Thursday, February 3, 2011

Credit Cards roasting on an open fire...

Let me preface this by saying I HATE credit cards. Hate 'em.

Hubs and I have been working through Financial Peace for about three years now, becoming credit card and medical debt free last April. Last year, I found the perfect father's day gift for Hubs, but since he would be looking at the bank account to pay bills, he would totally catch me. I had the cash in my automatic deposit account, but since I do everything online, I had no debit card or checks tied to it. So I did what every Dave Ramsey graduate should never do; I opened a credit card at my favorite warehouse store.

Now before you go throwing rocks at me, as soon as I got home, I set up the account online and tried to pay it, but you have to wait until the statement closes before you can (oh yes, now I remember why I hate this credit card company!). Not a problem! I set an alarm to remind me to pay it the hour I could, and that was that.

But I didn't close the account and carried the card in my wallet because I lost my warehouse card and you can use the credit card without actually having to charge your purchases.

Excuses, excuses.

So we move down here and we head to the warehouse store because we need a few things for the house. Those few things turn into an entertainment center, king mattress, cleaning products for the house. A tiny bit of money is in our old state bank account (that has no branches down here) and the other account where paychecks have been deposited, we have no debit card/checks yet. No problem! I say. We'll just put it on my card and I'll pay it off next week when we get all of our account stuff settled. We have the cash and then some, we just don't have access to it.

After Christmas, I go to get food to re-stock our bare pantry, freezer and fridge, and because I didn't check with Hubs about where all of our money was, I just put those purchases on the card as well.

A couple of weeks later, I go to pay off the card. It shows my 2 purchase dates, and a minimum payment of $19. I go to the "Pay Bill" section, and it is only letting me pay the first charge, not the additional groceries. I try to type in the full amount and it won't let me. I go back and look again and realize that the "statement closed" the day after charge 1, and charge 2 is on a separate statement. I call the company and they tell me that I can only pay off the first charge, and I can pay off the second charge Thursday. Grrrrr.

Thursday, we left to go skiing (more on that later), so I didn't get on and pay it. Tuesday, I get online to pay it, and I have a $25 late fee, and $26 in interest and fees.

I am not happy.

So I call. And here's the conversation. My favorite part is bolded.

Barry: Thank you for calling CC company, what can I do for you?
Me: I'd like to cancel my card.
Barry: And may I ask why?
Me: Yes, I remembered this month that I HATE your company and was reminded why I cancelled my card many years ago.
Barry: Ummm ok....can you be more... specific?
Me: Sure! (explain what happened with the charges/payments).
Barry: Let me see what I can do!
Me: Great!
*****hold music******
Barry:Ok! I will be more than happy to wave the $25 late fee.
Me: Ok. What about the interest on charges I tried to pay off, but couldn't.
Barry: I can't do anything about that, but I STRONGLY encourage you to keep your account open.
Me: Humor me.
Barry: Well, I'm looking at your account, and you're loyalty points are up at the end of this month, and CC company is going to send you a check for a percentage of your purchases!
Me: No, I get my percentage check from the warehouse in March.
Barry: Yeah, but WE send you one, too! If you keep your account open, you'll get $22 at the end of this month!
Me: REALLY BARRY?! If I let you charge me interest on purchases I tried to pay off immediately, you'll pay me back the cash back I earned making said purchases which will be less than the interest charges? So I get to pay you $4 for rewarding me?
Barry: Ummm...
Me: This is my problem, Barry. If I charge the account, I want to be able to pay it off immediately. Instead, your company doesn't let me do that and there for screws me with interest charges, is that correct?
Barry:Yeah, that's pretty much how our Credit Card company works.....
Me: Yeah, so I'm just going to cut my losses and be done with it.
Barry: hang on one more minute...
*****hold music*****
Barry: Ok. Here's the deal. I can't credit you the interest charges, BUT if you agree to keep your card open, we'll give you a $30 thank you credit.
Me: Fine.
Barry: I just have to get you on tape saying that you agree to the terms.
Me: Let's do it.
Barry: Credit Card company will credit MommyChick $30 as a thank you for your loyalty, if you agree, please say, "yes."
Me: Yes.
Barry: Great! Now, we'll credit your account the $30 if you are in good standing with your account at the time of crediting which will be in the next 8-12 weeks.
Me: Ha! Sure. I will pay it off right now and either set fire to the card or put it in my freezer until I get my $30 credit.
Barry: Ummm.. anything else I can do for you?
Me: Nope, I'm good. Thanks Barry!
Barry: Have a nice day...

I couldn't believe that the CC dude actually admitted, on tape, yup, we specifically designed this card to screw you over. At least Barry was honest. And as soon as my $30 credit posts, we'll be having ourselves a little bbq. No paper, just plastic.


Annie said...

Very entertaining, yet so true! Oh how the wheel spins. Glad you are having a BBQ, I'll bring the buns!

cindyfave said...

Love it! You always make me smile, sometimes even laugh out loud!