Chase doesn’t want to honor an old promotion promising to lock in a customer’s APR until their balance is paid off, so they’re just ignoring the original terms and jacking up interest rates. The bank wants to hike a promised 3.99% rate to either 7.99%, or 5% of the total balance plus a $10 monthly service charge, terms that are dull enough to put you to sleep until you receive the next month’s bill. Inside, Credit Slips walks us through how this is legal, along with tips for recapturing the stolen promotional rate.
In great big letters, the advertisement promises, “3.99% 2nd and 3rd checks APR until balance is paid in full.” An asterisk next to the “0% APR” promise leads to a very small notice that states “See enclosed insert for more details.” In another post, I commented on how these “more details” in a solicitation aimed at lawyers eviscerated the deal that it looked like Bank of America was trying to offer. Does anyone honestly think that these advertisements would put a reasonable person on notice that the price at which they are borrowing is actually very different than the true price? Our reader was outraged at the sharp dealing from a bank that had just received federal taxpayer money, which is a good point. We should expect better from the institutions who are being supported with taxpayer dollars. As someone who tends to focus on the policymaking side of consumer credit, what outrages me are the claims of free marketers that we should get out of the way from fully informed buyers and sellers of credit. It is only the sellers who are fully informed.
Buyers may be relatively uninformed but that doesn’t mean they’re powerless. They can always beg! Seriously. White-collar professional are finally waking up to what fundraisers and the homeless have known all along: begging works.
And by begging we mean politely asking for Chase to honor the original deal. Send a direct but professional letter explaining that you are an ideal customer who deserves better treatment. And if that doesn’t work, kick your complaint to the top by contacting Chase’s executive team.