All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

SonyCard (Bank One, Chase) - Bad Business, August 2005

I got involved with my SonyCard when it was owned by CitiBank. It was classic: I received potential rewards I never renewed and, more importantly, I was at a lovely 11% or so. Three years I had this card without issue. I never made a late payment, and usually paid over the minimum payment (but had charged more than that). CitiBank must've been scribbled with me.

Then my account was purchased by BankOne.

In July, 2005 (card 3+ years), I looked at some of the detail of my statement. Surprisingly, I noticed that I was now at 25% and change. Wha-What?

In calling the customer service folks, I learned that back in February, they decided, based upon nothing more than apparently trying to increase revenue, to look at my credit report. They didn't like my debt-to-income ratio and so staged a coup upon my card: they changed the fixed rate I had to a variable rate, then raping the virgin, knocked the rate up over 100% to 25. Why? Because they could. They assured me that they mailed a notice about increasing my rate, but as many credit card users can say, I dump the 15 ads that come with monthly statement without examination. Either they didn't or I didn't notice. Something that important should be listed on the statement. (Although one of my friends sends the ads back with the statement - give it a shot).

What did I learn?
- I need to read my credit card statements thoroughly every month.
- Credit card companies, much like the current state of insurance companies, are making money hand over fist at our expense.
- If credit card companies wanted to, they could put in their 3-point font that they would take everything you own.
- Always look through every piece of paper that comes with your statement - and read it.

But more importantly, I found that credit card companies are unscrupulous, and can switch up the game in any way that they can or want to to increase profits, specifically in the case of BankOne. They are not our friends; they exist to make money for their shareholders. Hell, 51% of the Federal Reserve is controlled by private banks. Coincidence? I think not.

So check it out and make sure there aren't any loopholes before getting a card. And if they screw you, post it, report it to the BBB, and raise a fuss.

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