• Report: #256751

Complaint Review: First Premier Bank - Premier Bankcard

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 25, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, December 10, 2010

  • Reported By:San Diego California
First Premier Bank - Premier Bankcard
mypremiercreditcard.com Sioux Falls, South Dakota U.S.A.

First Premier Bank - Premier Bankcard ripoff Illegal credit reporting practices usury law violations lies in their terms and conditions Sioux Falls South Dakota

*Consumer Comment: Do EVERYTHING in WRITING wehn dealing with First Premier

*General Comment: I agree. Customer service could be better.

*Consumer Comment: I agree with you, soundcheck07

*General Comment: and there is the problem

*UPDATE Employee: Read the Contract - Blame yourself not the bank

*Consumer Comment: I can sympathize ...

*Author of original report: I think you need to do some more research.

*Consumer Comment: In response to so called "illegal actions"

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I initially had a First Premier Bank Gold card with this company. I held the card for a year and paid steadily on it, for the purposes of rebuilding my credit. On three separate occasions I asked for a credit line increase and I was given three different answers - of which only the first one was a valid reason: I didn't have the card open long enough (it was 3 months after I got it, most card companies are open to it that early if it's been a good payment history).

After the third try, they sent me a notice saying I was approved for a Platinum card. Huh? So you won't extend me a $50 credit increase but you'll give me another card for $300 (minus the usual fees of ~$200)? I'm like whatever, maybe this is due to my good payment history, and I can always change my mind if I want. So I accept.

Card comes in the mail ACTIVATED. Meaning I didn't have to call or anything. Not only is this a security violation - since anyone could have ripped the card out of the mail and started using it - but it left me no grounds to cancel the card beforehand and basically obligated me to the fees accrued. (Illegal Action #1: Patriot Act requires banks to verify identity before OPENING an account. Meaning you can't send cards pre-activated, there has to be some type of ID verification first). But I decided to give it a chance.

I used the card twice and was making payments - as I always have been. But I slowly found random fees being applied due to what appeared to be timing issues on the part of FP - they would apply payments late on purpose so they could charge late fees. Said late fees caused overlimit, resulting in overlimit fees. Both fee types were subject to accrued interest, and so on and so forth. Then they sent me a minimum monthly payment required of $100. For a $300 card? 30% of the card balance? (Illegal Action #2: their terms and conditions state that it's the greater of 1% or $20, not 30%. That means the minimum should have been AT MOST $20)

I was pissed. I called and told them to cancel both cards immediately. The chick sat arguing with me "well why did you accept the card if you had no intention of paying it?" Despite the fact I explained to her numerous times that I had no problem paying what I SHOULD pay, not some obscene amount pulled out of someone's rear end. Finally I just told her, "What part of cancel both cards do you not understand?" She canceled the cards. I sent full payment for the Gold card, it's done. Didn't send anything for the Platinum because I wanted the fees adjusted off since I cancelled before the first due date. They didn't do it. Then the collection started. I told them 3 times that I would pay what I really owed - which was in the ballpark of $160 - not the $430 they said I owed (mind you, the credit limit was only $300). Fought tooth and nail.

Finally I escalated it to the BBB. It got routed to their "Borrower Services" department, some chick who claimed they would accept my partial payment. Which was fine - but when I looked at my credit report, I just happen to notice they've reported me 30 days late in the month of April. Err? The card was opened in January, closed in February, two days before the due date. CLOSED. (Illegal Action #3: You can't report a late payment in a month where an account is not active. Violation of Fair Credit Reporting law). Told the chick I wanted that late taken off as illegal - she refused. Disputed it with the bureaus - bureaus didn't care even though it wasn't legal for them to do that. Contacted the Banking Division of SD Consumer Affairs (Attorney General), who escalated it even higher. This chick said the same thing, refused to remove the late, but she sent me a letter confirming what I told the bureau - the account had been closed and inactive since February. I sent a redacted version of this letter to the bureau demanding they correct the account, it's now showing 60 days past due as of May and I am NOT happy. The bureaus kicked it back and refused - EVEN WITH A LETTER FROM THE COMPANY! (Yes, I plan to escalate that with the FTC and to lawsuit if needed.)

Now, the account is paid with a 60 day late that should never have been applied, in a sea of nearly 20 other accounts which have never been late. Avoid First Premier Bank.

