Beat the banks by threatening to call the Better Business Bureau
Heidi wrote to me about her problems with a bank
that was charging her a ridiculous interest rate of 33%. She had called the bank
and was not able to do anything. I suggested that she transfer her balance. She called
them back and threatened to contact the Better Business Bureau.
What follows are the details of my email
correspondence with Heidi.
I was reading your article on how to call a
credit card company and asking them lower the APR. I did this on one of our
credit cards, which we have been customers for 8 years, no late payments.
(Though our overall credit rating is somewhat medium, not excellent--not
When I called, they told me that the computer
generates a letter offering me a lower apr and they cannot lower the rate. In
the 8yrs that I was with this company, we have never received such a letter.
I also just realized that I have a variable rate,
which now we have a 33% APR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was young when I opened this account not
realizing a variable rate was on this offer.
What can we do now?
Thanks in advance.
I would punish them by transferring your balance
to another card! Don't cancel the original account. Let them BEG you to come
back with low rates in the future.
Pursue low-rate cards! Do that right now! Because
you have debt, many banks will find you attractive in that they know they can
profit from your business! You can find a list of the low-rate cards I recommend
Well, just to give you an update, I called the
credit card company again and demanded to speak to higher authorities. With
luck, I finally got up to the corporate office and spoke to a very nice woman,
who I asked, "Would you pay 33% interest on a card, honestly?" She agreed.
Before I got to this nice woman, I had threatened
the other supervisors that I would be calling BBB and reporting them for
this action. This is when I was transferred to corporate office.
Amazing, huh? With a little threat of calling the BBB,
they had no problem connecting me to higher authorities.
Now, I am waiting for this woman to review my
account, which they will find in perfect condition. She said she would call me
back within three days. Hopefully, they will lower my interest back down to
something more reasonable.
I hope I am not bothering you with all of this,
but you seemed to be truly interested.
That's great! I never even thought to threaten
the banks with a call to the BBB. VERY WELL DONE! You are DebtSmart! I will have
to share that with my readers.
Please keep me posted with the results.
Got a response today!!
Well, the credit card company DID lower the
interest rate to 23%. Yes, that is still not great, but it is a far cry from
33.1% that I was paying.
Believe me, I am going to pay off this card as
fast as possible and get rid of this card. It's amazing how a little threat of
saying "attorney, and/or Better Business Bureau" made such a difference.
You may let your readers know how I went about
doing it, but keep in mind that I did it in a very pleasant way.
I have to laugh though at your comment that I'm debt
smart. NOPE, I'm far from that, but realize that I would have gotten nowhere
paying that kind of interest rate. I just wish there was a way to pay this high
one off faster. I realize doubling payments would help, but that would almost be
my mortgage payment!
Thanks again for your encouragement!
Great! Glad to hear that it worked!
You still are DebtSmart. Believe me when I say
that many people are sitting on rates of 33% and doing NOTHING! You did
something! Hey, you should still look to transfer your balances to a lower rate.
Keep up the good work!