Seeking Escape From Banking With Chase

I loved WaMu, I really did. The service was great. I got what I needed, whether it be deposits, auto-withdrawals loan quotes or simple advice. No more, no less. I fell victim to Chase through the acquisition and with it came a more sterile, blue environment. Most of the staff remained the same for the short term, but I immediately noticed more staff onsite, which I guess was good for the unemployment rate. However, I never really appreciated getting tag-teamed with “Chase Rewards” offers. Those seemed to go away within the first few months and I was left with the service I was more accustomed to – only that which I chose to solicit.

By chance, my loan for the Phantom Hornet worked out with University Mazda through Chase. My first impression was that this would be a good thing so that I could manage that loan alongside my regular banking.

Not the case.

I went to the Chase branch by my office today to deposit a measly $100. I had also intended to stop a $25 annual charge on a debit card that I had never used or authorized. I give Chase credit for giving me the head’s up email for that charge so that I could stop it. After making the deposit with the teller, he referred me to the banker to stop the charge.

I sat down with the “banker” named David. I told him about the charge that I wanted stopped and he proceeded to look up my information.

“Are you a credit card guy?” David asked.

“Nope. Just use my debit. I keep credit cards to a minimum,” I replied.

Lo and behold I was preapproved for a bunch of credit cards. Somehow my description of NOT being a “credit card guy” prompted him to run through his credit card offer pitch.

I declined. I asked that he proceed and just cancel the charge.

Wait, because I also had my car loan on my Chase account David let me know that I could combine to a total debt/credit of $X0,000 and immediately upgrade to a “premium” account that would allow for a bunch of features that I had no use for. All that I had to do was keep the $X0,000 credit/debt balance.

Here I called bullshit.

“Dude, your math is wrong,” I told him in a monotone voice. “You’re combining a car loan that I am paying off with my banking balance that won’t rise while I’m paying off the car loan – So my total balance will surely fall short of the $X0,000 required for a bunch of features that I told you I have no use for. Why would you offer me something that I would default for? How does that help me?”

David looked dumbfounded. Clearly no Chase training that immersed him in quotas and sales routines had not prepared him for me. “Um, right,” he replied, now visibly sweating. David finally hammered a few keys to remove the $25 charge.

His physical signs must have signaled a Chase secondary to come over and assist. She asked if she could be of assistance and David replied no on my behalf, saving himself the embarrassment of a repeated logic.

“We took care of his initial request so I think we’re all set here,” David said. My initial request was my ONLY request.

Before I took off, David completed his task by handing me his business card and letting me know to give him a call if I wanted to talk about his credit card offers, which was great because I needed a piece of paper for gum that I would probably chew later in the day.

I get the good credit/credit card offer play, but now that I know how Chase will look to leverage my car loan to up-sell me I have no choice but to look at moving my car loan and probably move my accounts to different banks. It’ll be worth the trouble now to save time and frustration in the future.