Last spring I signed up with Bill Me Later for some online shopping. It seemed like an efficient way to defer payment for a while and give my credit cards a rest.
About the time my bill should have been due to be paid, they sent me an email telling me to log into my account as there had "been some activity" but at this time, there was no balance. I was unable to access the site for a day or two due to numerous malfunctions including my password not working.
When I finally accessed my account I sure enough found zero balance. I was quite annoyed by all the stress of trying to access my account and then finding no balance due. I sent them an email about the web site problems and told them not to send me advertising or email unless I had a balance due. They emailed me back with an apology and promise to refer my complaint to Operations Management. Not a word was heard.
I began checking frequently and the next thing I knew, my bill appeared and they had added $19.00 late fee to it. I called Customer Service and complained that my bill had not showed a balance and I certainly had planned to pay it on time and would have done so had I been notified in a timely fashion. They removed the fee and I didn't use them again for quite a while
In August this year, I had pretty much forgotten about my previous experience and I made a purchase in the amount of $148.94 from Overstock.com. I kept checking my Bill Me Later account to see if it had posted and it hadn't. All of a sudden, I get an email telling me that my bill is ready to be paid. There it was, with a $19.00 "adjustment" and a $2.53 "finance charge" bringing my total owed to $170.47. This was two days after the bill's due date.
I called Customer Service and requested they remove the fees and I was informed they could not remove the charges because they had granted me that courtesy once before. This makes me look like a slacker/opportunist and I was pretty ticked off. I told them to close my account because I could not afford to have my credit ruined by their sloppy billing practices. I mailed them a check including the fees and enclosed a note telling them again to close my account.
Last week, I got another email from them telling me there had been "some activity" on my account, but that no balance was due at this time. Since the account was paid and closed, I was very concerned to hear this. I was still able to log in to the account and when I did, there was the original $148.94 from Overstock.com!!
I sent them a letter informing them that my bill was paid in full, the check had already cleared the bank and if they were receiving a new bill from Overstock.com, they had better pay it out of the funds I had sent them.
I have an excellent Fico score because I am absolutely never late with a payment of any kind and I pride myself on this. This shabby, underhanded practice can ruin a person's credit in no time. Now that I have seen that others have experienced similar problems, it is clear to me that this is their modus operendi and they need to be slapped a few fines or be put out of business. They are making a bundle on "overdraft" fees and it is doubtful the companies who employ their services have got the slightest clue.
If anything further comes about with these people, I will be notifying the news media and the FTC.