Chase Shrinks Credit Due Dates Without Warning, Profiting Off Fees

Got a Chase credit card? Check your bill to see if the due date shrunk. For the past ten months, the due date on reader NDphoxylady’s four Chase credit card due date was the fifteenth. Then, without warning or notice, it became the tenth. NDphoxylady only noticed when she was charged a $39 late fee and a $20 finance charge. When she complained to Chase, they told her that simply changing the due date on the bill was adequate notice. Nu-uh

Both NDphoxylady and I know that that doesn’t count. The credit card company needs to send you an additional kind of disclosure notice. She has paperless billing, which may explain why she never got it. In any event, that still doesn’t excuse their non-notification. Three times she called Chase. She asked for supervisors each time and was directed to voicemail, which she never got a call back from. We told NDphoxylady it was time to escalate to executive customer service and pointed her to the Chase numbers on our site. Within a few minutes of calling, Chase waived the fee. NDphoxylady was happy about that, but still pissed that it happened in the first place.

She wrote, “Now, we pay everything on the 12th, and I do not have the time to check every month that my due date is going to change…I feel like closing my account with them.

I mean to me it’s the principle that matters, they could have charged me three bucks and I would still be pissed off. It’s their manipulative behavior, and I doubt many people called to get these fees removed. They probably thought it was their fault and never reported it to chase

Is anyone trying to control these companies? I mean can’t government regulate something?”

We told her if that she really feels strongly about it, to write a letter to her elected representatives. This excellent post shows you the most effective way to write to Congress.

“Who will protect the customers,” NDphoxylady asked. ” It’s like we have to stick up for ourselves and for other people.”

It’s always a good idea to scrutinize your monthly bills. You never know when they’re going to try to sneak in a new fee.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Zero balance, baby! Chase can suck it!

  2. Xerloq says:

    Sucks, though it is “written” notice. Doesn’t the Consumerist advocate carefully reading your statements and pamphlets they send you? This complaint should have come when the bill was received, not after it was paid “late.”

  3. humphrmi says:

    @Steaming Pile: Do you mean you don’t use your Chase card? Or you pay it off every month? Because these shifting due dates can also nick people who pay off every month.

  4. Pylon83 says:

    @humphrmi:
    Things like this nick people when they become complacent (or lazy) and stop paying attention to their bills. I have no sympathy for issues that could have been caught and avoided by a little due diligence on the part of the “victim”. If the OP is too busy to read the statement, I imagine it’s safe to assume they would be too busy to read any other written notice of the due date change.

    • PattyCabango says:

      humphrmi

      You are an idiot. Do you really want to have to watch your back with every transaction you make? I guess you enjoy playing 3 card monty with your bank. Some of us have lives involving more interesting things than constantly monitoring our statements looking for tricks played by the banksters.

  5. Zimorodok says:

    Odds on whether that bill with the earlier due date was sent out five days earlier this month? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

  6. How do you pay your bill without looking at it?

  7. foxbat2500 says:

    I don’t think this has happend on my Chase card. I’m happy with their service…thus far. However, if they did do this to me I would cancel the card at once. I pay my bill in full every month. The shorter pay period would make that harder. Plus I agree with the reader, they need to provide more notice. In this automatic payment world…its harder to read all the fine print.

  8. HeartBurnKid says:

    Yeah, they did this to me back in January. My due date suddenly went from the 3rd to the 27th, and I got dinged for a late fee. At least I was able to get the CSR to waive the fee with a little argument.

    @Michael Belisle: Simple; you don’t look at it until you’re about to pay it. And then you notice that it’s already past the due date (and if you’re paying online, you can even see the late fee they nailed you for).

  9. Chase sucks. I hated them from the beginning. They are the only card i took real focus on, paaid off, and cancelled

  10. Geekybiker says:

    The CC provider should not be able to move the due date without your explicit consent. Its monthly billing, not sometimes a month, but only 20 days when we decide to play with your dates.

  11. Elcheecho says:

    if she has paperless billing, she should be checking the website. if she didn’t check the website until the last few days, I could totally see not knowing. I usually pay a week or two ahead of the due date though.

  12. bohemian says:

    Ah, the never ending game of gotcha. Changing due dates, small added fees they hope nobody will catch. There are so many consumer services that do this crap with the intent of catching busy, stressed out, inattentive customers.

    Any service that involves some sort of contractual agreement like a credit card or cell phone should have something legally binding that they can not change the due date without written agreement of the customer.

  13. bohemian says:

    @Geekybiker: I call it Office Space accounting procedures. Screw people in small ways and hope nobody notices.

  14. @HeartBurnKid: It took me a second to figure that out.

    I think a system that relies on not looking at your bills until they’re close to the due date is flawed. What if you’re in a car accident? What if any number of things happens, like, say, the due date mysteriously shifts?

