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Everything posted by Flashman

  1. Being a rather excitable sort, I got excited when I saw a packet of seeds advertised online for (wait for it...) $3.75. Think of it: my very own packet of seeds. Would this mean I would start having to dodge those gold-digger types who are attracted to this sort of thing? I couldn't wave those seeds around just anywhere. But that wasn't the best bit. The best bit was that I could pay for it in 4 interest-free installments. Whoa! Would I be good for it? Could the merchant rely upon me to come through with more than just the first installment before I was overtaken by bankruptcy? I could just see the suspense building to positively Hitchcockian levels. Except, of course, it turned out that my high-bandwidth eyeballs were working ahead of my low-bandwidth brain (as usual) and that wasn't quite what was actually being offered. Rather, the site was offering an installment scheme for purchases of $50 or more. Drat! However, this raises the question: is $50 the bottom of the barrel when it comes to interest-free installment purchases? Or are there merchants so eager (or desperate) to make a sale that they are willing to put, say, even a $40 or $30 purchase on an interest-free installment plan? Naturally, a CB discussion would not be complete unless it included a category for an interest-filled installment plan as well. So: is there a merchant from whom I could buy, say, a pack of gum (i.e. make a sub-$5 purchase), yet still end up paying for it for the rest of my life? How low can you go? Please give the purchase dollar amount, whether the installment payment are interest-free, and the APR if they are not.
  2. Thank you for the reply. From what I gathered after the fact, this is exactly what he ended up doing. I expect estate agents are used to dealing with all sorts of specific requests (e.g. "I won't buy a house unless it is south-facing.") Frankly, I am not sure just how many of the concierge services are useful for much of anything in 2023. Perhaps I had unusually bad luck, but the people with whom I spoke at a half-dozen-odd card issuers did not inspire much confidence. I had heard talk off and on about "the great resignation" over the past couple of years, but I am afraid it has taken until relatively recently to penetrate my wooden head that, yes, even the financial sector is finding it difficult to find good people to place in key customer-facing positions. (Well, now I know, anyway.)
  3. Does anyone know of a CC concierge service that might be able to help with a specific request? The situation, briefly, is this: I have a chum whose wife is in the hospital. Naturally, he is seeking local accommodation so he can be near her. The catch is that, for technical reasons, the accommodation must have a hard-wired broadband Internet connection (i.e. Wi-Fi is not going to cut it). My question for the board is: is there a CC concierge service you have used in the recent past that you believe might be able to give my friend a hand when it comes to finding a place with a hard-wired Internet connection? So far, I have talked to: Visa Signature concierge service - 1-800-953-7392 Amex concierge for personal/business Platinum cardholders - 800-525-3355 Citi concierge department - 800-631-3026 Dish-cover: has no concierge department (I did ask) Are there any others I may have overlooked?
  4. From the article: I suppose the high figure comes largely from home mortgages in the US? (Speaking for myself, if I owed more than, say, 20k in household debt, I would be wetting my drawers.)
  5. Hello, When you tip, do you tip based on the pre-tax or the post-tax amount? As near as I can tell, there is no right or wrong answer, but I am curious as to what the board has to say on the subject.
  6. Does anyone know (or would like to guess at) approximately how many "hit points" TransUnion penalises cardholders who are carrying two CCs with small balances rather than one? I ask because I was hitherto under the impression that carrying a small balance (e.g. <$100) on two cards rather than one would not make a great deal of difference with regards to my TU score. However, my TU score suddenly and mysteriously dropped 30+ points for a couple of months before it rebounded. After eliminating factors such as new apps or Naughty People messing about with either my cards or my credit records, the only difference I can detect is that I was carrying small balances on two cards rather than the usual "cup of coffee" balance on a single card. Has anyone else encountered this phenomenon? Between ourselves, I cannot quite decide whether to be annoyed or frightened that such a minor change in my CC management results in a large (well, large to me, at least) difference, but this is what the numbers appear to indicate.
  7. Hello Everyone, I recently bought a radio through the WWW. The problem? Well, judging by the odour, the radio has much more in common with an ashtray than a radio. Clearly it was owned by a smoker and, just as clearly, the person who sold me this gear was hoping I wouldn't notice something that is entirely inescapable. My question is: do plastic items impregnated with cigarette smoke lose that smoky smell over time? Or is it a matter of once there, always there? I am under the impression, based on my dim recollection of lurking in second hand shops where the staff did their best to make the wares presentable, that the smell never really goes away. However, it has been rather a long time since my lurking days and my memory may be playing me false. Is there anyone here who can set me straight when it comes to this sort of thing?
  8. I rarely, if ever, deal with debit cards (something which may become apparent shortly) and someone recently related a tale regarding these that has me baffled. The story, from what I gather, is that a debit card holder bought something that did not suit and applied for a refund from the merchant. Rather than simply crediting their account for the amount in question, the merchant issued the cardholder an eCheck instead. Is there a reason a merchant would do this? I thought, at first, that the cardholder might have closed their account between the time they made the purchase and the time they called the merchant to whinge about their purchase. However, the cardholder insisted this was not the case. The only thing that leaps to mind is that this eCheck business is a variant on the "rebate" racket, whereby the firm offering the rebate is banking on most people not bothering to redeem the rebate. Likewise, I can sort-of see why a merchant might wish to issue an eCheck rather than simply crediting a cardholder's account: because there is a chance the person receiving the check might fail to cash it. However, the more I consider this, the more unsatisfactory an explanation it seems. Any ideas? I am truly intrigued by this phenomenon and welcome any explanation you may have.
  9. Thank you for confirming this. Ah, I was mistaken, then. I thought an in-person visit would be necessary, but it is nice to hear this is not required. This seems to be one of the better secured CCs. Thank you for suggesting it. I am afraid that, in my near-total ignorance regarding secured CCs, I was under the impression that dealing with them would be far more straightforward than grappling with standard-issue, unsecured cards. Not having messed about with my own CCs in some time, I had quite forgotten that anything related to credit has a great many moving parts and that a wise consumer cannot handle these things in a ramshackle, half-hearted sort of way. I see now that I should have steered this person to CB from the very beginning; I had initially thought that asking the board for suggestions and passing them on would be a good idea. However, it has become plain that, if she is seriously interested in acquiring and maintaining her credit, she ought to be the one asking all the questions and doing all the legwork herself. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who made suggestions regarding secured CCs in this thread. With any luck, someone seeking a secured CC at present will find it useful. I tried poring over old secured CC threads before asking any questions, but there do not seem to be many of these on CB (er, perhaps I missed something)?
  10. Thank you for this suggestion; this card seems designed for those with a) atrocious credit or b) nonexistent credit. And while I am not sure which of these applies in this case, exactly, I do know that one of them does apply. The OpenSky card appears to be a potentially useful card, but my impression is that it is likely to take an OpenSky cardholder longer to obtain results. Having said that, I think it might make a good alternative card if Discover/BoA secured cards turn out to be unobtainable and an in-person visit is necessary for an SDFCU account.
  11. From what I have been able to find so far, it does appear that BoA and Discover offer two of the better deals for people looking for a secured CC and who have between $100 and $300 to put down to secure the account. Yes, but I am guessing an in-person visit would be necessary to open an account. If so, that would make it a non-starter in this particular case.
  12. It is useful to know that additional funds could come in handy to help get things underway faster. Alas, this is not likely to be an option. Rather, this potential CC holder would be starting out with a deposit of from $100 to $300 and working her way up from there. The one advantage this person has is that the tradeline she is seeking is relatively small (< $3,,000). So while she does not have much to start with, she isn't looking for much, either.
  13. Yes, I understand this and am trying to develop a better understand of which specific issuers allow their cards to graduate within a reasonable timeframe vs. those issuers given to keeping their hapless secured cardholders on the hook for as long as possible. My guess is that an in-person visit would be required to open an account with SDFCU, is this correct? I ask because an in-person visit to a branch is likely out of the question. However, if it is possible to apply for an account over the phone and mail in a money order to get things started then this may be doable for the party in question. To clarify, is this: ...the thread to which you are referring? Yes, I understand that opening two account to start with would be the ideal way to go. The problem is that I do not know whether managing two accounts is within the realm of this person's capabilities. In the interest of practicality, I am trying to come up with the name of a single secured card issuer to recommend in order to get this person off the ground. If she can successfully learn to manage the one account, she can then take it from there. (On the plus side, from what I can gather, a tradeline of $2,000 to $3,000 would suffice for her needs.)
  14. Could you please tell me who the issuer was for this particular card? And did the card ever graduate on its own to an unsecured line of credit, or was its only real use that of a "springboard" to allow you to apply for other, better cards? Also: am I right in thinking that cards that require a $100 - $300 security deposit are in the relative minority? My rudimentary knowledge of secured CCs has given me the impression that $500 is the typical amount an issuer requires a would-be cardholder to put up in order to qualify, but perhaps $100 - $300 really is what most issuers are asking in 2022?
  15. May I ask what sum WF (Wells Fargo, yes?) required in the way of a security deposit? To recap: you are saying that maintaining 2 secured CC accounts would boost a FICO score both sooner and much higher than maintaining a single card?
