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.
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.
(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!