Sometime in the year of 2001, I received a Newport News (FCNB bank) charge card. FCNB was the bank that provided the charge card, in which was also affiliated with Speigel & Eddie Bauer. Newport News was a catalog company.
I had made misc. purchases on my charge card over the course of 3 years and had NEVER been late on a payment, might I add.
Sometime in June/July of 2003, I filled out the change of address form on the back of my statement, along with payment. It was extremely important that my address be changed, due to a sudden move and was no longer able to receive mail at my prior address.
I did not receive another bill until October of 2003 (3-4 months later!!!) at my new address. The bill stated that my account was 90 days past due with added late fees and was currently with the collections department. I was furious and immediately called the phone # listed on the bill to get the situation resolved, only to find out that Newport News had filed for bankruptcy and the accounts were then being handled through a company by the name of Card Processing center.
I explained the situation, in that I sent in a change of address, but was never done. I asked that all late fees be removed due to the clerical error on the part of Newport News and my account be brought current with the major credit bureo's. The associates that I spoke with refused to make the changes and kept transfering me from department to department, even after several phone calls to various associates and was then told that my only other option would be to send a letter to the complaints department.
Then on October 15, 2003, I sent a certified letter to the complaints department, explaining the situation, with NO RESPONSE!! I then sent ANOTHER certified letter to the complaints department on February 29, 2004 again, with NO RESPONSE!! Then in March of 2004, I received a letter from a 3rd party collection agency demanding payment!! Unbelievable that they sent my account to a 3rd party collection agency while it was still in a dispute status AND was not even given the proper handling, seeing that nobody responded to 2 certified letters!!!
Once again, in trying to get the situation resolved, I called the 3rd party collection agency on October 3, 2004 and spoke with a manager by the name of Karen Gittings. I explained the situatuion to her and she helped me get the problem resolved, so I thought! She had asked me to send her a copy of the certified letters I had sent to the Card Processing Center, along witha letter to her explaining the situation.
At this time, I also made a good effort over the phone payment to resolve the balance that I did in fact owe before all of this mess came about, in the amount of $162.00 to cover the full previous balance (balance before fees were added). Ms. Grittings also assured me that she would personally dispute this bill with Card Services and get this unfortunate situation resolved (she was in agreance with me). Nothing more was heard from any of these companies until October of 2004. In the beginning of October, yet another letter from a completely different 3rd party collection agency (Penncro Associates, Inc.) demanded payment in the amount of $301.47!!!
Not to mention that during one of my previous phone conversations to Card Services (the company that took over Newport News accounts), I was informed by one of the employees that there have been several consumer complaints since the bankruptcy filing. He apologized for the unnecessary run around that I was being put through and stated that he shouldn't be telling me this, but many customers complained of improper account handling and there are more complaints piled on desks, than they know what to do with.
I have tried on numerous occasions to get this situation resolved and because of Newport News'negligence, my good name is being negatively affected on my credit reports. It is discusting that I had an account with this company for 3 years without any late payments and they still insist on trying to make my life miserable by ruining my good name, because of a mistake that THEY made!! A mistake that they won't admit to and are now trying to make me pay over $300.00 in late fees, because of it! Well, they will NEVER see that payment, as I did nothing wrong!
These companies should't be allowed to punish the obvious good and paying customers, because they are too "good" to admit their mistakes. Well, they are all MORONS, if you ask me! To me, it seems to just be another money making scam to make up for all of their bankruptcy losses and non-paying customers!
Oh and let's not forget all of the complaints that I have dug up on them through other online complaint agencies, such as this one. I can't wait to see what the Attorney General's office has for complaints, as well as the BBB against this company. The complaints that I have been reading are similar, if not the same (not receiving statements, piling on late fees, refusing to fix their mistakes and screwing us all right where the sun don't shine!
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