Chase Changes Due Date Without Warning, Charges Late Fees

David went online last night to pay his Chase VISA bill and was shocked to see a late fee. For 18 months, the bill has been due on the 31st. This month, Chase arbitrarily decided to change it to the 26th.

David has paperless billing and says he received no notice from Chase. When he called to ask for a fee waiver, Chase said no, we told you about the change in a letter in the mail.

When David said he had paperless billing, Chase said, well then we sent you an email so we don’t have to waive your fee.

Frustrated, David hung up and contacted The Consumerist.

We counseled him to call back, go through the whole dance again, but this time, state that he never received such an email and therefore it “does not constitute sufficient notification.” The rep put him on hold. When she came back, she waived the late fee AND changed the billing due date back to the 31st. A small, but satisfying consumer victory.

(Photo: meghannmarco)

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  1. newlywed says:

    the same thing happened to me once, and made me ultra paranoid about my due dates, which I’ve noticed are ever changing (especially, ESPECIALLY when i’m carrying a large 0% balance).

  2. JustAGuy2 says:

    Same thing happened to me – due date shifted back a week, the 28 day grace period became 21 days. As a result, I had a $39 late payment charge and about $30 in interest. Called the company, they immediately removed the late payment charge (one time courtesy, blah blah blah), but I had to escalate to a supervisor to get the interest charge reversed.

    They said they had sent me a letter in January, saying they might do this. I don’t doubt that they did, honestly (cc companies tend to be pretty good about crossing those T’s), but I don’t remember getting it, and if I did, it still took them eight months to implement the change.

    Not a biggie at the end of the day, just shifted the autopayment forward a bit.

  3. timmus says:

    It’s very likely they’re counting on a certain percentage of customers not knowing about the change or not bothering to call. What a nice way to boost profits.

  4. drallison83 says:

    I make it a point to set up an automated minimum payment on the credit card website to be payed by the due date. That way, if they ever do change the due date, it’ll still see a minimum payment on time.

  5. JustAGuy2 says:

    @timmus:

    That’s exactly what I thought. I told them it seemed like a “gotcha” move, and left a bad taste in my mouth.

    In general, the service has been good, and the deal is very attractive (1.5% cash back on every $ spent, no minimum, no limit). Since they fixed the problem, I’m going to stick with them.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    I had Chase pull that shit on me in December of last year and AGAIN on the next month.

    The first time they told me they’d just changed the grace period, to, IIRC, 24 days. The second time they told me they’d changed it to 20.

    “Sir, this is how credit cards work.”

    Uh, NO, this is not how THIS card has worked for the last three years.

    At the same time I noticed this stuff, I noticed they’d more than doubled my interest rate (which had been 5.99 percent fixed when I originally got the card with Providian). Not that I ever carried a balance, but WTF? I don’t recall any notification on that, either.

    I paid off the card, and cancelled the account. (despite the late fee credits…I’m not going to be lied to or jerked around. And as for any damage to my credit…I’d drop my rating to ZERO to distance myself from scumbags like this)

  7. AndyAndy719 says:

    Chase has been streadily changing their due date on me for last 6 months. I have a google calendar reminder for the 17th (when my payment is due) but it seems every month they move it forward a bit.

    I found out by happenstance – I logged in to check and see how much of a dent I put in my large balance, and the due date was the 14th.

    It just seems more and more these companies will do whatever it takes to make an extra buck off you, it’s deceitful. I wish I could just hurry up and pay this card off.

  8. Myron says:

    From what I hear on Consumerist, and a relative who’s getting raked over the coals with universal default, it seems that Chase is a bunch of shit bags. Is that about right?

  9. Pop Socket says:

    @drallison83: I do that with all my cards whether I carry a balance or not. I also make the e-payment about five days in advance. They moved the due date up seven days and made all my payments late.

    When I complained, they said that that was the day they always billed. Then why wasn’t it late the previous 3 years? Yet another sneaky bastard trick they play. They will do anything to make you fall into the default rates.

