I have read with interest some of the nightmare stories of those unfortunate enough, as I, to have an account with Aspire. I ended up dealing with Aspire by default because Providian went out of business. I was a member with Providian since 2001. Providian, like Aspire, Orchard Bank are credit card companies that prey on the desire of individuals, like myself again, who are trying to rebuilt their credit due to personal circumstances that placed them there in the first place. In my case, divorce, so I sympathize with those caught in companies such as these, deceptive web.
I was recalled on Active duty with the Coast Guard in October 2003. Under the SSCR(Soldiers and Sailor Civil Relief Act), I am entitled to have the 28.24% interest rate with Aspire lowered to 6%. This is the law. They became angry when I attempted to exercise this right and made a request for this. They delayed several months in lowering my interest by saying they never received the 2 letter of requests I sent them. Couldn't get anything but frustration from the "illiterate" idiots who manned the Customer service lines. When "ASSpire", oops, I mean Aspire finally decided to conform to the "law" they sent a letter saying they would adjust account and lower to 6%. In my frustration to get their attention, I sent them a $10 payment. That really pissed them off because they immediately sent a nasty message in my bill stating: "Because of a late payment, your special, lower annual percentage rate has been discontinued. Your account has been returned to its original rate terms. Your account is past due $42.00. Failure to pay may result in revocation of your charging privileges".
They immediately started a smear campaign. They were calling me at work and at home. They placed a derogatory statement regarding me in the credit bureau. I sent them a nasty letter demanding that they cease and desist from calling me. I think it worked because I have not received any calls in a couple of days. To solidify my determination to beat them at their own game, I finally turned the matter over to the legal department of the Coast Guard because they are definitely breaking the law.
I have made payments to protect myself although they are not the minimum. This has pissed them off to no end. I informed them that my account is under "dispute" and I will not make any payments more than $10 until my account is adjusted and the interest is reduced to 6%. I want them to take me to court.
I also want to spread the word on them as much as possible and am in the process of deteriming whether or not they can be sued.
I personally will contact the regulatory federal agency Aspire falls under. The FTC told me they could not handle this but provided me with a list of agencies who would possibly handle them. I'm busy at work and just haven't had the time to research what agency to contact.
I would also like to rally folks who have problems with these people and maybe get something going in the line of a "class action" suit.
I hope this info helps and that it will prompt us to do more....together and take these X*&%?'s down.
Hang in there all!