Chase Sends Mixed Signals

[January 20, 2008. Image thanks to Pete!]

This juxtaposition sends the wrong subliminal message. Something for Chase to fix when their website returns from scheduled system maintenance.


Edit Your Comment

  1. HalOfBorg says:

    Uhhhhhhh………. roads are generally open 24/7, and even they have to close sometimes for maintenance.

  2. faust1200 says:

    Yep there are locks on 24 hour stores too.

  3. Walrii says:

    All websites basically do this (especially web site hosting companies). They guarantee 99.999% uptime but then they don’t include scheduled downtime. Besides, 99.999% is basically impossible to achieve over a long period of time.

  4. Bay State Darren says:

    Nitpick time: I do have say this does not strike me as all that subliminal: a signal or message embedded in another object, designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. But still very funny. I think Consumerist could use a thesaurus/dictionary.

  5. ecwis says:

    @faust1200: Yeah but they don’t close for scheduled maintenance. When they clean the place, they stay open. I don’t recall ever encountering a 24 hour store closed but I find that has scheduled maintenance quite often, at least once a week.

  6. ecwis says:

    Oh and by the way. I just went onto and all the information for my credit card says “Not Available”. Hmm, when was my bill due again? Oh, I can’t check online and I don’t receive statements in the mail. And it’s 11:24 AM on a Weekend. Shouldn’t the site just be down from like 3 AM to 6 AM or something?

  7. gina227 says:

    Sometimes it says that and if you immediately try again, it’ll go through. In other words, just ’cause it says they’re doing maintenence, it’s not neccessarily true. And if you take it at face value and don’t pay your bill on time because you can’t get into the system, they’ll tell you that the site wasn’t down and there’s nothing they can do for you. So make sure you always try repeatedly before giving up, especially if you’re cutting it close to your due date.

  8. Crazysamz says:

    They say a lot of things are up 24/7, but it can’t be a guarantee. What if we had a nuclear war, and half the world was screwed?? Do you think they will be up and running then?? There are many things that can disrupt a 24/7 service, like when Xbox live went almost down, or when they have scheduled maintenance.

  9. criticman says:

    Chase is such a pain. Every time I go to sign in, it says I am signing in from a different computer and must validate myself (even though it is indeed the same PC) — they send a code to my registered e-mail, so I wait then enter it along with my normal password. They are such a pain to get logged in to, but I find their account download and account histories to be superior than most of the other banks I use.

  10. BrianH says:

    I’ve had all sorts of problems with these clowns esp. lately. I submit a question to customer service, they send me a msg saying login & read your msgs. I login and then when I try to read my msgs, I get a error screen saying due to technical problems the operation cannot be performed. They’re a multi-billion dollar fatcat corporation and they probably have the CTO’s 16 year old pockmarked nephew screwing around with Javascript on the website. Of course I’m exagerrating/kidding, but seriously, if they can’t even manage the simple technology of the website, how the hell can I trust these bloated ticks with my cash?

    Screw them. I’m switching to ING on Monday morning.

  11. ecwis says:

    @BrianH: Sounds good. I switched to HSBC Direct and have been very happy. I still use Chase though, just to make deposits/cash checks. I keep a very low balance in it.

  12. chai_tea says:


    I am so sick of having to jump through those hoops every time I try
    to log in for a quick peek at my accounts. I also admin my mom’s Chase
    cards, and thought it was just a result of signing into mine/signing
    out, then signing into hers. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or
    worse that everyone else is experiencing the same frustration.

  13. scoosdad says:

    @criticman: That happens to me too when my IP address changes, which is pretty often with my ISP. Not anything you can control, unless you’re deliberately turning off your cable or DSL modem or something like that, and then you’re causing the IP address to change. It depends on the ISP or provider.

  14. jamesdenver says:


    I agree 100%. Let me log in, enter my password, and pay my goddam bill. That’s why i USE online pay, is so I can pay from home, my mom’s house in Michigan, or the middle of Africa if I want.

  15. RottNDude says:

    At least they don’t wait until after you’ve presented your credentials to let you know the site is down, like WaMu does.

  16. jamesdenver says:


    Scoos is it something more than the IP address? Because I have a few computers at home (using the same IP) and when I reinstall windows on my constantly flakey laptop I have to register it as a Chase PC AGAIN.

    just curious. I consider myself computer savvy but I have no clue how Chase knows what computer I’m using.

  17. basket548 says:

    …and all others with authentication errors. Have you checked the cookie settings on your computers? That may be the culprit.

  18. emjsea says:

    Is it just me or has consumerist really gotten juvenile and ridiculous with their nitpicky attacks on every single thing a company does. Because it appears that no matter what they do, the kids at Consumerist don’t like it.