  10. JustaConsumer says:

    JP Morgan Chase did this to me in Feb. The changed my due date and claimed they sent me a letter. My payment was one day late. They used this excuse to raise my rate from 3.99% to 19.99%. I called and they assured my there is nothing I could do to change it. I tried the BBB, but trying to actually get in touch with anyone at Chase is all but impossible. I eventually gave up. I paid them off and shredded the card. They are a nasty company involved in legalized loan-sharking. I will never do business with them again. Please never do business with these scam artists!

  11. AdamthePugh says:

    All due dates will vary by a day or two because of the odd amount of days in a month. But when they completely change your grace period, that sucks. Then again – it is something you AGREE to when you sign up for the card. At least it is with Chase.

    When I worked for Chase – the company would generally move up the due dates on people who paid in full each month. In essence penalizing people who pay on time and in full. It makes sense for their bottom line, as they don’t have to carry the debt as long for you. BUT of course they never properly let you know – and it is just a terrible policy.

    Yay credit cards!

  12. bohemian says:

    Citi did this on a card I had in college. It drove me nuts because it seemed like it was changing just enough that I was actually getting a bill about every 3 weeks instead of once a month. I made that card go away fast.

    You might want to check some of your other billing, I have had this happen with some service providers before.
    I keep old bills in a folder after I pay them, it made it pretty easy to go back and check due dates for changes.

    This kind of crap is done intentionally because so many people try to automate things and they know they will trip up enough people to rake in some decent cash over it.

    I really think part of many business strategies is to find ways to create time wasters for customers. If they find a way to charge you more but backtracking it to prove it or solve it involves a huge time commitment most people will just pay it because they are time strapped.

    I dumped a couple of companies we did business with because of this kind of crap.

  13. Starfury says:

    I have a Chase card and have a love/hate relationship with it.

    Love: It’s an amazon card so I get gift certificates as the points build up. Better than a mileage card or the “cashback” that Discover offers.

    Hate: 21 days after close till the bill is due. Also took THREE calls to get them to move the due date to the end of the month after my 2nd paycheck.

    The benefit outweighs the negative of the card but not by that much.

  14. JustAGuy2 says:

    @TechnoDestructo:
    If you really wanted to hurt them, you would have paid off the card and stuck it in a drawer somewhere. Make them keep the card open, incur those costs on their end (administrative, capital allocation, etc), without generating any revenue.

    • Anonymous says:

      @JustAGuy2: this is exactly what I did .. between moving the dates continuously back (and never forward, notice that?) and then closing 21 days later, meaning there’s a full 10 days after due date when you can’t make payments, I paid the card off, cut it in half, and never told them. There!

  15. ladycrumpet says:

    I haven’t noticed this on my Chase account, but I’ll certainly look out for it now! My approach has been to split my payment so that I’m paying basically every two weeks. The payment has to be applied right away, so I figure that helps slightly in reducing future interest, but it also seems easier to pay the minimum payment in two installments rather than making a single full payment by the due date.

    Fortunately I’ve been making the effort to pay well above the minimum, so usually I’ve taken care of the minimum amount due during my first payment for the month.

  16. Ailu says:

    After we saw a PBS Frontline special about how treacherous the credit companies really are, Hubby and I decided to dump all of our credit cards for good. It’s called “The secret history of the credit card”, and you can view it online at the PBS site. If you want to learn just how they mislead and deceive you, I highly recommend it. They rake in millions just by using this one tactic mentioned above. And that’s just the beginning. They have hundreds of other little ways to stick it to you, as well.

  17. hapless says:

    @ladycrumpet:

    Also, talking to Chase, they’re really pretty friendly on the number of payments you can make per month. It’s something like 3-4 credit card payments and an unlimited number of checks and electronic checks.

    I guess they really need those policies if they want to avoid wailing and gnashing of teeth when they’re putting people on 20 day billing cycles.

  18. Buran says:

    @JustAGuy2: Probably. I’ve seen my due dates change around slightly and have gotten into the habit of staying on top of it. I have a Chase Mastercard — connection? Hmmmm…

  19. Buran says:

    @JustaConsumer: Hope you actually closed the account. While they reserve the right to try to scam you, after they refused to help you you reserve the right to stop doing business with them.

  20. Brad2723 says:

    That happened to me once (different company). I cancelled the card after they refused to reverse the late fee. It’s almost as if these credit card companies view people who always pay on time and above the minimum balance, if not in full, as bad for their business.

