Chase's Vague, Off-Putting Debit Overdraft Threat

Chase bought Washington Mutual to seize market share by expanding its customer base, but its execs seem to have forgotten to take into account that there was probably a reason customers weren’t using them in the first place.

Take David, who was a happy WaMu customer but feels burned at the way Chase took over his account. Chase sent him a novella about policy changes, including this gem about charging an overdraft fee even if the customer has requested that overdrafts be denied. David says he’s quoting the “changes to deposit agreement” verbatim.

As a former WaMu customer, now part of the Chase Überbanking Hellscape, I just received a 50-or-so-page booklet telling me about all the wonderful, exciting services I will be entitled to effective July 24, 2009.

This one caught my eye, a bullet point under the heading “Changes to deposit agreement:”

“Even if you have directed us not to, we may, but aren’t required to, honor debit card or any other transactions authorized against insufficient funds. We will assess an Insufficient Funds Fee if the withdrawal caused an overdraft.”

So, basically, they are telling me that no matter what I may want, they may (or may not) honor (or decline) a transaction that may (or may not) incur a fee (or not).

Dave says he’s looking to quit Chase and move his money to a bank that offers a checking account with no fees or minimums. Any suggestions?

(Photo: epicharmus)