Fuck you, GE Credit

You petty, aggressive assholes.

I signed up for your HBC credit card on a whim a few months ago because A) I’d get double reward points any time I used it, and B) I’d get 20% off all my purchases that day, and as I had a fair bit in my Christmas kitty at the checkout, I figured, hey, why not. Sure, the interest was nearly 30%, but the limit’s $300 and I don’t really plan on using it much, although I do have $275 on it currently. No big deal really, I’ll have that wiped out in a couple of months if I take it easy.

So I’ve been paying minimums on time just fine except at some point I apparently let $11.53 slip. Oops. Whatever, it’s pocket change, not even worth thinking about, I’ll just tack it on to my next payment, easy peasy.

No. No, it isn’t. You want that $11.53. You want it bad. So your collections department starts calling last week. FOUR FUCKING TIMES A DAY. Weekends included. Now, at first neither of us had any idea who the hell you were because the number showed up as some foreign number with an area code neither of us recognized, and since we completely ignore all unknown numbers we let it go the machine, where you brilliantly divined that I had ESP by not leaving a message with a name and number so I could return your call. Repeatedly.

Finally, my wife got sick of the calls and answered. You wouldn’t tell her who you were, what you were calling about, or give her a damn number to give to me so I could call you back. “It’s a personal matter,” is all you said. I work during the day. My wife is the only one home. You keep hours until 11pm so I could easily have called after work – if I knew who the hell was calling. But you refused to say, or tell her what it’s regarding. I finally had to Google the fucking number just to get any information at all, but it turned up conflicting reports; one forum said it was HBC Credit Services; another said it was some scam or another. So I didn’t call back.

Finally your stupid machine left a message with a number to call back. So I did. The machine asked for my account number. No fucking way I’m entering a credit card number over the phone when I can’t be certain I’m really calling HBC Credit and not the phone equivalent of a phishing scam. So I go to HBC Credit’s website. No contact phone numbers for the credit department, just online applications and an E-Mail form that included possible subject choices with everything to do with HBC except HBC Credit Services. Idiots.

So today I go grab my bill and call the number on the back and talk. The guy I spoke to was pleasant and confirmed that these calls were indeed regarding that $11.53. Four fucking times a day, being hassling and being rude and obtusely secretive to my wife for eleven. fucking. dollars.

Fuck you, GE Credit. Fuck you with a fucking Panzer, barrel first. As soon as I pay this shit off I’m cancelling the damn card. I am not putting up with getting endlessly harassed over eleven fucking dollars. I don’t even need the damn card, I just thought it would occasionally come in handy, but as soon as that hand started poking my prostate with press-on nails, you just lost a damn customer.

It’s not about the $11.53. It’s the fact that since you didn’t pay the MINIMUM amount due, which incidentally is the MINIMUM amount that they expect you to pay each month, they believe you’re going to default on the entire loan. Which, by the time you pay it back after making minimum (correction: less than minimum) payments each month at a THIRTY percent interest rate, will have cost you far more than what the 20% discount and double rewards points were worth.

And honestly, if it’s going to take you months (if you take it easy) to pay back $275, you can’t seriously claim that $11.53 is “pocket change.”

Seriously, a lot of people should revert back to a cash only system if only to save them from their own fiscal irresponsibility.

The *second *you realized that you were short $11.53, you should have been on the phone with them explaining your error and promising to send in a check for the balance that very day.

This Pit thread is so lame that I’m going to start calling you four times a day every day hounding you for my SDMB membership fee.

You are pissed off for them for activities including:

  1. Not blabbing about your unpaid debt to any yahoo that happens to pick up the phone (or a voicemail for anyone who much happen to check your messages)
  2. Reminding you of your unpaid debt before it incurred even greater penalties and interest in accordance with the terms of your contract
  3. Being pleasant to you on the phone

Perhaps, in the future, when a number you don’t recognize is calling you four times a day every day, you’ll deign to pick it up just once to figure out why the hell they’re calling.