    I usually look at my bills when I get them, and then set up a payment to occur on the due date printed (in electronic ink) on the bill.

  15. Snarkysnake says:

    @Pylon83:

    I could not agree more. ANYTHING that companies decide to do to their customers should be legal. The problem in this country today is that large impersonal,unaccountable corporations are too constrained by “ethics” . Hell’s bells,if there was any justice,they should have just charged the late fee WITHOUT changing the due date.I for one am tired of these individual customers running roughshod over these companies that are just trying to keep the lights turned on and the doors open for another day.The bullshit that people pull on these organizations is sickening and ,frankly ,scary. For instance,are you aware that there are people in America that actually paid their bills ON TIME last month and DID NOT incur any fees or penalties ? These people are contributing to the moral rot that is absolutely killing business in our fair land.

    But please,Pylon83,don’t despair. Never give up and never give in.If we can convince our so called “political leaders” to stop commiting adultery long enough to listen to our cries,we can make generous “conributions” to good governmnet and get these rules changed going forward.With your help,and people like you, we can create an America where everyone is into us for over 10k with limited ways to pay.

    Sincerely,

    Chase Bank

  16. @Geekybiker: The CC provider should not be able to move the due date without your explicit consent.

    Check the terms of your agreement. They can do a lot of things without your consent, like changing the terms of the agreement in practically any way they see fit. However, they do indeed have to provide “adequate notice”, which shall be left up to the arbitrators to define.

  17. Logan26 says:

    @Pylon83:

    Yes, because we all know that the CC companies are so fair and just in everything they do. GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!

  18. amoeba says:

    I have the same problem with chase. I have a CC with Circuit City (I don’t know what I was thinking…) anyway, mine used to be on the tenth but suddenly without notice they “moved it” on the sixth. So, I got a $36 past due fee. I called and same excuse, didn’t care about it and they even didn’t want to remove the fee…whatever. I am only $50 dollars to pay it off and I am done with Chase.

  19. Ryan Duff says:

    This happened to me with a BofA card. My statement due date can be anywhere within an 8 day period (As I later found out when I called about the late fee). It apparently ranges from the 3rd to the 11th of the month. Ridiculous right?

    I need to make a point to log in and note my due date each month. They got me one month when it was due the 8th for about 6 months in a row… then it was due on the 3rd. I missed it and to make matters worse, it fell on a Saturday with a Monday holiday meaning that I needed to pay it on the 2nd. When I logged in on the 6th or 7th to pay my bill, I was already 3 days late.

    Fortunately I was able to convince BofA to remove the late fee because it was so much earlier than my previous 6 statements. Had it been a day early, I would have been fine because I never wait until the last day to pay it anyway.

    Moral of the story is credit card companies use horrible billing tactics and if you’re going to use credit, you need to be vigilant so you don’t get screwed up the pooper.

  20. All that said, I’m surprised she wasn’t able to get the late fee waived. They’ve done that for me every time that I’ve asked for it, which is at least two or three times in four years. I’ve also gotten months of finance charges waived at the same time.

    Perhaps there’s a secret formula that says yes or no when someone asks for a waiver?

  21. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Snarkysnake: My. Such excellent snark. You should do this for a living. Not much money in it, though, and the competition is… well, let’s just say we’re boojums. (Growl, hiss.)

    Seriously though… There are already laws on the books prohibiting theft, conversion, and fraud, and protecting the injured party when the other party to the contract breaks the terms of the contract. The rules do not need to be changed. They merely need to be enforced.

    That said, let me point out to Pylon83 that fraud is not a legitimate way to do business, and any company that engages in widespread fraud is, as they say, pissing in its own beer. Capitalism is not about force and fraud. It’s designed to protect, as well as anything can, the free exercise of trade, and to encourage the flourishing of ethical and productive behavior.

    Respect for customers does not mean you let them walk all over you, but it does mean that when you change contract terms you do so forthrightly and aboveboard, giving the customer adequate time to respond by accepting or rejecting the changes in the contract relationship. It also means you have a right to expect respect from your customers in the matter of promptly paying what they owe, as agreed between you, not unilaterally by you.

  22. Pylon83 says:

    @speedwell:
    I guess (without reading the contract) that there is a clause that allows Chase to change the due date at will. I’m not saying that what Chase did was right, simply that the customer should be expected to actually READ the bill. It’s not like they put the due date in fine print on the back.

  23. Landru says:

    @Michael Belisle: With a reputable company, you shouldn’t have to to re-read and re-decipher the T&C’s every month.

  24. misterfuss says:

    I download financial transactions every few days in my Quicken and it reminds me when a bill is due based on historical dates. So, I would probably get burnt by this too since I don’t look at the actual bill from Chase. I am notified that a bill has been issued via email, but it doesn’t specify a due date.

    My Chase card has an option that I can change the due date, so perhaps you can get the due date changed back.

  25. @Landru: You must not be talking about Chase, then.

