The bank told Frank that she was notified by mail of the raise in rates and that they had the "right to raise them whenever they wished." Talk about deceptive business practices!
Frank doesn't remember getting any notification of credit card rate hikes in the mail. "I might have got something but it must have looked like junk mail," she says. "Besides, why would I bother to read my mail from the bank when I do all my banking online?"
"The most frustrating part is the brick wall you hit when you try to talk to them," adds Frank. "They have their standard little speech and I had no satisfaction until I notified the [comptroller for federal currency]—and that was thanks to your website.
"Your articles keep me abreast of potential risks or problems and I was surfing for a way to deal with these credit card companies—that's when I saw your article about an [elderly gentleman] who complained to the Attorney General.
After I complained, it was amazing how fast I got a response from the Bank of America credit card company. All of a sudden they became amiable and ready to discuss my 'issues and concerns'."
But were they willing to change Frank's high interest rate back to her original contract? "They agreed to lower the rate but we never got to specify an amount because I said the original rate needed to be restored," she says. Then Frank transferred her balance immediately to another bank. "They couldn't care less—but they did say that they would refer me to another department to refinance my home, consolidate a loan..." She won't be doing business with the Bank of America again. But it wasn't over.
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"I had the same experience with Chase Bank, concurrently with the Bank of America," says Frank. Understandable—these companies swap information. Then she complained again to the federal agency: they monitor financial institutions and will send notice of consumer complaints.
"I think the Bank of America still owes me but I have washed my hands with them," says Frank. Chase refunded $700 in interest and restored her interest rate to the original fixed rate. "But they are both unscrupulous," she adds. "I would support a lawsuit against them; there are a lot of other people who may be unaware that issues can be fought. These credit card companies are unfair and they shouldn't get away with it."