10 Confessions Of A Chase Customer Service Rep

Do you know the one thing to never say to a customer service rep if you’re late on your bill? Do you know how Chase ranks you, and how you’re ranked determines whether they help you out in a bind? Do you know the best way to get what you want from customer service? After you read these 10 confessions from a Chase customer service rep, you will.

HOW WE RANK CARDMEMBERS

There are 3 levels of cardmembers at Chase. They are segregated as BEST, VALUABLE, or NON-PROFIT.

10. BEST
cardmembers make up a small minority of the people at Chase. If I talk to 100 people in a day, maybe 5 are best cardmembers. If you’re a Best cardmember, pretty much anything you want to gets done. You want a late fee taken off? Done. Don’t feel like paying $200 in finance charges? No problem. How do you achieve Best cardmember status? You either have to move a lot of money through the bank, (we can tell if you have a mortgage, car loan, etc thru Chase), or have a high balance that you’re paying a good amount of interest on. If you generate enough fee revenue from finance charges, say $100 per month, and you want a late fee taken off, no problem, we’ll take $39 off this month to make you happy and make sure that $100 monthly keeps rolling in.

9. VALUABLE
cardmembers make up the majority of people we talk to. Valuable basically means you pay your bills on time, and are in general a good customer. You can get a fee waived also, but not nearly as often. I don’t mind waiving a late fee for you, but usually only every 6 months. Thats standard, but we can base our judgment on it all the way back to a year. And if I remove a late fee for you, dont think you’re getting anything waived in the foreseeable future.

8. NON-PROFIT
These are the cardmembers who know what they’re doing. They’re the group of people that pay their bill off, in full, every month, like clockwork. They don’t pay finance charges, and they’re never late. They don’t go over their credit line, they don’t have returned payments, and they earn rewards. Which all amounts to the bank isn’t making any money on your account. So if you get a late fee, you have absolutely zero chance of getting it waived. That late fee is revenue for the bank, and it uses it to offset the maintenance on your account. Maintenance includes your statements mailed to you, sending you replacement cards, dealing with customer service, and cashing out rewards point / miles / dollars. For this cardmember, if you threaten to close your account if we don’t do what you want, don’t be surprised to get an offer to close your account during that phone call. Why? What is the incentive to keep you? I know its pretty cold hearted, but thats exactly how it works. You do a great job on your account, but you can get punished. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.

HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT FROM CUSTOMER SERVICE

7. I WILL GO TO BAT FOR YOU IF YOU TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN
First and foremost, remember we are people. If you’re the type of person who calls up and rants and rave with a “you better do this or else” attitude, honestly, it’s just going to turn a service rep off. Remember, we talk to a hundred people a day, 5 days a week. Its a thankless job, and in there somewhere, I’m cursed at, yelled, spoken down to, please God knows what else. Think about it like this….are you more likely to want to help someone treating you like a human being, or someone who is degrading you? It’s only natural.

I’ve waived significant amounts of money off of accounts if I feel its deserved, I’ve reduced APR’s, I’ve contacted credit bureau’s to get your record fixed, I’ve deferred your payment to next month, I’ve done a lot of things. But the one constant, I’ve only done this for people who have been pleasant with me on the phone, and in layman’s terms, haven’t been a douchebag.

6. STATE WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE DONE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CALL
I understand its human nature to explain why you’re payment showed up late, how you’re a good customer, this has never happened before, etc, but if you just tell me you want a late fee waived, I’ll immediately look at the account and decide if you’re eligible. To us, it doesn’t matter if you forgot to mail the check, were on vacation, your boss didn’t pay you, bottom line, you want a late fee waived, I’m gonna judge you on our ratings system and check to make sure you haven’t had other fees waived recently.

5. YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE
I’ve taken thousands of calls, and I’ve encountered every possible situation. The earlier you tell me what you would like your end result to be, the earlier you can get your matter resolved. Screaming at me does you know good, and honestly, makes me want to help you less.

COMMON SCENARIOS I ENCOUNTER

4. DON’T SAY “MY PAYMENT WAS LATE BECAUSE I DIDN’T GET MY STATEMENT”
Please please, don’t tell me this. This is the worst excuse ever. While I dont doubt that some people somehow legitimately didn’t get their bill, for the most part, its a lie to cover up the fact you didnt make your payment on time. Hmm, for the past 5 years you’ve always gotten a statement to the correct address on file, but the one month you’re late it didn’t show up. Right. Somehow, whenever the car payment or the mortgage is due, people never forget that, even without a paper reminder.

3. WATCH YOUR CREDIT LIMIT
Going overlimit- Its your responsibility to watch out where your credit line is. If you really don’t ever wanna go over your credit line, but a block on it. We do let cards go over a little bit, just in case you’re in a situation where you really need it. Imagine these scenarios. Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and you go to pay the bill. Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee. Or, imagine you’re stuck on the side of the road and need a tow truck. Do you want the charge to go through so you can get out of the cold, or do you want it declined and sit there shivering for hours? We’ll allow the card to go over, but usually not more than $100.

2. READ YOUR CONTRACT
Not being aware of fees, or APR’s- Everything on your card is agreed upon when you accept the card. The Cardmember Agreement basically states that the bank has the right to change your limit at any time, change your apr, or close your account, no reason needed. That agreement basically leaves the bank holding all the cards. The one constant I see is people never ever read the agreement, then are surprised by things later. Please, read it, or at least call customer service and ask any questions you need answered.

1. IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, DON’T BUY IT
The only other advice I have for people with credit cards….get ahold of your spending. I can’t tell you how many people I see every day who are absolutely drowning in debt. I get so many people making minimum payments, never getting ahead on their balance, or people just playing the balance transfer game to move their balance to a lower rate card, but they’ve moved that balance 10 times and it’s still not paid off. If you use credit cards wisely, you can make the bank work for you, but instead, we see banks with profits in the billions of dollars every year.”

(Photo: meghannmarco)

Comments

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  1. newlywed says:

    whoa. awesome post. i am such a non-profit!

  2. xQuizx says:

    haha me too! Cheers!

  3. B says:

    I’m a non-profit, too. If I had a credit card and a car loan through the same bank, would I get better treatment?

  4. Rando says:

    Your logic on #4 is dumb and most people don’t realize that stating “I didn’t get my statement” is an automatic fix for your account. At Macy’s if you stated that then your late fee and finance charge were removed as legit no questions asked. You have to factor in that your statements go through a 3rd party called the USPS and they lose shit all the time.

  5. Echodork says:

    So, this is basically the same as most of the other call center confessions, I suppose. Don’t yell at me, and unless you’re a profitable customer, don’t expect much. Fantastic.

  6. javi0084 says:

    I want to know how to get my interest rate lowered without being tricked into signing up for a bogus “zero interest” program that turns out to be a “wallet protection” program when you receive the paper work in the mail.

  7. Juliekins says:

    Ha. I have a name now: non-profit. I’m also glad to have my gut feeling confirmed–I always kind of figured that since the only thing Chase gets out of me is a monthly payment of my balance in full that they wouldn’t exactly be jumping up and down to do me a bunch of special favors. It also explains why they tried to scam the shit out of me when I had to activate my new Amazon Visa last month. I swear the agent had been instructed to go for 5 no’s for their bullshit credit monitoring subscription service. They kept my (also non-profit) husband on the phone for 10 minutes activating a goddamned card.

    Which is why I am moving my non-profit husband and myself over to Amex.

  8. beavis88 says:

    On #4, I’m sure the vast majority of people are lying idiots – but fact of the matter is that USPS loses stuff ALL THE TIME.

    It’s also worth pointing out that shady companies (Bank of America, I’m eyeing you suspiciously) are fond of doing things like changing your payment due date without changing the date they mail your statements. For 10 years, my BofA card payments have been due on the 20th of the month. After going a couple years without any significant activity (ie becoming a non-profit customer), I charged up a couple large items to take advantage of warranty extensions. Lo and behold, I received my statement on the 5th of the month, only to find that my payment due date was now on the 10th (with two non-business days in between). I called and asked why my due date had changed (“idunno”), and whether it was standard practice to change the due date such that my grace period was essentially a couple of days (“idunno”). I didn’t bother informing the CSR, but I can promise you that I have used that particular credit card for the last time. It’s not a stretch to imagine that if this had happened to coincide with some slow deliveries by USPS, I would (really) not have received a statement before my payment was due…

  9. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    If the CSR is reading these comments, how do I get Chase Freedom to stop pestering me about their buyer protection program? I’m not interested, and I get a stupid letter about every two weeks and/or a phone call about it.

