I don't know why I have such bad experiences with financial institutions. Dealing with Washington Mutual was a nightmare. Before that was the Bank of New York fiasco. I won't even get into what I dealt with when I tried to use First Union as my bank.
But I have never, ever, EVER dealt with a bank as horrid as JP Morgan Chase Bank. Ever.
There is so much to tell, I don't even know where to begin. I suppose I should start from the beginning.
Last year, I saw a commercial about JP Morgan Chase Bank that really enticed me to open a bank account with them. The commercial promised 10,000 free frequent flyer miles on Continental Airlines if you open a free checking account at JP Morgan Chase. So, my mother and I headed down to Chase in North Patchogue (NY) to open an account. After all, I had just moved back to NY from CA and was fed up with Washington Mutual.
When we got to the bank, we opened an account. It was relatively easy-- We had to provide two forms of identification as per the requirements of the Patriot Act. We deposited $100 in checking and $50 in savings. I mentioned the Continental Airlines deal, and the woman informed me that I had to pay a $30 per year fee to get the Continental Airlines MasterCard. Well, $30 isn't a lot for 10,000 frequent flyer miles, so I agreed to the charge. I was told that I would receive my MasterCard in 5 - 7 business days. So, I went home and waited...
and it never came.
The 5 - 7 business days came and went, and the card never showed up. I called the North Patchogue branch, and they gave me a different phone number to call. I called the other number, and I was transferred to several other departments. Finally, I spoke with someone who told me that they sent it to the wrong address, and it was send out again that day.
You know, I really should have taken that as a sign. But, I am a glutton for punishment. I waited another 5 - 7 business days, and the card finally arrived. I activated the card and was thrilled when I saw the 10,000 miles hit my Continental One Pass account. That was my motivating point since I travel so much. Truth be told, knowing what I had to go through to get all of the miles from Chase, a round-trip ticket to the Caribbean really is worth the headaches that I had with the company. But, of course, it would have been so much nicer if I could have just dealt with Chase on a regular, more mellow basis.
As soon as I started writing checks with my Chase checking account, I noticed that I would get charged 50 cents extra every time a check cleared. I thought that I opened the free checking account. Apparently, I didn't. The bank, however, didn't inform me that I couldn't get the Continental miles if I opened a free checking account. I told them that I wanted free checking and the Continental program. They just signed me up for the program with the Continental MasterCard.
After my first bank statement, I went into the bank and asked why I was charged 50 cents for each check that I wrote. They corrected me and told me that it wasn't for each check. It was for each check after nine checks. Now, I usually write a lot of checks out every month. I tried my hardest to not write those checks out, and to keep my limit to around nine checks per month. I was obsessed with my frequent flyer miles. Since I use my debit card for virtually all of my purchases, I knew I would really rack up those points.
What I didn't know was that I would LOSE more money than it was worth for these frickin' frequent flyer miles. It's ridiculous really.
If you live in New York or thereabouts, you have probably seen the commercial for "Maximum Strangth Checking" where a big, scary African American dude spells out "F-R-E-E" in regards to Chase Bank. Guess what? Checking with JPMorgan Chase Bank is NOT free. You get charged for writing more than 9 checks per month. You get charged when you dip into your overdraft line of credit. You get charged when you withdraw money from your account when visiting a bank teller. You get charged for virtually everything. These charges, by the way, do NOT count toward your frequent flyer miles.
Did I mention the $30 per year charge to keep the debit card? It is so frustrating to look at the bank statement and see all of these fees. Shoot, I could have used the fees that I have been charged over the past year and bought a plasma screen TV.
Don't forget that if there is a returned check, the company you bounced the check to and Chase charge you fees. You aren't alerted to this, either, until weeks after the fact.
Are you looking for a bank that communicates with you how much money you have in your account, when things go wrong, when mistakes are made and other instances? Well, keep on looking. JP Morgan Chase Bank provides absolutely no communication with members whatsoever. It's sick. You don't know what is going on with your money while it is in your bank account.
A lot of people in the call center have very thick accents that it is hard to understand what they are saying. Most do not know what they are talking about. You end up getting transferred through a chain of command until someone finally gives you the answer yo want.
Case in point: I deposited a cashier's check into my account in the branch in Selden, NY. A cashier's check. Now, at any normal bank, that is GUARANTEED money. It's like depositing cash into your account, right? WRONG. With JP Morgan Chase Bank, it took 7 business days to clear. It was a nightmare getting someone on the phone that knew what they were talking about. Eventually, I had to three-way call a bigwig at JP Morgan Chase with the branch manager at the issuing bank to get the situation cleared up... And it still took a week to get my money.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me, either. They hold local checks for 2 days. They hold out-of-state checks for at least 5 business days. It's enough to make you want to cry. I mean, why is it so difficult? JUST GIVE ME MY MONEY!!!!!
As you can see by my review thus far, there really isn't any sort of customer service to speak of-- except the bad kind. Tellers are just plain nasty and don't know what they're talking about. Account service people do not disclose all of the information that you need in order to make a conscious, informed decision about your money.
The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing when it comes to JP Morgan Chase Bank. Trying to get the same answer from anyone is nearly impossible. Quite frankly, that doesn't make me feel very secure when it comes to putting my money in their hands.
The JP Morgan Chase Bank website is horrible. It is very difficult to understand. You have a Gross Balance and an Available Balance. There are line items for everything that you spend and deposit, but no explanation of when the money is going to become available. It isn't all that easy to navigate, and you will find that the website is down more often than not. The load time is quite slow, too.
When it comes to JP Morgan Chase Bank, you just don't know if your money is going to be in your account when you need it. It's scary, really. JP Morgan Chase Bank is completely unreliable, undependable and inconvenient. Is this a place you would really want to keep your money? I should hope not. Heck, burying your money in the backyard would be better than banking with JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Do yourself a favor and run away. Run far, far away. Do NOT bank here.
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