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Tuesday, June 18, 2024   

Chase Bank Tries to Pull a Fast One (Conversation 1)
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

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Part 1: First Rep removes the overlimit fee and argues about the fee.

Rep: "Card member services. This is Ms. Beers, how may I help you?"

Scott: "Hi, what was your name again?"

Rep: "Ms. Beers. How can I help you today?"

Scott: "Alright. Well I’ve got a question about my account."

Rep: "Okay, let me have your name."

Scott: "Scott Bilker."

Rep: "Okay Mr. Bilker, how can I help you today?"

Scott: "Okay, umm, why do I have this overlimit fee?"

Rep: "Because you are over your limit."

Scott: "Okay. How did that happen?"

Rep: "You did a balance transfer for $12,500."

Scott: "Yeah."

Rep: "Also there is a balance transfer fee of $50."

Scott: "Umm hmm."

Rep: "And that took you over your credit line. Your credit line is only $12,500."

Scott: "Right. Okay well, you see I think that’s an error because I have the letter from Chase. You know I used one of these balance transfer checks Ms. Beers. It says these checks maybe used for any amount up to your available credit line. What was my available credit line before I wrote that check?"

Rep: "Up to. Your credit line is only $12,500 sir."

Scott: "Yes, but these checks may be used for any amount up to your available credit line. My available credit line was $12,500, I wrote the check for $12,500."

Rep: "That’s the credit line sir, and of course you know you are going to go over your credit line. You can’t take it all off of there, you’ve got to leave something there for the fee…"

Scott: "Uh, listen…"

Rep: "Also for the finance charge. I did give you back the $29 overlimit fee."

NOTE: Notice how she removed the charge without me even asking!

Scott: "Okay."

Rep: "It’s already been deleted. But you should have left a little room there for finance charges and also for the fee."

NOTE: She keeps blaming me for following the directions in the letter!

Scott: "Don’t you think the letter should say ‘You should leave a little room there. You shouldn’t write the checks up to your credit limit, maybe up to your credit limit minus the fee.’"

Rep: "Okay, but the fees are in the letter also."

Scott: "Yes, but it says these checks may be used for any amount up to your credit line. Doesn’t that give you the impression that you can write the check, well, up to your available credit line?" (Pause) "Hello?"

Rep: "Sir, it’s in the letter. Okay, again you used your whole credit line, of course you are going to go over your credit line if…"

Scott: "I know, but I am just concerned about the wording. I mean, if it said…"

Rep: "Mr. Bilker, if you weren’t sure about how much you should use on the checks you can always call us, 24 hours."

NOTE: No need to call because the letter said I can write the check up to the limit.

Scott: "Right. Well it was very clear, I mean it said up to the credit line. I know you removed it and I appreciate that, but I just want a little clarification of the writing there. Because, you know, I don’t know what to believe anymore. I mean, it said…"

Rep: "Sir, you wouldn’t take your whole credit line. If you know your credit line is $12,500 and you go over that, and you take that whole amount it is going to go over."

Scott: "It doesn’t…"

Rep: "You can go 'up to,' and you should never take the whole credit line because, yes, you will go over and receive the $29 fee on that."

Scott: "I just don’t see where it says that. Like even in the fine print here it says ‘balance transfer check amounts may not exceed your available credit line. It doesn’t say valid balance transfer check amounts and charges may not exceed. It says the check amounts."

Rep: "It told you not to exceed the whole credit line Mr. Bilker."

Scott: "Well, no. It says the check amounts, the check amounts, not the…"

Rep: "You go over the $12,500…"

Scott: "I didn’t. I wrote it for $12,500."

Rep: "Well, it’s $12,500, you took your whole credit line. That’s going to take you over the credit line."

Scott: "But it said I can use up to my available credit line."

Rep: "It says 'up to,' sir, it doesn’t say take the whole $12,500."

NOTE: Talk about double-talk! 

Scott: "Up to means… Well you know what, I know you waived the fee and that’s great, but I’d like to talk to a supervisor about this."

Rep: "Not a problem, hold on."

Scott: "Thank you."

Part 2: Supervisor argues about the fee

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