Chase-tized: Justice for the Victims of Corporate Greed
August 22, 2012 in Wordsmoker Publishing
All I can say is “HAH, EVILDOERS, HAH!”
Why am I laughing? Just a little karma, is all. Just a wee bit of schadenfreude, and it is oh so satisfying. You see, a little while ago, maybe six months, I was a customer of Chase Bank. I had a checking account and *shudder* credit card. If you’re my friend on Facebook (and if you are, count yourself lucky, peasant), you might have seen my jubilant post the day I FINALLY paid down my credit card and closed out the account. It felt so good to finally be done with that bank and their horrid customer service. But this feeling I have now, this delicious little bit of “nanny-nanny-boo-boo, motherfuckers” I have going on right now? It’s so good my toes are curling.
The reason I closed down my checking account and left Chase Bank was their shitty customer service. But not the regular crap we all go through—rude call takers, endless transfers to departments who “can’t do anything for you,” or just downright refusals to help with the money you deigned to keep in their bank. All those things happened, but the straw that broke this camel’s back came with their practice of the Overdraft Charge.
They like to offer this perk as an option when you bank with them, and in reality it’s quite nifty: if you make a purchase that exceeds the amount in your account, they will cover the transaction instead of bouncing the payment and charge you the difference plus a fee. Pretty good when that purchase is something important (i.e. rent, hooker, baby mama), mildly irritating when it’s your third visit to 100 Montadidos in a week. (No one likes to overdraft on a $2.50 pulled BBQ pork and bacon sandwich. No one.) So you make a purchase, and you don’t have enough money to cover by, say, ten bucks. So the bank, in their infinite mercy, covers the difference, applies the deficit to your account, and charges you a $25-40 fee for the “convenience.” It varies by bank, but Chase charged me a lovely $34 per overdrafted transaction. Every fucking time.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. “Ducky, why don’t you just not overdraft your account? Ducky, why don’t you take it off your account so it won’t let you do that?” And to you I say: Fuck that noise. That’s like me asking why your head is shaped funny or why Tea Partiers don’t believe in science: that’s just the way it is, get over it. Truth be told, I didn’t want to take it off because I knew as soon as I did I would need it to cover something important, like a black market kidney purchase or something. And in regard to just not overdrafting? Well, I was trying. I really, really was. I had never been taught to save or how to budget properly or any of the things people in stable households learn. I would have rather paid the $34 than bounce a really important transaction. That is, until Chase Bank decided to be greedy little pricks.
Chase Bank realized that making $35 per overdraft transaction wasn’t enough for them, so they chose to, shall we say, tweak things a little bit. Allow me to explain:
Let’s say you have $30 in your account. You make a purchase of $20, so now you’re down to $10. Then you make a purchase of $10, and you’re at zero. Then, you plum forget you’re a poor, and you spend $40. Boom, you earned yourself a pretty little overdraft fee. So, you’re $40 in the hole (the deficit you owe) plus the $35 overdraft. Total in the red? –$75. Here it is in a pretty table:
You with me? Good. Now, here’s where Chase got greedy: they decided to rearrange the order of your charges to your account. Why is that unethical (and should be illegal)? To the blackboard!
Same scenario, $30 in the bank. Now, you personally don’t do anything different; you make all those same purchases in the same order you did up there. But this time, Chase reorders all your purchases from largest to smallest. Look what happens:
|Charge 1 (formerly charge 3)||-$40|
With a little razzle dazzle reorganizing, they were able to bilk an extra $68 from you. That’s just one transaction, and that’s just from you. Multiply that by all the thousands of customers (maybe hundreds of thousands) of customers who overdraft every day, and you can see the mad money they’re making. Yay for lack of scruples!
This happened to me, and often. Every time I would call, I would get the run-around. “We don’t control when the charges clear, ma’am,” was always my favorite, because I knew it was bullshit. So, I left, and put my money in a credit union and forgot all about Chase. Until this past week, when I received a letter in the mail notifying me that I was part of a class-action lawsuit because Chase got their asses sued for doing this unethical shit. I am awaiting my vast piles of money to come to me in the hopefully near future. The kicker? Chase maintains it did nothing wrong. The gall! But whatever. They can have their gall, I will take my tens, possibly hundreds, of dollars owed to me and roll around in it. I mean technically, it’s a check, but I will cash that in for bills and roll all up in those Washingtons, baby.