I have an extensive relationship with JP Morgan Chase Bank but when running into an issue with wire services, a crack was exposed in otherwise stellar customer service and it’s concerning.
Don’t Get Me Wrong, I Like Chase
Many travelers like me utilize the bank for their excellent Chase credit cards. Over the years, my relationship JPMorgan Chase Bank (NA) has grown to a variety of products including savings accounts, business credit cards, and even Chase Private Client checking. I have a number of business accounts with the bank and to this point, I have been a happy customer.
The bank has been an essential tool for me and my family, but especially also for my businesses. I contemplated not writing this post at all because outside of one particular area of the bank, they’ve done fantastically.
But my experience with Chase Wire Services has been so appalling that I can’t possibly ignore it anymore.
Chase Wire Services Customer Service Is A Problem
One of my businesses has staff in Armenia and I have well documented that here. I have transferred between my Chase account and my corresponding account in that country numerous times so that I can distribute to contractors. I have made this transfer more than a dozen times, every one of them has been initially delayed, but then arrived sometime within the next 2-3 days. While I don’t love the fact that such regular transactions are first delayed 100% of the time and that I can’t accurately predict when they will ultimately arrive, they have all made it eventually.
In early August, I made the same drop-down wire transfer I always have. As always, it was delayed but this time it never arrived. What’s worse, Chase showed this transfer as completed. We gave it a few days, and then inquired further. Here are some steps and events we’ve taken along the way:
- Branch Meetings – I’ve met with multiple branches and multiple account executives, managers, and support staff. I’ve spent roughly 12 hours of my time and Chase staff’s time in this effort.
- Secure Messages – I have sent a number of secure messages, the “only” way to communicate with Chase Wire services is through secure messages through the app or website. (What does an old-school luddite do? Nothing, they literally have no way to communicate with wire staff during an issue)
- Branch Escalations – I have been dealing with the same “Jessica” who is calling on a recorded and monitored line, and she calls daily to tell me that Wire Services has done nothing. She was calling weekly but after week three, I wanted her to call me every day because I figured that if she or her boss looked at how much time was being spent on this issue, something would get done. We talk every day, and I was wrong. After about a dozen or so calls, they finally researched a successful transfer but not the one in question. Cool.
- Twitter – I’ve reached out
Everyone at Chase claims that the wire department doesn’t have a phone neither for internal purposes nor for customers to connect with them. I’ve heard everything from security concerns to thousands of open but unfilled positions at the bank due to COVID as a reason why the wire department literally doesn’t have a phone.
When I follow the instructions and use secure messages, the bank claims that they cannot reach anyone at the destination bank (incorrect, they have not contacted them, we have agents there.) They have researched the wrong wires. They have marked the case as closed and resolved as the money was delivered – though it obviously was not and I can prove that. They suggested that the recipient (me) was lying and that it had actually arrived.
Whether it’s COVID (it’s a little long in the tooth to still play this one), or security, this approach is not working. The copy-and-paste answers from the secure message team don’t address the problem, they often don’t even address the right transfer. Branch staff is so helpless that it makes me lose confidence in my entire Chase relationship.
I actually suggested that I should take Chase to small claims court. Even if I would lose, it would still get the attention of their legal staff who might take out a calculator and figure out that their time is worth more than either just actually investigating what happened or giving me the money back that they said was wired but wasn’t. At least one branch manager said I should do just that.
It really isn’t this hard to send wires. In fact, I used my Chase debit card to send a Moneygram and the money was there instantly for about the same fee. No delay. No waiting. If I have an issue with Moneygram, I can connect with their staff online through chat and resolve the issue.
The escalations agent I deal with stated that similar issues take an average of two months to resolve (which we have already crossed) and that blows my mind. How is this profitable for the bank?
The bigger issue for me is that even if this failed transfer is returned as it should be (it’s been recalled and “is being sent back to me” for several weeks) I can’t rely on Chase to send the money a) on time, b) predictably, c) and be assured it will arrive ever, or d) if something goes wrong that they will make it right.
What’s The Solution?
The solution is fairly simple.
- The wire team needs to be contactable at least internally.
- If secure messages are going to be the way consumers communicate, Chase needs to respond to the issue.
- The wire team has to be open to investigating the matter.
- The wire team has to be held accountable if and when they make an error. That’s not happening because I can prove they’ve made an error and there’s no one at Chase that can hold them to account.
Archaic problems like this will be why cryptocurrencies actually take off more than anything else. There’s no excuse for this in the modern era at all. The bank has all of the tracking information and none of the gumption to simply track it and correct the problem.
If Jamie Dimon had any clue as to the experience I have had (and likely many, many others) I have no doubt he would do something about it right away. If his nephew had a wire go awry and told him over a Labor Day BBQ (this issue was already a month old by then), he’d be appalled and something would be done. Instead, neither branch reps, escalations, nor wire services can seem to get it together. I am too small of a customer to care about, so maybe it’s time I find a bank that will help me out when they make a mistake. What else can one do? My businesses, customers, and contractors deserve better than Chase feels bothered to deliver.
What do you think? Have you had transfer issues with Chase? What did you do about it?