  21. 5h17h34d says:

    Bank of America does this also. Shady fuckers they are.

  22. theblackdog says:

    I’m passing this along to my Dad. He’s always been good about paying his bill, but I could easily see Chase screwing him so that they don’t have to keep his lower rates.

  23. Buran says:

    @Starfury: I’m strongly considering the Amazon card. Happy with it? Can you get the certificates even if you go with paperless billing? Are they mailed automatically or do you have to ask for them? In a timely manner?

  24. Buran says:

    @Brad2723: They do … but we’re not obligated to make profit for them either. I do the same thing as you, and I haven’t had a card involuntarily cancelled … yet.

  25. TampaShooters says:

    Chase did this to me, they changed the date one one to two weeks earlier, and the other Chase card didn’t change.

  26. ogman says:

    And these companies wonder why people don’t want to go paperless. A complaint needs to be filed with the state attorney general. Credit card companies are now no better than criminal scum.

  27. melmoitzen says:

    “David went online last night to pay his Chase VISA bill.”

    How does it somehow become Chase’s problem if someone takes their sweet time to open their bills and/or fails to read them? Credit card “agreements” are unilateral in nature. Acceptance of their unilateral nature is a small price to pay so long as these folks continue to provide you with the opportunity of a free loan of money every month.

    Unless the bill was somehow delivered for the first time last night bearing a due date of 10/26, my sympathy meter on this one is barely registering.

  28. mbrutsch says:

    They do this to me all the time; I just got one last week. Like others, they never change *all* my cards, just one. I swear they just do it to see if I’m paying attention. I now know to read *everything* from Chase very carefully. I think it’s like an internal lottery for them; “let’s randomly change 100,000 due dates, see how many late fees we can bring in.”

  29. Catperson says:

    @melmoitzen: Why would someone assume their due date would change after months or years of it always being on a certain date? I’ve had a Citi Visa and a Discover card for over 10 years and this has NEVER happened to me, but shortly after I saw an article here on the roving due date, Chase did this to me as well. Had I not seen the article here, I would have never thought to look at my due date. Chase certainly never sent me notice that this would happen. I keep all the extra paperwork they send me in a file folder and nothing describing a randomly changing due date was in there. Some people set up their bills to automatically pay on a certain date, and some people only get paid monthly (me), so I made sure when I got my job that I rearranged all my due dates to coincide with my paycheck and I only sit down to pay bills once a month. I don’t have time to inspect all my bills with a fine-tooth comb the day they come to see if some company is trying to screw me over.

  30. FLConsumer says:

    I’ve never had more than a 1-2 day variation on my MBNA Visa, which certainly made sense with months having different lengths & where weekends fell, but never have seen it happen with my Wachovia Visa. Same day each month on that one, even if it falls on a Sunday.

    That said, the agreement for the MBNA card did specifically mention that they can change the due dates at their whim.

    The worst I ever experienced was with a scammy utilities sub-metering company hired by my old (and equally scammy) apartment complex. Due dates changed randomly, sometimes 30+ days, sometimes less than 10. The worst one I ever saw was a bill that had a due date of 15 days from the statement date…but by the time they mailed it and I had received it, I only had 3 days to get them the payment. Worst for me was that I had that apartment because I travelled to that city so frequently that it was cheaper (and better) than staying at hotels all the time. I just happened to be lucky enough to have been in when the bill came.

    I think what Chase is gambling on are those people who buy things with money they don’t have at the time, but might by the next paycheck. Not a good way to do your finances. If you bought stuff you could actually afford (read: have money in the bank for), the changing due dates aren’t even really noticed when you’re paying the bills.

  31. RhymePhile says:

    I have a Chase card and I made sure to sign up for their alerts. I get e-mail alerts when a bill has arrived, when the bill is 5 days due, and when it’s been paid. That way I never miss a payment.

    Another trick is to not necessarily set up automatic payments, but simply visit the site once your bill comes and manually set the date of payment. If your bill comes on the first, go to the site and set payment for your due date and pay it. Then you can forget about it for the rest of the month.

