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Another Exciting Episode in the on-going Chase “Twilight Zone Saga”

Ok, so we all know about the change-in-terms that Chase unilaterally foisted on 400,000 of its most credit worthy customers last January.

And, by now, most of us have heard that some of these same customers had more than one Chase account – one of which was subjected to the egregious change-in-terms and one or more of which were not.

Last month my second Chase account (fixed 4.99% rate for the life of the loan, with an outstanding balance of about $6,000) statement afforded me the opportunity to “SKIP A MONTHLY PAYMENT”. I had earned that right due to my being such a good customer. I didn’t take Chase up on that ridiculous offer….

Apparently Chase is extremely miffed – very hurt at my rejection of their overtures.

This month’s statement came today and GUESS WHAT???? A new change-in-terms will automatically go into effect on August 1, 2009. No longer will the monthly payment requirement 2% of the outstanding balance….oh, no, now Chase is going to require 5% of the outstanding balance in payment each month.

So the $118.00 I owe this month will morph into $295.00 a month. Just as I was knocking down my large Chase account to just over $800/month, my obligation will once again balloon to over $1,100/month.

The same company that wanted me to skip a payment on this account last month has discovered they can’t survive without an increase of 250% in the amount of payment due next month on that very same account. Chase must be in worse shape than anyone could have imagined. Poor babies….

Chase reminds me of spoiled brats who are never satisfied.…the 25 Billion in TARP funds didn’t do enough; the savaging of 400,000 of their best customers wasn’t sufficient; treating their already defaulting customers with kid gloves didn’t suffice.

The prowling Chase executive decision makers look around for new prey. Finding none, the “never wrote an agreement they wouldn’t mind defaulting on crowd” return to their first “kill” to see if there are any survivors capable of giving up yet more funds on the alter of Chase greed. Voila – let’s do a second round of change-in-terms! That should do it.

I think we need to coin a new term for this phenomena….“Battered Customer Syndrome”.

But, don’t lose heart, my fellow consumers, Chase has learned something from the last episode of their special version of “The Twilight Zone”. This time there is an “opt-out” option and no $10/month additional finance charge.

Anyone want to guess what I plan to do with this Chase credit card account?

Dialing the phone….

I am greeted by a supervisor (Jim) who began our conversation with this icebreaker, “Thank you for calling Loyalty Services“. I nearly guffawed in his ear. I asked him “Did you say Loyalty Services”? Indeed he did. How can I assist you today?”

He noted that I had been a customer since 1998 and have had a long and admirable history with Chase. I informed him that while I had treated Chase fine all these years, I had not been treated well by Chase these last 6 months. I briefly described my complaints. It was evident that Jim had heard it all before. No, he could not reverse the increase in payment of 5% of the outstanding balance. “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” “Yes, close the account and let me opt-out of the newest change-in-terms.”

After subtly “threatening” me that Chase would be notifying the credit reporting companies (oh, horror of horrors….) that I was closing my account, Jim agreed that the account would be closed and confirmed I would be allowed to pay off the account under the original terms. Hooray! Relief!

“Loyalty Services”…..twisted Chase Twilight Zone logic. Welcome to the Brave New World of Chase Card Speak. “Up is down. Day is night. Treating customers like dirt generates Loyalty to our company.”

Chase Decision Makers: Let us know how that works out for ya over the long haul.