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Advanta credit card complaint

A visitor recently posted the following complaint about Advanta.  While I ordinarily don’t post single complaints as blog entries, this complaint is astounding.  Advanta, which went bankrupt and stopped issuing credit cards last year, has been increasing some interest rates to more than 30%.  Here’s one customer’s unenviable recounting of an Advanta credit card nightmare:

“I have perfect credit with a middle credit score of 755 as of 02/10/2010. In January the prior month I went over the due date on a payment by several days. About 7 days after the due date I logged into my account to make my payment and to my surprise they had changed my interest rate to 32.99% from 7.99%. I was furious as I had never been late or missed a payment. I called Advanta no less than a half dozen times and they also called me constantly. I explained to their calll center in India that the interest rate was abusive and that I was willing to continue making my payments if they lowered my interest back to the original rate.  After many calls back and forth in January they called me to tell me that they would be willing to offer me a 17.00% interest rate instead if I made a payment, I elected not to make the payment because I felt the rate was still abusive considering my credit is perfect and no late payments had been made in the past after numerous years of payment history with Advanta. Finally in February I receive a call from their call center in India which asked me some personal information to confirm my identity, then transferred me to a local office in Pennsylvania where I spoke with Dan . He called me to find out why I had not made my payment and explained as above. I also mentioned I had to close one of my businesses due to our economic situation. He asked me if I could make a payment of $ 517.00 dollars and offered me three solutions, one was to send them 50% of the balance and they would offer me 0% interest on the remaining balance for the life of the credit line, the other was 30% of the balance and they would offer me a 7.99% as was originally, then they offered me a hardship option which did not require me to make a payment until march where I would pay them $780.00 dollars and they would match my payment, credit my account for the total of $1560 and the interest rate would be 9.99% so I agreed and made the $ 517.00 payment on Tuesday 2/9/2010. He then proceeded to tell me before the conversation finished that we would speak again in March.  Concerned about my perfect credit I called all day Wendesday and could not reach Dan  left 2 voice mails. I called Thursday and left another voice mail stating I wanted to make another payment on my account to please return my call ASAP. Finally Friday morning 2/12/2010 I called and reached Dan who I spoke to for over 45 minutes pleading with him and even offerring to send them a few thousand dollars to show them good faith and not report me as a 30 day late to the bureaus because my credit report pulled on 2/10/2010 was spotless and I wanted to protect my credit and have it remain the same way. He proceeded to tell me that since I made the payment he had reset my “delinquency clock” and that now none of the options he had originally offered me were not available. I then called him back about an hour later and asked him once more about making another payment on my account, his response was that he could no longer help me I was to contact his Manager Tom . I left a voice mail and then received a call back from Tom  regarding my message, I asked him the same question about making another payment to show good faith and elect one of the original options and that I would send them a few thousand dollars, he proceeded to tell me that because I made the recent payment I no longer qualified for the original options offered to me and that my interest rate would remain at 32.99%. A WARNING to all those out there they used a bait and switch technique to collect the $ 517.00 and then went back on their word. This becomes a downward spiral because now unless I do not make the February payment and make my account past due they will not offer me any assistance as they had originally offered and deceived me incredibly. So now I am forced to withold payment take another late payment on my credit report before they will potentially offer me any other help if any at all. It is impossible to make payments at 32.99% when almost every dollar is going to finance charges that are pratcially as large as and your minimum payment and is impossible to keep up with. I am looking for every possible place to file complaints against this ruthless, callous organization that operates like a MAFIA. Sadly enough my perfect credit is going to take a dive in the near future and they could care less about any of us as individuals. These kind of credit card tactics from these companies must be illegal for them to offer you programs and then retract their offers. They are deceitful and I was betrayed unbelievably!!!!”

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jeff Weber

Jeffrey Weber has been following and blogging about the credit card industry since 2004. He has also written for Forbes and been cited in a wide range of major media outlets including USA Today, Time, MSN Money, The Christian Science Monitor, The Detroit Free Press and numerous other prestigious online and print publications.

Jeffrey resides in Easton, Connecticut and enjoys spending his free time chasing after his two year old son, watching films with his wife and occasionally taking a holiday to go snorkeling.

– has written 339 posts.

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