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Subject:  Re: First USA Late Payment Date:  4/23/1999  3:27 PM
Author:  aj3 Number:  9111 of 312155

First USA is the WORST company I've ever dealt with! Avoid them like the black plague!

Back in February 1998 I had a payment that was sent SEVEN days prior to their due date. It took them NINE days to credit my account. Of course, in their view I was late. Since I had one other slightly late payment (posted 4 days past the due date, sheesh!) in the previous 6 months my interest rate was bumped up to 20% from 12.5%!

Phone calls didn't help. Cordial, business-like letters explaining the details didn't help. They totally blew me off.

I was lied to by their phone representatives. Follow-up letters from them said something very different from what the phone reps said. Of course, certain deadlines had past when I got the letters, so I was stuck with the penalties and monster interest rate.

Anyway I won't go into all the gory details because then I'll just start to sound like a maniac :) It's just that every time I hear about First USA (or Bank One, who issued the credit card) my blood starts to boil.

In regards to your situation, I'd recommend the following.

1) Check your records and note the date you sent (not wrote!) your payment check to them. If you paid them via electronic banking (I use Quicken/Wells Fargo Online for my bills), ask your bank when they sent the paper check to First USA. (I believe First USA has just started to accept electronic transfers, but check with them for the latest. This, of course, assumes that the reps don't lie to you. Sorry, this is a real sore point with me.)

2) Ask your bank when this specific payment was presented for payment by First USA.

3) Ask First USA to verify when they credited your payment.

With this information you can challenge them. Otherwise you're just heating up the air.

I believe the law requires them to credit your payment the day it was received. However, in the terms and conditions, they can add all sorts of conditions to this. For example, they might say that payments received after 4PM will be posted the next business day. Another condition is that payments received that are not in the supplied envelope and without the payment coupon from your statement are subject to an addition 2 day (or more) delay in processing. This, IMO, is just skirting the law and making it easier for them to claim you're a late payer.

I hope this helps and you have better success in dealing with those *#^@! guys.


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