I just ran across an interesting blurb by Asa Fitch in the July issue of Money Magazine about a service called “Bill Me Later.” Apparently an increasing number of e-commerce sites, including WalMart.com, Apple.com, Hotels.com and over 400 others, have begun offering this as an alternative payment option for people that are concerned about online security. Rather than submitting your credit card number, you’ll instead receive a hard copy invoice and you then write a check and mail it in.
Sounds pretty harmless, doesn’t it? Well… The first time you select “Bill Me Later” you’ll be asked for you date of birth and your social security number. Guess what? You’ve just applied for a revolving credit line which comes complete with a 19.99% APR and late fees of up to $39. To be fair, there’s really no other way to set something like this up — if they’re going to send out the product without having received payment in advance, then they’d be fools not to secure it with a credit line.
So how necessary is a service of this sort? Not very… As it turns out, less than 1% of all cases identity theft begin with an online transaction. In fact, far more ID thefts start with stolen mail, so you’re really not protecting yourself if you select “Bill Me Later.” And if you can’t afford to pay for whatever your buying, then you should probably wait until you have the cash on hand before buying instead of relying on “Bill Me Later” as a credit line.
I agree with comment #2, you can shut down a credit card but your personal info is your personal info and can’t be changed overnight.
As far as I’ve read, the BML service isn’t owned by Wal-Mart, but may be they took funding. I am wondering what makes comment #1 make the accusation that Wal-Mart is anything but a user of the service (vs. ownership).
Great business move! (Am I the only person that thought that?)
On the other side, not so great for the consumer. I bet a lot of people don’t even think about it, then sign up with 10 of these under the guis of “security.” Meanwhile, their cradit score tanks, and they wonder why they can’t get an inexpensive loan. Ugly.
Hello. Wal-Mart has been trying to acquire a bank, bank charter, or FDIC access at least since 1998 but has been blocked by laws such as the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It is at least politically easier if Wal-Mart lets another entity run its BML or Visa-debit card (even â€œnon-profitâ€ financing would tend to increase profit through sales volume) but Wal-Mart is planning to open 1,000 â€œMoney Centersâ€ in stores before 2009.
I recently made a purchase at apple.com and didn’t notice that option, but I DID note the ability to pay on more than one card… as if, perhaps, they are used to seeing consumers needing to split a purchase up in order to “afford” it. Pretty interesting.
I agree, I shop online at walmart, there are things there that I can’t find at the local store and at a pretty descent price. However, I don’ shop there unless I have the money, they don’t have anything that I could not wait on that is for sure.
Bill Me Later is an option at AirTran too. I think it is useful if you see a very low web-only fare that you want to book before it goes higher. As we all know fares have a tendency to increase from day to day. The Bill Me Later option at AirTran had a promotion of no payments and no interest for 90 days. Of course, I would pay before those 90 days are up.
Much to the chagrin of Wal-Mart haters and conspiracy theorists, Bill Me Later is a payment option offered by CIT. CIT is a large, publicly traded, financing company. Like many publicly traded companies, its largest shareholders are money managers. Barclay’s, Neuberger Berman, State Street, Vanguard and Mellon are the top five and collectively they own about 35% of the company. The first comment here is completely inaccurate, Wal-Mart is a subscriber to this service not the owner.
I bought from tigerdirect using bill me
They asked for only last 4 digits of ssn
and date of birth.
I doubt anybody can misuse that.
It appears like any other credit card
(ie statement, late fees, online payment)
Its nice to have choices.. credit card,
BML, paypal etc.
Just putting it out there, its not the full social security number that you put in there…that would just be begging for trouble. it’s the last 4 digits. and yes, they have to ask for your birthday cause otherwise you could pick your fave 4 numbers and run with it. I have been a customer since 2002 and I use it as often as I can and continue to do. And credit card theft DOES happen. After 4 months I finally finished a dispute with my Credit card company about a reoocuring charge i had for an online service i never heard of in my life…cant even pronounce! it took 4 months to finally get the money back and get it resolved (after weeks of trying to get ahold of the “merchant” whos phone number ironically was not in English) to prove to my CC company I wasnt lying. Then i had to close the account and get a new card…whichs is annoying. This aint for first time either OY, and i hardly use my card and i’ve only had a credit card for 5 years! so I’m all about BML!
Bill me later is a scam. I unknowingly clicked on a link asking to be billed later. next I knew I was repeatedly billed $14 for a $3 charge for something that I did not order. Every month it would be credited and then charged again. They violated the fair credit collections act by calling my pregnant wife 3 times a day. I eventually sent a letter to the attorney general and copied them. This stopped them for 2 months and now they are back at it. This is extorsion. They are a criminal organization that should be put out of business. please call them and let them know your displeasure.
business ethics aside, I have to hand it to Heather at bill me later. After I posted my origional comment, she contacted me. They made sure that my account was clean etc… It shows that they are watching and listening. I will remove the “Bill me Later” Voodoo doll off of my desk and quit fantasizing about bombing their offices.
Very unhappy with bill me later! I have my account set up online, due to the fact that I am rarely home. I recieve an online statement each month and have it set up to be paid directly from my bank account. I had it set for the minimum payment it was when I set up the bill pay. But today I recieved a phone call by a very nasty woman telling me that I have not paid my bill in 3 months! I went right online to check my bank and found that I was in fact paying each month. She argued with me, I asked when my bill is actually due and she said the 4th of each month. I looked and saw that my payment is sent out on the 27th of each previous month and gets there in plenty of time. She argued with me again and said that is not ontime….??? How on earth is that not on time?? I said “are you trying to tell me that paying the bill a week before the due date is not ontime? She then told me to hold on and I waited….waited….and finally she came back on and said…well I see you have been paying the bill ontime but it is not the full minimum payment. I then told her I was paying what they said my min pay was and she said “it goes up each month”. I was now being charged a 39$ late fee for the last 2 months when I had been paying ontime. I then asked why I was not informed she said they tried to call before. I explained to the nasty rude woman that I obviously have it set up online for a reason. Why didnt I recieve any emails about it? I recieve emails from other emails from them selling stuff and telling me where to shop as well as an email telling me when my payment is due but nothing about it being supposedly “late”. They want you to spend $$$ but when they can slap you with ridiculos charges they do and dont tell you then! She told me that they did send emails about my supposed late payments and I recieved nothing! I would like for them to prove that they sent them because I know they didnt all I have gotten from them is offers about buying more stuff at high rates! I would definatly reccomend not doing bill me later!
I used billmelater to buy a camera from bhphotovideo.com. I really have no complaints. I needed the camera for a vacation I had coming up, and I did not have the money. Got either a 6 or 9 month no-payments no-interest plan. No minimum payments, and as long as you pay before the no-interest, no-payment time is up, no interest. Otherwise, you get hit with back-interest.
I think these special plans are only good on high-price purchases. I spent $1200.
I overpayed a BML bill in December of 2007 by $50. I called in early February to find out how my refund was coming along. The customer rep said a refund check was sent on Jan. 23. I informed him I hadn’t received anything yet. He then consulted a colleague, without putting me on hold, and when he got back on the line he informed me it would take 3 weeks to receive the check, from the time of this phone call. I asked why his co-worker was laughing in the background and why he told me the refund check was already issued. Of course I could not get a straight response. I called BML today, March 19, 2008, because I still have not received a check or any correspondance in this matter and was told they would look into the matter and it could take 15 business days to resolve. It has now been over 3 months and I still can’t get my $50 back. What can I do to expedite this process and has anyone else experienced this rip-off.
Billmelater.com is totally untrustworthy and does not care about customers.
They only care about taking your money. It is just impossible to get them to correct a mistake. Their reps and supervisors just repeat the same thing each and every time from some script.â€We are not responsible..call the merchant.â€
Anyways, lets begin with this, I was entitled to a free product from Equifax due to Hillis/Slack Settlement and picked the billmelater option without realizing that I was openning an account with billmelater.com. I realized I made a mistake in the payment option and cancelled the order 2 days later with the Equifax. Equifax told me I would not be charged. However, I received a email from billmelater.com that a bill was on the way. I immediately called billmelater.com on it to inform them of the cancellation. billmelater.com keeps saying that they already paid Equifax the money and I would have to call Equifax and have Equifax refund the money back to billmelater.com. This did not make sense to me but I went along and called Equifax on it and told them that what billmelater.com told me, that billmelater.com wanted their money back from Equifax for the cancelled order. Equifax in turn, maintains that they never got money from billmelater.com for the cancelled order and to call billmelater.com back to inform them that the order was cancelled and to adjust the bill. So here I am getting the run around calling billmelater.com and Equifax back and forth with each sticking to their story thatâ€¦we paid themâ€¦tell them to give it back to usâ€¦no..no.. we did not get any moneyâ€¦tell them to adjust your account..so and so on. I decided to logon to billmelater.com to check on my account status. I saw the original charge or $9.95 has gone up to $16.95. Wow, I thought this is outrageous. billmelater is charging interest of 19.99% plus late fees because I have not paid it. Another thing I found is that they do not accept credit card for payment online. They will only take money through electronic funds transfers from your bank account. It is puzzling to me that payment options here are so limited. From one of my many calls to billmelater.com, I was told that I could dispute it online but when I logged in to the billmelater site there is no such option. You have to download some dispute form and mail it in. Now,I am so frustrated that I reported billmelater.com to BBB because I think billmelater.com is pulling a scam in trying to collect money they are not entitled to. I am thinking of reporting Equifax to the BBB too. They are just as guilty as billmelater.com because Equifax website promises to take care of their customers but all I got was run around. Maybe, I should contact Hillis/Slack Settlement people about this billmelater and equifax marriage. Someone is scamming someone…Could be another class action suit in the making for.
How can something so simple that should be have been easily corrected turn into a consumer nightmare??? Imagine if every time you made a purchase with a credit card…the only way to get a refund was to file a dispute with the credit card company?? This is how billmelater.com has decided to handle refunds from merchants. So buyers beware of…billmelater. Don’t click on that link…
Just google billmelater scams or billmelater fraud and you will see that I am not the only one that has been ensnarled by the billmelater trap.
Has anyone actually been helped by this Heather Fields who claims to work for billmelater.com? She seems to show up in a lot of postings offering to help people resolve issues with billmelater.com. Is she legit of is it another billmelater scam trying to trick people into believing they care? I emailed her on 4/14 but have yet to receive any reply back.
I contacted Heather within the past 30 days about my bill me later account. some guy answers the phone I actually emailed her first and he responded back too me by calling me and leaving a mess on my phone then I later called him back!
really no help at all!
unless you want a big huge debt in the future with out control fees and high interest that will take you for ever too pay down! DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS CRAP! I did mine last Dec to help a good friend out so his kids would have a nice xmas. big mistake! recession hits and money is gone! I am on ssi fixed income so every penny counts now! I still pay the bill so it doesnt ruin my credit! they also stopped approving me credit once it reached under 1300. leaving me with a bal of 1,264.00 with a interest of 19.99%. I never missed a payment even after my 90s were up! How can people stay a flout and pay there bills keep a good credit rating score when stuff like this is going on in the world!
Pls payoff what you owe to them. I made 2 payments ON TIME & online but they say they never got em . Now i am stuck with late charges & all sorts of Interest. We have usury law in Ca you know. i am going to print all my statements and send to the Attorney general just to make sure. I smell a class action suit her.
Spread the word. boycott BillMeLater & warn everyone you know. Use blogs, websites & word of mouth. They dont realize that in this age,word travels fast & it will hurt them.
Don’t use Bill Me Later. I paid off my bill in March and didn’t receive another bill until November (of course not, it was paid off).In November, the full charges had mysteriously reappeared. Now the bill has been sent to a collections agency and they say I owe the full amount over again. I have called the company and they say they will work on it and get back to me. They haven’t. From what I have read, I am not the only person having billing problems with them or customer service issues. Don’t use this service. They will rip you off.
