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Chase bank – With 5,000 branches there is no waiting to be screwed!

Posted by mandyf on January 27, 2012

Banks take security measures, Chase bank in particular, and they do so for their protection and the protection of their clients, but is there a point that security measures go too far? Is their a point where banks abuse “security measures” to try to extort people using their facilities? It’s a question that is being asked more and more often that deserves an objective look as to how they do this. Since Chase bank on Tech Drive in Norcross, Georgia is a bank I’ve personally heard many complaints about as well as had problems with them myself at times, we’ll use them as an example.

Banks charging a fee to cash a check that is drawn on their own institution isn’t a new concept by any means, but it is one that is catching on with the mega banks. Chase is an ardent proponent of this. Chase bank will charge anyone that does not have an account with them $6 or more to cash a check drawn on Chase. While that’s their choice to do, the way they handle people that do not have an account but are trying to cash a Chase check is problematic at the least.

At the Chase bank on tech Drive in Norcross, they have a habit of changing the rules midstream in order to make it as difficult as possible to cash a check drawn on them. Recently, a person trying to cash a Chase check at this branch was denied on the basis of insufficient proof of ID. The person had their valid driver’s license with their documentation from their local bank only a few miles away. Rather than wait 5 days to clear at her own bank, she chose to cash it immediately and then deposit it at her bank. Chase refused to cash the check.

She was told she needed her license and more ID to corroborate it. What she had with her aside from her license wasn’t good enough. They then spun it toward “..but if you open an account with us, you won’t have to pay to cash a check.” That didn’t work for her, the odd check from a Chase bank now and then wasn’t worth absorbing all the fees Chase charges just to keep an account open. The Chase teller had no answer for that. She saw a manager.

The manager recognized the woman, recalled cashing a check for her before in fact. She too said “Why not open an account with us?” She responded as she had before, but the manager said we can open your account right now and then you can cash all the Chase checks you want which posed an interesting question:

If the ID a person has is insufficient to cash a check, how is it then more than sufficient to open a checking account and get debit cards etc…?

After being asked for the name of the teller that refused to cash the check, and the manager’s name as well, they suddenly got very eager to cash the check. Suddenly, there had been a HUGE misunderstanding. That would be fine, but it wasn’t the first time, and she wasn’t the only person they did this to. It is serial behavior.

I went to the same branch a few months earlier with a check from a Chase bank to cash. I didn’t have an account there so I got the same story. I was near opening an account, she almost closed on me. Although my State ID, Federal ID and SSID card were somehow not enough to cash their own check, opening an account was no problem – better yet, they’d waive a part of my maintenance fees because I would have direct deposit. I did the math in my head real quick and realized that to “save” $6, I’d spend $96 per year. How was that “helping me?” I made a huge stink, threatened to blog it as I did the Dunkin Donuts across the road and suddenly – “we can cash that check and you just keep that $6!” They couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.

I have a neighbor that has had this problem, a woman at the soccer field – it’s not an isolated type of thing – but it is always a Chase bank. Chase even had someone arrested trying to cash their own check at a Chase branch because they said they thought it looked fake. When he waited over 15 minutes for an answer on whether they would cash it or not, he decided to leave. They decided that was suspicious behavior and sent the police after him.

This isn’t anything new. In 2009, Chase was refusing to cash their own checks and couldn’t provide any legitimate reason or documentation as to why. These aren’t million dollar checks or for tens of thousands of dollars, they are checks you would expect to see everyday – a few hundred bucks, maybe a few thousand. These aren’t so large the bank can claim they don’t have the cash on hand to satisfy them. Without rhyme or publicly explained reason, Chase just puts the screws to people.

Here’s what you can do though if you really want to screw with Chase bank – when you get a check drawn on Chase and they try to charge you $6 to cash it after they finally decide they are willing to part with someone elses money, tell them to call the person that  drafted the check and ask them if  THEY want Chase to charge you the $6 fee. If they say “NO”, Chase can’t charge it. If they are going to make you miserable, give them a dose back. Of course it may not be convenient for the person that wrote the check, but it is an option.

The bottom line is – Chase sucks. If you don’t have an account with Chase, you aren’t a real person in their eyes. If you don’t buy their line about opening an account with them to “save” on check cashing fees, they don’t care about you. If you’re a small business, you’re double screwed. The best way to avoid the problem is don’t deal with Chase and ask your clients for alternate sources of payment when possible if they are Chase customers. It’s not really about security, it’s about soaking people for all they can.


One Response to “Chase bank – With 5,000 branches there is no waiting to be screwed!”

  1. sallykwitt said

    You are so funny Amanda! Yes, the big banks are all doing everything they can to make extra money after WE Bailed them out!!

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