Following is my letter to GE Money Bank upon closing my account:
To Whom It May Concern:
Im writing to explain why Ive canceled my account with GE Money Bank.
First, you should know that I have an outstanding credit rating; I have always been conscientious about paying all my bills on time every month.
In short, here is what happened: because of my first statement being lost in the mail, and one misunderstanding* of the first balance due amount, my account was removed from a promotional purchase plan. This resulted in my entire balance being charged an outrageous 29% interest dating back to the original date of purchase; that is, a sudden $171 in interest charges.
When I appealed to your companys staff to note the proactive efforts that I made to bring my account up to date**, and to understand that it was clearly a misunderstanding that caused my account to be cancelled from the promotional purchase plan, all were unsympathetic and/or unable to reinstate the account. I was therefore left with an undesirable high-interest credit account.
Therefore, I feel I am forced to pay off the account and close it. When I appealed again to your companys staff to remove the sudden $171 interest due to the unusual circumstances, again they were unsympathetic, claiming that the charges are legitimate.
In the end, my choice to make monthly payments through GE Money, rather than pay my doctor in one lump sum discounted by an extra 10%, is costing me in two ways: (1) I lost the luxury of monthly payments and had to pay a lump sum anyway, and (2) I had to pay $450 extra out of my pocket between interest expense and lost discount.
GE Money Bank would do well to be more flexible in their treatment of good-credit customers, thereby retaining their business.
*The misunderstanding was this: Because I never received the first statement, my account became past due, thereby accruing a $35 late fee. Upon calling GE Money Bank, the fee was waived. I therefore took the amount due on the statement ($139) and subtracted $35, sending a payment of $104 to bring the account up to date. Even though it does not seem logical, it is claimed by your staff that this was not the right approach; that I should have sent in the entire amount due despite the forgiveness of the late fee.
**The proactive efforts I took were these:
(1) I went on the web to sign up for access to my account, in order to monitor the activity, just in case future statements were lost in the mail. The web asked me to input a large volume of sensitive personal information, which I was not willing to do because of hackers and possible identity theft. I called instead to see if GE Money Bank could give me a name and password over the phone or by mail and they could not. Therefore I was unable to gain web access to my account, which would have enabled me to easily see the current activity, rather than having to call by phone and be constantly confused about the state of my account. This confusion was enhanced by the absence of 2 of my earliest statements.
(2) I set up automatic bank payments so that all future payments would be sent on time, just in case any other statements were lost in the mail. However, when I called to find out from GE Money staff what the monthly payment was, I was told the wrong amount. In fact, I was told four different amounts over the course of 2 months.
(3) I took immediate action each time I became aware the account was not up-to-date. I sent my first payment by priority mail on the same date that I became aware of its past-due status. Also, as a result of being misinformed of the monthly payment amount, I was surprised the second month with an incomplete payment. I sent the rest of the payment that very day.
These actions are clearly those of a person who is committed to making her account right and preserving her excellent credit rating.
, New Jersey