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People's United Financial Inc. Message Board

  • wild_wooly_2000 wild_wooly_2000 Jul 31, 2000 11:24 PM Flag

    About To Be X-Customer

    I just posted the following in an older thread,
    before finding this one. Here's my text:

    Got a
    notice today (7/31/00) that starting in August, my rate
    goes from 12.99% to 22.99%. I'm not late nor
    limit (People's Bank Visa).

    I've tried to call
    and talk to a real person, but get the recorded
    message "Due to unusually high call volume,
    we cannot
    take your call now, please try later." Yeah, even at
    10:30 PM ET. I bet it's high . . .

    I always
    thought one had the option of cancelling the card and
    paying off the balance under the original terms
    the case of changes one didn't like.

    Let me
    know what I can do to help the cause (letters to
    wherever, etc.).


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    • I don't think my example is as far off the mark
      as you seem to think. The dispute is over interst
      charges, which are relatively small in comparison to the
      principal amount.

      In any event, the principal amount
      is not "in dispute" since they are not arguing that
      those costs were never incurred. The only argument is
      over the appropriate interest rate, and therefore only
      the amount of interest is in dispute.

    • People's Bank is O.K. But get real. They reported
      negative earnings growth in this economy! Come on folks,
      you can do better than that.

      Rather than own a
      downgrade company, try buying something on an upward

      I�ve got a bank trading at 1.45 book, buying back $500
      mil in stock, has a P/E of 9.2 and ROA of 3.58%.
      Earnings are growing at 30% per year. This little gem
      won�t remain a secret for long.

      The bank is
      IndyMac Bank (NDE). A merger that was booked on July 1st
      this year created this awesome money

      Sorry to talk about another bank on this board, but
      it�s definitely worth checking out ~ assuming you like
      bank stocks!

    • In the world of lending, the term FICO refers to
      a type of credit scoring system. If you have ever
      wondered how these systems work, you might want to take a
      look at (for a vendor's point of view) or (for a journalist's point of

      Ironically the word "fico" in Italian refers both to a
      fig-tree, and a highly insulting hand gesture (sometimes
      called "sign of the fig") ...

      It's truly amazing that the lending industry would
      choose this term given the vulgar

      P.S. Was that short enough for you Jerry?


    • I think the operative elements of your example
      are that the shortage was minor(0.1%), and an
      unintentional error. I would that if I called you and told you
      of the shortage, you would expedite delivery of the
      missing unit, and all would be dandy.

      But that's
      not what I see the "whiners" saying. They aren't
      claiming that they *never* have to pay: Only that they can
      withhold payment until the dispute is resolved. Look at
      this example -

      You sell me 1,000 widgets for $
      1,000. I need these widgets right now to build something
      for one of my customers (just-in-time supply stream),
      who by contract is taking delivery in 2 weeks. Only
      900 widgets arrive, because you *intentionally*
      shorted me (you figured out that if you short all of your
      customers 1%, your bottom line will be substantially
      inflated at year-end).

      I call you and say, hey -
      I'm missing 100 widgets: I need themn right away. And
      you say, F-You - and you better pay the $ 1,000 you
      owe by the end of the month (or else). Now the
      contract is broken, and I certainly don't have to pay
      antyhing until the dispute is resolved. That could be by
      you having a change of heart and getting the parts to
      me in time to meet my customers' needs. Or, it might
      entail a legal battle, in which case I'd also be seeking
      damages for the losses incurred when I couldn't fulfill
      my customers needs. And if I were smart, I'd go for
      some punitives too. In the end, you'd probably owe me
      much more than I owed you for the 900 delivered
      widgets (which I might still have to eventually
      (begrudgingly) pay you for). I don't know about in NE, but
      that's the way things are done here in the

      This example, I think, is much closer to the arguments
      that some of the PBCT (ex?)customers are

      By the way, I never claimed to be a lawyer - I just
      rely on the wisdom and expertise of friends and

      Good weekend boys!

    • Financial Analyst; With the name shyster!!! You,
      absolutly,positively,with out a doubt,100%,star studded,gold plated, pbct
      employee of the YEAR!!! You. tell your bosses that fico is
      really pissed at you, for name dropping.

    • Thanks for an eye-opening discussion.

    • two initial points:

      1- for someone who
      claims not to be an attorney, you certainly have a lot
      of legal knowledge

      2- you do seem to expend a
      lot of energy defending this bank. a lot more than
      most would expect from a 'concerned'

      concerning my TransUnion battles. that is done, and there is
      no residual damage. the fight now is with another
      bank, and we have them dead to rights (that is, it is a
      slam dunk case)

      PBCT not going to back down
      because I've called them names? well first they have to
      identify me. I'm sure they have a lot of people calling
      them names these days

      I'm going to more or less
      end this debate with some closing points, because it
      is begining to bore me. PBCT raised our rates to
      default level: Fact.

      I'm challenging the legality
      of that increase (not even going to bother with the
      morality of it, because it is a no-win fight, and everyone
      already knows we are dealing with a less than moral
      industry): Fact.

