Advanta is a mouse trap: Too good to be true!
So 2 years ago, I was looking around for a good business card to help out with company purchases from time to time and to build some business credit history. I signed on for a 3% for the life of a balance transfer, and then 8.99% variable thereafter.
I thought things were great and fine until the other night. My wife noticed that my interest rate on my account was 20% from where it used to be at 8.99%.
I tried calling their "customer service"...which after a few calls, I found out was actually just a bunch of telephone operators who I could barely understand because of thick Indian accents. I don't have any problem talking to someone with an accent unless it is so thick that clarity is an issue. I ended the call with the first guy because we were both getting frustrated that I couldn't understand him. So I called back and got another gentleman who I could understand a little better.
I asked why I now had 20% interest rate. He said that it is based on a lot of criteria that Advanta uses to evaluate their members. I asked what the criteria was, and he said again that it was just a lot of things, and that he couldn't tell me what they were. I felt that since I was now being charged more than double my original interest rate, that I should be able to know what I did that made Advanta think that they needed to raise my interest rate.
I kept asking for information and kept getting the prompted response from their screen. I finally acknowledged that this gentleman didn't have the authority or information that was needed to help me. So I ended the call telling him that he did a great job smokescreening and to have a nice day.
Later that day, I found the number to Corporate. I was given the phone number of a lady who, I was told, was in a management position, and would be more likely to help me out.
I got to speak with her this morning. Aside from her pleasant voice and initial words about wanting me to remain a customer and wanting to help me out, she was just like the gentleman I'd spoken to the day before.
She said that she valued me as a customer, and that they'd like to keep my business. But actions speak louder than sweet sounding words. She said that I didn't have the right to find out what it was that made Advanta raise my interest rate. She said they have over 150 things that they look at (including payment history, credit, personal account info with other institutions, etc) and said that she would not be able to provide me with that information.
Here's the skinny. Advanta looks really good from the outside. They draw suckers in, like me, who like the shine of the low interest rate. I knew their was an *asterisk by the 8.99% interest rate, but I didn't realize that the asterisk was as big as it is. The are very very vary variable.
I told her that 20% for an interest rate was an insult and like a slap in the face. She appologized, but wasn't able or willing to help.
Something is wrong with a company who has no problem raising interest rates on a business card holder with good standing and excellent credit. I found out that the increase was last December, so it was approximately 10 months before my 'too good to be true' interest rate of 8.99% became the 'HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW' 20%.
I'm in the process of finding a new company to which I can transfer my balance.
I suggest that if anyone is considering applying for credit with Advanta, and that you seriously consider what I've said. I did more checking on the internet, and found that I'm not the only one. There are apparently several people who have had bad experiences with Advanta similar to mine.
I told the lady I spoke to that I was going to do everything in my power and influence to make sure that no one else gets suckered into their mouse trap like I did.
Spread the word. I'm hoping for 1 of 2 results from this. I'd love for Advanta to adapt to the market and fix their issues that have caused myself and so many others have suffered from. IF they can't fix it, I'd love to see Advanta fade into the distance as they lose more and more customers as a result of the education about their flawed policies and bad customer service.
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