Well it was sure nice to see that I was not alone in my total frustration in trying to find a resolution to the sudden rise in interest rates in July 2008 that was jammed down my throat by Advanta Bank.
This came - as seems to have been the case with others - despite my record of on-time payments and never being near my limit. This came despite an assurance in June 2008 that all promotional rates would remain in effect, unless of course I was late on payments.
This action on their part put me into my favorite mode when dealing with customer no-service issues; sending my famous P.O. letters. These are not rants as the title indicates, but rather carefully worded letters asking for a resolution. Or in the case of Advanta, a simple answer as to what my rates shot up. Well 11 months later I'm still waiting.
And I guess the NEXT biggest frustration is that reporting this matter to the credit bureaus seems to DO NOTHING to repair a once decent 720 FICO. Geeze, one would like to think that Experian, Trans-Union and Equifax are not all sleeping in the same bed with the CC companies.
Well back to my saga of "I'veBeenHadVanta."
In the meantime I have kept paying at, or just slightly above, the usual monthly payments and have written over a dozen follow-up letters to a number of different Advanta people whose names appear on threat letters and seemed to be those in positions of power and authority.
I've sent e-mails to people who have called offering me settlements and returns to low lifetime sub 10% interest rates, but they must not be able to respond to e-mails. When I did get a phone number of a person to call (one Steven Willis comes to mind) to talk, I tried to reach that person. No matter what time I called I never got anything other than a voice message. Being in the Pacific Time Zone presented a problem, as did being in a poor cell phone service area.
Advanta wasted dozens of calls to me from customer no-service people because as I told their various departments via letters, until I received a simple one or two sentence answer to my question as to what crime I was being charged with that there was no since in us talking.
So the account subsequently was closed sometime in late 2008, then sent to collection with a company called Phillips-Cohen in approx. March. Similar letters to that company resulted in no answers, other than their sending me a large envelope with copies of my statements. Attempts to reach an account rep via after hours voice messaging were also unsuccessful, despite Phillips-Cohen offering a menu to navigate to this person. Remember I'm 3 hrs. difference in time zones and in a virtual no cell service zone so live calls were not an option.
The final blow has come with the effects of this Advanta Melt-Down affecting both other business credit I have, and even into personal family credit, which my wife proudly maintains as being SPOTLESS!
I have spent so much valuable time trying to rectify this that it has taken away from other projects my part-time publishing and PR business. What a total nightmare. But it seems I am not alone.
Hopefully we can get this Class Action going. It is my hope that all of us who abided by the rules can:
1. have our debt to these snakes in the grass totally erased and let them take a bath.
2. enlighten credit bureaus that they need to clear all or our records so we can have back what were likely once decent FICO scores.
So has my War & Peace, or In Cold Blood length story made your eyes cross? Well you ought to see all my letters and e-mails.