May 24

“You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave…”

So I get this 2pg privacy statement in the mail from Chase telling me what rights I have to limit their ability to share my info. It basically says they have the right to share my info with other institutions for joint marketing initiatives and I have no ability to opt-out. That would be fine (annoying but acceptable) if I were still a customer of theirs but it turns out they retain the right to sell and share your info indefinitely even after you leave.

I called them (here’s the audio) and politely asked that they delete my info given that I’m no longer a customer and that they already lost my data once. They said “sorry we get to keep your info forever.” This too would be understandable if it were purely for the archival purpose of preserving a copy of my records for historical reasons but they actually said I have no ability to stop them from sharing my info for marketing purposes even after we’ve discontinued our relationship. They retain the right to continue to spam you and sell your info even after you’ve checked out. Pink champagne on ice indeed…

If this were some local business the attorney general would have these guys’ heads but alas it’s a bank and apparently nowadays banks appreciate sovereign immunity from all policy that is sensible. The one consolation here is that I recently completed a successful shortsale of my house (hey Chase how does that $146k haircut feel?). In layman’s terms this is a way for the average consumer to clear his/her balance sheet and shed a distressed asset similarly to how the banks have done. IMHO this process was a convoluted and opaque obstacle course by design but I plan to document the chronology of how it unfolded for anyone else who is in a similar boat and seeking to take advantage of this mechanism. F U Chase.

UPDATE 8/28/11: Introducing our Site. Double FU Chase.

Listen to the audio below for the ridiculous conversation with their CSR and pass this along as an advisory to any friends who are considering banking with Chase. Make sure your friends know the expectation of how they’ll be treated before signing up with these guys. And make sure they’re aware that checking in means they can never check out.

3 Responses to “Chase bank is the Hotel California of banks”

  1. Creyjons says:

    The wonderful part is I never signed up to be a chase custOmer but got scooped up in their Washington mutual buyout and now I'm in their vault forever…

    • Sean Tierney says:

      wow that sucks. at least I had a choice in becoming their customer to start… all the more reason for someone to step and file some kind of class action against these jerks. I'm surprised they've gotten away with it thus far.

  2. K W Smola says:

    BIG BANK CUSTOMER BY NO CHOICE OF MY OWN: We had a mortgage for our primary home; the mortgage was sold to Chase. The same thing happened to the mortgage of house we purchased so our three sons could live there while in college, but to Bank of America. I was ill, since I could not think of two banks with which I NEVER wish to conduct business. It took me several years to get both of these banks to stop sending me junk credit mail, even though I registered for "opt out" for every minor son, my husband, and myself, under every possible name and address, and returned every privacy survey. I reported them numerous times to the Attorneys General of every state on the return envelopes of their unsolicited. The junk mail would stop for a few weeks, then start all over again.

    For the last three years, we have been credit-card-junk-mail free. Woo-hoo!

    So, we recently refinanced our mortgage on our primary home, getting rid of Chase….I THOUGHT. Not to be!! Immediately, I started receiving new credit card offers. I called. They would not talk to me b/c we did not have a current joint account, and the letter was addressed to my husband. My husband is not going to take the time to contact these people.

    I then went to the federal government site and opted out "forever" for both of us.

    Just like these banks ignore every possible ethical violation, they think they are immune to the rules and laws. Even sadder, the money they make while violating the laws more than pays for any fines that might be placed on them, if the government even cares to do so in the future.

    As a life-long republican, I cannot fathom that I am writing these words. However, the more I observe and learn about big business, politicians, and their PACS (which are basically financed by the businesses for the politicians, in essence buying their votes), the more I know I will no longer vote for the republican ticket.

    I think we are stuck with the corrupt Chases of the country and the politicians who give them the avenues to continue behaving in this manner.

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