  26. Pylon83 says:

    @Landru:
    The due date isn’t buried in the T&C’s. It’s plainly (and usually boldly) displayed on the front page, on the payment remittance slip. Even a glance at the bill reveals the due date.

  27. RetailGuy83 says:

    If the OP is too busy to read the statement, I imagine it’s safe to assume they would be too busy to read any other written notice of the due date change.

    God, do I sound like that when I shill for big box retail? Awful…

  28. EdnaLegume says:

    I’ve read the fine print on one of my cards. It basically says they can do what they want, when they want and nah nah boo boo suck our tutu.

    However, paperless billing + automatic deduct = potential poo poo if CC changes your due date.

    If they claim that the new date on the statement is sufficient notice, then are we to check our accounts daily if we have paperless billing?

    Frankly, given the fact that CC’s basically can do what they want and don’t give a crap, it’s in card holders best interest to keep a much keener eye on things.

  29. dragonfire1481 says:

    Sprint pulled this when I was with them, on your bill they sent you a notice that simply said “Your due date is changing” but conveniently they never told you if the new date would be earlier or later than your current date. As you might have guessed it was earlier.

  30. Invalid_User_Name says:

    @Steaming Pile:

    RIGHT ON!!!

  31. Invalid_User_Name says:

    Wait, I want to vent a moment longer: I hate all credit card companies. They do this on purpose. Their business model is designed to screw their own customers. Lovely.

    IF you choose to use a credit card, pay it off the same day you use it. DO NOT CARRY A BALANCE. The banks make more money in these fees now than from interest because of these little games they’ve written. And since it’s their game, they will always win. You swim with sharks, don’t be surprised to be bitten. CREDIT CARD COMPANIES SUCK.

  32. acasto says:

    I would probably get caught by this also, and I keep meticulous records of everything. I track every single penny in Quicken, and I even keep our receipts, particularly the ones in which a tip was written in or if it’s a business I don’t frequent often or something out of the ordinary such as a refund or manual swipe, tacked up on the marker board until they clear and I’ve reconciled our accounts. I typically pay the bills as soon as I get an email stating they are ready. But occasionally paychecks will line up to where a due date gets within a week of when I’d actually pay it, so yeah, with paperless billing, short of logging in every time you get it and looking for how they’re trying to screw you over this month, I can definitely see how responsible decent customers can get caught in this trap.

  33. charmaniac says:

    The due diligence people need to give it a rest. If they are going to materially change the term of a contract, i.e. by literally changing the term of the contract – when the bill is due, they need to notify you in writing with a SEPARATE notice. Not some line item on your bill.

  34. simplekismet says:

    If you’re using paperless billing (or just using Chase online) you can setup “personalized alerts”. Chase emails me 2 weeks before payment is due every month. You can personalize the timeframe and send alerts to your email or cell phone.

  35. oxidative says:

    This happened to me about 5 years ago. I called and they told me to suck it. I canceled my Chase card right away and got an Amazon card (Bank One). Then Chase bought Bank One. I wasn’t too happy about that. Now I keep a close eye on my due dates for all my bills.

  36. xenth says:

    Yeah Chase has caught me with this too. It is easy to get used to paying your bills on the same date every month.

  37. Jesse says:

    Looking at my payment history my bank shifted their due date too (US Bank) by moving it up 4-5 days, probably so they can try and catch people who have their credit card bill on autopilot (automatic bill pay).

    The SOB’s also started the old “business day” trick. I used to be able to make my weekend due date payments on the weekend and not have a problem. Now if it’s due on a Saturday/Sunday, I have to make the payment Friday.

    Pays to pay attention to your bill and plan ahead. Otherwise they will catch you.

  38. TechnoDestructo says:

    “When she complained to Chase, they told her that simply changing the due date on the bill was adequate notice. Nu-uh”

    They try to claim this when you don’t actually get a paper bill, too.

    They’ve been doing this AT LEAST since December 06. And they will lie and make shit up when you call them on it.

    I paid my last charges off and canceled my card after the second time it happened.

  39. I work collections at chase and all I can say is too bad. you know your bill is due each month and it’s up to you to keep track of it. That’s why chase.com has alerts that you can sign up for.

  40. humphrmi says:

    @Pylon83:

    If the OP is too busy to read the statement, I imagine it’s safe to assume they would be too busy to read any other written notice of the due date change.

    Or, since the OP has paperless statements and thus no statement to read, they would have to rely on Chase sending a separate notice, which the OP says she never received.

  41. Dobernala says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: So you think its “too bad” that Chase is trying to rip off people by randomly changing their due dates around, hoping to capitalize on forgetfulness?

    Arsewhole.

  42. 310Drew says:

    They actually do not have to notify you of a change in your due date. Printing it on your statement or ” e statement” is all they have to do. If you read in the terms of your agreement and usually on the back of your statement it says something like “your due date will not fall before at least 20 days from your closing date”. Bank’s do not guarantee specific days, it’s up to you to read your statement.