  19. fhic says:

    Not to be an apologist for Chase, but what they’re trying to do is use two-factor authentication as per FFIEC banking regulations that were implemented at the end of 2006. Single-factor authentication (i.e., password only) is not supposed to be allowed anymore. The fact that BofA and many (most?) credit unions ignore this regulation doesn’t make it right. This is a hard problem and there are no perfect solutions.

  20. Bobg says:

    I read the Consumist every day. One thing that never ceases to amaze me when I read about the troubles people are having is this; when did customers become the enemy? Don’t companies realize that customers are the reason that they are in business? These days dealing with a company, especially the big box stores, is like playing Simon Says. If you don’t sing and dance just right and say may I theu won’t let you buy from them.

  21. ecwis says:

    @basket548: I don’t think that’s it. I’m pretty sure it does it using your IP address. I know that when I use, it always makes me answer an extra security question because my IP address changes very often.

  22. eyesonly says:

    FWIW, though I’ve had a few small issues with Chase in the past, they’ve always been pretty fast about replying to e-mailed questions (usually between 12 and 24 hours).

    As to the ISP thing, I suspect it’s something about your own current settings? I check my balance from home about 85 percent of the time, and I’ve never had to jump through that hoop then. When I use a different computer, though (e.g. at a library), the system does make me authenticate that new computer. But isn’t that a good thing? Even if the system’s flawed, at least it might make for one extra layer of protection against identity fraud.

  23. BlinkyGuy says:

    Is today your first day on the web? This complaint is ridiculous. What do people have to do to keep you happy?

    At a convenience store that is open 24/7: Should they just allow the floor to get filthy or let you walk on a wet, slippery surface in order to satisfy your nitpicking? You would threaten to sue them in either case so they close the front door until the floor dries.

    A tech is doing scheduled maintenance on the system and finds that he has to take it down to keep it accurate and secure. Hopefully he will take if off line for a bit to keep it working right rather than try to repair it on the fly and hope for the best.

    Here’s a hint that might serve you well: Open 24/7 is a goal. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Any number of things can cause a real or virtual place to restrict access for a while.

    You apparently think that companies should cut you some slack when your circumstances change (as in when you want to avoid an ETF in a contract that you signed) while requiring them to follow some ideal standard and reward you if real world circumstances inconvenience you. Stupid complaints like this lower The Consumerist’s credibility.

    Also, you don’t really have two million dollars waiting for you in a Nigerian bank.

  24. ColoradoShark says:

    @emjsea: It’s just your. When they claim 24/7 availability and are down for “scheduled maintenance” then they don’t have 24/7 service. If you claim it, provide it. If you don’t claim it, you’ll get a lot sniping.

  25. SuperJdynamite says:

    @criticman: I have the same problem with Chase’s authentication hoops. It’s making me want to change credit cards.

  26. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Walrii: “Besides, 99.999% is basically impossible to achieve over a long period of time.”

    99.999% uptime, or “five nines” used to get bandied about a lot as a Microsoft marketing slogan. It equals about five minutes a year of downtime, which is blown out of the water considering the number of annual reboots required from service packs and updates. They don’t use that slogan anymore.

    It is possible to have a system that never appears to go down. It takes a lot of equipment and carefully planned updates.

  27. bnb614 says:

    Anyone remember the good old days when IT departments and companies did their downtime work at 3:00AM when no one was trying to access their site, instead of during typically normal hours?

  28. cde says:


    Anyone remember the good old days when IT didn’t have to deal with a global market? 3am to you/west coast is 7am for me/east coast. 3am for me is 11pm for you. Then you have to deal with international sites, where 3am for me is 12pm for UK/Spain. Oh, lets not forget hawaii…

    Personally, I blame globalism…. and bush.

  29. digitalhen says:

    @CDE: you might want to check that. the US west coast is only 3 hours behind the east, not 4 hours.

  30. riverstyxxx says:

    I have no opinion. 24/7 stores are always open, but so are streets and they detour sometimes.
    The site didn’t say “We’re always open online 24 hours” either, just that “24/7 Matters”.

    It’s lame subliminal advertising, but whatever, banks are stupid anyway. Just use a credit union if you can.

  31. krunk4ever says:

    @ecwis: They’re not entirely close, you can still call in for customer support when the website is in maintenance mode.

  32. savdavid says:

    If the site is closed then by definition it is NOT 24/7, people.

  33. Mr. Gunn says:

    24/7 doesn’t mean anything until you see how much they’re paying for it.

    SLAs are teh expensives.

  34. NoWin says:

    @savdavid: Site is there (no “404 error”): you just can’t log in.

  35. shiwsup says:

    Unlesss this was taken at 3am on a Monday, I doubt the downtime was actually for scheduled maintenance.

  36. chazz says:

    This post is a complete waste of bandwidth. Perhaps if blogs stopped posting useless crap like this, sites would stay up longer. Get a fucking life and find out what’s really screwing consumers. This is really making me think about dropping this feed.

