October 7th, 2006

8-pointed Star

A complaint about Chase Mastercard

Just the other day mbumby brought up the topic of credit card fees. At that time I suggested making payments by phone, saying that at least three of my cards allowed telephone payments without assigning extra fees. That's changed -- in with this month's statement was a notice stating that effective October 15, the fee for making payment by phone through the automated voice response unit (VRU) will be $9.95 per payment. Electronic payments through chase.com, however, remain free of charge.

I don't get it. Both phone and internet payments are automated and, presumably, don't need intervention by a human, so why is there now a charge for making a phone payment? jebra suggests this is a ploy to move cardholders to electronic statements. That's actually my fear. I like paper statements -- I write on mine when I'm doing the reconciliation and I like having them show up in the mail. It's a hassle to have to remember to visit a website, log in, and print my own copy. Maybe they're hoping I'll forget and then they'll make money on late fees? Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
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