Seattle Bar Owner Will Buy You A Steak Dinner If You Quit Chase

Don’t like Chase? You’re not alone. If you haven’t already dropped the bank but are willing to let them go, you might be on your way to a free steak dinner.

The owner of the Twilight Exit in Seattle has had it with Chase and he hopes to encourage you to leave also. He can’t offer free drinks because it’s against the law, but apparently free dinners are OK:

…the owner of Central District bar the Twilight Exit, is trying to kill two birds with one stone: drum up some publicity for his business and stick it to the lender that he says has him “by the short hairs.” “I want to hurt them,” he says of the bank.

He explains that his Kafka-esque experience with the bank finally put him over the edge:

First, he says, Chase secretly lowered his line of credit — the lifeline of any small business owner. [The bar owner] had just moved the bar, so he was maxed out on his cards. As a result, Chase was able to tell him that his credit rating wasn’t good enough to qualify.

“So I said fine; got that fixed. But then they come back and tell me my credit is too good.”

[The bar owner] would clear a hurdle, he says, only to find another, even stranger one in his path. Like the forms.

Chase, he says, would send him these pre-filled-out forms. All he had to do was sign.

So sign he did. And just to be safe, [The bar owner] sent the forms back by fax, e-mail, snail mail — any form of communication he could think of.

“And then they say they’re not legible. I’m thinking, ‘All I did was sign. How can a signature not be legible?'”

“If someone wants a steak dinner,” he told Seattle Weekly. “I will feed them.”

Why the Twilight Exit Will Buy You a Steak Dinner If You Close Your Chase Bank Account [Seattle Weekly via DefendYourDollars]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I don’t know… Chase just sent me an ad saying they would give me $100 for opening a checking account with them. I just have to keep it open for 6 months.

    Hmmmmmmm… I will head up for my steak dinner in January.

    • tbax929 says:

      Hold out for more. They sent me one for $150. I didn’t do it, but my sister and bro-in-law did. They did, in fact, get their $150. Then they closed the account.

    • meltingcube says:

      I received a similar promotion too, first they offered $100, then a few weeks later $200. It was enticing, however I ended up just going with a local credit union and haven’t looked back.

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

    Too bad I’m vegetarian. And not in Seattle. Otherwise, goodbye Chase anyway!

    • Captain Sassypants says:

      The Twilight Exit definitely has vegetarian-friendly options, but I can’t help with the location!

  3. Coelacanth says:

    This is pure awesome.

  4. c!tizen says:

    Sorry buddy, I don’t trust a bar owner with good credit.

  5. AstroWorn2010 says:

    Mail the steak to Ohio and we might have a deal.

  6. Humward says:

    You know, this article really isn’t legible. Please fax it in again.

  7. mrsam says:

    Here’s a consumerist tip for avoiding problems with your bank. Two tips, actually:

    1) Don’t live beyond your means, and struggle to keep your checking account balance above $0.00 all the time. I believe that the rule of thumb is to keep enough cash on hand to cover your living expenses for 6 months, in case @^%# hits the fan.

    2) Don’t use your ATM card as a debit card for purchases. Nearly every bank-related horror story you read on the Consumerist involves some debit card-related screwup.

    Now, I’ve had my Chase accounts for about 20 years (they weren’t even Chase to start with, anyone remember Chemical Bank?), and I can’t say I recall having much trouble with them.

    I don’t mean to dispute all the headaches others are having with these clowns. I fully believe it. Last time I was shopping around for a mortgage, I tried to see what Chase could do for their existing customer, some nincompoop on the phone took down my contact info, told me they’ll get back to me, and I never heard from them again. They’re too busy for me? Screw that, I wasn’t going to hold my breath, made a few more calls, ended up borrowing from Citi.

