Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Former Washington Mutual Cardholders Getting Snagged By Shifting Due Dates At Chase


If you're a former Washington Mutual cardholder -- now holding a Chase card -- you may want to check your due date. During the transition from Washington Mutual to Chase, which took place in early March, due dates on some credit-card accounts were moved up by as much as a week. The due-date change has resulted in a host of late payments for customers. Depending on balances, those late payments have resulted in late fees ranging from $29 to $39.

Chase is aware of the shift in due dates (and it knows that it occurred during the transition). Chase is not unsympathetic. Customers who are affected -- and who don't have a history of late payments -- are encouraged to call Chase and ask for a "courtesy adjustment." (Use that exact terminology: courtesy adjustment.) I'm told that in most cases, it should not be difficult to get a fee reversal. If you get a customer-service representative who seems reticent to help you out (read: you get a robot who won't deviate from the script), hang up and call back. You'll eventually find a representative who is willing to help you remedy the situation.

(UPDATE: it's quite possible that a change in the grace period may be the reason for the shifting due dates. WaMu cardholders had a 25-day grace period. The new Chase cards that replaced those old WaMu cards have a grace period of "at least" 20 days, according to a letter that was sent to WaMu cardholders back in February.)

I've heard from several readers who were affected by the date change. Most were caught off guard because they had become accustomed to WaMu's consistent due dates. Indeed, over the years, the due date on my Washington Mutual credit card never changed by more than a day or two. It's easy to get complacent when the due date is that consistent. Therefore, I can see exactly how customers got snared by Chase's date change.

Anyhow, that's my public-service announcement for the day. If the recent due-date change caught you by surprise -- and you ended up being late because of it (and you're not a serial offender when it comes to being late) -- give Chase a call. Meanwhile, if you do find that Chase is unwilling to work with you, after several attempts, please let me know. I want to monitor this situation closely.

Thanks!

38 comments:

  1. I've had a Chase card since 2002 (well... First USA --> Bank One --> Chase), and for some strange reason going from January to February '09, my due date shifted 5 days from 1/19 to 2/14.

    It would usually shift 1-2 days around the 20th, but never 5. Coincidentally (or not) I signed on to their low interest rate "fixed for life" BT offer a few months earlier.

    Either it was a total fluke or a ploy to get me to default on the terms by missing a payment.

    Hmmmmm....

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  2. Chris, if no one calls Chase to complain -- I am sure Chase would be just fine with that!

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  3. I focus on statement cut dates and pay just before. It would be difficult for me to get snared in this "trap".

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  4. Clutch, yep. You would be immune from it on that basis.

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  5. Yeah I didn't complain since, well, I caught it and paid it early. Actually, my BofA ebill pay caught it and set it to auto pay on the correct date. I just reviewed it and wondered why it was 5 days early.

    It mysteriously went back up to the 19th the next month. ::shrug:::

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  6. autopay is your friend. that way its never your fault. you should always be paying attention to your statements. we are all adults here come on.

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  7. Upon reminiscence, indeed, Washington Mutual was remarkably consistent. Closing date and due date rarely changed. Maybe one or two days shift on a rare month.

    With Chase, I know that I only have a 20 day grace period (as opposed to a 25 day period under WaMu). My statement closing date has moved to the first of every month (about a 3 day change, in my case). I personally like this arrangement better, so I hope they keep this way.

    Shawn: Autopay is not a panacea either. One screw up from Chase, or irresponsibility on the end-user, is all it takes for a cascading problem to brew too.

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  8. I just pay my bill in full the day after it cuts on the issuer's website...due dates mean nothing to me!!! If people want to keep living in 1989 and relying on the US Postal Service...I feel sorry for you!!!!!

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  9. I keep statement cut dates in a spread sheet. Depending on the situation, I'll either pay right before the statement cuts -- or soon thereafter. Consumers have to do a better job of monitoring their accounts.

    It looks like Chase is willing to give them a pass this time.

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  10. My due date with WAMU was the 16th of the month and now with Chase, my due date is the 11th of the month; which incidentally fell on a Saturday! I paid then when I received my statement so I wasn't affected at all. I do appreciate your alerting us to this change in due dates CM.

