I have been a First Equity cardholder for over two years. When I started my business, I received a "too good to be true" offer for a credit card with an APR as low as 9.9%, so I applied. I got a letter saying I was approved for a Premier Platinum card (the one with the great APR, no annual fees) and later received a classic card with an APR somewhere around 23%, with an annual fee AND a membership fee!!!
I called the company and complained, and they were uncooperative until I told them I had all the documentation they sent me and asked if I should call my lawyer. THEN they lowered the APR to 18.99% and acted as though they were doing me a favor. I put the card away intent on never using it. However, the need arose and I had to use the card for some business purchases, so that was the beginning of the end.
About two years ago, I was two days late on a payment and my interest rate was increased to 27.99%!!! My finance charges were over $150/month and the company was unwilling to negotiate a better APR. I shredded the card and have been trying to pay it off ever since. I call them every few months and try to get a better APR, telling them I will order a replacement card if they can give me a better rate, but they will not budge.
Complaining to the company does no good, so I wrote a letter to Visa Corporation. Their response basically said they don't take complaints and to contact the company directly. So, I wrote the Federal Trade Commision but haven't gotten a response yet. Now, I've begun calling the card issuer and demanding to file a complaint with them. The company that issues cards for First Equity is Columbus Bank & Trust and their number is 706-649-4900 or 800-334-9007.
The parent company of Columbus Bank & Trust is called Synovus and their contact phone number is 706.649.2311. If you have been treated unfairly by First Equity Card, let CB&T and Synovus know how you feel, call them every day and keep making noise until they do something about this! They will try to tell you they can't do anything about it, but THEY ARE THE INVESTORS AND FINANCIAL BACKING FOR THIS CORRUPT COMPANY!!! They will get tired of their phone lines being flooded with complaints about First Equity and if they terminate their relationship with First Equity, the company will (hopefully) go belly up.
First Equity Card is ruining me financially because I missed one payment two years ago! Avoid this company at all costs!!! But if you are already in the same predicament I am in, don't stop mkaing noise! Call First Equity every day. Call Columbus Bank & Trust every day! Call Synovus every day! Write the Federal Trade Commision from their site, www.ftc.gov and my next step is to send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org because I am at my wit's end and willing to whatever it takes to stop this company from hurting myself and other small businesses with their predatory lending practices.
The Better Business Bureau has logged HUNDREDS of complaints about First Equity Card but there is nothing they can do because First Equity is not a BBB member. However, you can call them to get details of the complaints they have logged and forward that information to CB&T and Synovus.
Columbus Bank & Trust, Synovus, and First Equity Card are all companies to avoid!!!
Small business owner