Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why Bank One Sucks

Back in November 1998, I swerved to miss a dog than ran out on the highway in front of me, lost control of my car and crashed into the barrier. It totalled my car, though I walked away with only minor bruises. However, given that I was working about 50 hours a week at Avon Products ("mandatory" overtime, you know), plus carrying 15 credit hours at school, and the two locations were about 18 miles apart with no public transportation available, not having a functioning car was a major problem.

So, my parents and I went car shopping the very next weekend. After much discussion, it was decided that we would try to get a new car, albeit a cheap model, because we didn't have the time to search for a solid used car. We looked at every low-end car on the market and settled on a Toyota Corolla. However, I had no credit history, so the rate on a loan for a new car was ludicrous. Leasing, on the other hand, was managable, especially if my parents co-signed the lease, which they were glad to do, since I've always been so responsible and everything.

We didn't get to choose the bank, at least not that I can remember. The lease was administered through Bank One (or Banc One, as it was known at the time) and for a period of 50 months. I had no real problems during the lease period, with the exception of the annual stress over renewing my license plates. They had a horrible habit of not sending the limited power of attorney that I needed to have the plates issued (since they were actually the "owner" of the car) until the last minute, so that I had no opportunity to send the registration by mail and had to struggle to rearrange my already full-to-bursting schedule to get to the DMV.

When the lease expired, I wanted to buy the car and Bank One offered me a phenomenal rate with no cosigner. I figured, they'd been good in handling my lease, so why not?

Meanwhile, I had a credit card through another bank. Low interest rate, no annual fee, nice to have in the wallet. Around the same time as I bought my car, I got a notice in the mail that Bank One had bought out the account, but that nothing would change except the name and the mailing address for payments.

Fast forward to this past year. In August, I moved to the House of Horror, then moved again in November (after discovering that I had been living in the House of Horror and that Ali is a psycho). Both times, I filled out the little change of address form on the back of my monthly statement AND called the customer service number to let them know my new address and phone number. Both times, I was assured that the change had been made and given a confirmation number. Both times, it took several months and multiple phone calls to get the address changed. Both times, I got nasty calls and letters from Bank One, accusing me of "failing to provide them with valid contact information".

And that's not even mentioning the missing payments problem. You see, every few months, Bank One claims not to have received my payment, slaps a late fee on my account, and sets their shill on me, chiding me for "not sending my payment". They also call my parents, whose number was on my account from back when they co-signed my loan. I requested numerous times, first politely, then firmly, then infuriated that they change the contact information and call ONLY me, as to do otherwise violates my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Act.

And similar problems are occuring on that credit card account. After I made my payment one day late a couple of months ago, they hiked my interest rate to 27% (!). I called and requested that it be re-adjusted, in light of the fact that a)I've had my card with them since 1997 and never been delinquent and b)I was less than 24 hours late with the payment that triggered the hike. I was flat out refused, so I closed the account and transferred the balance to my other cards.

I wish I could transfer my car loan to another bank, too. In the last week, I've gotten no less than 5 phone calls. Every time, they start by lecturing me about not sending my payment. I counter by telling them that I sent the check on such and such a date, for such and such an amount. They scoff, I get pissed off. Then they ask me to confirm my address (soooo ironic) and whether I still work at My Old Company. Normally, I counter with the "news" that I am in law school and will not be working until I graduate next year, but I think I will simply start referring them to the notes on the account. Then they try to close with a little lecture about how important it is to make my payments.

I am so sick of the whole thing. I pay ALL of my bills on time every month. None of my other creditors have a problem processing my payments, none of them had any problem processing my (admittedly frequent) changes of address, none of them feel the need to accuse me of being a deadbeat, none of them jacked my credit card rates after missing a single payment by less than 24 hours.

Bank One sucks.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home