Marcus
San Diego, California
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/25/2007 01:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/First-Premier-Bank-Premier-Bankcard/Sioux-Falls-South-Dakota/First-Premier-Bank-Premier-Bankcard-ripoff-Illegal-credit-reporting-practices-usury-law-256751. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

Do EVERYTHING in WRITING wehn dealing with First Premier

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

First Premier Bank is HORRIBLE! They have no customer service at all. They have only underpaid, undereducated THUGS working there. I wouldn't be suprised if the call centers were actually staffed by convicts. That's how bad it is.

I had 2 different cards with them, and a total of 3.5 years doing business with them and never was even once late with a payment. Not once. And, I paid my account in full every month. never paid the minimums.

I had a payment due on 11-20-2010 which was a Saturday. For some reason my payment did not reach them prior to this date. On SUNDAY MORNING I get a call from a BLOCKED NUMBER while I am in a restaurant having breakfast and it is some crackhead demanding my bank account info for a phone payment!

I tried explaining to this person that I NEVER give my banking info to ANYONE over the phone, especially someone calling from a BLOCKED NUMBER..... ON A SUNDAY.

Then, she went right into threatening me with damage to my credit report if I did not pay her over the phone! This is ILLEGAL!

I assured this person that I would look into it as soon as I got home and submit another payment via my online banking that day if needed. Keeping in mind that the ENTIRE BALANCE on this card was a whopping $17.67!! And, it was less than 24 hours "late", and I never had a late payment in 3.5 years.

RECAP...First Premier Bank PUT ME IN COLLECTIONS in less than 24 hours of payment not recieved by the due date! COLLECTIONS!! Are you kidding me???

Then, they called me every 1-2 hours after I told them I would take care of it as soon as I got home. I had family in town and had activities planned, but my day was ruined by these THUGS at First Premier Bank with constant calls to my cell phone all day long.

After about the 5th call that day I told the crackhead to close both of my accounts immediately.

Then it gets better...4 days later, I get a "settlement offer" in the mail saying they will accept half of the total amount "past due" which is now over $79.00!

They added NEW CHARGES to the "past due" amount!!

Settlement? Are you kidding me? What kind of bank talks "settlement" in less than 5 days late? What kind of bank puts you in COLLECTIONS within 24 HOURS of a missed payment?

All I can say is if you are even considering doing business with FIRST PREMIER BANK, DONT DO IT! RUN FAST! VERY FAST!!

 

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#2 General Comment

I agree. Customer service could be better.

AUTHOR: jrs397 - (United States of America)

I agree with a previous post where someone suggested Premier needs to discard (no pun intended) their present Customer Service staff and make a fresh go of it. I have a card with them,have done so since June. The only hiccup I have in my business relationship with them involves me trying to get a charge reversed. I first told them about it on the website. First,let me just say,their website is a joke. It seems to exist only for the purpose of making electronic payments,nothing more. No matter what question or comment you send to them,you will probably get the same rote computerized answer. During the course of my dealings with Premier,I was also in communication with the merchant I had a dispute with to see if they would give me a refund. They ignored most of my queries and the one time I did get an actual answer from them,I had mentioned something about getting the proper authorities involved. Funny how that will always get someone's attention,huh? Well,two months later I still haven't heard from the merchant. Meantime,I wrote to Premier and told them about the difficulty I was having in dealing with the merchant and asked if perhaps they could credit my account or reverse the charge. Fat lot of good that did. They told me that I should take it up with the merchant who sold me the product. Needless to say,I feel like the proverbial one-legged man at the butt-kicking contest;I just can't seem to win. Having the card might be worth it. Dealing with their customer service,definitely not. You will feel like banging your head against the wall by the time they finish giving you the runaround.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I agree with you, soundcheck07

AUTHOR: koolriderz - (United States of America)

The employee posting above is an asshole like all the rest at First Premier.  I spoke with one helpful, kind agent, and that was only because I was paying my balance in full.  I was then transferred to another agent to close the account.  I had FPB for 8 months, and believe me, I could have kept them for years, but customer service is simply too poor.  They need to fire them all, and start over.  Unless ofcourse, this is what they train them to do.  They belittle customers, and sound rude and overbearing.  Perhaps.  Employees assume its okay because they are talking to "some" desperate subprime customers.  So what.  Still a customer, paying a hell of alot more than prime consumers do.  If we didnt pay those fees on those little limits, who would?  Costumers are paying your paycheck, Mr. employee that posted above.  Regardless, there are better subprime credit providers out here.  They have better service, even if outsourced to India, and 5% to 9% lower interest, and no monthly maintenance fees.  A matter a fact, I have moved on to those better lenders.  I know employees are dedicated to their employers, but consider this, perhaps you are in the wrong field (customer service).
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#4 General Comment

and there is the problem

AUTHOR: soundcheck07 - (United States of America)

In response to the Employee- 

After having my fair share of go-arounds with the "pre-screened" credit card companies, lets just call a spade a spade.

