Monday, October 3, 2011

How Bloomingdale's Ruined My Weekend

BloomingdalesImage via WikipediaYou never know how a trip to the mall could go so wrong. Well, one weekend my wife and I were planning a trip to the mall. My wife's goal was to go over Bloomingdale's. She had been wanting to buy a watch for quite a while. She is very careful how she spends her money so planning is step one in any purchase. She saw in the Bloomingdale's Sunday ad a watch that look very nice. She did some Internet research and concluded with the sale they were having, the price was right. Also the gift card she received from her boss along with a previous credit would make the purchase even more desirable.

The day of the sale came and we went down to the store to make the purchase. She has a Bloomingdale's store charge account and if she used it she would receive another 10 percent discount on the sale. The stars were aligning for the glorious purchase. But little did we know all would soon go very bad.

Credit cards are not you friend. 

The watch was selected, checked over, and ready to purchase. The discounts were in place and the price was the bargain of the decade. As the clerk rang up the sale she mentioned my wife's card is not being accepted as an open account. We were informed that the account was closed for inactivity. This was hard to believe because we still received advertising monthly from them in the mail. If it was closed why weren't we informed.

Things were looking very bad, we were informed, after a phone call to the company, that it was true; the account was really closed. But no worries the clerk said, just open a new one. And with the new one you will receive a new card discount on your first purchase. The clouds parted and the sun shone through again. Immediately, she filled out a new application. All vital information went into the clerks register and the process continued. The clerk had been happily chatting with my wife throughout the whole process until a look of disbelief fell on the clerks face. She exclaimed in horror, " You have been denied new credit." Well I can tell you this didn't go over very well with my wife. She is very protective and proud of her credit and credit score. She was mortified and quite upset.

Help! Get me out of here!

How would we get out of this situation and how could I get out of this mall as soon as possible? The clerk came up with the bright idea that I use myself as the Guinea pig and apply for the card under my credit. My wife agreed that there was no other choice for this problem. As she was hyperventilating I handed over the necessary information for the application. The whirring, clicking and flashing lights of the cash register soon produced a positive response. I passed, credit would soon be mine. The purchase was completed and we started to leave when the clerk said, "For being a new Bloomingdale's customer we would be receiving a $25 gift card in out first bill. My wife was strong and didn't go back to slap the clerk.

You may think the whole adventure was over then, it wasn't, my wife saw there was no reason to deny her credit so she was going to get to the bottom of this situation. She made calls to the Bloomingdale's credit card 800 number but never heard a satisfactory explanation. She was told that she would be receiving a letter in the mail from Experian explaining the reason why.

The letter soon came and indicated that she had "an excessive amount owed on accounts" nothing more. We went online, got her Experian credit report. There were no bad marks. All accounts paid on time and up to date. Besides a leased car, only $8000 in credit being used. Still no red flags.

Was all this hassle worth it? For me, I take it all in stride. But for my wife it was a problem. Was saving more than 60% on the watch worth all this hassle? It was for my wife.

Credit cards make you jump through a lot of hoops sometimes to save money. Their use can save you money, when not abused. We may feel we are using them to our advantage. But, whether it's reward points, purchase discounts, or other incentives it feels like we are slaves to them anyway. See you at the mall.

1 comment:

  1. Sure someone didn't snag your identity? Or did the credit agencies get you mixed up with someone else?


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