  10. beavis88 says:

    @FitJulie: If it weren’t for my (excellent, competent, and respectful) credit union, I’d be there with you already. A couple hundred bucks in annual fees really doesn’t seem like a high price to pay in order to be treated like something other than a shitbag.

  11. kJeff says:

    Why are people so surprised that credit card companies like to make money? How many businesses keep customers around that they lose money on (and frankly, if you pay your bill in full every month they are losing money on you)? It’s a business, not a charity organization.

    I mean if I owned a restaurant and someone came in every day and sat around and drank water, never ordering anything or tipping, I’d get rid of that person, they’re not even really a customer.

    What is the difference, if there even is one, between being a “good consumer” and a “good customer”?

  12. DallasDMD says:

    “8. NON-PROFIT”

    What a load of BS. The bank is most definitely making money off your account. Why would they keep you as a customer if they were not? They are not obligated to keep you.

    The fact is the bank is making money each time you make a transaction. Those fees each business pays to accept credit cards goes to VISA/MC and to your bank.

    If I am not profitable, then why is Chase sending me post cards with reminders of my rewards plan and lists of merchants where I can get special deals if I use my Chase card?

  13. LordSkippy says:

    I’ve had to use the “MY PAYMENT WAS LATE BECAUSE I DIDN’T GET MY STATEMENT” accuse before, 3 times, all of them true.

    The reason people don’t forget the car or house payment is that it comes on a set date of the month. The 1st, the 15th, the 23rd, etc. But credit cards usually don’t, and are a 30-day or so cycle. This means that due day keeps inching up on you. So, it is quite possible to have not gotten a statement, make a payment that month anyway, and still have made that payment late. Especially in March, where I’ve had to make two payments in that month due to a 28-day February.

  14. Recury says:

    “Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and you go to pay the bill. Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee?”

    Oh man, that would almost be as bad as holding everyone in line up by paying with a check! Thank God for credit cards and the companies that issue them!

  15. Mariallena says:

    @DallasDMD:

    You are absolutely right about the “non-profit’s”: it’s complete BS.

    For every $100 you buy, the bank keeps about $4 and gives the other $96 to the merchant, so even if you don’t pay any interest and are never late, they are still making a lot of money on you (it works about to $1000 / year for a $2000 / month bill).

    Always bear that in mind when you talk to your credit card company.

  16. arsbadmojo says:

    Only time I’ve ver gotten nasty with anyone at a credit card customer service call center was with an Indian guy that called me a liar.

    I had signed up for on-line statements, but didn’t realize that it meant on-line ONLY, that I wouldn’t get a bill in the mail.

    I was, in all honesty, negligent for not checking that e-mail account, but when I called and said I wasn’t getting a bill in the mail, no one ever checked to see if my signing up for on-line billing had stopped the paper bill, which would have ended the confusion. Instead he insisted that the blls were being mailed and I just wasn’t paying them. I closed the account and transfered the balance to a 0% balance transfer offer with another card.

    But I just got a $39 over limit fee taken off yesterday. Went over when I didn’t realize there was a purchase limit using my debit card. Despite having plenty of cash in my checking account, my debit card was denied trying to buy appliances for my new house.

    The first person I spoke to wouldn’t remove it, but then I escalated and the 2nd person took it off in 2 seconds. I don’t understand why the first person I spoke to wasn’t empowered to do this?.

  17. cmdr.sass says:

    “I WILL GO TO BAT FOR YOU IF YOU TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN”

    I will continue to treat you like the faceless, interchangeable cog in the Chase machine that you are because

    “YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE”

  18. beavis88 says:

    @kJeff: Make money by providing a valuable service I’m willing to pay for – that’s great for me and great for you.

    Don’t make money by trying to fuck me over at every chance you get. What are you, an MBA working for Chase or something?

  19. full.tang.halo says:

    “5. YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE” Me thinks the CSR is channeling Tyler Durden there… “Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

  20. Solly says:

    @DallasDMD: I agree 100%. They are making what – 1-3% on every transaction?
    I am a non-profit and had a late fee and finance charges (stupid mistake on my part – I just forgot to make a payment) removed from my Chase credit card just last month, no questions asked. The CSR was very nice and honored my request immediately. I think there are other factors for these classifications as well.

  21. savvy999 says:

    To Chase, the 3 categories are really this:
    OBSCENELY IN DEBT WE LOVE YOU
    A LITTLE BIT IN DEBT WE LIKE YOU
    NOT IN DEBT TO US FUCK YOU

  22. ripple says:

    You could also just get 3 credit cards with a $10,000 limit and max one out. Then when the bill comes you pay then entire balance with the second card. Then when the bill for the second card comes you pay it off with the 3rd card. When that bill comes, pay it in full with the first card. This way you never pay for the $10,000 worth of stuff and pay no finance charges because youre paying the balance in full every month :)

  23. t-r0y says:

    “8. NON-PROFIT”

    That’s me. But my wife and I charge almost everything over $10 — that’s a lot of transaction fees!

    I’ll see if I can get the fees waved for our latest snafu — my wife entered the on-line bank payment for our last bill to be payed on 12/30/2008 (should have been 2007!). But she caught it, set it up to pay today, and called the credit card company.

  24. jtheletter says:

    What good does reading the contract do other than to let you know explicitly how the bank is going to screw you? It’s a take it or leave it contract, and CC companies know that your choices with other providers are almost identically restricted. Until either per-person contract alterations are allowed for, or CC contracts are forced by law to put the customer on equal footing then you’re left with only one option if you don’t like the terms: don’t use credit cards. Yes, I know you can get by without them, and I did for a long time, none at all through college. But unless you’re a trust fund baby then you NEED to establish a credit history in the US and CCs are an easy way to do so. Plus they can be handy in emergencies.
    And as for the “convenient” $39 fee to avoid embarrassment or worse, how about simply allowing people to go over the ARBITRARY credit ceiling by $100 or so for free before cutting them off. Or even better make this costly “perk” opt-in only.
    I’m glad the Chase rep shared this info with us but most of it is sounds like a defense of corporate greed. Oh, and way to provide different levels of service based on personal feelings. In a pissy mood? Guess no one gets any useful help. Thanks, btw, where in your job description does it tell you to deny service based on how you feel about the caller?

  25. Mr. Gunn says:

    DallasDMD:

    Exactly right. Of course they’re still making money from you, in the form of merchant transaction fees. The way to be a valuable customer in the eyes of a credit card issuer is to spend a lot of money on the card, whether or not you carry a balance. The rewards/cashback are written-off marketing expenses anyways.

    Methinks the alleged CSR “confessions” aren’t what they seem.

  26. mookiemookie says:

    I used to work in-branch for Bank One before they became Chase and can tell you that these are all 100% true. We could actually tell down to the penny how much per year we made on your account. That was one of the major factors we used to determine fee refunds.

    Banks are a for-profit business and it shouldn’t be any surprise that they’re going to do things to keep their profitable customers around.

    Another thing I’d add to this list is that a customer service rep will be much more accommodating to you if you actually balance your checkbook. I remember being reamed out one day by a woman who overdrew her account and didn’t feel it was necessary to keep a register. She did *not* get any fees refunded to her that day. I would always give a college kid with a new account their first overdraft back and give them Mookie’s “Balancing Your Checkbook 101″ class. I had a soft spot for them.

  27. SadSam says:

    I very much agree with #10, I get fantastic service from Wachovia (which holds a mortgage on my primary home, a mortgage on an investment property, 4 checking accounts, 1 savings account and a past car loan).

  28. MameDennis says:

    Just want to agree with a few of the above posters that, yes, the USPS sometimes really does lose your mail. (In these glorious days of online billing, I don’t know that it’s really much of an *excuse*, but it’s not necessarily a *lie*.)

    My delivery problems went away when I invested in a PO Box. And, even more magically, I could get stuff reliably delivered to my house when we got a new mailman.

  29. olegna says:

    I just had the worse CSR experience with Citicards (not Chase, but this is an opportunity to rant).

    #1.) I had a $0 balance. Then I booked a flight for $900.

    #2.) On my last day in Madrid, I discovered that I was two days late on the balance of the charge. No problem, I simply paid by phone with a payment linked to my checking account.

