21 September 2009

Why Chase Sucks So Much More Than WaMu


Like most Americans, I was swept up in the financial turmoil of the past year. Aside from slicing my income to ribbons, one of the major ways it affected my life is in forcing me to switch banks from Washington Mutual to Chase. This was a particularly bitter piece of irony, since I had been with Chase for 10 years, and had fled to WaMu in 2007 to get away from the institution's vile, chilly, lying ways. (That's right. I knew banks lied long before the crash.) Now, here I am back at nasty old Chase.

The change has laid in stark terms the differences between the way the two banks serve their customers. Now, I know I ought to have no affection for WaMu, given the reckless way thye ran themselves, and a part of the economy, into the ground, playing fast and loose with the sub-prime mortgage game. But I'm just a working Joe. I experience WaMu the way most mugs do: at the bank branches, through one-on-ones with the tellers and other low-level bank grunts. And, on that basic level, WaMu had it all over Chase.

Some comparisons:

*WaMu had a weird round robin set-up of teller desks, corny in its way, but it allowed you to stand very close to the teller and have a more personal exchange with them. It was almost human.
*Chase tellers sit behind a thick plate of plexiglass.

*WaMu workers were evidently drilled by the company in matters of customer relations. They were always even-tempered, positive and made a genuine effort to seem warm and approachable.
*Every Chase teller I have ever encountered has had a frowning countenance and a demeanor so chilly as to invite frostbite. They seem to either hate their job, hate you or both. That they couldn't give a fuck whether they've given you good service is evident in their every move.

*WaMu workers always seemed anxious when the line for tellers got too long and often opened up new posts to relieve the back-up.
*Chase workers never glance at the line no matter how long the line gets. Often three people will hover around one teller station trying to work out a single transaction.

*WaMu, after initially checking the sources of checks, would make all the money from checks available upon deposit. With very large checks, there was sometimes a delay, but once, when I asked that a sizable check be made completely available the day I deposited it, the teller did so, overriding the old on the check. He did it because he knew me as a customer, no other reason.
*Chase still makes up bullshit excuses to give you just $100 or a portion of a check today, and the rest available the next day or later. When asked to explain, they never provide a cogent reason.

*WaMu had a form with which you could simultaneously make a withdraw and receive an official bank check.
*Chase makes you fill out two forms to accomplish the same act, as well as making you fill out your entire address every
time you make a deposit or withdrawal.

*WaMu did not charge a fee for a bank check.
*Chase charges $10 for a bank check.

*WaMu branches sometimes devoted a section of the bank to kids, provided toys and such.
*Chase doesn't give a damn about kids.

*Chase is purposefully polluted the City with branches.
*WaMu's signs were ugly, too. But at least they're all gone now.

19 comments:

Ken Mac said...

Wamu tellers and other office workers just seemed like regular folks. Citibank now ensconces its workers behind a thicker than usual glass partition, in front of a cool blue Citi logo. Yes, they are really robots -CitiBots.

IrishNYC said...

Try TD Bank (formerly Commerce). They're very similar in style to WaMu in banking experience.

Jill said...

I bank with the Chinese at HSBC and interestingly, my branch, which has changed names at least 3 times over the last 20 years (and I keep changing with them for convenience), the main staff has never changed (this is not a good thing.) I do like the HSBC online banking experience, plus I think I get about .2% interest, which is credited to my account on occasion, whenever they feel like it, with no discernible pattern.

Anonymous said...

chase tellers are clearly not as friendly, but for the most part, they aren't rude. if I find a branch that's particularly dumb, I'll just go to another one, as their are almost as many branches as there are mcdonalds. but wamu, while the experience was exceptional with most locations, did have a few bad one's the east village, bay ridge, and one in staten island was pretty crappy. a bank is a bank, and probably has more to do with the management of the particular location.

but yes, if it gets any worse, you could switch to TD which has the great training of their tellers, no bullet proof glass, extra long hours including sundays, and that super terrific change machine!

cara said...

TD Bank is OK, but I don't like green lollipops as much as red lollipops (from its days as Commerce). Re Chase, where I've banked for 20 years and have several accounts - only because I can't be bothered to change banks - they do delay clearance of deposits way too long and suck in myriad other ways (fees, etc.) And true, their tellers aren't friendly, but who has much to do with tellers anymore? That's what we have ATMs for.

breadchick said...

As a long time TD Bank(north or what ever they are this month) customer of over 30+ years, I would heartily recommend you DO NOT bank at TD Bank. They are as bad if not worse than Chase.

TD Bank has raised their rates to astronomical levels($70 bucks for an overdraft!!) and eliminated free checking even with direct deposit. If you have less than $100 bucks in your account even for a second they charge you $15 bucks per cycle. $50 bucks to stop a check. AND now my direct deposit doesn't actually clear my account for 24 hours thus is you have set up direct payment from you account guess what...yup, you can get overdrawn and drop below that $100.

