with the holiday I was still able to make the payment on time though I wondered whether they would deliberately delay processing the payment just so it would be late.

The account has no balance and I stopped using it weeks ago. They also do not seem to realize that my bank information was already set up with my credit card account as I have been making my payments through the two linked accounts for years. Both are with WAMU.

The final straw, occurred when I emailed them and called. They said this was a random security measure guarding against fraud. I gave them security information I had previously set up but they asked a couple of questions that were not part of that. This made me suspicious. They were asking for information after I had already provided identification. It seemed to be a trick to expand their database of personal information. If they had been upfront and explained this was something they were doing as a cautionary measure dealing with the current economy I would have understood and complied. The rather inconsiderate and underhanded approach they were taking bothered me. They were essentially holding my account hostage to get more personal information from me. Other than the recent 1-day late payment this account had a flawless history. That one late payment was also the amount to pay the account off in full. In the history of the account, I had paid off large balances (never higher than $4000) several times and in the past year had paid the balance off monthly. The previous credit card company had regularly raised my credit limit even though I was not using more than 20% of whatever it was at the time.


I have read you need to be careful when canceling credit cards. The credit card personnel can screw you. I want this account closed and for it to be noted that it was closed at my request, not theirs. I also refuse to provide more information beyond what is reasonable and necessary for identification especially when I am ending my relationship with this company. I plan on notifying them through a recorded phone call which I anticipate it will not be easy. I expect resistance in some form, if only to retain me if not to be stubborn about getting more information out of me. I also plan to send a clearly written letter requiring a signature upon delivery that acknowledges the specific details of the phone conversation and reiterates my cancellation request.

Any advice would be appreciated.


jeffysdad
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Sorry for your trouble...

Postby jeffysdad » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:02 pm

I was also a happy Wamu customer. I became one when they bought my then bank, Bank United. Anyway. I've also had a Chase credit card for years and have been very happy with them.

When the Wamu site was taken down I logged on to Chase where I would manage my credit card and found that my former wamu savings and checking were displayed right there on my accounts home page along with my chase credit cards. Checking even had the same acct. No. I had memorized oh so many years ago. I hadn't done anything at all to register the accounts. For me the web transition from wamu to chase was seamless. Frankly, I found this to be amazing. Good job, Chase! Who would have thought?

However, I'm not using the Chase cards right now (have better cashback from someone else). And I'm not using the checking/savings as I prefer ING Direct for their better savings interest and web interface. However, if the cashback and savings account interest (0.5%-Get Real!!!) were better at Chase I would really love having my "daily driver" credit card, checking and savings all in one place with one internet page view.

I think you should give them a chance. They seem to be doing all they can to make the transition smooth for customers, at least from my perspective.

It's worth remembering, too, that Chase has been the most responsible of the big banks throughout the financial crisis. BTW, I have no connection with Chase, in case anyone was wondering.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

jeffysdad
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Forgot to add...

Postby jeffysdad » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 pm

For the time being at least Chase seems to be honoring Wamu's generous checking account terms -- totally free no matter what unless you misbehave. You should have received a booklet from Chase outlining their terms. In there they do say that inactive free checking accounts can be converted to non-free accounts. It's a little bit hidden and explained using the bank's terms for its account products. Point is to watch out for that. If they start charging me any kind of fees I'm out of there.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

Iggy
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Postby Iggy » Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:46 am

jeffysdad wrote:...I think you should give them a chance. ............It's worth remembering, too, that Chase has been the most responsible of the big banks throughout the financial crisis...


How much of a chance or how many chances are enough?

When companies (creditors, insurance and utilities) have campaigned for your enrollment in BillPay services and to go paperless they have a responsibility to protect their members from probable oversights during such a transition. After all, they are in the business while members are relying on them to point out what we need to know. When the business highlights certain things there is consequently an implied reduction of importance on everything else. They stated prominently on the front page that we did not need to do anything. This lead to a nice windfall from late fees. I could not have been the only person relying on my Email Alerts.

What yardstick was used to determine Chase has been the most responsible during this financial crisis? What was measured and compared? Were all or most of the others irresponsible? What did the second place company fail to do that put them behind Chase?

At this point I plan on eliminating them before they take over the bank division in October. I already replaced the soon to be closed credit card and have found another bank with the good service I had received with WAMU. Smaller companies focus on service while larger companies, at best, only manage volume. If it comes down to the large banks absorbing all of the smaller banks I will go with one of the others.

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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:50 am

Didn't WAMU also give you a free FICO score too if you had an account with them? That is another benefit that has been lost with the switch to Chase.

