Credit Cards Suck

I tried very hard to get one of my credit cards canceled. Finally after lowering my rate and agreeing to remove one of the two late charges on my card, I agreed to stay. Several days before, I had talked to someone else who agreed to remove the second late charge once I got my account current (paid the minimum necessary). In August I used this card by mistake for $40 (I have only used this card three times in the last six months). Now I owe that and $32.13 more in late fees and finance charges, almost doubling the cost of my purchase.

I didn’t look at the bills since I pay all my other credit cards online automatically and have them set to auto deducting the minimum so I never have to worry about missing and getting a late fee (a feature this card doesn’t offer). I forget about this one since I don’t use it. Their website sucks too which makes me even less likely to use the card. My pretty unique username (not jciv) that I used when I first signed up is now taken and can’t be used. It has to be a dead account I created, even though after 6 months you have to re-register. So now I have to remember to put a “1″ at the end. And they misspelled my mother’s maiden name so whenever I have to re-register or recover my password, I get locked out for 24 hours until I can figure out how they spelled it. How would you ever know they misspelled it? It still sounds the same when you have to give it to the phone people. One time I just decided to try some variations.

Once I found the problem I tried to pay online, but for people who are behind, they change the payment system. I have to re-enter my checking account number (I don’t have my check book with me either). So I have to try again later. When I get it, they require you to tell them why I didn’t pay, how many months has my financial situation been bad, etc. Idiots. I can see asking this stuff if I were thousands of dollars behind, but $72.

They have my email address, that is how I got notified about my Reduced Purchases Rate quickly after talking to the first person. Why was I not contacted by email about missing two credit card payments? I also got an email about filling out a survey on how my dealing with customer service was. That is where 90% of this blog post comes from. Clearly they have my email address. But notifying me that way would cheat them out of the late fees because I would have paid it instantly so they don’t use it.

Long ago I stopped using this credit card completely but never canceled it because canceling a card can hurt your credit score and I was lazy. I never called in to activate my new card when it arrived and eventually just stopped getting bills in the mail. Several years later they sent a new card, it looked similar to one I was using so I assumed that is what it was and activated it. Its all been downhill from there.

Mainly I use a Sony branded credit card and am saving up points to get a Sony DSLR. I don’t really want a Sony camera, but I was already half way there when I realized that. When the Canon Powershot S5 came out, I had to decide between paying $500 or getting the Sony H9 free. I chose the Canon and saved my points hoping Sony’s SLR would be better. For free I can live with it, but as soon as I get that camera or give up and get a huge TV, I plan to get an Amazon card. They send you gift certificates for stuff on Amazon. Amazon usually has good prices and I won’t be locked into one brand.

Plus, the Sony Card’s website’s improved security measures means every time my browser is upgraded, I have to go through a verification (by email or phone) step because they don’t recognize my computer. If I was using IE and it only updated a few times a decade, that would be fine. But Firefox updates frequently (a little too frequently sometimes). Every time the UserAgent changes, I have to go through the verification again.

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