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Unhappy With Your Big Bank? Switch!

Years ago I signed up with WAMU; as a result of this current financial crisis or whatever it is, WAMU became Chase which is part of JP Morgan. In my opinion Chase and JP Morgan are part of the problem. (WAMU was too, perhaps to a lesser degree.)

I’ve started the process of switching from Chase to a locally owned credit union that offers checking, savings, online banking and more. It’s one way I’m hoping to influence the way things seem to work.

I’ve just learned of a website created by volunteers designed to help people find locally owned financial institutions. It’s MoveYourMoney.info.

Makes it easier to vote with your feet as it were.

Will you change your financial institution?

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Horror stories like these are what make me glad that Canadian banks are highly regulated.
    .-= Benjamin Hunting´s last blog ..Two Decades Of Sloan Draws Near =-.

    • Anne

      And I might move there if I can get my grandkids to move with me.

  • I did end up getting an answer from another CS rep as to why the card was canceled before I called up to cancel it. He answered immediately; no script, no BS, totally great guy. Turns out, they have a policy against inactive cards. If you don’t’ use it in a 1 year period of time, they switch it off. We haven’t used ours since we moved here 2 years ago.

    Horrible, horrible memories.
    .-= T.W. Anderson´s last blog ..Jump-start your New Year =-.

    • Anne

      You’ll be glad you aren’t using ccs… and I’ll bet those terms were buried in their tiny print unreadable terms and conditions. I just joined the credit union last week and so far I’m loving it.

  • Let me tell you a little story about Chase.

    Few years back, I signed up for a WAMU card. Low interest rate (well, 9%. Reasonably low), 3k card. Nothing fancy. Used it a bit, always paid it on time. Ended up using it for plane tickets when we moved overseas, and was slowly paying it off (we paid it off back in July of ’09, I believe).

    When they switched to Chase, three things happened. First…they increased my monthly payment from 50 dollars a month to 150 dollars a month. Without warning. No phone calls, no e-mails…nothing. They also moved up my due date by 7 days. No phone calls, no e-mails. Nothing. They also increased my interest rate from 9%….to 29%. Thta’s right folks, 29%. Without warning.

    One day I log in to pay my monthly bill and I am faced with a 300 dollar minimum payment because I was late (say hello to a late fee charge) plus my new payment was suddenly 3x higher than it was previously.

    Not a word from them.

    I try to call customer service. Never get an answer. E-mails go unanswered. I wonder “Why do I still care about credit when I’m no longer living in the US?” Still, I don’t like bad marks, and it took me a long time to clear my credit history after suffering congestive lung failure back in 2002 and claiming bankruptcy as a result of unpaid hospital debts, and my 700+ score is something I cling to with the tenacity of a dying man.

    When I finally do pay the card off, I call up to cancel the card. No way I want to deal with these thieves. Debt is paid off, bye-bye card. Don’t care if it hits my credit score. 29% interest rate? Hidden charges? Changes to my account without warning? How about F-off.

    Rep tells me the card was already canceled. Last week. I ask her why. She proceeds to rattle off some script. I interrupt her. Three times. Explain to her look, I don’t live in the States. You have my e-mail on file. I’ve been paperless for 4 years. I don’t care that you sent me a physical mail. Not my problem. I’ve been paperless since BEFORE I left the States. Physical mail means nothing to me. Update your system.

    She refuses to answer my question of why the card was canceled (not that I really minded; I had called up to cancel it in the first place.) She refuses my request to transfer her to a manager. Twice. Then gives me the number for Experien or whatever the credit agency is and tells me good luck.

    Whatever. Card is paid off. Account is canceled. Mission accomplished.

    Only, not really.

    2 weeks later I get an e-mail telling me I owe Chase another 60 or 80 bucks (can’t remember exact number). This really did make me LOL in sheer incredulity. Suddenly they remember my e-mail. When they want money from me. After I already paid off the card. After it’s been canceled.

    Chase is hands-down one of the WORST in the business. They are absolute criminals. Hands-down the worst I’ve ever dealt with. Needless to say…my wife and I have been celebrating our debt-free status for about 6 months now.
    .-= T.W. Anderson´s last blog ..Jump-start your New Year =-.

  • Chase Bank is one of the most abusive organizations I’ve ever dealt with in my life anywhere in the world. I moved most of my money to a credit union, but need to find a local bank with ATMs — the credit union ATMS are so few and far between I’d spend way too much on fees.
    .-= Devon Ellington´s last blog ..Tuesday, January 5, 2010 =-.

    • Anne

      Devon, my credit union has atms in of all things 7/11s – maybe this statement from them can help you find something similar where you are:

      With California Coast Credit Union’s extensive network of ATMs and our partnership in the CO-OP® Network, we make it easy for you to have access to your money wherever and whenever you need it. And because there are over 800 CO-OP Network ATM locations in San Diego and South Riverside Counties and more than 28,000 across the U.S. and Canada, you can be assured that your money is available to you surcharge-free. You may also withdraw cash from your California Coast Credit Union account at any ATM displaying the MasterCard®, Maestro®, Cirrus®, or Star® Network logos.

      http://www.co-opfs.org/public/locators/atmlocator/ – these are fee free for me.

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