I am 82 and usually never buy on credit. except for this one time..but I paid my bill in full when it came next; now it seems they are charging me for two more items I do not recall buying, I have tried their web site, I have tried calling and even called this Heather Fields, and have received the same run around from all of them. This is a scam on a grand scale that should be reported.
I am a victim of BillMeLaterâ€™s deceptive and unfair billing practices, and would strongly recommend not using this service. I have been attempting to correct a problem resulting from their billing practices for several months to no avail. I have never been able to speak with a live person, as the phone number they provide sends you into an endless loop of prompts with no option to actually speak with a BillMeLater (BML) representative. I have communicated with them electronically several times and have never received any substantive response to my issue. The responses I received appear to be only automated form type responses. And the only way you can email them is through their â€œsecure log-inâ€ on their website, where you cannot even retain a copy of what you write. They appear to be making it difficult to communicate with them.
My Problem: Last July I used BML to make an online purchase through a link to BML offered on a companyâ€™s website. In the six months that followed, I never received an electronic or paper bill from BML for the purchase. Then in January of this year I received and email from BML indicating my bill was due in 9 days. This was the first and only communication I had received from BML concerning this transaction, which at that time I could not even remember. I immediately went online, found the transaction I had made on the BML website, paid the charges for the purchase itself, and I wrote to them asking for an explanation. I have written BML several times asking why they had never sent me any statements or bills concerning this transaction until three months after the 90 day grace period had expired, and finance charges and late fees had accumulated. The response to the first email was they could only communicate with me through their website. They acknowledged, but never responded to the second email I sent through their website. They finally sent a response after my third email, and graciously offer to waive one late fee without explanation, which is unacceptable under these circumstances. They have never responded to the issue I have raised – why they never send any statements or bills for six months. They have of course managed to send me multiple emails and paper billings since January. I have refused to pay these charges because they are the due to BMLâ€™s failure to follow its own billing agreement.
I am also complaining to the company I made the purchase from, my local BBB, and my State AGâ€™s office, so they are all aware of these deceptive and unfair business practices. I suggest that any of you having similar issue do the same.
I work for Bill Me Later and came across your posting. I would be happy to help follow up on this matter with you. Please feel free to contact me via email at your earliest convenience: firstname.lastname@example.org
BILL ME LATER – ROB ME NOW
I had a $2.99 bill turn into 14.99 overnight. How – I overlooked it and they charged me a whopping 100% interest. NO thank you – in the future, I will not use any company that uses this service
I have used Bill Me Later for the purchase of a digital camcorder via B and H Photo ($800.00) and a laptop via CompUSA ($500.00). I immediately started making online payments for both (despite the no interest for offers) and I have never had any problem with the company.
It is a little disconcerting to read all these negative reviews. Having said that, I’ve never had a problem and I just look at it as a revolving credit account that should be paid immediately and monthly without fail.
Realize too, that if you are reading these comments . . . you most likely are not hearing from a very high percentage of satisfied customers.
People using Bill Me Later probably don’t have other credit options as well. I personally liked the no interest for offers. It’s handy. But, as with all credit offers, you must be careful and pay on time. It is no secret that banks make a large amount of their profit off of overdraft fees, late fees, etc. They don’t feel a single bit of shame for it either. I’ve had long conversations with bank managers.
Unfortunately I am in trouble with Bill Me Later. I am on a fixed income, and 2 payments late to their company. I called to try and work with them, but they were rude and unfriendly to me and told me if I did not pay immediately, they would refer my account to a third party collection agency. They do not even try to work with me to come up with a payment plan.
Bill Me Later ripped me off too! I ordered contact lenses from Vision Direct on July 27th, with Bill Me Later’s 60 day no interest no payment plan, and the a%%%holes sent me a bill Aug 12th (or CLAIMED They sent it to me- i never got it!) Because I never got the bill and I wasn’t expecting to have to pay for the lenses for 60 days, I didn’t check my online account until recently. when I did, I saw I had a $25 late fee!! I called and complained. They said they would take back the late fee “as a courtesy, only this once” _ wtf? I should not have even been issued a bill in the first place!