You’re doing it wrong.

Okay, a few things.

A) I’ve mainly been concentrating on paying off the Visa cards from the holiday spending (and I’ve never been overdue on them, thankyouverymuch), so frankly the little store credit card wasn’t really at the top of my mental heap, and generally companies don’t bug you for piddling amounts if they’re overdue, they’ll just carry it over to the next month and expect you pay at least the minimum including what’s overdue. If you continue to be delinquent, then they’ll start harassing, and that’s perfectly reasonable.

B) If they had left a phone number and name (or even just a damn company name) for me to call them back this wouldn’t have been a problem. But they didn’t. Did I mention my wife’s name is also on the account? And she has her own card? But they want me to sign a consent form and mail it back to them to give them permission to talk to her. That’s fine, I don’t mind that, but it would have been nice if they’d even told me or my wife that much. But they didn’t give a name, a company name, a phone number, or any information whatsoever that I could use to get in contact with them, and they only called when I was at work and unable to come to the phone. They apparently expected me to divine who was calling through telepathy. Only yesterday did I get a recorded message on my answering machine finally telling me to call HBC Credit Services, though the message didn’t even hint at why.

C) Despite being on the DNC, I get a lot of telemarketing calls from places that skirt the rules by calling from outside the country, and at least half a dozen of them have been scams (increase your credit limit, renew your car insurance, those things), so house policy is now not to even answer calls from out-of-country or out-of-province numbers we don’t recognize – or if we’re around, do a quick pickup and hangup.

D) I am responsible with my finances. This is the only overdue I’ve ever had that got overlooked in the holiday rush, which this year has been more hectic than before due to my wife’s family moving way the hell up north, which meant we couldn’t just give her brother gifts to drop off at the parent’s so we didn’t have to lug them around when we went over there for the holiday. Now it’s shipping some of them and dragging some of them on the train with us. Not something I’m used to, so $11 got overlooked in the bustle. Woo.

My pit was for them harassing my wife constantly and being rude to her (accusing her of blocking them from talking to me like she was doing it on purpose) over eleven fucking dollars. Which, by the by, I paid tonight after I spoke to someone there. He was quite apologetic about the harassing and rude calls, too. $11 isn’t a hardship and if I’d known it’d make them go nuclear I’d have paid it off as soon as I knew, but I figured I’d just consolidate it with my next payment for the sake of simplicity.

I agree with the substance of your rant regarding fuckbags who use obnoxious or deceptive practices to try to communicate with customers. (Or potential customers.)

It’s the same reason why any snail mail that arrives without a return address immediately goes in the trash. And why I won’t answer the phone if the caller ID is hidden.

I do the same thing. A lot of telemarketing I get (or used to get anyway; haven’t seen it in a while) has spoofed numbers, so those are an automatic ignore. Snail mail with no return address and/or a generic addressee gets trashed to. Except coupons that are obvious coupons. We can always use those. :slight_smile:

But why in the hell HBC wouldn’t leave so much as a phone number with which to contact them is beyond me. Honestly, what’s the problem with leaving a company name and number? Especially if I’m never around when they call? Made me feel like some lowlife deadbeat, all over small change, and that just pissed me off. I kept having that bit from Better Off Dead playing in my head: “I want my two dollars!”

Maybe, but even the companies that don’t harass you for missing a payment DO often tack on a penalty for missing that payment.

Last year, i forgot to pay my credit card bill on time one month. I was busy and distracted, and just happened to miss the payment date by a couple of days. No-one called to hassle me, but they did tack a $35 late payment fee onto my card balance. And this is a card i had used for over 5 years, and on which i had never previously made a late payment.

Don’t mean to hijack, but if something like that happens sometimes you can call and they will refund it, or maybe even go half and half with you.