    But you do have a great deal of control over your own destiny. It’s convenient to always blame the evil greedy bank boogey-man, but you have a lot of control about your own matters too. By taking simple, basic steps to minimize the risk of the usual foul-ups from happening, by making responsible, prudent decisions about one’s own finances, that would eliminate, I’d say, at least 99% of the typical complaints you read here.

    • tbax929 says:

      1. That’s easier said than done. Yes, you should live within your means. But shitty things happen to people all the time that preclude them from doing this. It’s not uncommon for banks to lower your credit card limit to exactly where your balance is, regardless of your history. It’s happened to me with two separate cards, and nothing changed at all in my financial scenario.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with using your debit card. I’ve used one almost exclusively for many years. The problem isn’t the use of a debit card; it’s banks’ crappy policies when it comes to how they apply purchases and hide purchases, sending customers into overdraft. The best way to counteract that is to bank with a good bank that treats customers like individuals instead of like cattle. Chase is NOT that bank.

    • Stephmo says:

      And you think operating a business is like a person’s day-to-day finances how?

      You really need to learn about how a business operates before you think it’s just like you balancing your checkbook. Lines of credit are the lifeblood of most companies operating today.

      • mrsam says:

        “Lines of credit are the lifeblood of most companies operating today.”

        And that’s precisely the problem. This is comparable to running up a five-digit credit card bill, then wondering why you can’t save anything, and that all your money is going down the drain.

        Occasional borrowing, I suppose, might be reasonable, and a prudent strategy. But if you constantly have to have get extended credit to borrow against, all the time, well you’re doing it wrong.

        • JiminyChristmas says:

          Businesses use lines of credit to augment cash flow all the time and it doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. Some businesses, groceries or restaurants for example, have a steady stream of cash coming in from paying customers. They can book expenses and revenue relatively closely together in time.

          Many others, any sort of professional services firm for example, invoice on a 30-day cycle and their clients pay 30 or 60 days after that…when they pay on time. So, they may not get paid for a day of work until three months after they provided the service. There are plenty of viable, profitable businesses that don’t have the cash reserves to cover 90 days of expenses, plus any contingency that may come up.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Uh, he’s running a small business. If you think he can keep out of debt (line of credit) while operating a small business…

      Also, yes – great idea for personal banking to always keep a buffer amount in the account. Unfortunately bad things can happen, even to people who don’t make mistakes.

      I constantly need to post this link around here, it seems:

    • JeremieNX says:

      This. Business finances are a world different than personal finances, but my experience is with personal accounts so here I go:

      Working as a personal banker, I have seen thousands of “overdraft cases”. I would say about 75-85% of the overdraft horror stories are entirely the customer’s error. I see a lot more people overdrafting for stupid reasons such as fast food or the bar tab than I do for legitimate “shit happens” cases. My bank actually has a policy built-in to handle the “shit happens” cases such as job loss or medical problems.

      I however will not feel sorry for the people who use their debit card at Mc Donald’s every day without keeping a register. We have become a society that is over-medicated on shifting blame unto others rather than taking ownership and responsibility for our individual problems.

      I’m rambling now, but bottom line is this: The overwhelming majority of the circumstances customers present me with are poor excuses for their own irresponsibility.

      • peebozi says:

        It’s good to know your bank only caused the error 15-25% of the time. Please describe how diligently your corporation pursued correcting those bank-caused errors and if additional compensation was offered to those who were unjustly victimized.

        Is a 15-25% error rate acceptable for a bank and is there an effort to reduce that number to a more acceptable range…say 0.5%?

        • Doubts42 says:

          Did you even read her comment? the 15-25% is the times that the overdraft was due to circumstances outside of the consumers immediate control (loss of job, illness, disaster, etc, the other 75-85% is just people being stupid with their money.
          I have little to no sympathy for the big banks, and the way they structure when they do deposits and withdraws to increase the chance you will overdraw. That does not change the fact that most of those overdraws don’t happen because of the bank, they happen because people don’t keep track of their money. I am really looking forward to seeing how many complaints start popping up all over the place when those folks who didn’t opt in to overdraft start getting declined.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      I just love this line of advice. What it boils down to is: The key to avoiding money problems is to have more money. To paraphrase Bono: FCCking brilliant! ‘Live within your means’ is fine advice but it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to people whose means barely cover housing + utilities + health care and all of the various and sundry expenses that come with getting and holding a job.

