Chase Lost My Paycheck, Won't Pay Canceled Check Fee

Katy is a poster child for the benefits of direct deposit, as well as deposit receipt-keeping.

She deposited her paycheck into her Chase checking account, but the money never showed up. Eventually she had her employer re-issue her paycheck, but the company made her pay the $15 canceled check fee. Katy thinks Chase should reimburse her for the charge, but the bank isn’t budging. She writes:

I’m getting the royal run-around from Chase, and am wondering if your readers have any tips.

Early in September, I deposited my paycheck in a Chase ATM as I normally do (we don’t have direct deposit). I kept the receipt. By the middle of next week, the check still had not posted to my account. I called the Chase main customer service number regarding the missing money and was referred to their customer claim center. I filed a claim and gave them all the information I had (time of deposit, address of ATM, transaction number) off my receipt. After an additional three weeks, Chase Customer Claims asked to see the front and back of the canceled check. Our finance department at work told me the check had never cleared but said I could get a stop payment on the deposited check and a new check issued for $15.

I wrote to Chase Customer Claims saying that I would cancel the previous check and have work issue me a new check. I also said that because it was the bank’s fault the original check was lost, I wanted them to reimburse me the $15 fee for the stop payment. I called the Customer Claim Center to inquire whether I would get the $15 reimbursed. The woman I spoke to said there was a note in my account to reimburse the $15 and this would get refunded by the end of the
week. A week and a half go by, and no $15.

This afternoon, I called the Chase Customer Claims center and spoke to four different people: one in Customer Claims, who told me she had no authority to reimburse money (despite seeing the note in my claims account saying the $15 should be reimbursed) and transferred me to online banking. Online banking told me they couldn’t see the note in my claims account to reimburse the money and had no authority to issue anything related to a claim, and transferred me back to Customer Claims. Customer Claims (different person this time) again told me they couldn’t reimburse me the money despite the note in my account and transferred me to Check Fraud. Check Fraud was confused as there
is obviously no reason why this case should end up in Check Fraud, but mentioned something about going back to my branch and taking it up with them before the representative inadvertently disconnected me while she was trying to look up something related to my branch.

The problem is that because of my work schedule there is really no way to get to my branch during the day, and the branch is closed Saturdays. I do all of my banking through the ATM or over the internet and can’t remember the last time I had an actual interaction with a teller. I could take a day off of work to go to the branch, but if my experience there is anything like my experience over the phone, I’ll just get the runaround and it will be a wasted trip. I know in the
grand scheme of things $15 is not a lot of money, but I feel strongly that I shouldn’t have to pay money because my bank made a mistake.

I’m planning on switching to my local credit union (where mistakes might still happen but hopefully the customer service runaround won’t be so frustrating) as soon as this is settled, but I want to get that $15 back first. Every other day on this site, we get a stories about banks charging ridiculous overdraft fees and late fees and other fees for consumer mistakes, but now consumers have to pay fees for the bank’s mistakes too? Ridiculous, no matter how little the amount.

Anyone have any ideas?

One idea that comes to mind is to share the story with Chase higher-ups, Executive Email Carpet Bomb style.

Any other advice for Katy, assuming direct deposit isn’t an option?

(Photo: David Nemesis)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.