I am closing my TD Bank accounts and moving them to a local bank where I live. Sure, I'm going to lose all those ATMs but my new bank doesn't charge me for using ATMs out of their network.

And yes, the red lollipops were much nicer and Commerce had cat treats and dog treats.

TD Bank sucks as much as Chase. And I know, I had WAMU too.

Anonymous said...

Chase just charged my wife 4.99 on her Oct. 2009 statement for an online bill payment that was 'almost' made in 2006. She only setup a payee, me, her husband. No check was ever sent. she spend an hour on the phone arguing the charge and eventually wore them down so they removed it.

Rose said...

-Wamu had 24 telephone banking, Chase does not, and when you get someone they are really strange, not entirely lucid, and frighteningly incompetent.
-If your child opened a Wamu school account without a state ID, they won't let your child access the account even if they come with two photo IDs (school and volunteer), a library card, a bank card from their new bank, and a belligerent mother.
-The credit cards they took over went up ten percent.
-They changed online banking so it's actually a hindrance rather than a tool to track spending.
-There are not enough chairs in the lobby to accommodate all of the people waiting to close their accounts.
-They will be exceptionally rude to you then turn around then try to get you to refer friends to open account (they would be more successful if they were having you sign up enemies).
-They removed the children's play area, so you get to hear fussy little monsters while waiting in line.
-The old WAMU employees that seemed somewhat happy now look anguished and apologetic
-Wamu used to support the arts and other causes in Seattle, Chase not only failed to take that part of the business over leaving a lot of organisations already counting on the support in the lurch, but they put on a huge expensive, advertisement campaign that sort of maligned Wamu at the very same time. Wamu wasn't perfect, but they were infinitely more customer friendly, popular, and successful outside of being wrapped up in a bad investment strategy.
I switched to BECU, a great local credit union. None of the other big players seem much better than Chase. BECU has better returns, fewer and lower fees than chase.

mandi said...

As a former Wamu employee and now Chase employee I'm here to clear up some of your ignorant comments.

FACT: WAMU'S "round robin stations" were awful. While they seemed a little more personal they did not work well for customer privacy. People also have no concept of a personal bubble and were always leaning over to get a glance at the computer screen. If someone is making a deposit into another's person's acct. they don't need to see what's on the screen. How professional is that?
FACT: Not all Chase bank's have glass partitions. Only the ones that are most likely to be robbed. What do you have against protecting the tellers that work at the bank? Is their safety not a priority to you?
FACT: WAMU was very much about having wonderful customer service, and spent a lot of time putting that mindset into their employees. Guess what? Those SAME employees transferred to Chase! Your dealing with the same people! They have that mindset still, it doesn't magically change cause of their new employers. Also, I HATED WAMU'S telephone customer service you couldn't hit zero to talk to a person. It was a nightmare, eventually it would just hang up on you! Now when you call if the prompts aren't working you can hit *0 and a person comes on to help you, and they are much friendlier than former WAMU telephone banking employees. (Those were the only people that didn't transfer to Chase)
FACT: I know my branch is very concerned when we get long lines. When a few people are looking at a computer screen to get it resolved, it's probably cause we're trying to have that wonderful customer service you keep whining that we don't have. Pick a complaint! Do you really mind waiting an extra minute so a person could get their question answered correctly?
FACT: Here is a clear cut answer for you on deposit availability: Your not getting your money until the bank gets their money. Ever notice the scanning machines the tellers run ur checks thru? They are digitally inputing the information so it can run electronically to whatever bank it is ur check is drawn off of. At midnight that bank either accepts or denies paying that check. If they accept it, it goes into ur account. Voila! If not it doesn't. There could be tons of reasons why a bank would choose not to pay a check. Stops payments, non sufficient funds, closed acct....etc. Why would Chase give you a ton of cash and HOPE that it goes thru. If it bounces, and ur account goes negative they also have to HOPE that you will come pay it off. Which rarely happens, especially in this economy. Imagine how fast that debt can add up. Not to mention it's all available for you to spend if you want to use ur debit card or write a check, because a deposit will ALWAYS clear before a withdrawal. It's just not for CASH withdrawal until the next day. Big deal, do you really need something so bad you can't wait one day and HAVE to have cash for it? Plus, all deposited cash, Chase/wamu checks, direct deposit, and government deposits are ALWAYS available right away. Always. Get direct deposit, what are you living in the stone age? You will never run into the funds availability problem again.
FACT: Who wants to try to discuss their money issues while trying to talk over a bunch of screaming kids? A bank is a professional place of business that isn't meant to be a daycare center. Get over it, we give out suckers.