  43. satoru says:

    It’s reasons like this that, although I am a super nerd, I won’t go with paperless statements for anything. The bill arriving in the mail is a big reminder to pay my bill. Even though I am diligent in checking every week all my accounts for suspicious activity. Also gives me a paper trail from looking up past transactions for warranty claims if needed. It’s kinda old school, but for me it’s a good CYA strategy.

  44. @Dobernala:
    Not ripping people off. You borrowed the money. You have to pay it back, plain and simple. What part DON’T you understand? And BTW, it’s spelled “asshole” not “arsewhole”. I take some umbrage at this because yes, I may be an asshole but at least I know when to pay my damn bill ON TIME.

  45. KarmaChameleon says:

    @EdnaLegume: That just isn’t true. At least not with Chase. AutoPay will automatically deduct your payments from the account you designate on your due date, and are not affected at all by grace period changes. They’re not actually “moving” the due date so much as they’re cutting the grace period so that your billing cycle is shorter. My credit cards (one of which is through Chase) are on AutoPay with the minimum despite the fact that I pay them in full every month. It’s an emergency mechanism I put in place for just this reason (also, in the event that I am stressed out/life circumstances make me forget about my due dates).

    Bottom line: credit card companies exist to fuck the customer. Assume your credit card company is coming up with new and creative ways to fuck you, right now, as we’ve having this discussion. Behave accordingly and you’ll be fine.

  46. synergy says:

    I’m with Pylon83 on this. People need to actually look at their bills when they come in. Not only should they be checking that items were charged correctly, but noting when their bill is actually due, not when they think it’s due.

  47. @KarmaChameleon:
    I agree, if you all behave and follow the rules we’ll be just fine. God help you if you try to complain or beat the system.

  48. AlphaWolf says:

    Ok enough with the blame the victim crowd on here.

    You pay your bill every month on the 21st, suddenly it is due on the 17th without notice. We all have to become accountants just to keep from being hit with arbitrary fees.

    Is it legal yes, is it total crap also yes. Take your business elsewhere.

  49. Doofio says:

    I get so tired of people throwing out the “I don’t have time to do this”. Who the hell is so f’ing busy that they don’t have 3 minutes to sit down and look at their OWN f’ing bill statements. This person obviously had enough time to write and email off this little complaint…and he obviously has enough time to browse this website. While I do not agree with Chase shifting the date in an apparent attempt to leech some fees, but this person is just as liable. Just like at any bar or restaurant you go to, it is not the business’s responsibility to ensure that the bill is correct, but it IS their responsibility to fix it if a mistake is discovered. People nowadays seem to assume no real responsibility…if something goes right…they were smart consumers, if something doesn’t go in their favor, it’s always the companies fault.

  50. Coelacanth says:

    I wrote an e-mail to Senator Levin about a year ago, responsible for leading the task force attempting to reign in the unscrupulous acts of the credit industry. Obviously, much has happened since then, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

    What I thought was merely therapeutic to vent to somebody, even if nobody read the e-mail, turned out to solicit a call from one of his Congressional aides. I spoke on the phone for nearly a half an hour, and had a very constructive conversation.

    Speak up, you never know!

  51. Coelacanth says:

    @AlphaWolf: The problem is, where is this “elsewhere?” Capital One, Bank of America, Citibank, Chase, … it’s an industry standard.

    Don’t even bother mentioning USAA. Hardly anyone qualifies.

  52. mwwilk says:

    You want to know another dirty trick banks use to throw their credit card customers of, besides playing with due dates? They change payment remittance addresses. I can’t tell you how many times they do that, which will delay payment processing (even if you do it electronically). In fact, they seem to engineer that specifically for electronic bill payers (because if you pay by check and use their payment coupon, it will have the address pre-printed on it).

    So I am always checking due dates and remittance addresses pretty much every time I do my electronic payments.

    And I have to say, the time period from when you actually get the bill (electronically or in the mail) and when payment is due is truly shrinking. Sometimes, I see two weeks or less.

    So, the rule is use some sort of personal finance software to organize payments, check your card account online frequently, rely less and less on them to TELL you when payment is due.

    Stay ahead of these sharks.

  53. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Doofio:

    I didn’t receive monthly paper bills. There was no prominent notification on the online bill paying system (which I used to make my “late” payments the same time I did every month)…there might have been somewhere on the web site, but I had no way of knowing where to look OR THAT I NEEDED TO LOOK.

    I found out that this was happening when I read my online bill and saw charges that shouldn’t have been there. But by then it was already happening.

    I received no other notification.

  54. sauceistheboss says:

    Chase did the same thing to me. They told me over the phone when I set up my new Freedom card that the bills would be due on the 21st.

