GE Moneybank Complaint - Deserted in the Desert
Deserted in the desert
I have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Chevron for over 27 years and from time to time have used their stations exclusively. I have enjoyed an ever escalating credit increase from them and have never come close to using my credit limit. I have mostly paid the balance in full each month. Sometimes I paid over a few months if I had financed a road trip on the card.
My account has been current and clean for every one of the 27+ years, using the card only once every three months for my scheduled service and a detailed cleaning of my car. I confirmed my high open to buy limit online and decided to finance the gas on my upcoming road trip with Chevron.
I decided upon a nice road trip vacation last fall that would take three weeks to cover all of the Southwestern states from Texas to California. I used my Chevron card to service the car and get it road worthy. I made it all the way to the mid Arizona desert before I needed to fill up for the third time.
In the past, Chevron would lock my card from use for security reasons because of being used more than three times in one day. When the pump refused to accept my card, I assumed that, once again, I locked out my account by not giving Chevron the heads up that I was on a road trip. I was very familiar with this security process after using their card for over 20 years.
I went into the station to have the clerk run the card and again, it was declined. I asked to use the phone so that I could call Chevron and unlock the card. Normally after a few questions, they would agree that the card was not stolen and release the card for me to continue using on my trip. This was not the case this time. The associate on the other end of the phone advised me that I had reached my limit and in fact was over my limit by $29.00. I was advised that I could no longer use my card until the limit was paid down.
This was more of a shock than anything that I could have taken at that time. I was stuck in the desert with no gas in my tank, at a small road side gas pump with no credit on my Chevron card. I was not in a town or settlement. I was in the desert, pure deserted desert.
Ok, I have money to take along on this trip but the gas budget was on the Chevron card. Using my debit card everyday for $50.00 towards gas was not within the plan. I was on a three week road trip and this was only the second day!
I got Chevron on the phone to find that it was not Chevron at all, but GE Moneybank to my shock. I know that GEMB finances private labels (even for my company) but I actually never read the fine print to realize that GEMB financed my Chevron account. Nevertheless, the reason for my credit limit being reached was that the company reduced limits “across the board” and that it was nothing personal towards me. This was more than I could take. It was over 100 degrees outside, I was sweating bullets, I had no patients with hearing that “There is nothing we can do about it”. I asked many questions like… ‘When was I going to find out about the credit decrease?’ She said that they mailed a letter. ‘When was it mailed?’ Friday, the day I left on the trip. Remember, I checked my balance online on Friday morning.
Needless to say, the conversation ended with no favorable resolution for me. The supervisor actually said “I don’t know what you want me to say.” I want you to reinstate my credit limit so I can get back home! That’s what I want you to say! Nope. The rest of the vacation was on debit. At least I know that it is all paid for.
I got home three weeks later to find three notices in my mail. One stated that my Chevron credit limit was being decreased by 75% ($1500.00). One said that one Wal-Mart card was being decreased by a couple of hundred dollars and the third was an increase in the credit limit on my second Wal-Mart card. Yep, they gave me a second Wal-Mart card instead of increasing the limit on the first card several months back. What an idiotic thing to do.
Well, I am paying off what few GEMB accounts that I have and boycotting the companies who use them. Even my loyal friend Chevron, who gave me a gas card over 27 years ago, has lost my patronage. The garage that took Chevron for all those years of scheduled services no longer accepts Chevron. Good for them. I like Chevron. I would go back to Chevron if they would drop GEMB.
I mentioned above that my company even offers financing through GEMB. I do not promote it and I encourage anyone who applies for credit anywhere to know who they are getting financing through. When you apply, or receive, a store’s private label credit card, it could be GEMB and the worst financial experience of your life.
Look at the interest rates. Reminds me of the Gangster movies of the 30’s when the gangsters offered 20% credit rates and broke your legs if you did not pay on time. Nowadays, GEMB and any other credit facility have a license to break your legs.
But then again…DOES IT REALLY MATTER!