Chase Just Goes Ahead And Adds Overdraft Protection To Your Account

Lori called up Chase to tell them that she was traveling internationally in the next few weeks. She wanted them to note her account so there wouldn’t be any blocks when charges from far-away countries started appearing. Then the fast-talking rep just sort of added overdraft protection to Lori’s account, just casually worked it in there, like she was doing her a courtesy.

Lori says, “She very quickly noted that I didn’t have any overdraft protection and that she’d go ahead and do me the favor of adding overdraft protection to my checking account “because getting overdrafts while on vacation can be such a hassle.””

“She never asked if I wanted the service or even gave me a chance to give her my opinion on the matter. After I’d processed what she’d spouted out at me, I balked and told her not to add or change my account in any way, other than to list my travel notes.”

“She tried to sell me the benefits of overdraft protection again, which I declined and ended the call.”

Wow, that takes “assuming the sale” to a whole other level.

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  1. Bativac says:

    I will repeat the same thing I state on every article that mentions Chase: this is a terrible bank and nobody should ever do any business with them if they can at all avoid it.

    If any Chase employees are reading this: the company you work for is bad, and you should feel bad!

    • MarsVolta187 says:

      Honestly, I like Chase. They’ve always done right by me, and I love their iPhone app, which I use daily. They are nowhere near as bad as BofA over the past 2 years or so.

      • JoeDawson says:

        Chase closed my account for lack of activity…. I have 4 transactions a month… two going in, and two going out… but apparently if i pay my bills the same day the money goes in the account… it counts as zero balance…. i told them ” I am done with chase” they didnt seem too upset.

    • docshar says:

      I hate Chase with a hot, hot hate. A couple years ago they cashed our mortgage check but didn’t apply it to our account! We found out when they called us to say we were late with our payment (which we NEVER have been) and to ask when we would pay. It was an utter fiasco. They charged us late fees, and then when we made our next payment, they applied it to the “missed” month and then said that the current month was late too — after they had specifically and repeatedly assured us that would not happen. It took three or four months and HOURS on the phone to finally get Chase to admit their mistake and address it. They never did refund all the late fees.

    • Turnabout is Flair Play says:

      I dig Chase. Always been good to me.

    • Egat says:

      When I called up Chase to get the same note added to my account it did me no good. They declined and canceled my card as soon as I tried to use it during my international business travel. Nobody ever picked up when I called the number listed on the back of my card for international questions.

      I always travel with backup cards so it wasn’t a problem. When I went into my branch to fix the problem the manager actually seemed surprised that my solution was to close the account instead of just get a new card….

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      +1. Chase is awful. They do have some of the friendliest local employees and I almost loose my senses. They have my mortgage and I expect they always will. Their Freedom cards have among the best rewards. Their Investment group is a pain with too many back offices to ever navigate (Probate…). They claimed they could do a free checking account by linking with my mortgage, but never could. Ended up getting fees refunded and closing the account.

      Curiously I have had good experiences with Wells Fargo. The worst one was when we both made a mistake and they made it right. I am keeping them around because local banks and credit unions want WAY too much money to deposit Canadian checks. B of A would be a good fit for that, but I won’t set foot in their parking lot, much less the building.

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    It’s not just Chase. I have been instructed before to use similar practices where I work. At one point I was directed to add an item into a sale without telling a customer and only remove it if the customer noticed and complained. This directive came from a corporate manager. I and everyone I worked for refused to do it and none of us were disciplined for it.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      I might also add at several sales jobs I’ve worked at I’ve been instructed to say things such as “Let’s go ahead and get that set up for you today” before giving the customer a chance to object.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I and everyone I worked for refused to do it and none of us were disciplined for it.

      *waits for the freak-out over organized labor*

      Seriously though, that can be hard to pull off with most people not trusting the others not to bail so good on y’all for sticking to your guns and actually making corporate back down.