    Since then the date suddenly became the 16th. AND I do NOT have paperless billing and I NEVER received a notice of this change!

    I pay my entire bill online throughout the month, but this is really sneaky. Shame on the idiots who blame the OP for not looking at the statement. Chase should be blamed for its trickery! Why is it perfectly fine for businesses to try and screw a customer? Sure, it might be LEGAL, but it is still something that should be condemned rather than justified by so many commenting lemmings. I didn’t realize that so many Chase employees read the Consumerist.

  55. mythago says:

    So, can somebody please explain to me the mentality that it’s OK for a corporation to screw you unless you catch them at it?

  56. PunditGuy says:

    I made a rather sizable payment on my BoA card on June 3rd, even though the online system said that I had no payment due. For giggles, I checked my account on the 20th and it said I had a payment due on the 23rd. Thank goodness I bothered to look, or I would have been late.

    How can I not owe money on the 3rd, pay money on the 3rd, and owe money on the 23rd? Is that what passes for a month these days?

  57. KarmaChameleon says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: That’s not what I meant at all. What I meant was I’m baffled by the fact that people are continually shocked when CC companies pull shit like this. I worked for the company in question (until I was laid off, yay!), and I’ve seen them do stuff that makes this particular issue look wonderful in comparison. They’re credit card companies. I don’t believe in Satan but your average CC company CEO comes pretty damned close. It’s like being shocked that Nike sneakers are made by five year olds in Indonesian sweatshops or that Santa Claus isn’t real.

    The ONLY way to co-exist with them is to beat them at their own game, or get by without credit. Because the government sure as fuck won’t do anything to curb their excesses, all you need to do is look at the bankruptcy legislation championed by Joe Biden (D-MBNA) passed a few years ago to see it, and I say that as a Democrat.

  58. KarmaChameleon says:

    @KarmaChameleon: And I’ll add that it’s really fucking sad that you have to approach doing business with a company like that, but in this day and age, that’s just how it is.

  59. Xerloq says:

    I get paperless statements for my credit card, so I see the point of not necessarily being willing/able to check each statement – especially with automatic electronic payment. I guess I’m lucky, because my bank (Wells Fargo) sends me an email that a change has been made to the T’s & C’s, which is how they offset the “forgot to look at my statement” claim.

    Would it be better/easier if one had to negotiate the terms of credit individually with a bank and draw up a contract? Or are these ‘standardized’ agreements better? Just wondering.

  60. @humphrmi: They would have to rely on Chase sending a separate notice, which the OP says she never received.

    Chase sends me those notices electronically too, included with the electronic bill. So if you’re not opening the electronic bill, you’re not going to see the electronic notice. (I don’t recall if they sent me a printed notice as well.) And after logging in, I pass the due date on the way to accessing statements and enclosures.

    I hope she gets a credit. Meanwhile, the rest of us can avoid falling into this trap by glancing at bills when they arrive.

  61. Pylon83 says:

    @KarmaChameleon:
    No one is forcing anyone to co-exist with credit card companies. Credit cards are a luxury/convenience that most people abuse anyway. You might be making a pact with the devil by getting and using a credit card, but it was a pact you made on your own free will. The Government does NOT need to step in an protect people from themselves and their credit cards.

  62. @Xerloq: Would it be better/easier if one had to negotiate the terms of credit individually with a bank and draw up a contract? Or are these ‘standardized’ agreements better? Just wondering.

    It’d be easier if the one party in the agreement didn’t have the ability to change the terms on a whim. Maybe that’s just the inherent evil in a revolving line of credit.

  63. @Pylon83: No one is forcing anyone to co-exist with credit card companies. Credit cards are a luxury/convenience that most people abuse anyway.

    Correct. We recently learned that there is, in fact, at least one prominent individual who lives without a credit cards. I imagine there are more. I just can’t picture Warren Buffet pulling out his Amazon.com Visa.

  64. acasto says:

    To all the people blaming the OP and complaining about people being lazy and/or irresponsible for not checking their bill each month, if you use something like Quicken, it does check your items and reconcile your statement. However, it isn’t yet advanced enough to make sure they don’t try and screw you over. Also, when banks actively push things like e-billing and automatic payments, how is it the customers fault when they then use this platform of regularity to essentially trick people.

  65. dweebster says:

    Sad to hear so many bad stories about Chase. They bought out a couple banks that I had cards with, so now they are my CC provider. So far haven’t had any issues they haven’t resolved reasonably. Except – in TEN months they couldn’t give my kid a simple “yes or no” for his first credit card. Seems they have some pretty incompetent people and/or processes there.

    Now I’ll be watching them much closer. They already dropped back the grace period to 20 days, and with the mailing delays you basically get 5-6 days to get the money to whichever state they want to process payments in this month. Reading the crap happening to other people here will make me pull the trigger and leave if I ever get caught in their “gotcha!” web even once. Backhanded “penalty fees” aren’t any way to build a long-term business relationship with me, and probably every other smart person here.

