Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In
The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website

Fashion Bug Charge Cards / Spirit of America / Horrible service!

United States Review updated:
84% 44
About a month ago I received a phone call from Spirit of America (the company that services Fashion Bug Charge Cards) the rep stated to me that I had a past due bal of $149.00, I advised her that I had not used my charge card in over 3 years and asked why I had not received anything in the mail if this should be the case; I was told that letters were being sent to me constantly for the last 4 months or so. The rep was very rude to me about the situation I asked her to verify the address that was on file for me and they told me but it was never an address that I lived at and the lady said that I could be using someone else's address to get my mail at which is not the case. I then asked the lady to send me copy of the sales receipt and she refused to do so telling me that I could fax over a copy of my drivers license and they would determine if it was my signature or not, I refused to do this and explained to the rep that I was not going to be faxing my personal info anywhere to protect my self. She was able to tell me what name was on the receipt which happened to be my maiden name, so I explained to her that I did not have the card for quite some time at this point and it was possible that someone took the card and was using it as their own and not knowing my married name to which the acct had been changed to some time ago. The lady that called called me a liar in so many words so I spoke to her supervisor who was even worse. They were able to take away 3 fees so I only had to pay $79.54 of the $149.00 that was do. The original charge was for 26.38; I would have paid cash for this amount. These people would not even assist me with finding out who the transaction was actually done by and did nothing but threatening me.

Pissed off in NY


Sort by: UpDate | Rating
A  29th of Mar, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Fashion Bug/Spirit of America treated me the same way. I applied in Couer D'Alene Idaho about five years ago for a card and never received one. Three years ago in the mail came a Fashion Bug card, with charges included. Apparently in those years I did not physically hold the card they updated the card and charged me $29.00, and another $29.00 late fee since the card showed up after the date of the payment was due. When I called they suggested that it had nothing to do with them and the charges are legal and binding. I explained that I had never received the card, so I did not have an account to charge any delinquent charges to. The customer rep explained that I had had a card and that even though I never charged any purchases in those two years, the card had been sent and an account had been created under my name. The rep continued to demand payment otherwise my account that I never knew I had would be delinquent and would be turned over to a collection agency. After several calls later the matter got resolved but it was not worth the hassle because the next couple sentences will describe more problems. Another issue is constantly being charged late payments for $29.00, I send the payment the instant I get my statement, and somehow it never gets posted until two or three days after the due date. Seems to me that it is a great way to make some additional profit for the company, and it is all so legal. I now only pay in the store, with a receipt for proof so no additional charges can apply to my account. Third negative, no on-line payment---come on!!! Are we not in the twentieth century here.

Pissed off in Washington
A  31st of Mar, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
A salesperson at a Catherines kept begging me to open a Catherine's account (owned by Spirit of America). Finally, I opened one just to get her to shut up and sell me the clothes. Two months later, I'm one day late on sending in my payment and I get a $29 late fee charge. AND those a-holes at Spirit of America keep using their automated dialer to call me and leave long messages on my machine about how I "have a business matter" with them and that I need to call them back. A $29 late fee on a $130 balance! Plus they charge about a million percent interest a second. (I exaggerate just a bit). Today I talked to them and got them to take off the late fee. I paid off the account and they said they closed it, but now I'm wondering if they're going to try some crap. I want something in writing to show that my account is closed, so I think I'll call them back.

I hope everybody knows that you can get a late fee charge taken off if you call and complain. The name "Spirit of America" Bank certainly does reflect our current, evil, corporate-greed infested country these days supported by those jackals in the administration. Piss off, Spirit of America!

--Pissed off in California
A  10th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi Everybody,

We also have a current accounting complaint with Catherines Credit Card. I won’t bore you with the details of our complaint, but just let you know who and how to complain to and oversight government agency that determined ‘Spirit of America National Bank’ Charter No. 22183 a ‘Limited Purpose Bank’ was evaluated during year 2002 and it was determined that it “Needs to Improve.” This rating was done by United States Government Agency: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the OCC has four district offices plus an office in London to supervise the international activities of national banks.