Yes, Employee, you are mostly correct. Every unpleasant screwing we get is there in black and white 3pt font somewhere on your contract.  Unfortunately, the card company's pray on those in credit-crisis and the young; no one with good credit would ever pay for a card that charges a monthly fee for no usage. 

Now, lets talk a bit about the deceiving marketing tactics used to make sure that I don't catch all of that legal mumbo-jumbo 3pt font.  How about the spamming of my postal box trying to entice me into taking your "pre-approved" credit card?  How about scanning my credit report to find out if I fit into your "needy" category?  How about hiding all the important stuff on the back in super-small print using jargon that alludes the everyday Joe?  Instead, why not say it like it is:  "Hey, your credit isn't so great.  We will take care of you and give you a card, but you are gonna pay for it!"  

As if that isn't enough, everytime I talked to an operator, they never had any notes about anything I had spoke with a previous operator about.  So operator 1 tells me I can make a payment in the amount of $xx.xx and all will be good with no additional fees.  Then I hang up and call right back and speak to a different operator who a) has no idea what I am talking about and b) says that what operator #1 told me will not keep me from accruing additional fees.  So then I ask, who is telling me the truth.

Unfortunately, your arrogant attitude and unwavering dedication to your employer make you the kind of ass that makes me want to reach right through the phone.  I can't count the number of times that I was insulted, belittled, and bullied by "friendly operators" who think that good customer service means asking people "why did you get a credit card if you didn't intend on paying it?"

The worst part is that I have been on the line when an operator thought they had hung up.  They were laughing with co-workers about the calls.  So while I am going through a serious financial crisis, you are laughing it up at my expense.  Thanks, ass-wipes, for insulting me when I am already in the dumps.

The problem for us consumers is that there is no answer.  There is no person on the other line that will help us once we have been duped into signing your contract. 

I finally started recording my calls.  It okay as long as you inform the other party that they are being recorded.  Funny, once they know they are being recorded, attitudes and discrepancies start to improve a little
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Read the Contract - Blame yourself not the bank

AUTHOR: Policy King - (U.S.A.)

#1, Activation
There is no law stating a credit card has to be sent needing "activation". We just think that's the case because a lot of companies do it, sorry Marcus, that's not "the way they are". I'm sure we're all too familiar with the yellow sticker on front with the 1-800 #. That's the bank's practice to cut down on fraud, because believe it or not they're the victim who pays those charges - not you, when someone steals your Premier Bankcard out of the mail. All you have to do, is call them back and let them know you never got it and they file a stolen report, and guess what, you're not responsible. They'll even pull up signatures on receipts just make sure you're innocent.

#2, Payments
A payment is due every billing cycle. When you sign up for the card, the account is usually opened that day, and you have a payment due the next month about 30days after opening. People get confused and they think: No payment due until I can start spending!!! WRONG. You entered into a legally binding contract - better read the rules before you play the game or it's Game Over for you. If you want someone to blame for your own mistake, well... blame yourself for not being thorough.

#3, Over Limit Fees
I hear it everyday - "Your late fee put me over the limit!!" Yep, It sure can! But again, read the fine print, because late fees won't cause you to be billed an overlimit fee. Don't believe me? Read your contract this time. ONLY PURCHASES cause you an overlimit fee. Purchases are defined as a merchant authorization, meaning you spent money somewhere, and finances charges (your $6 monthly fee is also defined in your contract as a finance charge). That means when you spend all your available credit limit and you get charged that $2.14 from interest and go over the limit, it's your fault. I know you're all feeling pretty sheepish now because you wished you had read the contract before you got upset - but don't get yourself down, because Premier values it's customers, so it even goes to the extent NOT TO CHARGE the overlimit fee until you've gone 5% over your limit. So your limit is $250, when you hit $262.50 (and not a penny before) and it's because of purchases - that's the only time you get billed that fee. Keep it in mind - it'll save you $15-$29. By the way your annual fee used to cause you an overlimit fee if it put you over, not anymore effective Aug, 1st (already past)... again a company working hard to help the customer build positive credit history.