      PBCT has two choices: (A) they can
      claim that the increase was not because of a "default"
      (that is, use the we can raise rates at will clause).
      in that case, I would definitely have them on a TILA
      15 day notice violation (slam dunk; no contest). or,
      (B) they can claim the increase was because of
      "default", in which case they have breached the terms of the
      card holder agreement, for the reasons I have
      previously cited (that is, their only recourse under the
      agreement for default, when they have been paid on time and
      the credit limit has not been exceeded, is to
      >close< the account.

      so I've got them coming or
      going, or more precisely, by the balls. and I am going
      to squeeze until I hear some howling.

      mentioned earlier (credit sharks) about credit card issuers
      playing the "details" to their advantage. apparently,
      Mark Vitelli cut class on the day they covered
      details, because he left a giant hole for us to walk
      through, and least in my case.

      end of story/end of
      discussion/ end of debate. the legal process has started:
      we'll meet them in a court room, and let a JURY decide
      who is right, what is fair, and what is legal. a fun
      time for all, guaranteed

    • y_chromosom - when citing the "you must contact
      through my attorney" approach, I think you meant FDCPA
      rather than FCBA/FCRA. Or at least that's the one which
      will apply more comprehensively, even though the other
      ones offer certain protection in specific

      I understand the notion that some folks dispute the
      increase in finance charges, but I remain doubtful that it
      is fair to withhold payment on the pre-existing
      balance and the previous schedule of finance charges. You
      certainly can push the edge of the envelope as you see fit,
      and try the stretch argument that the whole contract
      is breached, but that is really a gamble. If you
      lose, you may end up owing much more than you bargained
      for. As long as you feel that you know what you're
      doing (e.g. have consulted with competent legal
      counsel) ... hey, you are on your own and can do what you

      As far as the acronyms, we've talked about TILA (see
      post #462) and FCBA (#492) before. But I wanted to
      share a few more reference sites with you

      Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
      Consumer Info
      Full Text

      Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
      Full Text

    • "Due to unusually high call volume, we cannot
      take your call now"

      Hearing that can be
      frustrating, but actually your best bet towards getting the
      resolution you want is to write a formal letter, rather than
      wasting time on the phone with the call center

    • One of the local newspapers, the Connecticut
      Post, ran a brief story this morning in the business
      section about PBCT raising its credit card interest rates
      for an additional 80,000 consumers. (Sorry, no link,
      the article is not on the web)

      It said there
      will be a bump of 2% in the interest rate for most of
      the affected people, and this change is starting for
      the month of August. Presumably the letters are
      already showing up on people's doorsteps. It also
      mentioned this is about half of the credit card customers
      for the bank.

      Among the factors being
      contemplated before raising the interest rate on each
      individul account are the person's total relationship with
      the bank (i.e. what other types of accounts do they
      have) and a risk assessment based upon credit reporting
      information (which I would tend to believe is being handled
      by automated scoring methods, based on the sheer
      number of accounts).

      For those affected by the 2%
      bump you may want to go back and read my post entitled
      "Blame the Fed" which is #448 on this board before
      taking it to heart as a personal affront.

      If you
      are in the category of what some folks call "punitive
      credit card interest rates" (i.e. high 20s) that's a
      different story entirely. Keep in mind that a machine may
      have evaluated your credit history rather than a human
      being. If you feel the change is unwarranted then there
      are many ways to approach the issue. The simplest way
      would be to write a letter that lays out the facts from
      your point of view in regard to your credit history,
      and asks the bank to re-evaluate their increase. A
      number of other folks who have posted on this board have
      advocated more vigorous action.

      As they used to say
      in those commericals, you make the call.

      • 1 Reply to dglowny
      • There was a feature article entitled "Credit
        Sharks" in the "Your Money" section of today's
        Connecticut Post (a local newspaper in Bridgeport, where the
        headquarters for PBCT is located). Subheadings within this
        article included:

        * Credit issuers masters of
        * Buyer beware
        * Banking fees rise in

        Basically it reconfirmed a lot of what I've already told
        you before on this board (e.g. so-called "fixed"
        rates can be adjusted anytime with appropriate legal
        notice, it's a result of both changing market rates AND
        the lender's assessment/monitoring of your
        creditworthiness, and banks are looking not only at your payment
        history with them but also with OTHER

        The article was not focused exclusively on PBCT.
        Actually it listed a number of other card issuers that
        have used the same style of "risk management" approach
        to raise interest rates -- including First USA,
        Discover, and Capital One. Several banking executives,
        including Mark Vitelli of PBCT, are quoted in the

        I did learn a few new things, though.

        The CT Department of Banking knows about the recent
        rate hikes at PBCT, including so-called "punitive
        rates" in the high 20s, and basically their reponse was
        as I predicted ... "there is no cap on interest
        rates" For you history buffs, it's another case of
        "Laissez Faire"

        2) Yet another way you can be
        considered a risky account, even if never late on your
        payments, is if you carry a high balance on any of your
        credit card accounts. The bank may feel you are a bit
        too close to overextending yourself.

        Sorry, no
        web link is available!

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