So, complaints about this Limited Purpose Spirit of America National Bank that primarily engages in credit card operations for Charming Shoppes, Inc that operate under the trade names of Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant, and Catherine’s Plus Sizes should be directed to the OCC and follow the process:

The OCC's Complaint Process Top

When we receive your call about a complaint, a Customer Assistance Specialist will request certain information from you about the issues. The specialist will evaluate your information and attempt to resolve your questions while on the phone. Should the specialist not be able to resolve your complaint immediately, they may request that you submit a formal written complaint or inquiry. The specialist will explain the formal complaint process to you, assign you a case number and explain exactly what information or documents we need you to provide.

When we receive your written complaint or additional documentation that was requested by one of our Customer Assistance Specialists, we will send to you an acknowledgment letter and assign a case number if one was not previously provided. The specialist will research your complaint and contact the bank for a response. The OCC will notify you after the bank or subsidiary responds. The bank or its subsidiary often resolves voluntarily those complaints caused by bank errors or misunderstandings.

See http://www.occ.treas.gov/customer.htm

Also, located within this same OCC webpage is access to the formal written complaint forms.

If enough people complain maybe the parent company Charming Shoppes, Inc. will clean up this Limited Purpose bank’s accounting practices and install “audit tracking” of transaction processing to benefit both the business and the remaining customer(s) it is still attempting to retain.

Have a good day,
Tacoma Washington.
A  10th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Telephone contact information for the OCC's Customer Assistance

The OCC's Customer Assistance Group is ready to help customers of national banks with questions or complaints they have about their financial institution. CAG's toll-free lines are open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Central Time. You can reach one of OCC's Customer Assistance Specialists by calling: 1-800-613-6743.
N  16th of Nov, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
You charged me a late fee on my bill, Why? I made my payment in the 10 days grace period. The check cleared my bank on the 13th of this month. I would like to hear from someone on this matter please. I have been with fashion bug for years.

Thank u Mrs K. Hunter
A  2nd of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I tried to pay my bill to this " Spirit of America" but its customer service is SOOOOOOOOO "F___ing" Rude EXPECIALLY MR. CARDENAS or how ever he spells it. He is about the biggest Jerk I have ever had the displeasure to deal with. I had a deal with the stupid Co. to pay them a certain amnt. each mo. and then I went to renew that and give them more check by phone check numbers and the JACKASS!!!! would not let me PAY MY BILL!@!!!!!!! If you ask me HE is HIGHLY INCOMPETANT in DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS PERIOD!!! I have Never dealt with such a rude, hostile and insensitive ### as I did with Him, IF He does not want to accept my money as payments, mayby HIS bosses need to KNOW so THEY can FIRE THE NINKOMPOOP for not recieving money for thier COMPANY!!!! DUMB ### JERK OH and BY the way MR> CARDENAS.. I am reprting your COMPANY to the BBB and to the OCC And maybe if I really get my panties ruffled, I'll even go to the News with how you refused my payment because your a self serving JERK!
N  30th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
How come customers can't make on-line payments?. I have been sick unable to drive. I tried to make an on-line payment, it just doesn't give people that option. Am I doing something wrong? Please let me know. I don't care to use a phone payment, because you charge people $5.00 to process it .


