Chase Made Me A Weird Telemarketed Offer I Easily Refused

Tim says a Chase marketer called him up and offered him $150 upfront in exchange for a commitment to knock $1,800 off his credit card balance within the next seven months. Intrigued, Tim asked the company to send documentation for the offer, but the guy on the phone refused. He says the number on his caller ID checks out as a Chase number and doesn’t know what to make of the strange promotion.

He writes:

I’m not sure who to write but I received a strange marketing call from Chase Bank credit cards today. The marketer was offering a chance for 150.00 for me as a good customer who paid their bill on time each month. I just had to commit to paying 1800.00 off my account by January 31, 2011 (I know I shouldn’t carry a balance, but I’m working on it). This would have been a stretch but possibly by moving Chase to the front of my debt snowball.

I asked ‘what’s the catch?’ the marketer assured me there was no catch and the letter they would send me after I committed to the offer on the phone would explain it all. I replied, ‘Please send me the letter with detailing the offer and I will make my decision about committing to the offer.’

The marketer stated that he couldn’t do that and ‘so this means you’re declining the offer?’ I quickly said ‘Yes, if you are not able to send the details of the offer so I can examine it then I am declining.’ He double-checked ‘Are you sure you want to decline this offer we are making to our best…..” I again stated that if he couldn’t send the details prior to my commitment than I was indeed declining their offer. He hung up, what are they up to? the call came from the infamous 210-586-1025 number that when Googled is denounced as a Chase marketing number, if I[d checked the caller id before answering, I probably wouldn’t have answered, but now I’m intrigued and a little worried.

Has anyone else been propositioned in this manner?

Comments

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  1. eccsame says:

    It’s a good thing he wrote to the Consumerist to find out what they think rather than contacting the bank. God only knows what would have happened if he called the bank and asked them about their promotion..

    • opticnrv says:

      You’re implying it’s not okay to do both.

    • Pryde987 says:

      Prtt mch xctl ths. Ppl wnt t b mprtnt nd scrm ‘ HV STR!’ smll mnt f d dlgnc b thr prt– Cnsmrst r th P– wld hv shwn ths t b scm. Lz jrnlsm t ts fnst. Wlcm t th blg gnrtn.

      • opticnrv says:

        What you are calling ‘lazy journalism’, I prefer to think of as shifting the focus to an earlier stage in the news cycle. It’s happening all around us, and has been since the first 24 hour cable news channel, and the rise in popularity of the Internet. 50’s newspapers typically contained day old, if not week old news items. As technology increases the speed of information, the definition of ‘news’ is shifting.

        • erciesielski says:

          CNN front page 2020- BREAKING NEWS: Man Walks Into Bank With Duffel Bag. Stay tuned for updates.

        • Pryde987 says:

          The lazy aspect of the story is that neither party took any time to contact Chase, nor did they search to see if this number would be a scam phone number. The comments about it being a scam number ARE LITERALLY IN THE FIRST LINK SUPPLIED BY GOOGLE.

          The story should read “Scammers impersonating Chase trying to steal money from you.” However, the accusation against Chase is not only easier to make, but also grabs more headlines. You can see the story about the soldier’s wife and Verizon to understand that the editors here are going to try to angle the reader into clicking the story.

          • Chongo says:

            “The call came from the infamous 210-586-1025 number that when Googled is denounced as a Chase marketing number”

    • common_sense84 says:

      Did you miss the part where Chase was the one calling him up with the offer?

      What would calling Chas accomplish, it is damn clear they are not giving customers any details beyond what he was verbally told.

      My guess is the penalty for not paying by the date is probably huge. They probably will have the ability to immediately sell the debt off to a collection agency who will destroy you with fees after the final date.

      • Captain Walker says:

        Selling a debt to a collection agency is the last (ok, second to last) thing a company wants to do (the last thing is receiving bankruptcy papers)

      • chefboyardee says:

        i can easily spoof any call from my cell as “coming from chase”. next argument, please.

    • LandruBek says:

      Yes, it is a good thing. Chase might actually listen to the Consumerist a little bit.

    • erciesielski says:

      I’m on eccsame’s side. It really may be just as simple as the guy on the phone made it sound. Chase’s reasoning for this offer is probably that they want to reduce the amount of outstanding debt. They’re calling customers with good payment histories because they figure that those customers would be the ones most likely to be able to increase the amount they pay each month. I doubt that there would be additional fees or an APR increase if he didn’t meet the deadline. He would probably just forfeit the bonus. It wouldn’t be in Chase’s best interest to charge additional fees because they’d just be increasing the amount of outstanding debt, the opposite of their intention.