    • knoxblox says:

      Honestly, somebody needs to grab these corporate higher-ups and their marketing and lobbyist cohorts, grasp them firmly by their lapels, and give them a good hard shaking.

      • Conformist138 says:

        I was quite disappointed by the word “lapels” (unless that’s just what the kids are calling them now)

    • webweazel says:

      “At one point I was directed to add an item into a sale without telling a customer and only remove it if the customer noticed and complained.”

      Wouldn’t that be considered THEFT?

  3. lowcajones says:

    More reasons I am glad I deal with USAA…

  4. Black Bellamy says:

    I like Chase. I have all my accounts with them; a credit card, three checking, a saving, a mortgage and a car loan. They never screwed me and their people are friendly and always go out of their way to help me. YMMV of course.

    • Bativac says:

      Totally different from my perspective. I experienced nothing but pain and frustration with Chase.

      I had one Chase credit card when I was a stupid college kid. Ran the balance up. Paid it off over several years – and I mean off. Zero balance. Put the card away and forgot about it.

      Six months later I get phone calls stating the account is delinquent. How can this be? Turns out Chase decided to charge a $7.50 “account maintenance fee” without telling me. Additionally, since I had no idea it was being charged (they enrolled me in “online only” statements), I wasn’t paying it, so I got slapped with a late fee of $39. Times six months, plus interest (which they jacked up to 29.9% due to the late fees).

      Argued with them a few times. Dealt with rude, unconcerned part time call center employees (I oughta know – I was one, at the time). Gave up, bit the bullet and paid the $400 just to get it off the credit report.

      NEVER AGAIN.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        You gave into the extortion. You should have threatened them with a FDCPA suit for trying to collect an invalid debt and made it go away. If they didn’t back down you probably would have collected $1k.

    • Beeker26 says:

      It’s a horrible idea to have all your eggs in one basket like that. It’s certainly not something I would ever do. If there ever is an issue with one of your accounts your others are completely at their mercy and they are free to access them in any way they see fit.

      Let’s say, for example, you get into a dispute about your credit card and despite your best efforts they insist you owe them money. If you don’t pay they will take the money out of one of your checking or savings accounts. And there is not a damned thing you can do about it cause you agree to allow them to do it.

      I never have more than one account with the same company. With financial institutions have absolutely no qualms about screwing people over on a daily basis it’s just safer this way.

  5. Dover says:

    I hope she called back to double-check that it wasn’t added anyway.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Now this I would think would violate federal regulations. If it’s opt-in then how is it legal for them to do this?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        What the…this was not supposed to be a reply to anyone. That comment that the system ate was supposed to be a comment.

    • bikeoid says:

      They’d just use the opportunity to use the inquiry about overdraft protection as permission to add it to her account.

  6. human_shield says:

    Cancel your account and move to another bank. The fast talking rep is probably trained to sneak it in there. She probably hates doing it. But she has a quota, and if she doesn’t make it, she’ll be fired. By not voting with your wallet, we’re all giving companies the thumbs up to behave like this!

  7. mob3000 says:

    I used to work at Chase for their credit card division and I was a top seller. I sold things like CPP (Chase Payment Protector), Privacy Guard (they changed the name and went inhouse with it), and offered balance transfers. Balance transfers were almost always worthwhile at the time because the fees were either $0 or if there was one, it was much cheaper. CPP was utter garbage in my opinion and I broke records selling it just like you were “sold” Overdraft protection. “Assuming the sale” was strongly encouraged and so were rebuttles and over coming objections but with the low fidelity of a phone call, the customer often would just say “Okay” and I never really got the impression they had any idea what they were agreeing to. They did listen to calls to verify that the sales people were being honest but my methods were taught and adopted across the company because they were so effective. I would be shocked if more than half of the people I sold CPP to weren’t simply saying “yes” or “Okay” and had no idea I was selling them something even though I stated the price in every pitch I gave. I regret my “success” at Chase and wished I would have not gotten so greedy but its the truth and it appears that it is still going on in one fashion or another.

