Chase Bank Auto Finance has an impressive history of complete incompetency with me. Some of the customer service representatives recognize me because I have had to call so much. There is a lot of information on my customer file there.
When I began my auto loan with Chase, I signed up for their automated paymatics service, and payments were withdrawn from my account. My monthly payment was $426.80.
I used to send in additional payments of $300 every month. These payments were sent through Harris’s billpay service. I verified with Harris that these were actual physical checks sent to Chase Bank. These checks were sent to Chase’s Principal Payment Processing center. The mailing address has an Attn: Principal Payments line on it. The memo area of the checks stated PRINCIPAL and my account number, per their instructions.
My account is closed now so I cannot verify it online; but it is hard for me to imagine when these checks were ever processed correctly. They *may* have been, the 1st or 2nd month. I do not recall. Never again. Each month Chase Bank used a loophole and was applying them as an early car payment, and taking out interest. I don’t know if they were hoping I wouldn’t notice and that they’d be able to keep the interest, or if they were just severely incompetent. I sent these checks in probably a good 15 times before giving up. Every month I had to contact Chase Bank and have them readjust the payments. Sometimes they gave me a different address to mail to – I tried that one too, but I had the same result. I eventually decided the extra checks weren’t worth the effort to send in, and that at 4.25% interest on my loan I could invest the $300 elsewhere and beat 4.25%, say gold during a speculative bank assisted inflationary housing mania.
Chase told me many times that they would look into the problem but I never heard back and they obviously never fixed it. I do not know if their gerbils and monkeys need more training or their computer system was written by junior high students but I would be surprised if it is running any better today.
I refinanced my loan with Pentagon Federal Credit Union. They sent me a check to pay off Chase Bank with, around $6000. I told PenFed an amount that did not include interest for the current month – so when I received their check I checked the payoff quote on Chase’s website. I was short about $15. I wrote a personal check for $15. In the envelope I place my $15 check, PenFed’s $6000 check, and PenFed’s request for the title.
I sent in a request to cancel my paymatics automated withdrawals on 4/12/08 (see included copy.)
I received a response on 4/14 that effective 4/21 my paymatics enrollment is cancelled. I was told to send the next payment in to them via mail. (See included copy.)
On 4/22 a debit in the amount of $426.80 was made from my Harris account by Chase bank. At this time I had sent in the entire payoff amount, and Chase had drafted an extra monthly payment amount. Per a phone conversation, Chase would not refund the extra $426.80. They said it would cause my account to go delinquent, to which I responded that I did not care – I did not authorize it. Plus I assumed by payoff Checks were soon to be processed. Regardless, they would not refund me the money at this time.
I lack the dates, as stated previously my online auto finance account was closed. The $15 check posted to my account – I waited several days but did not see the $6000 check post.
I called Chase and they stated that they had not received my check. I told them that it was in the same envelope as the $15 one. They acted as if they did not believe me and I was more likely to have misplaced the check than they. I challenged them in that their track record speaks for itself, and I am not one to lose $6000 checks.
I was told that they would investigate what happened. This investigation went into the Chase Bank Black Hole like every other investigation into my principal payments in the past. My check is probably deep in someone’s desk under a half eaten Butterfinger. That or just chucked into the trash when they pulled out the personal check from the envelope. Amazingly enough the check as I recall was in fact applied entirely to the principal. I think.
I never heard back from the black hole, so a week later I called back. I had to explain everything again and they made it sound like I had not requested investigation into the matter before. Of course I didn’t expect anything to come from this one, so I worked with PenFed to get another check, which unfortunately took a few weeks longer. By now Chase was also expecting money for a May payment. To me it would seem obvious that during the investigation for the $6000 check that a real bank might put a hold on the account, however in my case I was assessed a late fee of $10 for the monthly payment that I had absolutely no intention of sending in.
I received the new check from PenFed and sent it to Chase Manhattan, this time springing a few dollars to send it via certified US Postal mail. Although I felt like this was a smart idea, it’s not like I could have proved what was inside it even if I did prove that they received the mail. It almost seems like I would have to videotape myself putting it in the envelope and mailing it, or handing it to a person at Chase and watching them process it to actually ensure they wouldn’t just eat it when no one was looking. I always wanted to do this with my early principal payments, to see what person/system was screwing them up, since Chase was obviously too incompetent to figure it out.
Chase did receive and apply this payment. I was hoping Chase would “Do The Right Thing” and not “Completely Suck Hardcore” – but of course I should not set such high expectations. Chase sent my $426.80 back, but minus the $10 late fee and something like $30 for interest in May/June. I don’t recall the exact amount of the check I cashed but it was along $377 or $378.
I called Chase up (Saturday or Sunday, I think a Saturday early/mid June) and explained the situation to the CSR – who did recognize me. I believe his name is Lindsey/Lindsay. He was sympathetic to my situation and said he could probably refund me the $10 fee but not the interest. Not surprising since he was just a dude answering the phone and probably doesn’t have the power to rectify Chase doing stupid stuff like this.
I spoke to his manager who had a somewhat difficult to understand accent. Could have been Eastern Euro somewhere, maybe Mexican or Spanish I don’t know. Didn’t catch her name. Whereas Lindsey wanted to help me, she was just a squawk box and wanted to make me go away. After I made it clear that no amount of her inane illogical badgering would deter my ethically correct position, I finally got her to pass me on to her boss, who she assured me would contact me back. At this point the call was escalated to someone who got to golf on Saturdays instead of work in a call center so he wasn’t there. I left a clear and calm message detailing my side of the story and point of view and requested to be called back on Monday, and left my details twice to make sure they made it through. The call must have been forwarded to the black hole because I of course received no reply back.
I cancelled their automated payment system; they acknowledged receipt and confirmation of this request. They then proceeded to withdraw, and hold, my money. I do not see how this can be constituted as anything other than theft – my money was taken from my bank account without my authorization. Once finally returned, they even kept a little bit for themselves. As it stands today, I have essentially paid them for the pleasure of stealing my money and treating me like shit. I have spent hours and hours dealing with them on the phone that could have otherwise been used for productive things like short selling their stock. Instead I have subsidized their complete and utter incompetency.
Chase should not be entitled to take money out of the refund money they sent me – they were not allowed to take the $426.80 in the first place. This bank transaction was simply not authorized. I want my money back. If Chase thinks they are entitled to $10 in fees and $30 in interest then they can bill me for it and I can promptly tell them to go to hell. In the meant time I want this unauthorized transaction reversed.