      I think OP is being a bit paranoid, but yes, this probably could have been easily cleared up with a call to his local bank.

      • MMD says:

        The problem with your argument is that you’re making a whole bunch of assumptions. Just because you “doubt” there would be fees and that he’d “probably” forfeit the bonus doesn’t make you right. This is exactly why the OP wanted written verification, why it’s weird that the telemarketer couldn’t or wouldn’t provide it, and why this is a a story worthy of attention. As a poster further down mentioned, maybe this story will get Chase’s attention and they’ll clarify the offer and train their telemarketers better.

        • sleze69 says:

          Well there is a logic to his assumptions. See Occam’s Razor.

          • Telekinesis123 says:

            Yep, and according to Occam’s razor the bank was gonna screw him, which is what they usually do right, so the simplest solution probably is the right one.

          • MMD says:

            Really? A logic that assumes that Chase is not looking to maximize revenue and therefore isn’t going to add fees wherever possible? A logic that ignores the posters below who have seen similar offers before and have reported that fees apply if payments are not made be a specified deadline?

            That’s not Occam’s razor. That’s blind optimism.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        Chase is basically playing a trick on you. If you accept and pay your balance down, they will slash your credit limit. Which may be a good thing if you don’t mind being treated like a customer who hasn’t been paying their bills.

      • Thorzdad says:

        And, of course, had he agreed to the offer over the phone and then got hit with a boatload of fees, restrictions and penalties, you would be going off on how he should have gotten it all in writing before agreeing.

        He was correct in declining a phone offer like that. One should never make such a change in any financial terms without seeing all the details in writing first.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Yes, because if there’s one thing this site isn’t for it’s consumers who wish to alert others on odd or suspicious behavior by companies.

      Sheesh.

  2. domcolosi says:

    I can only assume that if you don’t pay it all off, you get hit with higher interest rates or some type of fee.

  3. eccsame says:

    It must be a scam if google is “denouncing” the caller’s phone number.

    • digital0verdose says:

      Hi, you must be new to the internet. Google doesn’t denounce the scam, it’s the results and dozens of other people that have reported this scam that denounce it.

      • eccsame says:

        You missed my point. But yes, I am new to the internet.

        To denounce means to “to condemn or censure openly or publicly”. When googled, the results don’t denounce Chase. I assume the submitter meant “pronounced”.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          Maybe since people don’t like telemarketing calls or chase, they took a little literary license and chose to use the word denounce on purpose?

        • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

          Could have also meant “declare”..

        • MMD says:

          Sure they do. Google searches reveal publicly available information.

        • Conformist138 says:

          The results denounce in a poetic sense. The word just added some drama to the mundane task of fact checking. The volume of complaints attached to that number was probably staggering. Language should be used correctly, but try using some imagination ;)

        • mackjaz says:

          I would have gone with “vilify”!

        • coren says:

          No, but they may denounce the number (who calls me from this number, the jerks keep calling during dinner; why the fuck won’t this guy leave a message; etc.) which is what the OP said.

  4. DanRydell says:

    I’m guessing the telemarketer didn’t want to hide the terms so much as he had no way to send the terms to someone who hadn’t signed up. That’s an oversight by Chase, but not necessarily malicious.

    The worst I’d expect you’d find is that they’re going to reduce your available credit by $1800 as you pay it down, and you’ll have to pay back the $150 if you fail to pay off $1800.

    • MMD says:

      That’s a pretty risky assumption, though, don’t you think? Maybe we should read the fine print. Oh, wait…

      • DanRydell says:

        Yeah, I probably wouldn’t take them up on their offer. I wouldn’t assume they’re trying to hide something though.

  5. bdcw says:

    You do realize that Caller ID numbers can be spoofed.

    • BobSalawalatski says:

      This was my first thought.

      I do not rely on Caller ID as a form of identification for anything financial. It’s not hard for a scammer to make it look like he’s calling from your bank.

      • Conformist138 says:

        I had calls come in over and over from a number in Canada. I googled it and found it was for the public works dept for the city of Dorval in Quebec. I sent them an email firmly telling them to never call me again as I have never even been to Canada. The response was from a nice, if flustered, man who told me their department was flooded with emails and calls all with this same complaint. Turned out, scammers were using a spoofed number, but didn’t seem to realize or care what number they were using. The reply to my email indicated they were quite upset about the amount of time and money required to sort out the mess. The good news is the calls stopped within a couple weeks.

