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Chase Bank / penalized for early payment

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Chase Bank
On December 10th my 70 year old mother had to go in for knee surgery. She is the type of woman who always has paid her bills early and always has paid more than the minimum amount required. She has excellent credit. On December 9th she went into Chase bank in Rochester NY to pay her credit card bill early (before she had received her statement for her January). She told the teller that she wanted to pay her credit card bill early because she was having surgery and knew she would be out of it for the month of January. She asked the teller if it would be okay to pay her January bill early. The teller at Chase bank told her it would be fine, so my mother gave her one of her old statement with her credit card bank account number so the teller could put her payment in for January so that she did not have to worry about it while she was recovering from her surgery.

At the end of January she received her billing statement with a very high minimum payment due saying that she was past due on her January payment. My mother called Chase bank customer service immediately and explained to the Customer service rep that she made her January payment on December 9th because she had knee surgery on December 10th and she knew she would be out of it so she went to the bank and paid early.
The woman Customer Service rep at Chase bank said "Well you didn't call use to tell us you were doing this", my mother explained that she went directly to Chase bank and spoke with the teller and she told her she could pay for her January payment early and that it was fine.
The customer service representative said "You are supposed to call us, you can't just go to the bank and pay early without calling us to let us know".

I can't imagine why my 70 year old mother would do something so CRAZY as to go to the bank the credit card is issued from, ask an employee who works for the company that the credit card is issued from if it's okay to pay early and actually believe the employee who works for that bank is giving her the correct information when telling her that it is fine.

Are you following me so far? She went to the bank to pay her January 2009 payment early (In December of 2008), was told that was fine by a Chase bank employee at the bank and she made the payment thinking she had paid her bill early for January.

After going around in circles on the phone with the Customer Service representative, she was kind enough to understand what had happend and told my mother in the future she will need to call the credit card company to let them know if she plans on paying early, my mother agreed that she would and told her she didn't know she had to do that, seeing as the CHASE employee at the bank told her something different.

She told my mother she could just send in the minimum payment for her February payment and to ignore the extra amount for it being considered a late payment. My mother said I would like to pay extra as I do every month. The Customer Service rep said that's fine, but not necessary. The Customer Service rep said she would keep the fixed interest rate where is was when she signed up for the card. She even sent my mother a letter stating that she took care of the issue and that is was fully resolved.

My mother thought that was the end of this ordeal.
Today 2-21-09 the new statement came for the March payment. To my mothers surprise Chase bank wanted several hundred dollars more than the minimum payment, plus she noticed the interested rate when up a substantial amount.

My mother called Chase bank to speak to a Customer Service Representative; she was on the phone for over an hour being transferred from one rep to another explaining over and over again what had happend.
Finally she was transferred to some man who claimed to be the HEAD SUPERVISOR who explained to her that because her payment wasn't made between such and such date in January (but made early- in December) it was considered not paid.

He told her that her early payment counted towards the principle, but not towards the payment because... (even though it was paid early & even though the teller at the bank told her it was okay to pay early at the bank and that she credited to her January payment) Your gonna loves this... it wasn't paid between such and such a date in January, so it doesn't count!
Let me just explain this... because she paid early and not on the due date it was considered late and she is now being penalized because she went to the bank and paid early and because Chase employees are not educated enough to know that the information they give out at the bank is incorrect.

Lets put aside the fact that she has excellent credit, has never made a late payment and always pays more than the minimum amount. Lets put aside that the teller at the bank told her it was okay to pay at the Chase bank and that it was okay to pay early and... the customer service rep she spoke to on the phone the previous time she called sent a letter and told her she fixed the situation and it was all taken care of, this man said all of that is not true.

The man who she spoke to tonight after being on hold told her that according to the "fine print" on the contract she signed when signing up for the card it states that the bank has the right to charge her a higher interest rate and increase her minimum payment because she did not pay the extra fee for the late fee the previous month and she didn't pay between such and such date in January.

Wait a minute... I thought the Female Customer Service rep from the previous time she called Chase told her to disregard the bill and that she didn't have to pay the extra amount. I heard my mother tell the rep "I would like to pay extra, because I always do" and the rep told her that was fine and that she would adjust the account and she even sent her a letter.

Now if you're really confused about this situation, how do you think my 70 year old mother is feeling?

