I just made some phone droid’s day

By | July 26, 2006

Chase keeps sending me these checks to get me to enroll in one of the various services they offer, like their “Chase Fraud Protector” service.  The deal is that depositing the check causes you to be enrolled in the program automatically, and then if you cancel within a month they don’t actually charge you anything.

I have no interest in using any of these services, but I’m not going to turn down free cash, so I usually deposit the check, wait a few weeks, and then cancel the service.  When I do that, I usually make up some innocuous reason why I’m canceling (e.g., “I’ve thought more about it and decided I don’t really need this service”).  This time around, I decided I had nothing to lose by being honest, so the conversation went something like this:

“Would you mind telling us why you’re canceling your Chase Fraud Protector membership?”

“Well, can I be honest with you?”

“Of course.”

“As long as they keep sending me the $15 checks, I’m going to keep depositing them.”

“Um… what?”

“Chase sent me a check for $15, told me that if I deposited the check I’d be enrolled in the service automatically, and told me that if I canceled within a month, I wouldn’t have to pay anything.  Why should I turn down free money?”

She thought about it for a second and then cracked up.  Apparently, she didn’t know that’s how Chase gets people to enroll in the service.  She said no one had ever told her before that’s why they were canceling.  She chuckled for the rest of the call.

Near the end, I told her, “You know, you can feel free to tell them to stop sending me the checks,” to which she responded, “No, no, that’s quite alright.”

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11 thoughts on “I just made some phone droid’s day

  1. Dee

    Chase just loves to play games. I got a new card from them and they strong armed me into Fraud Detector membership when I called to activate the card. I said yes only to get them to hang up. Immediately I started to see weird charges of 10-20 dollars, that I knew I didn’t make. I would call and the charges would be taken off my bill, but in the 30 some years I have had credit cards, I have never had anything like this happen. I closed that account, went with Capital One and have had no problems since. As stated above their Fraud detection Service is a FRAUD!

  2. r

    I called CHASE when I feared a problem with what turned out to not be a questionable company. I was stupid enough to sign on, since the seller said that ” you can cancel anytime and get a full refund of all you paid in at any time.” Like all too good to be true stories, this was BS and when I called to cancel I got a nice person who had no idea what I was talking about and that they only cancel the last (which turns out to be current) month. She said she would inquire above-sure she will.
    My wife said we had that anyway built in with VISA plus we also get something like it for free with Discover.
    I told the lady that I guess I needed fraud detection to cover their fraud detection program.
    It is bad enough everyone is trying to rip us off, but to have the credit card company try also is a bit tough to take. This program only seems to be worth it if you run a company- did some google research a few months after enrolling to see if it was worth it.
    Thanks for the information folks who typed in already.
    Now, worse of all, I have to admit to my wife that she was right again! 🙂

  3. Chris

    I did the same thing you did. Made a profit of about $80 (have 4 or 5 credit cards with Chase). I thought it was a nice payback for all the fees Chase has charged me in the past. However, the CSR wasn’t quite as understanding. I told him I wanted to cancel because I already have the service thru Discover Card (which I do). He told me flat out to stop cashing the promotional checks. So I told him that I didn’t realize Chase’s service was similar to the one I had with Discover (sort of a half truth). In which he told me he highly doubted that. I’ve never had a CSR get so pissed off, it was like he was writing the promotional checks to me! He’s probably had a lot of these calls and couldn’t take it anymore. I got his name, Scott at extension 5321, so if anyone gets him to cancel your account, be warned, he’s gonna blow!

    If Chase wants to keep clogging my mailbox with their promotional checks, I will keep cashing them. If they don’t want me to cash them, then don’t send them to me.

  4. Chase Employee # 2

    Well, said Chase Employee, I was going to give my 2 cents worth, but you pretty much summed up everything I wished to say. We cannot sign up the cardmembers for something unless they give us the okay. And something else you should know, our calls are monitered. Our sales, too. Each sale is listened to and if we give missinformation or enroll someone without permission from the cardmember, the sale is void. It’s cancelled and we do not receive payment from the sale. Which means each sale is a valid sale…somehow in that conversation you had..even if you said no the first 3 times…you at some point (maybe just to get them off the phone) said, “send me a brochure.”

    If you don’t want it…Keep saying no. Hang up if you have to. I take no once and drop it. Some dont. Hang up if they dont.

  5. Chase Employee

    I love reading the stuff on chase’s third party charges (that’s what we call them, as these services aren’t even given out directly by chase, but external companies in a business agreement with the bank). Just for your contemplation, here are the procedures 2 procedures that cardmembers go through.