    • dg says:

      Easily spoofed. You can get your own PBX and push whatever number you want out over your own PRI line. You can get a VOIP service that lets you push out whatever number you want. You can even tap into someone’s line from *somewhere* between them and the central office and make a call from their line – it then appears to have come from them. You can also get into the central office, plug into the right spot on the frames and make a call that appears to have come from someone.

      If you’re not certain who you’re calling, then you were right to decline – I used to get those “You’ve won a free XYZZY!” My response was always “great, send it to me. You’ve got my address. If there’s any shipping, send it COD, if it’s in good shape, I’ll send you a check…” — never got any items… never got scammed either…

  6. Hermia says:

    Looks like a big gigantic scam…

    http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-210-586-1025

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I read quite a few of the comments, and nearly all of them say they didn’t pick up the phone and the caller didn’t leave a message. Really, that is Zero proof of a scam.

      • Marshmelly says:

        “they didn’t pick up the phone and the caller didn’t leave a message. Really, that is Zero proof of a scam.”

        Isn’t that one of the main signs of a scam/telemarketing? If it were not a scam, and something actually important, Chase would have left a message.

        • Kevinsky says:

          You’re conflating scams and Telemarketing. True, Scams might be delivered via telemarketing, But honest, good deals might also be delivered via telemarketing, and they are unlikely to leave a message.

          Seems pretty unlikely, but it’s possible.

          I generally assume the worst, myself, even when it comes from a “trusted” corporation. I tell them that I don’t make snap decisions on the phone, and that they can send me some info. They never do. Doesn’t make it a scam though.

      • drmk says:

        Keep reading — especially the more recent pages, pages 3 and 4. The stories keep changing — sometimes it’s Chase customer service, sometimes it’s a debt collector, sometimes it’s something else entirely, and they don’t actually seem to know how much people have on their credit card.

        It’s a scam.

    • freelunch says:

      That is a legit Chase phone number… it just so happens that Chase doesn’t leave voicemail messages…

      For some reason Chase started trying to call my work phone on July 5th (and almost every day since) after 6 PM… I don’t have an account with them (and neither does my company, so I guess they are searching for someone else, but that is a persistent number.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    It’s a trick – as soon as you pay off your balance they will drop your credit entirely because you don’t use it enough.

    • Bativac says:

      I’ve heard this, but I paid off a Chase card months ago, and since then the rate has nearly doubled. The card sits in my dresser, and I check the account once a month to make sure there are no weird unauthorized charges on it.

      So will they eventually lower the limit when they figure out I’m not using the card?

  8. ryber says:

    I signed up for it, paid the amount they requested in the time they requested, and received the $150 credit. I didn’t have to give any information, they had it already, as it was actually from Chase. 150 credited to my account for doing nothing other than what I was already doing, paying on time, and paying more than was due.

    • Nighthawke says:

      Proof or no.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      I’d like to see the join date for this username, my guess is it was created in the last day to facilitate the scammers ;)

      • ptkdude says:

        Ryber’s first comment was in April 2010. You can click on any name to see all their comments.

        • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

          Point made: +1 to you. This is what I get for trying to read and post while trying to work. Clearly I should be ignoring my work!

      • msbask says:

        Which username? The OP or the comment you are replying to??

    • dolemite says:

      So what happens if you don’t manage to pay it off on time? $500 in fees?

      • ryber says:

        I had a co-worker who had the same offer. Didn’t pay his minimum $900 in 6 months, and just didn’t get his $150 credit. No penalty. I just think they’re trying anything they can to get people to actually pay on their debt.

    • erinpac says:

      So, then they sent you the letter they couldn’t send the OP?

  9. Nytmare says:

    Well now we know not to sign up for a Chase account. Who wants to do business with a telemarketer?

    • frank64 says:

      From what I understand you really don’t want to do business with Chase anyway, but I don’t think this is a reason. Someone you do business with is calling to talk about your account and offer you $150. It sounds like a pretty good offer. I have read that Citi has offered a similar deal.

      They are probably concerned that you are paying off your account slow and are having problems(or may have problems) Although it is suggested taking the offer could lead to account closure, I think NOT accepting it could also lead too a closure or a limit reduction, they could think that you can’t pay faster even for $150 so you must be in trouble. Either way you are probably on their radar.

