SOS: Off-field issues fuel Brewers fan’s frustration

September 10, 2018

The Milwaukee Brewers have been flying high among their peers since early this season, which is way more than fan Rick Marx can say for the league they play in.

Marx, of Oregon, said he learned of a $115 charge from MLB.com on his Chase Bank credit card back in April, when the Brewers were consistently in or within spitting distance of the divisional lead, but months after Marx had paid the card off and “put it away for safe keeping.”

A call to MLB — Major League Baseball — could find no evidence of a charge, he said, based on his name and telephone number, and a call to Chase could only confirm the charge’s date and amount.

“At this point I was told that my only option was to consider the charge fraudulent and begin a fraud case,” Marx wrote SOS on Aug. 7. “I agreed to this.”

The next two months were filled with phone calls and phone messages between Marx and a variety of Chase representatives, Marx said, all culminating in what he thought would be the end of the $115 charge when Chase could not find evidence that anyone had signed for any allegedly purchased MLB product.

“Boy was I wrong!” he said.

Marx said he got a letter from Chase on July 7 suggesting the whole dispute process was just getting started. More correspondence and broken promises of help from Chase and MLB followed until he came home from vacation to find what he said was a letter from the bank saying, in short, “no fraud, case closed.”

“This has been an unbelievable saga and not nearly worth my time and energy for the $115 charge,” Marx wrote. But it “bothers me because this charge came from my beloved BREWERS and it’s what I think about every time I watch a game now. I think if MLB.com could identify how I was charged, they might reverse it. But I can’t seem to get these 2 giant businesses to work to keep from crushing a good customer into dust.”

On Aug. 28, SOS shared Marx’s story with Chase regional media contact Brian Hanover and an MLB higher-up who preferred to be referred to only as “spokesman.”

The following day, the spokesman called to say the problem stemmed from Marx’s wife using his credit card number but her email address to buy a subscription to MLB television coverage — and, more crucially, the inability of an MLB third-party vendor to share enough of this information with the appropriate people at Chase and MLB. The vendor had been restrained by rules aimed at protecting customer privacy, he said.

Chase and MLB representatives told Marx much the same, and Marx told SOS that “they said that since 2015, every year after they would send an email that would allow us to opt out” of the subscription.

“Of course my wife and I get several emails a day from MLB which are junk,” he said. “In fact they suggested we check our spam to see the notifications. Clearly this is designed to work poorly, and they know it.”

Marx said on Wednesday that credits for two MLB charges and a Chase late fee dating to 2017 and 2018 — totaling $253.98 — had been posted to his account.

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