All in all WAMU is gone get over it. Quit being a whiny pussy. They made bad decisions, they went under. Chase is actually a really good bank. They just have things in place that make it really easy on you if you do most of your banking with them, if you don't it's a little more difficult. What bank doesn't do that? A credit union? Good luck with those and their non-FDIC insured money!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

You know, Mandi, by telling me to "get over it," calling me a "whiny pussy" and complaining about "screaming kids," you don't exactly make me change my mind about the character of Chase employees. You sound exactly like the kind of staffers I'm complaining about. You may have be a WaMuer before, but you're a Chase person at heart.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Rose: Could you contact me at lostcitybrooks@gmail.com. I want to ask you something about Chase.

chris said...

Initially I was ok with Chase taking over WaMu and didn't see a big difference. Now i notice the same tellers that used to be WaMu tellers, no longer have smiles or have that "customer service" attitude as before. If I deposit inside the bank, everything is accessible instantly, especially checks. Now, I have to wait til next business day for it to be available. Same goes for depositing in ATM. With WaMu, I at least get the first $100 of my deposit available. Chase sucks. I miss my WaMu. don't get me started with the Credit Card section of complaints since the Wamu/Chase change.

John said...

Chase sucks. Big time. I hate the new site and everything. Suck overall.

I moved over to Bank of America. I like their online bill pay and portfolio manager. Awesome stuff.

Anonymous said...

Chase Sucks...Agree,
i modified my loan six months ago and have been making my payments to their modification Dept but now I get a call from a collection agency they sent me to collections, said I never made a payment, it felt so good to fax them over modification agreement and a copy of every check written and cashed by them. They need a tool to help get their heads out of there butt! I need an attorney, they have ruined my credit and
I have proof of never being late with a payment!!
Rebecca

Hana said...

Wow, that shithead who feels the need to throw around the word pussy as an insult sounds just like the guy that I had to go through to close down my Chase account today because they are vile, evil, despicable human beings and corporate greed monsters who charge fees for no reason other than -- we thought the check you deposited in the ATM could either be 1) fake 2) dated wrong 3) spelled your name wrong 4) had insufficient funds on the other side (which I had proof it did not) 5) had a hold or any other illogical reason but we can't refund your fee b/c we are a greed machine. You can try redepositing the check when you get it though and get charged $10 all over again and again not explain why it gets rejected.

By the way, stop using the word pussy as an insult, shit face. In case I wasn't clear before, you're insulting all women by trying to use it as an insult.

Anonymous said...

Yep I miss Wamu home loans anyway..
My wife and I have been sad Mortgage holders with Chase by accident.. We had a WAMU mortgage back in 96 that was transfered after the big mess and failure of WAMU. We have never been late with them, just on time before they could sick fees on us. The mortage is due on the 1st of course but the late fee is not assessed until the 16th. We purposely setup auto transfer of our payment for the 14th of the month before the payment is considered late. They seem to think that we need to be reminded every day after the 1st that our payment is due. We remind them that it is not late and no late fee is due. We pay the stupid mortgage unlike some of our friends and neighbors albeit just in time every month.. They seem to think that having some one call every day at least once literally to remind us starting on the 1st or the 2nd is appropriate and good business behavior. Even telling them we have it set up on the 14th does not work. They will call several times a day. Sadly I believe we will find some reason to sue them or do a strategic default since even paying the mortgage is not good enough for them. The people that call have meager english skills also and i believe my 5 year old could do better at calling people.

Point is Chase is obnoxious and even our second loan Ocwen does not even harass us.. Sad is that even Ocwen is smart enough to leave us alone since we pay consistently but Chase is not. If we default we will pay Ocwen and screw Chase if we can... Sad to say we will need to turn off the home phone or change our number because of Chase even though we are not deadbeats, work our asses off to fulfill the foolish committment we made while watching our neighbors buy new cars, take nice trips and not have to pay rent or mortgage for over a year.. Chase sucks and deserves some more bad loans....

Anonymous said...

Immediately upon Chases' taking over my WAMU account they declined payment just a few months in on a card using a payment method that I used regularly with WAMU. Instead of contacting me in a timely manner by email to let me know of the issue a letter arrived two weeks later. As I attempted to pay this a week and a half before the due date this of course was too late for the situation at hand. Chase used this instance to charge me a late fee, a returned payment fee, and an overdraft fee as the previous two fees brought my account over by a few bucks, total fees $120.00. Chase then used this as an excuse to bump my rates from 11.99% to 29.99% and when I went to dispute this with CHASE they continually deleted previous account email messages from my online account on this matter, that's right Chase makes you communicate with them entirely through your online account instead of sending out emails which allows them editing rights to all correspondence.

AnnitaB said...

I had my account since 1993 when Wamu used to be Great Western, I was happy, it was a friendly bank, I lasted less than a year when arrogant CHASE chased me away. In fact, I tall all my friends and acquaintances that mention to me they need to open a bank account about all my negative experiences with CHASE

Bea said...

I used to have 3 WaMu accounts, after it became CHASE and I started having problems with them, I closed them all out and went somewhere else, where the treatment is human. It would be too long to share all the bad experiences I had with CHASE, until I had enough. I am now happy with Suntrust Bank, I can trust them with my money.