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Fingerhut Calls Seen As Needlessly Intrusive

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Saint Cloud, MNThere is little doubt that Fingerhut, a mail-order distributor of products that also has a financing component under the Bluestern Brands umbrella, has its fans. However, various complaints about Fingerhut, including intrusive Fingerhut telephone calls, appear to outweigh the bouquets.

And while Fingerhut credit is designed to provide an option to consumers who may have fallen into a bad credit quagmire over the last few years, the firm’s so-called “FreshStart” appears to be a closed shop. To wit, a positive credit history with Fingerhut is reportedly not shared with the credit industry at large, including reporting agencies. A consumer may have established a stellar credit history with Fingerhut, but no one else will know about it - and you can’t take that to the bank as an example of your financial rebirth.

And then there are the Fingerhut calls. A potential Fingerhut Robocalling Class-Action Lawsuit has been filed in US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania. The named defendant is Bluestern Brands, doing business as Fingerhut. The allegation is that Fingerhut initiated a series of automated phone calls to the plaintiff’s cell phone without the prior consent of the plaintiff.

There are lots of other complaints out there involving Fingerhut robocalls, or automated calling. One respondent to a chat board noted that Fingerhut had been “calling and harassing [my] wife who has had a massive stroke over $19.17. The total amount for the product is 130.00+ interest! (original emphasis). It is difficult for my wife to speak, yet this person insisted on talking to her and kept her on the phone while he kept making mistakes concerning the issue. She cannot hold a phone at any length of time and speaking is extremely hard for her. We are on Social Security and send our payments per money order, yet if it’s not there on the date they require, they call and harass my wife.”

Another respondent who identifies himself as Don, of Missoula, Montana, wrote on February 7 that he had tried to return an appliance he purchased through Fingerhut after he found the same item at another retailer for $100 less. He waited a month following his request for a copy of his bill, in addition to a return label so he could ship the unwanted item back. After more than 30 days had elapsed, Don had yet to receive any needed paperwork: “just over 50 phone calls at all hours from Fingerhut collections, usually no one on line, silence, then quick busy. The few times someone was on other end, they spoke indistinguishable English and would not listen to my complaint. The calls have come continuously for about a month.” After finally getting through to someone at the corporate headquarters at Fingerhut, Don was told that “I did receive too many calls, but glitches in computer system happens so it is not their fault for plus 50 calls even Sundays at 8 am with no one on the line, as many as 5 in a day.”

It’s a common complaint, and the legal challenge is that Fingerhut calls violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

It should be noted that as of February 21, 2014, Fingerhut was tagged with an “A-Minus” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Of 1,629 complaints closed with the BBB in the last three years, 640 of those complaints were closed in the past 12 months. Of all the listed complaints, the majority at 766 were centered on problems with a product or service. However, the second-highest level of complaints, numbering 596, was for billing and collection issues. Fingerhut robocalls were not broken out as a separate category.

Ripoff Report, a popular consumer online complaint board, lists an approximate total of 562 reports for Fingerhut.

Meanwhile, a credit-rebuilding program at Fingerhut launched a few years ago and dubbed “Fresh Start” may not be all it seems, according to Gerri Detweiler, the Director of Consumer Education at Credit.com as of October 25, 2012, when she weighed in on the issue.

“FreshStart” was reportedly designed for consumers having had problems with their credit history resulting from the economic downturn of recent years - consumers having trouble qualifying for the regular stream of Fingerhut credit (a denied application for a Fingerhut credit card) and presumably having trouble with other sources of consumer credit due to a bad credit history.

“‘FreshStart,’” noted Detweiler “gives customers a second shot at proving their creditworthiness so they can qualify for Fingerhut’s regular credit cards.

“But is it any good?”

Detweiler acknowledges that the Fingerhut catalogue has a loyal following with a popular basket of products that consumers having credit problems would no longer be able to access without a second chance. Thus it presumably is in Fingerhut’s best interest to find a way around the bad credit histories and keep those consumers shopping.

