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Credit Cards

Time Is Running out for Chase Customers to Preserve Rights

Time Is Running out for Chase Customers to Preserve Rights
Jeff Edwards

A quiet change to the agreements with nearly all Chase Bank credit cardholders will soon mean that customers will be required to agree to binding arbitration, essentially waiving their rights to bring disputes to court, but because the language is being changed, existing clients will have the right to opt-out of the new agreement, but time is running out to exercise this exit clause.

Chase credit cardholders will soon lose their right to sue the multinational banking giant. Changes to the agreements with nearly every customer will mean that consumers will be required to bring any unresolved disputes to binding arbitration rather than to a courtroom.

The new rules are set to go into effect in August, but according to CNBC, there is still time to opt-out of the language waiving the right to bring disputes to court. Credit cardholders will have to act fast though. Most customers will have until August 7 to send written notice that they are preserving their right to take disputes to court.

Although JP Morgan Chase notes that there are no rules requiring the company to allow users to opt-out of the mandatory arbitration agreement, the choice to decline the change is being offered as a courtesy to existing customers. The company says that there will be no penalties for customers who decide to opt-out of the process, but Chase officials say there are plenty of reasons that agreeing to arbitration is in the consumer’s best interest.

“When an arbitration process is designed appropriately, there are fewer barriers to bringing a claim in arbitration than bringing a claim in court, and it can be more convenient for claimants to obtain a hearing and to achieve a resolution of their claims,” Chase spokesperson Patricia Wexler told CNBC. “Arbitration may be conducted in person, by phone, email, or Skype, avoiding the need to take time off from work.”

The new agreement affects many of the most popular reward cards on the market. Chase Sapphire, United Airlines MileagePlus and Slate cards will all be covered by the pending policy change.

FlyerTalk members are dubious, to say the least, of Chase Bank’s claim that an agreement not to sue the corporation is designed with customers’ best interests in mind. Dozens of members in the Chase Ultimate Rewards forums not only indicated their intentions to send letters opting out of the “sneakily” added arbitration agreement but also encouraged other members to do the same.

Is JP Morgan Chase simply looking out for its clients with new rules requiring binding arbitration or is it time for credit card users to opt-out before it’s too late? The soon-to-be-moot discussion can be found in the FlyerTalk Forums.


[Featured Image: Chase]

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