    #3.) 24 hours passed. The Charge still had not cleared. I was having to check out of the hotel the next morning, so I called CapOne to ask them to pre-approve this charge. (So I wasn’t standing at the hotel desk at 5 a.m. not able to check out because the card was blocked.)

    #4.) I wasn’t being a”unique snowflake”. In fact I was very non-plussed because I thought it would be easy — after all I actually OVER-PAID, the charge was set to clear sometime the next morning (but probably after the time I needed to check out of the hotel).

    #5.) The CSR woman float-out refused to approve any such thing, and actually at one point got irate and said “well, you owe us $900 so regardless of the circumstances you need to pay that!”

    I was livid. It was an absolute outrage that the CSR refused to pre-approve a charge form a card member that was carrying a ZERO BALANCE until I bought that plane ticket. All I needed was a couple of hours pre-approval because it took more than 24 hours for CapOne to register my payment I made by phone (paying a $15 fee for an “expedited” payment by phone).

    When the CSR said finally she was going to hang up on me because there was nothing else to say I couldn’t help but call her a “company whore” as she was hanging up. But I had been very patient with what I thought was a perfectly reasonable request.

    I lucked out because I had “accidentally packed another credit card (also with zero balance) — otherwise I woudl have missed my flight waiting for CapOne (over 24 hours) to clear my “expedited payment by phone.

    And the most annoying thing about all of this is that my FICO SCORE would be adversely affected if I decided that because of the absolutely outrageous treatment by Citicards to cancel my account with Citicards I would be penalized for cancelling a credit card (is if the onl reason why you would do that is because you’re bad with credit — it would NEVER have to do with bad service).

    Whenever I think about how that CSR rep screwed me over I get really pissed off, because I know they have the power to pre-approve these charges. It was a completely arbitrary decision by this woman to dick me over. As far as she knows I missed my flight because she wouldn’t approve that charge — keep in mind I had a zeero balanace, had been a customer of Citicrds for years, was two days late but had made a charge over the phone that the CSR rep admitted she saw on my account (but it had not cleared) and STILL the bitch refused to pre-approve a $300 charge.

    As far as I’m concerned I wish nothign but the worst on credit card companies. I hope every defaults on the debt they’ve been doling out like porridge for years. This system needs to collapse because it treats people like me (who carry zero balances but don;t use the cards that much, either) like dog crap and gives out way too much unsecured debt to people who carry balanced precisely because they make more money off them. They can lose me as a customer because I actually handle credit relatively responsibly (esp. compared to the average American), so why would they do me any “favors”? Assholes!

  30. olegna says:

    Er, ignore CapOne. This story above refers to Citicards.

  31. ancientsociety says:

    So, basically, I’m only a good customer if Chase is making money of my debt hand-over-fist? What if I have $100K in checking/savings but pay off my credit card in full every month? Am I still “unworthy” of the CSR’s respect?

    Attention CSRs, the most important part of your job is in your job titleCustomer Service. Quit whining or get another job if you can’t do that.

    /rant off (and so happy I got out of banking years ago)

  32. wimpkins says:

    @randotheking:

    The logic isn’t dumb, it’s the Customer’s resonsibility to pay the bill, even if it didn’t arrive on time.

    Your logic is dumb though…”I never received a bill so I don’t have to pay.”

    Please…

  33. MrsMicah says:

    @DallasDMD:

    Exactly. As long as you use the card, they make some money. And at the old MBNA they were allowed to waive fees for non-profits. My dad had to work 3 hrs a month as a CSR for being a VP. I don’t know about BofA.

  34. floydianslip6 says:

    Everyone ripping on the non-profit, would you feel better if it was called “small profit”?

    The point is not that “they make (absolutely) no money” but rather that compared to the other two categories your business is useless. For every responsible non-profit customer there are TONS more valuable and best customers out there to take your place. And guess what, they’re also getting those peoples merchant fees!

    Look at the big picture.

  35. mac-phisto says:

    @cmdr.sass: FTW!

  36. XianZhuXuande says:

    Good post. Thanks for sharing. I’m a hard-core non-profit myself, and Chase seems to really love me (in terms of credit limits), but I’ve always wondered what they would think of me if I asked for something else. Good to know about their system, and what I might expect!

  37. calvinneal says:

    Who translated the original message from Hindi? Never have contacted anyone from that bank who wasn’t based in India.

  38. mgyqmb says:

    “We do let cards go over a little bit, just in case you’re in a situation where you really need it. Imagine these scenarios. Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and you go to pay the bill. Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee.”

    This is ridiculous. Of course I want it to decline, as I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY. This is the same argument for overdraft fees, which turns 3 $5 purchases into a -$100 nightmare.

  39. DallasDMD says:

    @mgyqmb: Agreed. I carry more than one card anyway. If I am over my limit on one credit card, I’d rather be declined and give the cashier my emergency/backup credit card than have to incur obscene over-the-limit fees.

    Getting declined is no big deal.

  40. Kevin Cotter says:

    MARIALLENA & DallasDMD:

    Where do the transaction fees really go? I’ve been under the impression MC/Visa keep those and the issuer banks keep the service fees and interest earned.

    I’m not saying they are great companies to do business with, or they aren’t making a dime. Every time they send out a statement and process the check you send it gotta cost them a couple bucks.

    Chase (incidently) pissed me off a few years back. I paid my bill off, and added a buck just so they’d have to send me a credit balance statement for a few months. Six months later they send me a check for the dollar credit balance. That day I used the card again, and did the same thing. I had to have cost them $40 by the end of the year.

  41. azgirl says:

    And hello- how do we think AMEX makes its money, if you are supposed to pay your bill in full each month? The small fee we pay a year certainly is not that much incentive for them… FEES people!

    As a side note- even though most are credit card haters- AMEX has been great to us, they handle incorrect billings etc like pros ( not their faults), and never leave us hanging… and we have had many free airplane tickets on their rewards program.

  42. WhiteTrashLegend says:

    @full.tang.halo:

    Tyler Durden came to mind for me too. What a great movie!

    @DallasDMD:

    100% agree with you. There’s a reason that my company doesn’t take CC’s: the roughly 3% transaction fee they charge us for the privilege. Whether the Chase insider likes it or not, they’re making plenty of money on us.

    I guess people don’t even realize that CC transaction fees are already built into almost every price you see when you shop. I would gladly pay cash if I had the option of getting a cash price for goods. But, since this isn’t the case, I might as well earn my Amazon rewards money…

  43. toddkravos says:

    I guess the most important rule to CSRs is STILL NOT BEING TAUGHT/TRAINED:

    Retain the customer at any expense to prevent negative
    and long lasting ill effects against our brand.

    In the age of the internet, customer satisfaction and retention are extremely important these days.

    Boy am I glad I don’t use Credit Cards, I’d lose my patience real quick with a CSR like this.

  44. MercuryPDX says:

    @public enemy #1: In that vein, I want to stop the balance transfer checks from coming.

    I know I’m not going to be held accountable for it when a meth head finally catches my mailbox on the right day, but I would like to make him think that there IS no right day.

  45. Hambriq says:

    As someone who basically works a glorified customer service job, I can’t agree more with regards to #5-7.

    And that is all.

  46. JustAGuy2 says:

    @toddkravos:

    Wrong. You DON’T want to keep any customer at any expense. Doing so is deeply stupid. Some customers are money-losers, and you want to get rid of them. If you’re a cable company, and you have somebody who’s on the $15/month lifeline basic program but calls twice every month to ask 20 minutes in questions about the bill, you’re losing money on that customer, and you want to get rid of them.

    BTW, the fact that you don’t use credit cards means you’re not a smart consumer, since you’re giving up the opportunity to cut your purchase costs and earn extra interest.

  47. mac-phisto says:

    @Kevin Cotter: the interchange fees mostly go to the card issuer (in this case chase), but visa/mc also charges the bank fees, so you could say that a portion stays with them.

    it’s not 4% though…interchange fees are normally ~2.75%. furthermore, these fees are designed to compensate card issuers for losses that aren’t covered by chargeback to the merchant (such as use of a counterfeit card).

    so, to use Mariallena‘s math, $2000/mo works out to about $660/year in interchange fees. conversely, if her card was skimmed & the thief created a counterfeit, chase would get to eat the charges incurred. 1 instance of that could cost them thousands of dollars.