I am furious! I watched her face turn red as her blood pressure increased as she spent an hour on the phone being passed on from one rep to the next because no one at Chase bank seems to know what the hell is going on. Except for the man who thinks he is a GOD who calls himself the "HEAD SUPERVISOR".

According to him it doesn't matter what anyone at CHASE bank told her... "It's in the fine print".

I got on the phone with the BIG supervisor who was as cold and uncaring as they come! He didn't care about what anyone at the bank had told my mother, he refused to give me the name or phone number of the previous woman rep who said she took care of this situation and kept repeating how it was in the fine print if you miss a payment (which she did not do, she paid it early), your interest rate will increase and he cannot change it back to what it was.

I said to him "you've got to be kidding me, you're telling me that my mother is being penalized because she made an early payment at one of your banks!"

He said that's correct, it's in the fine print. I asked him to transfer me to someone above him, he said he was the head supervisor and there was no one else above him (We'll see about that).

I told him I would report them to the Attorney Generals Office, he said it's in the fine print. I told him that he is one of the most insensitive human beings I had ever spoken to; he didn't care he was cocky and thought he was a God with all this power. He didn't try to help out a customer with an outstanding record with Chase bank, a person who tried to do the right thing and pay her bill early BEFORE IT'S DUE DATE because she was having surgery.

This guy is a real winner! I will take this as far as I have to and tell the media and anyone who cares to listen that CHASE BANK HAS THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS - EVEN THE ONES WHO PAY THEIR BILLS... EARLY.
I know that this man who was smug and rude will someday be treated the way he treats others. I am a true believe of what comes around goes around and someday (hopefully when he is an old man) someone will treat him with such disrespect as he did to my mom.


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N  21st of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I feel for you. Chase has got me too. Last year they offer me something I cannot refuse. 2.99% for the life of the balance fixed -- not variable. I read the fine print, it was good. I spoke with the Chase bank manager about this and he shook my hand, saying, " no problem, it is as good as our home loans--only a better rate." He confirms that the only thing that would move my rate higher is if I paid late, I default or my credit tanked. No worries there, I'm at 749+ score with all 3 bureaus.

Fast forward one year. Chase increases my regular APR from 7.99 to 29.99 (no reason, all of my accounts are in good standing.) Then they reduce my credit limit to just above my balances. Pissed yes, but no worries. I continue making payments on time.

Now they send me a notice (Jan 09) that all my fixed for life promotional rate is going away. No opt out feature, its just going to happen in April 09. (says the customer service person).

Chase took 25 BILLION in taxpayer money with the bailout. They were supposed to use it to pay bad debt, instead they bankrolled it (there is no supervision of the bailout money by the way). They are also using it to lobby congress to veto credit card reform.

Chase follows the new credit model. They actively search for people who may have difficulty paying off debts and target them with balance transfers and debt consolidation offers. After getting in over their head, they bait-n-switch and frak them over. In an internal Chase meeting this policy was disclosed and the informant left Chase after he found out how crooked they are.

Luckily, I am in a position to pay off Chase in full on this. A lot of people are not so lucky and this will be the straw that breaks the camels back for them. I feel bad that our government backed such a crooked company like Chase, but then again, it is our government. No stretch there.

To all the flamers who would respond to this and with only the intent to tear up my comments: Go ahead. Maybe your a Chase Zealot in disguise, some CEO in his gold leaf pajamas who has to beat up on the person who got screwed by your company and has the balls to tell their story. Those reading posts after this will easily tell who is telling the truth and who is covering for Chase.

don't believe me. Check out the hundreds of others complaining about Cha$e here:

A  19th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Oh my, what an awful story.. I'm fairly new to credit cards and am still unsure of what activities are "rewarded" and penalized (eg, paying early/paying late), so I searched "do you get penalized for paying early" in Google and ended up here. Huh.. I hope you get this all sorted out! Please keep us all posted, and good luck!
A  30th of Jun, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The problem you are having is that you don't understand what Chase is attempting to do. They want to increase everyone APR and are looking for any excuse to do it. That are their marching orders. Once you accept that fact, you can lower your blood pressure. THEY DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR EXCUSE IS: THEY WANT YOUR MONEY (OR YOUR MOTHER'S MONEY.) They increased my APR from 11% to 30%. If you really want to get mad about something, think about the fact that Congress gave these guys $25 billion of or tax dollars to "bail them out." They won't give your mother a break, but they have no problem begging money from the government. Unfortunately, those clowns in Washington were "sympathetic" to Chase. How's that hope and change working for you?

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