Late last year...AT&T UNIVERSAL CARD sent a letter saying that they were going to increase my rate to 23% from the incredibly low 5% that I had been enjoying. If I didn't accept the new terms, I had to write them and close the account, and I would be allowed to pay off the remainder like normal at my current rate. I wrote to them immediately, and they kept their word.Then last month when I got my email notification of my statement, I logged in to get it and WHAMMO!! My minimum payment was now more than double what it had been! Looking over the bill, the notes section indicated that I had missed a payment, and they had in turn not only hit me with a late payment fee, but they had also raised my rate to that 23% as the lat-payment punishment they had promised in their original letter...Armed with courage mustered from reading so many newsletters telling us to just call them and ask to have the rate lowered, I immediately called AT&T's customer service...The account “specialist” confirmed the reason for the rate hike, and told me I will have to make perfect payments for another 6 months before they will consider lowering the rate. I politely thanked her and hung up, absolutely LIVID. You lost a lot of clout when you closed the account prior to having it paid off. You couldn't use the leverage of "If you want to keep a good customer, then you'll have to..." Why didn't you keep it open until the balance was paid off, and THEN cancel it? Keeping the account open didn't require you to use the card for new purchases, right?Canceling the account signaled to them that they weren't going to make money off you much longer, so there's no incentive for them to treat you well.
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