  32. zedrak says:

    This happened to me a month back with a Bank of America rewards card. I paid the cc in full sans the late fee payment, called and had the fee waived. I was ready to cancel the card on the spot actually (after redeeming my reward points of course) but they seemed to expect to waive a lot of fees that pay period it seems because I didn’t even have to explain anything and had only to request a fee waive to get it approved.

  33. sykl0ps says:

    Well Chase is the same place that upped my rate from 7.99 to 32%. I had not missed a payment, I had not missed a payment to anyone else. It was because they “re-evaluated my credit report”

  34. TBT says:

    Every 3-6 months, Chase starts charging me massive account fees, despite exceeding their minimum balance requirements in their highest level account. The maximum amount they will refund is 3 months worth, so I find myself on the phone with them every 3 months or so, complaining that that they are charging me fees again. They always say they have no idea how that happens…and that it has never happened before.

    I was *once* late on a credit card payment (I pay my balance in full every month, so they don’t make any money off me), and they reduced my limit. Also in the mail that day with my notice was a letter commending me for my stellar credit history, and offering me a Business Platinum Card based on it.

    Bottom line is, don’t bother dealing with Chase. They will scam you for every cent they can, while insisting they are helping you. Too bad they are so big they don’t feel the pain from little old me withdrawing all funds held there, including those in institutional accounts…I wish everyone would vote with their wallets.

  35. WraithSama says:

    I have an interest-free student credit card with 1st Financial Bank. They pulled this same stunt on me, as well. Apropos of nothing, they changed my normal monthly due date a full week earlier, causing me to incur a late fee. This late fee also caused me to incur an over-the-limit fee. They clearly planned this. My attempts to get any sort of reversal failed and I ended up having to pay about $100 in fees. They also changed the card from interest-free to a 20% APR.

    Fortunately, once I got the balance paid off, they returned it to interest-free status. This is the only card this has happened to me with, but I’m much more wary now.

  36. Tankueray says:

    @WraithSama: Get rid of that 1st Financial card. They screwed me royally when I was in college.

  37. gingerCE says:

    I think all credit cards are pulling the switch and bait due date. I know Citi is doing this as well. I think they actually do this more for those who pay off their bills in full every month in order to try and make some money (late payments) off of those who don’t carry a balance. I don’t play this game. I pay my bills online as soon as I get my bill–I don’t wait for a due date. If I don’t have the money, I schedule the payment. Honestly, but for the rewards and discounts I get, I’d always use my debit card or cash. I will say though I recently received two rewards (one was $5 credit the other was a discounted airline ticket) from using my debit card so obviously they are trying to copy the credit cards rewards.

  38. kelmeister says:

    Do cards typically do this sort of thing with annual fees? My husband has a Capital One card–zero balance and set up for automatic payments–and we got a bill in the mail this month with a past due fee for an annual fee that wasn’t paid. But this card never had an annual fee, hence why he wasn’t expecting the charge. I’ve heard of cards changing dates around, and APRs changing with the weather, but never a free card suddenly charging yearly dues.

  39. Zimorodok says:

    I’ll third the sentiment towards 1st Financial. Not because they ever did anything to blatantly screw me over, but because they kept raising my credit limit every six months throughout my college years. I just don’t trust a company that would trust an unemployed student with a $23,000 credit limit.

  40. Promethean says:

    My first and longest credit used to be MBNA, now Bank of America. For the 7 years that it was MBNA, the due date never changed. Then, when BOA took it over, it changed monthly, without notice. I had things set to auto-pay at a set time every month, so I wracked up a few late fees before realizing. I resecheduled the payments to adjust, and the due dates started changing again. I was able to argue with customer support to remove all but one of these late fees, but it definitely seemed to be a process designed to trick customers into having to pay late fees.

  41. laketravislad says:

    Ditto Regions Bank who did the same thing to me.

  42. xl22k says:

    @kelmeister:
    I had this same thing happen with my Capital One card. Suddenly, I saw a $39 service charge on the bill. I called them and they said it was the annual fee and when I questioned the woman, she said that it was waived for the first two years. Eventually she did waive it, but I’m positive that the card didn’t have an annual fee when I applied – I’m sure I would have noticed it. Anyhoo, I dread next summer when I have to call up and get the mysterious “annual fee” waived again…

  43. creature says:

    Chase just did the same thing to me, I did make the payment ontime,
    though. What they did was change the grace period from 25 days to 20
    days, in my case. I called customer service and expressed my disgust
    over this issue. This policy is to trick people into makeing late
    payments. I consider it unethical and am planning on not using my card
    again.