#4 Late fees
You sent it 3 days ago, your due date was today and you got charged a late fee. Hey you even sent it a week ago and still got a late fee... ok stop using the postal service. We all know things get lost in the mail or a setback at any one of the processing centers is going to make your mail late. It doesn't matter if it's postmarked 2 days before your due date YOU choose to risk it with the postal service, it's your problem. You want your payment there in time, do it electronically. Don't know how? Try calling the customer service number on the back of your card. Don't want to pay the $11 EFT charge for electronic debit? Don't want to send a Western Union that costs $12.95? Try IPPS for $1 - ask your drug store or grocery store about it. Even better they offer a free program to automatically take out whatever payment amount you specify... #1 minimum, #2 specific amount, #3 full balance. It's pulled out of your checking account 2 days prior to your due date.. did I mention it's FREE? Some of you are thinking "what if I don't have it in my account?" Then you should be asking yourself why you took on the credit card in the first place. If you cant afford it, don't get it! Don't use credit cards as a temporary loan when you know you cant make the payments. You're just setting yourself up for fees.

#5 Terms and conditions
Marcus, really, you're contradicting yourself. You want the $20 payment from the contract, but you expect that if you miss a payment and don't follow the contract yourself that you only have to pay that $20? You minimum payment is calculated as such:

overlimit amount + past due payments + current payment of $20.

So if you miss one payment and not over the limit, you have to pay $40 to get caught back up. If you don't, you're constantly 1 month behind. If you want to pay $20 and be behind every month and possibly get more fees... thats your choice, but at least Premier is telling you what you NEED to do to get back straight again! Try Capital One, they don't figure in the finance charge to your minimum payments, so when you're maxed out and you're only making those minimums, your finance charge puts you over EVERY MONTH and you get a $29 overlimit fee EVERY MONTH. Again, Premier tells you what you need to do to avoid fees... so why is everyone always so upset? *Scratches head*. Now, say you just signed up a week ago and got approved and they told you it was in the mail.... your first statement is WITH your credit card. The only reason your first payment would be $100 dollars is if you had a $250 credit line and missed 4 months of payments and then your payment would be around $120. The other way is you actually got your card and you went out and went over your limit by about $75. In either case Premier is going to call you when you go over/late even one time to find out what happened and get you back to minimum payments (I know this is my job). Then of course theres also the case that someone stole your credit card and ran it up, but still, they'll call and ask you why it happened. That's your chance to tell them it was stolen (if thats the case).

#6 Closed accounts
Just because you close your account doesn't mean your contract is ripped in half. It's still legal and you still owe monthly payments and you'll still get late fees if you don't pay. You're revolving credit will cease, but your reports won't. Again no law says a company can't report on closed accounts with balances. When you close it'll show "closed with balance $xxx.xx" and still show late and still charge off if you don't pay. Your account never goes to an outside collection agency until 5 months with no payments, and refusal or failure to pay anything else. And still sometimes it doesn't. If you don't a charge-off showing on your credit report for 7 years... tip - settle the account if it gets that bad. Ask for the Hardship program if you need it! When your account is at a $0.00 balance and closed, then is when your business with Premier is finished.

Yes there is a charge a one time charge of $3.95 - how else are they supposed to pay people to keep the website up with us always implementing more ways to save YOU money. $7 for online instant payment? Did you know Washington Mutual charges $14? Again, try the free "Premier Pay" service I mentioned earlier. Oh and Joe - the toilet paper isn't expensive - i know from experience. =)
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#6 Consumer Comment

I can sympathize ...

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

I witnessed some of the same things you mentioned with this company. The very first was that my $15 payment was due. Every two days I noticed the payment amount went up one dollar. By the time I went to make the payment it was at exactly $20. This wasn't even close to the due date. The wasn't being used at that time either. After I mailed the payment, the online banking showed that the payment due went from $20 to $19.11.

As a note: It costs $3.95 fee to open online banking. It costs $7.00 to make a payment online. They must use really expensive toilet paper at that company.
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#7 Author of original report

I think you need to do some more research.

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

"When you apply for a credit card, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of that card and thus the account is opened if you meet min requirements and your identity is verified. Your info has to be identified before any such credit card is mailed out."

The account is not ACTIVE until a consumer accepts and activates the card. That's how credit cards are. Without this step any old Joe could create an account, request it be mailed to any address he pleased, and rack up charges. Meaning contributing to fraud. No credit card company wants that, so they have an activation step. First Premier did not abide by it. IT'S ILLEGAL. Say nothing more about this.

