On December 23, 2008 I arrived in the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina on my way to visit family in Florida for the Christmas holidays.
As I entered the US Airways departure gate area, a young woman at a table came up to me and asked me if I was a US Airways frequent flier member.
I told her that I had previously tried to join on the Delta Airlines website, but that their website was not compatible with Apple computers and therefore I had not joined. I also told her that I only flew a couple of times a year on the average.
She told me, Well, if you join today, the miles you have flown today will be included and you will get 5000 miles free.
I said, Okay. I'll join the US Airways frequent flier plan.
She then led me to the table in a US Airways departure gate area and asked me for my driver's license. I gave it to her and she scanned it into a laptop computer and asked me for my social security number, which I gave her. After doing so, she handed me a flier and I walked off and didn't look at the flier till I sat down at my gate.
Much to my surprise, when I looked at the flier, it was an application for a credit card for Barclays Bank Mastercard and not an application for a frequent flier membership.
I didn't WANT to apply for a credit card and NEVER would have given her my personal information if I had known what she was doing. My flight was leaving soon and I looked around to try to find someone to report what happened to me. I went back to the woman and told her I had not known I was applying for a credit card and I was reporting her actions to the Better Business Bureau and every level of management at US Airways. And then I saw a US Airways employee leaving one area and told him that Barclays Bank and US Airways were committing fraud and misrepresentation. He told me US Airways had nothing to do with it and that my complaint should be with Barclays Bank. I responded by telling him that I was sure US Airways didn't allow just any vendor to set up in their space and the people working there were, in actuality, representing US Airways since they specifically told me I was signing up for the US Airways frequent flier program.
Proceeding on to my destination, I figured I would wait till I got home to see what was in the mail from US Airways and Barclays Bank.
A week later, I went through the same US Airways gate into Charlotte, North Carolina. The same table was sitting in the terminal only this time a huge sign was next to the table, telling people if they signed up for a Barclays Mastercard, and used it for a purchase, they would get a free round trip plane ticket on US Airways. I hadn't been offered a free round trip flight. The sign and free ticket had been added to the Barclays Bank Mastercard marketing ploy.
I was livid. That sign was not up when I was misrepresented by US Airways and Barclays Bank when I gave them my personal information thinking I was signing up for ONLY a frequent flier membership for US Airways on December 23.
When I got home, there was a letter from Barclays Bank in my mailbox.
The correspondence had no mention of US Airways or the frequent flier program.
I had been turned down for a credit card.
Each December, my credit cards are maxed out. I pay them all off in January when I receive an annuity from a retirement account. I knew if I had applied for a credit card at that time, I would be turned down and it would adversely affect my credit rating. Therefore, I would never have applied for a credit card had I known that is what the young woman at the US Airways terminal was doing to me.
This was fraud by both US Airways and Barclays Bank. It was illegal and a misleading marketing tactic, which was corrected with a HUGE sign AFTER I complained to the US Airways employee and to the young woman who processed what I believed to be a membership for a US Airways frequent flier program.
However, they only corrected their fraud AFTER I complained.
In the meantime, I now have a bad mark on my credit rating because I was turned down for a credit card by Barclays Bank and reported to the TransUnion credit reporting agency.
This is just an example of how the whole credit reporting system in this country is not fair.
That mark against my credit may now mean I am charged higher interest rates on any credit I may try to get, higher rates on car insurance and any future loans I may apply for.
I have photos of the sign Barclays Bank table at the airport and the sign telling people they were signing up for a credit card the week after they defrauded me. There was no sign and they did NOT identify themselves as representing ANY bank when they took my information.
People have asked me why I didn't read anything before I gave them my driver's license.
Well, I trusted the person, which I should not have done. But, I always trusted United Airlines.
People have asked me why I didn't ask the woman who signed me up for the credit card, while acting like she was signing me up for a sky miles program? My answer to that was that I didn't have time..I only had time to verbally complain to her and then catch my flight.
If you must do business with a bank, I would definitely NOT do it with Barclays Bank.
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