While paying for auto repair work at Firestone Tire Company in Dec., 2010, an employee asked if I would like to open a Firestone account and receive a free 6-month grace period during which I could pay off any amount month-by-month, and so long as I paid the entire bill within 6 months, I would not be billed for any interest on the bill. I made my first payment the very next month in Jan. 2011, then paid off the remaining balance the next month in Feb. 2011. A consumer would at this point assume that his account now has a zero balance, correct? And, in this case, why would he bother to go back online to revisit his account; his account has been paid in full. But, this was not the case with this company. It was not until June 2011 -- when he was in the process of refinancing his home! -- that he found out that he had a balance of over $120 and now had a negative credit hit because of this account.
I immediately called and spoke to a CFNA customer service rep who ONLY AFTER I GOT ADAMANT WITH HIM did he agree fully remove all outstanding balance due. This tel. conversation was even recorded. Forward a week or two: I get an email from my Wells Fargo asking about my negative credit account with CFNA, which naturally gets me worked up, because this account was supposed to be fixed by the customer service rep or supervisor.
So, I had to call a second time, spoke to a different customer service rep, who initially wanted to argue with me about being charged ANYTHING during the free 6-month grace period of no interest, and told me that she would not remove any additional charges -- at this point it was over $30 -- despite me clarifying about the terms of the agreement with which I agreed at Firestone Tire Co. She then told me that she would refer me to her supervisor. I waited all of about 1 minute and the same rep then told me that she would remove the balance, this would post online within 48 hours, and in response to my query, told me that none of this would impact my credit rating any further.
Interestingly, even on each of my online monthly CFNA statements, it reads "Promotion Type: Six Month Payment Purchase(s)" and "You must pay your promotional balance in full by the promotional due date(s) listed above to avoid paying accrued interest charges." This was on each online monthly statement. so how could anybody at CFNA have any doubt about me owing any money for interest or penalty charges, when it was clearly documented in their computers that I paid off the balance within 2 months?
I contend at best this is bad faith business practices, but believe that this company engages in fraudulent business practices aimed at people who may not check or challenge their erroneous billing, or who do not have adequate English proficiency to know that they're being defrauded out of their money.
I will be closing this account in a day or two, and henceforth will only use Firestone Tire Co. for my already paid-for lifetime wheel alignment contract. As a result of this company trying to screw me, I will never buy anything else from Firestone, e.g., no more oil changes, no more auto parts, no repair work, nothing, nada, zilch. They have just lost my business forever, and I plan to have more frequent pre-paid wheel alignments now, too.