Yeah, I do understand that it can happen, though I do know that there aren’t really any late fees as such with this card (maybe an extra few percentage points on the balance or something, I dunno; never been late so I’ve never seen it appear on my bill). If something like that were to happen though it’d only ever happen once. I try to be as diligent as I can with credit card payments 'cos I don’t want to mess up my credit rating, and missing credit card payments are a good way to do it. (Even if it is a store card.)

I did get hit with a $35 overdraft fee once from my bank. Wasn’t even my fault either; the bank cashed a post-dated cheque before the post date. I got them to reverse it on that basis, but they still said I’d be on some sort of “watch list” for 6 months within which they wouldn’t cover any overdrafts. Idiots.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve read on the SDMB that banks can ignore the date on a post-dated check. In other words, it’s not their fault that there was insufficient funds in your account.

You can’t simply post-date a check. I mean you can, but it doesn’t mean shit unless you tell your bank about it in advance:


edit: I just realized by your spelling of “cheque” that you may not be in the US. My statement refers to US law.

The vaults of the bank are guarded by more than just orks, and the great eye of the Pyramid is ever-watching.

I don’t know what Canadian laws are with regards to post-dated cheques, but the bank reversing the fee and telling me that it shouldn’t have happened tells me that they do at least have a policy against clearing them early.

Or, most certainly, that they were giving you a one-time break because you were a valued customer.

I’d be really surprised if even the most stringent consumer protection law would allow consumers to write, and send, a post-dated check, without fear of penalty should the vendor present the check for payment upon receipt. No, I’m more certain that the rules explicitly state that it is the consumer’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient funds exist in their account at the time that the check is presented for payment.

Think about it. What if you inadvertently dated your mortgage check for 2/15 instead of 2/10. Your loan is due on 2/10. They receive the check on 2/10. If the mortgage is paid late, you’ll be assessed penalties and your credit score will be negatively affected. If, on the other hand, the check bounces, you’ll be assessed a boatload of bank fees.

So what is the bank to do? Play mind reader and try to figure out what your intentions were? No. They cash it. Because it’s not their responsibility to hold off on cashing a check that is presented to them until you can make good on it. Rather it’s YOUR responsibility to hold off on SENDING the check until you can make good on it. If you don’t have the money in your account, don’t send the check.

I once got a call from a company regarding a VERY late payment. Seems when I closed the account, there was an amount outstanding.

They called and sounded quite intimidating, until they reached the amount -

“Ms. Poysyn, are you aware that you have neglected to pay the outstanding amount on your previous account with us? When can we expect payment of this…(snicker)…$2.53?”

I told them that I would pay it immediately.

Except the credit card companies are wise to this and some have begun to send the monthly statements in envelopes that look like junk mail. It’s almost as if they WANT you to miss a payment so that you can be charged a late fee and have your interest rate jacked up.

I pay all my credit cards (and other bills) online. I never get bills in the snailbox.

I’m not sure I understand the logic here. If you post-date a cheque you are effectively telling the bank, “I want to make preparations to have this taken care of now, but the money will not be in the account until the date on this cheque.” What purpose would post-dating serve otherwise? No, it is not the bank’s responsibility to divine any mistakes you might make on the post dating – in fact, if you screw up on the post-dating, that’s your own damn fault for not making sure the post-date was correct, and any financial harm that befalls you as a result of that are all on you, being that it was your mistake and all.

See, I think of post-dating as effectively telling the person I give the check to not to cash it until that date, and there’s an element of trust between the payer and payee, not the payer and the bank. Until I looked up the law, I thought post-dating has no legal weight whatsoever in the US, but it seems that if you give the bank notice beforehand, they have to honor the post-dating, given certain requirements being met. Other web sites I’ve looked at seem to agree that post-dating has no weight whatsoever, but the actual commercial code I’ve cited says something a little different.

edit: However, the law is indeed different in Canada (if the bank belongs to the CPA, although I don’t know if this is a universal thing banks belong to or just a subset of banks):