Just before Thanksgiving 2015, Jessica Phillips says she was brutally sexually assaulted by a group of men who lured her into a basement apartment near her subway stop in New York. The perpetrators also stole Jessica’s purse.
Although she’s now staying at her mother’s home in Dallas, Texas, Jessica says her recovery has been slowed due to Chase Bank’s policies. "I had to to report my daughter's wallet was stolen and she had the debit card from her checking account and two credit cards,” Terri, Jessica’s mother, explained to WABC.
Two checks were also stolen and, although Jessica had already deposited them using Chase’s mobile banking app and had written "deposited" on each check long before the assault, Chase cashed the checks again, withdrawing more than $1,000 from her account.
Their local bank managers could only refund one of the checks, but the other $680 was still Jessica’s responsibility. "I was really angry. I feel like I've been victimized a second time," Jessica said.
Chase advises its customers to "destroy checks one week after depositing,” and Jessica was told it was “her fault” for not destroying them.
After reporters with WABC in New York inquired about the issue, the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, Barry Sommers, reached out to Jessica personally.
"He apologized for how things were handled," Jessica recalled. "He said it was definitely their error that several mistakes had been made and he told me he felt terrible."
Chase Bank then canceled the checks and paid off the $5,000 balance on her credit card. "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,” said Chase’s head of communications.
“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 respondents to the story on Facebook didn’t believe Chase’s reaction was sincere. “If this story didn't go public she wouldn't have gotten no apology and still be out money," wrote Edwin Rodriguez.