Marie Cayard
A  3rd of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The Fashion Bug card needs to have online payments as an option for their customers. Even the smallest companies take online payments. Of course, if you make it easier for your customers this would cut into late fee profits...
D  15th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
How much do I pay for my Fashion Bug bill? It would be great if you could get back to me soon.
A  22nd of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I do not have an account with Fashion Bug and yet they managed to get the idea that I do AND my phone number. Now their automatic dialer calls me every day "to discuss a business matter." I called their so-called customer service line, which turns out to be a phone tree that you can't get through if you don't have an account number - which I don't. I finally got a person on the line and she was the nastiest bi-atch that I've spoken to in a long time, including myself, which is saying something. I explaned the situation and her attitude was pretty much "oh, well." Needless to say, I got another automatic dialer message the next day, which motivated me to seek some internet help and that's how I stumbled onto this site. I took the advice above and called OCC for advice. I'm in the process of working it out now. In the meantime, I set my computer up to try to fax my do-not-call request to the Fashion Bug customer service line. The computer automatically dials the number every minute and tries to communcate with a fax on the customer service line. Hopefully it will successfully send the fax soon, but it is a toll-free line so the persistence isn't a problem for me in trying to get the fax through.
A  20th of Mar, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
To Lisa Bard. You should never have had to pay anything and you do have every right to request copies of receipts and signatures! I had a similar experience with Fashion Bug. I had closed my account in 1998. In June 2005, I was talked into reopening my old account and getting a big discount on my purchase. This process was a nightmare. The salesgirl was very young and had to rescan all of my many items 3 times. So, I had moved twice since I closed my account and she took my license to enter my information. I told her to make sure she gets my new address in which was on the back of the license. Oh, it's already in here. No worries. Yeah, okay! I NEVER received my new credit card and NEVER received a billing statement. I called several times within the 6 months after my purchase of approx. $98.00. The company told me that there was no record of my account being re-opened and no record of a new account being opened under my name. I tried to call the store where the purchases were made and they basically told me that I had to deal with headquarters. The last person I spoke to said "I wouldn't worry about it. If it turns up in the system, they WILL find you." That was a little scary. So, here it is THREE YEARS later, not one call, not one statement, letter, anything from Fashion Bug or Spirit of America. I get a letter from a debt recovery company stating that I owe $278.87 and they will make an offer of 70% for me to pay $195.21. Are you flipping serious?????!!! I am an honest person and tried on several occasions to pay the $98 that was owed to only be told that there is no record of my account. UNBELIEVABLE! I will be sending something like this in the form of a letter to Spirit of America, Fashion Bug, Retail Recovery Service AND the Better Business Bureau. I will pay the $98 that I owe and I would like to know where the $278.87 figure came from and if someone else has my card and is using it, I want to see copies of the receipts and signatures, etc. It is truly crazy that this has happened to so many people!
N  3rd of Apr, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I just wish Catherines would allow you to pay online. Get up into the 21st century girls!
D  25th of Apr, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
In order to open an account, you have to show ID. If the ID has the incorrect address, the salesperson has to call Spirit of America and set it straight immediately. A credit card is a credit card. When I choose to open an account, I make sure I walk away with a copy of the agreement. When dealing with credit, I would never walk away from a store "wondering" if my address was "in the system". I certainly would never apply for credit just because of pressure from the sales associate.

When you apply and get approved for a Spirit of America account, the purchase automatically goes onto the card. You have 2 options. Immediately pay that bill with your original intended payment method, so that when the card comes in the mail there is a zero balance, or just wait for the bill. Whether the card or the bill comes on time or not, everything we pay for in life is on a monthly cycle. Should 30 days be creeping up, and there is no sign of either, refer to your agreement and/or eyeball your store receipt for the number you need to be calling to straighten it out.

Don't leave with questions. Keep your receipts. Demand your credit card agreement/contract. Never hesitate to ask the store manager to investigate the matter, because transactions can be pulled up on the terminal, and verified, in approximately 5 minutes, as long as the manager has access to the account number in question.

Be responsible when applying for credit; don't forget that it is your choice to make. Take responsibility for ensuring that the salesperson collects and enters your proper information. Keep your receipts. Always pay for what you owe, because every single company that exists in the world will either cut you off and/or charge you more.

The OCC and BBB are probably throwing all of the Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Capital One, Spirit of America, etc. complaints in the same bin and laughing, while they turn their attention to real cases where the consumer has done everything possible to be a responsible adult.

It is the 21st century, yes, and the mailman still does his job.
N  7th of Jun, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I'm just happy they finally take payments online.
N  9th of Jun, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Wow! I managed to make my online payment to Fashion Bug but didn't recognize the Spirit of America NB when it showed up on my bank account. I had to do a search to find out who had tapped me and was thankful it was someone I actually owed and not someone pilfering. I'm a bit distressed to read all the negative stuff that's been going on though. Even though I've had no problems I plan to pay my card off immediately and close the account. I only opened it in the first place because the store manager was giving my sales girl a hard time. The manager had put the hard sell on me and I had refused, then when I saw how she was treating the sales girl I offered to open it for her but only if she would get the commission. Pissed the manager off but the sales girl was very sweet and appreciative.

