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My response to ConsumerMan article about Chase: Maybe Chase’s “desire” is to attract customers who are capable of mind-reading?

I sent Herb Weisbaum (ConsumerMan) an email on December 25, 2008.  Although I did receive an auto-responder reply, I had all but given up hope that he would ever cover the “5% minimum payment, add a new ‘finance charge'” issue with Chase.

However, one of this site’s visitors (who also was quoted) sent me this link to an April 8, 2009, MSNBC.com article that Mr. Weisbaum has just published: Did Chase pull a credit card bait and switch? 

I have emailed Mr. Weisbaum again, this time to convey my thanks.  Although his piece mentioned one class action lawsuit (and the N.Y. Attorney General’s settlement), I also pointed out that we are now tracking 13 class action lawsuits on the ChangeInTerms.com site.

Apparently, Chase’s spokesperson, Stephanie Jacobson, remains committed to defaming the customers who were paying on time and fulfilling their obligations with the same negative portrayal — deadbeats making “little progress” deserve it — that we have seen quoted by various members of the media recently.  Mr. Weisbaum reported that he received this in an email from Ms. Jacobson, when Chase was asked for a response; quoting from Mr. Weisbaum’s article:

Chase will not comment on a pending lawsuit, but the company e-mailed me a statement. “Tens of millions of Chase customers have taken advantage of our promotional low rate financing over the last five years,” writes Stephanie Jackson, first vice president for public affairs.  “Most of these loans have been paid back in less than 24 months.  However, there have been a small percentage of customers that have made little progress in paying down these loans.  Our desire is to have these loans repaid in a reasonable period of time.”

Do you think that disclosure rules should mention Chase’s “desire” for customers who are capable of mind-reading, in its future promotional offerings?  At least we now know that when Chase promises a “Fixed APR Until the balance is paid in full” loan, it means “less than 24 months.” 

Too bad, Mr. Weisbaum apparently only inquired about the one lawsuit.  I would have enjoyed seeing something along the lines of: “Chase will not comment on 13 pending class action lawsuits, but…”   

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