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.