I think I'll either be paying cash or using a not Fashion Bug card in the future. Thanks for the heads up ladies!
A  13th of Jul, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
i got a phone call from a robert adams saying that i owed 4890.. to fashion buh. i have not had that card for 4yrs. he then tried telling me that the acoount has been open since 2005 and they have ben sending letters to resolve this matter. he was sending the letter to an adress thati have not lived at for 6yrs. but he seemed to have my new number and my new house...hmmmmm so then he told me the only way i could pay was auto-matic debit and i told him no i do not give my ACC# to people over the phone. he then told me that i ahve to the 15th to decoed what action to take either pay my outstanding bill that way or go to court. he refused to give me the adress of siprit of america bank to send the payments there by money order. he said that is not an opttion of payment. by MA law and company, or collector have to take any for of payment, and any amount you wish to pay by month..it could even be 25 cents a month. he also told me that if i went to the store and paid it off my debt still would not be clear.

if anyone else has been thru this please let meknow how you took care of it
N  29th of Sep, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
to Whom It May concern:
I received a notice of payment with attached late charges. I had mailed the last notice with specific instructions that I did not need a premier card and pay 25.00. I pay my payments as soon as they come in and don"t need late charges like 20.00 attached to a small amt. Pleas remove my charges and let me know the balance if their is one.
mary Ann McGrath
D  9th of Nov, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Spirit of America is no different than any other credit processing center with a few big exceptions. First they do care about their customers. How many companies out there will just remove fees because you didn't receive your statement. Not many. Most of the time the reason a customer doesn't receive one is that they move and DO NOT UPDATE THEIR ADDRESS. It states on the back of every credit statement from every company to call or write to customer service to update the address. Would you move and not inform the electric, telephone or water company. I don't think so. Do not go to the store and update your address and think that it is done. Like every company in America the stores that they provide credit for system's are strictly for advertisement, coupons. etc. This will not change your address for you account. Even if you do not plan on using your card update your address. It will keep things like this from happening in the future. As far as SOANB having an address that you have never lived at, all creditors use a program called skip trace. This program locates the best address for someone when mail is returned and no forwarding address is provided. Sometimes it gives a good address. Sometimes it does not.

Let me explain the fraud process a little better for some. The federal government has enacted several credit laws that require banks to ask for certain pieces of information when investigating a fraud claim. The main piece required is a copy of a state issued ID (Your drivers license). This is how a bank knows that you are who you say you are. If a bank was to approve a fraud claim and not have that of a state issue ID, both the bank and cardholder would be effected. The OCC (Office of the Comptroller of Currency) sends auditors every year to review these files. If they find one without a copy of the state issued ID (drivers license) the bank would be fined and the amount would be required to go back onto the account with interest from the date of the transaction. The customer would then be held responsible for the amount. Not just by the bank, but by the OCC (government agency) as well.

The "needs improvement" assessment by the OCC was not for the credit side of the business. It was for the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act). And this the company does a great job at for the size of the organization. The OCC compares companies in the same area. They do not take in account the size or financial income of the organization. SOANB is in the Cincinnati area. Therefore they are compared to companies like Proctor and Gamble (Tide, Johnson & Johnson, Dove, etc.). Obviously Proctor and Gamble is a huge company and can invest millions into the community. It is because of this that SOANB and most of the other companies in the areas are given a "needs improvement." It has nothing to do with the business side.

Next the "rude" associates everyone are talking about are from collection agencies. An account goes to an agency because the creditor has not received a payment in 6 months. Again, this is like every other company in America. SOANB does everything in its power to advise agencies not to be "pushy". They understand that things come up in life and sometimes bills can't get paid. Ultimately it is up to the agency how they handle it. During that 6 month period before the account goes to an agency the banks collections departments call to get pay on the account. They do this so the account doesn't go to a collection agency. The collection department is a lot more reasonable and willing to work that an agency. However, like all companies collection departments, they receive one of the following:

1. No answer
2. Someone picks up the phone and then immediately hangs up.
3. The person hangs up after they are advised where the caller is calling from.
4. Someone answers and says that either the person is not home or doesn't live there.
5. The person picks up the phone, yells and curses in the collectors ear and then hangs up.

The last is usually the person that calls and complains that their account has been forwarded to an agency. Please remember this: If an account goes to an agency they are the only ones that can help you with the account. If a company has sent an account to an agency and then receives your payment they then have to forward that to the agency. This means it will take even longer for your payment to post.

So when a collector calls just pick up the phone and talk with them. You would be surprised what you can accomplish.

