Free Credit Card

Those of you who regularly read this tome (thanks mum!) may be aware that I recently applied for an Alliance & Leicester Premier Plus account with Credit Card.  Story is over here.

As I noted, when I read the Terms & Conditions (that they send out to you to get a real signature since I applied online) I decided I did not like the Credit Card terms and scrawled a large C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D across that particular "agreement" and did not sign it.

So imagine my surprise at what arrived in this morning’s post:

How is it possible for a bank to hand out a credit card in this way?

Apparently I now have 5 days to cancel this "agreement" that I never made.  I guess I better at least try to cancel ‘by the book’ or watch my credit rating go to hell.

Redesigned my homepage

For all those reading this via a rss feed, returning users or new users (who won’t have noticed) I spent several hours tonight messing around with a graphics package trying to redo the design of the "header" of my web site.   It’s a million times better than the old version that has been there for at least the last 5 years.

I welcome comments on it (yes I know the mouseovers don’t work on the menus – actually they do, I just need to create the _on versions of the gif).

Credit Card caution – Where did these “Late fees” come from?

Last week I applied online for an Alliance & Leicester Premier Plus account.  I’m already a happy A&L customer and thought – great and Internet banking offer with decent interest rates.

Application filled in and checked the box asking for their Mastercard which provides money back on purchases.  A few days later I received the paperwork that they send out to get signatures.  All very well until I decided to read the small print that came with the "Congratulations on being accepted" letter + forms to sign.

On the credit card it said "You agree to be charged �25 if you are late in paying your credit card bill by one day".  Excuse me? Late fees?   I thought the late fees that the CC companies enjoyed were the nice fat interest rates that they charged on the full amount of the balance for the month if you did not clear the balance.

I scrawled a large C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D across the CC form and sent it back.  I’ll never take out a credit card that employs such underhand methods in ripping off customers.

Bootnote: It seems that in the USA several of these CC companies (including MBNA who provide The A&L card) have been successfully sued/settled Class Action suits against them for their operation of these late fees systems.  In the UK, which has already slammed these companies and UK’s Office of Fair Trading is investigating.