Chase Customer Service Rep (Chase): Good morning. We are recording this to maintain customer satisfaction.
Jaron: Great. I was going through my online banking and I see that I paid you $450 two weeks ago. Last night you rejected my online deposit.
Chase: Correct. That is why you still owe us $450. Plus a one-day late fee of $39.00.
Jaron: But I paid you the money two weeks ago from my Bank of America account.
Chase: You didn’t pay the money to us. You paid it to Travelers Bank. That is who issued your Quicken credit card.
Jaron: But you bought Travelers Quicken Visa division. It’s part of your bank.
Chase: We own it all right. But we changed the name to Chase. You should have sent the money to Chase.
Jaron: I phoned you when you bought Quicken Visa and someone told me to just keep making my online payments to Travelers and everything would work out fine.
Chase: That was months ago. But that service was discontinued last night.
Jaron: Don’t you think you should have told me you were going to change your service?
Chase: I don’t think either one of us are in a position to dictate bank policy, Sir. Anyway, you owe us $489.00 but the good news is I can help you pay it right now.
Jaron: I don’t think it’s fair to charge me a penalty and ruin my credit rating after I made every effort to pay you on time.
Chase: I don’t think either one of us are in a position to dictate bank policy, Sir. Anyway, you owe us $489.00 and the good news is I can help you pay it right now.
Jaron: May I speak to your supervisor?
Chase: He’s not at his desk.
Jaron: You must have some discretionary power. I’ve had that account for 15 years. I’ve never been late with a payment.
Chase: Then I am sure you will want to resolve this. You can pay us now.
Jaron: You’re getting ten percent return on your money for one day. That’s about 4,000 percent a year.
Chase: I don’t think either one of us are in a position to dictate bank policy, Sir. Anyway, you owe us $489.00 and I can help you pay it right now.
Jaron: Okay, I give up.
Chase: Good move. We can take the money out of your Bank of America account. There will be a $9 service charge.
Jaron: That’s bullshit.
Chase: Don’t talk to me that way, sir.
Jaron: I’m calling your corporate headquarters.
A few minutes later I was on the phone to Stacy at 888-622-7547. She was a Chase executive and she said she was sorry and in about 60 seconds resolved my problem — reversed the insane service fee of $39 and transferred the money from my Bank of America to Chase. She thanked me for being a loyal customer of Visa for 15 years.
I hung up and thought it might be a good idea to call Bank of America. I did and got through to a customer service rep there. She talked in a strident Valley Girl voice and took the attitude that I was a total and complete liability to the Bank of America since I had only had an account there for 30 years.
I will try to reconstruct our conversation after she checked her records.
BofA: Yes, you are right, Mr. Summers. Last night Chase rejected your attempt to pay one of their banks $450.
Jaron: I thought I had a understanding with you that if any of my online payments were rejected you would notify me.
BofA: You don’t.
Jaron: But we set it up that way because I was worried something like this might happen and now it has and it’s cost me about $50. I think you should credit my account with $50.
(I was of course telling a half or maybe a three-quarter lie. What I didn’t say was that Stacey had already waived the fees. But I figured that Bank of America could share some of the billions I was already giving it and other banks through the largest bailout in the history of mankind. A bailout from my tax dollars.)
BofA: It’s not our fault. It’s between you and Chase.
Jaron: Because you didn’t notify me that my online money transfer had been aborted, you have pretty much screwed up my perfect credit rating. I have been a good and loyal customer of the Bank of America for 30 years. I, along with other taxpayers, just bailed out the banks for billions of dollars. It’s only fair you give me some of that money. You could spare fifty dollars couldn’t you?
BofA: I don’t think either one of us are in a position to dictate bank policy, Sir. Take it up with Chase.
Jaron: You sound like you work for Chase.
BofA: I don’t appreciate your humor, if that’s your idea of humor, Sir.
Jaron: You talk like someone from Chase except you have a Valley Girl voice. Everything you say sounds like a question. And you have a gnarly edge to your voice when you speak to your betters.
BofA: Sir, I will not continue this conversation if you are going to be rude.
Jaron: In my opinion you belong to that new generation of children who have been taught by Mummy and Daddy that they are all special people and entitled to straight As. Typical Valley Girl nonsense.
BofA: I am not a valley girl. I am a valued employee of the Bank of America. I have a name. It’s Wendy.
Jaron: Wendy, I think it would be nice if you gave me fifty dollars in light of the problems your bank has caused me.
BofA: That’s ridiculous. I will call Chase and see if we can resolve this.
BofA (Wendy) went off the line and came back on and introduced a new person from Chase to me. I will call this person Chase-2. She seemed quite nice and spoke with a cultured voice.
While I listened, Wendy, the valley girl from BofA, explained that Chase-2 and she would resolve the problem.
I realized once these two women started to talk to each other that I would never get my fifty dollar anguish money for being put through this nonsense. After all Stacy had already resolved the problem and waived the late fee.
I wondered how many other customers had also been cheated out of $39.00 the previous night. A million? If only a few thousand of them complained the bank might have made a cool $40 mil or more.
BofA: Will you give me permission to share with Chase your information, Sir?
BofA: So we can resolve your problem.
Jaron: Resolve it, then.
BofA: I have your permission to talk with Chase, Sir?
Jaron: She’s on the line, you dolt. Why are you asking me?
BofA: I need your permission to talk with her and never call me a dolt. Do you understand that, Sir? If you use that term or tone again I will hang up on you.
Jaron: I need to speak to the woman who doesn’t sound like a valley girl.
BofA: I warned about calling me a valley girl.
Jaron: I never called you a valley girl. I said I wanted to talk to the woman who didn’t sound like a valley girl.
The gal from Chase started to laugh.
Jaron: I am glad you don’t sound like a valley girl, Chase person, who has a nice voice and doesn’t sound like she’s been brought up by a doting pair of pampering parents who never said no to what they thought was a princess.
BofA: I will not be played with this way.
Here I reverted to my old man voice.
Jaron: Dear, I’m an old man. I have trouble hearing. I don’t understand which one of you is which. For all I know you could both be cyber thieves.
This caused the valley girl from B of A to go off on a terrible rant in which she pointed out to me what an asshole I was. At the height of her rant —
Chase-2: Uh, Sir, were you just talking to an executive secretary at our corporate offices?
Jaron: Yes. And I’m confused about what is going on here. I know. I’ll just write a registered letter to both of your CEOs and explain that some Valley Girl has caused me to close both of my accounts with both banks. As I understand it, both banks are recording this conversation for customer satisfaction. I think it should be obvious that this Valley Girl is petty, consumed with her own self worth and is very mean to old persons who are troubled.
I hung up.
Later that day I saw that the valley girl had called me seven or eight times. I’m not going to call her back. After all I’m in no position to dictate bank policy.
I bet with the banks laying off ten percent of their people each month, valley girl might be a bit worried about her future. Sure hope so.
Note to self: Send Stacy at Chase corporate some flowers.