Saturday, June 04, 2011

Chase Bank Steals Money from Autistic Teen

This post is an example of many things.  First of all it is an example of the old principal that if you give good service, people may not talk, but if you tick off a customer, they'll tell everyone they know.  Second, it is a reminder that small local businesses need some way to convince you to use them over the big boys, and service is often that reason.  Third, it is an example of using sympathy-gaining headlines that, I'll admit, don't tell the whole story (but if they are picked up by search engines and more folks read this post, so much the better).

What happened?  Well, as my regular readers know, my son graduated from high school a few weeks ago.  As is customary, family and close friends send him gifts, in the form of checks.  As he does not have a checking account, I had him endorse the checks to me.  I wrote out a deposit slip so he (the kid I'm trying to make an adult of) could walk three blocks to the bank and deposit the check into my account.  In return, I wrote a check, drawn on my account at that bank (an  account that has plenty of money in it) to him which he then cashed.  They stole six dollars of his money via the check cashing fee.  I wonder if they would have charged six dollars a check if I had just sent him over there to cash the checks?

Yes, the headline makes is sound like his autism had something to do with why they charged that fee, and it doesn't--they charge anyone for that service, but I really think there is something wrong with a bank charging to cash a check drawn on that bank.  They knew my check was good; they weren't risking anything.  I called, I wrote, I complained.  I asked that the charge be reversed.  Chase Bank, that behemoth that needed taxpayer bailout money because of bad investments, chose to charge an unreasonable fee to the son of a customer.  This customer is voting with her feet and taking her business to Metairie Bank, a local bank that has told me they would not have charged him anything for that transaction.  It is also the bank that gives my Girl Scout troop a free checking account (a very low balance account which is probably more of a bother to them than anything).  

If you get a glossy brochure in the mail urging you to open an account at Chase Bank, my advice is to recycle it.

7 comments:

  1. We had a bad experience with my kids and Chase also. We closed all of our accounts there and let people know that they are not the place to do business. My sister closed all her business and personal accounts with them. They are crooks and they prey on young kids, students and young adults. I think because they are such easy targets. Their fees are ridiculous and they are always adding new fees. I'm surprised they don't charge to park in their parking lot!

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  2. Oh, just wait till you get all the stories in the comments on this post! :)

    We left Bank of America after multiple irritants, but the straw that broke hte camel's back came when we took Alex to the bank with his piggy bank, to have them run it through the big cool money-counting machine and count it, and put in his account. It was a big deal for a 3 year old, and he'd been looking forward to it for weeks. And then the bank told them they would not count change; we had to go buy rolls and fill them with the matching change. We were stunned. "You're joking, right?" was the reaction. And when they got all snotty about it, Christian said, "Fine. Close my accounts." Jerks. Still makes me mad.

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  3. I've never used Chase, so I can't comment on them. But what they did sounds pretty cheesy. I don't blame you for dropping them. Like any other business, banks can be annoying at times, so if their services take a turn for the worse, just take your business elsewhere. Or some have learned, if you publicize your grievances in the right way, you might very well get those corporate clods to change their tune!

    Evan

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  4. Oh my, words can't describe how much I despise Chase bank...I had an account with them a long time ago and the memories of my experience with them still make me shutter.

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  5. $6.00 to cash a check???
    That gives a whole new meaning to
    the words "bank robbery"!

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  6. How absolutely ridiculous!! I can understand why you took your business elsewhere

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  7. In the process of closing all of my Chase accounts. I have found the Bank to be unreasonable and too big to do business with small businesses. They have found and make use of every loophole to regain what what lost in the debit card legislation.
    Bye-bye Chase Bank

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