    I guess I am the only one who received a CLD from Chase on my WAMU card. I received a double whammy as they cut both my Platinum and WAMU credit lines. I immediately sent both cards to the shredder and have a few dollars to pay off my balances and then I won't carry a Chase card again, ever.

    The way they ratejacked the AARP people when they took over Bank One still remains in my memory bank also.
    CiifIcare

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  11. By the way, I think azntg's comment about the grace period explains the shifting due date. WaMu's grace period was 25 days. If Chase's is 20, that would explain why customers got 5 fewer days -- and why the date changed.

    Because I simply combined my WaMu card with Chase -- and then closed the old WaMu card -- I didn't have a need to pay close attention. But my guess is that some people never noticed the grace period difference.

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  12. Another helpful tip is if you use MS Outlook, set up statement cut dates as re-occurring "appointments" and tell it to remind you a day or two before. At a glance I can see when everything is hitting and am never surprised

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  13. They could have kept the due date and lower the float to 20 days by adding five days to the statement cut date!

    Chase will fix it if you call and ask, so they know they are partially responsible, so why don't they just do the right thing and fix it without having to be asked?

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  14. FLT, but of course they could have done that. But these banks are in the business of making money. Why would they want to do what you're suggesting?

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  15. Chase is also holding payments now for up to two weeks. I just had a payment held for seven days without explanation. They apply it to the balance but won't free up the credit limit. Total scam. No late payments ever, no problems ever. They can cut the grace period down from 20 to 13 days by doing this. Jerks.

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  16. Mark, did you post previously as an anonymous poster? Another reader said the same thing. Just checking to see if you're the same poster.

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  17. Chase will move you to a fixed date. You just have to call and ask.

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  18. Yep, they did same thing to me in Jan 09 - Feb 09...5 day difference...thing that really got me was I paid online 2 days before it was due with their "NEW" date...but they took 4 days to post it and got me for the 24.24% interest they raised it to (only had $100 something on it, but still, low blow) no late charge added either...I just paid off the card and haven't used it since,...just got my new Chase card to replace it and got 2 extra years before it expires. Oh boy, gee thanks Chase! Lower the rate to the 8% on my other Chase card and I may use it. Hope they read this.

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  19. I am a former WaMu cardmember who asked for and received conversion to a Chase Freedom. As part of that call, the rep asked me what I wanted my due date to be.

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  20. Since my WAMU card switched to Chase, I rarely use it. WAMU gave me a lower international fee, better grace period, and some sort of credit score. Chase gives me nothing. I went from charging 1000-8000 per month, and sometimes carrying a balance for 2 or 3 months max to never charging more than $25 every other month or every 3 months. I'll close the account as soon as I know I won't need credit for a few years.

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  21. I can honestly say that I am happy the Chase acquisition. I have gone from two WaMu cards with no rewards to two with Chase with decent rewards. The transition was very smooth and I have had nothing but good experiences with the CSR's.

    I do miss PFICO though.

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  22. I've been with Chase for about 9 years. With the exception of a rate jack some 3.5 years ago, I've been pleased. Rate jack was eventually reversed. My utilization was too high back then, so I deserved the rate hike.

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  23. I balance and pay as soon as the statement comes in the mail, which was last week. I thought the due date was odd, seemed a little early, too.

    The only time I pay attention to any grace period is when I'm saying it.

    ;-)

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  24. It may seem that Chase is giving you a pass. I however was late with my WAMU bill in January. It was due on December 31. I didn't confirm my scheduled payment and caught it immediately on January 2nd when it did not clear my account. I noticed the fee and they kindly took it off however when Chase got my account they raised my interest to 27% because "I defaulted" though by 1 business day. It is more than double my previous rate. I have never been late on this account in 3 years of having it or on any other account and they refuse to do anything for me. I have called and emailed. They told me I need to "pay on time for six months" - the previous 36 don't count and then they will see if I am eligible for a lower rate. I won't have this card - transferring it. So beware. Their courtesy adjustment seems kind but they aren't done with you yet!

