I’m wondering if this kind of thing is happening to others:
My wife and I relocated in early May. Within three days, I went to the websites of my health services, the county registrar of voters, the utility companies, and all my creditors to update my address. Most of those entities sent me acknowledgements via e-mail. During the month, latent bills and credits-due came via mail to my new address from the utilities in regard to my old location.
Now here’s the weirdness: US Bank, HRS (CostCo credit) & HSBC (vehicle financing), and Home Depot (CitiBank) sent me confirmation e-mails when I changed my address. However, they continued sending monthly statements to my old address. In June, when I went to their websites, I saw that my old address was listed. I updated the address again and received more confirmation e-mails. It’s the end of July and I haven’t received monthly statements. I saw on those websites that the companies have reverted to listing my old address, and their scanned copies of the monthly statements show my old address. Naturally, I’ve been charged interest and late fees on payments not made.
Yes, there options to e-mail statements and check them on-line and so on and there are various reasons I don’t do that, so don’t bother me with those suggestions (and that doesn’t answer my question anyway). The utilities, health-related vendors, and most of my other credit cards had no problem sending June and July statements to the correct address.
Since this has happened among four (three?) apparently-unrelated credit card companies, I’m wondering if it’s a widespread practice. MBNA, which recently bought out HRS and HSBC (which might have actually been just one company) was nailed in the 1990’s for delaying application of payments to millions of customers’ accounts in order to incur interest and late fees. Meanwhile, Capital One was just found guilty and fined a quarter million dollars for having their telemarketers target low-income/high-risk people [with super-low APR offers that wouldn’t stick after the applications were processed].
What I’d like to know from fellow Dope Denizens is whether or not you’ve experienced similar “Whoops, we changed your mailing address back to the old one” SNAFUs when you’ve moved. It’s looking like another method of building late fees and ‘justifying’ APR hikes and, as long as people don’t discuss their personal financ[COLOR=DarkGreen]es (which is polite in modern society) the shady practice won’t be exposed.[/COLOR] So is this a new trick? It’s a couple bucks of interest and late fees for me, but multi-millions for those companies when everybody is moving out of homes they can’t afford any more.
These days the buck stops nowhere
No one takes the blame
But evil is still Evil
In anybody’s name.
. --Don Henley (Solo)
. If Dirt Were Dollars
. End of the Innocence