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Rant: West Marine Credit Card

Old 10-16-2007, 10:21 AM
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Default Rant: West Marine Credit Card

Last year when I bought my 58 in FL, I took advantage of a special offer through West Marine to get one of their credit cards which offered free interest for x number of months along with bonus bucks for purchases made on the card.

When I applied in the store, they gave me a $5,000 instant credit limit to pick up a chartplotter and a few other things. A few months later, they raised the credit limit to over $25K due to my "outstanding credit history". I continued to use it for most everything because of the bonus bucks deal, and last Thursday I paid off the account in full.

After lunch today, I handed my card to the cashier and was told the charge of $8.76 was declined. When I got back into my office, I called the issuer, Juniper bank. I ended up with a manager of some sort who explains to me my credit limit has been lowered to $1,000! I'm like, WTF are you talking about? Then the guy wants to know where I got the money to pay off my account with them. I told him it was none of his damm business and to either reinstate the account or cancel it. "Oh, we don't want you to do that, I just need to ask you some questions."

He starts off with asking where I work, how much money I make... then I cut him off and asked if they are going to charge me an over-limit fee after dropping my credit limit without notice. "Well I see there is a over-limit charge on your account, but I'll take care of that right now." Gee, thanks dumbass. I have several things which bill automatically to this card, such as marina fees for my boats.

I had a customer come in about that time, so I told the guy I'd call him later. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of, and I'm seriously thinking about just having them close this account. Anybody ever hear of anything like this?
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

WTF business is it of there's were you got the money to pay them? Umm isn't paying back borrowed money a good thing? Let us know were this goes.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

We have a card with Juniper as well. The rate on it is goor (like 8%) so we use it but we also pay it off, or very close to it, monthly. They don't like that. We've gone round and round with them because they will often not reflect a payment to our available credit for 10 days after they recieve it. It doesn't add any additional interest or cause late fees to be charged but I can't understand why they wouldn't make the money we've paid available again right away. After several calls, one of the call center people finally told us it was because our payments were so large. I mostly use my USAA card now. The rate is a LOT higher but I pay it off so it doesn't matter and they reflect the payment in our available credit the day it posts.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

2swift - 10/16/2007 1:50 PM

WTF business is it of there's were you got the money to pay them? Umm isn't paying back borrowed money a good thing? Let us know were this goes.
My point exactly.

Sounds like maybe they're miffed because I've earned over $1,000 in those bonus bucks and now they're not going to make anything off interest on my account. I haven't called them back yet, and I may not. This little deal better not show up as anything negative on my credit report as to an over the limit charge, or they'll find one really pist country boy in their faces.

Maybe I'll just call my marinas and the other places where I have auto-debits on this card and just give them another card. This whole thing is ridiculous.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:59 AM
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Default RE: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

Just had a thought. I think I'll contact West Marine to let them know about this deal and what a bang up job Juniper is doing to preserve customer relations with West.

I'll be bock!
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:04 AM
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Default RE: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

I liked your first stance. Fix it or kill it!!
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

American Express is all I use. Best customer service out there, period.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

I've never had or wanted an American Express card nor have I ever accepted them in my business. Unless things have changed, they charge a membership fee and their cards cost more for a merchant to accept. I know several merchants don't accept them for that reason.

Just out of curiosity, what does Amex give you that you can't get with another card?
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

You can actually hurt your credit by paying off stuff in full before they can charge you interest. The system is rigged in their favor - ALWAYS. Just like a casino in Vegas. Win too much and they accuse you of card counting or cheating and kick you out. Loose gobs and gobs of money, and they comp you a $10 buffet dinner. WOW! Thanks a lot there! Free food and all I had to do was dump $1000 into your slot machines! What a deal.

Also too much open credit lowers your score. I canceled all my open credit. I have only one credit card and one check card. I use the check card most of the time. The credit card is only for car rentals and online purchases when I want to protect my checking account from ID theft. Even if my check card is a Visa card and is protected from theft, I still do not want to deal with it.

I carry a $5,000 limit on my open card. They try to increase it, and I ask them not to. I do not want all that open credit. If I decide to get high and buy a $8,000 TV I can always call the bank and ask for an increase.

All other cards went into ye old paper shredder.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

Sorry to have to disagree with you Lazy I, but you're wrong about part of that. My banker buddy whose been in the business over 30 years tell me that credit scores are higher for folks who have big limits on their cards but use only a small percentage of the available credit.

Looks to me like that would be a contingent liability, but apparently the computers don't score it that way. You remember when debt ratio used to be what determined credit worthiness? That seems to have gone out the window with these new credit scores.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

The company I work for uses AMEX. There have been plenty of times I had to make payments for work related items on my master card because the vendor did not accept AMEX. I get a expense check so no big deal there. I just always wondered why some don't accept AMEX? I think TN just answered that question and I don't blame them. But what are the benefits of the company I work for using AMEX?

TN keep us posted on this situation, you have me curious as to the outcome.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

I sent an email to West Marine's customer service to see what their take is on this. We'll see what happens, but I guess I need to do something to make sure these idiots don't charge me for any over limit fees now that they have informed me of my new credit "limit". What a friggin' joke.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

Banks are only willing to lend you so much money. To make the math easier, lets just say that magical amount is $100,000.