    1) Call Chase Credit Card Services. Get transferred at least once, if not twice in an attempt to get to Chase’s third party que. Once in the third party que, customer informs CMS rep. they want to cancel/they never signed up for (insert third party charge here). CMS rep gives scripting, notes account card memeber called, provides direct number to third party company, then transfers, or asks card member to call company directly during company’s business hours. Card member speaks to comany, request service to be cancelled. Depending on how the card member phases what they say, the service may be cancelled, refunded, cancelled and refunded, or nothing done at all. All things said to the third party comany must be explicit, never with a phrase like “maybe” or “I’ll think about it” as this ammounts to the third party advisor as “yes, I’ll keep it” as they are getting measured on how many customers they “retain” (the more the better).

    2) Card member calls third party directly. All the same stuff from the point the CMS rep transferred the card member to the third party company happens just as it would have. Everything before this point, does not. What does it matter?

    It matters A LOT.

    One option that Third Party Que advisors have is to cancel third party services outright without speaking to the company themselves. In addition, they can get one charge refunded. However, the draw back to this is the cancellation can take up to 28 days to process and the refund can take up to two billing cycles. This option is only to be used if

    a) the cardmember has already contacted the company and this has been noted in the account.

    b) the cardmember is irate, and the CMS rep gives in (most of us don’t, as we are used to it; if a customer gets upset with us, we just get even harder to deal with, and may either transfer you directly to the third party company, transfer you to a different and incorrect department, or just completely release your call, and make you start over again, so be nice to the reps; they’ll be more helpful).

    As for why I posted this, I just felt like clarifying the bank’s process on cancellation of these services. Many of you mention that you were told that you did not call about a cancellation on a previous occassion; are you sure of which advisor you were speaking to? A Chase advisor or a third party company advisor? Because one can’t see the other’s computer information. I have no idea if you spoke with Fraud Detector unless you had called Chase about the issue first. In addition, how did you word your cancellation? Did you request a confirmation code? Did you write it down if you did? How about a letter request? All of these are tools that can back the third party company advisors into a corner and keep you from being added to his number of retainees. They will have to divulge this information, and if their systems are anything like the systems we have (and I’m sure they are) an action must be processed in order to produce a code, and most advisors will worry about the handle time to much to worry about making a code up.

    So how to keep from getting signed up? Easy.


    Before you sign/initial ANYTHING, read it, whether it’s your application, your card, your statement, your bill stub, etc. Don’t just press the same old number routine when using Chase’s phone system (there are ads in there, and hitting a button at the wrong time can inadvertently sign you up for these services). Watch what you click on Chase’s website (more ads there, some scroll down the screen with you, or pop up off the page). If a telemarketer calls you or an advisor recommends a service, don’t say iffy words like “maybe” or “send me information”. These are once again, equivalent to “yes, sign me up!” to the people who are getting paid per person they enroll. All that is necessary is to calmly, politely, and firmly tell them no, even if it does take 2 or 3 times, including to “just sending a brochure”. Keep in mind that getting upset and pissed off at the person on the other end for doing there job (trying to sell you shit) is a good way to get yourself signed up for things you didn’t want. Another important think is to inform your authorized users of these services, and make sure non authorized users know not to talk to telemarketers regarding credit card services and benefits. Anyone listed as an authorized user on an account can legitimately sign up for these services. It is not necessary for them to be the primary card holder, a secondary/joint card holder, or even a card holder at all (an authorized non user). If their name is on the account, they can sign you up for it. Along the same line, if you’re married to John Doe and you have a ten year old kid named John Doe Jr. who answers the phone, John Doe Jr. can inadvertently sign up the services on their parents card, as there is not age restriction on authorized users (I’ve seen 10 year olds put on accounts by there parents, no joke). In addition the BEST thing you can do is immediately request to be put on Chase’s Do Not Share and Do Not Solicit lists (there are two seperate lists) so that the bank does not give out/sell your information (share) and does not contact you with various offers (solicit). They each take 90 days to opt out of as the bank’s marketing department prepares it’s mailings about 90 days in advance.

    and the number one way to help yourself to not get screwed by these services is:

    READ YOUR STATEMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you do get signed up for these services, you’ll know it much faster and get more of your money back if you read each and every statement you get. This really should be a no brainer as it will also alert you to true fraudulent charges (IE, someone swiping your card in San Francisco when you live in New York). With the monthly billed services, the third party companies can only refund up to three months, and this is mostly reserved for their supervisors, whereas chase’s third party que advisors can only waive off one charge. With many of the charges that only bill a large, single annual fee, it must be called in within 30 days, or you’re SOL. If you check your statement every month, you will save yourself alot of time, pain, and money in the end when it comes to these charges.

    Okay, enough ranting. Read. Learn. Do.

  6. arntzville

    Have you seen this?!