  48. backbroken says:

    Non-Profit my arse.

    2.5% (or whatever transaction fee you are charging) on my $2500 monthly bill (paid in full every month btw) is a tidy little profit.

  49. HeHateMe says:

    @randotheking: I believe that what he is trying to say is that even if you don’t receive the statement, you still know that you owe a payment. In most cases it is not required that you get a statement in order to owe said payment. A financially responsible person will know what is due with or without a statement. Switch to e-statements and you will NEVER have to blame the USPS for your late payment again!

    I’d have to say, this is very well written and certainly is “on-point” as far as #7 – #5 [in a customer service world]. If people just slowed down and treated the rep on the other end of the phone with a little dignity and respect, they would be amazed at the milage they get.

  50. Wormfather says:

    @FitJulie:

    AMEX Jet Blue card FTW!!11!!!

  51. Wormfather says:

    @mac-phisto: Most people dont even realize there’s an interchange fee that goes tot he issuer.

    Right now that fee is around 2.97%
    Then the bank that backs the merchant puts a discount fee on top of that somewhere around 1 or 2%

    But here’s the kicker. Rewards, they dont really hurt the issuer that much, rewards card interchange fees can shoot up around 5% that comes straight out of the merchants pocket.

    On the other end of that, most people dont know this, but a merchant can never refuse to let you pay with your credit/debit card because of a “minimum ammount” they are also not allowed to charge a credit card fee. They can be fined by either MC or Visa in upwards of $2K for every offense.

  52. johnva says:

    @Kevin Cotter: The merchant fees do go to Visa/MC, but Visa/MC has some complex/secret contracts under which a lot of that profit is shared by the member banks. From what I understand.

  53. Rando says:

    @olegna: There isn’t a single CC company out there that is going to let charges go through on a late account. That is just asking to be hit with fraud, especially on a $900 balance. Sorry, but Citi is right.

  54. yg17 says:

    @calvinneal: Actually, I’ve been a Chase customer for a few years and have never talked to someone who wasn’t in the US. That’s one thing I’ll give them, they don’t (as far as I can tell) outsource. And even though I’m a non-profit, they’ve treated me well.

    Now, HSBC on the other hand, typically the only way to get someone who speaks a word of English is to escalate to a supervisor (and they still won’t really do anything for you, they’re useless). If it wouldn’t hurt my FICO, I’d cancel my HSBC card right now.

  55. Rando says:

    @azgirl: AMEX actually charges merchants to use their cards, which is why Amex isn’t accepted by a lot of merchants like Visa, mastercard, and discover.

  56. Buran says:

    Great, so since I’m actually responsible and pay my bills on time I’m treated like shit by this guy. Insane. Businesses scream and yell and punish us with fees out the wazoo if we don’t hold up to our obligations and whine and bitch about us if we do.

    So what is it? You can’t have it both ways.

    I guess you’re just determined to hate us.

  57. @beavis88: “It’s not a stretch to imagine that if this had happened to coincide with some slow deliveries by USPS, I would (really) not have received a statement before my payment was due…”

    I’ve missed statements and bills several times because a) I live in an area served by a painfully slow sorting facility and b) my mailperson hates her job so something just can’t be bothered to deliver the mail. Or delivers it to the wrong addresses. Most of my neighbors are good about bringing stuff right over (on water bill day it’s like a neighborhood-wide exchange) but if someone else gets your bill and they’re on vacation, or have the flu, or are just anti-social, you’re sort-of screwed.

    Fortunately I’ve generally had companies be understanding (and at least act like they believed me), but I do have a calendar alert on my CC bills for just this reason, in case they don’t show up. But yeah, from time to time I don’t receive a bill from somewhere and life’s so hectic I don’t realize it never came!

  58. johnva says:

    @randotheking: So do Visa/MC.

  59. okvol says:

    Minimal profit then, am I. Of the ~4% of the fee, some is absorbed by the transaction company that provides the telecommunications with the local store, then Mastercard or Visa takes their cut. My Chase account is static at $0.00. And, I bet that my sub $60K mortgage doesn’t impress them.

    I use my BoA card for points. (Used to be MBNA.) I once bought a car for $6K cash, and bounced $3K through my card for points. That limit was by the dealership.

  60. johnva says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: This is why online billing is good. You can usually get an email reminder sent to you, and you can also verify that your bill got paid while you still have time to fix it before it gets late.

  61. zibby says:

    @azgirl: I agree, and I’ll always put in a good word for AMEX. I’ve never carried a balance with them, but every customer service experience I’ve had with them has been great. I keep the other cards around in case, but I’ll always buy with AMEX if I can.

  62. I have a sort-of stupid question: How on earth do you get up to your limit on your credit card? I have never, ever had a credit card with a reasonable limit. My current card, on which I charge maybe $1400/month, has an EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLAR limit.

    I don’t really have the vaguest idea how they SET limits, only that mine have always been absolutely absurd. I can’t imagine how I could hit the credit limit at restaurants or stores — it would require major international travel!

  63. @johnva: Which I do, to a point, but I have two problems with that: First, there are functional issues with the online bill-pay, such as that bills do sometimes get sorted into spam or that in the last year I’ve had no less than THREE financial companies revise their password system, resulting in me being locked out until I called customer service during X hours and went through a painful reset process; Second, not all of my local utilities OFFER online bill-pay.

  64. Buran says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Not everyone has high limits.

  65. johnva says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Credit limits are set, I think, by internal risk models at the bank. They will give you a higher limit if they think you’re a low risk and it’s supportable by what they think your income is. It doesn’t matter at all as a practical matter, and it’s actually a good thing for your credit score to have a high limit because it keeps your credit utilization level low from your normal monthly spending.

    As for e-billing, you can usually do it through your bank’s website even if the people you are paying don’t offer it. This is what I do with all my bills. Most of the people I pay send e-bills to my bank, which I can view all in one place simply by logging in (no need for the email – I just use it as a reminder in case I forget). A few don’t offer e-billing, but you can pay it through the website anyway because the bank will just mail them a check. I’ve never had a problem with this arrangement, though I should probably add that I am very careful and meticulous about things like due dates and I have requested changes to the due dates for all my bills so that they roughly synchronize with each other and I can pay them all with a single trip to my bank’s website.

  66. w00t to my fellow non-profits!

    *settles in to read book she bought with rewards from her Chase Amazon Visa*

  67. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    Do some serious int’l travel, and you can get there, although likely on a corporate card. In a previous job I would routinely run $15-25k monthly amex bills.

  68. Joe B. Low says:

    As for point #3

    “Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee”

    Actually I’d prefer to know that I’m at the limit so I can use one of the four or five cards available in my wallet and avoid the $39 fee. My pride is worth much MUCH less than $39.

  69. Boy Howdy says:

    I wonder how many of those Valuable customers are gonna turn into giant losses when they default on their credit card payments?

  70. @Buran: I guess my confusion lies in limit-setting, then. Since it seems like a lot of the banks try to give risky customers high limits so they can get them to charge more than they can pay in a month, and good customers seem to get high limits based on being good customers … even my most irresponsible nearly-bankrupt spendthrift friends have absurd limits. It seems like these days you have to ASK for a low limit.

  71. vastrightwing says:

    I always love the response, “we’re not making ANY money on you.” as if this is an excuse for bad service and a way to make me feel guilty. My thinking is, if they are not making any money on me, it’s their problem, not mine. 99% of the time they lie. The other 1% of the time, yes, they didn’t make any money on me this time, but they are on most everyone else. Please let me shed a tear for the bank. Paleeeeesssssseeeeee!

  72. StevieD says:

    @B:

    Absolutely correct.

    The more you do with the bank, the bigger your potential revenue stream, the better the rates and service.

  73. GearheadGeek says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: you are confusing online bill payment with online bill PRESENTATION. My bank for primary checking (Chase, in fact) has online bill payment… if a payee doesn’t accept electronic payments (like your local utilities) then they’ll send paper checks. ING does this as well for their Electric Orange checking, and the 3rd-party service my credit union uses has a similar feature.

    So, you can schedule your average recurring payments to be made automatically on the due date every month… when you receive your paper bill or notification of an online bill, you can adjust the payment to the exact amount, but if you miss one there’s still a default payment being made in time. That would not have fixed the whining of the Citicard customer because they didn’t typically use that card, so their default monthly payment was $0 but with a little creativity you can build a very resilient system to cover your butt that requires just a little attention every month.

