I foolishly trusted Advanta for my small business just to see them cheat me out of hard earned money.
I opened small business credit card account with Advanta to have a source of quick cash if I needed a short term loan for my business. When the time came that I did need cash, I called Advanta to see what my credit limit was so that I would not exceed it and incur any penalty. The recording I got (there is only a recording) told me my balance was zero and I could charge up to $5k or write a credit check for $5k. So I wrote a credit check for $5k and deposited it into my business account. When the Advanta statement arrived a few weeks later, it showed a penalty of $39 assessed because I went over my limit. I called Advanta and the rep. explained that the service fee for writing the checks was applied which brought me over the $5k limit. I told him that I purposely called to avoid doing anything wrong and I followed Advanta instructions exactly. I asked how then I could possibly be penalized for doing what they instructed? He agreed and refunded the penalty.
The following month I received my statement and it showed the refund, but on the same statement it was reassessed. I called Advanta again because I had paid $1k (far more than the minimum) so it was impossible to have been penalized a second time.
I was informed by this new rep. that the penalty that was waived by the first rep. was put back in place by a supervisor and they refused to refund the money. I asked them how they could possibly justify charging a penalty to a customer after they specifically told the customer that they could write a check for a given amount? I tried to explain to them how it is deceitful and fraudulent to inform customers that they can do something and then penalize them for doing exactly what they were told they could do.
Needless to say, Advanta didn't care one iota.
This is fraud - plain and simple. It is consumer fraud. Advanta purposely tells its customers that they can charge to a specific amount, but then penalizes them when they do. This is one bad, bad company!
Needless to say, I immediately paid off this company in full and closed my account. I also filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General and I am devoting 10 hours per month blogging about how bad this company is. This is one of the advantages of being a syndicated columnist and author - you did have the last say.