  66. dweebster says:

    @acasto: There’s the rub. When “banks” start acting like two-bit street hustlers preying on your good nature, that’s when I get angry and leave ‘em for good. If Chase pulls something like this on me and ding me, I’m gone and will pay cash the rest of my life rather than go back to them if they were the last thieving “bank” on earth.

  67. aliceday says:

    Discover just did this to me last month as well. My bill has been due on the 5th for the entire time I’ve had this particular card (a gas rebate card)….which is several years of payments. I logged on to the website on the 3rd to pay, only to find the due date had been moved to the first. I called immediately, and the CSR said they were just changing the way the billing read, so that it was ‘due’ on the first but not ‘overdue’ until the 5th (okay, kind of like my mortgage payment, I can live with that). He assured me my payment was not overdue and nothing bad was going to happen.

    So I get this month’s bill–with an over due fee. I call again, and to Discover’s credit they did remove the fee immediately. I’m still kind of irritated. Discover may not have the best rewards, but they have never jerked me around with the payment thing, so I’ve stuck with them. If this happens again, though…..grrr.

  68. Tom Servo says:

    Folks, it’s a free market. Get another credit card, preferably with a credit union or a smaller bank where the people are probably more compassionate and responsive to customers. Or better yet, pay off your stupid credit card balance and really stick it to loan sharks like Chase.

  69. mythago says:

    No, it’s not a “free market”. And switching to a different bank after they cheat you doesn’t erase the fact that they cheated you.

    On credit cards, I hope none of you “only idiots used credit cards” people are not the same ones, on threads where an OP used a debit card, squawking about what an idiot the OP is and how he should have used a CC for the transaction.

  70. dweebster says:

    @Cool Cat: It ain’t no “free market” when a small group of megabanks are allowed to swallow up what were previously thought of as megabanks and then pull this sort of stuff. Deregulation and consolidation results in the few oligopolists pulling this sort of shit more and more. And when they pay off our politicians, only more evil entrenched in law will ensue.

  71. TwoScoopsRice says:

    @satoru: I agree with your super nerd approach. More than once having a paper statement has saved me.

    We have Chase, and long ago I got used to the due date moving around. About 7 years ago there was a due date that really would have put us in a bind. I figured it out in enough time to call them several days before the payment was due and got them to let me change the due date. The CSR must have understood how the collision with our mortgage payment just wasn’t a good thing.

    I’ve never asked since, and watch this account carefully. We are lucky if we get the paper statement a week before the due date. I’m not sure where they mail out of. There have been a couple months recently where I’ve checked the charges by phone and had to pay the bill almost on faith, otherwise it would have been late.

    While we are griping, how about how when you pay by phone, the cutoff from “today” to “tomorrow” is so early, especially during daylight saving months. Amex doesn’t make a point of the daily cutoff; when you pay, your payment is noted immediately.

  72. edrebber says:

    If they refuse to remove the late fee and interest, tell them you will keep this account open and never use it again. Remind them it costs them ~$75 per year to keep your account open.

  73. mmmsoap says:

    Well, this isn’t limited to Chase, and I’m surprised that Consumerist isn’t aware of this! (Actually, I just checked, and you are)

    The CC companies are not only known for changing dates with no notice (or, at least, notice that they know full well their customers will likely not see) they’ve got all sorts of other tactics to rake up the fees. Bill is due by 10 am. Mail gets delivered after that? Your fault. Fee. You live in MA? The, by jove, your payments need to be mailed to CA or Washington. But if you live in Portland, your payment center is more likely NJ or Delaware, so they can maximize time on the road (and the likelihood that the payment won’t get there on time.)

  74. 5h17h34d says:

    BoA does the same exact crap.

  75. dazzlezak says:

    All the banks are doing this.

    Call your congressman/woman and ream them out for not representing your interests!

    This practice is sleazy.

  76. TorrentFreak says:

    All CC companies are rip offs. I dont even have a credit card. I realized long ago its stupid a pointless to use them. I pay cash and never worry about it. If you dont like carrying cash use a bank check card. CC companies are designed to swindle you out of your money. Then when you ‘screw up’ by not paying them after they fool with due dtes etc, they screw your FICA score.

    Yet, when they fuck up you have no one to go to. It not a fair buisness transaction.

  77. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: And when you’re out of a job because Chase has ran off all of it’s private customers, guess what? That’s right asshole, too bad!

  78. mike says:

    The problem isn’t that Chase didn’t “notify” the customer; it’s that they made a change without making it obvious (much like the shrink-ray).

    Yes I read my bill, but I don’t pay attention to the due date primarily because it has been the same now for 5-6 years!

    I’ll have to start looking to make sure this doesn’t change.

  79. DHT says:

    “Boo-hoo, can’t the government save me?”

    Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

    Learn to take care of yourself instead of expecting the government to help you. Compare the different responses to flooding from the people in Iowa to those in New Orleans.

  80. freejazz38 says:

    Wait, it’ll get even BETTER. Next month, she’ll get a bill with interest charged on it again. Ya see, The scumbags at Chase employ the fun 2-cycle billing gimmick. The clowns tried this on me, that’s why I cancelled the card. Isn’t it nice that the powerless Congress can hold hearings, and the scumbag corporate banks can just do as they please, and not even be embarrassed by it?

  81. digitalgimpus says:

    My rule is simple:

    I pay my bill 24hrs after the closing date. That’s the same day the statement becomes available online.

    That’s MY due date.

    Chase and friends can f*** with the due dates all they want. If they aren’t giving at least 72hrs, I’ll go to the Attorney Generals office.

    Works out the same to me, since each interval is still a month. By the time the bill actually arrives by mail (normally a week later I might add), it’s already been paid and reflected in my account online.

    Not sure why others don’t due the same.

  82. johnva says:

    @freejazz38: They stopped doing that, at least for me. I’m pretty sure they agreed to eliminate that practice when the government pressured them.

  83. jdkrpi says:

    I have a car loan with Chase (because they offered the best interest rate).

    I do not know it this is a similar thing, but the first year of the loan I recieved a year’s worth of payment stubs that I had to pay by the 15th of each month. The next year it changed, now i recieve a bill at the beginning of the month (varies) and have to pay by the 11th. Sometimes I get only 3 days to pay the bill. I have never been late on a payment but I feel they are trying their hardest to make me late.

  84. jdkrpi says:

    * they are

  85. provolone says:

    There seems to be a lot of argument about who is at fault here, but regardless of whether this problem could have been avoided by the consumer, it still seems shady on the part of chase.

    What could possibly be the point of changing due dates? It seems like an attempt to proactively create late fees to me. I don’t care what the laws are, that is not ethical and certainly not good customer service.

    Some people think it is ridiculous to suggest that a company would do this, but I have had enough unjustified or erroneous fees show up in my bills to feel confident that some of them are there on purpose, in the hopes that I will be too lazy to fix them or too busy to notice. The customer should not have to constantly be watching out for every company they do business with attempting to screw them. I think what Chase did in this case in unacceptable.

  86. MissPeacock says:

    @simplekismet: I’ve signed up for these too. I get an email when my new statement is available, and another one 10 days before my payment is due. It’s really, really helpful and I would urge others to sign up for these alerts as well.

  87. TomSmitt says:

    This didn’t occur on my Chase card and I receive electronic only statements. I’ve had my Chase card for about a year and they’ve been nothing but awesome.

  88. toddvm says:

    First National Bank caught me in the same trap depicted here in this story. I had online auto-payment set up from my bank to pay my low interest credit card bill every month on the same date. They kept moving the date up on me and I ended up being late on a payment. They then tried to increase my percentage rate to their maximum. I called First National and they said “just this one time” they would forgo the interest rate hike.
    Banks are nothing but crooks. Yes, we need regulation of the credit card companies.

  89. Makes me think about letting go of the strongholds of Chase. At least I finally got them to stop sending me all their “promotions” to my mailbox (thanks to the Consumerist).

  90. savvy999 says:

    Technically speaking, the “due date drift” may be because of how the cardmember contract is written. I noticed one of my cards had been moving around also, and looked closely on one of the contracts, and it clearly said that billing periods were in 30-day increments.

    Meaning that the due date will constantly move ‘forward’ due to months having uneven numbers of days. Over the course of a non-leap year, my due date will move ‘up’ about 4 days, if I’m counting right (7 months have 31, 4 have 30, 1 has 28 –> 7 – 3 = 4?).

    Just something to be aware of; it may be a billing issue related to the calendar, not some insidious plan to screw everyone with fees. Some CC companies just have shitty billing systems.

  91. Corydon says:

    Easy fix to this problem:

    I get paid every two weeks. Although I generally use one of my paychecks each month to pay off my credit card, I use online bill pay and always make the minimum payment out of the other paycheck too. So the bank’s getting at least the minimum payment every two weeks.

    There’s no way for me to ever have a late payment. I don’t even look at the due dates.

  92. JoeTaxpayer says:

    I had a due date change get me as well.
    My statement date was the 15th, and I was heading out of town so a couple weeks in advance I set up an online payment (thru my bank). The payment would have been enough to cover the bill and a bit more, but they pushed the date out a week (out!) to the 22nd. So for that cycle it looked like I made two payments, which I did, but then missed that I actually paid the bill before the statement was even cut. I must say, I called, and the customer service person laughed, she said “I understand exactly what happened” and backed out the fee along with the interest. She said she saw I had years of paid in full on the same date, and offered some odd reason the date got shifted.
    Joe

  93. highlandre says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap:

    It’s collection agents like you that lost Chase my business. Seems they like to hire like minded individuals.