  74. johnva says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: It’s hard to judge the reasoning behind the banks setting the limits without actually seeing the formula they use (I imagine it’s pretty complex and designed to maximize profit while minimizing risk). But it’s possible that what’s happening with your “spendthrift” friends is that the banks are upping their credit limit when they carry a large balance that approaches the limit. This may be an attempt to keep their business so that they don’t move to some other card after maxing out that one’s credit limit. It may not be so much a nefarious attempt to trick them into taking on more debt so much as an attempt to allow them to take on more debt with the existing card as opposed to some other card. I imagine they would not keep raising the limits if your friends were paying late frequently, etc, as the risk would outweigh the potential benefit. So maybe it’s just a phenomenon associated with carrying a large balance and still having a good credit score.

  75. Sidecutter says:

    The restauraunt is a terrible example. Plase, by all means, DECLINE IT. It’s not like you can’t tell the difference between a restauraunt (non-critical) and a tow truck (very critical) trying to make the charge, after all. If you embarass the user (why they should be embarassed, I don’t understand really), then it will help serve as a valuable lesson on why they should keep a better handle on where they stand with their credit limit/available balances.

  76. bambalam97 says:

    I feel bad for customer service reps at any company like this, because it is a thankless job and you do get yelled at all the time for things that aren’t your fault. That said, don’t defend the bank you work for. They are blood-sucking con-artists and they deserve the wrath that you (unfortunately) receive. I will never own another credit card, but if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be with Chase. And yes, sometimes people don’t receive their statements. It is unfair to call them liars and treat them accordingly. The whole system is built to bilk the poorest people out of the most money. Ugh. It is true that if you treat a customer service rep like a human that they will help you out, and you should do that to the extent that the csr does the same for you. But when you tell me you refuse to waive the $40 late fee on the bill I never got, which puts me over my limit and sticks me with a $40 over-limit fee, which assures that I won’t be able to pay it the next month because the bill’s now up to $100 from $20, don’t expect me to feel very humane. I agree 100% on your last point though. I say get the hell out of debt and never own another credit card again. See what the banks think of that.

  77. kimsama says:

    Everyone who states that non-profits only make the bank money through interchange fees are forgetting a giant service and source of income we give Citi (and all other banks we deal with):

    Namely, do you think a publicly traded bank like Citi would have any shareholders if all of its users were so in debt that they fit into the “Best” and “Valued” categories? No. I wouldn’t touch a bank that only lent money to these groups (sub-prime mess, anyone?). However, with a healthy percentage of “Non-profits,” the bank can lure in investors who want manageable amounts of risk.

    So, don’t limit your thinking to the fact that they make interchange fees off of us — their entire stock rating is also based on their percentage of us. So be damn sure to hold your ground about being a valuable customer if you need a service from them. If enough Non-profits abandon them, they’ll feel the pinch soon enough.

  78. mac-phisto says:

    @Wormfather: sorry, wormfather. deaf ears here. i work on the other side of the aisle. i report merchant offenses whenever i encounter them. i especially enjoy reporting those that refuse to honor cards below a certain amount.

    the costs of a card program are very high for issuers, too & it takes years of building a program before any benefit is reached. then some asshole merchant decides to store information they’re not supposed to & you get to reissue a few thousand cards, lose a few hundred account holders that feel their trust has been abused & pay out a few thousand in fraudulent charges. meanwhile, the merchant gets away with a piddly settlement that will get scarfed up by only the largest banks.

    there’s no question that the visa system is legalized racketeering – on both sides – but the rules are simple: pay or don’t play.

    /rant

  79. Buran says:

    @randotheking: Uh, it wasn’t late, the OP paid.

  80. toddkravos says:

    @JustAGuy2: Your example is utter shite.

    In my example, the corp. will want to keep customers at any rate because:
    1. Positive experience leads to you promoting a companies services
    2. Negative experieces lead you to demoting a companies services (or lack there of) more than
    promoting them.

    I suggest you learn a bit about Net Promoter Scores.

    And for not using Credit Cards, I think it’s a matter of choice. Saying I’m not a smart consumer for choosing to not use them…is also utter shite.

  81. mikedt says:

    @FitJulie: I’m a non-profit too, but I always figured the bank was doing quite well off the 3% plus service fee they charge the merchant when I use my card. And I use my card a lot. Very little of my monthly transactions involve cash.

  82. mobilene says:

    I’ve had a Chase card for about 18 years. I can buy a Honda Accord with leather and sunroof on it now. Well, I could if I didn’t finance significant unexpected lawyer bills on the thing, fortunately at about 5%, yay for having good credit.

    So for the first time ever I was late making a payment, and that 5% rate reverted to the usual high credit-card usury of >>20%. I called Chase hoping for a bye, but the CSR was unmoving. Having just received mail from American Express for a slightly better deal on their Blue card, I decided to try again. I e-mailed Chase a very polite e-mail, the punch line of which was, “If you restore my previous low rate, you can continue to profit from me. Otherwise, with my good credit I can get a low-interest account with a competitor, and they can profit.”

    Before the day was over, Chase had not only reset my rate, but had recalculated that month’s bill using the old rate. Nice.

    Guess I”m at least “valuable” to Chase. Too bad it’s based more on how much money they make off me today than the fact I’ve been a good customer for many years.

  83. Pop Socket says:

    @beavis88: This happened to me very recently. I have an automatic payment to this card 6 days in advance of the due date to protect myself against lost mail (and it does happen). I was furious after getting late charges when after paying my bill on the same day every month for three years without any problems. I demanded they move the due date back to where it was and they did.

  84. Pop Socket says:

    @HeHateMe: Not true. My wife has a card with no balance that she put some Christmas purchases on and the November bill came. The day after Christmas, another bill came with interest charges and late fees and the next day I got a call from a CSR demanding an immediate payment to get the account current. Very annoying.

  85. nffcnnr says:

    i would have to say that this “Confession” post is the most readable i’ve seen on consumerist yet. It is well written, it is interesting, and it only had a handful of grammar errors! Good jooooooorb!! Chase must have higher standards for their associates than Best Buy, GameStop, Comcast, etc. And the Wii/iPhone/PS3 reseller? Holy crap, i couldn’t even get through the first cringeworthy paragraph on that one. Uggh. Again, thanks for the good read, Consumerist and Mr./Ms. Anonymous Chase Credit Card Customer Service Rep! Keep them coming.

  86. forgottenpassword says:

    Hehe! I am a nonprofit as well! A big F-YOU! to the credit card companies *waves*. And thry absolutely HATE people that are nonprofits…. they are called “deadbeats” in the industry. How f’ed up is THAT!!!? To tell you the truth…. i am suprised that they dont cancel nonprofit’s cards/contracts….must be the extra money they make off the merchants you buy from with your card.

    And its BS that they dont make a profit off of you…. they STILL make a profit off of the merchants you use your card at. So if you werent a cardmember…. they wouldnt be getting that percentage!

  87. If you really don’t ever wanna go over your credit line, but a block on it. We do let cards go over a little bit…

    But that defeats the purpose of putting a block on it. Is this divulged in the card member’s agreement? (If not, isn’t that fraud?) What good is it if the block doesn’t block anything until after you’ve incurred fees?

  88. ophmarketing says:

    RE: #4: “Hmm, for the past 5 years you’ve always gotten a statement to the correct address on file, but the one month you’re late it didn’t show up.”

    That reasoning doesn’t make any sense. Couldn’t that be the EXACT reason the payment wasn’t made–especially for someone who made their payment every month for five years without fail? I’d be more suspicious if the guy said it every other month.

  89. forgottenpassword says:

    “Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and you go to pay the bill. Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee. Or, imagine you’re stuck on the side of the road and need a tow truck.”

    This reasoning is absolute BULLSHIT! … and they know it! They just want you to use their card & recieve a LARGE fee instead of you whipping out another form of payment they wont profit on (another credit card, check, cash etc. etc..)

    And as for the “read the contract” excuse….. crdit card companies purposely use language, fine print & many pages to confuse the customer.

    IMO credit card companies are the scum of the earth.

  90. digitalgimpus says:

    I’ve seen bills from Chase postmarked only a day or two before they are due. So it does happen. I pay my bill online and have an alert setup in Quicken to notify when I should check… so I’ve never even been close to being late… but if I didn’t pay online, no question I would have had a few late payments.

