Advanta Bank / Credit Card / Using sneaky techniques to scam people
I received a small business credit card in April 2008 at 7.99%. The first thing I noticed that disturbed me is that the due dates changed every month. Unless I was vigilant, this would result in late payments - a major annoyance since I set up auto-pay online to pay on the same date every month. This is a sneaky technique disreputable companies use to skirt the law by setting up your payments based on 30 days - most people don't notice, and then the company gives you a "gotcha" late fee of $39. If this takes you over your credit limit, then guess what? Another $39 fee so their execs can earn bonuses off hard working people.
In August, my rate jumped overnight to 30.08%! They had surmised, the "account specialist" told me, that I was a credit risk due to high debt (duh - I'm a small business. We all have high debt until we make it big!)and that they had sent me a letter stating that the interest rate might change. I didn't receive that notice - until weeks later when I finally requested one. After many attempts, I finally got hold of someone who told me I could "opt out" in writing and it would show up on my next bill at the previous rate. It didn't; in fact the next bill reflected an even HIGHER rate. I sent an irate letter via BBB. Meanwhile, they keep tacking on fees... almost a thousand dollars at this point.
I also sent them a payment proposal that would involve removing the fees and interest, and would allow me to pay them what I could pay without laying off an employee or two. They didn't acknowlede it, but they did take the time to write and tell me why they would NOT honor my request to cease calling me four times a day from some outsourced warehouse in India.
So I finally chose NOT to pay them (Hint:if everyone who was harmed by this company did that, they would be out of business)until they get reasonable. I have received several threatening letters, have talked to employees who have maligned my character for creating debt that I can't pay (never mind that if they hadn't arbitrarily raised my interest rate I would never have missed a payment), and then received a cajoling letter from a Mr Anthony Morelli saying if I paid, he wouldn't report me to the credit bureau.
Here's the kicker. ON THE SAME DAY I received a letter from Experion stating that Advanta had reported me to the credit bureau almost two months before. Is anyone at Advanta familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
I plan on taking that one to court with me, along with the threatening, bullying letters. I plan on notifying every press agent I can find to cover the proceedings. By the way, I am a freaking LLC... Advanta can't touch my personal property (they've threatened to do that too).
Nothing short of debt forgiveness will resolve this matter. Think about it, advanta. Tax write off for you, tax payment for me. Either way, you get nothing from me except my contempt. Ever.