The tables of surprise have turned on JPMorgan Chase. The leading financial services provider has been caught in a shocking game of playing hide the fees from customers who have been using Chase credit cards to buy cryptocurrency.
The banking institution has been hitting their customers with undeclared subscription fees and the strategy has come back to hit – hard. In late January JPMorgan Chase & Co. stopped the purchase of cryptocurrency as credit purchases and instead started charging customers as though it was a cash advance – which is littered with hidden fees – and on Tuesday the company was slapped with a lawsuit in the Manhattan federal court for the actions.
The bank was accused for the additional fees and extortionate interest rates on the “cash advances” and the charged fuel was added to the fire when customers who complained about the rip-off behavior were not refunded.
Plaintiff in the lawsuit, Brady Tucker, was allegedly charged $143.00 USD in costs and a further $21.61 USD for interest fees for transactions in cryptocurrency in January and February and when Tucker bid to argue the costs through the customer service line, the bank declined.
According to Tucker’s lawsuit, the bank “stuck the plaintiff with the bill, after the fact of his transactions, and insisted that he pay it,” with no notice. The claim is that Chase has violated the US Truth in Lending Act, which would require those issuing the credit card to inform the users of any significant changes in fees or contractual terms in writing. The lawsuit is filed to sue $1 million USD for actual damages and statutory damages.
Representatives from the bank said that the company had stopped processing credit card purchases for cryptocurrency as of February 3rd, owing to the risks attached. However, it was said that the users could use their Chase debit cards and linked checking accounts for cryptopurchases without experiencing cash advance charges.
This is clearly at odds with the claims of Tucker’s lawsuit and the fact that both Tucker’s lawyer and Chase spokesperson Mary Jane Rogers have declined to comment adds a spark of mystery to the affair.
Even without the added twinkle of legal interest, any case which the relationship between JPMorgan Chase and cryptocurrency is already intriguing, since the CEO – Jamie Dimon – has somewhat of a speckled history in his contradictory opinion of blockchain technology.