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Author Topic: Doing my part for the bailout, I guess... Circuit City/Chase rant  (Read 1276 times)
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kratz
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« on: February 03, 2009, 05:45:54 PM »

In Feb 2007, my wife and I bought an LCD TV on a circuit city '2 years same as cash' deal that involved getting a Circuit City rewards card through Chase bank.  In July of 2008, I used the card a second time to get an LCD monitor on a '3 months same as cash' deal.  Paid the LCD off within the three months, paid the TV off within the two years, never missed a payment, never late, etc.  The TV was $1277, so using my amazing math skills, I figured out that I could pay $50 a month for two years, a bit extra at the end, and it would be taken care of.  Which is exactly what I did.

Paid the TV off yesterday. 

I'd noticed that I had an accumulated finance charge, or what looked like one, of about $100, in addition to the deferred charge associated with the line item about the promotion on the TV, and concerned, I read the fine print, where it said '...if there is a 'Qualifying Promotional Financing' section on this statement, you will not incur periodic finance charges on any Remaining Balance that appears in that section if you pay that balance in full by the applicable Expiration Date.'  I understood this, along with some additional text in that section, to mean that the concerning amount would disappear when the TV was paid off...

Which of course did not happen.

So I call Chase today.  Talk to someone in india, who, when I finally get them to understand what my issue is, is at a loss, and transfers me to an American call center.

At the US call center, the guy looks back through all of my records and discovers that when I purchased the TV, circuit city noted that I purchased the TV with in home installation (I did not purchase any installation... I mean come on, plug in the TV, right?), charged me for a second TV, and returned the first TV w/ the installation fee (none of these things actually happened.)  To me, the balance was correct on the first statement as a result.

HOWEVER... what had really happened was that the installation fee ($99) had been refunded and applied to the balance on the TV, and as a result had NOT removed the installation fee, which went through on the same card as a regular purchase, for which we were assessed the fucktarded interest rate of 17.99% (I guess that is just the rage on the CC card?  I don't know... I wasn't concerned with the regular purchase interest rate since I had no intention of making any sort of regular purchase with the card.  Our regular cards were at like 10%.)  So for two years, finance charges accumulated on this card while the balance on the promotional stuff was paid down.

AND HERE IS THE BEST PART:
The guy at Chase said that I have to pay it!  He actually expected me to say 'oh, jeez, so since it happened two years ago, you can't fix it, and it is now MY responsibility? Okay, well thanks for letting me know what the problem is! I'll get a check right out!'  I said 'There is no way I'm paying you for something I didn't buy'.  I was then put on hold for 10 minutes.  He then told me that he and his manager couldn't do anything about it, and that 'they' will have to make a determination, and that I will get a letter from 'them' in a few weeks.

Me: Who are 'they'?
Him: The bank.
Me: You mean Chase?
Him: Yeah
Me: I called chase... you don't work for chase?
Him: Oh no, I work for chase.

Um, okay.  But then for what I guess is the second best part, he told me that I should take this as a lesson, and make sure that I know I'm getting charged for stuff that I'm not charged for right when it happens, when he can do something about it.  You know, that charge that, on my statement, would've looked like it had been completely removed.

So I don't know... we'll see what this letter says.  I really, really hope this doesn't turn into one of those 'well, we get to steal your money because if you don't let us, we'll ruin your credit' deals.  I asked if there was an incident ID or a better number for me to call, but he said just the date and the number on the card.

Should I have done anything else?
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pr0ner
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 05:51:25 PM »

You could have told the guy on the phone to go fuck himself.  slywink
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Crux
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 05:52:19 PM »

You should have told him you'd be happy to come by his personal residence and sweeten the deal. Make sure you actually say "wink wink nudge nudge" at the end though.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 06:16:28 PM »

1)  Do you have the original receipts?
2)  Look back at your statements - are there transactions there that reflect what they are saying?
3)  Did you miss those transactions the first time you got the statements?

gellar
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Blackadar
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 06:17:25 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on February 03, 2009, 05:51:25 PM

You could have told the guy on the phone to go fuck himself.  slywink

Yea, I'd be tempted to do this myself.

What I'd do is I'd write up a letter documenting what happened and send it to them certified mail.  I would say that I am not paying finance charges for a purchase that I never made and that this is an issue between them and the vendor.  I'd also say that I consider the matter closed as the real purchase that was made has now been paid in full and that future attempts to collect finance charges on a purchase that was not ever made is a violation of the Fair Credit Act and will be dealt with as such.

Hell, I don't know if it's a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act or not.  But most companies don't want to deal with someone who is going to cause them problems over a small sum of money.  
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kratz
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 06:25:58 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on February 03, 2009, 05:51:25 PM

You could have told the guy on the phone to go fuck himself.  slywink

Man, you don't know how close I came...
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Chaz
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 06:28:53 PM »

Chase and Bank of America are the two financial institutions that I've been screwed by.  With Chase, it involved getting the card as part of the Sony $100 off a PS3 thing, buying the PS3, and then calling Chase to make sure that I was set to be credited, and being told that I was, and that it can take 8-10 weeks to see the credit.  I pay the balance off two months later, (except for the $100 extra), and two months later, notice that it's still there, and I've now been hit with two late fees on this $100 that was supposed to be gone by now.  I call up, and they say they have no record of me having made a qualifying purchase, that the credit would have been applied within days of making the purchase, and that I'd have to talk to Sony about anything else, can we have our money now please?

