After choosing the online payment option and making the minimum payment according to the online minimum payment "box", I discovered after reading the paper statement, Advanata was charging me a $39 late fee each month for a .13 cent discrepency between paper and online statement.
ADVANTA has no online communication feature so all is done on the phone or in writing. When I called to correct the error, I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was assured the person I was speaking to was a supervisor and I was to ignore the online option and pay what is on the paper statement. I insisted on speaking to this person's boss. She indicated I would get a return call in 5-7 business days.
Of course I never recieved a call. When I called back to inquire why I never received a call from a supervisor I was informed because they refunded 2 late payments the situation was resolved. Of course they also informed me I was incurring another late fee as my payment wasn't received during the period I was to hear from a supervisor. The woman on the other end of the phone was nasty and condascending.
Like other Advanta customers, my rate was raised from 7.99% to 37.99%. I was never late, never over credit limit. When I called to ask why, they said because I could be a credit risk down the road and "they could". I was only late after they doubled my payments. I also never received the "OPT OUT" letter allowing me to suspend credit and pay off my debt as per the original terms.
After seeking legal advice I was instructed to contact the CA attorney general's office in writing(which I did). They referred me to the FDIC (which had taken over Advanta Bank). I received a letter from the FDIC and they provided a contact number but referred me to the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Attorney General in NY. I sent all copies of my correspondence and complaint. When speaking to the FDIC (very helpful) they indicated the Federal Trade Commission pays attention to these matters and would keep an eye out and see if there were multiple infractions.
I would participate in a class action suit against ADVANTA as I'm sure I'm not alone in my situation. Please respond if you have experienced similar overcharges. ADVANTA hides behind the hassle it takes to contact them and rectify mistakes.