Here in CA they have gone out of control with the marketing of the change. Like every billboard, radio ad, and tv commercial is for Chase. It's really annoying I wonder how much of our bailout money is paying for that junk.
OBAMA
Stop talking crap about him!

jeffysdad
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you're right

Postby jeffysdad » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:57 am

the free credit score was a great benefit that wamu cc offered. when chase took over i read somewhere that they said they would not be able to offer that due to cost. i monitor my credit score at Free Credit Score & Free Credit Reports. No Credit Card Needed for free now. works great.

i could very easily be wrong, but i don't think chase took bailout money; or if they did they've paid it back???

i don't want to be an apologist for chase. at various times i've considered myself to be at war with one or another of all the big banks. chase has pissed me off in the past but overall has been better than the rest, imo. i used to hate b of a, but now they're doing ok by me with an fia card services card. wells fargo's website is not compatible with my favorite browser, so now i think they suck. amex is lame because they made me fight for my freebie cash. i'm embarrassed to be seen with a capone card, but they're the only ones i know that don't tack on foreign transaction fee. citi and hsbc are ok but their websites could be better and they offer crappy cashback.

so at the end of the day, they're all kind of evil in their own ways.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

Iggy
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Postby Iggy » Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:13 am

Update: I had applied for a card with my new bank to replace this one I planned to close. I received the new card and promptly contacted Chase informing them I was closing the account. I was surprised that the rep was cooperative. She made the pitch to keep the account as expected but she was not unprofessional. After the events I described earlier I expected this person to be equally tactless. I credit the customer service rep I spoke to when cancelling the account not Chase as this lack of consideration appears to be a policy effecting multiple levels including online account services and personal contact with other reps.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:09 pm

Let's not forget that WaMu failed. Chase did the government a favor by taking them over. Had Chase not taken them over you might have found the doors locked, the website non-existant, and found that you had to deal with a FDIC bureaucrat to get your money. Thousands of people have found themselves in that situation in the last year. You were loucky to have gotten off so easily.

I have been a happy Chase customer for about 30 years (through several predecessor banks). They have their annoyances but I don't think they are any worse than any other large bank. If you pay your bill on time, follow their rules, and stay within your spending limits you will not be charged extra fees.

Iggy
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Postby Iggy » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:13 pm

DoingHomework wrote:Let's not forget that WaMu failed. Chase did the government a favor by taking them over. Had Chase not taken them over you might have found the doors locked, the website non-existant, and found that you had to deal with a FDIC bureaucrat to get your money. Thousands of people have found themselves in that situation in the last year. You were loucky to have gotten off so easily.

I have been a happy Chase customer for about 30 years (through several predecessor banks). They have their annoyances but I don't think they are any worse than any other large bank. If you pay your bill on time, follow their rules, and stay within your spending limits you will not be charged extra fees.

DoingHomework's post should make everyone suspect who hangs around this forum.

Chase is not the knight in shining armor. They did no one a favor. Taking over WAMU was a business decision that benefitted Chase. Chase is a business with an objective to make money and to continue making money. It is not a person with compassionate, empathetic nor philanthropic ideals.

There is a protocol to follow when any business makes changes. High on the list of priorities is communication and facilitation. Chase failed miserably. Beware of anyone claiming they have only their good experience behind them motivating their defense of Chase.

Why care to defend them in light of the circumstances described here? Chase clearly messed up this time. This involved a campaign over weeks of time and several employees. This is a clear cut example of how they blew it. Why attempt to delute this incident? What is your true motive here? Why defend a company if you don't represent them?

jeffysdad
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on "defending" banks...

Postby jeffysdad » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:39 am

I wouldn't say my positive comments here on Chase or any other bank are a defense of the institutions. You are correct to see them as amoral businesses because that's what they are. However, they're not all the same; some are better/less bad than others in various areas and it's worth recounting one's personal experiences as they can be a guide for making the best of a less-than-desirable situation.

In other posts here I've tried to make the point that consumers need to be responsible for not only their actions but also holding their counterparties (the banks, in this case) to their word.

Over the years I've filed numerous online complaints against Chase and many of the other banks when they failed to honor a cashback promotion, credit my account an amount due in a timely manner, etc. Most recently have been FIA Card Services/Bank of America and Chase, each of these was in the last 2-3 months. After each was contacted by the BBB I got exactly what I wanted.

The point is to succeed when doing business with banks/credit cards one should follow two rules:

Make sure that one's personal behavior (paying on time, etc.) is above reproach. Second, know the rules, watch the banks and make sure they give you what they promise. If not, complain to the BBB, SEC, etc. Make it costly for them when they DON'T do the right thing. It really is very effective.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.



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