I'm just chiming in with my complaint. If there is ever a class-action suit, I'll be happy to add our names to the list of unhappy customers.
Several years ago my husband and I declared bankruptcy--largely due to medical bills, job losses and so on. It was a shaming experience to say the very least. We are not "dead-beats", and the issue of the bankruptcy is still one of embarrassment to us.
We've worked very, very hard to rebuild our credit, kept a close eye on our credit reports, paid all our bills on time without exception and two years ago were able to buy a home.
Since I'd had a Providian card for four years and had no trouble with it, last year I decided to get my husband's first card through them (A Getsmart Card, to be exact--I should have done more homework, obviously). We've made every payment on time and he's never been over his limit.
We got a letter telling us that his account had been sold. I did some research on the company and could find almost nothing about it. It also disturbed me to learn that the card had no website. I prefer to pay my credit card bills, usually early, on-line because I can then be sure that they got it on time. (I've had too many recent incidents of utility payments getting lost being or delayed in the mail. I don't trust my credit record to the USPC. The things I simply must mail I always send priority with delivery confirmation. That's expensive.) Also, in this day and age, any card or large business that doesn't have a web-site (even an informational one) available on line should be viewed with suspicion and concern, in my opinion.
I should note that we got a notice last summer stating that the interest on all Getsmart cards would be going up in December. So this obviously not just an issue of picking and chosing customers based on their credit rating. I'm afraid that when the card was "sold" last Fall I made the leap that our interest would remain the same so I decided to wait to pay off the card until after the first of year. My bad, obviously.
Imagine my "delight" when I learned yesterday that his interest rate had been raised to nearly 30%. Further more, Providian still owns the account (I found this in the middle of the latest bill---" . . .Providian National Bank remains your card issuer and CompuCredit Corporation is your account servicer" hmmmm . . .). Golly, I wonder why there's no information out there about the Emerge card.
Next week we will pay off his card and close the account. We will also pay off my card with them and close the account as quickly as possible. I spoke with a friend yesterday who heard our story and she's closing her account and her husband's account as well. I fully intend to continue my campaign against this company. At the very least I'd like to contribute to it's negative reputation.
In my search for the Emerge card website, I found a few sites such as yours with a long list of complaints about Providian similar to ours. Today I am making the rounds, adding my name to all the lists.
What a sobering lesson in poor business ethics that this is.
Shell Knob, Missouri