    Be very careful what you agree to when you call a place to do business over the phone. Don’t feel like you are being rude by asking questions to clarify what exactly is taking place. If you are made to feel that you are being rude because you are asking questions, tell the person you do not agree to make any changes or purchase anything at this time and hang up. Chase made TONS of money on their garbage products and there was very little concern for being clear with what the customer was getting. Lies of ommission seemed to be encouraged.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      I had something similar happen with HSBC a couple years ago. I had a grandfathered GM MasterCard which allowed me to earn unlimited rewards each year. I knew to reject any mailing offering me the “New GM Card” because I would loose my old benefits.

      Well, sure enough, I called once in a hurry about something and the very nice rep told raved about my good credit and how she wanted to make sure to “upgrade me to Platinum status”. I have no idea why I did not process it fast enough, but I did not object.

      It wasn’t until the new card came that I realized they had just tricked me into moving to a new account with new earning limits. Ugh!

  8. flipdad1 says:

    The bank itself may have motivation to have people “opt-in”, but bankers do not. I don’t know any bankers who get a “cut” from an overdraft fee. Any banker who encourages someone to opt-in without that person having requested to do so or have a VALID reason to, is in my opinion, a corporate sellout.

    That being said, the person in question did say that she wanted to “prevent any blocks from foreign countries”, which means she will be using her debit card in a foreign country, which means if she has no other means of payment (credit card, etc.) and her debit card gets declined, she could potentially be in a really tight spot.

    I think it was right for the banker to suggest it and give her the option, but she should have explained it better: “If you are lost in the middle of a city where hardly anyone speaks english and all you want to do is get a cab back to your hotel and your card gets declined because the pre-authorization charge is $10 and all you have in your account is $9.75, would you rather pay an overdraft fee but be safe sound or do you want to walk?”

    • K-Bo says:

      I suspect the bankers motivation probably has to do with direct or indirect ties between number of people opted in and money made/ performance reviews ect.

  9. PLATTWORX says:

    I believe this is not just Chase either, but slipping in “she’d go ahead and do me the favor of adding overdraft protection to my checking account” is EXACTLY why the banks had these regulations thrown at them in the first place!

    I applaud the Consumerist for continuing to post these stories. The banks can not be allowed to get away with finding sneaky ways to add back fees that are now opt-in. This customer did NOT “opt in” by definition. Not objecting to a comment like this rep made is NOT opting-in to anything.

  10. tom___ says:

    When the option to opt out of overdraft protection first came out I called up chase and told them that I didn’t want it. I don’t remember exactly what I said, however I somehow got them to make a note on my account that I didn’t want it. I haven’t had to call them very recently however ever since then they have no longer sent me junk about it and they haven’t asked me to sign up for it. Perhaps you guys should try opting out of overdraft protection rather than just not opting in.

  11. qbubbles says:

    I’d make sure that note was still in there…

  12. OnePumpChump says:

    Wow, that’s Above and Beyond for Chase. She actually did you the courtesey of telling you first.

  13. Jeff-er-ee says:

    Go Credit Unions!!

    Why in the hell do people stay with these guys? It just doesn’t sense. Are there really that many people out there who would choose to live with an abusive spouse?

    • Gish says:

      You just don’t understand how Chase really loves me so much that it hurts them when I accidentally glance at another Bank or am maybe a little late with their payment. It won’t happen again, Baby, I promise.

  14. sixtyten says:

    This happened to me too, under very similar circumstances. Called Chase to inform them of international travel so my card wouldn’t be shut down while traveling, as has happened before. The rep noted it and then attempted, matching the above post almost word for word, to slip in Overdraft “Protection”. She did not ask, but rather TOLD me she was turning it on. I informed her that under no circumstances did I want it activated on my account. If I hadn’t have explicitly told her NO, it would have been switched on with absolutely no confirmation from me. Who knows, it may have been turned on anyway.

