For the month of August, consumer advocate Christopher Elliott will occasionally be sharing some of the questions and problems he receives from readers. In this week’s case, Kimberly says a day doesn’t go by that Chase bank’s auto-dialing system doesn’t call her at 4 a.m. with automatic account notifications for her mother, who happens to have been dead for two years. Can anyone put an end to the hassle?
My mother died two years ago. Since then, account alerts from Chase have continually come to my phone, a number that was both set to receive account alerts prior to her death, and also a number to which all her calls were forwarded after her death.
The calls come in every day at 4 a.m. If I turn the phone off for the night, the calls come in again at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Calls to every level of Chase’s cardholder and bank divisions yield no results beyond “that call is not coming from Chase” or “we have closed that account and sent it to estates, and there are no records of any calls going to your number at all.”
As I near the marking of the second year of my mother’s passing, I am more and more distressed at these annoying calls. Is there any way to make anyone at Chase simply have these calls stop?
My condolences on your loss. Chase should have stopped the calls the moment your mother’s account was closed, and if not, then it should have done so quickly when you called to ask it to end the daily reminders.
It’s a shame you can’t report Chase to the FCC for violating federal “do not call” laws. First, her number would have to be on the registry. And second, under the law, your mother could receive calls from a company with which she has an existing business relationship for up to 18 months after her last transaction, unless she asks the company not to call again. Obviously, she can’t do that.
You might have also send a brief, polite email to Chase through its website. E-mail messages are assigned a tracking number, and you can keep a paper trail, which can later be forwarded to an executive, regulatory agency – or a consumer advocate.
There’s a nuclear option for a problem like this: You can change your phone number. There’s a reasonably good chance (but no guarantee) that the automatic calls won’t follow you.
As a last-ditch effort, you might have begun sending daily reminders of your request to a Chase executive. I wonder how long it would take before your daily emails to Jamie Dimon, Chase’s CEO, would result in the end of your daily reminders of your loss. Not long, probably.
By the way, all emails at Chase follow the format email@example.com – so Dimon’s is firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling – (212) 270-1111 or even faxing Dimon directly at (212) 270-1121 might do the trick, too. There are several services that can send a fax automatically (like, say, daily). You get the idea.
I asked Chase if there was any other way you might have fixed this, apart from torturing its executives. The answer? No.
Chase apologized and promised to discontinue the notifications.