Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My “Dear John Letter” to Chase

Dear Chase:

For the past year, I’ve been thinking about leaving you in the near future. (June 2010, to be exact.)

But I've changed my mind. I'm leaving you -- now.

Things have been rough for you lately and it appears you don’t trust me anymore. (In fact, I hear you don’t trust anyone anymore. But that’s besides the point.)

You've probably always been concerned that I would one day leave you in a lurch. But please know that I would’ve only left you after I’ve lived up to my end of the bargain. But you wouldn’t know that based upon my spotty record, would you?

That’s why I forgive you for unilaterally altering our long standing deal. You agreed to keep the APR on my credit card at 5.99% until my balance is paid off. In exchange, I promised to make at least my minimum monthly payments on time, which I have religiously done so.

Nevertheless, starting this month, you’ve decided to charge me a $10/month service fee (subject to a much higher interest rate) and you increased my minimum payment from 2% to 5% of the balance. You may not have breached the terms of our original deal, but you’ve certainly violated the spirit.

When I asked for leniency, you said that you’ll reinstate the original arrangement of no monthly charges and 2% minimum payments, but at 7.99% APR.

I don’t blame you for doing this, Chase. You warned me that you were going to do this back in November via a Change in Term Notice that you surreptitiously slipped in my bill. It looked like other junk you’ve given me in the past, so I didn’t bother to read what you had to say. That's my fault.

And you’ve also been upfront about how I was expected to serve you at your convenience and on your terms. You’ve always made it clear that I never mattered.

Anyone with decent self-esteem would have told you to take a hike, but I was desperate when we started our relationship. When other people kicked me to the curb, you took a risk and gave me a chance with nothing other than my promise. At the time, I thought you were a benevolent prince. I now realize you were merely an enabler.

But the bottom line is, it’s not your fault that I was weak. You didn’t force me to take your money. I did that myself.

You probably don’t care, but I’m leaving you for BofA. (Kind’a like the way Holly Madison left Hugh Hefner for Criss Angel. ***Shudder***) BofA has been whispering sweet-nothings in my ear for a while and I now feel foolish for sticking by you all this time.

I know BofA is no better than you -- BoA’s already made demands (in the form of a hefty 3% transfer fee with no maximum cap) before BoA will accept me. My only consolation is that BofA won’t charge me interest for the next 10 months (or, until BofA changes its mind). But that’s okay -- I don’t intend to stay with BofA that much longer anyways.

I should’ve known you would do this to me. After all, as former Vice President Al Gore eloquently said, "A zebra doesn’t change its spots.".

I’ve come to accept the fact that our relationship was one of convenience, and not one of mutual respect.

I wish you the best. The next time you see me, I’ll no longer be a kept woman. As God is my witness, I’ll never allow myself to be beholden to someone like you ever again.

Good bye.

Yours truly,


Money Funk said...

Holly Madison left for Criss Angel? Bleck! I knew she was leaving the house due to her break up with Hugh, but Criss? Ya, **shudder**

BTW, love your letter! The reason your card increased their APR is because there is strong new regulations that will protect the consumer. So, before that goes in to effect... the credit card companies are being evil.

Just be sure to PIF BofA before the deadline. Good Move ;)

jpkittie said...

too funny

hate evil cc companies! all the more reason to get our debts undercontrol... I will no longer be taken either!!!

now to release the pf bloggers on their butts, they will be sorry they ever messed with us ;)

Shtinkykat said...

Christine: Yeah, Holly went from one louse to another. Gross. Haha. I'm going to make every effort to pay off the stinkin' BofA account before year's end.

jpkittie: My break-up letter was very bipolar (aren't they all?) but I really don't blame Chase for doing this. Afterall, I wouldn't lend anyone with my credit history $18k with no collateral at 5.99%, which is what they did. I was so stupid to dig myself this hole. But you're darn right. Don't mess with us PF Bloggers, evil cc companies!

Miss M said...

I love it! They've been changing terms for everyone, rates shooting up, unused cards closed - it's a very different environment. Good you're kicking them to the curb when they don't respect you!

paranoidasteroid said...

Yay! Kick 'em to the curb!

This letter was adorable, by the way.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

loooove the letter! this must be one of the best dear john letters i've ever read.

this is the first i've heard of a service fee. is this something new they're doing with credit card consumers who have balances? wow.

Mode Girl said...

That's why I hate CC companies. If I ever get another card later one, it will probably be an Amex card that I can payoff at the end of the month. FYI. I had Chase too and they raised my APR twice!

Shtinkykat said...

Miss M: Heh heh. I wish I was kicking all cc companies to the curb. My friend told me that after he paid off his cc, the company slashed his limits. If they don't want to lend, exactly what business are cc companies in??

ParanoidAsteroid: Kicking and screamin'! Thanks!

Ms. MoneyChat: I think Chase implemented the $10 service charge on people who got "promotional rates" that don't have an expiration date. They were either hoping that I would start charging extra $ on the card (which would be subject to higher APR) or I would miss a payment, triggering the 30% rate. They were probably ticked that I was paying down a debt diligently.

ModeGirl: I actually like Amex a lot. I think they were also the highest ranked in terms of quality of service, etc. Funny how a lot of other people are blogging about how they were disappointed with Chase's changes.

Sean said...

Good to see I wasn't the only one to get that notice. Nor the only one to kick 'em to the curb because of it!

Best of luck killing off all your debt!

Abigail said...

Amen, lady! Glad you're smart enough to know when to leave a relationship -- even if it is with a creditor

Shtinkykat said...

Abigail: I wish I could kick all the slimy cc companies to the curb. But... alas, not yet. Soon, though, soon...

K-Money said...

I also received a letter from Chase saying that they were raising my interest rate despite over 15 years as a good customer, no late payments, balance paid in full every time I charged something.

I was very happy to send them a "Dear John" letter right away, which I could do because I owed them nothing. Get out of debt as fast as you can. The freedom to make those kinds of choices is fantastic and only comes when you are debt-free.