Being the financial genius that I am, I find myself forever on the raggedy edge of foreclosure, bankruptcy and complete and utter failure when it comes to money. Needless to say this has caused me a great deal of stress, which has been good for the local Large & Tall Clothing industry (incidentally, I’m only 5’6”), but has not been good for me or my family.
A while back after receiving several Overdraft Fees in a row from Chase Bank, with whom I have enjoyed having a checking account with since they bought out Washington Mutual, I thought I could help remedy this by signing up for their email alerts. It still hasn’t occurred to me that the real solution is to live within my means, but whatever dude, don’t judge me. So I signed up for the email alerts and wanting this to be a success I entered the email address I monitor the most, which is my work email address.
Two weeks ago I had a terrible bout of “I’d rather die than go to work”. Not wanting to die, I missed a day of work. Upon my return I found 3 emails from Chase Bank telling me I was overdrawn. I then realized I had an even better “email” option than my work email address. I went to Chase.com to the email alert area to change my address to my cell phone, so that they could just send me the alerts in the form of text messages.
Once there I realized there were many other things I could have it alert me to other than just being overdrawn. I set it up to tell me when my balance was below a certain level, when ATM withdraws occur, when debits greater than a certain amount occur, and it also gives a daily summary of activity. I thought this would be great.
Now besides overeating, stress also makes it difficult for me to sleep so I found it incredibly annoying when Chase started sending me text messages at 3AM. The first night I got 4 of them between 3AM and 5AM. And the problem is still not solved because what good does the knowledge that you are overdrawn do you at 3AM when the bank doesn’t open till 9AM (and you don’t have any cash to deposit to cover the overdraft anyway but that’s a different matter).
The messages come at irregular times as well. A flurry of them comes in the middle of the night and then nothing for days. I withdraw money from an ATM and I literally don’t have my window rolled up and I get the text message telling me that money had been withdrawn from an ATM. I got one the other day that said I had insufficient funds to cover a debit which for the moment wasn’t true at all so I’m thinking it’s a late one from a couple of weeks ago.
The tone of the messages is starting to get a little creepy as well. “You have insufficient funds”. “Your account is overdrawn”. “You’re a loser.” “We really wish you would consider banking with somebody else”. I have no idea what to make of the ones of gotten in the last 2 days though. “They know”. “They’re laughing at you”. “Show them whose boss”. Needless to say, faster than you can say “Son of Sam” I went and unchecked some of the options in my email alerts.
I think email alerts are a good idea and for that Chase gets 2 stars. They lose a couple of stars for being inconsistent and inconvenient in their delivery. I think Chase is a good bank to bank with so I’ll give them another star. Overall then I give Chase Bank’s Email Alerts 3 Stars. If you’ll excuse me I’m going to go eat a slice of cherry pie (after I spread some peanut butter on it) and hopefully all my financial pains will go away.
Friday, April 16, 2010 JustJim