  10. Marlin says:

    As ryber did, this has been common from CC/Banks recently. They need cash so instead of waiting for you to default, maybe you are considered a high risk?, they offer you the chance of less debt but you have to pay it off sooner.

    That way they get more money from someone at “high risk” then selling it to someone else; and you get a discount and no harm to your credit score.

    Only bad thing is they usually cut your limit and/or just cancel the card when the date comes due.

    • ryber says:

      In my case, they had already canceled the account over a year before without notifying me, so as I was already paying it off well over minimum due, I didn’t have anything to lose.

  11. apd09 says:

    Chase sent me a postcard the other day saying they were raising my credit limit by $3,000. There is no way to make heads or tails from what they are doing now.

    • madanthony says:

      a while ago Chase made my card a “signiture” card with no limit, then 6 months later sent me a letter that they were cutting my credit limit (to an amount that was 2x what it was before they made it unlimited) because I didn’t use it enough and had other cards.

      I think their risk-management department is run by monkeys throwing darts.

  12. NeverLetMeDown says:

    “This would have been a stretch but possibly by moving Chase to the front of my debt snowball.”

    This is exactly why they’re doing it. If it pushes that $1800 repayment forward, they’re willing to get only 92 cents on the dollar ((1800-150)/1800) to have a higher confidence they’re going to get the money. Also, they won’t give that $150 discount to everyone. Some people will pay down only $1500, in which case Chase reduces their exposure, but doesn’t have to pay the $150.

    • Polish Engineer says:

      And more than likely, the small discount that they are giving you has long been covered by interest and fees they were charging to carry a balance in the first place. If it is actually Chase, it’s a smart business plan being executed poorly.

      If it’s a scammer, I must admit I’m not seeing the angle.

      • FredKlein says:

        If it’s a scammer, I must admit I’m not seeing the angle.

        You accept the offer? Great. Just let me transfer you to the automated system. You’ll need to punch in your credit card number, CVV code, PIN, and Account number to continue….

  13. CaptCynic says:

    Pretty much every time I get some company that I do business with calling me with a special offer I must agree to immediately, I respond that I’d like to see the offer in writing… I’ve never gotten it.

  14. vastrightwing says:

    I agree. I get many telemarketing calls that claim they are from my bank. When I question them, they can’t or won’t tell me anything about me, so it’s a stale mate. I can’t determine if they really are from my bank, so I won’t agree to anything they are trying to sell me. I guess that approach isn’t going to work.

    • Humward says:

      Odds are they’re calling on behalf of your bank, but are not actually from your bank. It’s usually a bunch of people in a room, working for a telemarketing company, each with a telephone and a printout. (Or maybe a computer — it may be more high tech now.) They don’t have access to any information unless it happens to be printed on the printout — and they wouldn’t typically have anything confidential. That’s probably why they can’t tell you anything about yourself — they don’t personally have access.

  15. Eric1285 says:

    I’ve gotten a similar offer from Citi. It happened after I had been carrying a balance for a while. The catch is if you don’t pay off everything you agreed to by a certain date they slap you with a bunch of fees / additional interest.

    • 108socks says:

      Similar offer with Citi as well. If you do the promo as asked, they will give you the $150.00 but then they will cut your line down by the amount you paid off–in this case $1800.00

      • rdm says:

        I did this with Citibank and didn’t have any decreased credit line after. They did cut it before they offered it to me, though.

        I was already paying more than the minimum and continued making the same payment and got almost $200 out of them. Fine with me.

  16. DJ Charlie says:

    If it’s really Chase (highly unlikely), why are they calling me from that same number? I’ve gotten 3-4 calls from them over the last week on my office line with the same offer, and I don’t have a Chase account.

  17. zakiszak says:

    I had a similar experience with a Chase telemarketer offering me a higher rewards point rate on my Chase Freedom card. It sounded like a very nice offer, and I told the caller that I am interested but would need to see some kind of documentation before agreeing. He told me that he could not provide anything in writing or email, so I told him that I would have to decline.

    It sounded like a solid no strings offer, but with a company like Chase that has such a strong history of hidden fees and customer exploitation there is no way I will sign up for any service without the opportunity to examine the fine print.

  18. jp7570-2 says:

    Caller ID can be easily fooled (spoofed). It is doubtful any reputable bank is going to telemarket to actually reduce the amount of potential income.

    Don’t believe any caller – even when the Caller ID says it is “legit” – without talking directly to the bank in question. Simply go to your local branch and discuss whatever offer is being made with the branch manager. Then see how real it is!

