Chase is ruining Amazon’s good name

A couple years ago, I switched my Wells Fargo MasterCard to an Amazon Rewards Visa card. Unfortunately, Amazon’s Visa card is managed by Chase, who has no idea how to run a business, build a web site or provide customer service.

The complaints piled up in my mind, but it wasn’t until I returned from my overseas trip that I was aggravated enough to write them down.

Here’s the letter I sent to Jeff Bezos:

Hi Jeff,

I have been a customer of Amazon’s for a decade. I’ve been very satisfied with the products I’ve ordered from Amazon and the customer service I’ve received. I’ve purchased products directly from Amazon, from other vendors who use Amazon’s web interface and from storefront merchants.

Three years ago, I re-evaluated all of my banking relationships. When picking a no-fee rewards card, I considered two options: Amazon and REI. I chose Amazon.

I’ve been quite disappointed with Chase. My problems with them fall in to four categories, the last of which was disturbing enough to prompt me to write.

  1. The process for redeeming rewards certificates is broken. Here’s how it works:
    1. I spend enough money to earn an Amazon gift certificate
    2. They mail me a paper gift certificate
    3. I enter this information in to the Amazon web site
    4. I recycle the gift certificate.

    Paper? Really? What a waste. At a minimum, they could email me the gift certificate code. Ideally, you’d just credit my account directly.

    Recently, Chase replaced my Visa card with a Visa Signature card. They claimed they had improved the rewards program. I haven’t figured out what they’ve improved, but it’s not the important part (getting the Amazon gift certificate).

  2. Chase’s purchase protection and extended warranty services are poor.
    1. The damage protection covers a very limited number of sources of damage, (AmEx covers damage, regardless of its cause.)
    2. The process for filing a claim is slow and involves lots of paper forms and mailing this. (AmEx lets you do this online or by fax.)
  3. Last year, I went to New Zealand and Australia. Before I left, I called my credit card companies to inform them I would be out of the country.

    AmEx:

    • Told me it wasn’t necessary to call, and I would have been fine.
    • Charges 2.7% on transactions

    Chase:

    • Told me it was essential to call
    • Charges 3% on transactions
    • Tried to upsell me on some bullshit identity theft protection service, and tried to make me feel guilty/scared when I declined
  4. Chase provides exceptionally limited transaction information.

    Before the statement arrives, you see:

    • Transaction Date
    • Posting Date
    • Amount, in USD
    • Transaction Number
    • Company name

    At the end of the month, you finally see:

    • Foreign currency amount and exchange rate

    With AmEx, you immediately see:

    • Date
    • Amount, in USD
    • Transaction Number
    • Company name
    • Company address
    • Company phone number
    • Company DBA name
    • Company category
    • Foreign currency amount

    Having the company DBA name and address were exceptionally valuable in allowing me to verify the transactions on my trip. In the case of Chase, I had to go over my schedule and make overseas phone calls to figure out who, for example, AUSTCORP NO 605 PTY, was.

Overall, Chase provides a subpar customer experience that isn’t in line with Amazon’s. It’s both frustrating your customers and sullying your good name.

I urge you to drop Chase for a more capable, friendly bank for your Amazon Visa card.

Paul

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