Round three: Another Chip off the old Chase block

Filed under: Opinion | Tags:,

Chase wants to give me $100.

But if you’re thinking it’s hush money to silence my squeaky wheel about how utterly poor the bank’s customer service is, you’d be wrong.

Actually, it just further proof that my hypothesis about the company being so big that no one knows what anyone else is doing is correct.

You see, Chase sent me a nice tri-fold postcard offering me $100 for opening a checking account. Obviously word hasn’t filtered down to the direct marketing division that I’m not a big fan of the bank.

But perhaps I should reconsider. Especially when you consider that the “account is loaded with big conveniences and big savings.”

Here’s what I’d get:

Free access to over 14,000 Chase ATMs (and 4,000 branches nationwide)

Free Chase online bill pay

Free Chase debit card with zero liability protection

Free voice and e-mail alerts

No minimum balance required

No monthly service fee with direct deposit or five debit card purchases

No answers to and absolute stonewalling about any difficult questions if there is a problem with the account

Plus, $100 on us!

OK, I added the second-to-last bullet point on my own, but hey, you’ve got to admit that given their track record, it wouldn’t be surprising if the folks at Chase had included it on their own.

What makes my $100 offer even more amusing is that it came in the mail a couple of days after I received a form letter from Chip Hill, senior vice president of customer experience.

Because it was a form letter and Chip hadn’t even actually taken the time to personally sign it, it was difficult for me to believe that he actually cared.

Here’s what was printed above Chip’s laser-printed signature:

“You recently received a response from the Card Service’s Executive Office regarding a question or concern.” (Only if you count, “We can’t answer any of your questions,” as a response.)

“We understand your experience with Chase thus far may not have met your expectations and we want to prevent this from happening again.” (Not meeting my expectations is quite possibly the understatement of the millennium. Wanting to prevent it from happening again is total hogwash.)

“We are sorry it was necessary to escalate your concern to our department.” (Somehow, I’m just not detecting a lot of sincerity here.)

“We need your opinion on how well the Card Services Executive Office handled your concern once we received it in our office.” (Which means you obviously didn’t bother to read my previous columns, Chip.)

“Please give us a few minutes and complete the attached questionnaire, which asks about your experience with our department. (What, no offer of a free $100?)

“Since only a select number of customers were chosen to receive this questionnaire, your response is important to us.” (Yeah, and your response was important to me, but you blew me off. And if you want someone to feel “select,” take the time to actually sign the letter by hand, Chip.)

“Again, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience you experienced.” (How about skipping the apologies and actually answering some questions?)

“We are continuously working to ensure the cardmember issues are resolved at the first point of contact.” (Really? No more hanging up on customers? Not buying it.)

“A return envelope and postage have been provided.” (Wow. Chase’s generosity knows no bounds.)

No need to bore you with every question on the two-page survey, so here’s a summary.

The first three deal with my satisfaction with the way my issue was handled and with how my question or problem was addressed. My choices of answers range from “very satisfied” to “very dissatisfied.”

C’mon Chip, did you even take the time to review my complaint? I’ll answer that for you: “No.”

The next few questions deal with how many calls I had to make and how many days it took to resolve my question or problem.

Note to Chip: My problem was never resolved.

And then come my favorite questions:

Overall, how satisfied are you with the reputation of your Chase credit card?

Overall, how satisfied are you with the value of your Chase credit card?

Would you recommend Chase as a good credit card provider to a friend or colleague?

Yeah, right.

Chip, if you really do care and want to discuss my “question or problem” (and actually provide me with an answer or two), give me a call. My number’s below.

Anybody want to wager a free $100 checking account about whether my phone’s going to ring?

Mike Boyd is editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Mike.Boyd@csbj.com or 329-5206.