Advanta bank / Awful credit card practices
I have (as of today - that is "had") an Advanta Bank credit card for my very small business. I had it for a number of years, long enough that I can't remember when I opened it. At least 5 years...could be 10 years. At first I used it a bit.
Then they pulled the ole' predatory "change the due date" combined with the "don't mail the statement to the customer in time so that they can have a hope of paying on time" trick. Which of course as expected ... worked perfectly. So I started making a series of late payments. They of course then changed my interest rate to the low 30%s and hit me with outrageous late fee payments. OK... I missed the payments so ... that's what I got. Luckily I never had a balance over a few hundred bucks on it, so it was pretty easy to pay it off in short order.
The main damage was the FEES!
So I paid the balance off and stopped really using the card for my business, since I have an AMEX Business Coprorate Gold card that is the main card I use for that. (Did I mention that my credit rating is around 850?)
I had one recurring automatic payment of $9.95 a month for my business email account that I left on the Advanta card simply for MY convenience of not having to change the autopayment situation. Advanta kept sending the statement so late that I kept missing getting that minor little bill paid, and I STILL had a few repetitve $30 late payment fees on only a $10 bill.
So I paid the account into the plus column (positive balance) by sending about $50-75 ahead of the coming $10 bill. And I kept it that way with a positive balance for a LONG time. I expected that after a while my interest rate would come down. IT NEVER DID. Well over a year like that, I believe. They have been holding about $50-75 of MY money in a positive balance for all that time. No interest. Nice hunh?
Today I went to go online and check my business email. Onl to find that it was declined the automatic Advanta payment on 4/27. My card says "good thru 05/11". I called Advanta's customer service # to see what was up. I KNOW that I am currently $60 ahead of the coming bills. In fact, their automated system confirmed that balance and a payment THAT day before I even talked to a live person.
I got some young lady with a thick Indian accent that said her name was "Trisha" (yeah right...Trisha is a traditional Indian name). I asked her what happened that caused my card to be declined, and remionded her that I had a credit on file about $50 more than the current charge. She told me that they HAD SENT me a new credit card in the mail and that the current card was suspended because of that. She said the new card had not been activated yet. THAT caught me off guard. I had not received that new card, and I told her so.
She said that was why the charge was declined, that my current card was no longer valid. I then asked her what day it was today. She said April 28th. I said I had a card in my hands that said "good thru 05/o9"...which is the END of NEXT month. She just repeated that the current card was inactivated. I got totally ticked off and told her to just to pay the GD existing bill on the currently valid card. She sputtered and said she couldn't. I then asked to speak to a manager. At frst she was reluctant to do so. I had to ask a couple of times. I ended up DEMANDING to speak to a manager to get anywhere.
I then got Shelly who said she was in Salt Lake City. She was easy to understand... no Indian accent. Basically I got the same "song and dance" from her. One this that was different from her was that she used a different tense for the "new credit card" spiel. She did not say that had SENT me a new card. She said that they were SENDING me a new card. To me an important disticntion. That told me that she KNEW AMD EXPECTED that I had not yet received the new card in the mail. But she still insisted that the curent card was no longer valid no matter what it said on the card itself. She made NO explanation for why the descrepancy, and no apology for any inconvenience or confusion either.
The important point here is that I NEVER got the words "I'm sorry" or ANY kind of indication that this was unfortunate out of either of them. THAT was the breaking point for me. Shelly finally told me that to pay the bill she'd have to re-activate my old card (that never should have been inactivated to START with...it was still valid). She then asked me what I wanted her to do.
I told her that what I wanted was an address that I could send a complaint to about all this and the terrible customer service. To her credit she immediately then gave me Advanta Bank, P.O. Box 30715, Salt lake City, UT 84130. I then said, "What you can do for me is cancel my account, and inform the credit bureaus that it was closed due to the owner's request."
Only THEN did she say she was sorry that this ...blah, blah, blah. It was too late for me. I then hung up.
PLEASE do not EVER do any business with Advanta bank!!! Caveat Emptor!
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