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Dr. Robert Lahm interviewed by Wall Street Journal reporter, Jane Kim

I’ve alluded to speaking with some reporters who are associated with major media organizations, but I have also held back on indicating their identities, for a few reasons.  One reason is that just because you talk to a reporter, it does not mean that his or her piece will ultimately go forward; editors may decide that other news is more important, for instance.  Another reason is that it is appropriate to be respectful of the fact that reporting, when pursued by someone who is diligent and ethical, is like any other work: it ain’t as easy as it looks.  No reporter wants to work on a story that has been hijacked by another competitive news organization. 

Thus, although I have been speaking on a few occasions with Jane Kim of the Wall Street Journal over the last month, I have only now been able to announce this on the site.  Jane’s article entitled, “Chase Retracts Unpopular Monthly Fee on Some Accounts,” has now been published (as of March 27, 2009) on the WSJ’sFat Wallet” personal finance and investing news site.  Jane was even courteous enough to email me and let me know exactly when the article was published. 

There is some very good news for those of us who have been affected by Chase, as indicated by the title itself.  However, even though we have won a battle, this war is still not over, and I am going to repeat something that I have already expressed to Chase:

“If Chase wants peace, it can issue a press release.”

In other words, while I have seen justifiable comments that are celebratory, and I am grateful to receive this breath of fresh air, this site shall leave no man or woman behind.  The war is not over until I see a headline along these lines: “Chase Retracts Entire Change in Terms on All Accounts.”  (As you know, if you are a regular reader here, I am especially concerned about account holders who may also be small business owners.)   

Further, I can still see elements of the same old Chase spin relative to some of the quotes from its spokesperson, Stephanie Jacobson.  For instance, the one about “changes were aimed at customers who had made little progress in paying down their balances, and affected less one-half of one percent of its customers.” 

Still making light of this and trying to minimize the number of customers, how severely they were treated (noting that “minimum payments due will remain at 5% of their new balance” — so much for bail out money), the fact that Chase’s aim was extremely poor — hitting numerous people who were paying more than the minimum — and defamatory toward responsible account holders by suggesting that they were “slow-paying laggards who deserved it” to members of the media, are we Ms. Jacobson?

I therefore shall now require more than a press release stating a rescission of the entire change in terms notice for all impacted account holders:

I demand an apology for the negative portrayal of myself as well as 399,999 other account holders. 

I’ll leave it to law firms to seek restitution and damages, along with punishment, if they can prevail in class action litigation efforts (which may take years).  In the meantime, this war will be won sooner, and with a longer lasting, more significant victory, if it is fought on a de-marketing basis.  I remember back in December 2008, after I installed the software and converted this site to a blog, I had only a few posts, and a few visitors, something like a half-dozen per day.  At this point in time, I am proud to say that I (and the people who have joined me) have now warned thousands of consumers and small business owners about Chase and its unethical shenanigans. 

Since Chase seems to be good at coming up with “alternatives” and “options” (instead of providing the opt out that its executives described in Congressional testimony, whereby customers would reject the change in terms and continue to pay under the old rates and terms), I’d like to present Chase with the “alternative option” of my own.  It might help in mitigating damages and possible punitive actions in “jury trial demanded” class action proceedings:

Chase could elect this “alternative option” by crediting the entire balances that its impacted customers presently owe, reducing their accounts to zero.  I’d like Chase to make “tremendous progress” in crediting these accounts, by doing so within 15 days. 

Why 15 days? 

Because as I observed here, although Chase wanted 18 months to comply with new FED Regulation Z Rules (surprise: banks got their way from their advocate and chief defender, uncle FED), Chase’s corresponding attorney argued that customers should only need 15 days to comply with its new rules. 

Why so much (crediting customers’ respective accounts the entire balance that they presently owe)? 

Well, it’s not really not that much.  You see, this would only entail zeroing out the balances of “less than one-half of one percent” of account holders.  Heck, it’s just such a small percentage, and Chase did receive $25 billion in bail out money (which we would like back before it gives that all out to executives in AIG-like bonuses).  Me, personally, I’d even forgive them for ruining Christmas.  Indeed, you could consider that amount to be extremely modest compensation for defaming people who were meeting their obligations faithfully, and fully. 

We good-paying customers who have done nothing wrong take our reputation and honor seriously, Ms. Jacobson.  Therefore, I’m afraid that this is only the end of round one.  Chase, this means that I’m not giving you an “opt out,” either: