BEWARE THE MACYS “AMERICAN EXPRESS” CHARGE CARD!! On October 15, 2011 I purchased $79 in clothing at a Macy’s store. I was asked if I’d like to get cash back by opening a Macys charge card (American Express) using it for my purchases. I agreed, and signed up for the card. Eight days later, before the ending of the billing cycle, I used my checking account to electronically pay my Macys bill in full. I thought that all was well. I made no further purchases with the card.
On January 16, 2012, out of curiosity, I went online to check my Macys account. It showed a balance due in an amount of over $300. I thought that, perhaps, someone had fraudulently used my card. I called Macys customer service. I was told that my card actually has two account numbers; one for purchases made at a Macys, and the other for purchases made outside of Macys.
I was told that, while my purchase was at a Macys, my payment was applied to the account for non-Macys purchases. Therefore, that account had been accruing late penalties and interest charges. The representative advised that he would remove the late penalties and charges (and advised that I then had a credit balance of $11). Again, I thought that all was well. WRONG.
Several days later, I received, in the mail, a letter from a collections agency, demanding that I pay a Macys bill of $300+. I called the collection agency, and explained what the Macys representative had told me. The representative advised that they would note their files. I asked if a negative report had been sent to the credit reporting agencies.
She said that it had. I had to demand that they reverse the negative report, and, after speaking to a supervisor, the representative said that the report would be reversed, and that it would take up to 30 days for the credit reporting agencies’ records to reflect that. Several days later, I received in the mail a letter confirming that Macys had sent a request to the “national credit reporting agencies” to remove the negative report. Again, I thought that all was well. WRONG.
Last week, I received in the mail an offer to apply for a Mastercard account. As I plan to travel to Italy, and my only credit card, an American Express card, would not be accepted by most (European) vendors, I was glad to be able to have a credit card that, if I should need it, would be accepted. So I applied. I was rejected, and was told “the reason for the rejection will be mailed to you.”
So, two days ago, I checked my credit report. It shows “negative information,” from, you guessed it, MACYS. (I have never been late or missed any payments in my 60 years; I felt very shocked and distressed.)
Today, I called Macys customer service. They said their records do not show the letter they sent to me in January (advising that the negative report would be removed). At first, I was given the same ol’ line: “we will send a letter to the national credit agencies within the next 7-10 days, and then it will take up to 30 days for them to remove the negative report. I asked to speak to a supervisor who said the same thing.
I got quite upset with her and demanded that someone personally take care of it NOW, that I have no confidence that “a letter” would be send, that they have damaged my excellent credit history, and that they owe it to me to closely and personally take care correcting all of their mistakes. The supervisor assured me that, this time, it will be taken care of. NOT going to think that all is well until I again check my credit report, in 30 days, and see that, finally, all is well. Keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed.
If all is not well, I am going to have my attorney contact them. I will also contact Michael Finney, a consumer reporter for ABC News, Channel 7, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have him investigate.