08 November 2009

I am not a happier Californian.

Chase Bank took over WaMu, and screwed up my life.

We own a small business; I go to the bank frequently. We've also got the five small children; they come with me everywhere.

So the kids are quite familiar with the refrain: "I have to stop at the bank," and they moan and groan, but WaMu used to be an easy place to stop with the kids. So many things have changed since Chase took over that what used to be an easy errand now amounts to a trip to hell. Here are the stupid things Chase has done that make my day more difficult:

  • Took out the kid area of my local branch, which had books, toys, a kids' table and chairs set, and a couple of small video games. Replaced it with (yawn) a boring chair.

  • Removed their deposit drop box -- so now I have to actually stand in line.

  • Removed the Express Line -- so now I have to stand in a longer line.

  • Reduced the amount of time the Business Line is open -- so I can't rely on being able to use this line anymore either.

Other things about Chase Bank that I hate:

(1) They have a new policy where they hold all non-Chase bank deposits until the next banking day. Annoying. For a small business like ours, this just is another hassle we don't need.

(2) The other night I went online and transferred money into my home account, knowing that I needed to in order to cover some checks and debit card expenses that were going to clear. Used to be, with WaMu, I could do this fairly late into the evening and the money (MY money, going from one Chase account to another Chase account) would go in immediately. I've done this many times with WaMu, and it did not occur to me that this would change with Chase. Well, change it did; the money didn't transfer until the next day, and FIVE of my checks/debits hit my account, and Chase assessed me FIVE $33 overdraft charges.

I complained. I got the following response: "In response to your inquiry, I have absorbed the fees assessed to your account in the amount of $70.00 as a one time courtesy. Your account will not be eligible for another courtesy until after 11/06/2010."

This makes it sound like Chase is some benevelont force granting me a merciful kindness, and I better not be insolent enough to ask for something again for a good long time. I feel like Oliver Twist.

(3) I sent a request for a check number, since my bank statement for some reason shows several checks with the same number: 99. I've noticed this for awhile, with WaMu too, and assumed there was some system glitch responsible. So now, I need a check number from a check that cleared in June of 2009. The online system doesn't go back farther than 90 days and I can't get the number from my bank statement. And Chase wants to charge me $5 to give it to me. MY check. MY account. MY information. I decided I don't need the check number that badly.

So it seems that I now have a Fee For Everything Bank.

Since taking over WaMu, Chase has launched a billboard campaign here in California. One of their local signs says: "Longer hours. More locations. Happier Californians."

You know what Chase? The hours at my bank haven't changed...I don't see more branches...and I am definitely not a happier Californian since your arrival in my life.

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