      Same deal with ‘try to save 6 months worth of living expenses.’ Absolutely. Everyone who has little or no wealth would be better off with $6,000 or $12,000 in cash savings. Yes, a truer phrase was never spoken.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      And exactly how does this solve Chase Byzantine system of impossibility?

    • J.A.Reader says:

      Good advice, but it doesn’t deal with the crazy stuff the banks are doing to small businesses messing with their lines of credit. I’ve seen this first hand and heard of many others (most of my customer’s).

      My layman’s opinion is that most banks are low on capital and continue to be very exposed with bad loans and bad investments. So they’re trying to fix that ratio by reducing loans (mortgages/lines of credit), paying less interest and slapping fees wherever they can.

      The irony of this is that after two years of economic decline, the only solid customers that are left are those who managed their businesses and finances well enough to survive. So those are the ones who are now getting screwed.

  8. corker says:

    I wished I lived in Washington. I dropped Chase awhile ago. Terrible company do to business with!

    • tbax929 says:

      When I was (briefly) unemployed last year, the State of Arizona helpfully issed me a Chase debit card; my unemployment benefits – such that they were – were deposited into this Chase account. I’d go directly into the branch, withdraw the money, and put it into my regular bank. I hated that I was forced to do business with Chase.

      • psm321 says:

        I’m pretty sure you can withdraw from those cards (they were VISA, right?) at any bank

        • montusama says:

          Yes but they are Chase account debit cards. (At least the ones from NYS unemployment) I just have mine deposited into my main bank account.

  9. celeb8 says:

    Twilight Exit’s a good bar too.

  10. Sakura77 says:

    I too dropped Chase a while ago. One less idiot card issuer to deal with, one less temptation to spend money I really don’t have.

  11. Hoss says:

    As typical of those in the restaurant business, he reacts with emotion. Say goodbye…, we may see you again, but we have concern as to what banker will back you

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      If there was real competition in banking, another bank would probably offer him a steak dinner to get his business…

  12. phixional-ninja says:

    Gah…I got so close to closing my Chase account. Not because they’ve ever screwed me personally, but because of all the stories. Then they went and updated their iPhone app so I can deposit checks by taking pictures of them, and that’s just too much crazy awesome (also useful) future magic for me to turn my back on.

    (Yes, I know they aren’t the first bank to do something like that, but I don’t know of any other bank in the Seattle area with that capability at the moment.)

  13. bastion72 says:

    My wife just quit a VP job there. What does that net her?

  14. Jeff-er-ee says:

    Chase just took away the only benefit that remained from the old WaMu days. As a result, my wife and I decided today to move all of our accounts over to our credit union account. Chase can suck a…well, you get the picture…as far as I’m concerned.

    Interesting thing too…in today’s news, they were boasting a $4 billion+ profit, but analysts were pointing to declining deposits, declining loans, declining fee revenue.,.apparently the “profit” was all re-purposed reserves. Sounds like an ideal time to start pissing off their remaining customers!

  15. nsv says:

    Months after closing my Chase accounts in disgust, I was getting a mortgage. I had to explain one overdue debt to Chase.

    It took days of calling to figure it out. No one could make sense of it until I finally talked to a local branch VP. When I closed the account, they decided that since my checking account balance was zero, I must owe them one dollar per month for having a closed account. They assured me that it was entirely my fault and that I needed to pay them $9. The fact that I had no accounts with them was not relevant. I needed to pay them a dollar a month for the privilege of not having accounts with them.

    I didn’t give a damn about $9, but boy, that made a mess of the mortgage.

