Credit And General Electric’s Shameful Behaviour.

Earlier this year I spent months trying to get three credit card companies to close my credit card accounts. Even after they told me the accounts were closed I still got statements and, in one case, a letter telling me the interest rate on my closed account had gone up! For more details of this battle read the entry titled Credit Card Blues.

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This entry is a follow up to that sorry tale. My fight to get rid of those credit cards is not over yet! It seems at least two of the companies simply decided to let me think I was out of their clutches whilst they held onto the accounts and waited for Christmas to come around.

In the past month I have had two of my old credit cards dropped back into my lap!

One of the banks sent me a statement saying the two dollar credit they owed me was back on their books. They told me months ago they can’t pay me the two dollars because they don’t pay amounts less than ten dollars so I told them to wipe the credit and close the account. They said they did that but, come Christmas shopping time, it turns out they didn’t and I was being urged to revive the account. This is the bank who sent me a letter advising me the interest rate on my “closed account” had just gone up.

I rang them and threatened to file a complaint against them for harassment if they do not take me off their books and stop sending me statements and letters. They said they would wipe the credit and close the account. I said you did that months ago. They said they will do it again. I said what good is it for you to do it again if it simply comes undone a few months later? He said he would attach a note saying I will file a complaint if I am contacted again and that should end it. I hope so but only time will tell.

Yesterday another credit card company sent me a statement telling me I have a zero balance on my account and my available credit is back waiting for me to go shopping for Christmas presents. It included instructions on how to get a new card if I have lost my original one.

I rang them up. I told them I closed the account. They told me the account had not been closed and all I had to do was ask for another card to be able to start using it again. I told them to close the account and make a note that I will lodge a complaint against them for harassment if I get any more statements from them. He assured me he had made that note but I would get one more statement confirming the account has been closed. That will make two such statements so I won’t place much faith in it when it comes.

This is the credit card company who gave me an inaccurate payout figure causing them to owe ME 35 dollars. They said they would send me a cheque for the money they owed me. They did not send a cheque so I asked them to wipe the balance they owed me to allow the card to be closed. They happily did that then sent a bill for 40 cents. I called them and got them to wipe the 40 cent debt and, supposedly, they canceled the card.

I PAID this company 35 dollars to close that account and now it turns out they have not given me what I paid for. That makes them liars AND thieves! Time to name them I think.

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(I was going to place an image of their credit card here but the only one I could find was on their website and, in the small print, they said I am not allowed to use it.)

This card used to be AGC, Australian Guarantee I think that stood for, and they were the credit company poor people could get credit with. Their interest rates were the highest of all at around double what other cards charge. The company was taken over earlier this year by GE, General Electric.

When GE took over AGC the multi-billion dollar company was not satisfied with the profits from the card’s already massive (23.9%) interest rate. Yes, I know I could have paid a lower interest rate if I had been wiser with the card but it was too late to be wise by this time for me. I was in too much trouble financially to have any choices at all apart from paying up. So they raised the interest rate to 27.29% for people like me then started adding all kinds of other charges to the account.

First they brought in a two dollar a month account keeping fee. Then they added a charge of $1.50 if you paid them through the post office. I took to paying them over the phone to avoid that charge but they brought in a 50 cent charge to do that as well. They charge up to $1.85 to make a payment through a bank and, by the time I parted company with them, they were also talking about charging to make payments via internet transferrals. That would make it impossible to pay them without paying them for the privilege of paying them!

At the time I was outraged. I was not in a position to be able to cut up the card to begin with so I simply vowed to never buy another General Electric product again and I went online to see exactly what products I would need to boycott.

General Electric is HUGE! They are worldwide and a part of every day life! They make LIGHT GLOBES for goodness sake! Now I have to examine even the light globes I buy to ensure I don’t give my money to this greedy, rapacious, lying, thieving, scum of the earth company!

GE has three major components – Home, Finance and Industry. They make appliances, lighting, security systems and own the NBC Universal media company. They have a range of financial products including their newly acquired high interest credit card and they have fingers in the automotive, aviation, energy, health care and transport industries.

This company had a turnover of 150 BILLION dollars in 2006 and it charges between fifty cents and $1.85 for the privilege of making a PAYMENT to them! At least 35 dollars of their profits is stolen money! They stole it from me through what turned out to be a lie the bastards!

To make matters worse, this company actually seems to be PROUD of itself! Here’s a paragraph from their site where they pat themselves on the back and tell us how good they are:

“GE continued to earn the respect of the business world. GE was named “America’s Most Admired Company” and “Global Most Admired Company” by FORTUNE magazine. GE ranked second in the Financial Times annual “World’s Most Respected Companies” survey and again placed first for corporate governance. GE has been in the top five in these surveys for each of the last five years. In addition, the Company was named “World’s Most Respected” by Barron’s in its inaugural investor survey.”

