So you're sitting at home watching your favorite show when the phone rings with a restricted number on the Caller ID. You answer, and a very pleasant gentleman is on the other line calling on behalf of "your credit card company" with a special offer. You respond, "Which company?" and he begins to explain that his "magic pill" FIXES all of 'em and can lower your interest rate on all your cards. You think about your high interest credit cards that are freshly MAXED out (hey, the economy's rough) and you give him a moment to pitch his miraculous offer.
His company, Premier Savings, can find a bank in their network to take all your high interest credit cards and consolidate the balances onto one card with a low interest rate of 8-9%. That 27.9% card you have with the $12,000 balance and a $427 minimum monthly payment? Well, now it can be as low as $360/mo, even with your other $6,000 in credit cards, and it could all be paid off in 4 years if you only make the minimum payment, and sooner if you pay more! They "work with a number of banks" that will refinance your old, beat-up, high interest rate cards and give you a shiny new account with a fresh new start. And as you pay off your new card, you will have the remaining balance become more available to you so you can shop some more! What's more, this offer has a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! If you're refused by three banks, you'll get "most" of your money returned. You'll more than save in interest the first month for what they are charging for the one-time processing fee! For only $439 and a money back guarantee, what have got to lose?
How about 60% of $439!!! That's right! $263.40 flushed down the toilet.
They only refund 40% of the amount paid. The original rep, Eric Kaplan, told me the refund would be around 75%, but he wasn't sure because he didn't work that end of the transaction. 40%, 75% BIG DIFFERENCE. Maybe they should have a staff meeting and get everyone trained. Oh wait, then they could justifiably LIE to the consumer. They know the banks will not except your debt so they make $263.40 just for mailing you some paper and making a few phones calls. They might as well sell you a box of dog turds for $263.40 cause the value is about the same!
Bottom line, there is no magic fix for credit card debt... not debt consolidation, not bankruptcy (although both have their place when done correctly and for the right reasons) and DEFINITELY not Premier Savings.
Think about it. You have $10,000 in credit card debt at say 20% interest and are struggling to make the payments. Who in their right mind is going to give you ANOTHER $10,000, free and clear, at 8-9%? (The actual range they quoted at the closing call was 6.99 to 10.99%) You would then have $20,000 in available limits with your original $10,000 being freed up to max out again. Chances are, you're going to be $20,000 in debt within a few weeks/months with a house full of crap you couldn't afford and a payment double what it was! The banks know this and they would NEVER loan that much to anyone without forcing you to close the original cards or putting conditions on the spending of the new card.
Call it greed, call it desperation, but I actually fell for this and kicked myself in the arse after reading the postings on RR.com, one as recently as 5 days ago. I promptly looked up Arizona State Law and conditions for "the right to cancel" and the Federal Trade commissions Cooling-Off Rule. Both allow for a three-day right to cancel for any reason, i.e. you changed your mind, on this type of sale. You need to get a letter typed up and faxed, hand-carried or preferably, mailed -certified, return receipt- to the company within 3 business days stating that you wish to cancel and request a FULL refund of your monies. I simply typed this:
Premier Nationwide Corporation a.k.a. Premier Savings
1933 S. Alma School Road
Mesa, AZ 85210-3035
March 10, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is to serve as my cancellation of the services to be provided by your company. I was contacted by your seller, Eric Kaplan, yesterday, March 9, 2009, and was offered a debt reduction package for $439.00 to be charged to 3 separate credit cards, distributed in the amounts of $125.00, $170.00 and $144.00. Upon further review, I do not wish to participate in your program and am requesting a full refund of all monies charged.
As per regulations established by the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule and Arizona State Law, the purchase of these services is subject to a three-day right to cancel. I am choosing to exercise this right and wish to cancel the verbal agreement for services and am indicating such in writing with this instrument.
This notification is being sent both via fax and certified mail. Please respond to this and all future correspondence in writing to maintain a permanent record of all communications between your company and me. If you wish to respond via telephone, please follow up with a transcript or summary in written form. I may be reached at (XXX) XXX-XXXX for confirmation of receipt.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
(MY NAME HERE) and signed.
Your sales rep and amounts charged may be different so don't just cut and paste and leave it as is, but you get the idea.
I called 10 minutes after I faxed it and spoke with Rosie, the receptionist. She confirmed receipt, but I am still putting a copy in the mail to cover all bases.
I am now waiting to get my refund, but I hope that I can save someone else the hassle that I just went through by typing this here. Please feel free to comment or make suggestions regarding this post.
If you're in credit card debt and have high interest rates... I'm sorry! I'm in the same boat as a graduate student. There is nothing that will fix that other than curbing your spending habits, i.e. changing how you spend your money and what you spend it on. Premier Savings may seem like the "Golden Ticket", but really, it's just another $263.40 to be paid at 27.9% interest later down the road.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Premier Savings