Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure†
02-22-2010 05:11 PM
I was initially very excited to be approved for this $7500 7.24% APR CC from Nationwide Bank. The approval took about 45 days but was worth it as it was my highest credit limit. I initially apped for it to make a major purchase and take advantage of the 0% APR for 6 months. Well, after I got the card I charged $410 on the card and PIF before the statement cut (about a week ago). I received the card in January and was hoping to show them that I was willing to establish a good payment history. Well after that this past Saturday I decided to go ahead with my purchase of $2000 - the card was declined.
I was told from the rep that the security dept. had placed a hold on the account. Being it was Saturday I called back the following day and spoke with the security dept. They were of no help as the rep did not know why there was a hold after verifiying that I had the card in my possession. I was told to wait a day or two until the security dept manager was able to review the account. At this point I was told that it could be due to check kiting or some other fraudulent behavior on my part (of which there was none!)
I called this morning and after being placed on hold I spoke with a different security dept rep - he also had no idea what was going on. He suggested that the security flag could be because of where I attempted to purchase the item. It was in downtown Los Angeles at a jewelry store. I saw this is as clear discriminatory behavior as it should not matter where I purchased a good or what I bought (jewelry). This security rep told me he would call me back - he never did and it is now the end of the day.
I checked online this afternoon only to find my account was closed! I have no idea what brought on this action and when I called them to find out I was placed on hold for 30 min. I finally spoke to a rep again and again she had no idea what was going on and that a supervisor would call me back. No one has called.
I do not know what "suspicious behavior" they are seeing but I don't think a $2000 purchase would be such an issue. After all I did not max out the card, obtain a cash advance, or use the card out of state. Apparently the security department thinks that it warrants an account closure. I am sick of calling their incompetent department and I will report this incident to Visa and see if it is a violation.
For anyone else with this card make sure to use it only in "approved areas" or face account closure, with no clear response as to why.
Thanks for reading and please post if this has happened to anyone else.
02-22-2010 06:13 PM
02-22-2010 08:38 PM
For the record Maclover, I have had CC accounts closed suddenly due to fraud that had nothing to do with me. It's possible that the company recieved notice that your account # had been compromised, or caught some clearly fradulent charges (I love those $7 charges from Nigeria) before they posted, closed the account to protect you and are sending a new card.
Now, none of that explains or justifies the lack of clear communication or apparent incompetence from these security people you've talked to. CSRs tend to run the gamut though, so I would try another time or two to reach a supervisor and get more details on exactly what happened. You may never get an explanation to your liking, but it's also entirely possible that you've just been talking to new CSRs who can't read the notes on your account because they haven't exactly figured out how the company computer works yet.
02-22-2010 09:24 PM - edited 02-22-2010 09:28 PM
My advice is to take legal action against the CCC.
You had an account agreement with them, under which they extended you the ability to make charges up to the $7,500 CL
You acted in good faith under the terms of your account, and they declined to honor those terms.
They have provided you no basis for their failure to comply. It has brought embarassment and frustration to you, having to be declined on a purchase that was obviously important to you, and put you in an unfavorable light. You were also damaged by the loss of the CL in your FICO score. Lots of good stuff to show damages.
That is why we have small claims courts. Just go to the courthouse, get the forms, and file an action against them. The court certainly has the power to make them say why.....
02-22-2010 10:27 PM
RobertEG you bring up a good point. I know not to be emotional about this but the truth is I feel insulted. From my point of view I have done NOTHING wrong. It saddens me to think that a CC would actually blacklist certain areas of the country as "high risk". I see this as a form of discrimination as the merchants who have businesses in these areas have also done nothing wrong and they may also have limited customers due to this practice. It brings to mind AMEX and their practice of penalizing good customers simply for shopping at Walmart.
At this point they are telling me that my account is blocked by their security dept. However the online log in shows as "closed". The decision to close a customer's account should be a credit decision. The so-called security department should not have the authority to make any lending decisions, which it seems they are in this case. By the way nothing has changed on my credit reports since initial approval. I have scores over 700 25% util., and no lates whatsoever.
I will wait for the required 30 day letter and see what they state as their reasons. If indeed they are using disciminatory lending practices small claims court may be something to think about as this has caused both embarrassment as well as extreme frustration. I am usually pretty calm tempered but in this case I cannot excuse such poor customer service as well as incompetence. To think a month ago I actually recommended this card to my friends!