Not lets say I have $75,000 in open credit. I am only using $1,000 of it. So far, so good.

Then I try to buy a $35,000 vehicle. So they look at what is going on. They only want to issue me $100,000 in debt. I already have $75,000 open. Now I want another $35,000 - making the total I am asking for $110,000. So my loan application is rejected, even though I am in good standing. it happens.

Of course in real life things are not this simple.

Your credit score is based on your ability to make payments on time. I carry enough open credit to suit my needs, but not an excessive amount. If I need more, I know I can always get more.

Oh yea - I forgot about one other card I keep. A Best Buy store card. Terrible rate on that card. But I got it due to a 24 month no interest payment plan if I bought a digital camera costing over $300. I fell for it. I got the camera, and paid it off over 6 or 7 months. No need to break my back I figured. Let me play with the store's money. I keep that stupid card just in case I need / want a new laptop and they are offering me free money to play with for a year

I should probably cancel it. But I do not carry it around so I forget about it.

Credit is good and necessary, but also evil and Satanic. The trick is to strike the right balance between the forces of good and the armies of darkness.

Most Americans fall to the dark side.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

TN FREEBIRD - 10/16/2007 2:16 PM

I've never had or wanted an American Express card nor have I ever accepted them in my business. Unless things have changed, they charge a membership fee and their cards cost more for a merchant to accept. I know several merchants don't accept them for that reason.

Just out of curiosity, what does Amex give you that you can't get with another card?
I know what u r saying about amex. I have an american express card but being a merchant sucks!!!!! I have just about stopped using my personal amex card because they are so difficult to work with on the merchant side. i feel bad for the merchant when i pull it out. The only reason I run Amex as a merchant is because a couple of my larger customers demanded that their suppliers accept them. Amex charges a yearly fee and makes you choose how you want payment: Amex charges you a % off each sale total then makes you choose if you want to get paid in 3 business days or 30 buisness days. Of course you get a much better rate if you wait for the 30 day payment offer. Where as visa/mc charges you at the eom a % on the total of all sales. Sorry for hijacking this thread and my little rant.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

You have more patience than I...I can hear me saying, "No problem buddy just cancel the thing."
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:17 PM
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TN FREEBIRD - 10/16/2007 12:44 PM

I sent an email to West Marine's customer service to see what their take is on this. We'll see what happens, but I guess I need to do something to make sure these idiots don't charge me for any over limit fees now that they have informed me of my new credit "limit". What a friggin' joke.

It doesn't surprise me at all. Worst Marine and everything associated with them is a joke.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

West Marines mark up is out of sight, not just picking on west marine any walk in marine store has a very high mark up. You can find many of the same items they sell from a local industrial supplier or commercial marine supplier at a much lower price.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

hmossy, no problem with the side rant as this is just another case of credit card-itus that afflicts us all in one way or the other. The more I've thought about this deal, the madder I've gotten.

I called Juniper back and started another conversation with another rep. It was pretty funny as she forgot the conversations are recorded. When I told her what happened, she said "that was pretty dumb for that guy to say those things to you". I laughed and told her I knew she was telling me that off the record, then she said, "not really, I forgot they may record these calls." She then transferred me to somebody in their credit dept.

The second guy I talked to, gave me the same old song and dance, but he did note they raised my limit to $1,300 as a show of good faith. Yeah, right, I feel much better now. He went on to try to explain how they look at things, but none of it made any sense. "Now that you have demonstrated your ability to make such a large lump sum payment, I'm sure we can take care of this by phone with a few questions." I told him thanks, but no thanks. I'll be contacting my marinas and two other places who keep this card on file to replace it with another card.

I still have about $400 worth of West Marine coupons I haven't cashed in on stuff, but I think this is gonna just about do it for me. I have two other credit cards which I've held for over twenty years, one for personal and one for business. I reckon that's enough.

Oh yeah, I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on you Lazy, but you need to talk to your banker to find out how things work in today's credit based society. Credit scores come into play in areas you may not be aware of such as insurance rates. There are tricks to raising your score, but I think you may be misinformed as to how to do that.
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Rant: West Marine Credit Card

TN you are right about increasing your score, large amount credit with about 25% used, and pay it off. But then the credit card company want you to be late, thats there bread and butter money maker. FEES FEES FEES, late fees, online payment fees, phone payment fees, balance check fees, human person talk to you on phone fees, human that understands and speaks english, additional 1.99/min fee so on and so on. So posting your payment 10 days after for a 9,999 plus payment is a 10 day wait. But anything less should post the next day or the same day.
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:24 PM
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21FTCC - 10/16/2007 5:03 PM

... human person talk to you on phone fees, human that understands and speaks english, additional 1.99/min fee so on and so on.
You got that right!

I think maybe they hire these people that nobody can understand just so we'll get disgusted and just give up when we have a problem. I had one occasioin where Juniper/West charged me a $39 late payment fee because my online payment was 45 minutes, yes minutes, late!

I'm going to cancel this account regardless, but it will be interesting to see what, if anything, West Marine has to say about this situation. No response to the email I sent yet, but I'll let you know.

BTW Stay tuned for another rant about State Farm coming to a forum near you!
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