However, Detweiler makes the point that merchandise is probably overpriced, and “the biggest concern for customers is that they will just focus on the small down payment and monthly payments, and lose track of how much they are really spending. When they do, they’ll pay interest. So instead of buying an item on sale, they are paying more by the time the bill is paid off. The interest rate is 24.99 percent, which is not unusual for a retail card or credit cards for those with bad credit, but it’s high compared to the average credit card rate of about 15 percent.

“And you may not be able to get out of paying at least some interest on purchases. While the marketing materials say purchases can be paid off faster, the terms and conditions warn…”

‘If you elect to pay your entire balance due at the same time as your down payment, then this will cancel your Loan and you may not be eligible to be considered for a WebBank/Fingerhut Credit Account. You may not be eligible to be considered for a WebBank/Fingerhut Credit Account if you die, file for bankruptcy, enter a consumer credit counseling service program, make any past due payments, or have any payments returned unpaid, or if you enter any other negative credit status.’

“Customers who don’t read the offer carefully may miss the fact that they are not building credit with anyone other than Fingerhut when using the ‘FreshStart’ program,” Detweiler writes. “They must pay off purchases under this program on time before graduating to the regular card. It’s not designed to be a way to build credit references with the major credit reporting agencies.”

Meanwhile, the Fingerhut calls just keep on coming…

FINGERHUT ROBOCALLING Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a media/telecom lawyer who may evaluate your FINGERHUT ROBOCALLING claim at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

Posted by

on
After having an account with Fingerhut for going on 10 years, I had a payment due date fall on a Sunday and made the payment the following Monday online. Fingerhut collections was already calling me at my place of employment to harass me one day past the due date. When I called them back to find out what the deal was, I was treated like a deadbeat who doesn't make their payments. Won't be doing anymore business with them anymore. That is no way to treat good customers.

Posted by

on
ive been a good costamer for over 4 years i found out they have been charging me insurance the whole time i need some hlep

Posted by

on
So both my husband and I made the mistake of opening accounts in each of our names in the hopes of being able to get a few items that we really needed at the time. We have been making our payments on time and for some reason they have started calling us several times a day telling us our accounts are either do or over due. Our payment date is the 7th of each month so how are you going to call me a week after I pay you and say it is over due?? This is getting to the point of harassment The calls start before 7am and don't stop until after 11 pm. Time to find a lawyer

Posted by

on
My wife didn't have account with fingerhut, one day they sent her a package, and want my wife pay for it. We did return the package but fingerhut keeps calling, harras...We want law enforcement protect us

Posted by

on
Finger Hut is dishonest fraudulent and corrupt not to mention double-dealing. My FICO score is horrible because finger hut ,I returned there merchandise and i 'm still being charge. This is crazy and the law needs to intervene

Posted by

on
i am receiving calls every day 3,4 per day saying this is fingerhut about a important issue . i have been paying on my acct they want more i dont have it i told them in a email . they said basicaly too bad. but thease calls are very stressfull . what can i do? seems they wont work with me and just want to get more $ for extra fees. they are bad very bad .i now i made the charges on my acct its not my intention to not pay .

Posted by

on
I pay my husbands fingerhut account every month and now there calling me saying his account is behind and it shouldn't be behind. The people that call are rude and they lie and don't listen to anything you say. I'm really ready to close his account out. I will never order anything from fingerhut again. They call me at least 15 times a day

Posted by

on
I ordered $400 of items and was not satisfied, so i returned them with the shipping label that Fingerhut provided. They received the items but refused to give me my refund because i cant give a receipt even though i have the confirmation email amd tracking to say they received the items. There was never a receipt only an email! Forget about the countless phone calls demanding payment. They gavee a number to call that no one ever answers, just music playing! This better not mess my credt up!

Posted by

on
Old my God fingerhut called and called some more 5 to 10 times a day I had to change my number & it's just crazy

Posted by

on
I recieved cores ponder that I could be part of this class action lawsuit how do I get another flyer I lost it
.

Posted by

on
How do you get a monthly statement? I believe I am being double billed. There is a BIG Language Barrier

Posted by

on
I paying fingerhut on time and my payments is not being deducted from my bill. I have paid over 8 payments for a DVD/TV that cost $199.99 and the was payment $17.99. I am paying $20.00 and nothing is being deducted. I really need help to get Fingerhut to deduct my payments. My bill has increase to $204.00. Contact them, waist of time.

