I begin this by mentioning that I am an attorney in Alabama.
I recently received an automated call from a company which stated that it was calling "about my credit card," and instructing me to "press 1" to speak to a representative. Although I typically hang up on such calls knowing they are sales calls, I was bored and pressed 1 as instructed.
I was told by the representative that she was with "Card Services" and wanted to assist me in reducing the interest rates on my cards and that the call was a followup to a letter I had received a few weeks prior. Although I did not recall such a letter, had I received one, it would have promptly been filed in the "round file." I immediately went into interrogation mode, assuming she was trying to sell me a new card and balance transfer. However, she made a statement to lend credibility to her pitch - she stated that "Credit Services" represented the companies that actually owned the names of "Visa" "Master Card" and "American Express" and that, due to the extremely high interest rates being charged by the banks which issue the cards, the owners of the trade names were losing out on the 2.5% surcharge they received on new purchases because people were not making as many credit purchases. She represented that they, representing these companies, would assert pressure on my issuing banks to reduce my interest rates to an initial rate of around 9.9% and to have them further reduced every few months, until they were completely eliminated! Wow! What a great offer!
Well, I did not qualify because I pay off my cards each month and do not carry a balance. However, my girlfriend has substantial credit card debt at extremely high interest. The deal gets better - because we live together, they can include both our cards. So now my interest was peaked so I had my girfriend speak with the representative. Curiously, after gathering the account information, the very pleasant young lady was interrupted to take an "emergency" telephone call and my girlfriend was handed off to another representative. The new rep. then disclosed that they proposed to charge her a $600 "processing fee" to negotiate with the credit card companies and that such would be charged to one of her cards and "absorbed" by the savings from the interest rate reduction. OK, so the gig was up! Here comes the fun part.
My girlfriend then asked the rep. to explain the terms to me, stating that I was an attorney. I first aksed the rep the full name of the company and she replied "Card Services." I asked if Card Services was properly qualified to conduct business in Alabama and she assured me that it was. While speaking with her, I checked the name with the Alabama Secretary of State online and found that no such name was qualified in Alabama. I inquired further as to the full legal name of the company but the rep., now being outside of her script, fumbled to reply. Trying to return to her script, the rep. assured me that the rate reduction would be "permanent," even for new purchases. I then inquired how the rate could be made permanent without a new account agreement with each issuing bank removing the provisions allowing for a rate change at any time. This caused the rep. great anxiety but she kept her composure and assured me that the tape recording of the agreement between my girlfriend and Card Services would serve as verification of the permanency of the reduction. After chasing her in circles a few times, I asked for written verification of the terms of the "program" and again for the legal name of the company. She then said that I would have to speak with her supervisor. Oh boy!
The supervisor, who identified himself as "Tim Turner," assurred me that the legal name of the company was "Card Services" and that the company was qualified to conduct business in Alabama. When I told him that I had already verified that no such company was qualified in Alabama, he, very pointedly, asked me how I had done so. When I explained that I logged on to the Secretary of State live web site, he responded "Oh." I then provided him with the URL and he stated that he would "look into that." During this exchange, I discovered a post on this site, ripoffreports.com, which mirrored my experience and further indicated that the company name was LEVERAGE CONNECTION. I asked Tim if they were Leverage Connection and he said no. I then related to him the post, which also indicated that Leverage Connection was in Orlando, where he had revealed he was located, and he replied that the marketing department may use different names. I then repeated my request that my girfriend be provided written verification of the terms of their offer and he politely replied that they would not provide such. I bid him a good day and hung up.
Moral of this tome : These guys have a slick sales pitch and their front-end reps seem to be well trained. I am posting this to increase the likelihood that a search will reveal this company for the scam it is. Although these guys may be more successful at getting your card interest rates reduced than a call from you, they should not attempt to disguise the service or fraudulently misrepresent that they are acting on behalf of the trade name holders.