Beware of Apple - Barclay Visa Financing - Terms can be deceiving

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by apockalipse, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. apockalipse, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

    apockalipse macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #1
    I purchased a new Macbook Pro last April. I could have paid for it up front at the time, but I decided to take advantage of the no interest financing terms available at the time and earn some interest on the money I would have spent up front.

    They were offering no interest for 6 months on your first purchase of under $900. No interest for 12 months on your first purchase from $900 - $2500. And finally no interest for 18 months on your purchase of $2500 or over. All you have to due was pay the minimum every month and have you balance paid in full by the end of your deferrment period.

    The financing is offered thru Barclay Visa. I applied for the card and go online to pick out my merchandise. After getting the configuration I wanted and adding on the protection plan I am just a bit (about $150 or so) under $2500. I needed a new printer anyway so I added that on to bring my total just over $2500. I am expecting that I will just be making minimum payments for the next 18 months since my first purchase is over the requirement.

    I immediately set up automatic payments with Barclay for the minimum each month. I also set up a calendar notice for myself to go off 2 months before the 18 month deferrment period ends so that I will not forget to payoff the balance. So I thought, there was nothing to worry about for the next year and a half.

    Cut to 6 months later, and I notice that I have been charged a finance charge from Barclay for interest. I call Barclay thinking that they just must have made a mistake. I am informed that Apple broke my original order up into 2 orders (eventhough I made a single order at the time). One order was for just under $2400 and the other for just under $200. Since they were separated like this, Barclay told me that I didn't qualify for the 18 month deferrment. Instead, the $2400 portion was deferred for 12 months and the $200 portion was deferred for 6 months. Since I didn't have the balance paid off on the $200 portion yet, Barclay charged me all the interest on that part.

    I am not done dealing with both Apple and Barclay on this issue. However, as it stand now this seems like a very deceptive practice to me. How is the consumer supposed to know that Apple will break a single order up into multiple orders? If they would have spelled this out, I would have either never financed or else paid the proper balance for the $200 portion on time. The interest on the $200 is not that much but it is the principle of the whole thing that really irritates me. If it had not been for Mint.com notifying me of the finance charge, I might have never noticed. Then when the larger balance of $2400 became past due in April 2011, instead of November 2011 like I was expecting, I would have been hit with with several hundred dollars in interest fees! This is bad business and almost amounts to what seems like an outright scam to trick you into missing your deferrment deadlines and paying several hundred extra dollars.

    I will be complaining to both companies to see how they respond to this and I will update once I get more info.

    Just be forewarned that the terms of your financing may not be what you think you are actually agreeing to.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    More evidence that financing a purchase from Apple in general is a bad idea. Just save until you have enough and avoid the hassle.
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #3
    Fixed that for you. All of the deferred interest plans are full of "gotcha's". To try and get a few bucks interest, you risked finance charges many times the potential interest. You have to be on top of these plans like a hawk from day one. Next time pay up front.
     
  4. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #4
    It should have shown up on your credit agreement as 2 different orders and that they would be billed as individual items. Thats how it worked with me a few years ago when i bought 2 items at same time on credit. It clearly showed that even though i ordered both at same time, they were not bundled together. I knew this and accepted the agreement. One was nine months interest free, the other three.
     
  5. apockalipse, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010

    apockalipse thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #5
    Well, at this point I am only out about $10 interest on the $200 portion, so in the full scheme I will still come out ahead as long as the remainder is paid off by the deferrment date which I will a couple months ahead of time.

    But I agree, eventhough I was making all the minimum payments, they still came close to getting me for several hundred if I would not have caught this smaller finance charge. Probably not worth the hassle to finance. Oh well, lesson learned.

    I'm still going to send complaints to both companies about such questionable practices.

    Even so, if they are going to break up the order, they should spell that out up front and I may not have gotten the printer there to bump me up over the cutoff. They encourage you to hit that cutoff price without letting you know that they will breakup your order anyway dropping you below the cutoff.
     
  6. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    Location:
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    #6
    Have Barclays never sent you any statements? They should send you a monthly one that shows the items you have on credit and how long much and how long you have left to pay. Im no expert on the matter but i believe they have to do this
     
  7. apockalipse thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #7
    Just got off the phone with Barclay's customer service. They are going to credit the interest back to my account and I will have no future interest due as long as the balance is paid off within 12 months of the original purchase. They didn't even put up any arguement and said that this happens on some accounts. This makes me think it is even more shady since they seem to be aware but don't do anything about it unless you call to complain.
     
  8. AAPLaday Guest

    AAPLaday

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    #8
    Glad you got it sorted. You should have been told at point of purchase if they intended to do this.
     
  9. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #9
    This doesn't surprise me at all. It's like Verizon and their false data charges... Barclay will keep doing this as long as most of their customers don't notice. And chances are, most won't.

    Poor business practise? You bet.
     
  10. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #10
    Barclay puts end of interest deferral dates on page 1 of the statement, in bold letters and enlarged font, along with deferred interest amounts. You honestly can't miss it unless you aren't looking at your statements.
     
  11. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #11
    I did one of the Barclay deferments. Worked out great for me. I had the money up front and let it earn 3% interest in my checking account while I paid 1/12 of my balance each month.

    Each statement spelled out exactly and clearly what was deferred and for how long. I suspect the OP wasn't paying enough attention.
     
  12. rwd hero macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #12
    Barclay, and Verizon are not the only company's that do this. I have caught Comcast, and At&T charging me late fees that i did not deserve to have to pay. Calling them clears it up right away, but most people don't look at the fees and charges section of their statements. Online statements are also very easy for company's to slip in fees that you shouldn't have to pay.
     