Credit companies have many programs to help out a customer such as hardship programs. These programs can allow you to have a lower minimum payment and reduced or zero fees for a set period of time (usually 6 months). I know SOANB has such a program. Also the collections departments can waive a lot of late fees for you if you make a payment. A collection agency won't do this. They want all their money as soon as possible. A bank's collection department will do everything in their power to help you out. They, unlike a collection agency, wants your account up to date so they can keep you as a customer. They appreciate you a lot more.

In conclusion, when you call a creditor about an issue, talk to the person on the other end like a human being. They are there to do their job. That is to help the customer. Call center associates are constantly trained to be pleasant and helpful to you. What happens to you when someone is screaming and being unreasonable? You become less interested in helping them. That is how everyone is. Even someone that works a call center. The nicer you are the more willing and interested the phone associate will be in getting your issue resolved (If possible. There are laws and policies they have to follow, just like you do in your job). So when you call a creditor be prepared to verify name, address, home phone and last four digits of your social security number (they are required by law to verify this information). Calmly state your problem and let the associate handle it from there. You will be glad you did.
A  7th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am happy to be the next one to comment after "Proud Employee." Spirit of America National Bank's harassing phone calls came less than one week after my payment of $33.15 was due to Catherines. I made my purchases of $33.15 in January of 2009. My bill was due February 13th. Yes, I did miss the payment, oversight on my part, but, in no way, did I expect to get 3 phone calls a day from "Milford, Ohio - NEVER identifying themselves as calls from Catherines. I assume when I heard that mechanical voice saying, "Hold on for an important message" that it was a telemarketer calling. If a "human" voice had said, "Hi, I'm calling from Catherines just to remind you that your payment of $33.15 was due on February 13. I would have apologized for forgetting and put the payment in the mail that day. Oh, yes, and the late fee of $20 - 60% fee on $33.15 - nice profit for Catherines! Finally, my husband could not stand the 3 calls a day, including the weekend - I thought the calls would have to stop sooner or later - wrong!!!

So proud employee, you are wrong about a 6 month delay before being harassed. Spirit of America was on the job in less than a month!

I did send in my payment - before it was late again - which would have been March 13th and, after reading the above horror stories, I can see where it would have been another $20 late fee tacked onto my $33.15 bill. However, I did, also, send in with my payment and late fee, my cut-up Catherines charge card and a letter closing my account with them. Now, I am worrying if that was enough. I think I better make sure I get a letter back from them acknowledging that they closed my account. Hmmm, should I call them 3 times a day till I get it?!

Now, I was pleased to read above, I think it was Marie from Virginia, that even though she had not had a problem with her Fashion Bug card, after reading about what others had gone through, she was closing her account with Fashion Bug. I hope others will read these letters and do the same. I will tell everyone I know who has accounts with any of the Charming Shoppes to get rid of their charge cards with them. It is their harassment policy that we are protesting. This is no way to do business and call yourself "Spirit of America." Let's convey the "spirit of women" and send in those cut-up credit cards - please! Woman of Spirit
A  10th of Mar, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Proud employee you are SADLY mistaken. Do they brainwash you there or something? As of right now, my fashion bug payment is not due until the 20th of this month. It is not late, but last month I did not pay enough to satisfy spirit of America, so they have decided to harass me endlessly. Yesterday I finally had enough, so I called the number back after the automated number called me for the 4th day in a row. After typing in my SS# twice and my zip code, pushing 1 then 2 then 1 then 2 then 1 then 2 AGAIN, and then pushing 0, I finally got a hold of someone that was actually human although not near as human as she should have been. I informed her that my payment was not due until the 20th, and as of right now I had no money to pay her, but would have money by then, and that I would appreciate that the phone calls stopped since I had called to let them know that my payment would be there soon. She informed me that they would be calling me again in 3 days. I informed her that I knew for a fact that as long as I talked to them, they could only call me once a week. I then asked her if she could put in a future date for my payment so they would know that it was on the way. She said no, and that they would be calling me again in 3 days. Today, the very next day TODAY ONE DAY after I called and talked to this VERY rude lady, from SPIRIT OF AMERICA NOT a collection agency my phone rang, and guess who it was? Thats right ladies and gentlemen, spirit of America. Not 3 days later, the very next day. I have not used my fashion bug card in a year and a half, since our fashion bug closed, yet they say I am over my limit. Hmmmmm thats interesting isnt it? How does one get over the limit when you cant use your card?

Post your Comment


Reply to