Canadians: If You Have A Best Buy Credit Card, Beware! Chase Is Screwing You Over.

So…  If you signed up for a Best Buy credit card in Canada (or Future Shop, its sister store) prior to January 2011, beware: your account may be locked or shut down without warning for no logical or legal reason.  How do I know this?  They told me that they’ve done it. 

This past Friday (May 20th) I went into Best Buy to grab a few movies for the weekend.  Although I had cash available, I always charge Best Buy purchases to my credit card from there, as I use it to keep tabs on how much money I spend on non-necessities.  My $34 transaction was declined.  Confused, namely because I had well over $400 of available credit, we tried again.  And again.  After the third ‘declined’, a passing manager offered to take me to customer service to call Chase; I gladly agreed, as I was now concerned that my card had somehow been compromised.  What I discovered, however, was far more shady and disingenuous.

After reaching a representative, he informed me that my account had been closed, due to “missing personal information on file”.  I then demanded to know what, precisely, was missing, given that they had just confirmed my name, address, date of birth and account number before telling me anything.  He placed me on hold, and transferred me to another representative (who later informed me she was very new to the call centre).  The second representative told me that banking regulations had changed in Canada as of January 2011, requiring that photo ID be presented to obtain credit in store – “things are more strict now,” she added emphatically – and a mass review of accounts had been undertaken since.  I then informed her that I have always had to show photo ID to obtain credit for store cards and otherwise; in my twelve years of being a credit holder, I have always had to prove my identity.  I then told her that I was standing in front of, ironically, the same store employee who had opened my application, and she had seen my passport on that very day last November, so it was obviously not a new policy.  The representative tried to insist this was not universal; I had an employee confirm otherwise beside me while she was on the line.

I then asked why I wasn’t contacted about this supposedly outstanding identification, as I have been getting my statements promptly each month.  Surely, I told her, if this was a problem since January, they would have contacted me before outright closing my account?  She advised me that she could see a letter was sent “recently” and that some accounts were on hold while some were closed.  I asked why my account wasn’t on hold then, pending notification of me; the representative said she was new and had no idea how it worked.  I asked how to re-open my account, after emphasizing how utterly humiliating the whole process of having my card declined was, which was when she told me the kicker:  because they shut down my account, I would have to re-apply for credit to have a new one, thus incurring a credit score hit.  I again pointed out that this was ludicrous, stressing again that my passport had been scanned into the computer for the application to Chase(!) in November, and that there was absolutely no way I would tolerate another score hit for their error.  I then demanded that someone with authority regarding the closings phone me back; the representative informed me there was no way to schedule a callback and that she didn’t know who would have closed my account, “but I could ask my supervisor.”  She asked, and returned with a PO Box address in Ottawa.  I again stressed wanting a callback; she said she would take down my phone number and give it to her supervisor and see if she could.

I then asked if my current no payment plans would hold with the account closed (I purchased a laptop on a year plan with no payments or interest, hence applying for the card in the first place); she had to check as she wasn’t sure.  I was assured all was in order, but the card was now useless for new purchases.

I have been making payments monthly; there was no reason to flag my account for closure over a hold, as my score is exceptional.  The fact that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason, nor any notification or actual knowledge of credit policies in Canada, is extremely disturbing.  This was a review undertaken on ALL Canadian card holders at Best Buy and, conversely, sister store Future Shop; there are others out there who have been unknowingly terminated.

As I informed Chase and the store, I will not give another cent to the chain until Chase is no longer their credit provider, which is a shame for them, given my spending habits and my fiance’s love of electronic gadgets.  I also refuse to incur a hit on my score for foolishness. I urge you to do the same, and please, check on your account as soon as possible. 

Way to fail, Chase.  Way to fail.


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12 thoughts on “Canadians: If You Have A Best Buy Credit Card, Beware! Chase Is Screwing You Over.

  1. Bryan Stover says:

    I am from Charleston, WV and just found out that my account was closed for no reason whatsoever. I have had a $1500 credit limit since Circuit City was big and am furious. Luckily I wasn’t in line when I found out but this is still ridiculous. I am still awaiting my letter letting me know why my account was closed without attempting to contact me.

    • Amber Waves says:

      I’ve now been told two different reasons by three different levels of Chase, including the Ombudsman. My account supposedly closed May 15th, but my statement issued May 26th says I have available credit still. I’m about to escalate to the external ombudsman, because they are citing Terrorism Laws now and saying they couldn’t verify some identifier on my passport and they closed it because I could have been laundering money? Um, yeah, my Best Buy card is so useful for money for crime. I encourage you to keep escalating. Go to their Executive office level. Then go to the internal ombudsman. Keep going.

      • I have filled a complaint with the Ombudsman of Chase yesterday and now waiting for the answer. I have called Trans-Union this morning and they said that everything was fine with my credit…they suggested me to call again Chase and mentioned that i have called the credit verification company.

        I am paying my HP computer with equal payments, not interests (33,33$) and i always clear the balance i owe in advance before the due date. I have never used the card for anything else…I very curious if i will have the answer than you had…

    • Amber Waves says:

      More details and more lies about what they’re doing to us on my update post –

  2. Myriane says:

    I had the same identical problem ! They have closed my account this month because the guy who asked me questions regarding my situation has forgot to fill up some information…so my file was incomplete and they have closed my account because of that! :( They simply told me to reopen an account….and i won’t. I am finishing to pay my computer that i bought and in 6 months it will be over with them.

  3. Alain says:

    I cancelled my Sears card years ago after the Sears credit card division was bought by Chase. In the fine print, I read that the US gov’t would have access to my personal info under the Patriot Act. No thanks.

    • Amber Waves says:

      It’s funny that you mention that because in my letter from the Ombudsman of Chase, they cited some anti-terrorism and money laundering law in the States as the reason they cancelled my card (specifically, that even though the barcode scanned my passport at time of application, the ‘unique identifiers’ weren’t captured right’. Um, I’m CANADIAN. And yeah, I can so launder money with a BEST BUY card. *eyeroll*

    • Amber Waves says:

      Unofortunately, all banks must now comply and share your info with the govt under the Patriot Act and similar. It’s so Big Brother.

  4. […] I previously blogged about my horrid experience with Chase shutting down my credit card on a seeming whim, leaving me with the awesome experience of going to a check-out and having my card declined. If you have not read that, READ IT FIRST. […]

  5. Mark Hudson says:

    I had the same problem with HBC Mastercard through Capital One Bank. I tried to use the card at a Peoples Store in Mississauga and the card was declined and then I had to go thru the same process and was told exactly the same thing about “Identification”. Finally they closed my account and I had over $2000.00 credit available on it. HBC Master Card through Capital One is the worst banking institution and has a horrible customer service. I had made all payments on time and was planing to use the card for more purchases of goods. Don’t apply for their card if you are going to and if you have already make sure you pay it off and close the card as you will end up with frustration and horrible experience.
    HBC Master Card (Capital One Bank)

  6. Amanda says:

    Yes the same thing happened to me! Fortunately I had already paid my future shop card off. What got me was that I had paid a 25$ annual fee and they would not reimburse it to me due to the fact that the previous credit company was HSBC. But also would not wave the fee as this new credit company should not be held accountable. I told them of course they shouldn’t, you should as its your credit company! I also did not resign, although it was only 25$ it’s the principal of it, only 3 months after I paid that fee they wanted me to resign with a new credit company reapply for credit I had already had and pay another 25$ fee. Um, No! I would rather use a regular credit card as I was a great customer and now very rarely go into future shop for anything!

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