• Report: #355992

Complaint Review: FINGERHUT, Stonebridge Life insurance

  • Submitted: Sat, July 26, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, February 20, 2009

  • Reported By:green cove springs Florida
FINGERHUT, Stonebridge Life insurance
St. Coud, Minnesota U.S.A.

FINGERHUT, Stonebridge Life insurance St. Cloud Minnisota

*UPDATE Employee: Fingerhut employee response to complaint

*UPDATE Employee: Consumer Affairs Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Answer to your dilemma-

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It is my understanding that if you do not pay an insurance premium then the policy lapses. Fingerhut keeps billing me for an insurance policy I got with Stonebride Life Insurance, and tacking on late fees. I have cancelled the policy with Stonebridge and Fingerhut tacked on a $14.90 late fee after I cancelled the policy. $14.90 late fee for a $54 bill!

I think this qualifies as harassment that Fingerhut is trying to force me to pay for something that is optional. I don't want it, I didn't pay for it, after the first missed premium payment the policy should have lapsed. They keep billing me and tacking on higher and higher late fees.

Has anyone ever had an insurance company continue to send bills, tack on late fees and demand payment on a lapsed policy?

They have called me and told me my account was overdue and I needed to make a payment right now. I told them it was an insurance policy and if I don't want it I don't have to pay for it. You can not force someone to pay for a life insurance policy they do not want. Plus Fingerhut is not an Insurance company and if I would have died they would not have paid out anything so why do they think I owe them anything?

They say they are sending it to a collections agency.
Isn't there something illegal going on here for them to insist I make payments on a life insurance policy? I thought it was if you pay you are covered, if you don't you are not covered and that's it.

green cove springs, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/26/2008 03:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/FINGERHUT-Stonebridge-Life-insurance/St-Coud-Minnesota/FINGERHUT-Stonebridge-Life-insurance-St-Cloud-Minnisota-355992. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Fingerhut employee response to complaint

AUTHOR: Rangebird - (U.S.A.)

I am very sorry to hear of your bad experience in this matter. What is most important now is that you contact Fingerhut Customer Services 1-800-208-2500 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m
This issue could have been resolved to everybody's satisfaction had the appropriate steps been immediately taken.
First, Fingerhut Direct Marketing sent you a statement with Stonebridge Life charge per an agreement made between you and Stonebridge. Fingerhut Direct Marketing does the billing in this situation. The phone number for you to have contacted was on your statement each month that Stonebridge was billed to your Fingerhut Direct Marketing charge account. Also, the customer service number is on every statement you recieve from Fingerhut Direct Marketing, should you have any questions regarding your statement. Fingerhut has a staff of specialists that work directly with affiliates regarding service and billing issues. They would have been more than willing to assist you in resolving this issue, as well as our customer service representitives that are continually trained, and highly skilled at assisting customers with every aspect of their Fingerhut Direct Marketing account.
In most instances, all late fees and finance charges that accrue to an account can be credited, provided that the customer has taken appropriate action to resolve the issue. Namely, contacting the affiliate and cancelling or requesting credit for the service being billed for.
Also, if there were no other charges on the account..i.e. merchandise, the account would have been placed on hold from collection action for up to 30 days.
Otherwise, if there were other charges on the account the account holder is responsible to make the minimum payment on the account per the terms and conditions of the account until all disputes are resolved. This action keeps your account in good standing, and, if there is an overpayment on your account, Fingerhut Direct Marketing gives you the option of leaving that amount on your available credit, or requesting a refund once your statment shows a credit balance.
I suggest you contact Fingerhut Direct Marketing Customer Service as soon as possible, explain the situation, and see if this issue can be resolved. If the representative is unable to credit all late fees and finance charges, you have the right to request to speak with a supervisor. If none is available at that time, the representive will route your information to a supervisor for them to call you back within 2to3 working days. Be sure that you provide a good number that you can be reached at, and the best time that you can be called.
I hope this has assited you in any way in this matter.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Consumer Affairs Manager

AUTHOR: Melissa - (U.S.A.)

At Stonebridge Life Insurance nothing is more important than our customers' satisfaction and our Company's reputation. We take pride in researching and responding to customer concerns. If you would like for us to research your concerns, please forward your information, such as name, address, phone number or membership number to us at custrel@aegonusa.com, by fax to 972-881-4072 or by mail to 2700 West Plano Parkway, Plano TX 75075.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Answer to your dilemma-

AUTHOR: Birdhead - (U.S.A.)

This is not a ripoff. Consumers have to be educated about how credit works.

I used to work for Stonebridge Life Insurance company and it is a legitimate insurance company. It's been in business for many years and is a solvent company. You can check with your state insurance board. Believe me if you died and someone filed a claim, it would be paid according to state regulations. A lot of people run into a problem like yours when they fail to understand how credit accounts are billed. It is not a ripoff but simply a misunderstanding of how and why you are being billed. Fingerhut should have been able to tell you how to resolve this. Sounds more like bad service rather than a rip off.

The problem
You enrolled in an insurance policy in which the premium is billed each month to a credit account, in this case Fingerhut. So, even though you are not paying the Fingerhut bill, the insurance premium is paid each time it is billed to your account. This is not a scheme or a scam it is just recurring billing, just like if you were to have your auto payment deducted from your checking account each month. A credit card is a loan, so each time something is billed to that account the company that billed the account is paid at the time of the charge and you will repay the credit company when they send you a bill. This is why you havent received a bill directly from Stonebridge.

Confusion sets in
when the customer doesnt realize that if you want to stop a recurring charge from billing on your credit card you need to call the company that is billing you and cancel with them directly. In this case you need to call Stonebridge directly. You can not ask Fingerhunt to stop charging you because they are not the one charging the premium. Also, if you only talk to Fingerhut and not Stonebridge, then Stonebridge has no way of knowing that you no longer want the insurance. Fingerhut should have told you how to handle this. Again, bad service but not a ripoff.

Late fees
Life insurance policies do not charge late fees but credit companies do; therefore, the late fees that you have accrued are from Fingerhut and not Stonebridge. Depending on how past due your Fingerhut account is you can ask them to waive the fees. It is at their descretion if they choose to waive the fees. They dont have to. If they do, it is as a point of service but they are entitled to all fees accured according to your credit account terms and conditions.

Cancel your insurance
Contact Stonebridge and ask them to cancel the policy. You can also ask them to reverse the charges for the last 2 months. Again they dont have to but if you explain your situation, the representative may have mercy on you and give you a credit which can be backed off of your credit card and reduce your balance with Fingerhut. I suggest when you ask for a refund that you are very polite and cooperative with the agent you are speaking to. If they do give you a refund, it will be out of kindness and not obligation. Now once you have cancelled the policy you will not recieve any more charges on you account but you may recieve another bill showing the charge for the previous month. Remember I said a credit card is a loan that you are paying back. So you will recieve a bill for charge that happed before you cancelled the coverage. This is usually most confusing for a customer but once you get your bill and if you look at it and think about the date of the charge and the date on which you cancelled the insurance, it should make sense if you think about it reasonably.

If you want to keep the insurance (and the agent at Stonebridge will definately try to get you to keep the coverage. Dont get mad it's their job to try) you can keep it and just have it billed differently so that you dont run into problems again concerning late fees.

Stonebridge's parent company AEGON

Stonebridge Life Insurance Company Qualifies as Newest Member of Ethics Standards Association
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