    I’ve got a hunch it’s no accident either… but no way you could ever prove that. Seems like a perfectly sound plan.

    USPS is no angel either.

  91. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    BY ANCIENTSOCIETY AT 10:41 AM
    So, basically, I’m only a good customer if Chase is making money of my debt hand-over-fist? What if I have $100K in checking/savings but pay off my credit card in full every month? Am I still “unworthy” of the CSR’s respect?
    Attention CSRs, the most important part of your job is in your job title – Customer Service. Quit whining or get another job if you can’t do that.
    —————————–
    I 100% agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If “Customer Service Reps” would just do their jobs and not attempt to determine from only the info in front of them who is or isn’t “worthy” things would be much better. Just DO your job and treat EVERYONE with respect, and maybe you’ll help your place of employment not be a piece of ridicule for this site. As a “non profit” I assure you that Chase makes plenty of profit off my MANY purchases even though they are paid off in full each month. The merchant has to pay transaction fees, and I observe what kind of service you are providing to determine whether your bank will be “worthy” of my business in other financial matters. You forget that the “great” customers drowing in debt will only be temporary customers, and many will leave that debt UNPAID….and those who are RESPONSIBLE with their money will choose financial institutions who rpovide the best service and rates for ANY financial endeavors we approach. Do you want the customer who will PAY that Chase mortgage or the one who can’t get a mortgage?

  92. Zain says:

    Although I’m pretty sure I’m in their “non-profit” category, I had a late fee waived for a bill I recently just forgot to pay.

  93. chocxtc says:

    Until we band together as consumers and demand from our politicians laws set up to better protect us from the CC companies laundry list of crap we will continue to be subjected to this. I am a non-profit and I always try to be pleasant on the phone since that is pretty much the only way to accomplish what you want. With that being said since there is not enough regulation, competition, and more importantly consumer protection the CC companies can do what they want and they have all of us under their control. Think about how ridiculous it is that your FICO score determines so much based upon the information provided from, yep, your creditors. Call your representatives both state and federal and tell them you want a bill authored/sponsored that protects us not the companies (See recent bankruptcy legislation).

  94. KarmaChameleon says:

    @randotheking:
    I’m not the CSR who wrote the post, but I did work as a Chase CSR rep until I was laid off in September, and “I didn’t get my statement” most certainly is NOT an “automatic fix” for your Chase account. It is up to the CSR to determine whether or not it’s a legitimate excuse, and 9 times out of 10 it isn’t. It doesn’t matter if your mail carrier was eaten by Cthulhu on the way to your house, if the payment is late, the payment is late. In this day and age, there are multiple ways of checking and paying your bill–over the phone, online, in a bank branch.

    I’m not defending it by any means, but that is simply how it works with Chase. As fucked up as the USPS is, and with the cases I saw as a CSR, if you have a functioning computer with internet access and you’re still waiting for your statements in the mail and writing checks out, you’re playing with fire.

  95. KarmaChameleon says:

    @yg17:

    Chase Card has call centers in Mumbai and Manila, among other places (there’s a couple in Canada that are Sears Canada legacy centers absorbed when Chase bought Sears Canada’s card business). I know because my job (and 449 others in my call center) were outsourced there.

  96. akaase says:

    I’m reading all the comments and just shaking my head at all the “yeah buts”. I too worked at a large bank, and this Chase CSR’s confessions are right on the mark.

    This is the reality folks: These banks are HUGE, they’re LEAN, and they’re MEAN. Why? Because they CAN BE. It’s capitalism, plain and simple. They will charge the highest possible interest rates, impose the highest possible fees with as much frequency and/or opportunity as possible to the maximum extent the MARKET BEARS or regulation allows–whichever is both legal and most profitable.

    It’s bottom-line business, folks. If the market could bear jars of peanut butter selling for $300, if you looked hard enough you could probably find a cheap jar of peanut butter for $280 somewhere. Don’t like it? Then just don’t deal with it! It’s that simple. Move on.

    Believe it or not, the CSRs are in MUCH the same position that YOU are in. They’re working a menial wage-slave job which both they and their employer know is easily replaceable. They have to understand and abide by the same restrictions you are treated with being a customer. Banks treat their employees as cost burdens, that is how brutally business-oriented they are. Ruthlessly bottom line.

    So when you call a CSR, think of them as your public defender. You’re both in a dirty prison visiting room with 1-inch thick safety glass between you.

    The CSRs are simply abiding by the rules and guidelines expected of them by their employer. They are a voice on the line — a mere interface between you and the business. They’re only doing their jobs to the fullest extent their energy and ambitions will allow them to do.

    Fee reversal takes time. CSRs often have to put you on hold, walk over to a supervisor to get their nod of approval, walk back to their desk — this results in a longer phone call which cuts into their call handling averages, and ultimately dings their performance. You can see here it’s not in a CSR’s interest to dole out fee reversals if only for the amount of time it takes… but there’s more than just the time factor.

    There’s also the justification and documentation process, and the possibility of explaining months down the road why you reversed a customer’s fee. These reversals are tracked, in detail, and some CSRs get fired if too many fees are reversed, or if the reversals were not documented or justified correctly.

    However, a CSR *IS* your advocate if you treat them nicely. Very nicely. Believe me, I hated my employer. I thought I was working on the Death star. I’d be the first person to go to bat for a customer who I felt deserved it. I would also be the first person to give someone a break with a fee reversal if it FELL WITHIN THE GUIDELINES and I also knew they stood a reasonable chance of getting the fee reversed without adversely challenging the sound judgement on my part. Or if it was clearly a bank error (which does happen from time to time).

    So you can see how fee reversal is really stacked against the CSR from so many angles.

    So understanding this, you can easily see that if you’re a prick when you call in, you’ve pretty much forfeited any possible sympathy from a CSR for reversing a fee which was most likely caused by your fault in the first place. Even if it wasn’t, the CSR won’t really care because you’re a prick and the motivation and interest in taking the time to understand your plight was lost completely.

    Instead, they’ll just move on to the next call because they have a call-per-hour quota to maintain and the next caller may just be a 30 second “When is my next payment due? Oh thanks! Bye.” sort of call.

    My next point is so long as you carry debt: You are doing business ON THE BANK’S TERMS! You agreed to their terms opening your account–yes, you signed a CONTRACT!

    If people just didn’t have debt, can you imagine how different the financial services marketplace would be?

    Now, regarding the ridiculous “I didn’t get my statement!” excuse. Here’s the facts people: If you have outstanding debt with the bank, you must pay the minimum monthly payment whether you receive the bill in the mail or not. End of story. Mark your calendar. Give them a call if you start to “feel” it’s due and you aren’t sure. Set up an auto-pay of the minimum payment from your checking account. Go online. There’s tons of options. And if you’re smart enough to be reading The Consumerist, you are really an idiot if you don’t know all this already.

    So I hate to splash cold water on all of you, but this is business and this is how it works. Credit card companies owe you absolutely nothing, especially when YOU are the one in debt. You have no leverage whatsoever, and are in a very feeble position to make demands.

    To the American Express customers who have gotten “red carpet” treatment when they haven’t received their bill in the mail: you are paying for that polite “Oh no big deal!” response one way or another. Most Amex accounts have annual fees or other hooks to get your money. If not, it’s only temporary–don’t expect it to last.

    It all just boils down to money and business, folks. May your priorities be your guide, and for God’s sake: SHOP AROUND!

  97. zimzombie says:

    Oh, boo-hoo, you and VISA are making 3-5% on all of my credit card transactions but I’m not paying you interest? Boooooo-hooooo.

  98. JustAGuy2 says:

    @LadyCarolineLamb:

    Customer service reps ARE doing their jobs. Their job is to make money for the company. That means providing service appropriate to the customer’s profitability. Think of it this way: if you ran a dry cleaner, and you had one customer who always paid double your fees, and one customer who argued every single bill and brought back every single garment claiming it wasn’t clean enough, who would you want to cut a break to or spend time with?

    I’m utterly shocked that so many people here just don’t get the fact that NOT ALL CUSTOMERS ARE CREATED EQUAL, and that, stunner, credit card companies are OUT TO MAKE MONEY!

    The perfect credit card customer gets his card, charges to the limit, and then makes the minimum payment every month.

    Frankly, the fact that Chase gets slammed here on Consumerist is probably a net plus for them, given the relatively high concentration of low-or-no profit customers on this site.