Sony of course said that it's tough noogies (apparently, despite listing Best Buy as an approved dealer in one segment of their site, it wasn't really).  

So Chase flatly refused to take off the $60 in late fees on the $100 that wasn't supposed to be there anyway.  The really funny part was that the person I talked to also tried to tell me that I should take this as a lesson, and that I should have paid the full balance before the credit went in.  I told her that the real lesson was that I should never trust the people who answer the phones for credit card companies, because they apparently either don't know what they're talking about, or are flat out lying.
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Redfive
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 06:10:00 AM »

The fucking gall of them to tell you to take it as a lesson...

I agree with pr0ner, you need to document it and send it certified.  Having receipts would go a long way I think (I would never have them two years later *shrug*) but documenting your issues is the prudent course of action.

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Jaddison
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 12:32:22 PM »

I would call them back before getting the letter and tell them point blank you will be calling the Better Business Bureau AND informing your congressman of the situation because this sounds like yet another predatory lending practice and they know that Congress is looking very closely at these kinds of things.

This has worked for me 4 times in the last year in disputes with financial institutions.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 04:43:13 PM »

Quote from: Jaddison on February 04, 2009, 12:32:22 PM

I would call them back before getting the letter and tell them point blank you will be calling the Better Business Bureau AND informing your congressman of the situation because this sounds like yet another predatory lending practice and they know that Congress is looking very closely at these kinds of things.

This has worked for me 4 times in the last year in disputes with financial institutions.
While I don't disagree with the course of action, I'd wait for them to mess it up before going to Defcon 2. I'd probably call in a week just to make sure they didn't lie to you.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2009, 05:13:49 PM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on February 04, 2009, 04:43:13 PM

Quote from: Jaddison on February 04, 2009, 12:32:22 PM

I would call them back before getting the letter and tell them point blank you will be calling the Better Business Bureau AND informing your congressman of the situation because this sounds like yet another predatory lending practice and they know that Congress is looking very closely at these kinds of things.

This has worked for me 4 times in the last year in disputes with financial institutions.
While I don't disagree with the course of action, I'd wait for them to mess it up before going to Defcon 2. I'd probably call in a week just to make sure they didn't lie to you.

That's why I suggested a letter first.  I also think it makes going DefCon 2 on the telephone more effective when they see the letter you already wrote attached to your account.
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2009, 12:14:54 AM »

look for the email lists and do an executive email carpet bomb.  consumerist.com is the place to look and for letter advice.  i would also recommend you to forward it to their email as some of the big companies also watch for negative feedback there and have made good in the past. 

chase is a horrible bank and just recently decided to charge everyone with a transferred balance $10 a month plus jacking up the minimum payments.  to existing customers, with no way to get out of it except full payment. 
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 03:31:21 AM »

As much as I hate to defend any CC company...

Chase fees

Quote
Beginning in February, Chase added a monthly service charge of $10 to select accounts and increased its minimum payment from 2 percent to 5 percent.  Spokeswoman Stephanie Jacobson said the changes will affect cardholders who have carried large balances over two years and who have made little progress paying them off.  Jacobson said the changes affect less than 1/2 of 1 percent.
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pr0ner
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 05:23:27 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 05, 2009, 03:31:21 AM

As much as I hate to defend any CC company...

Chase fees

Quote
Beginning in February, Chase added a monthly service charge of $10 to select accounts and increased its minimum payment from 2 percent to 5 percent.  Spokeswoman Stephanie Jacobson said the changes will affect cardholders who have carried large balances over two years and who have made little progress paying them off.  Jacobson said the changes affect less than 1/2 of 1 percent.

How does that add up to $100 when Kratz finished up his payments as per his first post?
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Caine
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 05:25:07 AM »

link from consumerist

a small sampling from consumer affairs
Quote
Samuel of Arlington Heights IL (02/04/09)
While checking my Chase Credit Card statement I noticed that my monthly minimum payment had more than doubled and there was a new fee of $10 (service charge) on the account. When I called the service rep told me the terms of my 4.99% lifetime fixed rate balance transfer loan have changed. The 2% minimum is now 5% AND there is a $10 per month service fee. I was told that Chase could remove the $10 fee and reduce the minimum back to 2%, if I allowed Chase to bump up the interest rate to 7.99%. When I asked they could do this, I was told the Service Agreement gives them the right to do that.

sounds like their definition of "little progress" is pretty wide.  a lot of people with balance transfer loans have been hit.  i smell money grab, and i don't know whether to believe a spokeswoman saying 'just .05%' affected.  from my understanding, had i used chase to do a balance transfer last fall with a guaranteed 0% rate, limited amount transfer, i would have been subjected to the increase, regardless of payment history.


pr0ner, it wouldn't affect him as the change went through at the end of the year. 
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2009, 03:33:20 PM »

Quote from: pr0ner on February 05, 2009, 05:23:27 AM

How does that add up to $100 when Kratz finished up his payments as per his first post?

It doesn't.  It was in reference to the second part of Caine's post.

And CitiBank and Capital One just jacked up my minimum payments as well... 
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pr0ner
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2009, 03:34:24 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 05, 2009, 03:33:20 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on February 05, 2009, 05:23:27 AM

How does that add up to $100 when Kratz finished up his payments as per his first post?

It doesn't.  It was in reference to the second part of Caine's post.

Ah, my bad.
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kratz
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2009, 03:36:43 PM »

Yeah, they didn't up my fees. They (or CC, anyway) just fucked up.
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