Here’s one from the archives. I wrote this to a consumer complaint web site in September 2006 after MBNA Bank of America jacked up my interest rate. Thanks to Me vs. Debt for reminding me to dig this up.
My complaint is against MBNA, which was recently purchased by Bank of America.
MBNA is a predatory company. It’s recent practice of imposing usurious interest rates without warning may be legal, but it is unethical to the highest degree.
If you have an MBNA card, pay it off as fast as you can, lest you become their next victim. If you are shopping for a credit card, avoid MBNA at all costs.
Why do I say this? Here is my story…
I have a Family Christian branded card through MBNA. The balance was over $15,000. I had made payments on time for well over two years.
Then, all of a sudden, BANG! My interest rate soared from around 11.99% to 24.99%.
I called to find out what had happened. I hadn’t missed any payments. I was (what I thought) a good customer.
No, the change in interest rate was intentional, a customer service rep informed me. I asked him to lower it. He said the best they could do was lock in an interest rate of 23.99%. Then they asked if I had considered doing a 2nd mortgage to pay off the credit card. I told them I had, but that I would never do business with any company associated with MBNA, not after they had violated my trust.
That day, I waged war on MBNA. In two months, I have paid off $10,000, with full intention of paying off the balance as soon as possible.
Yet I called again today and asked for them to lower my rate a second time.
They told me they could possibly lower it to 6.99% if I did a balance transfer. Otherwise, the best they could do was 20.99%.
Every time I ask, they will only lower my rate if I will do more business with them. I will not. If I transfer at 6.99%, who knows what will happen? Maybe they will raise my interest rate to 40% two months from now. I cannot trust them and I will not do business with them ever again.
On a side note, I’ve noticed that if my payment arrives at MBNA even one day late, I will be charged a $39 late fee. They do business 7 days a week. If the due date is Sunday (which it has been), and my payment arrives Monday, I get slapped with a late fee. This is another example of MBNA‘s complete disregard for treating customers right.
Now, let me offer some praise to a company that does it right: USAA. This is the best company I’ve ever dealt with. Over 7 years, I’ve not once had a bad customer service experience.
The USAA credit card is phenomenal. My interest rate is consistently well under 10% (usually around 7%). If my payment arrives a day or two late, I am not charged any late fees. USAA is the exemplar of world-class customer service. Other companies should aspire to their high ethics. If you can get a USAA credit card, or get insurance through them, by all means do so. They get my absolute highest recommendation.
P.S. I find it ironic that Family Christian bookstores is associated with a company that employs such unethical business practices. They should be ashamed of their association with MBNA.