Bill Me Later = Bill Me Forever
SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS -- Bill Me Later (i.e. I4 or "Idiots 4ever") may be one of the worst-run organizations since the Soviet bloc collapsed. Here is my saga with this Citi, Chase, CIT, I4, etc.-backed loanshark.
I bought a GPS from OfficeMax on 11/26/2006 and opened up a Bill Me Later account at that point. Product was $229.99, $241.99 after MA tax/shipping.
I returned the item and OfficeMax (a great company) immediately issued a credit for the full amount ($241.99), including shipping and tax. Outstanding service on their part.
OfficeMax told Bill Me Later about this credit to my account, but Bill Me Later decided to start adding late fees. This is despite the fact that the only product I ever bought on their service was returned for a full refund.
Yet the Bill Me Later braintrust could not resist billing me late payments and interest ON late payments and interest. I called and asked what purchase I was late on paying and they went "Well, Sir, I's thinks this a problem." Could we speak some regular English, please? Anyhow, a rep took off everything and brought it down to a $0 balance (as required by the credit agreement).
So I got another bill with ANOTHER late fee and interest after this was supposedly fixed. I called a rep and was told that the notes showed I was correct and this should be fixed. So the rep again took off the charges and offered to close the account.
Yet ANOTHER bill arrived with MORE charges. I finally asked to talk to a supervisor who again took off all the charges. She said that this would be the end of the matter and apologized.
SO, now, over a year later, Bill Me Later has once again aced its SATs by putting me into collection with Penncro and Associates. I almost laughed when I called Penncro and found out that Bill Me Later was after me for $120 or so. The Penncro person asked for proof of the return and I had OfficeMax fax it right over (they seem to be the only ones who cared about the customer).
The Penncro rep also suggested that I deal with Bill Me Later directly. Fair enough. So I called them up and Bill Me Later's work-release staff told me that there was nothing they could do because the account was charged-off. I talked to a supervisor who said the same thing. She didn't know where her boss was at the moment, so I couldn't go any higher. I said "So you initiated the collection but you can't stop it?". They said yes and agreed that I didn't owe anything. But they didn't offer to contact Penncro and said that they had no access to my account. They told me to contact Penncro again... just circles and runarounds.
I checked my credit report and there is an inquiry from Penncro a few months ago. Great. Now the remedial reading staff at Bill Me Later is going to affect my credit score too.
These Bill Me Later fools wouldn't talk to me about my account? Yet they send a collection agency after me without being able to review my account? They had a collection agency call me at home, so I called up their entire Executive Board at their private office lines and left voicemails. If you call me at home, expect the same in return if you are in the wrong. Oh, the internet is a wonderful thing.
I have an attorney who says that I'm on rock-solid ground. I have documentation that cannot be disputed. I will do whatever it takes to get this straightened out and to ensure that everyone knows how Bill Me Later has misbehaved. It's always good to know the producer of a major network news magazine.
Bill Me Later promised to fix my account three times and all three were lies. Now they are trying to collect based on an order that was returned. The merchant is on my side! I gave the Nobel laureates at Bill Me Later so many chances to resolve this... they only have themselves to blame.
I have spent so much time on this that could be spent on other things. Now I see that I may be paying higher interest rates due to their credit inquiry. How do you spell L-I-A-B-L-E? Maybe I come across as harsh, but what did I do wrong? I ordered something, followed the return policy (which the merchant gladly honored), got a credit, and moved on with my life. Maybe I should have sent a babysitter over there to keep an eye on my account. You can't mess with people's credit and expect them to take it sitting down. They should send me a $500 for the trouble.
If you think that this is as big of a scam as I do, give their CFO a call at (443) 921-1900 x. 1922