nightmares when paying the bills
Apparently, some people check their souls at the
door when they punch in at work. Your tales of bills gone awry prove
Cruel rate hike
I suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had to be rushed into the hospital
for emergency surgery following two days of running from one clinic
to another for tests. Several hours after surgery, I realized that
if a credit card payment were not made that day, it would be late.
I called my 11-year-old at home and walked him through
the online bill pay process. He received a confirmation page and
I was confident the payment had gone through.
Several days later, at home, I was checking the online
bill pay for the payment and it was not there. The credit card company
had already imposed a $35 late fee. I called them and explained
the situation, made the payment over the phone -- at $10 to do so
-- and made sure to point out our perfect payment history. They
waived the $35 late fee. But in my next statement was an 8.99 percent
interest rate increase!
When I called, they said that it was due to a late
payment, which I again explained to them to no avail. I canceled
the card. This card was our oldest account and had a perfect payment
history. As a result, our credit score dropped and suddenly a few
of our other cards decided we needed an interest rate hike from
them too, despite perfect payment histories. One even raised the
rate to 24.99 percent!
Cell phone ad infinitum
I had a cell phone. I ordered the protection package for $3 per
month to cover loss or damage. When my phone dropped and quit working,
I called to get a new phone. They said I'd never had the protection
and the $3 they'd charged me every month was for something else.
They wanted to charge me $250 for a new phone. I wouldn't do that,
so I asked where I could get it repaired. They didn't have anyone
to repair the phone. I called and told them I was suspending my
service because they could not provide what they had promised either
in replacement or repair.
They continued to charge monthly fees and late fees
of $29 per month for around a year, racking up $600 in charges for
a phone I didn't use.
I was stuck with around $60,000 in credit card bills in my divorce.
I tried keeping up and paying them, but finally negotiated a settlement
for about 40 cents on the dollar and paid them off with some help
from family. I paid the companies enough to cover the original charges,
plus reasonable interest.
As agreed in the settlement, most of the companies
reported my accounts as settled with a zero balance. However, one
company reported only one of my two accounts with them as paid.
For the last four years, they've reported the other still outstanding.
I sent a letter to the three credit bureaus with documentation that
my balance was zero.
I have not heard back from all of them yet, but one
credit-reporting agency replied that they would not change the report
on that account. Furthermore, they will change my file to convert
the balances that were reported as zero to left owing, and will
report all the other accounts with other companies as still owing.
I couldn't get credit to buy a pencil now.
Soul-less credit counselor
I was in a jam and thought that a credit counselor would be the
answer. They scammed me out of $750 in up-front fees that I cannot
get back. They took money out of my checking account on time, but
in a 24-month period they paid my bills on time 15 times. The rest
of the time they paid late, short-paid my accounts and even bounced
I had a credit card on which I had accrued approximately 10,000
airline miles. I was in good standing with the account, but hadn't
used the card in about a year. Without warning the bank closed my
account and confiscated my miles! When I called to complain, all
they said was, "Sorry, I didn't make the decision."
The credit card company with
I missed a couple of payments over the course of a year with my
credit card. They decided to lower my limit, which I can accept.
However, they lowered the limit of my card to below the balance
I was carrying, and then started charging me over-the-limit fees.
They started calling the house five to six times
a day demanding that I pay the amount over the limit. I explained
that I could not and offered to double my monthly minimum payment.
They agreed to this and told me they would waive the over-the-limit
fees as long as I made the payments as agreed. But they are still
charging over-the-limit fees and harassing me by telephone. I've
even had their representatives hang up on me.