Outrageous Charges to Canadian Credit Card Customers - Read On!
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- In November 2007, I was offered a discount on a few sale items I wanted to purchase if I applied for a J.C. Penney credit card. I asked would I be able to pay on-line, and the answer being in the affirmative, I applied.
I got the bill for $48.94 just as I was moving, so neglected to pay it on time, and was charged $10 late fee...that I didn't mind as that was my responsibility. But I did try to pay on-line and couldn't (because - get this - I had to have an American bank account, though the set-up is the same as for Canadian on-line payments, so the technology is there). I asked if I could pay by MasterCard, but they would only accept a cheque.
I mailed the next cheque in on February 28 after receiving my second bill, yet it did not clear until March 24th, and they now charged me a $20 late fee.
I sent in my next bill on March 19th, which did not clear until April 16th, and you got it - another $20 late fee. So I wrote them.
I received a letter saying they were crediting me $20, which was fine, but today I received a bill saying my balance (after paying them $95) was still $54.55, WITH ANOTHER LATE FEE OF $10.00.
So I phoned them again, and got a very nice lady in customer service who said they had this problem with their Canadian clients all the time.
I said I wanted to speak to a supervisor then, and she said she would pass me on after clearing my balance (my payments were not all showing, though I gave her the dates they had cleared my bank).
She added that they were going to be making it possible for Canadian clients to pay on-line or with a major credit card within the next few weeks, and that I should be getting a credit.
She was great, and I think her and told her that would be nice (I wasn't expecting that).
Then I got the supervisor who right away was in deep denial that there was any problem for Canadian customers. And since my balance had been cleared, what was the problem?
No pro-active problem-solver, he.
So I told him he had a great employee who was willing to listen to customers and try to help them.
But his conversation with me was so 'professional' (read, coldly implying I was a liar at every attempt to point out the problems which should be addressed ) that I told him he could pass it on to his boss that this unhappy Canadian customer was cutting up their card because of being mislead about their credit services and ripping off people when they knew there was a problem that could easily be corrected.
So, fellow Canadians. When they approach you at J.C. Penney, think twice about how much you want to pay for that 10% discount when you sign up for their card, because I paid dearly for my two pairs of slacks and a sweater on sale! And you will have to buy the stamp, go to the mailbox, and hope they enter your cheque and it clears before the next bill comes out, when we are used to going on-line and paying our bills when they come in.
Obviously good ethics are not part of J.C. Penney's corporate fiber as it is with Fashion Bug, Victoria's Secret, and the other American stores that have offered similar discounts to Canadians engaging in in cross-border shopping, and who seem to be able to enter their transactions promptly.