An article posted on our local KABC website here in Los Angeles described an incident involving a rape victim in New York, and Chase Bank.
It turns out that around Thanksgiving of 2015, a young lady was raped by a group of men, and her wallet stolen. The crooks deposited two checks they found in the victim's wallet, even though it was clearly written "DEPOSITED" on the front of the check. The victim had written that on the front of the checks after she had used the Chase mobile banking app to remotely deposit the check weeks prior to the crime.
You would think the teller or some type of automated system would recognize the check's numbers and information, to trigger something which says, "Sorry, that check has already been deposited." That didn't happen in this case, and the thugs were able to cash the checks.
Although the victim tried to reach out to Chase's customer service team, she was only reimbursed one of the checks. Three weeks after WABC-TV in New York got involved, the victim got not just a refund, but an apology via a personal phone call from the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, Barry Sommers.
Sommers apologized for how the situation was handled, admitted it was their error, and said he felt terrible about the situation.
Chase ended up paying off the balance on the victim's credit card, which was about $5,000.
Here is what Chase's head of communications told WABC-TV; "We were wrong and we're sorry. We feel absolutely awful for the distress we caused Ms. Phillips during an extremely difficult time and are deeply sorry for how we handled this. Ms. Phillips has been fully reimbursed. Our systems are designed to prevent duplicate checks from being deposited, but clearly the system failed this time, as did our customer service. We are going to find out what happened - and why - and will do everything possible to prevent this from happening in the future."
Some might say that Chase should have immediately stepped up and taken ownership. However, that's not why I'm posting this story. The lesson is to show how admirably they did step up, took ownership of the error, made it right with the customer, and showed a humanistic and compassionate side that big business, departments, and organizations sometimes feel they can't do.
I love the first part of their quote, "We were wrong and we're sorry..."