Suddenly They’re Blind.

Posted by John Park on Aug 27th, 2009
Aug 27

As my readers know very well,  I am often writing about the good things happening in business.  However, in some cases, I have to bring to everyone’s attention a very bad thing happening in the business community.
So… as of today, I’ve decided to start a SHAME ON YOU BUSINESS category.
All of the businesses listed or mentioned in these postings are doing or have done something really STUPID to damage their brand and customer loyalty.  And more importantly, their acts are damaging small businesses and their owners—the people I fight for.  Sometimes these acts are illegal but most of the time, they are just unethical.  In most cases, it is just downright shameful.
Today’s winner is CHASE BANK.
There is a lot of negative consumer buzz on the Internet about what this bank has done lately.  After the 25 Billion bailout (our hard-earned tax money) and after they got a chance to buy WAMU for cheap from the FDIC when that bank went belly-up, this not so fine institution has decided to launch a series of tactics to increase their profits by levying new and unreasonable terms on their customers.
For the past several years, they have been one of the biggest marketers of low rate balance transfers.  These programs would promise you a low rate for the life of the loan as long as you transferred to them.  And as a result, millions of consumers did just that.
( The Shameful Act )
They recently adopted a policy to raise the minimum payment percentage from 2% to 5% of the balance on many of these same customers.  As you can imagine, balance transfer accounts have a higher balance because consumers and business owners were using these accounts to pay off or manage their debts during this recession.  And as a result, minimum payments will more than double for these people.  If a business owner carries a 15K balance, his or her minimum payment will go from $300 to $750 a month.  This is not easy to swallow for any small business owner during these hard times.
And when consumers complain, they say “sure you can keep the 2% minimum payment but we just have to raise your interest rate to a much higher rate.”
Wasn’t this once known as the “bait and switch?”
This just exemplifies again that in business… Just because you can do it legally doesn’t mean that you should.
( Some negative Internet BUZZ about Chase )
It’s kind of ironic their new ad campaign is based on the song “Suddenly I see“.  Clearly… they don’t SEE.
Shame on you CHASE!

5 Responses

  1. Tim Davies Says:

    Love the song. Hate the bank! Amen!

  2. Theo B Says:

    Thanks for writing about this. I guess I am one of those business people effected. Transferring everything to other banks. Hopefully, they don’t take this terrible bank’s lead. Where is President Obama while we small business owners get the shaft!

  3. Daria Steigman Says:

    Good post, and a great concept for a blog post series. I canceled a Chase card not long after getting it because they kept moving up the payment due date. Not a lot, just one day at a time, but clearly aimed at collecting new late fees. The practice really offended me, and I told them so and took my business elsewhere.

  4. John Areleth Says:

    It is outrageous, what these banks are doing. Congress passes a law to rein them in and then give an effective date, well into the future, so they can do all this unbelievable stuff. Shame on them and great job, speaking up.

  5. Dr Wright Says:

    I wonder if it results from taking over a bank that was failing, now they will do anything to grab money??

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show

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