    Between that incident and the virtual forest’s worth of mailings I’ve gotten from them to opt into OP, I finally quit the bank and opened an account with a credit union.

    Best decision ever. Thanks, Chase.

  15. jenl1625 says:

    Oh, yeah. I got a new credit card recently, and was surprised when I called the activation number that I got to a real person rather than just an IVR. The CSR asked for my card number and very little else, then went *right* into a spiel about the “in case you lose your job” insurance they try to sell you. I knew I didn’t want it, so I wasn’t listening all that closely – I was waiting for him to ask if I was interested.

    And then I hear him say “so I’ll go ahead and activate this protection on your account” and just keep talking… I interrupted him by blurting out “NO!” and then caught myself and more calmly said “no, thank you, I don’t want that protection”. He argued with me a bit, actually, before I got off the phone. But if I’d been paying just a shred less attention, he’d have activated it and then gone on to try to sell me something else.

  16. Pax says:

    Yes, I just had a shock with my Credit Union last night. Out of nowhere, for th first (second, third, and fourth) time in eight years of banking with them … I got hit with Overdraft fees. Their records erroneously show that I’ve had my accounts linked for that purpose “for a long time” … but that is definitely not the case. I explicitly declined that linkage when opening them.

    Still, they were willing to meet me halfway, and as they’ve been exemplary in every other way over the years, I’m willing to let this one slide. But I am now significantly less enamored of them, than I was before.

  17. common_sense84 says:

    Call back and confirm the note. She most likely left it off to get back at you.

    It appears they are being pressured big time to con people into signing up for that crap. They probably have quotas that if they fail to meet will get them fired.

  18. dg says:

    I dealt with Chase the other day on the phone – I’ve previously told them that I didn’t wish to be marketed to via phone, email, snail mail, or while on calls with them. So I don’t get much of anything unless they try to slide it in with a statement (and then I complain).

    This time around, at the end of the call, the rep said “Hey, we have some optional products you might be interested in. Can I talk to you about the optional products?” I told him “No, I’m not interested, and I’ve said that before -it should be noted on my account. Let me talk to your supervisor.”

    Got the supervisor on the phone and said “I want to reiterate that when I tell you I’m not interested in marketing to me, that means I really don’t want to be marketed to. Asking if I want an optional product only pisses me off. And when that happens enough, I just go to a different bank. Look at the notes, see why I first CAME to Chase. Now think about whether or not I’d leave you for doing the same thing.”

    Supervisor apologized profusely, said the rep would be “retrained”.

    A harsh approach? Perhaps. But if everyone told them “NO! DAMNIT!” and were really insistent on it, maybe, just maybe they’d listen… (well, I can dream right?)

  19. jenl1625 says:

    Oh, yeah. I got a new credit card recently, and was surprised when I called the activation number that I got to a real person rather than just an IVR. The CSR asked for my card number and very little else, then went *right* into a spiel about the “in case you lose your job” insurance they try to sell you. I knew I didn’t want it, so I wasn’t listening all that closely – I was waiting for him to ask if I was interested.

    And then I hear him say “so I’ll go ahead and activate this protection on your account” and just keep talking… I interrupted him by blurting out “NO!” and then caught myself and more calmly said “no, thank you, I don’t want that protection”. He argued with me a bit, actually, before I got off the phone. But if I’d been paying just a shred less attention, he’d have activated it and then gone on to try to sell me something else.

  20. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    Interesting… I had a rather different experience. I visited a Chase branch in my area shortly before closing and only two days before the ominous August 15th “overdraft decision day.”
    Although it pertained to a business account, a personal banker stepped up, went over all of my finances and had a real conversation about which decision I should make.
    She was really excellent, and I sent a commendation letter to Jamie Dimon to express my satisfaction.

  21. Insert nickname here. says:

    Yup. Chase sent me an unsolicited credit card when I refinanced my mortgage with them. Not good.