Posted by

on
I ordered a $400 computer monitor on finger hut. To ship to my house it was $23. I hooked up the monitor and it freaked out. Turning itself on and off and none of the button worked. I took a short video of the problem then boxed it back up and returned it. When they credited my account back for the broken monitor they charged me another $23 for return shipping. When I called the first time they said they wouldn't refund the first shipping charge. I was irate and hung up. After I calmed down I called back and got a lady that actually spoke good English. I told her everything that happen and mentioned I videoed the problem with the monitor. she said I will not have to pay for the shipping for a broken item and refunded me the original $23 shipping charge.

Posted by

on
Been receiving both calls and letters for the last six months--yes, I did get behind for one month--but now the threats of a lawsuit have started, do these people actually sue or is this a scare tactic?

Posted by

on
Stay Clear of this place, they DO NOT report to all agencies and the customer service is very very bad. The hold times are terrible. Amber, Heather, Larson in customer service play phones games. Try calling in and ask for a Supervisor, you will never get one. Fingerhut credit did nothing for me and customer is key for me. You will wait on hold all the time and the products are trash. I only did this to rebuild my credit . They wanted wanted everything but a blood sample to open up a very small line of credit. They sell your phone asap, so beware about that. Oh and they repull credit, over and over, yep, pulling your score down, they hurt me in the long run and I thought they would help me. They are better qualtity way likes a secured/unsecured card with your local bank then this. When I told others about fingerhut, when applying for items, they told me , glad it was not on my report because they look at this as low level credit and would be worse with them on my credit. After much research, they are owned by bluestream. There credit application changes on the fly and they do not notify you of changes or anything, I am reporting them about that, they are using predatory pracitices, sad sad sad.

Posted by

on
I find Fingerhut a great advantage for somebody with bad credit. It's that second chance you need to reestablish yourself to prove to the world that you're not a bad person credit wise. Ordering items from Fingerhut sure that expensive and sure they're overpriced at least it's an opportunity to reestablish yourself. Try opening up a secured credit card that you hope will report to the credit bureau and see what kind of fees and charges You will pay and you will find Fingerhut is not do bad. If you've got great credit why are you even shopping there in first place. But if you don't it's only a few places it will give you give you credit. If you buy something make sure you just pay it off. The Collection calls will not come after you.

Posted by

on
Fingerhut has harassed me endlessly about a past due account that is not mine. I've filed complaints all over but they called me again this week. I've verified with them multiple times that the SS # they have is not mine and this is not my responsibility. I've never spent a penny with these scratchers and never will. If I get any chance to talk bad about them, I will.

Posted by

on
i have never heard about fingerhut until one day when they called my house. since i have caller ID it shows their name. and now the call often, daily. its annoying bc they don't answer they just call i answer but they never reply. its annoying

Posted by

on
I've had an account for a few years with them. I got behind on one payment due to having lightning strike at my home and I wasn't able to make the one payment for may. The following month I made a payment of 101.00 and everytime I made a payment the next day I would get a call from them asking for more money. I kept telling them the same story which is true. Then they told me they could put me on a payment program. I agreed to do it and then we get disconnected. I call right back and tell the person what had happened and she tells me no I don't qualify for that one because I still have credit on my account of just over 200. I couldn't use that credit but now that credit is gone. I haven't been able to make a payment cause I just haven't had the money. I'm a single dad and on ssi and things have gotten harder for me. Then they call 4 to 5 times per day and that includes the weekends. They've called after 5 pm as well. They have my name which is a male name and they still call me a mam even after I tell them I'm a guy. I don't have a way to pay for it now but I'm sick of being treated like crap by them. I know I owe the money but it doesn't grow on trees and I'm lucky to take care of all my kids needs and lucky to buy a pair of shoes for myself. If I could pay it off I would and never use them again.