"Illegal Action #2 Response: Credit card companies are not holding your payments and purposely making you late. Now if you send your payment to the wrong address, or mail two payments in one envelope, or anything inconsistent w/ their instructions, your payment could be delayed up to 5 days before being applied to your account. Might seem unfair but that's the way it is EVERYWHERE."

Uh, no. Payment was NEVER DUE. Therefore it cannot be late.

"I know for a fact this company does not bill over credit limit fees as a result of late fees."

Bull. If a fee causes you to go overlimit they WILL charge you a overlimit fee. Get your facts straight.

"In regards to minimum payments: If your account is in good standing, then sure, your minimum payment would have been $20. But if you are out of terms (past due/over limit) this no longer applies. You are required to pay the amount you are over by, as well as the amount you are past due by, and of course they are going to include your current minimum due so you are not billed more fees by failing to pay that months payment. So yes your min could very well have been $100..again same story everywhere."

No. Read the T&C. It clearly shows what your minimum is. Again, PAYMENT WAS NEVER DUE. Therefore how can the first and only minimum payment be anything more than $20??

"Illegal Action 3 Response: If your account was 'closed' but still had a balance on it, it was not technically closed by your definition. May have reported as closed, and you may not have been able to use it, but until you pay off that balance, it can and will report to the credit bureau, especially if you decide to just blow it off and not pay on it, as you stated you did w/ the platinum card. Until you have a 0 balance, you have not fulfilled your end of the deal. Those lates will keep reporting until eventually the account is charged off and sold to a collections agency. No freebies here."

The bottom line is, to get their money, their obligation is to send it to an outside collection. The REVOLVING CREDIT was closed on the date I specified, meaning no lates after the date of closure. If they wanted to recoup money, they needed to open a seperate collections tradeline.
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#8 Consumer Comment

In response to so called "illegal actions"

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

Starting with illegal action #1: When you apply for a credit card, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of that card and thus the account is opened if you meet min requirements and your identity is verified. Your info has to be identified before any such credit card is mailed out.

Activation has nothing to do with verifying your identity or whether or not you decide to keep the card. You accepted the card when you applied for it, and your identity confirmed before it was mailed.

Activation is merely a weak form of security to ensure the right person has the card. Pre activated or not, a good criminal will figure out how to use it.

Just because the card was activated does not mean you are obligated to pay it. Had you called and asked for it to be canceled, it would have been, all fees refunded. Probably would have taken less than two minutes.

Illegal Action #2 Response: Credit card companies are not holding your payments and purposely making you late. Now if you send your payment to the wrong address, or mail two payments in one envelope, or anything inconsistent w/ their instructions, your payment could be delayed up to 5 days before being applied to your account. Might seem unfair but that's the way it is EVERYWHERE.

I know for a fact this company does not bill over credit limit fees as a result of late fees.

In regards to minimum payments: If your account is in good standing, then sure, your minimum payment would have been $20. But if you are out of terms (past due/over limit) this no longer applies. You are required to pay the amount you are over by, as well as the amount you are past due by, and of course they are going to include your current minimum due so you are not billed more fees by failing to pay that months payment. So yes your min could very well have been $100..again same story everywhere.

Illegal Action 3 Response: If your account was "closed" but still had a balance on it, it was not technically closed by your definition. May have reported as closed, and you may not have been able to use it, but until you pay off that balance, it can and will report to the credit bureau, especially if you decide to just blow it off and not pay on it, as you stated you did w/ the platinum card. Until you have a 0 balance, you have not fulfilled your end of the deal. Those lates will keep reporting until eventually the account is charged off and sold to a collections agency. No freebies here.

You state this account was paid off and reporting 60 days late. Question? Paid by your definition-"I told them 3 times that I would pay what I really owed - which was in the ballpark of $160 - not the $430 they said I owed"? Or by theres? If you just paid the $160, its not paid. Regardless if you feel those fees were just or not. You used the card, you accepted the terms, you owe the full balance, unless you did a settlement which would be noted on the credit report. Pay it off before it looks worse.


What I've told you here does not apply just to the company you have a gripe with, it is every credit card company, so you may want to go over your terms and conditions a little bit better before applying for a card and carelessly using it. Fair or not, it is your responsibility and nobody's elses! There is no playing dumb "I didn't know." That's what the T&C are for. I read mine, you should read yours, and if you have a question, call the company, don't just use the card and blow it off!!
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