  13. Wicked1 macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #13
    Avoid the same no interest for 18 months at BestBuy, make a long story short I made all payments ontime but one was post marked with enough time but because they did not process it the Friday they received it and waited until Monday when it was due on Sunday they attempted to charge me all the interest, a late fee, and request I either pay in full or continue to pay their 29.99% which I just paid in full. After arguing with them and proving the envelope was post marked in enough time, I won, didn't pay a penny in fees or interest, however HSBC bank is sneaky so buyer beware.
     
  14. George Knighton macrumors 6502a

    George Knighton

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    #14
    Okay, never mind the rest of it and tell us where to make 3% on a demand account. :)
     
  15. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #15
    https://www.1stfinancialfcu.org/

    Between that and my Costco Executive AMEX, I get back about $100/month. :)
     
  16. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #16
    So you realize that compounded monthly, this 3% RoR you speak of would have netted you roughly $40 for the year. I guess it's free money, but I just like to pay for my stuff and be done.

    And yes, what type of account did you find with 3% return? Some sort of CD?
     
  17. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

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    Jan 27, 2010
    #17
    Financing any small consumer item is a bad idea. Way too many people need instant gratification though. ;)
     
  18. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #18
    Free money is free money, and I'll gladly hold on to my own and make an extra $40 off someone else's thank you. Those $40 here and there add up after a while. Pays for one of our race trip vacations each year.

    I really don't need to be told that just paying up front is better. There's nothing wrong with my fiscal sense of responsibility. I'm in the middle of a refi and my credit scores came back last week at 813/804/813. I suspect I'm doing things right. ;)
     
  19. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #19
    Some people are good at handling the responsibility that comes with managing their finances. This includes understanding the fine print and the general idea that financiers are in business to make money and they make this money off of people that don't understand or don't read the fine print.

    I was not questioning your fiscal sense, merely pointing out thst most people should consider cash / debit in lieu of paying with credit if they don't want the responsibility that comes with staying on top of it. Especially, those that don't pay attention to the fine print, then come on internet forums to complain about it.
     
  20. thait3n, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010

    thait3n macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #20
    I'm not justifying how sneaky the whole situation was. But in essence, its all about being an educated consumer. With these "same as cash deals" each company/bank are going find so many loop holes to charge the **** out of you to get that accumulated interest and apply that outrageous 24-27% APR. It's just expected and how it works. Bestbuy, Apple - any company. It would be just wise to ask them any question you have. It's better to be safe than sorry, and save yourself a headache!
     
  21. jbachandouris macrumors 68040

    jbachandouris

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #21
    I made the mistake of making my first purchase (a 13" MBP) after the 30 days necessary for no interest financing. I then purchased my iPhone 4. When I realized my mistake, I emailed them. They added both purchases to the no interest financing. I promptly paid off the iPhone (after selling my 3GS) and will be paying this off at tax time. Yup, you gotta read the fine print....
     
  22. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #22
    I'm in agreement with you there. Many people lack appropriate discipline and just aren't very smart about handling credit.
     
  23. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #23
    Or ATT overcharging on taxes

    http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=12731
     
  24. apockalipse, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    apockalipse thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #24
    It seems that some of those commenting are so focused on being self righteous know-it-alls that they either failed to thoroughly read the thread (and missed the point) or they failed to draw an accurate conclusion from the facts, so let me spell out the issue here more succinctly:

    1. The original terms of the financing offer were, spend over $2500 on your initial purchase and get 18 months of no interest as long as minimum payments were made in that time. These are the terms I agreed to when I signed up for financing.
    2. My initial purchase was over $2500 and interest should have been deferred for 18 months (see #1). I received a receipt listing my initial purchase as a single transaction over the required amount.
    3. Apple or Barclay (not sure who is to blame here) split the initial purchase into 2 separate transactions with 2 different and smaller deferment periods. They did this without letting me know up front, before I agreed to financing, that my initial purchase could be split up into smaller amounts in an effort to prevent me from getting the 18 month deferment listed in the original agreement (see #1).
    4. It does not matter what was listed on the monthly statements, because the original terms said spend $2500, defer interest for 18 months. That was the original agreement and I held up my end by spending over $2500 on my initial purchase. They did not hold up their end by spitting up my initial purchase into multiple transactions. Should I have caught this sooner…probably. But, that is beside the point and doesn’t change the fact they manipulated the initial purchase in a manner that violated our original agreement (see #1).
    5. Obviously, they know that this was not legitimate on some level as they were very quick to correct this once I pointed it out to them.

    For those that are saying, “read the statements or you didn’t pay attention to the statements,” you are the ones that allow these large credit companies to get away with shady tricks like this by not questioning them. This is why they do these things because most people don’t notice or take the effort to challenge them. The statements did not agree with the original terms that I agreed to. As far as I am concerned, I made a single initial purchase of over $2500. That is what I agreed to up front and that is what I expect to be honored throughout the full term of the arrangement.

    And that's all I have to say about that.
     
  25. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #25
    Despite all that if you had examined your first statement instead of assuming everything was as you expected, you wouldn't have had the surprise down the road and could have saved yourself some grief. I certainly don't claim that what Apple/Barclaycard did was ethical and agree splitting the order and treating each separately was not OK. In fact, I didn't like BC for another reason and closed my account once I paid it off. But I think you also bear fault for being surprised about it 6 months down the road.

    If you make assumptions and ignore your statements you are just asking for trouble. And that's the point. I don't allow anyone to get away with a shady deal or tactic, since I examine and reconcile monthly statements, dispute issues immediately and make them realize I am watching and paying attention to them. It's fair to claim that it's more people like you who perpetuate the problem with credit issuers: making assumptions, not checking, and then complaining loudly when it doesn't go the way you thought it would when the documentation was under your nose the whole time.
     

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