Posted by

on
I don't have, nor have I ever, had an account with Fingerhut. I have never had a catalog of theirs in my home. I got a new phone number just over a year ago, For the last 6 months I have been receiving anywhere from 4-15 phone calls from Fingerhut per day, every day of the week, at times from 8am-8pm PST. if I answer the phone, the line hangs up most of the time. If a person answers, I tell them that I don't have an account with them and ask them to take me off of their phone list. I have called their offices at least once a week for the past three months to have my number removed. Each time, I am assured there will be no more phone calls. I have called their parent company, Bluestem Brands, as well to deal with this matter. This week, I have called them every day and been assured that my number would be removed each time that I have called. needless to say, these phone calls continue. I don't know what the legal definition is of harassment, but this would seem to qualify to me. What can I do?

Posted by

on
First of all, the "Consumer Advocacy" site that Fingerhut refers you to for complains charges a "fee" to complain. Second, Fingerhut phishes and sends spam from various fake urls similar to Fingerhut.Partners@mainfall.com. The use of xxxxxfall.com apparently is a common usage for companies that wish to phish and spam and go undetected. Third, "unsubscribing" from the emails, even when they appear in a spam filtered account, simply notifies Fingerhut that your email account is alive and you will continue to receive emails. Fourth, Fingerhut hides behind a Utah-based bank (webbank.com) to further shield itself from contact. I could go on, but you get the picture. Fingerhut management and ownership must be cynically proud of filling the Internet with scam and schemes. I assume these folks are also proud to tell their families how they earn a living.

Posted by

on
Like Elisa, who posted on May 30, I have never had an account or even a catalog with Fingerhut. Several weeks ago they started calling me constantly too, waking me up EVERY SINGLE MORNING and calling throughout the day. When I answer, they disconnect. I finally called back today and when I tried to talk to a human, the VRU said the office is closed. I have submitted a complaint on their "Contact Us" page. If that doesn't make them stop, I'll try filing a complaint with my State's Attorney General's Office.

Posted by

on
I have had a Fingerhut credit advantage card for 8 years and never had any problems prior. They report my good standing to the credit reporting agencies and all. This month, my payment was due 6\11 and I forgot to pay. Starting 6/12, I started getting phone calls. I received 3 calls an hour on every phone number on my file. They even talked to someone who told them what time I would be home and they continued to call every hour anyway. Starts at 8am and continues all day. I called and complained to a "supervisor" who refused to honor the inconvenient time request. I will be writing a complaint to every regulatory body I can because I have been in collections and this is straight harassment. If they are doing it to you too, write and complain so these are logged. I am also writing to the OCC because this is a bank, Web bank and I dont see why they shouldnt have to follow the laws like any other bank has to.

Posted by

on
I don't have, nor have I EVER, had an account with Fingerhut. I have never had a catalog of theirs in my home. Two weeks ago they started calling here for someone named Don. I have repeatedly told them there is no one here with that name and that I'm the only person in my home. They ignore me. On Memorial Day, they called five times. I blocked the number but today they called with a 1-000-000-0000 number. Obviously they intend to continue to harass me even though I have asked them not to. What recourse do you have in a situation like this?

Posted by

on
No one is twisting these Customers arm to make a purchase. Apparently, after receiving the merchandise, the Customer wants to change the terms of the offer, to their favor. It doesn't sound like Fingerhut is doing anything wrong. They're simply holding the Customer accountable to the terms and conditions agreed to initially. It's sad that we now live in a world which no longer holds people responsible for their own actions. Bring back Debtors Prisons!!!
If you purchase something, it should be expected that you pay for it, and if you choose not to, there should be repercussions!

Posted by

on
Fingerhut was harassing my phone line and my cell phone 24 hours non-stop I had an acct with them.

Posted by

on
I had good luck with figerhut. After a year making timely payments I was able to get a Visa with my bank for $4000. I just checked my credit report, it relects my payments with fingerhut, in my case all is good.

Posted by

on
Fingerhut uses a bank in Utah for their financing so some of this blame should be placed on the bank. Also, after getting numerous requests to open an account I read their guidelines and noticed they can use your phone number for any purposes, and even sell it to 3rd party companies. That turned me off completely. One would be bombarded with sales pitches after opening an account.

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