  99. sleepydumbdude says:

    I’m almost a non profit. Only card I use is my american express because I like the way it looks and they have helped me out twice when I got stiffed on a product. I once bought a book in a hard drive box that Circuit City wouldn’t take back, I didn’t throw too much of a fit because I called American Express and they handled it and took it off my bill. The card always sits around 200 bucks though so I doubt I’m that great of a customer.

  100. JustAGuy2 says:

    @toddkravos:

    1. By not using credit cards, you’re paying 1-2% extra for the privilege of paying cash. Seems kind of silly to me, but it’s your money.

    As for Net Promoter Scores, I’m very familiar with them, but the important thing is to look at the customer population. If you have very positive net scores among customers with low or negative Lifetime Value, that’s a problem.

    At the end of the day, some customers are worth more than others, and some are actually a drain on your business – you want to get rid of them, and you don’t care about their satisfaction. Think of it this way: if you ran a record store, and someone came in and said “I hated this CD, and if you don’t (a) give me a refund, and (b) give me $1000 for the time I spent listening to it, I’m going to tell all my friends that your store sucks,” would you give him the $1000? If so, please tell me where you work, I’d love to be a customer.

  101. aegis1 says:

    I’m a non-profit. I pay off every card every month. This past month I replaced all my kitchen appliances for about $30K which I charged, as always, to Disc@^&*. At about the same time I received a mailing saying I’d been pre-approved” for a new card from a competitor with an insanely low fixed rate on balance transfers (zero per cent to be exact for 6 months).

    I contacted Disc@^&* and asked them to match the rate for 6 months on my current balance. They said “no.” I pointed out that their website offered a similar program for new customers. They still said “no.” Thus, I think, proving I have no value to Disc@^&*.

    The next day I transferred the entire balance to a new card with zero APR for 6 months.

  102. JustAGuy2 says:

    @aegis1:

    You see, Discover knows you very well. They’ve seen your behavior, and know that, if they give you the six months 0% interest, you’d pay it all off at 5 months 29 days, and they’d be out ~ 30k * 5% * 6 months = $750. The competitor will learn, to their dismay, what Discover already knows. Congratulations!

  103. solipsistnation says:

    Actually, uh, I _did_ get a paper statement for my mortgage, and I get an email statement for my car payment (which I then pay online when I get the email). So, yeah, I would forget my car or house payment without being reminded, and I do forget my credit card statements without being reminded. It’s a failing, but there you go.

  104. Keter says:

    @ EYEBROWS MCGEE

    It seems like these days you have to ASK for a low limit.

    Yes, in fact that has been my experience. When I went into my credit union to ask them to upgrade my credit card from secured to unsecured (I had too little income to get an unsecured card for most of my life), the girl looked at my account and then looked at me and with really huge eyes said “Will $10K be enough?” (This was from a $1K secured card, mind you…I had gone in only wanting to double the limit and make it unsecured!)

    After spending about a minute picking my jaw up off the floor, I replied “no, I only want $5K — I can buy a good used car for that if I had to, and I don’t want anybody to be able to steal more than that!” It was her turn to look astonished. “Well, at least let me upgrade you to a gold card.” After confirming that it, too, was fee-free, I let her do that.

    About a year later, when I went to buy a house, I had a similar experience when I went to pre-qualify for a loan. They qualified me for more than double the amount I felt comfortable with. When I used only half of what I was qualified for, I got a call asking if I wanted to finance more for remodeling or furniture!

  105. RvLeshrac says:

    @randotheking:

    I’d like to add the #1 for customers, mirroring the #4 there.

    #1) If I sent you my payment, and you say you never got it, you’d damn well better not give me the slightest bit of attitude about anything. I’ll send you proof, but I don’t want to detect any sarcasm or whining in your voice.

    If you say you got my payment late, you’d damn well better have proof that you got my payment late, including a postmark of less than 5 business days prior to the due date, or my first call after hanging up will be the Attorney General, and my second call will be the Comptroller’s office.

    I remember when they pulled that crap for years last time and finally got called on it, I’m certainly not going to be the one falling for it. Interesting how “I did not get my statement on time” or “at all” is just an “excuse” for us, but it is truth spoken from the mouth of a god when the bank/card company spews the same garbage about a payment.

  106. RvLeshrac says:

    @JustAGuy2:

    You’re forgetting that the card company makes money on *every single transaction that you make with the card,* not just from the monthly interest. If you pay your balance in full every month, you’ve still caused the merchants to pay X% of your bill to the card company.

    This is why bank “maintenance fees” are such trash. They send out BILLIONS of junk-mail pre-approved offers a month and pay for them, so I’m happy to tell them where they can shove their “it costs money to send you a statement” BS.

  107. RvLeshrac says:

    @JustAGuy2:

    They’ve already made (nearly at minimum) $300 from that $30,000. I doubt anyone with a normal card would be paying off $30,000 in 6 months anyway, that’s leaning towards AmEx Black territory. Someone who can pay you $5,000/mo is someone you want to keep as a customer forever.

  108. Eric says:

    Non-profits do not really exist. Each time you use your card, the bank will get, depending on the situation, around 3% of the transaction. This is called an interchange fee. Non-profits, such as many of us, make the bank tons of money because we use our cards all the time, rather than cash.

    The rewards we are “given” are a small percent of that. We make the banks less money, but are still profitable.

  109. Optimus says:

    @mikedt: Yeah, that service fee is precisely why I try to use debit more often on my check card. I’ll pay for large purchases or purchases that might not live up to the guarantees on the VISA side (for charge back rights), but I generally avoid credit card systems in order to help merchants keep there prices down.

  110. RvLeshrac says:

    @Optimus:

    You aren’t, seriously. Debit card transaction fees can be higher than credit transaction fees, depending on the processor.

  111. AlphaTeam says:

    There is nothing called a non-profit. You make a transaction on Amex, and the merchant pays around 4%. With Mastercard/Visa, the merchant only pays around 2%. Sure, as a customer, you are a “non-profit”, but as a cardmember and user, you are still profit. And if you guys wonder why some companies like Costco only take Amex, it’s ’cause they get a merchant rate break for only accepting their cards.

    With regards to the credit limit block, yes I have one my account. All you have to do is ask for and they will put it there so you do not go over credit and get charged a overage fee.

    When I talk about not getting the statement on time or something, and the bank says I’m lying, then what happens when the bank says they didn’t get the money when you have the returned checks saying they cashed it already?

    And speaking of treating CSR like humans: That’s essential, but how about some CSRs treat us customers like humans too. We’re not cattle.

  112. JustAGuy2 says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    They don’t make any money if they write you a cash advance check (as in this balance). In addition, remember that the credit card companies borrow the money they then lend to you. They have to pay interest to THEIR creditors. Over 6 months, they’ll pay about $750 or so in interest on $30k.

    Those “0% for X months” teaser offers only make economic sense (from the credit card company’s point of view) if the customer DOESN’T pay it all off before the 0% period ends.

  113. JustAGuy2 says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    Not even close on Amex Black, BTW. It’s at least $15k/month, usually more like $20k, to be a candidate for an invite.

  114. greentitan says:

    I am also one who works for Chase as a supervisor. the confessions are in every bit true less a few details. so many of you think that treating the employees like absolute crap is the only way to get what you want and if not at least you get someone else to feel like crap for doing their job. Just because we tell you no, doesn’t mean that we enjoy doing it. a job is a job regardless of what you do. those preapproved offers you receive, that is purely an offer based off of a glance from your credit report. just because you apply for the offer stating “pre-approved” doesn’t mean you will get that offer or any part of it. and with balance transfers and convenience checks, the fee you pay to do that, does not come to us in any sense. the “creditors” mentioned that we pay, is the Federal Reserve, we have to pay them a fee to borrow the money from them to pay another credit card. it isn’t a profit for us. regarding going overlimit on your account, we can put a block to prevent you from going OVER your limit, this is outside charges only, not from us. and yea your cardmember agreement. in a nutshell does say that we can change ( and have the right) any part of the agreement (via amendments) at any given time, for any reason without prior notification. yes this includes your apr, credit line, and due date. Regarding your request. Say hi, give a BRIEF explanation of your call and get to your freaking point. just as it is a strain on your voice for saying it, it is just as bad if not worse for us to have to sit there already knowing what we are going to tell you while we wait for you to shut up. minus a few instances, almost every damn caller’s issue can be handled within 5 minutes or less. if we say no, you can waste your breath arguing all you want. no means NO. threaten us, bad mouth us, we are goin to say sorry and get you off our line as soon as we can at that point as nicely as possible. and your GRACE period is considered the time that we send out your statement until your due date. NOT a few days after the due date. Credit cards can be excellent things to have, but if you dont manage your account wisely, watch your credit line, pay it on time, and keep watch on all of your purchases then yes, we can apply a fee to your account, and we can change your APR. So all your bitching isn’t going to get you anywhere. so no need to keep going at it.