  7. Anonymous

    Customers beware!
    Chase Fraud Detector is a fraud and a scam itself!
    I received a telemarketing phone call advertising this “fraud detection” program and they had the nerve to ask me for personal/account information (over the phone). I specifically rejected the offer and asked that no changes be made to my account. I was informed that a package containing more information will be mailed to me.
    When the package arrived, it informed me that I had already been enrolled into the program! This is fraudulent behavior and it’s shamelessly promoted as fraud detection!
    What do they expect? That customers should pay ‘protection’ to the big sharks like Chase in order to keep the smaller sharks (like criminals, identity thieves) away? This is textbook blackmail/extortion, and it’s illegal.
    I have contacted their support (1-800-621-0361) and I have canceled and asked for a written confirmation.
    I am looking for other places to report this in order to increase the awareness of the customers and hopefully to engage the authorities.

  8. jik Post author

    Letter I just sent to their dispute address:

    To whom it may concern:

    On July 9, I deposited into my bank account a $15 check you sent me which caused me to be enrolled in your Chase Fraud Protector program.

    On July 26, I called the telephone number listed in the program literature, 800-621-0361, and asked for my membership to be canceled. The woman to whom I spoke said she had canceled my membership as requested.

    Having not received written confirmation that my membership had been canceled, I called the same number again today, August 24, and asked again for my membership to be canceled. The man with whom I spoke insisted repeatedly that I had not called previously to cancel my membership. This is simply not true; I have a written record of having called on July 26 and canceled the membership. I do not appreciate being told that I’m lying because “the computer says so.” Believe it or not, it is possible for computers to make mistakes.

    I was once again assured that my membership had been canceled, and I hope that this time it is true. However, when I check my credit card activity, I see that I was charged $7.99 on August 22 for Chase Fraud Detector membership.
    Please reverse this charge. It should not have been made, because I called and canceled my membership on July 26.


    Jonathan Kamens

    Letter I just sent to their customer service address:

    To whom it may concern:

    I am writing to complain about the way I was treated today by a customer service representative for your Chase Fraud Detector program.

    I recently enrolled in the program, and then called on July 26 to ask for my membership to be canceled. I know for a fact that I called the correct number (800-621-0361) on July 26 and that I was told by the woman who helped me that she had canceled my account. I have a written record of having made the call.

    I realized today that I’d never received written confirmation that my membership had been canceled, so I called the same number again. The man who answered the phone claimed that I had not called on July 26. I informed him that I had a written record of having made the call to the correct number on that date and of having been told that my membership had been canceled. He insisted repeatedly that this was impossible because the computer didn’t say I’d called.

    I found his treatment to be rude, and I told him so and asked to speak with his supervisor. “I am the supervisor,” he said, and refused to transfer me.

    I said to him, “Look, I see no point in arguing about this any further. I just want to cancel my membership.” He responded, “Certainly, sir, that’s where I was heading, but I just want to be clear that you didn’t call us before to cancel it.”

    At this point I confess that I finally lost my temper and raised my voice. I said, “I really don’t appreciate being told that I’m a liar because `the computer says so.’ Computers make mistakes, you know.”

    He responded, “Have a nice day,” and hung up on me.

    Treating customers like idiots is not acceptable. Telling customers they’re liars because “the computer says so” is not acceptable (computers do make mistakes, you know). Persisting in arguing with a customer rather than finding a way to defuse the situation is not acceptable. Hanging up on customers is not acceptable.

    While we’re on the topic…. You keep sending me these checks, and I keep cashing them and then canceling my membership. I’m willing to play that game for as long as you’re willing to keep sending me the checks, but unless you want to keep sending me free money, you might want to consider putting me on the list of people to whom you don’t send these promotions.


    Jonathan Kamens

  9. jik Post author

    Of course, they charged my credit card on August 22. Looks like I’m going to have to write a letter to Chase to complain. Interestingly, they won’t allow this type of charge to be disputed through their Web site.

  10. jik Post author

    A couple additional interesting points about this story…

    I got another “deposit this to join the service” check on July 26. They seem to be coming more often.

    Somehow, the woman I spoke to on July 26 didn’t actually cancel my membership. I called today to cancel again, and the man with whom I spoke insisted that I’d never called to cancel. I repeatedly informed him that his records were in error because I was quite certain that I’d called on July 26, and he repeatedly insisted that that simply wasn’t possible because the computer didn’t say I’d called. I told him I felt that he was treating me rudely and asked to speak to his supervisor, and he told me that he was the supervisor and refused to transfer me. I told him in exasperation that I didn’t really want to argue with him about this any further and I just wanted to cancel the account, and he said, “Certainly, sir, that’s where we’re heading, but I just want you to know that you never called us before now to cancel this account.” At this point, I confessed that I raised my voice and told him that I did not appreciate being told that I was wrong merely because “the computer said so,” and he said, “Have a nice day,” and hung up on me. I called back and confirmed that at least he had, in fact, canceled the account.


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