Well, well, well.  Something completely new hit me today.

Chase Bank calls ME.  That's right – they initiated a call to me regarding two charges on a customer charge card.   Obviously the customer is going to dispute the charges or Chase wouldn't have taken the time to call little 'ol me.

First I'm very surprised they've called given I had to endure the joy of 6 chargebacks in a single week without a single peep out of them.  All from Chase.  All from the same week of time back in November 2008.  They didn't care about THOSE charges enough to call me….why do they care now?

I even comment to that effect to the lady and was told there is no time limit on fraud and they can do a chargeback whenever they want – even years later.  Somehow that seems hard to swallow but I press on.

Eventually I determine the orders involved and get them pulled up.   Full AVS match.  Full CVV match.  Billing name/address match perfectly.  Only thing odd about the orders is they are shipped to a different address than the bill-to.  Usually a no-no but far more common during holiday shopping season.

What blows me away is when the lady from Chase actually offers me a deal:  Issue a refund to the card today and she won't push the chargeback through thus saving me the chargeback fees involved.  She obviously felt confident enough that any chargeback dispute I might put up would be soundly lost.

So at this point I'm starting to get a little skeptical.  I've been in business 18 months.  I've dealt with several chargebacks.  Not once has the issuing bank called me – let alone gone Howie Mandel on me and offered me a deal.

The kicker was when I responded that I'll need to call my merchant processor and discuss the situation with them.  The lady actually advised me that they'll be the ones charging the fee, "so what do you think they're going to suggest?".  Now she's just getting pushy – I don't like this at all.

Tomorrow I talk to Merchant Services.  I don't like how this smells at all.  If this is a valid tactic of Chase Bank, it's certainly new to me.

Oh and if you ever want to verify a charge with them, all you have to do is call their security department.  They'll "be happy to contact the cardholder on file and confirm any purchase you might feel is suspect." That's what I was told today.  Well that sure as heck isn't what I was told the last time I tried to do exactly that with that exact department.  We shall see how that works the next time…..

2-25-09 Update:  According to my own Chase Visa customer service department, I have 30 days (from the date I receive my statement) to dispute a charge on that statement.  Now there's no way the two charges in question above would have appeared on that cardholders February statement.  Nor their January statement.  Which means, those charges must have appeared on a statement received between Nov 18th, 2008 and December 31st, 2008.  That puts the charges well beyond the 30 day limit I was told this evening……..