Saturday, July 04, 2009

Argos Card Services

I’m currently in dispute with Argos Card Services. When you receive a monthly statement from them, the only payment methods offered are as follows:

“You can pay by using one of the following payment options: 1. By Direct Debit. If you would like to set this up, please call the Call Centre on: 0845 640 0700 . 2. Send a cheque attached to the giro slip, to the following address: Home Retail Group Card Services Limited, Royal Avenue, Widnes, WA88 1AP. Please allow 5 days for the payment to reach your account. To avoid delays, please write your address, postcode and account number on the back of the cheque. 3. By cash or cheque at any bank using the giro slip on the bottom of your statement. There should be no handling fee at your own bank or at any branch of Lloyds/TSB bank. Please allow 5 days for the payment to reach your account. 4. If your bank offers a direct bill payment service, just call them or visit their website. Quote our direct payment account number: 9050 5498 plus the sort code 20-91-79. Your customer reference number is your Argos Card number without the first 6 - so it starts with a 3354”


Now, none of these payments were suitable for me, except for paying by cheque. I don’t like direct debits as your bank slaps a big fee on you if the money isn’t in your account. I work in an industrial estate on the edge of town & don’t have a car so can’t easily get to a bank. My bank doesn’t offer an online bill paying service. So I pay by cheque.

Now, on the month before last I ran out of cheques. Foolishly, I forgot to ring Argos to let them know. My bad. BUT my debt was only for about £13, and Argos Card Services have slapped a £12 late payment fee on my account!

Now, naturally that annoyed me. But what has annoyed me even more is that now I am in debt, it turns out that the company can take payment by debit card over the phone! If you ring 0845 64 00703 you can pay using a Switch/Maestro card on an automated touch tone system.

This phone line is not advertised or mentioned anywhere on the Argos Card Services website, or the monthly statement.

I complained about this to one of the many agents who have phoned me demanding payment. One offered to forward my complaints to a manager who would look at them. But no manager has contacted me, just a load of agents hooked up to a bloody autodialler. They usually ring me every 9.00am on Saturday and Sunday.

I’ve now been hit with a further £12 pounds of fees, making £24 in total for a £13 debt. I’ve just made a payment of £13.67 – this covers the interest charges for the last two months and clears the original debt. But there’s no way I’m paying the £24 late fees. What should I do? I only bought a battery charger and an electric hair clipper.

11 comments:

Wandering Photographer said...

I can almost guarantee that what you have paid so far will have been allocated to the fees and interest and not the original amount owed. Thus they will consider you still in arrears on the original debt.

whynotsmile said...

Argos are a nightmare. You could contact Citizen's Advice about the fees - maybe give them a ring and see what they say.

Anonymous said...

You dumbass the phone number you can use to pay over the phone is on the back of the argos card itself.

bresker said...

But nowhere do they advertise that they accept phone payments. You fool.

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Tom said...

May I suggest you stop being such a tramp and 1) buy yourself a car, you pathetic loser! 2) don't take out an Argos store card in the first place 3) pay your bill on time, by Direct Debit (if you were sucessful and earned enough money then having funds in your account wouldnt be an issue would it?!?!) 4) stop moaning and being so petty, no one gives a shit!

bresker said...

Thanks Tom, how is life in retail merchandising?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the work you have done into this article, this helps clear away a few questions I had.

Anonymous said...

My mother passed away 3 months ago, I knew she had one of these cards but not how much debt she was in. Now, after contacting them with a letter that explained she passed away without a will or estate, they have shown their true compassionate side by writing to me, her son. They have passed her details onto a debt collection agency to recoup the money. First of all, she had no will or estate, secondly without a will there is no executor and finally I will let my solicitor know and try to recover money from these incredibly considerate people myself for the stress they have put me through at the worst time of my life. Thanks very much Argos, I will never shop in any of your stores ever again.