Chase wants to ‘protect’ me

Since Chase took over Washington Mutual, they’ve been aggressively sending me both email and paper mail in an attempt to get me to sign up for their “overdraft protection”. The messages often look like this.

If you don’t have Chase Debit Card Overdraft Coverage, beginning August 15, 2010, your everyday debit card purchases will not be approved if you don’t have sufficient available funds.

This type of protection is an absolute racket, and it almost sounds like a mob boss is threatening you.

“Yeah, we’ll ‘protect’ you, buddy. Just pay up.”

Columbia Journalism Review writes:

Think about it. If you accidentally overdraw your account, Bank of America, say, covers the excess amount of the purchase and charges you $35 for the privilege. They never asked if you wanted them to do that. And as we saw yesterday, some banks make it difficult or impossible to turn off “overdraft protection,” a term that I said ought to be in scare quotes every time it’s used in a news story. It’s Orwellian. This “service” allows overdrafts (most occur via cards these days), it doesn’t protect you from them.

I’ve been bitten by these overdraft protection fees on a number of occasions (thank you both to college and past unemployment). If I don’t have the money to pay for something, the card should be refused. This is one service I will be happy to not sign up for!

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