    I had to attend an out of state funeral last year and in my zeal to get out of town I forgot to pay 2 of my CC bills. One was my CC card and the other was my Newegg.com account.

    When I got back into town a week later I got a phone call from Newegg.com (Bill me later) and I explained the situation and she was very polite and I apologized for missing the payment and she set me up with an automatic payment on my next pay period. I ate the late fee since it was my fault but she treated me great!

    Chase was a completely different story. First, I owed double on the Newegg card than I did on the CC card and 2nd of my total balance on the CC card, only $100 was revolving. The remainder was no payments/interest till June ’08. This person called me on my cellphone and when I answered they hung up and then called on my work phone. Again, they hung up and called back a 3rd time.

    By this time I’m already none to happy but whatever, I was late and they were owed their money. I went thru the same spiel with the Chase agent and she went on a tirade about how horrible I was and that I was a dirtbag for not paying my bill on time and that if I was a decent responsible person…blah blah blah….

    I was floored. I admitted I was wrong and even told them I would pay the same day I was paying Newegg. She said she’d note the account and hung up.

    But the story doesn’t end there, the next week I get a call. This is 2 days before I was to make the payment from another Chase agent, bitching me out because I hadn’t made payment. I explained what had transpired the week before and my promise to pay and she told me I was lying because Chase doesn’t take promises to pay more than 4 days out.

    Needless to say I cancelled the card and paid it off as soon as I could. I can understand an agent getting a bit pissy if the customer acts an ass or what not but I freely admitted it was my fault and that I would pay the charges incurred.

    Lesson Learned: Chase is a terrible company to do business with and they will never see any more of my money.

  94. dorastandpipe says:

    I pay off my CC bill every month. I collect my bills throughout the week and pay them every Sunday night. Once I got my bill on Thursday, on Sunday when I went to pay the bill I noticed the due date was Wednesday! Now, why the heck should I have to write out a check the EXACT MINUTE I get my bill in order to not be late? I understand that there can be times when your due date changes because of how many days are in the month, but for criminy sakes, 7 day turnaround?

  95. jackal676 says:

    I can’t stand Chase. I had a regular Chase card, then later got a Circuit City Chase card. After I changed bank accounts and updated my payment information for the Circuit City card, the payments would no longer go through. That happened three months in a row, and I called them 3 or 4 times asking what to do. I was told to double check the accuracy of my bank info and to resubmit payment.
    This never worked, despite trying several times. I wasn’t assessed late fees because their records showed I had submitted payments ontime, even though they didn’t go through. I called again after the next payment was rejected and was assured that my account would continue to be in good standing if I went to the store and made a payment through the service desk. I did so the same day.
    Three days later I got a letter in the mail stating that my account had been closed on lack of payment. Then my other Chase account was closed because of the Circuit City account closing. That made my credit score drop about 150 points because all of the sudden I had about $15,000 less in available credit and two recently closed accounts. And all the while I had been staying in contact with their service reps about the issue and following their advice. Oh well, lesson learned and one less weasel of a company in my life.

  96. MFfan310 says:

    @johnva: You are correct that Chase stopped using two-cycle billing in 2007 (their official corporate line: “customers didn’t understand it”). Discover recently started phasing it out as well, too, as did National City.

    Still, the practice hasn’t gone away completely: WaMu still uses two-cycle billing for credit cards.

  97. skeleem_skalarm says:

    They not only made one of my cards’ due dates earlier by 4 days, they didn’t send me either of my bills this month. Fortunately, I frequently check online to make sure they can’t catch me like this. Assholes!

  98. ClevelandCub says:

    @toddvm: Only in response to your comment about needing regulation of the CC industry – banks are one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, from multiple federal and state agencies. Why do you think there is so much legal paperwork that comes with every one of your accounts?

  99. Xkeeper says:

    @Michael Belisle: Yes, because if I tell you “Trash pickup comes every month on the 30th”, and the only indication it’s moving is the website (no mail, no phone call) and it suddenly comes by on the 25th, you’re going to be perfectly fine with that.

    This is just a minor example, but some people have better things to do than check their billing every day to make sure the dates aren’t magically moving around. It’s just common fucking courtesy.

    But it seriously seems like commenters on the Consumerist are just bending over and let themselves get raped by these kinds of policies. Yes, it’s all my fault I wasn’t checking the due date every day, feel free to charge me $tons!

    I hate this site’s commenters.

  100. Anonymous says:

    I was a satisfied customer of Washington-Mutual Bank — that was taken over by Chase Bank.

    I, too, have been victimized by the “shrunken” due date — and penalized a “Late Fee”! When Chase took over, I had been assured that everything would “be the same” as with Washington-Mutual. I was never notified of any change and this needs to be corrected for all — if it means a class action suit!