I really can't wait until later this year when ALL of my debt is paid off. I am sick of people scared of actually calling their banks for fear of a CLD, rate jack, or worse! Banks should be the ones fighting for our business not the other way around - and I work at a bank!
02-22-2010 11:09 PM - edited 02-22-2010 11:13 PM
You have peaked my curiosity. What is their required "30-day" response you are waiting for?
If you sent a letter to the original creditor, there is no response period involved at all. It is not even a dispute you can make directly with them under the FCRA. The FCRA does not currently permit a consumer to dispute directly with an OC. The future "direct dispute" provision of FCRA 623(a)(8) are not yet effective.
If you sent a dispute letter to the CRA under FCRA 611(a), what did you dispute? The dispute process of FCRA 611(a) goes to the accuracy and completeness of information in your credit file, not to equitable contract issues. All the CRA will probably do is confirm that the OC account was reported.
If you sent a debt validation (DV) letter to either the OC or CRA under FDCPA 809(b), it will be summarily dismissed as the improper venue. You can only DV a third party collection agency.
As I see it, you have a legal breach of contract issue, and not a dispute under eiher the FCRA or the FDCPA.
If you want to force results, IMHO, you must first force legal action. I dont think they would be stupid enough to show up in court with all of the blubbering nonsense they have given you to date.
02-25-2010 02:47 PM
Hello again - just thought I should post an update.
Well it turns out that Nationwide Bank is serviced by a third party card servicer. They were the ones I was talking to, and they were the ones who put a hold on my account. Unbelievably I found this out due to my old Merrick Bank card. I saw a hard inquiry from Merrick Bank a couple of days ago and I decided to call them to ask why, as I did not apply for a CLI or new credit. When I called I was transferred to the same department that was handling my Nationwide account. I was then told that both my Nationwide card and Merrick card were on a security hold (serviced by them). The rep told me that it may have been due to ID theft. However as I monitor my credit reports daily I would have known of any new inquiries or new accounts. At this point I decided not to argue anymore and be fine with both accounts being closed. I did however send in the requested ID copy and utility bill.
Suprisingly today I log into my Nationwide account and see the available credit. I called them and confirmed the release of both holds. So, in defense of Nationwide Bank they were not the ones who initiated the security hold nor were they the actual cause of my frustration. Turns out to be the servicer. In actuality I suspect that it was Nationwide who reviewed the account at a later time and decided to release the security hold.
RobertEG regarding the 30 day letter I was referring to the letter that lenders are required to send to customers within 30 days of any AA. I believe this is required under the ECOA. I was not thinking of disputing anything on my reports as they are being reported accurately. I do agree that if the account had been closed I would have had the option of escalating the matter legally as a breach of contract issue as you mentioned. Unfortunately these days when it comes to credit cards lenders have the upper hand in almost every regard so I doubt I would have been successful had I taken that route.
So, now I suppose this issue has been resolved. However I am still upset mainly by the lack of professionalism in the way they handled this matter. A simple explanation from the beginning from the security dept. would have sufficed and I would have been fine with waiting a few days until the matter was resolved. I sincerely hope I do not have to deal with this issue again when making my next purchase.
Thanks for reading.
02-28-2010 09:11 AM
I am glad eveything worked out well for your with your CC with the two banks. Good news!!!
02-28-2010 10:08 AM
I think you missed one very important variable, although you mentioned it.
Your CCC security/fraud department uses a sophisticated program that analyses pattern of users specific shopping habits to flag our irregularities.
From personal experience:
- You live in NYC and for the holidays you travel to LA and get groceries at the local chain? That's an oddity.
- For the first time in years you take a vacation and fly to London and the first thing you do is to buy a map of the city at the airport.- red flag.
- Just like in your case, you have a band new card (with plenty of CL to go) which you may or may not have used at all since you got it last week and you went into your local jewelry and bought a $1000 earring for your GF for Valentine's. I can assure you the cashier will get a decline and a request to call a certain telephone number for the security dept at that CCC. They will want to make sue it's indeed you.
My point. Tell your CCC that you plan to change your routine, especially for out of town travel, or out of the normal high balance purchases.
Sure, if you go to Costco once a month and spend $700 (very easy these days) on just groceries, then spending $1000 there will not cause the program to "bat an eyelid", if it could.
Just my 2c.