  37. Steeb2er says:

    @shiwsup: When it’s previously announced maintenance, that is scheduled. When I logged in on Wednesday or Thursday, a message showed at the top that said the site would be down over the weekend for maintenance. They warned that scheduled bill payments wouldn’t go through during that time, so people should plan around the down-time.

    What more do you want?

  38. criticman says:

    Well, as far as it being my settings or IP…I have had the same static IP from Bellsouth DSL for months, if not since I got it. As for my settings, I allow cookies and manually purge them periodically…not in between the times I’ve had it tell me I cannot login. I have tried with both Firefox and Internet Explorer (Providian/WaMu seems to only allow downloads in IE).

    The issue is definitely on their end. Even if it were session based, I have logged in one morning, logged out but kept the same browser window open, logged back in a few hours later and been prompted to get a security code.

    Even my business checking with a Synovus bank that requires I have my digital key generator each time is less annoying as at least I know what to expect and I control my own login abilities by whether or not I have the key-gen with me. With Chase, it is totally random and inconsistent, but more likely than not that I’ll need to authorize it. Now, totally out of the blue, I just tried logging in and it worked…it has been a week or more since I logged in and I have definitely cleared my cookies and cache since then several times. Go figure!

  39. RebeccaC says:

    Last Saturday, I tried to make a deposit at 2 different Chase ATMs in Cleveland OH and neither were accepting deposits. I tried a third on Sunday and another on Monday. On Tuesday, I tried again and then went into the branch to make my deposits. When I complained about the ATMs, the friendly teller started telling me about all of the upgrades that they were making to their network. I asked if the ATMs would be working within a week. I was told “No, but if you come inside your deposits will post much faster anyways”. I’m considering switching banks over this. It’s inconvenient for me to make it to a branch during banking hours!

  40. Buran says:

    @krunk4ever: Not if you’re hard of hearing or deaf, like I am. Thus, this isn’t a 24/7 bank in my eyes.

  41. SlappyWhite says:

    So, I guess it’d be better if instead of attempted 24/7 online banking with downtime, it might be better to have online banking at normal hours with no downtime. So, you’re only able to get online from 9-4:30, Mon-Fri.

  42. Daniels says:

    Doing any sort of financial stuff on Sunday nights is impossible. It seems like half of my bank/student loan/credit card sites are down for “Scheduled Maintenance” every Sunday.

  43. polyeaster says:

    I got that msg last week several days in a row at various odd times.

  44. jeff303 says:

    Good article about the ever-increasing cost/difficulty of increasing service uptime: []

  45. bonzombiekitty says:

    @savdavid: Only if “scheduled maintenance” is a weekly/daily sorta thing. If I have to upgrade a website, that usually means I have to disable it in order to perform the upgrade. I might do an update once every three months, and schedule a couple hours out of one day in the low usage hours to perform the update. That’s scheduled maintenance, and still for all intents and purposes I’m open “24/7”. There’s also the issue of having to fix a known bug that can’t really wait long to be fixed but isn’t important enough to cut off the site during peak usage. So I schedule the bug fix for the off-peak time. That’s scheduled maintenance, but still I’m effectively open 24/7.

    The occasional down time does not negate the fact that for all intents and purposes, they are open 24/7. Provided it’s not a weekly sort of thing.

    If I own a store that says it’s open 24/7, but set aside 5 hours in the middle of the night once a month to do a full inventory, do I lose that the right to call my store a 24/7 store?

  46. strathmeyer says:

    @chazz: “What more do you want?”

    For Chase to take the rather simple steps to actually provide what that advertise, which his 24 hour banking? Sure, it might cost them a little extra money, but that’s the whole point.

    I’m really beginning to think that a large percentage of Consumerists posts are corporate shrills.

  47. sachmet says:

    @shiwsup: It was taken on a Sunday at 11:30 AM CST – the entire site was down until 3:00 PM or so. I was more upset that there was no notice given that maintenance would be occurring.

    So was it really scheduled, or was it an “oops, something broke, let’s call it maintenance?” The world will never know.

  48. KarmaChameleon says:

    Chase seriously has the worst website of any bank I’ve ever seen. As a CSR I got tons of calls from people stuck in authentication loops and stuff like that.

    Though that one Saturday the systems were down because they upgrading were awesome, handle time was great and we got paid overtime for bouncing beach balls around.

  49. skeleem_skalarm says:

    Maintenance my Aunt Fanny! Chase has all kinds of problems – I’ve been unable to log in with my un/pw and had to call them (no reason given as to why I couldn’t log in), every time I log in from a different computer (or my internet goes down) I get tons of grief since the site doesn’t recognize the computer. I have to request a code from Chase, go to my email to retrieve it then go back to Chase and enter that code. I also frequently get the “temporarily unavailable” crap. I had an email account from my then-isp that would notify every customer if it was going to be down for maintenance two days in advance, one day before, then again the day of the maintenance. Companies really need to get their stuff together before offering web services.