    I have another card from HSBC which did the same thing, that time I
    missed the payment, and they would not reverse the charge. When I
    talked to the customer service, they told me that they did that because
    I paid the off the balence the previous month. What a bunch of Jerks. I
    was irrate.

    This is not right, and I am going to avoid these cards.

  44. MJay says:

    On April 13, 2003 I ordered a plasma TV with a four year extended warranty from the Best Buy Store in North Olmsted, Ohio. I was on a six month travel order with the Department of Defense. I was assured that it would not be a problem when I received the unit as I was planning a renovation when I returned home to San Diego, CA. The clerk told me the dates did not matter. The TV was delivered September 13, 2003 and the Best Buy installers attached it to my wall hiding all the wires on Sept 17.

    The TV operated fine until Sept 4, 2007, suddenly the TV went out. Although I thought I still had a few more days left on the warranty, Best Buy informed me that the warranty had started 5 months before I received it. Best Buy prorated the extended warranty refunding me $41.62, which I did not cash.

    I found out from Samsung that the TV was manufactured in Korea 17 days after Best Buy said the warranty started. Samsung also showed that their 24 month warranty started from the date I received it, Sept 13, 2003 and that was also the date of purchase.

    I went to small claims court November 1, 2007. The judge ruled in my favor. The judge ruled that I am entitled to costs of Best Buy repair service visit of $100 and have the TV fixed or replaced. I am now waiting for the court papers.

    I can only imagine what Best Buy will do next. I would be happy to help in any way I can for others. There were a number of things they told me that were not true. There are too many to make it boring, but in one instance I have a witness, my brother a licensed plumber. During my renovation in 2003 their installer told me that I needed to replace my copper plumbing with plastic. I immediately called my brother who then spoke with installer. It was decided that it was unnecessary. Their installer wanted to steal my copper. I find I cannot believe anything Best Buy tells me.

    I wish to help others in anyway I can because I feel Best Buy misrepresented the facts but got caught on a technicality. I was lucky but they said they can fix the TV four times before replacing it. I do not trust them and expect there will be more problems when I should be getting an apology.

  45. jcauldwe says:

    CitiBusiness Card changed my due date by 7 days in one month. The December 07 due date was December 10th – the January 08 due date is January 03. Needless to say I missed the January Payment date and they are going to charge me a late fee.

  46. charaudeau says:

    I am appalled at the way Chase does business. My credit is excellent and I am never late. I signed up for a 0% credit card with Chase in November 2007, which was for one year. Last week I got my statement and discovered that they decided to charge me 21% interest and $120 in finance charges. I was never late nor missed any payments! I called and asked them why; they said it is in the agreement that they can change their mind at any time. I then asked them to give me 30 days to pay off the card and to remove the finance charges as I have been a goood customer but was told no, of course. I have since closed the account but if there is some actions I could take against them, I’d love to know about it!!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Chase did the same thing to me. See attached email to Amazon Customer Support after getting the runaround from Chase employees. Chase will never, ever, get my business in any form from here on out.

    Dear Amazon,

    I just had the most maddening experience with Chase Credit Card Services regarding my Amazon.com Visa card. I just returned from a vacation, logged on tonight to make a payment, and I found that my account was 2 days past due. Since being past due is an extremely rare occurrence for me, I called Chase and asked if they could refund the $29 late fee. For the record, my Chase account has never previously been past due, and is always paid in full whenever there is a balance. Also for the record, Chase routinely changes the payment due date by 4 or more days, thus making it impossible to predict when a payment is due.

    After speaking with no less than three agents and two supervisors (all of who told me that Chase never refunds late fees), I was finally told by a supervisor named Orlando that while he had the ability to refund my late fee, he would not do so because my account was ‘not profitable’.

    I have never, ever had a credit card company refuse to refund a late fee for accounts in good standing with no prior late payments. Chase’s practices are unconscionable and a poor reflection on the great Amazon brand. I would appreciate any assistance you can provide in resolving this issue.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Steve