On the GE Creditline page of their financial site the company makes no mention of just how high the interest they charge can actually go and they have a couple of award logo’s saying they have been Money Magazines finance company of the year for two years in a row.

A company that offers high interest credit to people who are struggling and often do not have enough income to survive on, hence their need for credit from a rip-off company like this, is making a big enough profit in interest alone from poor people.
Slugging them an extra two dollars a month in account keeping charges on top of the outrageous interest is just about the worst example of greed I can think of and I am beyond disgusted.

To then charge people who often can’t afford the debt they are already coping with, to make their monthly payments, is the work of a company with no conscience, no interest in the welfare of their customers, no interest in anything but maximum profits and to hell with you and me.

General Electric have lied to me and stolen thirty five dollars from me. How on earth can a company that lies, steals, and has no conscience claim, or get, any respect from anyone?

GE is beyond contempt as far as I am concerned. I will buy nothing that has their logo on it. I will never knowingly do business with them again. They are scraping money out of the people who can least afford to have it taken from them. They are scum.

If FORTUNE magazine, Financial Times and Barron’s really do respect GE and Money Magazine really does rank them the best then shame, oh shame, shame, SHAME on THEM too!

7 thoughts on “Credit And General Electric’s Shameful Behaviour.

  1. I agree with you there – I don’t know anyone could rank GE Money as one of the best! Good on you for getting rid of your cards – I wish I could.

    I have had a couple of experiences with them:
    1. The first one was when my grandfather was in hospital. His aorta had ruptured, we didn’t know whether he was going to survive, and they rang to see why he was three days late in making his payment !!!(my grandfather has an excellent credit rating – and I later found out that all he owed on his credit card was $175.00). I told them he had a life threatening illness and could they call me back in a month, but all he was interested in was when he could make a payment. I said, look, I don’t even know if he is going to survive so I cannot give you an answer – but he wasn’t very satisfied with that – he even asked me if there was a number I could give him to contact him in the hospital! I was pretty angry when he said that, and I said, look he’s on life support, unconcious in intensive care so he is unable to talk anyway. Thankfully Grandad survived, and after a couple of months in hospital he came home. Even though he had insurance to cover him for an illness such as this through GE, they still continued ringing me (on weekends, at all times of the day) asking when the money was going to be paid – even though they had been paid through a power of attorney setup while he was unable to make payments. In the end, I gave them yet again the number to contact the place where the power of attorney was made, and told them if they rang me again, I would contact my lawyer.

    2. Is my personal beef with GE Money (GO mastercard). Hindsight is a wonderful thing – if I had known I was going to have trouble with them I would never had gotten it. Originally I got it as part of one of those 18 month interest free deals. I went interstate on holiday not long after that and when I returned I hadn’t gotten a statement for two months. I waited another month, no statement – so I called them. They said they hadn’t sent me a statement because I didn’t need to make a payment for another 15 months! I said that I required a statement as I wanted to pay it off before I had to pay interest! Three months later, and three phonecalls later, I finally got a statement! In October this year they contacted me because I was THREE days late in paying $10.00 off my monthly payment. I had simply forgotten, and they said since I was such a good customer they would waive the late fee. They asked me if I was still working, and I said no I wasn’t (I was only a casual anyway – as I have a three year old daughter). The next month I had an extra $137.00 to pay! I contacted them and asked them what this was for, and they said it was because I hadn’t paid the $10.00 on time. I said the guy that I had spoken to had waived the late fee, and they said yes that was correct, but couldn’t explain to me what this extra money was for but I still had to pay it. I cannot understand this as I am under my credit limit!

    Recently, in December, due to the holidays they charged me another late fee because I paid by BPAY and it took 5 days to go through because of holidays, even though I paid technically on time and it was much more than the minimum monthly payment!

