Recently Deceased Soap Business Says Chase Killed It With Bank Error

Bliss Soaps in Seattle is owned by a guy whose family has been making soaps for three generations. The four-year-old business recently had to shut its doors — allegedly over a bank error that froze its accounts during the holiday season. Now there is a goodbye sign on the door and a possible lawsuit pending against Chase.

From the Seattle Times:

Chase has formally acknowledged that it made a mistake with the store’s account, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a banking regulator, also found Chase had committed an error. “Recently the Bliss Soaps accounts at JPMorgan Chase bank were inadvertently restricted by the bank,” Phil Stark, the bank’s financial-center manager, wrote in a letter for Bliss Soaps to distribute to upset customers. “These accounts were blocked by mistake.”

A spokesperson for Chase declined to comment, saying a lawsuit is pending. Al Donohue, the attorney for Bliss, said he has not yet filed a lawsuit, though he plans to.

The error apparently came at the worst possible time for the business, preventing them from buying enough raw materials to make soap for the Christmas rush. Consequently, they sold out of the stock they had and then had nothing more to sell.

Those few weeks account for 35-50 percent of the store’s income, the owner said.

Bliss Soaps on Capitol Hill closes its doors [Seattle Times] (Thanks, James!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. JacobRoss97 says:

    That is a dirty deed on Chase’s end that needs cleaning!

  2. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    That’s some mess they’ll have to clean up. /pun

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Well, Chase will need soap after it removes all the coal from their stocking(s) this year.

  4. TheFinalBoomer says:

    I see nothing funny about this. And I really don’t get why people joke about a family losing its livelihood. It takes an incredible amount of hard work to make a business go, and to lose it to something like this has to be pretty heartbreaking.

    • YOXIM says:

      I think you’re taking the other commenters a little too seriously. There’s nothing soaprising about people making a few good-natured puns. It doesn’t mean they’re making light of the situation. I think you’re chasing the wrong bliss here my man.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      You’re right. It’s not funny. It’s incredibly sad. All of these commenters should have their mouths washed out with…


    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Sorry. Let’s all be serious. I mean, if we are all serious, that will make everything OK, right? OK, be serious…!

      Well, they are still out of business.

      Look, I don’t think anyone here is really NOT feeling sorry for them. If you note the humor, it’s what many call “dark humor” or “black comedy”. There is nothing that I can do for these people. I wish I could. But they luckily have an avenue to pursue action against Chase. They will pursue it, and if the facts presented here are what happened, and they have proof, the courts will side in their favor, and they will rise again. In the mean time, I mock Chase for what they did to these people.

    • shoan says:

      I believe in the worst situations you have to stand back and laugh because things get so damn bad at times. People here at work call me a “damn eternal optimist”. It’s my coping method at times if I don’t try to be positive I will get drug down and then things just get worse and it’s not good for your health also. It is a truly tragic situation, but nothing we are going to say on this message board will help or hurt the situation it’s just banter amongst strangers. If not for the smiles that are out there this world would be in even worse shape than it already is.

      Me personally I am waiting for the “were taking it serious” statement from chase.

    • stormbird says:

      There were three soap puns before you chastised us for not taking it seriously. Welcome to the internet and your first comment thread!

  5. Osi says:

    Umm, the business must not have been in the family for 3 generations if the business is only 4 years old … … … Might want to check your spelling.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Bliss Soaps in Seattle is owned by a guy whose family has been making soaps for three generations. The four-year-old business recently had to shut its doors

      Not every business has the previous generation take over under the same name. Many children of a family that practices a certain trade will go off and start their own business. We have a father and son down the road who each own a farm. Their family has been farming for two generations, yet if the son started his business three years ago, and he has troubles, that doesn’t negate the father having owned/run a farm.

      Also, that isn’t a spelling error, it’s a reading comprehension error, just FYI.

    • dizzy says:

      That’s what it says in the original article.

      Maybe the family has been making soap for three generations, but they’d only had an actual storefront business for four years.

  6. Luckier says:

    This is such a shame. Bliss makes great soap and bath products, and it was one of the last places I would visit on its end of Broadway in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. That part of the neighborhood has been hit hard by store closures and construction, and Bliss was still making a go of it. I hope they reopen soon!

  7. LostTurntable says:

    An appropriate punishment for something like this would be in the millions of dollars for the emotional distress alone. The bank actually ruined their lives. Then add in a few more million for the family to start the business up again.

    Of course, that will never happen. Justice is dead. But whatever.

    • celeb8 says:

      Washington courts are often still just, and have been known to rule occasionally in favor of the actual wronged party rather than the corporation. Here’s hoping :V

    • Chumas says:

      Not if they take the glycerin from the soap production, some fuming nitric acid, a dash of potassium perchloride, charcoal, sulpher and a few other ingredients not withstanding gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate to take vengence on their nearest Chase location.

      [sarcasm off]

      Now… Off with Phil Starks balls!

  8. celeb8 says:

    At least Chase came clean about the error.

    • Megalomania says:

      Yeah, but taking responsibility means more than just saying “yep, that was us”. It also means making up for the consequences, which in this case involve a business having to shut down, and clearly ignoring their pleas for help for months.

  9. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Firing sexy employees, closing down businesses, is there anything Chase can’t destroy?

  10. peebozi says:

    they should go to arbitration…no need in the government or courts getting involved as this is a true free market. if we allow the market to work itself out then it probably will… :rolleyes:

    • Billy says:

      If we want the market to work itself out, why are you even advocating arbitration? The effect would be similar to the courts which you seem to loathe: it wouldn’t be the market working itself out.

      The “free market” correction would be that there’s enough bad publicity against Chase for this type of blunder that their customers find some other place or way to do its banking.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:


      • CoachTabe says:

        Sure wish the guy had put some indicator of sarcasm in his post or something so you wouldn’t have been able to miss it. You know, like a “rolleyes” or something similar. Oh wait…

        • Billy says:

          Actually, I hope you’re right, but I’m not sure. Are all of this guy’s other posts about the free market serious? They don’t have the “rolleyes” indication.

  11. Invader Zim says:

    I cant even imagine how much they must have wanted to freak out when they found their accounts frozen. Aweful

  12. SBinVA says:

    I bet there’s a “hold harmless” clause buried in the account agreement / terms that covers Chase.

  13. aquanetta says:

    One of the owners of Bliss, Phil, is a third generation soap maker. In the store were photos of his mother and grandparents. Bliss was one of the stores I always bring out-of-town visitors, because the store is so unique and so Seattle, lots of innovative packaging that’s also tongue-in-cheek. Phil is HILARIOUS. He awarded my boyfriend a bar of “Str8 Boy Soap” for being so patient. We always leave with tons of free stuff just because Phil is so generous, and a sore belly because Phil makes us laugh so hard. I will miss them, hopefully it will be a short break.

  14. sublight says:

    Too bad it wasn’t Paper Street Soap Co. I hear those guys know how to deal with incompetent corporations.

  15. Mike1dog says:

    I hate to say it, but anyone who deals with one of the megabanks should expect awful crap like this to happen to them. Is there anyone who has had a good experience with any one of them? Your local branch manager is a branch manager in name only and has no authority whatsoever, so if something goes wrong there’s no way for him to fix it. What exactly is the benefit of using one of these banks? I’ve never understood.

  16. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Their website store front is still taking orders….here is to hoping they take Chase to the bank and clean their clocks…

    something is fundamentally wrong when these f ing banks can foreclose on your home (even if your mortgage is not with them) and now freeze accounts for no reason and not even offer an apology for their actions.