Someone has to stop Bank One before they get completely out of hand. I have been a LOYAL Bank One customer for the past 9 years. Everything was fine and dandy until about 6 months ago (about the time the merger to JP Morgan/Chase Manhattan was announced). I have excellent credit and was never late on my payment and always made the minimum or more each month.
All of the sudden, I have two major hikes in my interest rate: one from 8.9% to 12.9% and then another to 14.9% - there was no explanation to the reasons behind these hikes, only that they were doing them. The last hike came in December and the only notification that I received was their small pamphlet stating that the merger was happening and we might notice changes in rates. How vague.
I was using my card around Christmas time and had approximately $80 left on it to cover the finance charge since Bank One likes to send you over the limit and charge you outrageous fees. Since they hiked up the interest rate in November, finance charges on my account cause me to be over my credit limit. So, not only did I have to make the minimum monthly payment, but also pay the over limit fee of $35 plus, in full, whatever charges were on the account at that time. Of course, I received my bill in the middle of December and I was extremely upset because I knew, for the first time, I could not make the monthly payment due to Christmas.
I immediately called the Customer Service department and closed the account. I was fed up with everything that was happening. I informed the rep that I could not make the minimum payment this month, however, I would send them a payment of $150, what I normally do. He offered me NO options, so I thought he would note it and all would be fine. How stupid of me. In the meantime, I formulated a plan to pay off the credit card, since I am wanting to purchase a home in the next year.
I received my bill for this month and my minimum payment skyrocketed to $433, my finance charge to 26%, PLUS I had a late fee even though I mailed the payment 5-7 days in advance and a over the limit fee to boot, once again due to finance charges. I called the CSC once again and complained again about my bill. The rep I spoke to was as helpful as a gaping wound, so I immediately asked to talk to the manager. I explained to him that I have a good standing with their company for the last 8 years and never once failed to make the minimum payment or was late. He said that he could see that.
I added that the minute I knew I could not make the payment, I called and let them know and was offered NO other options. I also added that I will have the card paid off in 6-7 months and that I plan on making a large payment this month. I told him the hike the interest rate was making it impossible for me to pay off the card - they were already making bank on me and their practices were unfair. He said he could remove the fees, but would have to send my request for a lower interest rate to be reviewed and I would get notification in a week. After reading the complaints, I have no hope they will lower the rate.
To sum up, Bank One is notorious, in my book, by allowing the finance charges to push you over the limit and, in turn, charge you late fees and ask you pay off, in entirity, purchases you had made that month PLUS the finance charge AND expect you to make the payment in full. NOT ONCE was I offered an alternate payment plan for last month to avoid this fiasco.
After learning about the class action lawsuits (which I knew nothing about) and various other complaints, I am disheartened to learn that the company that I have freely done business with the past 8 years is corrupt and unyielding. DO NOT DO BUSINESS with Bank One. You will regret it.
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