  16. Hello Everyone, I have two questions regarding secured CCs I am hoping someone can answer: 1) Has anyone on CB ever crunched the numbers and come up with the average length of time it takes for a secured card to graduate to an unsecured one? and 2) Is it possible to rebuild credit (at least to a limited extent) by maintaining a single secured card? By "limited extent," I mean having sufficient credit to eventually obtain, say, a $2,000 to $3,000 tradeline of unsecured credit starting with a card that ideally asks for no more than a $300 deposit (and preferably $100-$200). (And yes, you read that correctly: in this case, the goal still would be a toy tradeline, albeit a tradeline with a limit many times the amount with which the cardholder started. Also, I realise that when one is rebuilding credit and is stuck with having to resort to secured CCs, opening more than one account is the ideal way to go. However I am wondering if it is at least within the realm of possibility to rebuild credit by maintaining a sole tradeline.)
  17. Yes, as you rightly point out, they are required to report such security breaches. However, I am less clear on the prescribed timeframe within which such reporting must take place. For example, the Cap One data breach was discovered July 29, 2019, yet was not announced to the public until 10 days later. I would guess Bad Guys can do a fair bit with your personal information in 10 days, so it would seem that the legislation that governs such things tends to favour the credit industry rather than the shareholders and consumers it is ostensibly designed to protect. Of course, that was three years ago, and the reporting requirements may have changed since then. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to learn just how much leeway credit firms have when it comes to reporting security problems.
  18. Each time after I have logged in in the past, PayPal have asked me to give them a phone number to (allegedly) help secure my account. Usually, this is not a problem, as PayPal provide a "not now" button to use so that I can get in without having to give in. However, from time to time, PayPal decide they are going to try and force the issue and omit the "not now" button. And they are at it again. My question is: does anyone know a workaround for this? I would be grateful for any useful suggestions. (In case anyone is wondering, "why won't you just give them your number?" I would direct them to the Twitter ruling from a few weeks ago: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/25/1101275323/twitter-privacy-settlement-doj-ftc In short, I am not about to hand over a phone number to a Big Tech firm so that they may do with it whatever they wish and issue a non-apology apology when they are done.)
  19. Yes! This is your chance to take a guess at what happened, why it happened, and whether this interesting and intriguing event is unique or not. We are doing this for fun, there is nothing at stake, and your guess is as good as mine (it is likely to be a good deal better, in fact), so have a go at answering these three questions: 1) Has there been a comparable outage (i.e. comparable in length) by any other card issuer within recent memory? 2) What is your guess as to what caused it? and finally: 3) Are there any rumours flying about concerning the actual cause of the outage versus the stated cause of the outage? I ask because I do not believe the latter for a moment. I will start things off: 1) No idea. 2) Ransomware attack. Comenity first spent some time attempting to find the miscreants, could not do it, and eventually decided to pay up. 3) I am afraid I have been too busy lately studiously avoiding ending up on the street to pay much attention to the word on the street (sorry). Right, your go...
  20. It will be interesting to see whether everyone else in the organisation remains equally tight-lipped. (At a guess, I would say Comenity is trying to keep mum about a ransomware attack.)
  21. Perhaps it is a sign of what the credit industry has been reduced to nowadays? On the one hand, chasing pennies like this is laughable. On the other...well, pennies are still money. Gather enough of them over time and it is possible to make a fortune. I admit I am fascinated by the penny-chasing, but in a lurid, trainwreck sort of way. There do not appear to be many depths that remained unplumbed by the credit industry.
  22. Yes, I suppose that is where the money is in the credit industry these days. Rather than acquiring customers one at a time, credit firms simply buy other credit firms and get customers that way. Thank you for the reply. I am glad to hear you were able to get your problem solved in time.
  23. Have you encountered this sort of thing before with Comenity?
  24. [feigns bitterness and disappointment] 6 months? Is that all the time I get? I was hoping to pay it off over the course of a year. (Do you suppose they would be willing work with me on this?) Sorry, is that what the industry calls this segment of the market, "low dollar"? I should have thought selling consumers the ability to spread out a $50 payment over six months (six months!) would qualify as "subterranean." One must have a heart of stone to read such things without laughing. Perhaps I do the industry an injustice, but it appears there is no level to which they will not stoop. I have no doubt whatever the next dubious "frontier" will be microloans to the homeless ("Yes! Now you can own that pack of gum you have always wanted!")
  25. I do not know if this would be more trouble than it is worth, but you also may want to consider asking them if their policy will be to automatically waive any late fees in the event of any future "updates that take longer than expected" and screenshot the response if it is in the affirmative. Is this the first time you have ever encountered one of these mysterious "updates" from Comenity? Or do they do this sort of thing on a regular basis?
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