    • bwcbwc says:

      He looked the # up on Google and that confirmed the owner of the number…not spoofed, at least not as easily without some bizarre SEO.

      • NatalieErin says:

        Actually, if you read the comments on 800notes about the number many people are claiming that they have been told, by Chase, that the number is fraudulent.

  19. SkuldChan says:

    Its still pretty trivial to fake caller id – even though I think its illegal now. Seems to me even though most banks are run by criminals – they aren’t that obvious about it.

  20. jtnabilene says:

    I get these same offers from both Chase and Citi in the mail. I just trash them with all the other junk mail. They do not disclose and interest, charges, changes to accounts or anything else. Just an offer to give me money for doing next to nothing. Sounds too good to be true…toss it or, in this case, just hang up on them.

  21. Telekinesis123 says:

    Very smart decision on his part for demanding to see the terms before agreeing to the contract. He was obviously hiding something very nasty or else he would have been happy to get your business, he only would have had to wait a bit longer.

  22. PencilSharp says:

    The Beloved Wife got one of these in the mail the other day. Did some research (including visiting the website) to ensure it was legit. It is. Hers was pay $900 by Jan 31, 2011, and she gets $100 off her balance.
    Like the others, it appears to be targeted to people carrying a balance. I suppose they’re trying to reduce their exposure to write-offs…

  23. KrispyKrink says:

    Call up the FBI, FTC or the state AG and report that single individual for attempted fraud. I would if someone called me up offering some sort of financial service and refusing to provide the legal fine print documents or any proof what-so-ever that that person actually represented the bank I do business with.

  24. aboxoflogic says:

    Um, Chase has been on Consumerist a lot lately. I stopped a check and they cashed it anyway and then they werepissed that I withdrew the money before they “reprocessed” the un-cancellation since it was cashed. Now they are suing me for their mistake. Sounds like they like to draw their own lines in the sand, no?

  25. JakeChance says:

    I think quite simply that if they will not send you the details in the mail they are either:
    a) A scammer
    b) From the bank and trying to do something illegal or less than legal
    c) Run in some horrible fashion that will eventually require a tax payer bailout.

    Sorry, C is true in all cases so just defer back to A and B.

  26. Skrpune says:

    sounds like the auto-warranty scam callers have moved onto a new scam. The spoofed numbers they called from were legit too…

  27. ***wombat says:

    write the bank. explain that you would be interested in the offer but would like written confirmation of the offer. include the details of the call, the name of the agent and time of the call so they can either a- trace the call, b- discover there is fraud in their name. They should inform you if it is B because sometimes the police gets involved. If it’s A, you have the right to make a formal complaint.

  28. josephpr says:

    Probably not an evil plot; more likely the telemarketing is done not by actual Chase employees, but is contracted out (usually these people are told to present themselves on the phone as calling FOR a fim, not FROM the firm, but they can be pretty lax about this).

    They probably have no mechanism in place for sending out promotional materials, and will just say “yes” instead of wasting time on a long discussion that won’t pay off (many telemarketers have pay incentives based on percentage of sign-ups), and would rather just move on to next call.

    I am wondering why they don’t just send the offer with statements/estatements? More expensive to do the telemarketing, but maybe they also are trying to make sure phone contact info is still valid for account?

  29. Traveshamockery says:

    Has anyone else been propositioned in this manner?

    Over the phone? No, my wife isn’t that adventurous.

  30. Traveshamockery says:

    Has anyone else been propositioned in this manner?

    Over the phone? No, my wife isn’t that adventurous.

  31. failurate says:

    They might be trying to kill two birds with one stone. First they are most likely trying to get outstanding debts reduced.
    Second, is the balance locked in at a low rate? By introducing new terms, that you would have to agree to, are they setting up a new trap to possibly unlock your low rate?

  32. kujospam says:

    This kind of thing happens to me just about every year from hospitals. I have a HSA plan because it is always cheaper to go with that plan, even though my company offers really good other plans. Anyways, since I don’t get all my money up front, I have to pay it over months at a time, so the hospital will usually want more money faster after only paying 25 to 50 dollars a month. I gladly accept the offer. They usually cut down 20% of the bill.

  33. d0tmatrix says:

    Chase is in fact doing this. I got an email about it today. The website for this promotion is chasepayandget.com . Chase claims that if you make a payment of $x for y months, then they will give you a statement credit of $z. If you sign up but fail to follow through, there is no penalty, you just won’t get the $z credit.