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  25. Anon, thanks for the comment. Always nice to have a different take on things. I'll say this, though. At the beginning of the year, you were dealing with WaMu. They make the robots at Chase look human by comparison. Were it me, I would be calling Chase now. Maybe with the new regime, the outcome would be different. Or not. Just no way to know unless you give them a buzz.

    If you do happen to call, let me know if you are any more successful.

    Thanks for the comment, Anon.

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  26. Chase is also guilty of false statements in my opinion. I was a wamu credit card holder and was switched to Chase(along with a new 29.99% NON DEFAULT. . . good credit rating. . . interest rate). But they also lied to me about setting up an automatic payment. Set it up and specifically asked if I needed to worry about the first payment(even though I paid my bill earlier and didn't have even a minimum due). So of coarse my entire bill of $90 isn't paid and I email to ask why my automatic payment didn't go through. Answer: "AutoPay may take from one to two billing cycles." So in other words they were going to try to screw me on the next payment if i didn't check my balance in a month and then they could put me onto their bs 25% of expected wamu deliquent card holders list that they made up to make it look like they aren't really making a crap load of money off of the assets that they STOLE from wamu.

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  27. Re: "Chase is not unsympathetic. Customers who are affected -- and who don't have a history of late payments -- are encouraged to call Chase and ask for a "courtesy adjustment." (Use that exact terminology: courtesy adjustment.) I'm told that in most cases, it should not be difficult to get a fee reversal."

    I was caught off guard when my due date moved up 3-4 day from the usual WAMU. As a result my paymant was one day late.


    Below please find exact request and reply from Chase Customer DISservice. Sorry this is so long.


    PEC:36322
    Original Message Follows:
    ------------------------

    This is the second time I'm typing this message as I was apparently logged off the first time, and even though it said my message would be saved...it wasn't.

    I've already spent over an hour and a half on the phone with three reps and a "manager" with a very unpleasant disposition.

    My situation is this. I was switched from WAMU to Chase over two months ago. With Wamu I received updates regarding due dates. Having not heard anything I decided to check for myself only to find out that the payment was
    due yesterday. Further investigation showed a $39.00 late fee. In addition, I was told that that the possibility existed that my interest rate would increase as well.

    After repeated enquiries I was told that the late fee could not be reversd and that I would just have to wait and see about the interest rates.

    The last rep I spoke to finally told me that it was very unilkely my interest rates would increase as they had not done so already. She was certainly more helpful than the
    disgruntled "mangager" who hung up on me.

    I am currently on a teaching assignment in Mexico so I don't get statements via regular mail.

    I have done a lot of business with you over the past twenty years, have never made a late payment and have a very decent credit score. All I'm asking is that the late fee be reversed and assurances that my interest rate will
    remain the same.

    In the spirit of a smoother Wamu/Chase transition, I hope you can be of assistance.

    Thanks?..Jeff

    RESPONSE:

    Date: 04-11-2009 08:19:58
    From: Credit Card Support
    Subject: corr kana case#17608110-cm wants to be sure apr will not be affected by late pm t and also req lf to be remvd, rr to wamuapr...acorqj6
    Message:

    Dear JEFFREY,

    I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

    Our records indicate the late fee for $39.00 was charged in accordance with the terms of your Cardmember Agreement,and is therefore valid. If you have additional questions regarding the terms of your Cardmember Agreement, you may
    request a copy of this agreement.

    Additionally, the Account Agreement provides that APR increases may occur if a cardholder?s account is not kept in good standing. For example if an account is past due, overlimit, or has incurred a non-sufficient funds fee, one
    or both of the following may happen:

    1. An APR Increase on any account balances up to the disclosed maximum default APR.

    2. An end of any introductory or promotional APR.

    Unfortunately, we cannot stop this process. Please keep your account in good standing to help avoid APR increases.By doing so, your account may become eligible for future programs that may reduce your APR.

    If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center.