  16. Dragon Tiger says:

    Already axed Chase. They bought my Bank of Boston credit card decades ago, and it was hell until I finally transferred the balance to a new card with my credit union for about 20% less APR. But the main reason I hate Chase is that they wouldn’t underwrite my mortgage. I had good credit, the property was inexpensive and everything looked good, but Chase spent over three months dallying over signing off on the underwriting of the loan. Finally, the head of the loan department at my credit union put through an exception and allowed the credit union itself to underwrite my first mortgage (they normally only handle refi’s or second mortgages). And ever since, if I need a financial service, I go to my credit union first.

  17. baristabrawl says:

    I don’t want the steak dinner, but I was happy to cut them loose. It made me smile.

  18. owneroper says:

    Chase gave me the run around while trying to refinance my house and original mortgage was with Chase. Fax and refax paperwork. I too own a bar and because my accountant works out of his house they wouldnt accept his and/or my records including my tax returns which did show a profit. I was not allowed to use my own money to pay closing cost because they said I had no proof where the money came from. The closing cost had to be rolled into my loan or the loan couldnt be processed. I will never do anymore business with Chase and make it a point to tell anybody who will listen not to do business as well

  19. giantspbpk says:

    I sat in my office (weeks before being laid off myself) in downtown Seattle just a block from the WaMu Center watching the building literally empty out as the majority of the staff was laid off when Chase took over. Not necessarily Chase’s fault, but there is A LOT of hatred for Chase in this town. WaMu was a favorite and many many people took their money out when Chase came in and laid everyone off.

    I bet this bar owner will actually get a lot of people to switch over. Hopefully they won’t get shot or mugged getting to his place in the Central District – it’s not the best of neighborhoods!

    • Luckier says:

      I live ten blocks from the Twilight and it’s actually a great neighborhood. Come on down and order the chicken-fried bacon – it will blow your mind.

  20. MustWarnOthers says:

    Most of the time they require you to enroll in direct deposit. I don’t really want to mess with the direct deposit at my place of employment (which is at a Credit Union), just to direct deposit to a Chase account.

    I got the same email, since I do have a Chase credit card.

  21. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Loving this.

  22. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    Funny. Chase is the one bank I haven’t had a problem with. Our HSBC experience bordered on surreal (giving enough fodder for 3 blog posts), and we eventually moved our mortgage away from Bank of America because of problems with the credit card (online payments not processing correctly and such). Didn’t trust them with the escrow money any more.

    Sometimes I wonder if it actually matters which bank you pick, or if you’re just bound to get screwed by some random bank.

  23. Dre' says:

    I quit Chase about 10 years ago. Think I can still get the free dinner? :D

  24. Lightning Strikes says:

    This article made me smile. I’m an ex-Chase customer who got the shaft from them. I would love love nothing more than to see them disappear from the banking landscape forever.

    • mga says:

      Same here. I think they tagged me with a couple fees, refused to wave them after years of being a good customer. But in their books, their “good” customers are those who don’t pay off the ballance each month, and rack up fees in anyway that Chase can apply them.

      I always enjoy sending the Chase application prepaid envolopes back to them with other junk mail from the day, so they have to pay the USPS a few cents. I don’t do that to anyone else. Chase, you are special to me…

  25. audiochick says:

    I am already in the process of switching over to BECU, I’m just waiting for my direct deposits to get redirected. Consider it done, Stefan, and you don’t even have to buy me dinner.

  26. Jimmy37 says:

    SCREW CHASE. If you own a checking account with them, switch to a local bank. It’s not worth doing business with them.

  27. varro says:

    There’s a lot of hate for Chase up and down the West Coast – when they took over WaMu, one of the first things they did was put holds on checks and outsourced the customer service to script-reading Indians.

    (Was with WaMu for over 12 years, and with Chase for maybe 8 months.)

  28. Anaxamenes says:

    I don’t need a steak dinner and I let Chase go last year. I miss Wamu.