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.

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