    I cancelled my insurance with them (as I am not interested in making any more purchases) in October (as I am covered for debts elsewhere), and yet I still am required make the same minimum monthly payment. I queried them on this, and was told to ring the insurance people – which I did. They confirmed I had cancelled it, so I rang GE back. I spoke to another guy who said that it wasn’t cancelled, and I said yes it was, and I told him who I spoke to and what she had said, and then he said, oh yes it is cancelled (Though I found him hard to understand). Then I asked him why it was the same, and he couldn’t tell me. I got put through to the complaints line, and she was so bloody rude. I told her what my enquiry was, and she started waffling on about what had happened in October, and how I wasn’t working, and how the payment was late in December…this is where I got angry and told her no it wasn’t late, it was before the due date…but she said because of the holidays they take it as a late payment, and yet again I get stung for another late fee! She told me that basically that the payment would stay the same even though I had cancelled the insurance. Thats what I wanted to know, and I asked why does it stay the same. Then she brought up that I withdrew $250 from an ATM in July and if I didn’t make little withdrawals like that my minimum monthly payment would go down. I pointed out to her that I paid that back in full plus another $200 5 days later, and she told me that didn’t even cover it, and I was still paying interest from that. Apparently she also says that I am still paying off the 18 month interest free thing, even though I paid it in full 15 months into the contract!

    She also said I needed to paying at least $300 a month to clear the debt – my minumum payment is $60.00 and I pay at least (except for October!) $150-180 a month, and unless I did that I would not pay it off.

    It seems really strange that I have never had much trouble before this until I told them I was no longer working! I wonder if anyone else has had experiences like this?
    It is really depressing, as my credit rating is pretty good and I want it to stay that way – and they have me right where they want me, and I have no other option but to pay even though at the moment it is killing me! I have learnt a very important lesson in all of this – once I finally pay it off I will never ever deal with them again!

  2. Hi Jess,

    You poor thing! I knew GE was rotten but your experience is a real horror story!

    I was lucky being able to pay them out and cancel the card but as my story shows – even if you don’t owe them a cent they don’t go away.

    Hope your grandfather is OK and that you are both able to get the GE money monkey off your backs soon.

    Hugs – Kim

  3. Thanks, I will take it up with the Banking Ombudsman. They will be hearing from me ASAP. Apparently there are thousands of people all around the world who have very similar problems…the internet is a wonderful thing. I decided to risk my blood pressure rising and I contacted them again yesterday and asked them for some kind of statement telling me exactly what I was paying for – which pretty much fell upon deaf ears (or perhaps ears that did not understand English well). I did find out that the extra $25.00 I was paying for this month was apparently an annual fee (which I never knew about). I said hang on, when I switched over from GE Creditline to GO Mastercard part of the reason was it was advertised there was NO annual fee, and he said I should have read my T&C’s properly? Doesn’t that constitute false advertising? I found out through a little research that they have been in trouble over this before. I still wonder if it will still be $25 more next month(my heart tells me that yes that this will happen)…Apparently the reason why I am still paying for my purchase is that there was 2 cents not paid for on my contract when it was terminated – and I got deferred interest slapped on my balance. I had my statements in my hand and I said no that is not true, but apparently I must be a liar because that’s what the computer says. They still would not send me something telling me what I actually have been paying for…apparently, they don’t have to! Their practices are absolutely laughable – I would have gotten a better deal from a local loan shark!
    Kinda good news, though – I have been in contact with my bank and when I told them who my credit card was with, they just shook their heads and they told me they have heard so much bad feedback about them! The good news is that they can offer me an overdraft to pay the balance off, and I get charged 12% interest (which is hell better than 29 or whatever it is). The way I look at it is I can comfortably pay my bank off in 8 months whereas with GE it will probably take three times that at $150 a month. I know going into debt to get out of it is a bad way but it is the cheapest way I know. Still not too sure if I want to sign the paper, though….but it will get the money-hungry company off my back!
    And about my grandfather – he agrees that even if you don’t owe them a cent they don’t go away- he paid the balance in full as soon as he was able…and they send him a statement every month, charging him $2.95 for the pleasure of printing that he owes nothing on a piece of paper! So he closed it…no statement for a couple of months…then he got one a week ago!
    He got himself another card, but one that charges 9% interest for a $48 annual fee…a much better deal if you ask me! I’ll keep you posted!
    Many thanks again,
    Jess

  4. Hey Jess,

    I am so glad to hear you have other options but I would really encourage you to call the banking ombudsman before you sign for another loan. They might be able to reduce the debt with G(rab) E(verything) so you won’t have to borrow as much.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

    Cheers – Kim

  5. Hi!
    I think I have had some good news. I got in contact with the banking ombudsman, yes, there seems to be a problem, and they are investigating the matter(s)! They said that there should be at least some positive outcome for me. Even if I finally get something in writing about what I am paying for would be great! Still, the option of the money is there, waiting for me…my bank said that they were fine with me waiting to see the outcome (I assumed they would since I haven’t signed anything yet!). Feeling a little more relaxed about the matter now…and thank you. I’ll let you know how it goes…
    Cheers
    Jess!

  6. That’s great news Jess – I hope they can reduce the debt for you because it really does sound like they scammed some money out of you there.

    Cheers – Kim

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