    Thank you,

    Meredith Partee
    E-mail Customer Service Representative

    1-866-892-9268

    So much for "courtesy adjustment". The end result was that my interest rate stayed the same but the late was is still on my current statement. I'm appalled. This is what you get after 20 years with them, no late payments, 2 previous accounts, a checking account and a car loan.....Jeff

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  28. I had the same problem...looked at all my statements since I got my Providian card 5 years ago....never has a payment been due before the last day of the month. This one was due on April 28th. 5 years and I got in a habit of logging in the day before the last day of the month which was USUALLY 4-5 days before the actual due date. I explained all this to the two reps I spoke to. Absolutely no leeway. I've had trouble with chase before. They suck. Why are we bailing these jerks out? Anyway, my credit is shot allready from other stuff so they'll get pennies on the dollar when they sell my account to a collector and I will pay that collector pennies on the dollar. Oh well...so much for keeping my oldest credit card opened. Chase is gonna run themselves out of business if they keep this crap up.

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  29. Guys, sorry to hear about this Chase crap. I'd keep calling back until you find someone with a heart. They exist.

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  30. Reps with heart may exist but not in terms of changing our situation. Beofr emy accoutn was moved over to Chase my due date was on the 3rd of every month. Now that it has been changed it is on the 28th. I'm the person who pays all their bills at once on the 1st of every month, so naturally when I just happend to go into my account today, I noticed a late fee of $39 was applied yesterday. The $39 late fee was on a minimun payment due of $10 as I have a low balance on this card and try to keep it close to paid off each month. In addtion, any requested date change will not take affect until the following statement period, so keep an eye on that if you request a new due date.
    I called Chase three times. The first I talked to a rep who argued that it was well within their guidelines to charge the fee and the only time they remove fees is in bank error which this was not. The second rep I spoke to had a heavy Indian accent and was very clearly reading from a script as e repeated the same thing about 5 times. The 3rd was a nice woman who explained that she noticed I had called twice already and that their recent fee guideline changes prevents them from any kind of courtesy adjustments. She said they had the ability to do before but that they no longer can or will consider it. Were out of luck. Our taxes are going to bail out this company and in the meantime they are also setting us up (stealing) with ridiculous fees, $39 on a $10 bill, come on.

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  31. Anon, thanks for posting. I may do a follow up to this post. Just to let everyone know how Chase is handling this.

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  32. By the way, for those of you who are not having any luck, please shoot me a note at plastic101@gmail.com. You can give me your first names in the email. Just want to personalize what I write (assuming I do write).

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  33. I just tried to get a courtesy adjustment and was rejected. Due to my previous bad experience with these bandits, I will close my account. I would highly recommend that everybody who got tricked do the same.

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  34. Same thing. Late by 5 days after WAMU Chase change. Never late prior. My bank receives automated billing from WAMU. Chase assured it would remain the same. No paper or automated bill was sent. I only caught it because my banks automation sent me an email notifying me that they hadn't received the bill yet. Called for fee reversal. They said they had nothing returned to them as undeliverable and they aren't responsible for my banks error. Fair enough. The next month it works fine. I've since moved my balance to another company. They will never get another drop of interest from me.

    My suspicion is that the lack of billing was a deliberate attempt to siphon some additional capital from the WAMU aquisition. I am aware that they are within their rights since the burden to pay isn't dependant upon being billed. However, it's a very slimy area that they are now playing in. I simply choose to not do business with them any longer. I advise the same to anyone else. Sure they got their $39 dollars and one month of 29.99% apr but that is the last bit of money they will ever see.

    Simply put. Complain with you money. When enough do that companies that operate like this will feel the pain.

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  35. rachel steele in arlington texas

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  36. Not only was I giged for late payments (aren't they supposed to notify us of changes like this) but in the transition all of my business checking auto-payments disappear (I couldn't see or modify them but they continued to debit my account). I had to call online tech support and the rep had to talk to his super to find out what was happening before the "ghost" payments were cancelled.

    I've loved WAMU and everyone in the branch knows me, but I have to move both my personal and business accounts if they won't clear this up!!

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  37. Calling all lawyers - there maybe a class action case in this!!!

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