  115. greentitan says:

    Oh and one more thing, we do outsource out of the US. but certain areas are specifically NOT in the US anymore. because it’s cost effective for Chase. we hate it just as much as you when we have to talk to our employees outside of the country. so stop complaining to us. these are the times and i strongly doubt a few of your complaints are going to change ANYTHING about it.

  116. RvLeshrac says:

    @JustAGuy2:

    It was meant as a slight exaggeration, I seem to recall the minimum being much, much higher than your figures, as well.

    Really, though, if someone can pay $5k+/mo without blinking, you want them as a customer because they don’t notice all your screw-people-over charges. ;-)

  117. Nathliea says:

    If you think about it, it’s actually a really great system for Chase. If you are non-profitable, all they need do is wait for you to default on your account. Let’s face it, things happen to even the most responsible cardmembers. Once there’s a late payment (or returned payment, or the account goes overlimit) the cardmember will call in requesting the fee be waived. When they discover that no one will waive the fee, they generally become irate and choose to close the account down of their own volition, thereby letting the bank lose a profit-loss customer. I know all of you have mentioned the $$ the bank makes from each transaction and from interest, etc. but they have to pay for all the account maintenance; 24/hr customer service, a mailing center to process payments and mail out statememts amomg a hundred other ways they support their cardmembers. On top of that, I’ve heard that they are taxed by the government for every open acccount. This is not, “oh boo-hoo, poor bank” by any means, but they ARE a business and with the sub-prime issues going on, it’s been duly noted that Chase has come out on top due to aggressive account management. This is part of that.
    I just wonder why the CSR posted this, it seems unwise to do something like that about the company you’re employed with. Trade-secrets or something.

  118. c_opus says:

    Riddle me this: why does Chase so consistently have its CC due dates on “non-business” days?

    E.g. Bill due on a Saturday or Monday holiday (say, Columbus Day). Walk into local bank branch on Saturday where I have 6 figures on deposit, and pay my Chase CC bill.

    Get a late fee, and then put me through hell to get it removed.

    Online banking programs are smart enough not to let me schedule a payment for a Saturday or bank holiday, so why isn’t the program that spits out Chase CC statements?

  119. ThePack08 says:

    You also have to understand too that it’s better to have secured credit then unsecured. Because if you are unsecured, you are a higher risk to loan money too. You could be a 750 and up CB score and still not get good rates on loans because you’re too high of a risk.

    Chase offers different ways to pay your bill on time. It’s the banks responsibility tomail it out. If you don’t receive it with in 7-10 business days, call us back and they’ll send you a replacement. They offer wire transfer, over nite, Phone, Automatic payment, advisor and website payments. So really there’s never a reason to not pay your bil on time. With automatic paymnet, as long as all your bank info is correct you’re set. It’s no cost to you to have it done. Website is free as well. There’s no reason what so ever not to pay your bill on time. The bank understands that things happen. I agree with most of this, and agree if you treat us like people then as we will treat you with respect. If we can do sometype of reset hen the bank will be more then willing to help you reset that. If the option isn’t available, then we can’t do it. Pure and simple.

    I’ve also heard that people pay their statements through their banks’s online website. Always remember there’s at least a 2-3 day processing time for the banks to send the money to pay your card. If you do it on our website, you can even force post a payment for 14.95. Who else offers you to do that? No one that I can tell. You can even schedule up to 6 months in adavce. My best advice is Autopatic payments. They are guaranteed, as long as your bank info is correct, and you keep your account underlimit, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Security is always an isue with any credit card, Chase does offer the best fraud detection amongst any of the credit cards. I’d rather have a company be too anal retentive about security then not enough. So please take it in stride. We know members will be upset on a decline transaction because you forgot to call us to tell us you were making a large purchase, a convience check, or a balance transfer. We do it to protect you from fraud. It’s either that or you get a ton of fraud charges on your account then yell at us for not taking care of you. I’ve seen cards that haven’t ben used in 5 years all with zero balances. That’s a testament to the banks protection of your account.

    This is what you have to do as a cardmember with any credit card. Know when your sttement closes, when your payment is due, pay your bill on time, and never go overlimit, and you should never have any issues with your account ever.

  120. doodlebug34 says:

    You have a responsibility when you have a credit card to pay that bank on time. Be more in control of your expenses…make a budget or something….be smart. All of this whining is ridiculous. Businesses do what they need to do to make money. That’s all it’s about.

  121. doodlebug34 says:

    I am also a supervisor and I 100% agree with GREENTITAN. State your business and get off the phone. One call that really makes me mad is when people call in wanting fees reversed in their checking acct because either a check was declined or a transfer did not go thru. The customer wrote a check and now has fees because they overdrew their acct. That is not our fault. That is so annoying when people call requesting that because as if it is all our fault. News flash: Don’t spend money you don’t have. You will not get those fees refunded to you in that situation, so please stop calling about that.

  122. kusto says:

    I didn’t read everyone here, it’s late. I just found this sight and I think it’s great.
    Concerning Chase-Man: I don’t like them. I have a United card with a balance that I’m working down after a balance transfer that I swear was a fixed APR and when I requested docs back to inception they took 6 weeks (legal) and accued interest even though we were in contested territory.
    I filed with BBB and they did credit accrued interest during the start of my complaint, but I did have to back everything up and they fought me tooth and nail on everything. And I decided it was better to pay off the debt with Chase and close them than to document everything three years back. Trust me I do not sign non-fixed balance transfer options!!!
    And I’m a polite person.
    Anyway, I currently have open accounts with Providian, AMEX, Citi, Discover as well.

    No balances, no fees, no memberships, etc. Just companies that would love to trap me in debt and are willing to work with me if I ask.

    Large point is: buyer beware. Money isn’t free.

    If you sign, you’ve considered and entered contract.
    They have many more bodies available to insure gain than your last minute diode of sweaters at the GAP.

    and the sweaters fade so fast…

    Eternal point is: everyone needs to save instead of spend. This includes all entities.

  123. _Truth_ says:

    Seems didn’t get my statement is a reasonable excuse – in fact, most of the time I have ever been late on a credit card payment, that was indeed the problem. Complaints, official, written, and otherwise to the USPS do nothing – I get other people’s mail, and I sometimes don’t get mail I know has been sent to me. Unlike mortgage payment, which is the exact same amount each month, I need the statement to know what to pay the credit card company. Yes, in a perfect world, I would calendar or remember to follow up after not receiving a statement in the mail, but in the real world, that’s unlikely to happen and I have many credit card accounts, and count on the receipt of a statement to prmopt me to pay and what amount to pay. Discover’s email alerts is a nice feature – if your payment date passes without a payment, or even gets close, they send you an automatic email reminder.

  124. HumphreyWoodcock says:

    I think all of your points are correct. I just received my bill and an electronic payment that was taken from my account on a Friday morning was not credited until Monday. The payment was due on Sunday, yes because of the delayed application of payment there is a late charge, and service charge.

    I am one of their not profit customers that has paid the balance in full for over 4 years. Customer service does not care about having an account that generates the fees from the transactions only from their interest.

    So be it their account will be paid in full and the card will be closed. I guess from their attitude that was the result they were seeking and achieved.

  125. Byadla Kumar says:

    My experience with Chase is the first and Worst ever. I use to have a wamu card and when chase did the transistion – my ebills did not get transferred and hence was delayed by 1 day – i mean literally 1 day and was charged 39 late fee, when I talked with their CSR May, she said that Chase will not waive it and it is their policy – and as I explaining the situation, she proudly offered that she cannot do much but can help close if needed, I had to close the account – as mentioned in the article above – looks like Chase wants to discriminate the consumers and want to do business only with BEST consumers not the non-profit that got transferred from wamu…. hope this atleast changes their attitude…. look at this article
    [online.wsj.com]