PhotoR, of Clifton Springs, N.Y., along with her husband, recently applied for "no hassle" credit cards from Capital One, thinking they'd be convenient and easy to use. The very first month, she says, their bills arrived in the mail, with no delay by the post office, judging by the postmark, just one day short of the due date for payment!

“Although we mailed our payment the same day, we were charged late fees,” R told ConsumerAffairs.com. “When we contacted the company to complain and ask why our bills were not mailed to us until it was already too late for us to timely pay, we were told that the company does not take responsibility for the timing of billing and refused to cancel the late charges!”

But hold on. The CARD Act, which took effect February 22, 2010, requires issuers to give card account holders "a reasonable amount of time" to make payments on monthly bills. One day probably isn't going to pass that test.

Interestingly, R says the Capital One rep suggested it would be best if she just paid the late fee in order to retain her good credit.  If R still retains the statement envelop with the postmark, she should send a copy of it, along with her complaint, to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Lottery scam

Look out for this scam: a caller from the “National Lottery Board” tells you the good news that you have won a big prize. But to collect is going to cost ya.

“He says I won some money but I need to send $2,000 to U.S. Customs, in order to receive the money, because it is coming from Costa Rica and any money coming in or out of the country requires a fee,” said Lashun, of Inglewood, Calif.

Hopefully Laushun didn't send the money. If so, it's money down the drain. Remember, you can't win a lottery you didn't enter.

Stop the payments

Dealing with the death of a parent is never easy, particularly when there are financial matters you don't expect. Danielle, of Montgomery, Ala., said she had a bad experience with Tronix Country when she learned her late father had an account with the company.

"Tronix has been taking money from my father's account and I notified them he passed and that I had a couple of questions for the manager,” Danielle told ConsumerAffairs.com. “To my dismay they wouldn't tell me who they were or what they did because i didn't know at the time. They refuse to let me speak to a manager or cancel his account.”

Tronix Country is a finance company for people with poor or little credit, specializing in financing computers and TV sets. They have a business model similar to Blue Hippo, which went out of business following a number of lawsuits. Chances are, Danielle's father had been making payments on equipment he had yet to receive. Danielle should close her father's bank account, or place a block on further withdrawals, as soon as possible.

Bad assumption

A cell phone is a lot like a credit card. If you lose it, someone else can use it to run up charges on your account. Fior, of the Bronx, N.Y., lost his cell phone shortly after cancelling his Sprint account. He didn't worry about it since he had just closed his account.

“When I received my bill I noticed that I have an $88.00 charge of data roaming in the Dominican Republic,” Fior said. “I called Sprint for an explanation and they said that someone may have used that device in the Dominican Republic. I told them that couldn't have happened because I cancelled my service on Jul. 27 and who ever used that device used it on August 2nd.”

That's when Fior learned his account remained active through the billing cycle, which ended August 24. When cancelling a mobile phone account, make sure you know when the account goes off line and protect your mobile devices until then.


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