I ordered a camera from B&H in August and used BML and now I regret it.
I called VisionDirect to tell them about BML’s big scam-I think if we all contact the merchants we bought the products from, and let them know what BML is doing to consumers, they will probably start dropping BML’s service as an option to their customers, in droves!
Also there are 2 class actions against BML right now – Google “Bill ME Later” and “class action”-they are both in California.
Their collection practices are illegal in the state of California. I received 6 collection calls in one day. I have emailed this “so called employee” of Bill Me Later to complain about this and so far I have not received a reply back. Stop calling my grandmothers number at 8am in the morning telling me I owe! I cannot pay right now due to mental health / job rehabilitation. When I get back on my feet, I will pay. In the mean time, no means no according to the FDCPA.
I found out today that Bill Me Later does not report to credit score agencies. Initially, I thought this would be a great way to build revolving credit with no interest charges, but I have found out that they don’t even report. I asked them why and a manager said “it’s a business decision”…I asked by whom…she said “many levels up”. I asked to speak to someone on that level and she said there was nobody. Also I noticed that every ensuing month resulted in less and less correspondance from them, to the point where this month, they didn’t even email me a statement. They try to set you up to get you to miss your payment date. I promptly cancelled my account during that phone call, so I would say that there simply is no use to using Bill Me Later. You’ll only get a nominal line of credit, they still believe in excessive fees, and you don’t even get a bump on the credit score from using them. No point to it whatsoever.
Earlier in the summer I had a case of identity theft and three accounts were affected. The dirtbag that committed the credit card fraud with my account also opened a Bill Me Later account in my name. The wrong SSN number was used to open the account in my name, but a credit line was still given and a charge for $29.99 was made. I called them when I got the first statement and made a claim. My claim was denied, but I was not notified. I have disputed the charges during many harrassing phone calls and have provided a police report for the incident. I didn’t know that the account was opened or the charges were made until after the fact. During every phone call I’m told that it is MY responsibility to clear this up or pay the amount owed on the account which is now over $130. I don’t see why it should be MY responsibility; especially since a credit account was issued without a matching SSN. I constantly told that since the account was opened with my name, address and email, I am responsible. I get 3-4 phone calls daily and usually no operator on the other end. When someone does answer they are rude and demanding. My other three accounts were settled with a few short phone calls within the first week. I suggest staying as far away from Bill Me Later as possible. The term “extortion” is more than fitting in my opinion.
Corporate office phone numbers start with 443-921-1900; the CEO’s (Marino) is 443-921-1901 (I got a recording) and other corporate officers continue with succeeding numbers: 1902, etc. It’s worth a try.
i just received a letter from Bill Me Later stating that they were declining an account, thank heavens- i never tried to open one in the first place!
evidently paypal now DEFAULTS to this BillMeLater option so users beware: you need to be VERY CAREFUL when making any purchase thru paypal and BE CERTAIN that your payment is actually being taken the way you have authorized.
BillMeLater is conducting legalized fraud. do some googling for more info & be educated.
I used bill me later once to buy an item for $200 in January of this year on ebay and paid it off within a week or two in full. I was out of the country on a 10 week internship until last week and while I was gone, my boyfriend used our ebay account to buy a couple things (none more than $10). They were automatically billed to BML instead of my debit card like before, which he didn’t notice. When I got home and turned my cell phone on for the first time I had 6 voicemails from an automated system from BML. I logged onto my account and had 3 late payment charges! I don’t want my credit affected since I’m in my early 20s and my employer does credit checks every so often, but I also don’t want to pay almost $100 in charges for 3 very cheap items. I guess this is a good lesson. I should have just waited to buy the $200 item when I got paid a few days later instead of taking the easy way out. I’ll never ever deal with this company again.
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